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Kirk’s Story

Thank you for coming to Kirk's site.  We hope it will help  you easily follow Kirk's progress. Your heartfelt thoughts, prayers, and concern have helped us all greatly. 

Visit often to read the latest journal entries, visit the photo gallery, and write us a note in our guestbook.



Sunday Nov 08, 2009
Kirk and many of his friends were out for an afternoon mountain bike ride along the trails close to his home in Lyons, CO.  It was a beautiful afternoon and the trails were filled with many bikers and hikers.  On one of the descents Kirk saw several riders coming up the trail and veered slightly off the trail to let them get by.  He was thrown by hitting a small log hidden under the grass.  He landed on his helmet and his neck was thrown forcefully forward.  A gentleman had pulled off the trail to let Kirk and his crew by and witnessed the entire accident.  Dave Shenton is miracle #1 in Kirk's journey.  He and his son were out for a ride, and Dave is an Orthopaedic Surgeon from Montana.  We connected last night and he said he knew immediately it was a very serious fall.  Kirk also has told us that he knew right away that it was bad.  He was face down and realized he couldn't help himself up.  Dave got to him immediately and gave him a quick check over and then he put his neck in hand, held traction and he and Kirk's friends barrel rolled him off of his stomach.  Dave then, with faces 6" apart, held Kirk in stable position for an hour waiting for the medivac 'flight for life' helicopter.  Dave wanted us to know that Kirk was truly beyond belief throughout this and was actually the calming force for him and all his friends.  He was transported to Denver Health Level 1 Trauma Unit for full evaluation.  Everyone in this facility has been absolutely beyond every expectation in regard to help/care/compassion/and skilled care.  It was determined that the cervical vertebra #5 (C5)was severely fractured and Kirk went into a 6 hour surgery to remove this disc and replace with a 'cage' spacer an this was fused with C4 and C6.  The spinal cord was repositioned and straightened.  There was damage to this area of the spinal cord.  Julie and I got here just after surgery was completed Sunday night about 11:30pm and stayed by his side all night.
C5 covers the lateral arm at and above the elbow.  He has movement of both arms and wrists and limited use of fingers at this point in time.  Sensations are limited below his chest area but there are areas in the legs that he can feel and provide great hope.
 

Monday Nov, 9, 2009
Kirk had many friends come by to see him today.  His world of friends is unbelievable and their support and love will be a Godsend for his recovery.  Julie, Clayton, and I (and I'm sure Kirk) feel all of the love/support/prayers and concerns and we thank you all for this.  Please keep it up for Kirk.

Tues Nov. 10, 2009
We found Kirk comfortable yet very tired when we arrived at 10am We talked and laughed during the periods he was awake. Some tough issues with coughing caused a trach to be put in place for now. He can still talk with it and will be able to start to eat soon. A blizzard from Dairy Queen will most likely be his first request. It was all he wanted when he got home from Ghana.   Clayton flew in from Portland later that night and they let us sneak in so Kirk could see his bro.  Clayton had grad school testing earlier Tues and Kirk wanted him to do well and get them done before coming to Denver.  He did well and is glad to be here for as long as Kirk needs him.

Wed Nov. 11, 2009
A good peaceful restful night.  He can talk with this particular style of trach. so today will be quiet and he and Clayton can talk and just hang.  He did get up via a really cool sling seat and sat in a specially designed wheel chair for a good while. Great and most encouraging to see him out of the bed. Music is playing and we are all here .  A clear diet is ordered too. An awesome day.
We are holding visitors for now as he needs  all his strength for his healing.  The main desk will know daily if he will be seeing friends. Your positive thoughts are coming on through be sure of that!



We are just starting this site today and will update as we move along.  At this point in time ( and things do change) he will be in the hospital until we can get him out of ICU.  His next move out of the hospital is into a spinal rehab facility.  Fortunately one of the top such hospitals is located right here in Denver and he has been accepted.  It is the Craig Hospital and is phenomenal.
Kirk's spirit is strong and as we all know nothing is impossible with Kirk.  He wants to 'get going' with the future and cannot wait to get past this post surgery/stabilization mode so he can focus on what's ahead.  His gregarious style is ever present- even here.
 
He's now at Craig! Check out the Journal entries for Kirk updates.