Join CaringBridge during this most important time of the year. Your support means that we can continue to provide free, secure websites all year long.
11/15/2016 Latest post:
As many of you have now heard, on November 12, 2016, Austin was a victim in a home invasion. He had fallen asleep on the couch in his living room and was awakened by an intruder who subsequently stabbed him 5 times. Amazingly, his roommates heard him and rushed downstairs. Dan performing CPR, Wilson applying pressure to stop bleeding, and Jen alerting the medics. They saved my brother's life. To say I love them is a gross understatement.
Austin was rushed to the Vanderbilt trauma unit and underwent emergency surgery. His right carotid artery was severed, impacting blood supply to that side of his brain from the time of the injury to his hospitalization. This caused him to have a small stroke near the motor cortex in the right lobe of his brain. The surgeons were, however, able to tie off his right carotid artery and have since been keeping his blood pressure high so the left carotid can work double time.
Since the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body and his motor cortex was hit, he is currently dealing with left sided hemiparesis (weakness/partial paralysis of the left side of the body). This is a common finding for right sided strokes. He currently has limited up/down movement in his left leg, a weak grasp in his left hand, and no shoulder movement. The right side of your brain also controls parts of cognition (memory, attention, impulsivity, personality, and other executive functions). It's difficult to fully assess if any of these areas have been impacted quite yet, but our initial impressions have been that Austin is the same old Austin he's always been! He's even been able to crack a few sarcastic jokes!
He received 14 units of blood. FOURTEEN. For reference, your body only has about 5-6 units in it at a time. His head surgeon told us that he woke up the next night thinking about Austin's story because he had never seen someone survive that amount of blood loss. His neurologist also said that it's amazing that only small portions of his brain showed some cell death given the amount of time it was lacking oxygen/blood flow. I give these details because I can't not share how much of a miracle this has been for our family. We get goosebumps every time we recall the odds that were stacked against him and we thank a mighty God that he is here with us today.
This website will serve to provide updates to friends and family throughout Austin's rehab process, which we have been told could be extensive. Updates will be provided by either me, his favorite sister, or Bonnie, his favorite mother. We've received so many caring thoughts/calls/texts/etc and appreciate them more than you know. We hope this website will be an easier way to share news with you, so please share the link to those who ask!
*If you're looking for ways to help out, I've started a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money for the many expenses Austin will incur over the year. You can find it under the "ways to help" tab up top!
"In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." 1 Peter 1:6-7