Feb 23, 2014 Latest post:
Feb 22, 2019
On Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:40 a.m., Nathan was walking the last block or so home after a fun night out with friends at a local bar. Only minutes before, he had said good-bye to his co-workers, had called a few good friends to say good-night and make plans for Saturday day. He tweeted a few friends as well. It had been a good night and he was feeling happy. Well he must have been in a hurry to get home, and dashed across the last busy intersection before he would be on a much quieter stretch of street. But he never made it home. He stepped out into the path of a driver who had a green light and couldn't stop in time. Nathan was seriously injured. The driver called 911 and they were quick to respond. Such a quick trip to a great Trauma ER at University Hospital meant he had very quick access to excellent care. They assessed him, stabilized his many injuries and transferred him to the Trauma/Surgical ICU very early Saturday morning. It took several hours for University Police to track down information about us and dispatch Kansas City Police officers to our door to notify us. We immediately packed and hastily reached out to neighbors and our parents and off we went to Columbia to see our boy.
Nathan's injuries include a traumatic brain injury. How severe this brain injury will be or how it will affect him in the long term remains to be seen. Right now, his strong healthy body is being helped by a tremendously competent and caring team in the ICU. They are managing every little nuance of his care with a reassuring calm confidence. His brain is still swelling; although not at an alarming rate. They tell us this is expected. They tell us we have to be patient. They tell us to think in terms of MONTHS, not DAYS. I am still trying to wake up from this bad dream. Nathan also sustained other injuries that will add more challenges to his care and his recovery. He has: an orbital fracture (a bone in his eye socket). This has left him with two of the biggest shiners you've ever seen. He has a cut on the side of his head (that's an easy one, it's already stapled shut. He has broken his right clavicle, or collar bone as it's commonly called. And he has Bilateral Tibia/Fibula fractures. This means both bones below his knees on both legs were broken in the impact. They cannot even consider taking him into surgery to repair these yet. But they will need plates and screws probably and casts of course. But that will have to wait. They have to wait for his brain to settle down. They have to wait for him to wake a little more on his own. They have to make sure he's strong enough to handle going under anesthesia for that length of time. Again, we watch and we wait. We hang our hearts and our hopes on every little positive sign we have. And there ARE some. His heart & kidneys are strong; his lungs are being helped by a ventilator, but they are staying healthy and his chest X-rays look good. When the nurses stimulate him, he responds to their painful checks. And occasionally, he gives us a very sweet, but weak squeeze with his left thumb and fingers. Nathan is far from out of the woods. We have our toughest days ahead of us. Words cannot express how touched and grateful we are at the outpouring of love, prayers and support from our families, friends, neighbors, loved ones. Nathan's friends both in Columbia and Kansas City, his co-workers, fellow students and faculty have not stopped sharing their sweet and funny stories and I cannot get enough of hearing how loved he has become here in his second home. I hope to keep anyone who is interested up-to-date with daily progress (and challenges, if they present themselves). Please feel free to share your thoughts, stories, and words of encouragement below in the guest book area. My hope is that one day very soon Nathan himself will be able to read them and he'll know just how much that love & support helped us all pull through this most challenging time in our lives.