Feb 10, 2020 Latest post:
Mar 28, 2021
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, for offering support, and especially for all of your prayers.
This last Friday (February 7), Mike was walking the dogs in the middle of the day when something happened — maybe a fall, maybe a dizzy spell that escalated into losing consciousness altogether; his memory of the incident itself is fuzzy, and as far as we know, no one witnessed the injury as it actually happened. What we do know is that he ended up unconscious in an embankment/bushes beside some outdoor stairs, where someone found him (and the dogs!) and called 911. While we don't know the exact sequence of events, we do know that he suffered a fracture of his C3 vertebrae, compression of the spinal cord around that area, rupture of nearby ligaments, and rupture of a vertebral artery. As a result of his injuries, he has lost all sensation and movement below his shoulders. We also discovered that he has for some time now been experiencing stenosis — or narrowing — of the spinal canal in his neck, which left him more vulnerable to compression and damage to the spinal cord.
After examination and testing, he went in for surgery on Saturday to stabilize the area and to alleviate the narrowing of the spinal canal. With the leadership of a truly excellent surgeon, everything went according to plan and the area was successfully stabilized. The hope is that relieving the pressure on his spinal cord will eventually allow for partial or even relatively full restoration of sensation and mobility; however, this road is a long one, and the intensive recovery process will be unfolding over the next 1-2 years.
I'll (Hannah, his daughter) be updating this page with new developments so that loved ones can stay up to date on how things are progressing. Lastly, speaking of love, I speak for everyone in my family when I say that we have been beyond overwhelmed by the incomprehensible volume of love, support, prayer, well-wishes, and eagerness for friends and family to do whatever they can to help us all as we figure out what each new day requires of us. This situation has indeed been surreal and, at times, horrific, but underneath the moments of fear there is a bottomless wellspring of gratitude for each and every single person who has stepped in to make food, to take care of the animals, to honor the moments when we need peace and rest, to offer kind words, and to pray and pray and pray for my dad's ongoing healing.
The path ahead is long, and victory is going to be measured not even by individual steps but by the twitching of a finger or the strength of a breath. In short, we're nowhere near out of the woods right now, but with each step forward and little victory, we're starting to be able to develop a map. This journey is made much warmer and kinder by all of your support and love, and there aren't enough thank-yous in the world to express how deeply we appreciate our friends and family as we continue finding our way. We don't yet have a tangible idea of what the future holds, so our biggest and toughest job right now is often to just be patient. We can only take each new day in stride and continually remind ourselves and one another: Just take this next step. The horizon will look after itself.
DeeAnn’s note: Thank you again to so many for your prayers and support. We are resting confidently in the power of prayer as we know what faith produces. This is going to be a journey and we are navigating it with confident hope and seeing God’s fingerprints evident already — thank you for walking this with us.