Austin Pivac Austin Pivac

First post: Dec 25, 2018 Latest post: Dec 17, 2019

Carpe Diem - make the most of the present time.

    Family and friends - thank you so much for your inquiries, support and prayers(keep those prayers coming), it means the world to us. While we would like to answer everyone’s calls and messages, at this time Austin is our first priority. So we’ve turned to Caringbridge to keep you updated and we will post daily updates on his condition. We ask that you leave a message with special memories you have of Austin or anything you would like to say. We have been talking to him to stimulate his brain for him to wake up and some more stories would be great.

Here is Austin’s story -
Monday(12/17) - Austin was involved in a car accident Monday morning. He was brought to St. Louis University Hospital. He underwent surgery to work on his kidney and liver. He lost a portion of his kidney and they were able to plug his liver to stop the bleeding. His left leg was banged up pretty bad—he has a compound fracture and only has one artery that is intact and working. He went into surgery in the afternoon to try to repair the other two arteries. They left the area open to go back into surgery in a couple of days to see if the procedure worked on the damaged arteries before proceeding to work on the rest of the leg. He has many cuts and bruises. His face has some lacerations on his lip, jaw area and across his cheek—he has many stitches in those areas. His right eye is swollen shut with scrapes on the eyelid and bleeding behind the eye. He has some broken ribs and a broken nose. He is unconscious. A CT scan was taken and we are blessed with the outcome of no head injury. He is in critical but stable condition.

Tuesday(12/18)- The ophthalmologist came in to look at his eye, the doc dilated them and examined for any injury. He did not see any cuts or damage to the eyes, thank goodness! His vital signs and liver enzyme levels are all great He is breathing on his own, but they still have the breathing tube in to assist with “little” spurts of air. They will leave this in until he wakes up and responds to anyone saying his name. The doctors have encouraged us to keep talking to him and telling stories to stimulate the brain for him to wake up, but what's new, Austin does things on his own time! He is squeezing our hands. He does not like the nurses moving him around—he gets a little agitated with that. The doctors did another CT scan of his head to see if they missed anything the first time. The CT scan was good, nothing found. Through all of this his hair still looks amazing! Just the way he would like it.

Wednesday(12/19)- Early in the morning Matt was holding his hand and told Austin to squeeze it and he responded by squeezing back, his eyebrows also moved. This is a good sign for him to follow a command. We keep talking to him, telling stories, listening to music and asking for squeezes as he continues to squeeze our hands. The kid’s got some strength!! The whites in his eyes are not bloodshot anymore. The eyelid is starting to heal and the swelling is going down a little. He did open his eyes but not on command so that really doesn’t count but we are taking it as a win! He gave a thumbs up when he was asked to do that. When the nurses moved him in bed to reposition him, he opened his eyes and blinked but then closed them again. He went back into surgery on his leg—there is still only one working artery, they had to remove some muscle in the lower part of his leg between the knee and the ankle because the tissue has died. There is basically nothing left of his ankle—tendons, everything gone. They did some things during surgery and will go back in on Friday to evaluate further. They are keeping a close eye on infection with having to keep the leg wound open. He had a very restless night.

Thursday(12/20)- This is the day we have been waiting for—HE’S AWAKE!!! He knows everyone’s name as they enter his room, he’s giving hugs, and when the nurse asked him his birth date, he told her and than he asked her when her birthday was—Ahh love that kid!! Every time we ask him what year it is he gets closer to 2018, starting with 2011. He is very restless and keeps trying to get out of bed; he’s ready to go!  He is in pain and they are trying to keep him comfortable and letting him rest. They have already done some physical therapy and occupational therapy—they said he did great! They took his neck brace off. He brushed his teeth. By the end of the day he is talking a lot more.

Friday(12/21)- Today was a great day, Austin is cracking everyone up - he is trying his hardest to get one of us to get him out of there. He was up in the wheelchair, went down the hall and back.  PT and OT sessions are going really well. He ordered a hamburger and french fries for lunch. He is having conversations with everyone. He did not end up having surgery on his leg today, but it is looking good. Tonight they moved him out of ICU and he is in an observation room - where they have more nurses since he is trying to get up. He was pretty active today, resting a little - we wanted him to stay up so he will sleep tonight. But it seems he is not ready to sleep as he got a hold of a phone and called Matt - Austin asked Matt how he was doing and where he was and then asked if he could come get him.  Matt told him that he couldn't come get him, but would be there soon.  Austin said," okay".  So, next he called Jyoti - he asked her if she could come get him that he is at St. Louis University Hospital. She told him she knew as she was there to see him today and he told her, "then you know where it is". She told him yes but he had to stay at the hospital and she would be there in the morning.  Austin said, "okay".  Next, he talked to Lauren - he asked her if she could come get him.  She told him "no buddy you have to stay at the hospital so you can get better", and that she would see him tomorrow. Austin said," okay".  So far that's all the people we know of that he has tried to call to bust him out.  Beware if he knows your number by heart, he will probably ask for your help too.

Saturday(12/22)- Today started at full speed.  Austin had surgery at 7:00 am - they went into see how his leg was progressing and we were happy to hear that everything looks good and that there was no new dead tissue to remove. The doc flushed out the wounds and took another culture to check for infection. When his doctor came out to talk to us, he said everything looked better than he expected. He also said it was nice to talk to Austin before surgery because last time he was not able to. He said before surgery Austin said, "hey, I know you, we went to the same high school". The doc said, "No, I didn't go to high school in St. Louis".  Austin said, "No, no we were in the same class, how ya been man"?  Making friends everywhere he goes!  This is just kind of a small world tidbit, the doc has a twin sister and they share the same birthday as Austin and Lauren. Austin will have 2 more of these flush out procedures, the next one will be on Dec. 26th.  These surgeries are preparing for the  reconstructive surgery scheduled for January 2nd.  Other than that not a lot to report today, he was pretty much just resting most of the day from his surgery. He continues to make us laugh with all the silly things he says.

Sunday(12/23)- Austin had a restless night last night. He was having a lot of pain in his leg which the doc had told us he would have due to the flush out he had on Saturday. They had put a nerve blocker in and once that wore off, he would be in pain.  The way his leg is wrapped up it almost looks like a cast and he tugged at it so much during the night that they had to re-wrap it a bit. The trauma docs came in this morning and gave him a breathing technique to work on, this is to keep his lungs strong so that pneumonia doesn't set in. He got in the wheelchair and did 20 wheelchair pushups and wheeled himself out to the waiting room. He sat out there with us for about a half hour and talked. They are trying to get an MRI of his other knee(the right one), he has some ligament damage and dislocation. They also want to take a look to see if they can get a vein from that leg for the reconstruction surgery on the other leg(left leg). The trauma doc said that his right leg is looking good and that there are no worries there. But Austin is having no part of wanting the MRI, they have tried a couple of times but he is too agitated and moving. Otherwise today he is doing a lot better but just goes through the constant cycle of trying to get out of bed and getting mad and then tiring out and falling asleep. He continues to ask anyone that visits him to take him with them.

Please go to the Journal tab to continue with Austin's story.

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