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Kelsi’s Story

This site has been established for our beloved sister, daughter, teammate and friend Kelsi Renae Poe.  Updates will be made regularly on Kelsi's progress and your wishes, prayers, thoughts, and actions are very much welcomed and appreciated.  My family and I cannot thank everyone enough, we are witnessing a miracle in so many ways.

On Saturday September 4th Kelsi Renae Poe had a terrible accident.  She fell head first about 15 feet onto nothing but concrete.  She fractured her 5, 6, and 7th cervical vertebrae as well as several fractures of her thoracic and lumbar vertebrae (she broke her neck and her back), her skull was cracked from the front completely around to the back on the left side, she shattered her maxillary sinuses on the left, fractures into the orbital area (eye) and into her ear.  She has some epidural bleeding in her brain, had a right collapsed lung, a grade 2 spleen laceration and almost lost her right ring-finger toe, fortunately her spinal chord was not compromised in her fall.  Kelsi is now in SICU at University Hospital in Columbia, MO.  It's a miracle that Kelsi is still with us right now. 
     Anyone who has had the immense pleasure of knowing or meeting Kelsi knows that she is an absolutely amazing person.  Wherever she is she brightens the room with her glowing personality and charm.  Nothing and no one can compare to Kelsi's intense love for life.  She has lived everyday of her young beautiful life to the absolute fullest and has touched so many others lives along the way.  I pray to God that she can continue to touch more and more.  Please leave your wishes and prayers for my baby sister and continue to hold her in your thoughts because I can guarantee that you would be in hers. 

I love you Kelsi, more than you or anyone will ever know.  You have always been my sunshine.  I will be by your bed side until this nightmare is over.  I will not leave you sister bear and we will get through this.  My sun will not rise until you open your eyes.

Love always and forever
Your best friend and brother,
Jason aka Brother Bear

Latest Journal Update


I'm sorry I am so behind in updating you guys, I can't seem to keep up with everything. I have lots to tell you since the last entry.  Kelsi got her feeding tube out a few weeks ago; she's done great without it and the hole has nearly healed.  She is eating almost anything she wants now, still sticking to soft foods mainly but doing great. She still has to really concentrate when she eats but she isn't choking nearly as much as she was which is such a relief. For awhile she choked nearly every meal, not to the point I had to do anything but nonetheless it was scary.  She finally got the nerve to eat a salad. She loved salads but was afraid she would choke so she waited until a couple of weeks ago to try one.  She did fine so now it's salads all the time!  She is still a vegetarian; we didn't get her to change that.  She said at one time she didn't know if she would be a vegetarian when she could start eating again but once she started eating she said she just couldn't think of any meat that sounded good.  She was never a big meat eater anyway which is strange for our family of meat eaters!!
She still goes to RUSK three days a week for rehabilitation; her dad has taken her almost every time.  He goes up there, sits all day while Kelsi is in therapy.  I know it wears him out and I want to thank him for doing it.  Her therapy is going great; she works so hard at everything they give her to do.  Her balance is getting better, a lot better I think.  She is balancing on things now without holding on that just a month ago it took two hands.  She still wobbles at times and when we walk beside each other one of us seems to wobble into the other one at least once or twice. Of course I can blame her but we both know sometimes it is me just being my clumsy self!  Her overall strength is getting better too.  Her speech is getting a little better but it's still pretty slow and her voice isn't quite the same.  Her trach hole still hasn't completely closed and there is a pretty big indentation around it. We asked the trauma doctor's when they pulled her feeding tube what the next step was.  They want to wait until May to make sure the scar that has formed around it has set then they will go in and do whatever they do to add some tissue around it and stitch it closed.  
Her hair is growing so much that you really can’t even see the scar on her head. 
She is still taking her online Western Civilization class; her final is this coming Friday.  She has been working so hard in this class, and it has been a struggle.  She still has problems retaining what she reads so she has to do a lot of repeat reading. She has discussion questions each week that she has to answer, has had 4 quizzes and has had to write 3 400 word essays. I figured so far she has about an 85% but she wants an A in the class so bad. I help her with her homework as much as I can, usually by reading the assignments to her or quizzing her on the reading.  I read her questions to her when she has a quiz and that seems to help some. We are a little worried about the final because that will be without using her book and she hasn't had much luck remembering without looking it up.  We hope her grade is up enough that the final won't hurt that much. The professor at Columbia College has been awesome to work with.  Kelsi was having trouble uploading her assignments but we didn't know they weren't going through. I just happened to check her email one day and saw several emails from the professor that Kelsi hadn't turned in two essays.  I knew she had done them and she said she had sent them but we will never know where she sent them! We found one, submitted it immediately, but one had to be done again because the computer monster must have taken it away. Anyway I emailed the professor; he was wonderful.  He accepted both essays and assured me that Kelsi would do fine now that she knew how to submit her homework. He has since emailed me and Kelsi both when he has any questions. Plus he is letting me proctor her final! Usually they have to go in to the school to take the final. The professor emailed me that he didn't think it would be fair to make Kelsi come in and sit in a classroom full of students to take the final so he is letting her take it online.  I have to make sure she doesn't use books, notes, etc. She will get double the usual allotted time to take the test. The disability lady at the college helped us get the extra time for taking quizzes and tests. 
Kelsi's ultimate goal is to play softball again.  She said even if her speech never got better and her trach hole never closed she would live with it if she could just play ball again.  She has been working so hard to get back whatever she can.  The Columbia College softball coach (Wendy) said Kelsi could be the team manager and travel with the team until Kelsi could get back to playing.  You can imagine how happy this made Kelsi. 
The coach even re-took team pictures so Kelsi could be in them.  Well it's not been so easy getting this done as you know the liability issue has the school pretty nervous. They first want releases from her doctor's (which one, there were like 20 something), then they wanted her records sent. This has been a lot of work getting everyone to send them and the receiving place to remember they actually did receive them!  
I told Wendy when they saw her records they would freak out thinking there is no way this person could be able to ride a bus and travel with the team. I said until they actually see and talk to her they are going to think we've lost our minds. Well we haven't even gotten them to the point they will meet with Kelsi. We need more releases and more records......So the softball team's first tournament was this weekend and since Kelsi couldn't travel on the bus, her and I left after work Friday to head to Arkansas.  We drove 7 hours Friday night, watched 4 games Saturday then drove back home.  I am blown slick but she so enjoyed it.  She stood by the fence all 4 games never taking her eyes off anything that was going on. 
When we got to the softball fields, I walked up and peered through the fence. I was not prepared for what happened. I had 10 years of softball memories come crashing down on me.  This would have been Kelsi's first college game, she was to be the starting left fielder. Here we were standing by this newly groomed softball field,  players warming up, coaches talking to other coaches, the umpires suiting up for the game and Kelsi standing by the fence looking in.  Softball such a huge part of her life but right at that moment she looked as out of place as anyone could have looked.  I hadn't given a thought to it bothering me, so it caught me off guard.  I did fine though. Ashley and I sent a few texts back and forth and I felt better. 
Okay one last thing before I stop, probably the most awesome thing of all.  Kelsi won an award a couple of weeks ago.  The Inspiration of the year award through WIN (Women's Intersport Network).  She was nominated a few months ago; the luncheon was at Columbia College the 15th of February. There are several categories and each category had three nominees.  Kelsi won her category, inspiration of the year.  It was so awesome to see Kelsi walk up the aisle, up the stairs and across the stage by herself to accept her award.  Everyone stood as she walked up to receive her award.  Her two sisters Ashley and Angi came, her dad, and my parents, of course we all had tears.  Kelsi continues to inspire me.  I love my kids so much.......................Take Care, Stacey