Jeff DeMello | CaringBridge

Jeff DeMello

First post: 5/26/2017 Latest post: 8 hours ago
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.   A chronology of "what happened" follows (click "Read More" in lower right).   Thank you for visiting.

On Tuesday night May 16, 2017 Jeff was driving from Concord to Stockton on Highway 4.   Around 10:45 PM on Hwy 4 near Bacon Island Road he was in an accident with another car.   The accident report from the CHP says that an oncoming car crossed the center line and veered into Jeff's car (near head-on high speed collision) on the 2-lane highway;  see the 6/5 journal entry for details.  

He was taken to San Joaquin General Hospital near Stockton.  Francesca was awakened by a phone call around 1:30 AM Wednesday 5/17.    Jeff was on a ventilator so could not talk, but he could communicate a little by writing.  On Wednesday Jeff had surgery to remove his spleen.   X-rays showed that he had a broken left femur, and that his spine was unstable and needed pins, and that he had broken ribs.   On Thursday it was suggested that Jeff be transferred to UC Davis, however after waiting for a bed (the trauma center at UC Davis was full) the decision was made to transfer Jeff to Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto.  

Jeff arrived at Stanford at 2 AM Sunday morning 5/21 (ground transport).  He can sometimes respond to the nurses commands to open his eyes or wiggle his toes/fingers but is not able to communicate.   Sunday afternoon he had Diaphragm surgery.  Monday was a "rest" day for him to stabilize after the surgery.

Tuesday night 5/23 Jeff had an MRI (4-6 hours) and CT Scan (1 hour).   Wednesday was no procedures so that he could stabilize.  Thursday 5/25 the Ear/Nose/Throat doctor removed tinted glass from Jeff's right ear.   Friday 5/26 Jeff had surgery for a hole in his stomach and follow up on diaphragm surgery.   A second later operation was performed to put in a tube to remove fluid from his lungs.  Saturday the focus was on draining fluids.   On Monday 5/29 Jeff's eyes were open and he made brief eye contact with visitors.

Tuesday, May 30 Jeff had surgery to set the femur and tibia bones in his left leg -- no more traction!  Jeff rested on Wednesday & Thursday.  On Friday 6/2 Jeff was very awake and alert, turning his head when talked to with wide eyes.    He didn't sleep much Friday night, but he slept a lot on Saturday 6/3 and Sunday 6/4.   On Thursday night 6/8 Jeff wrote a scribble on paper -- he wanted to know why vertebrae surgery was postponed to 6/9 (the surgeon had a family emergency conflict).  On Friday 6/9 the neurosurgeon, anesthesiologist and other doctors said that they are postponing the vertebrae surgery at least a week.  Jeff needs to be prone (face down) for the surgery, and they'd like his chest/stomach incisions to heal a bit more.

Saturday afternoon 6/10 the ventilator tubes were removed (after 3-1/2 weeks) and Jeff could sort-of whisper!  He asked about what happened and requested another pillow and blanket.  Sunday morning 6/11 he was moved to a different room in the ICU (after 3 weeks at Stanford).

Thursday 6/15 Jeff had vertebrae surgery to stabilize the spine.   Sunday 6/18 Jeff was moved from the ICU to the C2 section, and visitors are now welcome!

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