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Writer: JenSue Hawks
Grant Siple is in St. Mary's in Grand Junction.
This is a condensed version . Forgive me, I am not going to explain a lot of medical terms or give every detail. A Popliteal Artery Aneurysm in Grants left leg ruptured.
Once Grant reached St. Mary's the doctors could not find a pulse in his foot. The Dr.'s ran a catheter from his right leg to the left leg to get blood flow to his foot.
Blood would not enter the foot.
A team of vascular surgeons and a consulting Vascular Surgeon from Denver, determined on Thursday that Grant's foot went without blood flow too long. The left foot and part of his lower leg would have to be removed.
Originally the surgery was scheduled for November 13, then the 15th. The Doctors were waiting until Grant was more communicative so they can get consent to proceed with the operation.
Grants sisters Carolyn and Doreen are here with him.
On Thursday November 15, Grant was having congestion in his lungs and it was determined he was developing pneumonia, on Friday he was put on a respirator and feeding tube.
Saturday November 17th.
The nurse and respiratory therapist said he is doing much better then he was on Friday.
Deniece, Grants nurse is amazing. When she talks to him he responds. I brought some music and she asked him if liked it and he shook his head no, then she asked if he was in pain and he shook his head yes.
She told him to cough to get the phlegm out of his lungs and he did.
She talks to him and is very compassionate.
We picked up Doreen at the Airport at 7:30 PM, Carolyn, Karen and I went to Dinner.
Carolyn said that Grants surgery is scheduled for Monday at 4:00 PM.
Grant's leg will be amputated above the knee, the Dr's said their goal was to amputate below the knee but there is not enough good tissue to attach the skin wraps.
Tonight I looked at Grant's phone and there were so many phone calls and text messages telling Grant how much he is loved and so many good wishes and words of encouragement. I put the phone to his ear and played his messages and I read his text messages to him. Thank you for all the messages.
The one thing working well is Grant's ears. If you want, please call Grant's phone and leave a message or text. Carolyn and/or Doreen will play the messages for him and read him the text messages. Your message can be whatever you want, what you did that day, or what you are planning to do, works of encouragement. Anything you want to say. I want Grant to know how much he is loved.
Tom and Marie visited Grant, Marie left a beautiful painting of a winter scene. I believe it is Verbier.
Sunday, November 18
Grant's surgery has been moved from 4:00 pm to 7:30 am Monday morning.
Monday November 19th
Grant went into surgery at 7:00 am, the surgeon, Dr. Melendez. Carolyn and Doreen will send progress reports.
Please google Dr. Melendez her credentials are amazing. What a lot of people do not realize is St. Mary's is an outstanding hospital and we are lucky to have such close access. Grand Junction affords such a great quality of life many highly educated and skilled medical professionals live in Grand Junction.
Carolyn and Doreen are so impressed with the staff, the facility, the doctors. Carolyn is a retired nurse for those of you that do not know.
November 19, 2018 11:30 am
Grant is resting back in his room. The surgery went well, no complications. The anesthesiologist said they were able to find the infection in Grants lungs and suction that out. His breathing is much better. He will stay on the ventilator today. Starting tomorrow they will reduce medication.
The amputation was above the knee.
Doreen will take over updates today or tomorrow.
Grant did not tell his sisters about his double tib fib fracture in 2016, when he wakes up he will have some explaining to do!
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Writer: Doreen Gamache
Carolyn and I are overwhelmed at the gracious love and care of so many friends. You have blessed us beyond measure and we are so grateful. You are an amazing community of support in tough times and in good times. Solid friendship like this is rare and all of us treasure you and are blessed by the years you have given to Grant in developing this deep bond.
Grant is still ventilated and sedated. Vital signs are good. We are processing what the best next step should look like. Right now it's a delicate balance between waiting, evaluating and determining the best course of action. It can be tiring but we have the beautiful Colorado hills to look upon and wonderful sunshine to encourage and the knowledge that God has Grant in His hands and the rest will come because He loves us so well.
Thursday, November 22, 2018 American Thanksgiving
This morning we came in and Grant was having trouble breathing. They looked into his lungs with a camera, found the pockets of fluid in his lungs and cleaned him out. He's breathing much better now and appears comfortable. The ventilator weaning process will start when he is more stable. Due to this event the process is going to take longer than we anticipated.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! Carolyn and I are enjoying our time together, our surroundings and meeting some of you. One more thing, for those interested, please make any donations on the GoFundMe page set up for Grant.
Thursday November 22, 2018 4:07 pm
Writer: JenSue Hawks
Today we have a lot to be Thankful for. Grant opened his eyes and does seem to be responding depending on the sounds, furrowing his brow and a bit of a smile. The respiratory therapist and nurse have been working together to reduce his dependency on the ventilator. The ventilator is still in, but at this moment Grant is breathing on his own. They will let Grant breath on his own for two hours then give him a rest. Tomorrow the staff will continue to move towards independence.
Saturday, November 24, 2018
Writer: Doreen Gamache
We are so encouraged today! Grant has had a great day; still ventilated but off support for almost 8 hours. He's had OT today that he understood and accomplished well. He's exercised well, four times that I know of and is rolling around on the bed now as they support him with new padding to protect his backside. He's smiled, understood the jokes and appreciated the humor and bantering! Tomorrow is looking brighter and we thank God for answering so many prayers and for the love of family and friends. We are blessed! Another Happy Thanksgiving Day!
Sunday, November 25, 2018
I would like to encourage you ski bums to visit Grant. It would be greatly appreciated.
Incredibly successful day - Grant is off the ventilator! Trying to talk is tough as his consonants don't come through, and for the Canadian sister it's hard to understand! Carolyn is much better at getting what he's trying to say. He's active, wanting to get out, get up get anywhere but stay put! However, he wears himself out, thankfully, for this time.
Monday, November 26, 2018
Another huge success, PT and OT came in to move him from the bed to the chair. It's incredible to watch the details of a transfer; roll over, swing your leg out, grab the side bar, pull hard, sit up, rest! Lean to the right, then left, sit up straight, lean back and on it goes as they helped him get oriented from dizziness to strength. It's amazing how intricately we are made and how specific our muscles are as they do the things we want our bodies to do. We are so thankful for the excellent staff here, their patience, attention to detail and genuine concern for Grant and his progress. This is day 19 in the hospital.
Carolyn and I are so thankful for the love sent his way. We are blessed and honored to witness this part of his story.
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Today Grant was out of ICU and is now on the Orthopedic ward. Representatives from the prosthetic company introduced themselves today, new OT and PT came in, his case manager discussed the care plan with us and his doctor from ICU came to see us this morning. Grant had success moving from bed to chair with support and was up a couple of hours.
As he was awake most of last night it's obvious his sleep cycle has been disrupted. Today with a new environment and new medical staff getting to know him, he didn't get much rest. When we left about 5 pm he was asleep and hopefully will rest well tonight.
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Grant had a great day! By the time we got there just after 9:00 he'd already been up transferred to the chair and sat up for awhile. Physio was there putting him through a series of exercises while he sat on the bed. Later in the morning he went down to radiology to have his nasal gastric tube removed and one put into his stomach instead. This will facilitate better communication and safe swallowing ability. Some Aspen friends came today and he enjoyed their visit. Occupational therapy came in later this afternoon and put him through more exercises and personal care activities. He really wants to get back to life and we are so grateful for his positive attitude. We are waiting for his medical issues to stabilize so intensive therapy can begin.
Thursday, November 29, 2018
Reporting in: Jensue
Today has been a great day.
Grant has been visited by the Occupational Therapist, the Physical therapist and many friends.
Deb Curtis, Mario Stobl, Larry Ledingham, Paul Augsperger, and me.
As soon as Deb and I arrived Grant said "My trucks outside. Get me outta of here by 2:00".
He has been cooperating with the nurses, therapists and responding in a very positive manner.
It is a bit hard to understand Grant but he is really trying hard to communicate. The more he talks the easier it is to understand what he is saying.
He is smiling and telling stories, he told us about skiing in Verbier and a story about Tom in Telluride.
Sundance and Rick just walked in the door and that put a big smile on Grants face.
Grant told Rick he has a new ski jacket for him so he will look more fashionable on the slopes.
Carolyn is so pleased how he is responding to his friends and how he is working hard to communicate.
As of today the goal is for Grant to build up his endurance so he can be moved to the 12th floor and start intensive therapy. Grant will be in Grand Junction until further notice. God has blessed the day with so much love, friends and family.
November 30, 2019
Reporting in: Jensue
The reason Grant is having a hard time communicating is due to the amount of time he was on the ventilator. His vocal cords are swollen and it will take a bit of time for that to settle down.
A huge Thank you to everyone for all your love and support. I will report in later today.
December 3, 2018
Reporting in: Jensue
Grant is in room 816. He is speaking much better and more often.
Grant has not started PT or OT out of his room.
He is still physically weak and needs to get stronger to be able to go to the 12th floor for what I would call "real" PT.
Whenever you visit Grant, if he is asleep please wake him up and keep him awake as best you can.
His sleep rhythm is not back to normal , the sooner he sleeps at night and is fully awake during the day the better he will do.
Grant is on pain medication only. It is not impairing his ability to communicate or do his PT/OT.
The biggest set back is a bed sore on his backside that is very painful. This is the only pain Grant is complaining about and is being addressed more aggressively today.
Grant had a busy day, OT, PT, Speech Therapy. Carolyn is having him sing E E E, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to keep his vocal cords working and stretching. He talked about his prothesis today, he said it is going to be made in Germany so it will be a good one. The company that he spoke with is based in Germany.
December 4, 2018
Posted by Jensue
Grant has had a really good day for his recovery level. He has done at least 3 hours of rehab, he stood on his leg, pivoted to a wheelchair and got toodled around with the therapist.
Then returned to his room for doing the opposite for back to bed. Exciting to see how much improvement was made today.
December 5, 2018
Posted by Jensue
Today Grant is awake and smiling. We will see how the day progresses and I will post more later.
His backside is very sore and his main source of pain. It will be a relief when that is healed and he is able to move a bit easier.
Progress is being made. He is talking very clearly and able to communicate quite well.
Yippee, Grant will be moved to the 12th floor today and will start intense acute rehab. Right now the PT girls are in room 816 and are working with Grant to stand and pivot on his leg, off he goes in the wheelchair heading down the hall.
Grants heart rate went up a bit when the PT girls started working with him, I said that always happens when "hot" babes are around, Grant agreed and laughed. He was telling the girls about Kastle skis and ski technology.
Carolyn and I talked to Grants Case Worker Kena about the pros and cons of rehab at St. Mary's vs Aspen. Grant expressed wanting to rehab in Aspen.
We talked to AVH rehab department. They said that St. Mary's is the best place for him at this time and she will stay in touch with his Case worker at St. Mary's to keep track of his progress.
We asked how long" typically" could we expect Grant to be in acute therapy, Kena said it could be 7 days to 14 days. That number is encouraging. Of course that could change but Grant worked so hard in therapy at AVH and he is ready to get to work at St. Mary's.
A Shower and shave ended the day nicely.
Grant is now in room 1213.
December 8, 2018
Posted by Jensuenami
If you check the Gallery you will see a great photo of Grant. Karen Anne provided Grant with a day of beauty after a busy day of PT. Nothing like having your hair washed, cut and colored. The nurses will be lining up to work with Grant on this OT and PT.
Grant is knocking it out of the ballpark. He is walking using the parallel bars, his goal is to develop his balance so he will be able to start using crutches.
He is able to transfer from the bed to the wheelchair without assistance, he can get to the bathroom on his own, then a bit of assistance to complete the task at hand. Arlan Hemphill stopped in for a visit. Karen and Carolyn enjoyed a lovely dinner at Spoons, then back to Rosehill for a restful night.
December 9, 2018
Karen stopped in this morning to say her goodbyes, only to overhear Grant telling his nurse about the gift that Cindy Fioronni sent him-Coca-Cola and milk! Yes you read that correctly! That was one of Grand’s favorite treats when he worked at the steak pit, he would fill a pint glass with ice, halfway up with milk and top it off with Coca-Cola. He says it’s the best thing ever! We will have to try it to be the judge of that!
Karen said her goodbyes to Grant as he headed off to OT. OT focuses on personal care, combing your hair, brushing your teeth, etc. Grant is working on regaining strength and coordination to live, work and play as he did. OT also works on your Brain activity; I should participate. The exercises consist of throwing and catching a ball, using a ball and badminton for hand eye coordination and using balls of different weights to switch it up.
Craig and Missy are on their way to Grand Junction, I am sure tears will be shed.
So much love, so many blessings as another great day comes to an end.
December 16, 2018
My apologies I have not posted in a few day, so lets get caught up!
Grant has had many visitors. Craig and Missy, Michelle, Nicole, Stan and Candy, Arlin Hemphill, JR Rupinsky. Some I may not know about.
Jesse Graber stopped in for a visit and Carolyn learned about Stranahans and Tin Cup whiskey, she is anxious to try some Tin Cup , we will make sure that gets done. Grant has been so overwhelmed by all the people that have taken the time to come see him, it has been teary and quite sweet.
Grant told Nicole and Michelle "It looks like I'll be skiing at Buttermilk". Now that is a positive comment.
Craig and Missy had their annual Wednesday party at the St. Regis and many stories of Grant were told. Grant brought most of the people at the party together and we have all created long lasting friendships, Grant was sorely missed.
Saturday, Michelle and Karen "Christmas adorned" Grants home for his arrival.
PT and OT have set a target date of December 24th for Grants discharge. I do not have all the details of what that means exactly, or when he will get his prosthesis. Today Mary Fran, Lisa (AVH PT) and Dan went to Grants to document for any safety modifications that will need to be made and discuss with the Case Manager at St. Mary'.
I left a message for Grant to "buckle up" Robin is in town and we are headed to Grand Junction.
What a great visit, Robin brought Grant a package and he immediately said, "Oh, that's a cribbage game".
Grant and Robin played Cribbage, he explained the rules, and whipped Robin right into line. Grant is doing so phenomenal.
Grant wheeled down to the PT room and showed us the PT facility and explained the exercises he has been doing. We had a very candid discussion about getting back home and navigating life. He said he wish he knew more about what to expect and that was my perfect segue to tell him about a amputee who wants to talk to Grant and tell him what he experienced. I put his number in Grants phone and Carolyn will encourage him to call today. He asked about what modifications would need to be made at his house and I told him to call Dan and he will go over the modifications required. I gave Grant a list of chores to do on Monday.
We took Carolyn to 626 on Rood, if you go to Grand Junction eat here! We had a "little" wine, amazing food. We have photos!
Cody Oates and Jillian were sitting right next to us and told Carolyn some of their stories of Grant skiing on the mountain and his presence in Aspen as a long time local.
Carolyn is so blessed and thankful for all the love and support she and Grant have received. Carolyn has gotten quite the tour of the Grand Junction restaurant scene, which is incredible. She has enjoyed many dinners and lunches with Grants friends, now her friends and adopted family.
December 18, 2018 - 7:30 pm,
Doreen here in Edmonton, Alberta!
We are so excited to hear the great news that Grant will be discharged from rehab to go to Aspen Valley Hospital on Friday, December 21! Another marker is he has had his first real food of mashed potatoes and gravy and tomato soup and it was delicious! Oh, and ice cream too! He did very well.
December 19, 2018
The verdict is in. Grant is being released from St. Mary's Friday December 21st, at 9:30 am. He will be staying at AVH in a Swing Room.
Dan and Jesse are going to pick up Carolyn, Grant and Grants truck.
He will continue therapy and working towards independence.
Home for the Holidays, what could be better.
James, Shae and Luna stopped in to see Grant today. It was a trek but they did it.
December 21, 2018
Grant will be transferred to AVH today.
Mary Fran has requested no visitors today. It will be a busy day with check-in and evaluation.
SO, for my last post I will take this opportunity to thank EVERYONE for taking time from skiing, work, vacation and life to make the trek to Grand Junction to visit Grant and support Carolyn.
And a special Thank you to Dan and Jesse for making the trip to Grand Junction today.
Carolyn and Doreen are so thankful and blessed for the love sent to Grant and to them during this journey,.
Please continue to check GOFUNDME for posts from Simone.
Thank you everyone so much, over and OUT...…………………………………………………………..
I thought I was over and out
Carolyn has requested all AVH visits be scheduled after 3:00.