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3/22/2016 Latest post:
As some of you may know, early Saturday morning Joe was injured and currently remains in critical condition. Friday March 18th, was Neumann's annual alumni basketball tournament and Joe and his friends got together to have some fun like they do every year. As the night was winding down Joe and Jordan Morrisey went to go crash at a friends house. When they got to the house all of the lights were off and they were trying to be quiet so they wouldn't wake up anyone else in the house and Joe took a tumble down the staircase. Jordan found Joe unconscious and called 911 for help. Joe was taken to the Wahoo hospital and was then life flighted to Bryan West in Lincoln. When he arrived they did a CT scan so they could look at any swelling or bleeding. Joe has a lot of swelling in his brain and a lot of cerebral spinal fluid that is causing pressure. The Dr. Did not see any bleeding in his brain and found a base skull fracture below his right ear that was causing some bleeding from his ear. They placed a device into his brain to monitor the pressure and when he arrived on day 1 his ICP (inter cranial pressure) was in the 50's and they generally would like to see it below 10. They put him in a medically induced rest so that his brain doesn't have to work so hard to keep him alive. At this time he is hooked up to a ventilator to help him breath. They are running neuro tests every couple of hours to see how responsive he is. They will pinch a finger on each hand and a toe on each foot to see if he responds to pain stimulus and he was responding to all of those. Then they would rub his chest and ask him to open his eyes or squeeze their hand. He was able to squeeze on command and also do a thumbs up on each side on command. They also check his pupils to make sure that they are dilating and constricting like they should be and they are. At this point the Dr.'s and nurses did not feel that surgery would be necessary and they also did not think that another CT scan would be necessary. In the middle of the night his numbers stayed lower and Joe did open his eyes at one point but it was not on command which means it could have been an involuntary response. His body was also running a fever which was causing his pressures to be high so they hooked him up to a machine to cool his body hoping it would help relieve some of the pressure. They were hoping that if his pressure stayed low they would be able to wean him off of sedation the next day or so to see how his body responded.
Day 2 started off well and his ICP was down to 10 in the morning and the cooling process was working to regulate his body temp. Within a few hours his pressures started to go back up and the Dr. Did not feel that he would be able to wean him off of sedation and decided to do another CT scan to check for any changes. After the CT scan came back there were no changes which was good because that means there was no additional swelling or bleeding and they were also checking for signs of a stroke which they did not find. Throughout the day his blood pressure and ICP remained high in the 40's and 50's and the Dr decided that Joe would need surgery. They had to remove a portion of his skull on his right side to make room for the swelling. The surgery went well and when he came out his blood pressure was back to normal and his ICP was down to 6. The Dr's are very hopeful that with his age and health, he will be able to make a good recovery. In the middle of the night when they were checking his reflexes, Joe opened his eyes twice on command but was not as responsive with his arms and legs as the first day.
Day 3. Throughout the night after the surgery, his pressure went back up and the Dr. Was concerned so they decided to bring his body temp down even further. They needed to bring it down to 91 degrees so they had to give him a paralytic to prevent him from shivering. The cooling process takes 72 hours so they will need to leave him paralyzed for the 72 hours while his body temp is that low. They decided to do another CT scan, and this scan also showed no changes. The Dr's monitored his ICP the rest of the day and it was staying in the 30's which was concerning to the dr. At this point the Dr. Decided to adjust Joe to a standing position hoping that gravity would help drain some of the fluid in his brain. The Dr. Asked us to leave the room for a few hours while they let Joe adjust so they could monitor his numbers with as little stimulus as possible. The Dr said that they want to leave him in this position for 2-3 days hoping to see his ICP drop and also asked us to refrain from being in his room as much as possible. They also decided that since Joe has not shown very much progress, they will need to put in a trach and feeding tube by the end of the week. Joes Mother, father, sisters, brother and myself are trying to take turns sitting with him so that he does not have too much stimulus. There probably won't be much change in the next couple of days because at this point they just need to monitor him and make sure nothing is getting worse. This is going to be a long process for Joe and he is going to have a lot of rehab after this. We know he has lots of people praying for him and that love and support him. We also understand that many people want to visit him, but unfortunately that is just too much stimulus for his brain so it will be a long while before he is able to have visitors. Joe knows that he has a lot of love and support and myself and the family greatly appreciate all of the prayers and kind words. I will try my best to update this everyday so his loved ones can follow along with his progress.