Larry Cook

First post: Jun 23, 2016 Latest post: Jul 28, 2016
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On Sunday June 12, 2016, Larry was on a ladder when the feet slipped out and he crashed to the deck.  He said he knew it was bad instantly as he felt his hands floating above his head yet they were not moving nor where his legs. He started having trouble breathing and seriously thought it was the "End."  He said "Good-bye" to Sandy, Amy and Ben who where there in a couple seconds.  Luckily he kept breathing and he was first put in an ambulance and then a few miles down the road was airlifted to Munson Medical Center in Traverse City, MI.  After x-rays and an MRI he was strapped to a bed that rotated left and then right - a torture machine that was intended to keep him from getting pneumonia and bed sores while the doctors figured out what to do.  Matt arrived on Tuesday morning and together with Sandy, Amy and Ben kept Larry as hopeful as possible.  He began to have a little movement in his right foot and right fingers as the swelling started to go down.  The doctor walked us through the MRI and showed how Larry's neck had significant arthritis and severely pinched at C3 because of it and the fall together.  Everything appeared intact but definitely blood in the spinal cord with lots of swelling. The swelling needed to go down and the doctor said the best option was to operate to relieve the pressure.  He would cut the back sides off from 3-4 vertebra to relieve spinal pressure and then screw a steel rod down both sides to stabilize the neck.  The surgery happened at noon on Wednesday 6/15/16.  Surgery was successful and Larry was now in a regular hospital bed and the neck brace was off - no more torture bed!  Spirits were high and the movement on the right side of his body improved little by little.  His left leg then joined in but still nothing in the left arm.  He can feel everywhere and loves to have his hands rubbed and stretched.  We celebrated each little win with tears of joy because Larry wasn't sure he would every move anything again.  On Friday the hospital PT came to visit and they lifted him to sit on the edge of the bed with help.  We all missed it but when we got there a few minutes later through tears of hope, he said, "I sat on the edge of the bed!"  On Monday 6/20/16, Doctor Poole from the Rehab Facility visited and evaluated Larry.  They used a machine to help him stand for the first time in over a week.  He was strapped in and was apple to gently grip the right handle while he was supported with a sling on the backside and shins strapped against supports.  He was able to squeeze his butt and legs enough to stand for a second or two at a time - so excited! HOPE!!!  The doctor explained how hard he was going to have to work and that there are no guarantees with nerve damage as to how much he would recover.  He did say he was cautiously optimistic based on the progress Larry had made.  Dr. Poole accepted Larry into the program which was a major blessing because the other options where a similar place in Grand Rapids which is 3+ hours away and would require Sandy to relocate.  The paperwork took a couple days and Larry was admitted to Munson Rehab Facility on Wednesday 6/22/16.   

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