Journal

Journal entry by Abigail Caress

Sincere apologies for neglecting our Caring Bridge readers! Since the last post, so much has happened so quickly that Facebook updates have been our best touch-base solution until now!

Long story short: Caleb got released to go home on 12/3!!! Yes—HOME! After being hospitalized since his accident on 10/3!

This is an enormous gift—especially considering that, after his latest abdominal surgery (on 11/27), his struggle with pain and his need for rest has been so intense. His days-long gut pain finally got some relief on Thanksgiving Day after some fast-talking with the head charge nurse to make some big medication swaps to find relief. After that, Caleb improved fairly rapidly, regained his ability to eat, and was assessed for home release. Shannon persuasively demonstrated her ability to continue his recovery care (meds, etc) while safely modifying his home environment so that he can navigate, first in a wheelchair, then in crutches (currently for short spurts). He is not allowed to bear any weight on his right leg still for several more weeks. He will continue outpatient physical rehab until his surgery in February to stent-patch the tear in his aorta. He’ll also still have multiple doctor appointments and checkups in the coming weeks. But HE is HOME!

The homecoming itself was quiet at first—with wife, lap cats, stepson and close family coming around him like a warm blanket.  

But today was very boisterous and fun, as many of his wider circle of friends came by during a potluck “open house” to welcome him home. Caleb has been SO delighted to be sprung from the hospital at last! In his own words, “I’m so happy to be home with my amazing wife. It felt so good to be free with friends doing whatever we wanted!”

Please continue to pray for Caleb’s strength to keep rebuilding, for no more setbacks (especially for no return of those abdominal adhesions that caused so much pain!), for freedom from wound/bone healing pain, and for protection from seasonal illnesses. Pray also for rest for Shannon, who has been his health advocate for so long, and who is now his unofficial home-nurse that is coordinating his roadmap to recovery from the ranch.

We wait in this season of Advent leading to Christmas to see yet more gifts and miracles to come from our God who has been SO generous— with open hands.

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Journal entry by Shannon Fulton

11/27/2019, 07:40: Caleb is scheduled for an exploratory laparotomy of his abdomen at 8:30 a.m. today (in less than an hour). We are waiting in the pre-OP room, and he is in immense pain, requiring even one last morphine dose before heading back to the operating room. Please pray for all those involved in Caleb's care today. I get so nervous when he goes into surgery :/

Thanksgiving day is tomorrow, which will also mark 8 weeks since Caleb's accident. I beg you, please be thankful to have your family at home with you and able to enjoy the festivities and food. Revel in it. 

I will keep updating this CaringBridge post with time stamps as things develop throughout the surgery and today.

11/27/2019, 10:30: Caleb is out of surgery and in the recovery room doing well. He had adhesions covering the entire outside of his small intestine, and one part of the adhesions caused a twist and a kink in the bowel leading to the blockage. The surgeon, Dr. Shani Harvery, was able to run the entire bowel and cut all the adhesions. In a couple spots, the clipping caused some small tears, so Dr. Harvey sutured the small tears to prevent any perforations later on. Adhesion formation occurs after abdominal surgery (accounting for 90% of all adhesion cases), and the only way to resolve them is to have another abdominal surgery. You can start to draw conclusions about this awful cycle. Dr. Harvey said based on the severity of Caleb's adhesions, he is likely to develop them again. There is not preventative treatment for adhesion formation. However, Dr. Harvey added a HA-CMC slurry to "try" to prevent future adhesion formation, but this is not a guarantee. We are still waiting on a post-op room assignment for Caleb. 

Journal entry by Abigail Caress

Caleb has enjoyed nearly two weeks of good progress (and good food) during his transition to rehab activities at Jim Thorpe SW. His days have been full and active with speech therapy and lots of physical therapy, and then afternoon wind downs with his own form of therapy—building LEGOS and hanging out with his wife.

Then, on Monday in the wee hours of the morning, he awoke with terrible stomach pain that led to vomiting. Doctors ordered a CT scan on his belly and lab work to rule out any abscess or infection in his gut (which had been opened right after his accident On 10/3 as doctors searched for internal bleeding). Suspecting that adhesions from scar tissue might be creating an intestinal blockage, the medical team started a Gastrogaffin test with barium dye to see where any blockage might be. This kind of test takes over eight hours, during which time Caleb’s stomach must be completely empty—they even used an NG tube to suction it out when his vomiting was not enough! In the meantime, Caleb’s gut pain grew so out-of-control that they had to start morphine drips. He has been very anxious and exhausted by constant stabbing pain. Please pray for his comfort and peace of mind! Shannon is exhausted, too. She can only do her best to comfort him during this ordeal.
 
Tonight, Shannon learned from his nurse that the doctor called and said Caleb will be having an exploratory laparotomy surgery tomorrow. They do not have a time scheduled yet, but Caleb will be transferred to an acute care room (regular hospital room at Integris SW Med Center) either tonight or in the morning. This kind of surgery is very time consuming and involves re-opening the belly, so please pray for healing and answers—and relief!

As you might imagine, this has been very demoralizing for Caleb, who was looking forward to eating some good Thanksgiving leftovers in his room with friends as he made more progress in physical therapy. To face yet another invasive surgery seems so daunting. Please pray for his courage, and for strength for both him and Shannon! We keep hoping that God has something important that they need to find in exploratory tomorrow so that this “setback” can become yet another step towards a complete recovery for a Caleb.

Journal entry by Shannon Fulton

Trach gone! Tube feeding completely stopped! Taking all medications orally! Eating and drinking anything!

Caleb has successfully progressed to Inpatient rehab status! We don’t have to go to LTAC (long term acute care)! The screener for Integris Jim Thorpe Inpatient Rehabilitation Hospital is visiting Caleb and I today to do a final assessment. Once Caleb is accepted by Jim Thorpe, an authorization for services will be submitted to Cigna. Once Cigna approves the services, Caleb will be securely transferred from OU Medical Center to Integris Jim Thorpe Rehab Hospital. The doctors are hopeful that will be this weekend! :0 Caleb has been cleared to use crutches! He just needs to build up his strength again during his stay at Jim Thorpe.

Caleb and I had a surprise visit this morning from the EMTs that stabilized Caleb at the scene of the accident and transported him to OU Medical Center. What an incredible group of individuals that helped save Caleb’s life! HUGE thank you to Travis, Megan, and Jacob! They were very happy to see Caleb doing so well. They spoke to us about the “golden hour” of a trauma and how integral it is to saving a trauma victim's life. Their visit helped fill in a few puzzle pieces about the timing of the accident on October 3rd. The first 911 call was made at 8:19 a.m., and Norman PD was the first to arrive on scene. As soon as the EMSSTAT Norman Regional Hospital team got the dispatch, an extra medic jumped in the ambulance and arrived at the scene in 4 minutes. It took them 12 minutes to intubate and stabilize Caleb, and 20 minutes to get from the scene to OU Medical Center- talk about efficient! Thank you, God! We look forward to visiting with them in the future.

We also received a phone call today from the Norman PD Sergeant who completed the collision report. He was very excited to hear Caleb’s voice. Of course, he wanted to know what Caleb could remember around the accident. Caleb said he “vaguely” remembers leaving the house for work that morning, and then he said he remembers waking up in a hospital with Shannon talking to him.  We will have an official collision report tomorrow. Caleb was wearing his helmet, a leather jacket, work clothes, and black boots and was on his way to work, like normal, riding his motorcycle. The sergeant told me that the truck was a semi-truck pulling a gooseneck flatbed trailer that was empty. This really helps fill in a few more puzzle pieces in my mind. Caleb had the right-of-way on the way to work that morning, and this very large truck pulled out in front of him. Caleb collided with the first half of the trailer on his front and then right side. The motorcycle was completely totaled and is completely out of our lives at this point! Whew!

I’m so happy to still have my Husbunny Dr.agon. Kiss and hug your loved ones a little extra, and always say “I love you” before you part. You never know what can happen!

Journal entry by Abigail Caress

Caleb has come so far in 37 days! We have been praising God and celebrating all the little “baby steps” he’s made in the past few days as he awaits transfer to his LTAC facility (AMG Specialty Hospital). As each day passes, he gets more & more lucid—holding conversations about work, study, and family, and with that clarity comes a desire to return to independence. He still struggles some with short-term memory and needs reminders (and has loopy moments right after pain meds kick in!), but he is otherwise much the same Caleb! That is a HUGE gift.
 
In the past five days, lots of good things have happened:
 
- Caleb finally passed his swallowing test and has been eating soft solids, Boost shakes, and drinking some of his favorite juices and Diet Dr. Pepper! His osteopathic surgeons say that nutrition for him is super important right now as he builds back up his bones, heals skin wounds, and restores muscle tone. He is still being tube fed at night for extra nutrition, since his stomach has shrunk a bit and gets full quickly. More time eating larger meals will fix that!
- Dr. Kelly and Dr. Panas, his bone tag-team, have been back to reassess his right leg. We have X-Ray pictures here of the amazing work Dr. Kelly did with an assortment of rods & screws (all permanent) to put the bones back together. It’s looking really good and solid, but Dr. Panas restitched some of the fascia In the lower leg where part of his surgical site is struggling to close and heal. Dr. Panas will also check again to see if any more “clean outs” of the skin layers will be necessary there to help this happen. In rehab, that leg will have several rules and goals to follow:
 
- 12 weeks of no weight bearing
- At 4 weeks (this week!) Caleb can start to bend knee from 0 to 30 degrees. 4 weeks later, 0 to 60 degrees, then 4 weeks later, 0 to 80 degrees.
 
The bone team did warn us that Achilles tendon lengthening and knee manipulation around late January may have to happen if it’s really stiff.
 
- The trauma doctors have taken Caleb off all blood pressure meds and have also stopped giving fentanyl. He is now just on his antifungals (for the lung infection), a nerve block, a muscle relaxant, and OxyContin. 
- Heart surgery to fix the aortic tear (with a stent, which hopefully can be done endoscopically) will take place with Dr. Harville in two months, after Caleb’s antifungals are finished.
- Sunday, Caleb was given a trach capping trial and passed! They can remove his trach and close up in the next 48 hours! (*happy dance*)
 
So much great stuff is happening to set him up for recovery! It has almost an addictive effect—it makes us all eager for more, and it’s hard to be patient. Shannon (and the rest of us!) just want Caleb home again!
 
Please keep praying, especially for these specific needs:
- Pray that Caleb continues to gain appetite and meet nutritional needs on his own so he can have his PEG tube removed (the last tube!).
- Pray for the pain and stiffness in his right leg to abate. It has a long road to healing still ahead.
- Pray for a smooth transition to LTAC (hopefully this week), and from there, a speedy recovery in his rehabilitation facility!
- Pray for Shannon’s endurance; her days are long and capped off with drives to OKC from Norman to be with Caleb. She is also still carrying a lot of her class load for grad school (and doing well, even submitting her class project proposal and taking exams remotely), as well as simply being a mom to a little guy. It’s a lot to balance!
- Pray that all of us on Caleb’s care team stay HEALTHY despite the seasonal “yuck” going around. We don’t want to introduce any surprises to upset his recovery!
 
For those asking what they can *do* to help (prayer is important, so let’s not dismiss that!) one tangible thing that can lighten Shannon’s load is joining the meal train for her (and eventually, Caleb, since he’ll soon be eating regular-consistency stuff again): 
 
 
Caleb also really enjoys reading your cards and getting video messages from friends! Feel free to send videos to Shannon Fulton on Facebook Messenger! Mail cards to: Attn: Dr. Caleb Fulton (Get Well Soon!), Advanced Radar Research Center, 3190 Monitor Ave, Norman, OK 73019
 
Thank you, thank you, thank you, for your continued support! It has been amazing to have witnessed and testified to this miracle with you!

Journal entry by Shannon Fulton

We are out of the ICU! We left with applause and 'come back to see us!' sentiments. I certainly celebrated a #Day33 'we are out of here!' happy dance as his bed was rolled to the next stop (thank you Kensi for being by our side during this special moment). 

So, where to next? Caleb is currently in an 'Inpatient Trauma' room at OU Medical Center, where he will be monitored closely,  but also be allowed to REST. Truly resting is the greatest goal Caleb can have in the coming weeks- PRAY! I have researched,  visited,  and scoped out a Specialty Hospital (a.k.a LTAC) for Caleb.  His next pit stop should be at AMG Specialty Hospital,  housed inside Mercy Hospital. We have submitted the appropriate paperwork and are now awaiting a final discharge from OU Medical Center. However, no fear! I've clearly discussed (multiple times with multiple individuals involved in his care) the follow up plans for Caleb's injuries. Caleb will continue to be followed by his trauma surgeons at OU Medical Center. He will have to be transferred from LTAC to the various clinics, but I've been assured this is plausible and in his best interest. I agree.

While at LTAC, Caleb will have time to recover from his pneumonia (2 more months of antifungal) and build the strength needed for inpatient rehabilitation at Integris Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Hospital. LTAC is a necessary step, and I feel like Caleb is going to surprise us all at how quickly he will transition from LTAC to Physical Rehab. PRAY!

Journal entry by Shannon Fulton

This is Caleb's 3rd time to stand in 30 days!! His first time to stand was yesterday (Day 29). Since Caleb is weaned completely off of IV levophed (blood pressure medicine), he will be able to be transferred to an inpatient rehabilitation center as soon as he can handle 4 hours of therapy a day in the ICU. This is a huge blessing, and I look forward to moving him closer to home. I'm looking into requesting Norman Regional Rehabilitation Hospital. I hope that they will have the services Caleb needs and that they have space for him. I really want him closer to home.

Caleb's "nectar thick liquids" were taken away after the first day because the speech therapist suspected he was aspirating. A dysphagiagram was performed and Caleb's throat muscles were working, but not fully, because they are so weak. This puts him in danger of compromising his airway when he drinks. An endoscopic exam of his throat muscles showed that the muscles aren't damaged (they are just weak). We were told they should strengthen without any issues, but it will take time. He wasn't really phased by not having a drink yesterday, but today he is thirsty and keeps requesting a drink. I hate that I can't give him one. Speech is working with him to strengthen his mouth/throat muscles, and he will be evaluated again next week. I really hope he passes the next evaluation!!

Journal entry by Shannon Fulton

Caleb was wide awake and receiving his speech and swallow test when we arrived this morning! He is now completely off supplemental oxygen and has a speech valve on his trach so we can hear his voice! He also passed the swallow test which allows him to have thickened liquids of any kind. After his first drink of water in 27 days, he exclaimed “Oh. My. God. That is so good. I’ve waited 17 years for that!” He also said, “I am so grateful to all the voices that took care of me.” Talk about tears of joy, and Glory to God!!

Dialysis was stopped yesterday afternoon for the first time since it was started (12 days straight of CRRT dialysis!) because Caleb’s kidneys came back online. Three days ago, his kidneys started making 12-15x the amount of urine they had made the day dialysis was started!! What a miracle!! Please pray his kidneys continue to retain function and that Caleb does not need dialysis again.

I finally had a chance to speak with Dr. Harville (cardiothoracic surgeon) about Caleb’s aortic tear. As a result of the trauma to Caleb’s chest, he has what is known as an aortic dissection. Dr. Harville explained when this happens in a trauma some people die at the scene, and of the ones that make it to the ER/OR, they either fall into 1 of 2 categories- acute (needs immediate surgery) or chronic (stable enough to hold, but will need surgical intervention to repair completely). Dr. Harville and the trauma team made a call to hold off on heart surgery because of the extent of Caleb’s other injuries. This turned out to be a good call for several reasons.

The odds of the tear worsening and the pseudoaneurysm bursting go down each day, and Dr. Harville said that once we pass the 4-week mark (tomorrow!), he believes it will remain stable. This all means that as long as Caleb’s blood pressure is properly regulated (along with a few other things, I’m sure), the tear can be repaired months down the road. This is a huge relief for all of us!!

On an even lighter note, Caleb already asked for Raising Cane’s chicken.

Journal entry by Shannon Fulton

We should and can only take this journey with Caleb minute by minute, hour by hour, and day by day. Many things change with Caleb’s round the clock medical care. His care adapts to his needs which means we have all had to be adaptable. This is a new experience to almost all of us, but God has been gentle in leading us along. Caleb has won many battles, and his war is not over yet- but I want you all to know that his will to survive and fight is extremely strong.

Caleb was very lucid yesterday, and honestly quite his silly self. He started out the day reciting the alphabet and by the end of the day was insistent on getting his legs working and getting out of the room. It was a very exciting day, and he made us laugh many times. This morning, Caleb was able to sit in a patient “chair” for the first time. He enjoyed rocking out to some Pantera and Metallica streaming on a cool little dragon Bluetooth speaker that he is able to hold (shoutout to Kensi for that little blessing!). He wore himself out after a couple hours and has been very sleepy most of the day. I thank God for the joy I’ve seen from him in the last 30 hours- it is what keeps us all going.

The ventilator has been removed from Caleb’s room completely! He will soon pass the tests that will allow him to wear a trach collar (he’ll be able to talk to us!) and will allow him to have liquids (he says to Janie “Mom help me. I’m thirsty. I want a drink.”) I’ve never seen another human’s face light up the way Caleb’s did when he thought he could have my coffee. You can see even the distress that puts us in as we so desperately want to give him what he wants but can’t have. He even asked me “Why not?” yesterday. It really sucks. Pray his esophagus, tongue and throat muscles are strong enough that he can pass the swallow test tomorrow!! My man wants his coffee!!

Caleb’s overall organ function improved rapidly after the doctor’s decided to discontinue the voriconazole (anti-fungal to treat Aspergillus pneumoniae) and meropenem (broad spectrum antibiotic to treat the bacterial pneumoniae). This was a huge relief for all of us to see his numbers improve across the board. However, the doctor’s decided last night to start a new, less hepatotoxic anti-fungal to continue treatment of the Aspergillus pneumoniae. I’m afraid of the effects this may have on his organ function because the first decline was so sharp and emotionally distressing for all of us to go through with him. I pray Caleb’s pneumoniae heals very soon and that the doctors will be able to stop the new anti-fungal.

When Caleb first arrived to the TICU, a CT scan with contrast was performed that eluted to a pseudoaneurysm on the aorta. The plan was to follow this through Caleb’s emergent surgeries. To my knowledge, it has remained stable the past 25 days. Caleb had an ultrasound (TEE) on Friday that confirmed he has a CONTAINED tear in his aorta, near the aortic arch, causing a pseudoaneurysm. The tissue at the tear appeared rigid from the ultrasound images, but a CT scan with contrast was needed to compare to the original scan to determine the actual progression of the pseudoaneurysm. Since Caleb has been responding so well to the dialysis, his doctors decided the CT scan with contrast was worth the potential risk of the CT scan dye to Caleb’s kidney function. Caleb had the CT scan with contrast yesterday afternoon around 1:30pm. We won’t know the effect of the dye on his kidney function for at least 48 or 72 hours, and I have not heard an official report yet from the cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Lacy Harville, III, who originally consulted with me about the pseudoaneurysm. Please pray for God to provide answers soon!!


For now, we let Caleb rest and heal.

Journal entry by Abigail Caress

This morning, Caleb will have passed the three-week mark in his recovery journey—a journey that started like a rollercoaster as doctors raced through a slew of surgeries and procedures to put him back in one piece, but which now feels like riding a giant see-saw, as Caleb’s body strives to regain its equilibrium after a massive traumatic shock. We are lifted high one moment with good news or a short but beautiful interaction as Caleb strives to return to higher consciousness, then dropped again in the next moment into the painful realities of his struggle.

Many facts from Redmond’s latest update still hold true, and I number it with my PRAISES:

- Respiratory healing: Caleb’s lung infection is slowly clearing, and lung strength is returning (albeit with some grueling therapeutic treatments to usher it along [alveoli expression is hard to watch, Redmond says, because Caleb clearly feels acute discomfort during it]). Caleb has been making huge strides in breathing on his own and learning to breathe through a trach tube, with hi-flow oxygen therapy to help.

- Infection retreating: While he continues on antibiotics to help his pneumonia continue to clear, he is now off all antifungals, in hopes that this will reduce stress on his liver.

- Post-surgical healing: Because accumulated fluid has been drained off Caleb through dialysis, his reduced body volume and mass has allowed for a bedside closure in the lingering draining surgical site on his right lower leg WITHOUT needing skin grafts (a silver-lining of Caleb’s muscles beginning to atrophy from being confined so long in a bed); Dr. Panas has been pleased with the healing in the bones and tissue there. Caleb’s repaired left forearm, also closed without grafts, will go through a rather involved healing with some rather gnarly scabbing, but Dr. Panas is content with the process so far.

-Organ system healing: This category of praise also comes with a continuing set of petitions. But first, a cute story! Redmond’s wife was sharing with a friend some of the concerns expressed in Redmond’s last entry about Caleb’s liver and kidneys, and the friend responded, “Oh! Well, you need to call Harlan Wright. He’s the best liver doctor in the state!” Redmond, not lacking in assertion when needed, decided to throw caution to the wind and looked up Dr. Wright’s office. A nurse returned his call with a chastising message about not going through proper consult channels, etc., which left poor Redmond feeling a bit chagrined.

But WHO should walk onto the Trauma ICU floor this week to check out all of Caleb’s imaging, blood panels, chart stats . . .? That’s *WRIGHT!* Turns out, our ICU doctors had called in their own consultation with him, since Caleb’s otherwise functional-looking liver had them scratching their heads. Redmond was elated to immediately recognize the doctor he had so carefully researched (okay, stalked a bit). Dr. Wright gave an assessment which buoyed the whole medical team. Based on what he could tell of the medications and other inflammation processes going on in Caleb’s body, his otherwise rather normal liver is experiencing a bit of a backup. Dr. Wright explained in engineering terms that the liver is essentially a system of pumps, which, given certain medications Caleb has had, can get temporarily shut down until these chemicals are flushed from his body or the doses halt. When these pumps shut down, conjugated bilirubin gets built up, as does fluid (aceites). It’s why Caleb is still very jaundiced; however, in adults, jaundice can be tolerated for many weeks and without long-term damage (unlike in infants). Dr. Wright just said a lot has been “done to” this otherwise quite functional liver, which with time and space and the help of dialysis, should be able to start clearing the backup. The liver’s dead tissue area, an “infarction”—which he called a small spot, perhaps leftover from injury in the accident—was not a concern to his mind. This was great news for all of us, including his befuddled trauma doctors, to hear!

Now we get to PETITIONS. And oh, there are still many, so please, keep praying on. God sometimes moves slowly, and silently, but we can be patient!

-Kidney function: We still need Caleb’s kidneys to keep “waking up” from their shock. Dialysis for now (which is continuous at this time, but may become spaced out to 24-48-hr intervals) is taking the load off and letting them rest. But we need them to wake up again soon and stop being “stagnant”; they are giving minimal “output” on their own. It feels strange to pray for my brother to make more pee, but we have got to start somewhere!

- Neurochemistry/biochemical imbalances: Again, those sleepy kidneys (and backed-up liver) are creating some problems—namely, chemical agents in the bloodstream that are messing with the clarity of Caleb’s mind and even giving him muscle tremors! Pray that these symptoms ease as the liver/kidneys come back around!

-The Mysterious GI Bleed: somewhere in his GI tract this week, a bleed started. It’s slowed down some now, and doctors are giving him anti-ulcerative meds in case this is the cause. They do not want to have to get invasive in finding out the source. Pray it stops on its own. It’s having a bad side-effect on Caleb’s digestion that is robbing him of good rest! And he is exhausted! He thankfully slept most of the day today, but his last two days of rest were very disturbed.

-Low hemoglobin (anemia) is also a concern. Our body’s long bones (especially femurs) make red blood cells in their marrow, and Caleb’s got one femur that’s shattered and been pinned back together. Pray that as this heals, Caleb gains strength back to make more red blood cells!

- Peace of Mind: This is a biggie, as Caleb is trying SO hard to get back to higher consciousness. While in calmer moments he can reach his hand up to be held (and he does this when stressed or when he wants someone’s attention), and can demonstrate that he can understand what’s said, he is SO frightened and anxious at times by what is happening. Given the cocktail of biochemical imbalances in his system, his mind is not always able to make sense of what/why certain things are happening to him. Those who have been awake after a coma in ICU often report having had bizarre waking dreams/hallucinations as their minds tried to recover and attempt to process the bizarre and painful world they now live in. Most experience extreme stress in the process of coming fully around and then accepting their new reality—a very weak body, a changed physical state, a loss of time that either disappeared into a black hole or was experienced in traumatic episodes of half-aware hallucination, and a long and painful road ahead. Pray for Caleb’s peace and comfort. 

-Family Strength: This last prayer request feels personal, as we all are finding our ways of coping and trying to balance our lives’ responsibilities. I’m extremely indebted to Redmond Kelley for tonight’s updates, as he has been incredibly meticulous in his notes on Caleb and always generous in sharing them when I reach for news from Illinois (I returned home on 10/14 with my 9-month-old, to be reunited with my husband and 4 year-old after the first ten days with Caleb in OKC). It is very hard to be this far away as his sister while Caleb is still so delicate, but I know it is even harder to be physically present in the “trenches” of the ICU Family Lounge and visit schedules, as Shannon, Janie (Caleb’s mom), and Redmond and close family so often are. We are all distracted, anxious, and at a loss to know how to shape our plans for the coming days, weeks, and months. We live like nomads, just in the moment, as each day comes. We are so grateful for the cards, the calls, the meals, the hugs, and the encouragement you give!

Thank you again for continuing to follow Caleb’s story! It is humbling to remember that three weeks ago, doctors were prepping the chaplain to help deliver bad news, and family members were being ushered into the enclosed family lounge to prepare for the worst. God showed up then in remarkable ways, and every new day we have been given since is both a gift and a challenge, for us and for Caleb. Keep praying!

Journal entry by Redmond Kelley

As most of you have probably heard by now, Caleb was in a pretty serious accident on his motorcycle this morning.  It has been a very long day and we have mostly just been waiting to hear something as they have been working on him constantly since the accident.  I am not going to get into the details of his injuries here, but they are very serious and extensive.  I know that everyone is very eager to do something to help and the lack of information (and mixed information) is probably very frustrating.  He is not completely stabilized yet, has never regained consciousness, and has a long way to go before he is ready for visitors.  If he continues to progress, my best guess is that we are still looking at a few days.  As soon as he (and his wife) is ready for visitors, I promise to let everyone know.  Please keep Caleb in your thoughts as he is currently fighting for his life.  He is going to need support from all of us in the days, weeks, and months ahead.  I will try to respond to this email periodically as things change.

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Caleb’s Story

Site created on October 7, 2019


IMPORTANT: Please check this page for the latest updates on Caleb.  PLEASE refrain from contacting the family (especially Shannon) directly for updates.  Their focus needs to be 100% on Caleb's recovery right now and the purpose of this website is to remove that burden.  We will try to keep things as up to date as possible.

On the morning of October 3rd, Caleb Fulton was in a serious motorcycle accident.  He is currently at the OU Medical Center trauma unit.  Caleb means a lot of different things to all of us, but he has always left a unique impression on everyone he has ever met.  As Caleb progresses through the recovery process, he will need support from all us during the next few months.  Please join us in support of Caleb, his wife Shannon, and both of their families!

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