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7/17/2017 Latest post:
Hello family and friends. Early in the morning on July 15, around 1am, Michael was in a serious car accident. Somehow, Michael was ejected from his van and was thrown about 8 feet away. He was immediately brought to the emergency room, was there for an hour or so, and then was brought straight up to ICU. From the neck down, everything looks great. There are no broken bones, internal organs are unharmed, chest x-ray and lungs were clear, and we are so grateful for that. However, he did hit his head and has some brain trauma, some swelling, a small fracture in the frontal lobe, and a little bit of bruising.
Since he arrived in the hospital, he has been under sedation to help keep him calm, because when he is not calm, his inter cranial pressure (ICP, we'll use that phrase a lot) levels will elevate. That number is supposed to be between 3-15, even low/mid 20's is good. For the last couple days, that ICP level has generally been lower, however whenever there was too much stimulation, that number would rise to 40+. Medicine always brought that number down quickly, but the fluctuation in his ICP level was worrisome. They decided that because his ICP number was fluctuating so much, surgery was necessary to help with the swelling.
On the morning of July 16th, around 11:30, Michael went into surgery to help relieve the pressure that was on his brain. During surgery, they removed a section of his skull and some of the thin layers than cover the brain, and immediately the pressure and swelling went down, and his ICP level went down to 4 & 5!!! We were extremely encouraged by the neurosurgeon that talked to us post-op. He said that overall the surgery went well, and we left our conversation with him hopeful.
Minutes later (this was around 4pm), we walked back to go see Michael, and another doctor walked out of his room and unfortunately brought some bad news. She said that yesterday (being July 15th), Michael had thrown up and had aspirated some of his vomit, causing some of that to go into his lungs, meaning that he now has pneumonia that he also has to fight off. For some of the time that he has been here (previous to discovering the pneumonia), he also had a fever, so they took some blood cultures and he potentially also has a bug/virus in his blood as well. This doctor also informed us that post-operation, Michael needed 100% oxygen, as opposed to not needing any support oxygen pre-surgery. It was so hard to hear the doctor say, "he is really, really sick," especially having such encouraging news about surgery.
The remainder of the evening (July 16th), however, we got some better news. The nurse (who WE LOVE) said that his levels looked really good, the best that she had seen him all day - she was very encouraged at his overall levels since his operation, especially since the previous night was very challenging. He really seemed to stabilize in the hours post his operation. He is on antibiotics for the pneumonia and the potential bug in his blood.
The morning of July 17th was a very encouraging morning. Michael had a great night. Very stable levels all evening, and his oxygen is at 60% instead of 100%! At one point during the evening, Michael actually sat up in bed and tried to rip out his tubes, which is SO EXCITING because that means he is responsive. One of our favorites nurses that works in the evenings says, "This is great! Now stop trying to take your tubes out and lay back down!" Apparently it took 4 nurses to get him laid back down because he is so strong (of course!). The antibiotics are doing their job for the pneumonia, and he will be on antibiotics for at least a week. It was very encouraging to hear the doctor, who yesterday said "he is really sick," say today, "He is doing much better than he was yesterday. He looks good today."
We have a really long journey ahead of us and we are so grateful for all the prayers and encouragement that we have received. Thank you to all our family and friends. Please pass along this website to anyone asking, the more people praying the better!! We will post updates as we get more, but don't hesitate to contact us, even just to shower some encouragement. Reading all the love is what is helping get us through the days right now. Love you all.