Dear family and friends,
Let us first begin by thanking you all for your love, support, encouragement, calls, texts, visits etc ...but most especially for your prayers.
Here is what happened: Thursday evening at about 9pm we were packing and preparing to head to Pullman the next morning for Mom’s Weekend w/the whole family, when we received a phone call from WSU student health informing us that Kellen was hit in the head with a softball during an intramural game with his fraternity brothers. Kellen touched home base and someone on the other team was going to throw one of Kellen’s fraternity brothers out at home and it hit Kellen in the head as he was on his way to the dugout. We found out later that Kellen finished the game & even struck someone out. Initially he seemed ‘ok’ but when his friends were driving him back to the fraternity they realized they should take him to the hospital because he was unable to communicate. The decision his fraternity brothers made saved his life. When he got to the hospital, the doctor called us & said that following a CAT scan he had severe bruising and bleeding on the brain and would need to be air-lifted as soon as possible to Spokane. They said it was serious and that we should get to Spokane right away...he would need emergency surgery to relieve the pressure so as not to cause brain damage. We began praying as soon as we received the news and didn’t stop for the next 5 hours to Spokane; tears combined with our pleas to God for our son. We tried to text or call as many people as we could to ask for prayer for Kellen and we felt the effects of that immediately. Your love & prayers made the drive and the next few hours bearable.
During the drive we received word from the hospital in Spokane (Sacred Heart) that Kellen was about to go into surgery. He would be in for 2-3 hours.We also heard from the helicopter crew who said Kellen was in“critical but stable condition.” Upon arriving at Sacred Heart, we waited a half hour more for Kellen to get out of surgery. When the surgeon walked towards us I held my breath as he explained the severity of his condition.
The good news was the surgery went well. He stopped the bleed but Kellen had a large bruise that went deep into his brain affecting his motor skills and he also had a couple small bruises that they would have to keep an eye on for swelling. The surgeon also explained to us how there is a time period of 72 hours where the swelling could increase. Dad was concerned if he was in a ‘life-threatening’ situation & he told us that we shouldn’t be worried. The surgeon didn’t know the outcome but explained that his left side wasn’t moving at all but had the potential to return in some capacity. We waited for another 30 minutes and finally got to see him.
Although it was difficult to see him intubated, we were grateful that he was still with us. We were up all night praying and trusting in God.The next 24 hours he progressed better than expected. The right side of his body was fine and even the left side improved. When they pinched his left toe,his leg would twitch and move up. He recently showed a little sign of movement in his left hand, which made us all smile and gasp for joy with this sudden improvement. We are rejoicing in the baby steps; the squeeze of his hand, the tiny twitch of a finger or simply listening to him breathe instead of the noise of machines helping him.
We are overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support…grateful for the texts and phone messages, the visits, the words of encouragement and the prayers. It is what keeps us going and gives us hope. His recovery will be more like a marathon rather than a sprint, and we will continue to update you on Kellen’s progress in the days/week/months ahead.
Thank you for your continued prayers for Kellen. We love you all.
John, Jennifer, Kellen and Brendan
“But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in Your hand” Psalm 31:14-15