Ed Anderson

First post: Aug 12, 2019 Latest post: Aug 15, 2021
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[Final update at the bottom]

On Friday morning, August 9 Ed left to bike to work at 6:50am.  He had made it 7.51 of the 8.29 miles to work when bystanders say he appeared to have lost control of the bike and fell.  He was 24 minutes into his ride.   He was unresponsive at the scene and was transported to HCMC.  The major concern is the severe traumatic brain injury.  He is enrolled in the HOBIT study where he goes into the hyperbaric chamber twice per day to get 1.5 atmospheres of oxygen to increase oxygen to the brain and improve outcomes.  He has four broken ribs, a left orbital fracture, a left temporal bone fracture, a left scapula fracture, a left blown pupil, grade 2 spleen injury, chest tube for punctured lung from the ribs, non-infective pneumonia, and plenty of road rash.  Oddly his palms are unscathed.  He apparently never let go of the handle bars to brace himself.  For the first day and a half he was in a coma; he remains in a coma [but it is now  a medically induced coma to protect the brain in the short term.]--Updated: on Monday 8/12, they took him off sedation so the coma is no longer medically induced.

They call the hyperbaric treatments dives. He had 3 dives.  The fourth dive was skipped because his PF ratio  was too low (measurement of lung function).  His fifth dive was also cancelled; his lungs are not strong enough to handle the pressurized chamber.  He is no longer eligible for the study [and will receive no further hyperbaric treatments]--Updated: he was allowed to make the 8th and 9th scheduled dives; no further dives are scheduled.  He will continue to receive the standard of care treatments.  Since he is no longer in the study and does not have the extra transport and pressure stresses, they are gradually weaning him off the sedation and medically induced coma [as of Monday].  Since the brain can take at least 7 days to complete swelling, we likely won't see changes right away.  For now he is stable.  His intracranial pressure is normal and there is minimal bleeding.  He has no spinal injury.

Update: The MRI on Tuesday 8/13 revealed evidence of shear injuries in several places in his brain. See the journal entry from 8/13 for more information from the MRI. In summary, there are injuries throughout the brain, but the neurologists are especially worried about the injuries in the midbrain, in the area that controls wakefulness. Damage here could explain why he is still in a coma and may mean he is unable to ever wake up. These types of brain injuries are typically unable to heal.

Final Update: on Saturday, 8/17, our family gathered at the hospital. The Glasgow coma Scale scores consciousness from 3-15, where 3 is essentially dead and 15 is fully awake and alert. When he was first admitted on August 9, he scored a 6, but by a week later, his condition had even worsened and he barely scored as a 4. Apart from controlling his heart some of his breathing, his brain appeared to be shutting down--he was unresponsive to all stimuli, including pain. The coma score and whether it improves over the first week is considered the best indicator of whether the coma patient will recover. To be blunt the fact that the MRI was extremely serious, and the coma score was decreasing to the bottom of the scale informed the neurologists that he would never recover from his brain injuries. When we asked for the absolute, best case scenario that they could predict, they said that he might be able to open his eyes, but would never be able to interact with the world, not even able to track people with his eyes. Essentially, the best case scenario was to remain in a coma for the rest of his life, possibly still even remaining on life support. 
With tearful, heavy hearts, we made the impossible decision that it was time to say goodbye. We waited for his Ragnar race team to finish their race and bring him his race t-shirt, as he drew near to the end of his own race. 
On 8/18/19, around 11:30am, life support was withdrawn. We stayed by his side and continued to pray until he went to be with the Lord at 2:06am on 8/19/19.

A funeral was held on 8/22/19. His obituary is located here: https://www.whitefuneralhomes.com/obituary/robert-anderson but there is so much more of his story than we could write here.

Thank you for your prayers and support for our family during this difficult time.


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