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On the evening of Saturday August 18th, 2007, Dylan was working at his job in our local Safeway, and Dylan's manager Doug noticed he was unable to talk, and didn't seem quite right. Doug became concerned, and called an ambulance to send him to our local hospital. I was away with my friend Lynne for the weekend at Harrison Hot Springs, and Chris had got home at 7pm from a 12 hour day shift.
The manager, Doug phoned me at 7.45pm, to let me know Dylan was going to hospital. As I was about an hour from home, Chris went to the hospital, and when he got there, Dylan had worsened, and Chris said it looked like he had had a stroke, as the right side of his body was not moving, and he didn't seem aware of who Chris was. The hospital sent him for a CT scan, and the CT scan showed Dylan had neural bleeding, and an aneurism was "suspected". They transferred him by ambulance to Royal Columbian Hospital which specialises in neural surgery. Chris phoned me while I was on the way to the hospital to tell me Dylan needed surgery, and that the doctors' had said there was a chance he may not live. At Royal Columbian, the neurosurgeon said there was alot of bleeding on the left hand side of Dylan's brain, and that it was putting alot of pressure on his brain. He was concerned he may not be able to stop the bleeding, and the pressure may have caused alot of damage to Dylan's brain. Also, his pupils were not responding, which caused concern.
Dylan had neural surgery on Sunday morning for approx 3 to 3 and half hours. Chris, Andrew, Sammy and me had to say goodbye to Dylan before the surgery, as we were told there was a chance he may not live. It was a heartbreaking experience. Chris and I stayed at the hospital, in a family room, and at about 5.30am, the surgeon let us know that the surgery had gone better than expected, but that the next 48 - 72 hours were still very critical. He had stopped the bleeding, but Dylan wasn't out of the woods yet.
After the surgery, the neurosurgeon told us that Dylan had NOT had an aneurism, but it was an AVM (Arterio Vascular Malformation). It is something he has had since birth, but we did not know he had this. Chris now realises this is possibly what his mother died of, and as it may be genetic, we want to have Chris, Andrew and Sammy tested to check they don't have an AVM.
Dylan was put in Intensive Care, and was completely sedated, and put on a respirator. Part of his skull was removed during the surgery to allow for swelling of his brain.
On Tueday, August 21st, Dylan had an angiogram. This is a procedure where they put dye in his arteries to check on the AVM. The angiogram came back to show that the AVM had been completely removed, and there were no more AVM's.
On Wednesday, August 22nd, Dylan's brain was swelling more than the doctors were comfortable with, and after trying to treat the swelling with a drug, they told us that he would need to have another small piece of his skull removed to allow for this extra swelling. Otherwise there was a possibility that the brain would swell into the brain stem, which was dangerous and life threatening. This was the 2nd time we were told we could possibly lose Dylan. It was very traumatic.
He came through the surgery well, and the doctor said the next few days were very critical to see if this surgery was enough for the swelling. They continued to keep him fully sedated and breathing through a respirator as this was best for his brain to heal.
The following day, Thursday, August 23rd, they flew in some special equipment from Toronto. It had 2 probes which were put directly into his brain, and took accurate readings on the amount of oxygen in his brain, and the temperature in his brain. It was the first time this equipment had been used in Canada.
It was Dylan's 18th birthday on Saturday August 25th, and 2 friends of Dylans, Ashley and Nicole made birthday cakes, and homemade birthday cards, We couldn't take the cakes into the room, but the nurse let us all go in to see him(Chris, me, Andrew, Sammy, Ashley, Nicole, and Kathy, a friend of mine) and we sang happy birthday to Dylan. It was very emotional. We had all his birthday cards and get well cards in his room, as well as some photo's of Dylan and the boys when they were younger, and a more recent photo of Dylan, so the nurses could see how handsome he really is...
On Tuesday, September 4th, they removed the probes from his brain (the special monitor), and we were told that Dylan had got an infection from one of the probes. He was put on antibiotics for it. His sedation level was gradually reduced as well.
On Friday, September 7th, Dylan was considered stable enough to be transferred from Intensive Care to the Neurosciences ward at Royal Columbian Hospital. That same day, they put a tracheostamy tube into his throat just below his vocal chords, and removed the tube from his mouth that he had been breathing through. He still had a feeding tube through his mouth, but they did a surgical procedure a few days later to put a tube directly into his stomach, so his mouth will be free of all tubes. He still had a huge amount of swelling on the left hand side of his brain, and we have been told his recovery will probably be very slow, taking months to years.