Journal

Journal entry by Theresa Jensen

George had surgery last Saturday to remove the rods and screws in his leg and clean out his wound.  The surgeon decided not to replace the hardware in his leg right away.  Instead, he used antibiotic beads in the wound to help kill the infection, and he is receiving IV antibiotics as well.  The doctor used an external fixator to stabilize his leg (which hurts a lot).  
The plan is to reevaluate in ten to fourteen days to see if the infection has cleared enough to then insert the new antibiotic-coated rods. If so, hopefully, after the surgery, George can return to Bryn Mawr.   If not, it will be another two weeks of evaluation before the surgery.
As of right now, we are just sort of in limbo, waiting to get the leg issue cleared up.  George will receive some rehabilitation while at Christiana, but it can't compare to what he was doing at Bryn Mawr.
Please pray that he can get back there soon!

Journal entry by Theresa Jensen

Here we go again!  George is having surgery again today to replace the rods and pins in his leg.  Hopefully, this will allow his leg to finally heal and will make it possible to return to Bryn Mawr soon.  George is really anxious to get back to rehab and get back on his feet.  
He is already making good progress!  I am watching him hold a phone and talk with a friend right now.  This is an  amazing improvement - he couldn't do that a week ago.  We are really excited to get him started back on the road to recovery.  This staph infection has been an annoying "speed bump", as his orthopedist calls it.  
George says thank you for all of the prayers and good wishes.  He really misses his work friends and says hello.  Hopefully, once he's back at rehab, he will be able to be in touch more.  I'll make sure I post an address where he can be reached as soon as he gets back to Bryn Mawr.
Thank so much for all of the prayers, visits, meals, rides for Connor etc.  We really appreciate all the help and love.

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Journal entry by Tara Jensen

George got through surgery well yesterday, so the external fixative has now been replaced with an antibacterial rod in his leg. Due to the post-op pain, a temporary nerve block was put in just to help control the pain for the time being.

Today, George has been in good spirits, although he’s still dealing with aching pain from the surgery. He had a physical therapy session, for which he received good marks from the doctor. He was off of bed rest and sitting in a chair for the first time in a while. Looking forward, we’re waiting to see when he’ll be able to return to Bryn Mawr rehab.

 Just a reminder that the comments are a great place for you to ask questions and for us to answer you in a way where others wondering the same things can also get some answers! We’d like to thank everyone for their continued support and prayers as the journey continues - keep ‘em up!

Journal entry by Tara Jensen

George finally made it back to Bryn Mawr last night, and he's been greeted by some wonderful staff members who remembered him from last time. George is glad to be back in a familiar setting on the road to recovery. He's looking forward to starting therapy and regaining some ability he lost in the accident. 

As the leaves are starting to change, we hope to spend some time with George outside on Bryn Mawr's beautiful campus, and we even hope to bring our dog Rider up for a visit soon (George has been missing him a lot)! 

Please keep up your prayers as he begins the tough road to recovery, and enjoy this photo of Connor and George putting up some thumbs and throwing peace signs :)

Journal entry by Theresa Jensen

George has been back at Bryn Mawr for a little over a week now.  He is receiving aggressive physical, occupational, and speech therapy every day.  He's making some good progress, especially with his right arm.  He is starting to be able to use his phone more often.  It's been great to look at my phone and see George's contact when I'm getting a call or a text.  
If you would like to send George a card or letter, you can send it to:

George Jensen
117 Spruce
Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital
414 Paoli Pike
Malvern, Pennsylvania 19355

George was also finally able to see his buddy, Rider this weekend.  Enjoy a picture of their reunion!

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Journal entry by Theresa Jensen

Sorry it's been a while since the last update. George is still at Bryn Mawr, and he is making good progress although he wishes it were moving faster.  He has graduated to a regular wheelchair, and he can move it himself.  George is continuing to work on regaining strength and mobility.  He has lost a lot of weight and muscle mass.  

George continues to struggle with his left arm and leg.  He has some nerve problems in his arm, possibly due to his spinal cord injury.  He can move his shoulder, hand and tricep, but his bicep is not getting any signal that will allow it to move.  We are hoping this is a problem that will resolve with time, but for right now it is very frustrating.  George continues to work on regaining movement in PT.

We found out this week that the pain and lack of range of motion in his left knee was due to ossification (bone growing where it shouldn't be) in his knee.  This is bad news for a number of reasons.  First, he can't straighten the joint all the way. Next, he can't keep his knee rigid enough to bear weight. This makes walking very difficult.  Finally, this also means that George will have to have another surgery within the next few months.  His orthopedic surgeon wants to wait until he heals more before he can have the surgery, so we don't know exactly when that will happen.

On the whole, things continue to get better, though.  George managed to get a good shave and a haircut, which makes him feel much more like himself.  He can use his phone and tablet to take and make calls, text, and email, which helps him to be more connected.  While Bryn Mawr keeps him pretty busy during the day, it can get boring in the hospital, so being in touch has helped to combat that.  George has his ups and downs emotionally, which is expected, but hearing from friends and family definitely helps.

Thank you so much to those who have sent cards and packages to George.  He really appreciates them, and he says thank you.  If you want to send anything, here is the address:

George Jensen
117 Spruce
Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital
414 Paoli Pike
Malvern, Pennsylvania 19355

As always, thank you so much to everyone who has reached out to help George, Tara, Connor and me.  Whether you have offered a meal, a ride, a gift card, a kind word, or prayers, we appreciate it. This has been, without a doubt, the most difficult thing we have ever faced as a family on so many levels.  All of our lives changed in an instant, and it has been a tough adjustment, but all of the people who have offered us support and love are helping us get through it. 

We had a really nice visit with George the other day.  We brought in Chinese food, and we got to eat together and spend time as a family.  We needed that.  Here are a couple of pictures from the day.  Note that George is feeling good enough to be goofy ;)

Journal entry by Theresa Jensen

I haven't updated in a while because we have been in sort of a holding pattern.  George has been working hard at Bryn Mawr, trying to regain mobility.  He has been hampered by his left knee, though.  He has been building bone in the knee where it should not grow, causing the knee to be immobile, which would not allow him to walk or bear weight on the knee.  
Today, I went with him to the orthopedist, and we got some mixed news.  First, his doctor thinks it's a good idea to do surgery on his knee to remove the bone to get George more mobility.  He'll have radiation afterward to prevent the bone from growing back. That's good news, because it will get him up and walking.   Also, we found out that his MCL is completely torn - bad news.    He will need surgery at a later date to fix that, and he'll have a hinged knee brace to keep his knee stable in the meantime.
What is really troublesome is what is happening with George's left arm.  He doesn't have any use of his bicep, and we've been told that we just have to wait and see if his nerves regenerate. However, that may not be the case. Today, I mentioned to the orthopedist that George had an egg-sized lump on his left upper arm after the surgery to repair his arm. The doctor immediately realized that something had happened to his bicep, and he thinks it may have been severed somehow.  This doctor is NOT the one who treated his arm.  He is the one who repaired his leg after the infection.    We are waiting to see if it can be repaired and what that will entail.  I brought that lump to the attention of many medical professionals dating back to George's initial time in Christiana.  I am shocked that none of them investigated further.  So, we will have to see what happens next.

George is tentatively scheduled for surgery on the 20th of November.  I'll update as preoperative testing is completed and we know more about the nature of the surgery.

Thank you to all who have sent George packages and cards.  He really enjoyed the Jacob's package!  Thank you Peter, Carol and the boys.  He loved the card from Sue's daughter, too, and the candy from Nina.  If I'm forgetting anyone, please know that George is not, and he is beyond grateful that people are still reaching out to him.  The hospital can be very lonely and boring, and your calls, texts, cards,  and packages make life better for him.  

Thank you to all of those who have helped Connor and me with dinners.  You have no idea how wonderful it is to not have to worry about that after a long day of work, soccer, and insurance negotiation. By the way, George's work decided to switch insurance companies.  You can probably imagine how fun it has been to negotiate that process.   We so appreciate your generosity.  

Please, please keep praying, especially for that left arm.  It would have been much better had someone listened to me and investigated earlier.  Please pray for those who may be able to repair his arm, and please offer prayers of thanks for Dr. Q. who will operate to get him more mobility in his knee.

Journal entry by Theresa Jensen

Good evening everyone! 

Up until very recently we had been expecting George to be discharged directly from Bryn Mawr rehab to Christiana Hospital for an additional surgery on his leg to remove the bone ossification. The surgery, however, could not be scheduled until all preoperative testing was processed and approved. We were previously told that his surgery would be occurring this week, but that will no longer be the case. We expect the surgery to be scheduled for some time next week, but still do not have a definitive date. Due to insurance stipulations, George's time at Bryn Mawr will be ending this week and he will be arriving home on Thursday to wait until he is entered back into Christiana for his surgery and then his continued recovery afterwards. But, in the meantime, we get to have Thanksgiving together!

While it is exciting that George will be returning home, we must keep in mind that the journey is not over, and he will soon need to return to the hospital to continue his treatment. Wish us luck as we work on getting our home ready for his return and as George prepares for surgery. Thank you all again for your continued support! Keep the prayers coming!

Journal entry by Theresa Jensen

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  George has been home for a couple of weeks now and we are beginning to adjust to the new normal. He is doing pretty well getting around despite being unable to walk.  He's enjoying time at home, but he is anxious to continue to heal and make progress. 
This Friday, December 14, George will have the surgery we originally thought would take place in late November.  This surgery will address the heterotopic ossification (bone growth ) in his knee. He will be having surgery to remove the bone that is causing his knee to have only 10 - 20 degrees of movement and  making him unable to extend his leg to walk. We think he will also be receiving radiation in the knee to prevent regrowth of the bone. 
We are still unclear about how quickly he could regain movement.  I guess we'll know more when he gets out of surgery.  He is receiving some home physical therapy that will continue after the surgery.
Of equal concern is George's left arm.  While he has some limited movement in some muscles, overall, he is unable to use his arm. Doctors have indicated that the lack of movement is connected to nerve damage.  He has to undergo some more testing to determine exactly how.  Once that happens, hopefully something can be done to hasten the process of getting his arm working again.  However, we really do not know what, if anything, that may be. 
Please keep praying that all goes well in the surgery on Friday, and that operation will help him to walk soon.  Also, please pray that we can get some answers about George's left arm, and that we can find the right treatment or course of action.

Thank you to all who have called and visited.  It has been great for George to see you.

I hope you are all enjoying the Christmas season, and that you are having better luck Christmas shopping than I am!

Journal entry by Theresa Jensen

Hello All.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  This is the last update of 2018, and I have to say I'll be glad to see the end of this year!  It's been a rough one with Connor's broken arm and George's multiple injuries.  We are hoping for a healthier 2019.
George's last surgery went well.  The orthopedist removed about five inches of bone that had grown into the knee, causing it to be locked.  With the removal of the bone (called heterotopic ossification - say that five times fast), George has been able to bend his knee for the first time in months!  Unfortunately, the MCL in his left leg was also affected, and part of it had to be removed, so there will be more surgery in the future to repair that, and in the meantime, George has to wear a large, hinged, knee brace for stability.  However, he is progressing with his therapy.  George has been able to take some steps with support, and he is working to restore range of motion is his left leg.  He is still weak on his right side, probably due to the brain injury, and he is working to improve his strength and fine motor control. 
The other issue George is facing is the lack of movement in his left arm.  After visiting several orthopedists, it seems likely that the problem stems from an injury to the brachial plexus, which is a network of nerves that originates in the spine and controls movement in the arm.  This is an over simplified explanation, but something seems to be wrong with a few of the nerves, so George is unable to lift his arm at all.  He will be undergoing a test called an EMG test, which is a diagnostic procedure to assess nerve and muscle function.  After that, we will be seeking a consultation with a doctor who specializes in brachial plexus issues.  We hope to have more answers about what is causing George to be unable to move his arm, and what treatment, if any, would be appropriate. 
So, there is still a long way to go for George to regain his independence.  I'll post again when we know more about the test results.  Please keep us in your prayers.  Nothing about this has been easy, and we are all trying to stay positive and work hard for George's recovery.  The amount of progress he has made after such a catastrophic injury is nothing short of miraculous, and he continues to work with the in-home therapists several times a week.   He should eventually be able to walk, and we are praying that there is an answer that will help him to regain use of his left arm.
Happy New Year, everyone!  Thank you for all of the love and support you have given us over the past 4 1/2 months.  We are forever grateful.

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Journal entry by Theresa Jensen

One year ago today our family was having a normal end-of-summer day.  George went to work, Connor started high school soccer tryouts, and Tara and I headed into school to decorate my classroom for the upcoming school year.  It was a completely normal day, until it suddenly wasn't.  The weather cooled off a little in the evening, so George decided to take a short motorcycle ride.  At a little after nine, our home phone rang.  I looked at the caller ID, expecting to see an unknown number or a spam call, but instead I saw that the call was from Christiana Hospital.  When I answered, a man with a quiet voice and a soft accent told me that George had been in an accident.  All he could tell me was that George had been responsive at the scene of the accident, and that I should come quickly to the hospital.  And so began the most difficult year we have faced as a family.

One year later, we are still adjusting to our new normal.  George has made incredible progress.  He is walking pretty well, and is hoping to get back to work very soon. He continues with physical and occupational therapy to try to make progress with the lingering effects of his injuries.   It will still be some time before we know how much function he will regain in his left arm, but he is seeing small but encouraging indications that his arm is experiencing some activation in the damaged areas.  We have high hopes that he will continue to make gains in his recovery.

There is no adequate way for us to thank all of the people who helped us to navigate this year.  My children demonstrated maturity beyond their years as they helped us cope as a family and stepped up to take on new roles and responsibilities.  Family members and close friends provided us invaluable support as they kept vigil with us in the hospital and continued to call and visit as days stretched into months.  Newark Charter's soccer family stepped up to provide us support that helped me to make sure we could eat and shop for our needs despite long days in the hospital, and they always made sure Connor had rides and was taken care of when I could not be there.  My Newark Charter colleagues stepped up to make sure my classes were taken care of ( special shout-out to Dan for honoring the pact), and they supported me every step of the way last year.   George's work family at Edgecraft showed incredible support and concern for George and our whole family.  Friends helped us with everything from hemming pants for Connor so he was ready to start high school, to mowing our lawn when I couldn't even think about how to make that happen, to moving Tara into her dorm as she started her Freshman year of college.  Facebook messages from old friends, texts of encouragement, phone calls,  meals dropped off when I had no time to cook, etc. all helped us to survive this year. 

Perhaps most of all, the prayers and well wishes from so many people helped us know that we were loved and that we had many people asking God to watch over us.  

We will never be able to say thank you enough times to convey our gratitude.  We have been humbled by the outpouring of support. 

One year ago today, I did not know whether George would live. While he  is still making progress in his recovery, it is amazing to see the gains he has made and the strength he has gained. Please continue to keep us in your prayers.
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George’s Story

Site created on August 18, 2018


George was out for a motorcycle ride on the night of Wednesday, August 15th, when he was hit by a Chevy Silverado truck at the intersection of Route 273 and Appleby road. He was wearing his helmet and Kevlar jacket, but the driver of the truck did not see him and hit him at full speed on his left side. A nearby officer was at the scene quickly and an ambulance followed soon after. He suffered significant injuries and underwent treatment at Christiana Care Hospital. He underwent rehab at  Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital.  He returned home, and had another surgery on his leg in December.  He is awaiting several more surgeries on his arm .  



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