Journal

Journal entry by Wendy Gorski

Ben's family is trying to figure out how to navigate this next phase of keeping updated on his care so I don't have anything new on his condition today.  It is so hard for his loved ones to not be able to hold his hands and read him stories.  Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as the future continues to unfold before us. 

Journal entry by Wendy Gorski

Ben's condition is unchanged.  St. Elias Hospital closed its doors today to protect patients from the coronavirus.  There has only been one confirmed case in Alaska, but Anchorage is taking all precautions.  While we are grateful Ben's health is being protected, it was hard for us to realize there can be no more contact with Ben for the foreseeable future.  Thanks for being here and be well.

Journal entry by Wendy Gorski

Yesterday marked five weeks since Ben's accident.  He is still in a coma at St. Elias Specialty Hospital from a serious brain injury.  While he has not made new neurological gains, the doctors have noted more reactions to external stimuli in the week and a half since he moved to St. Elias.  We are all still waiting for that six week mark for the medical community to assess him for his potential trajectory for rehabilitation, but have been cautioned to push out our expectations on timing in this uncertain process.  More than anything, thank you for your love.  Spring is coming and here is a prayer Nicki is reading:

Blessing the Seed

I should tell you
at the outset:
this blessing will require you
to do some work.

First you must simply
let this blessing fall
from your hand,
as if it were a small thing
you could easily let slip
through your fingers,
as if it were not
most precious to you,
as if your life did not 
depend on it.

Next you must trust
that this blessing knows
where it is going,
that it understands
the ways of the dark,
that it is wise
to seasons 
and to times.

Then—
and I know this blessing
has already asked much
of you—
it is to be hoped that
you will rest
and learn
that something is at work
when all seems still,
seems dormant,
seems dead.

I promise you 
this blessing has not
abandoned you.
I promise you
this blessing 
is on its way back
to you.
I promise you—
when you are least 
expecting it,
when you have given up
your last hope—
this blessing will rise
green 
and whole
and new.

Journal entry by Wendy Gorski

Ben is at St. Elias Hospital with a serious brain injury.  He is still in a coma and working to get off the ventilator.  Ben has made no neurological advances today.  We are still here and grateful you are with us—thank you.  Today we are grateful that as we near the spring equinox we get more and more light every day.  It is uplifting.

Please continue to share stories of Ben in our well wishes section.

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Journal entry by Wendy Gorski

Ben is at St. Elias Hospital with a serious brain injury.  He is still in a coma and working to get off the ventilator.  Ben has made no neurological advances today.  It is hard waiting, but we are trying to do it gracefully by making gratitude lists.  Today we are grateful for sunshine on snow.

WAYS TO HELP:
1. Donate directly to Ben and Nicki at https://www.gofundme.com/f/1w5jryl100
2. Sign up to make meals for the family under WAYS TO HELP at CaringBridge
3. CaringBridge is free for Ben to use. "Tribute" donations go to CaringBridge.
4. Please keep sharing pictures, well wishes and stories.  Nicki would like me to pass on her gratitude for these; she reads them every day and is going through the stories posted here with the kids.

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Journal entry by Wendy Gorski

I am sorry!  I misunderstood a message yesterday.  Yesterday Ben actually had an outing and was moved into a chair that was taken out of doors.  It was then that Nicki was able to put snow in his hand.  He is still in a coma and on a ventilator from his serious brain injury.  St. Elias has been a good place for family to gather near him and the kids to finally get to visit him.  He still has no neurological changes, but is doing quite well off the ventilator and is spending most of the time with it only assisting his self-initiated breaths.  Thank you for visiting him here.

Journal entry by Wendy Gorski

Ben is still in a coma and on a ventilator from a serious brain injury at St. Elias Hospital in Anchorage.  He is improving at breathing on his own and is spending more time off the ventilator.  There have been no neurological changes.  Nicki put some snow in his hand today.  We all know how excited Ben gets by snow.  

Thank you so very much for your support.  The food has been wonderful, the financial support a relief and the astonishing flood of love a nourishment.

Journal entry by Wendy Gorski

For those of you who haven't checked in for a while, here is a summary of where Ben is:

It has been a month since Ben's car crash. He in a coma and on a ventilator from a serious brain injury.

Ben has been taken off sedatives and many of the monitors and tubes have been removed. His body is starting to regulate itself in regard to blood pressure, core temperature, and blood chemistry. He is also starting to breathe on his own, but we have not seen any significant neurological improvements.

This past week he moved from the ICU at Providence to St. Elias Specialty Hospital, still in Anchorage. St. Elias is a long term acute care (LTAC) facility that specializes in patients who are on ventilators and often takes such patients from local ICUs. 

This is a good move for Ben as they have more accommodating rooms and a robust therapies department that will be working aggressively to help wake him up.

The staff has reiterated that this is going to be a long process, and while six weeks will give them an idea of how many gains Ben will make, it is more realistic to push our expectations out. 

Ben’s wife Nicki and his parents remain at his side every day, while Nicki’s parents have been taking a leading role in getting the kids to school and activities.

You support has made a huge impact on this family. Thank you so much.

WAYS TO HELP:
1. Donate directly to Ben and Nicki at https://www.gofundme.com/f/1w5jryl100
2. Sign up to make meals for the family under WAYS TO HELP at CaringBridge
3. CaringBridge is free for Ben to use. "Tribute" donations go to CaringBridge.
4. Please keep sharing pictures, well wishes and stories.  Nicki would like me to pass on her gratitude for these; she reads them every day and is going through the stories posted here with the kids.

Journal entry by Wendy Gorski

There were no changes in Ben's condition today.  Thanks for being here with his family.  Your stories of him are helpful.

WAYS TO HELP:
1. Donate directly to Ben and Nicki at https://www.gofundme.com/f/1w5jryl100
2. Sign up to make meals for the family under WAYS TO HELP at CaringBridge
3. CaringBridge is free for Ben to use. "Tribute" donations go to CaringBridge.
4. Please keep sharing pictures, well wishes and stories.  Nicki would like me to pass on her gratitude for these; she reads them every day and is going through the stories posted here with the kids.

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Journal entry by Wendy Gorski

It has been four weeks since Ben's accident.  He is still in a coma and on a ventilator from a serious brain injury.  He is in physical therapy to keep his muscles and ligaments from contracting and undergoes attempts to try and rouse him.  He is on some medications that may help as well.  There have been some responses but they do not count as neurological changes.  We wait for tomorrow in hope.

WAYS TO HELP:
1. Donate directly to Ben and Nicki at https://www.gofundme.com/f/1w5jryl100
2. Sign up to make meals for the family under WAYS TO HELP at CaringBridge
3. CaringBridge is free for Ben to use. "Tribute" donations go to CaringBridge.
4. Please keep sharing pictures, well wishes and stories.  Nicki would like me to pass on her gratitude for these; she reads them every day and is going through the stories posted here with the kids.

Journal entry by Wendy Gorski

On February 6, 2020 Ben was in a car accident.  He is in Providence's ICU in critical condition with head trauma and brain swelling.  He luckily has no broken bones but needs a completely calm environment with no stimuli.  We will know more 72 hours after the incident so right now the Schneider's need a lot of prayers.  Everyone is welcome to visit the waiting room but please be respectful of Nicki, Leo and Kaya.  You will not be able to see Ben and probably won't see Nicki.  Your love and support is what is buoying us all up and it means the world to the Schneider's.
Ben’s Story

Site created on February 7, 2020

Ben's wife Nicki writes "I can't thank all of you sufficiently. But thank you. You are one of Ben's greatest gifts right now to my family, and I appreciate all that you are doing, and will do. I am truly grateful."

If you'd like to donate directly to Ben and Nicki go to: https://www.gofundme.com/f/1w5jryl100

Meal assistance can be found by going to:  https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/benschneiderak/support
Choose one of the options beneath "Support Links".

If you'd like to donate to Caring Bridge for giving us a space to provide support for Ben, do so via Tributes for Ben.

PLEASE NO VISITORS AT THE MOMENT.

Nicki has asked for one person at a time to sit with her and we have that covered. Also the ICU is limiting drop offs, so please don’t bring food or other gifts without checking with us.
———
On the morning of Thursday February 6, 2020 Ben was in a car accident.  

He is unconscious at Providence's ICU in critical condition with head trauma.  He luckily has no broken bones, but needs a completely calm environment with no stimuli.  

We will know more when he awakens, so right now the Schneiders need a lot of prayers, positive thoughts and love.

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