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2/28/2017 Latest post:
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting. On the afternoon of Wednesday, February 24, Irene went to the basement of our home to get food from the freezer . As she started up the steps, somehow she lost consciousness and fell off the side of the steps onto the basement floor. She hit the floor with her head, cut a gash in the back of her head, and caused the beginnings of a brain bleed. Irene picked herself up and climbed the steps to the main floor, and got onto the bed. Minutes later our daughter-in-law Becky called to talk to Irene. Becky soon realized the Irene's speech was slurred, and with concern Becky and David went to our house to find Irene on the bed, barely coherent. They called me (Steve-I was on my school bus), and asked if they should call EMS. I told them, "Yes!." When I arrived home from my route, the emergency crews were there. When the ambulance arrived, Irene was transported to Atchison Hospital. After the evaluation at Atchison Hospital (including a CT scan) we were advised that Irene needed to be at a major Trauma Center. We selected KU Medical Center. The urgency required life-flight helicopter transport. When I arrived with our daughter, Katrina, Irene was in the Heart Center ICU under the care of Trauma Surgery. Another CT scan had been performed. The results of that scan indicated that there was bleeding on the inside and outside of Irene's brain. During visits from nurses and doctors she was aware where she was, and was able to answer all the neurological evaluation questions. On Thursday the Trauma Surgery team kept close watch on Irene's situation. One of the doctors came in to put staples in to close the gash. The decision was made to postpone surgery until after a 24 hour followup CT scan. The second scan revealed that the blood in the brain was dissipating. Good news!!! With that, it became clear that Irene was pretty much out of immediate danger. On Friday morning, Irene's status was improved enough to move her to a regular room from ICU. Since that move, she continues to be lethargic. She eats very little. Some of her symptoms include: lethargy, no appetite, high blood pressure, and low oxygen levels. I/we have been blessed with the level of care, and the kindness of the staff - especially thr nurses. It is clear that recovery will be a long term project. MOSTLY we have been blessed by those who have upheld Irene (and me) in prayer. As time goes forward, we'll try to keep new information available.