My Story

Thank you for visiting our CaringBridge site. We created it to keep family and friends updated on Tanner's condition. We will also use it post any prayer requests. Please feel free to sign our guestbook and leave an encouraging word. 

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. 

Carol, Travis, and Tanner Underwood were in a serious car accident on I-35 Friday, March 23. Carol and Travis had minor cuts and bruises, but Tanner was flown to Scott and White in Temple to treat head injuries. He was sedated in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, where doctors monitored the swelling in his brain and brain activity. After several weeks Tanner began to experience partial consciousness, opening one eye and making a few gestures in response to our commands. He stabilized.

One month later he was transferred to a Baylor-affiliated rehab in Dallas called Our Children's House where they specialize in treating pediatric victims of traumatic brain injury. Rather than focus on rehab here, we fought "storming" for multiple weeks. When this was finally brought under control, Tanner faced some significant GI tract inflammation and infection. At the end of six weeks, we were able to arrange through our insurer for Tanner to move to Cook's Children's Hospital in Fort Worth in it's rehab unit where we stayed for another four months. While at Cook's Tanner had surgery, got off some of his powerful (but inhibiting drugs), obtained a Baclofen pump (implanted in his abdomen), increasingly displayed more alertness and responsiveness.  In short, he finally emerged from his coma. He began to answer questions with signals from his eyes, hands and feet. One of the most glorious days was when he demonstrated that he still had the ability to read.  Then he showed he could still do math, even algebra.  He began to work with an in-hospital school teacher and even was able to write messages to us. On October 3, 2012 we had a glorious homecoming parade awaiting us in our neighborhood and we brought Tanner back home--his first chance to be home since the late afternoon of that fateful day in March. We were able to hire a full-time (M-F) nurse and this has been a huge blessing, allowing Carol to return to work.  In January, 2013 Tanner began to return to school, on a very limited basis.  He has been doing significant therapy at Hope Therapy in Waco.  And he returned to school on a M-F basis in August 2013 attending regular classes each morning and then doing therapy at Hope each afternoon.  He has also been blessed with speech therapy through Baylor University.  He still must use a wheelchair as his left side body movements are very minimal (the leg and especially the arm).

Tanner speaks with friends (labored but still speaking), he laughs, he shows his old wit, he plays video games, he watches his favorite Seinfeld episodes on t.v., he goes to Baylor basketball and football games again.  There is laughter in our home where once our lives were filled with tears, sorrow, grief, horror, and fear.  We have Hope.

Our path is long, non-linear, and full of intimidating challenges still. But we have already known joy and experienced celebrations.

We are in a place where angels (posing as nurses, doctors, school teachers, and therapists) serve as the hands and feet of God making miracles happen. And so we await our continued miracle, letting Tanner's mind continue to heal and his cognitive thoughts re-emerge as God knits him back together again.

Please join us on this journey of faith and healing. Please pray for our family (Tanner, his parents Carol & Jim, and his older brothers Travis &Tyler). We are asking God to heal him as we learn to trust in His goodness and love for us all.

Tanner's life is God's glory.


James Underwood posted a new journal entry, "Transitions".

We are back home from our rehab at Houston's TIRR and preparing to start the third school year since Tanner's accident.  When we last updated, we were anticipating ... Read more

James Underwood added a new photo.

James Underwood added a new photo.

Kim, Doug, Ryan and Lauren Austin signed Tanner's Guestbook.

Thanks for the updates !  Will continue to pray for Tanner and family during this next week, especially.  Love the picture of Tanner standing !!!  So proud of his progress. Read more

Dana Key signed Tanner's Guestbook.

This is such wonderful news!!! I love the picture of Tanner standing against the wall. What an incredible picture showing how strong he has become. May God continue to be ... Read more

Celia Drews signed Tanner's Guestbook.

Way to go Tanner! Praying for continued progress....see you in September back at school! Read more

James Underwood posted a new journal entry, "Summer Update".

June was a great month!  Thank you so much for all of your prayers.  Our family trip to Ohio was perfect.  We had no problems with flying and our time with my family ... Read more

James Underwood added a new photo.

James Underwood added a new photo.

Becky Hanne signed Tanner's Guestbook.

I will be praying that all will go well at TIRR. That is a wonderful facility. They have a great success rate. Also praying for your trip to family and the surgery. Read more

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