Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Easter Pics

Update on John

Hey everyone, I just wanted to update on John. He has definately had good and bad days, which is to be expected. Last thursday was an exciting day because he was sitting up with physical therapy when my parents came in to see him, and he sat and "talked" (he was hard to understand some of what he said) with them for the first time since this happened. Either way this was a good sign because he is showing he knows what is going on. That night they decided to do surgery and put his skull flap in, the surgery itself went fine, but he started to get swelling again, or hydrocephalus. Monday they put a shunt in which will help release the fluid. He seems to be doing good again, and will now hopefully be on the downhilll climb. Please continue to keep him and our family in your prayers. There are many other "issues" that the family is dealing with and the only thing we can ask is prayers. I will continue to update as there are changes. I am going to add easter pics tonight so leave some comments:)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

On John...

Well just wanted to write and let everyone know that John seems to be doing well. I think for awhile the posts will seem to stay the same as it is hard to take huge leaps forward with this kind of injury. He has been "waking" up some, but it is still hard to tell what he understands and what he doesn't. They took his tracheotomy c0completely out on Monday night so that is a good thing.

To his friends, for those who have not directly talked to one of us and have asked to see him, right now it would be best to give him the chance to have time to let his body heal. One of the symptoms of brain injury is aggitation. When therapies come to work with him, plus family visits it just wears him out. Some of you have also asked about if what he seems to be going through is normal, and it really is for traumatic brain injuries. To get more info, check out or there are many of other great sites of info on the web. The problem is, every brain injury is different, and in all honestly, nobody knows what the outcome will be. All we can do is look at the steps forward that he takes, and understand there will be many steps backwards. Also his recovery will take at least a year, to get to the "John/CJ" that we will all come to know now.

Also please understand that for John's privacy I have not told every detail of things as I am updating, because unless you are personally there, I do not feel it is appropriate to tell everything. Some day when John is well and has been told of all of this, he can update you all as he will and show his scars left over, until then please understand.

Who is Jesus?

Who is Jesus? HE IS JESUS WHO IS HE? IN CHEMISTRY, HE TURNED WATER TO WINE. IN BIOLOGY, HE WAS BORN WITHOUT THE NORMAL CONCEPTION; IN PHYSICS, HE DISPROVED THE LAW OF GRAVITY WHEN HE ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN; IN ECONOMICS, HE DISPROVED THE LAW OF DIMINISHI NG RETURN BY FEEDING 5000 MEN WITH TWO FISHES & 5 LOAVES OF BREAD; IN MEDICINE, HE CURED THE SICK AND THE BLIND WITHOUT ADMINISTERING A SINGLE DOSE OF DRUGS, IN HISTORY, HE IS THE BEGINNING AND THE END; IN GOVERNMENT, HE SAID THAT HE SHALL BE CALLED WONDERFUL COUNSELO R, PRINCE OF PEACE; IN RELIGION, HE SAID NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH HIM; SO. WHO IS HE? HE IS JESUS! JOIN ME AND LET'S CELEBRATE HIM; HE IS WORTHY. THE EYES BEHOLDI NG THIS MESSAGE SHALL NOT BEHOLD EVIL, THE HAND THAT WILL SEND THIS MESSAGE TO EVERYBODY SHALL NOT LABOR IN VAIN, AND THE MOUTH SAYING AMEN TO THIS PRAYER SHALL SMILE FOREVER. REMAIN IN GOD AND SEEK HIS FACE ALWAYS. AMEN IN GOD I'VE FOUND EVERYTHING! The Greatest Man in History Jesus had no servants, yet they called Him Master. Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher. Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer. He had no army, yet kings feared Him. He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world. He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him. He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today. I feel honored to serve such a Leader who loves us! If you believe in God and in Jesus Christ His Son .. send this to all on your buddy list. If not just ignore it. If you ignore it, just remember that Jesus said . 'If you deny me before man, I will deny you before my Father in Heaven
'We exist to share the good news of Jesus Christ'

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Food for thought

I was reading something today that encouraged me just a little bit, and I just wanted to share... I am not going to tell the entire story for privacy reasons, but...

A local man was enouraged when, after a tragic accident and loss, God spoke to him and said, no matter how much pain you are having and as bad as your heart is hurting, You need to know that my love for you is even bigger than your hurt and that His light is bigger than our darkness.

I think so often when things get tough we tend to forget that. I know right now that was encouraging for me, because in the midst of all that is going on in our lives, it makes it seem smaller to know that God loves us, and although times get tough he will always be there and love us more than anything we can feel here on earth.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Almost spring..

Well just a little update on us right now... Life seems to be crazy lately, if definately pours, and happens all at once. But God won't hand us more than we can handle right? Our family seems to be being tested right now. John seems to be doing better as the days go on, but each day brings a new challenge. He has been moving much more and seems to be responding more regularly since he first got the infection. He will be on antibiotics until friday, then will be reevaluated. We are just taking things one day at a time, and hoping that each day brings something new and even if it is not huge improvements, with brain injuries, rest and calm days are sometimes a good thing. Also my sister in law, Emily, was in a car accident the other day. She is doing ok, but just keep them in your prayers. As for us personally, we are doing ok. Trying to get back to some form of normalcy. But that seems hard to do when we can't sleep normally, and everything is just overwhelming. Jake has been getting home sick. I am sure he is really missing Halia. I am amazed by how much she has changed and learned just in the few weeks he has been gone. As for me, I am just trying to feel somewhat like I am doing ok. I am trying to get back to work and get things taken care of around the house.
We have had a chance to get out some though, Halia and I went to the park and went shopping. We also went with some friends and did a Easter party and egg hunt. I added some pics, and will add more again soon.

Halia got some eggs
All the girls

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Brother's Song

I thought this is pretty fitting of our current situation. It helps remind us that we never know the capabilities one can have, and the power of God. Keep our faith and all openness to possiblities.

A BROTHER'S SONG - "You are My Sunshine, My only Sunshine"Like any good mother, when Karen found out that another baby was on the way, she did what she could to help her 3-year-old son, Michael, prepare for a new sibling. They found out that the new baby was going be a girl, and day after day, night after night, Michael sang to his sister in mommy's tummy. He was building a bond of love with his little sister before he even met her. The pregnancy progressed normally for Karen, an active member of the Pan ther <>Creek United Methodist Church in Morristown , Tennessee . In time, the labor pains came. Soon it was every five minutes, every three, every minute. But serious complications arose during delivery and Karen found herself in hours of labor. Would a C-section be required? Finally, after a long struggle, Michael's little sister was born. But she was in very serious condition.
With a siren howling in the night, the ambulance rushed the infant to the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Mary's Hospital, Knoxville , Tennessee . The days inched by. The little girl got worse. The pediatrician had to tell the parents there is very little hope. Be prepared for the worst. Karen and her husband contacted a local cemetery about a burial plot. They had fixed up a special room in their house for their new baby but now they found themselves having to plan for a funeral. Michael, however, kept begging his parents to let him see his sister. I want to sing to her, he kept saying. Week t wo in intensive care looked as if a funeral would come before the week was over. Michael kept nagging about singing to his sister, but kids are never allowed in Intensive Care. Karen decided to take Michael whether they liked it or not. If he didn't see his sister right then, he may never see her alive. She dressed him in an oversized scrub suit and marched him into ICU. He looked like a walking laundry basket. The head nurse recognized him as a child and bellowed, "Get that kid out of here now. No children are allowed." The mother rose up strong in Karen, and the usually mild-mannered lady glared steel-eyed right into the head nurse's face, her lips a firm line. "He is not leaving until he sings to his sister" she stated. Then Karen towed Michael to his sister's bedside. He gazed at the tiny infant losing the battle to live. After a moment, he began to sing. In the pure-hearted voice of a 3-year-old, Michael sang: "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray." Instantly the baby girl seemed to respond. The pulse rate began to calm down and become steady. "Keep on singing, Michael," encouraged Karen with tears in her eyes. "You never know, dear, how much I love you, please don't take my sunshine away." As Michael sang to his sister, the baby's ragged, strained bre athing became as smooth as a kitten's purr. "Keep on singing, sweetheart." "The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping, I dreamed I held you in my arms." Michael's little sister began to relax as rest, healing rest, seemed to sweep over her. "Keep on singing, Michael." Tears had now conquered the face of the bossy head nurse. Karen glowed. "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. Please don't take my sunshine away..." The next day...the very next day...the little girl was well enough to go home. Woman's Day Magazine called it "The Miracle of a Brother's Song.". The medical staff just called it a miracle. Karen called it a miracle of God's love. NEVER GIVE UP ON THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE. LOVE IS SO INCREDIBLY POWERFUL.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The long awaited update

Hey everyone! Sorry it took me so long, it just seems like the last few weeks are a blur. As for John, I left last wednesday so what I know now is what has been passed on. Before I left Portland he seemed to be doing pretty good. He had seemed to be getting really anxious, and on the monday before, they took him off the ventalator and he was breathing on his own completely, so he only had a mister that was over the trach blowing in good air. It was hard to know that I was leaving him and will not be able to be there to see and help in his progress. Before I left, I told him I was leaving and that he needed to work with all the people who were there to help him get better. He looked like he was trying to mouth something when I told him I would be leaving, and got frustrated. He can not talk even if he wanted to because he does have the trach. I got back to CO late wed night. After I left John got infection really bad and was running a temp of about 40degreesC. They took his drain out that was measuring his innercranial pressure which could have also been a major source of infection. He seemed to be lethargic since he had the infection, probably just his bodies way of trying to recover from it. They did move him to a different area called TRACU which is the step down unit for the Trauma ICU he was in, and will hopefully start with the recovery and therapy process. Our family and friends also worked to get him moved out of his house and into storage as his landlord was a pretty big jerk about it all. Other then that there hasn't been much other change that I am aware of. I talked to my mom tonight and he said he opened his eyes more tonight then he has since he got the infection. He goes for a MRI tomorrow. We are still praying and hoping for the best. John is a fighter and will all hope, by the end of this he will be as close to the John we all knew. Keep him in your prayers and thoughts. I will try to do better at updating now.

As for me, I made it home to AR. Halia did great considering all the traveling we have done in the last three weeks. We were in at least 7 different places in 15 days. We are worn out and glad to have made it home. I start back to work tomorrow.

Jake is doing good, he is doing base security at the base he is at. He said it is already really hot there and working outside he is getting a nice tan on his face and arms:)

I hope everyone is doing well. I will update again soon. I will also add pics that we did get on the trip. Halia is saying so many words now, she repeats everything we say. She is doing a lot of signs now. She is lots of fun, and growing up so fast. Now is just the task of getting her into her routine again.

I will write again soon.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Will update...

Hey all, sorry I have updated the last few days, honestly I was taking some time for me. I left Portland Wed and feel like I have been traveling constantly, so I spent some time with friends. I am in route to AR right now, so I will get back on tomorrow night and update all of the last week or so. Check back, and bare with me:)

Monday, March 3, 2008

Well everyday seems to bring something different. Starting Saturday John has started to open his eye and track us for a brief time. He also seems to follow commands like to squeeze our hand or point to let us know that he hears us, however not every time. The doctors remain optimistic that John will recover and wake up from the coma. They are still predicting he will stay in somewhat of a coma state for two to four weeks. The awakening portion of a coma is traumatic on patients and they go through periods of agitation and stress. He has had several times where he seems to want to say something or do something and just can't get it out or can't find the right words. He has had a few downs of course as well, but with each step forward there will probably be two steps back and we have to prepare ourselves for that. We are just trying to stay strong, and as hard as it is, give him the rest he needs in order to allow his body to heal, which means that we limit our visits.

Thats all the news for now. Thanks so much for all of the comments and prayers, etc. It is so nice to know that there are so many people who care, and the stronger our support system, the easier it will be for John to get better faster.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

March 1 update

Well it is so hard to write and try to update or put into words how I am feeling. The last few days John has looked a lot better. He is not nearly as swollen, but we have been trying to let him rest more in hopes that he will come along and hopefully the more rest he gets the sooner he will wake up. We had some good news from the Coast Guard. He got his promotion and will be making chief, which is a huge step for him. They came in today and pinned on his pin for him and are doing a ceremony for him (with the family) on this coming Wednesday.

As for us, Jake made it to the desert and seems to be doing ok so far. He will be working three days on, one day off for the duration of his deployment.
As for Halia and I we are hanging in there. She has been really good under the circumstances and Emma(my bf) came to help out with Halia and be here for me. It has been great to have her with us and just have someone close. We spent last night in the ER(at the same hosp) with Halia because she fell at the hotel and hit her head on the side of the fireplace. The initial shock of it was upsetting and she cried, but we held her and bandaged it and she completely forgot about it, even in the waiting room. Then after two hrs of waiting they put some numbing cream on and put three stitches in. That was one of the hardest things as a mom to hold your baby who doesn't understand why she can't move and listen to her scream just because she was being held down. I think she was actually more afraid of just being held down than what was actually going on. She was a trooper though.
That's all the news for now, but I will update in the next day or two. Keep checking in on us and leave comments. Thanks to everyone who is praying for us and keeping us in your thoughts.

Another day....

another day (Feb 29th)
Well yesterday seemed to be the first day that I think everyone was kind of at ease with the situation, if thats possible. John looked good compared to what he had. A lot of the swelling went down in his face and hand especially, he seemed to respond more when we asked him to sqeeze our hand, and even seemed to get that half smile he gets. We are hoping each day will be improvement. Right now is just his way of catching up on all the sleep he doesn't get. I will continue to update.


This crazy world...
As most of you know this week has kind of turned our worlds upside down. I had planned a trip to CO to visit friends and family because Jake was going to be deployed and I thought it would be nice to have the comfort of "home". Well last wed.(feb 20th) we recieved a call that John(my oldest brother) had had an accident and fallen down stairs and was in ICU in critical condition. He has severe head trauma and has remanined in a coma since the accident. Friday I left for CO and was there for a day, to fly to Portland on tuesday. We made it here and headed to the hosp to see him. I can't say I really knew what to expect, but you never think you will see your own family look like that. It becomes almost like it is not reality, like we are just going through the motions, but that it can not possibly be true and we will wake up to how things were. He has seemed to make some improvement over the last few days, but still remains in critical condition. He has had two surgeries, one a little more serious, that allowed for the pressure he had to have somewhere to go, and the other to help get the tubes out of his mouth by having other access. We are all praying for a miracle and that he will wake up and be on his way to recovery. But right now, it is just a waiting game, when and if he wakes up, then how he is neurologically when he does.
I want to thank everyone for the prayers and support. I am sorry I have not been able to get back to everyone as we can not use the phone in his room, and by the time we can it seems to be tedious to tell the same story over and over sometimes. Please feel free to call and I will return everyones calls as I can.
Please pray for a quick recovery, and God's grace and will be on him. Right now all any of us can do is pray.
Thank you for everyone who has helped and allowed for me to be out here, by watching the house, dogs, cats, etc. I appreciate you all more than you know.
Please also keep Jake in your prayers. He left Sunday, and make it to the middleeast yesterday. It was very hard for him to leave at this time, but unfortunately duty calls, and he is needed there. He will be gone for about 6-8 months, so I will keep you updated onthat as well.