Wednesday, April 30th

Day 34

Some more big news today... Kate will be coming home soon. Today Kate met with all the members of the team at the rehab facility, and was thrilled to find out that they planned to discharge her Friday. Of course, she would have preferred to have been home all week, but such it is. We are so happy that Kate will be coming home, mostly because it means she is doing so well with her recovery. Today she did some more demanding physio workouts that actually tired her out, and had some practice on a balancing machine.

So, the next obvious question is about when people can come and see Kate. The short answer is: Not Yet. This whole process has been very emotionally draining for us, and especially Kate. For now she is going to focus on her recovery, and that means getting home and spending some time with her immediate family and figuring out what happened in the last month and what is ahead. Going forward we have a huge list of follow-up appointments and will start into a regular physio routine that will take a lot of Kate's time and energy. Kate has already talked about how she would like to have some sort of gathering for people to come and see her, but she wants to wait until she is physically and mentally ready to see everybody. This might be some time from now, and we ask for your continued patience in this area. It is a lot to take in emotionally when the doctors are telling you that your recovery is miraculous, so it will take some time to process that before she starts hearing that from everybody else. We are very thankful for all the notes, cards, letters, comments and emails telling us that you are praying for Kate and when she is ready she will thank you in person. Thank you for your patience.

That said, getting home is only the start of the battle. The road ahead is expected to be a long one with lots of questions and struggles. We are unsure exactly what to expect, but we know that Kate will not rest until she is able to get back to the life she had before the accident. Please pray for her as she continues on the road to recovery and has to deal with all the challenges along the way. Please also pray for our families and I as we travel that road with her.

Finally, while I feel that this website has been a great tool for communication in the last month, I also feel that the time for daily postings is coming to an end. I will likely post a few more entries and then move to a weekly posting. We still would like to keep people informed so that they can pray for Kate, but I also feel that the types of things we will be working through will not be changing fast enough to require daily postings. I will be sure to give warning because I know some people have made a habit of checking this daily.
Paul on 04.30.08 @ 11:47 PM EST [link]

Tuesday, April 29th

Day 33

Day 2 at the rehab facility and Kate is continuing to show improvements beyond what is normally seen. Perhaps it is because she's motivated to get home, but its really quite amazing how much she's improved even from the end of last week. Now it seems that the biggest challenge is the cast on her right leg. We're getting that looked at next week, so for now it will be something we have to live with. She is getting around great with her walker, and is doing so with a lot more confidence.

Our prayers now include the plans for Kate's discharge, as well as her emotional state until that happens. Kate has been doing very well physically and mentally, and as a result has a great desire to get home. It would appear that she is at or approaching the levels for discharge, so she is getting quite anxious to get home. Please pray for everyone involved in those decisions, as well as Kate and the family.
Paul on 04.29.08 @ 11:45 PM EST [link]

Monday, April 28th

Day 32

A big day and a small day all at the same time. This mornings transfer went as planned and we were able to get out of the hospital first thing in the morning. No fanfare when we left, but a nice big list of follow up appointments for the next couple months. I think we'll be visiting every specalist under the sun to let them see the fruits of their labour.

Arriving at the rehab facility and getting Kate settled was the next order of business. Over the course of the day she met with a number of people and got some of the basic testing done. She has made significant improvements since last weeks assessments, so its looking like her stay might be on the shorter side of things. This is the carrot that is keeping Kate going... she, along with the rest of us, wants to get home as soon as possible. From the professional's point of view that is when she is able to do some basic tasks in a safe manner.

So tonight's prayer requests are going to be for Kate and her new temporary home. We feel that she will be able to make a faster and safer recovery under their care, but we also realize that she desperately wants to go home. Please pray for those providing her treatment and making decisions about her future care.
Paul on 04.28.08 @ 11:10 PM EST [link]

Sunday, April 27th

Day 31

Its hard to believe a full month. We are so happy to leave the hospital, and with it start to distance ourselves from the events that happened on that night. I can't even begin to describe what it was like to be driven to the hospital by the police and be told progressively worse details about my wife's condition. Somehow none of the things I was being told were really registering, but looking back I can see how everybody we interacted with was trying to prepare us for the worst.

Even now that we understand what they were telling us we forget how it was. This afternoon we had a glimpse of how things once looked. Kate, her mum and I went back to the ICU to see if any other nurses were there that looked after Kate. We saw a name on the board that we recognized, and had someone go and get her. When the nurse saw Kate and when she realized who it was she burst into tears. She was utterly amazed to be talking to Kate and seeing her doing so well (talking, making sense and sitting upright). This nurse had been there near the beginning as well as when Kate had started talking. She was so thankful that we had taken the time to come down and visit, and insisted that we return when Kate is able to walk in and see people. We will make an effort to come back as we are so thankful for their work, and how much care they put in even when things didn't look promising.

First thing tomorrow morning Kate and I will be leaving Hamilton General in an patient transfer ambulance to go to her rehab facility. Our families and I will be leaving behind a lot of memories. Thankfully Kate only remembers the last 11 days of her hospital stay. While some people remember hospitals for negative things, I see it as the place I started to get my wife back, slowly, day by day. We can't speculate what the future may hold, but right now it seems to have a lot more in store for Kate and I then it did a month ago. Thank you to everybody who has been with us praying diligently for Kate. While the progress has been significant, there is still a long way to go. Kate keeps telling me that I'm giving people the wrong impression about how well she's doing and they'll misunderstand and think that she's 100%. To be clear, there is a long road ahead of us, and its not an easy or short one. Please continue to pray for Kate and the rest of the family as we travel that road.
Paul on 04.27.08 @ 11:29 PM EST [link]

Saturday, April 26th

Day 30

As with yesterday, today was a fairly uneventful day. The novelty of staying in a hospital for a month is definately wearing off, and we're itching to get out the door.

Tonight Kate and I took another trip down to the ICU to look around. Last night I wheeled Kate there to show her the waiting room we had virtually lived out of for two weeks. Tonight we went inside ICU east where Kate had been to say hi. One of the nurses that had been with Kate early on was there and had a nice little chat. The nurse was really happy to see Kate and how she was coming along. Most of the time the ICU nurses don't see the patients after they leave, so she really appreciated it. It was a nice experience for Kate, and Kate loved it when she heard that this nurse was the one who first washed Kate's hair and put it into a nice braid. We are so thankful for the people working in the ICU, so it has been nice to tell them personally.

Tomorrow will be Kate's last full day at the hospital, then it is off to the rehab facility for an unknown period of time. We ask that you pray for this transition time and the uncertanty of what is to come.
Paul on 04.26.08 @ 11:43 PM EST [link]

Friday, April 25th

Day 29

Congratulations to Doug and Claire on the birth of their second daughter. Evelina Anne Dias was born this afternoon and weighted in at 7lbs 11 ozs. Both mother and daughter are doing great. So, Kate is a proud aunt again. She was very happy to hear the news, but it was terribly hard for Kate to not be able to go see her new niece right away.

Other than that no big news today. We're starting to pack up the hospital room because we've accumulated a lot of things over the past month. Kate is starting to think about what stuff she's going to want to wear while at rehab, and what she's going to do to keep herself busy.

Kate's been enjoying reading all the letters people have been sending. Its been great for her to hear about things outside the hospital. Thank you to everybody who has sent Kate a letter, and I think it will be a great exercise for her to write replies (hopefully soon).

Thanks for your continued prayers. Please pray for Kate's continued healing, mentally, physically and emotionally. As we shift gears to this next phase we expect there to be many challenges and adjustments that will have to be made, and these can be difficult to deal with.
Paul on 04.25.08 @ 11:55 PM EST [link]

Thursday, April 24th

Day 28

4 weeks later. Its hard for me to put into words what the last 28 days have been like. In some ways it seems to have flow by, but in others it has been an eternity. When we were in the ICU we would constantly forget what day it was, now the days are blending together in a different way. For me, the real reminder is every day when I write this post and have to check the previous one to make sure I get it right.

Since our stay here is winding down there is a lot of retrospective thoughts both from us and the doctors. We are able to take Kate around more in her wheel chair, and in doing so we often run into nurses and doctors who have cared for Kate. Kate enjoys it when all staff members comment on her progress and how great of a patient she is. Everybody wants to see her and talk to her because they have heard so much about her miraculous recovery. Its a weird position to be in when people say that cases like Kate are the reason they do this for a living. While her recovery has been amazing the fact is we are still working through some significant consequences 28 days later and will be for a long time.

It will be a while before Kate is able to walk on her own. Mobility, range of motion as well as strength and stamina are all issues as well. Mentally she is making progress, we feel that we are seeing daily improvements and the obvious signs of brain injury are diminishing.

We are thankful for the teams of doctors and nurses who have cared for Kate, and so grateful that our Kate's progress is giving them motivation to continue doing what they do. We ask that you continue to pray for them even as Kate moves out from under their direct care. Please also pray for Kate as she prepares for the next steps and tries to get some rest before she moves to rehab on Monday.
Paul on 04.24.08 @ 10:19 PM EST [link]

Wednesday, April 23rd

Day 27

Some significant prayers were answered today. Kate was accepted at a great rehabilitation facility and the tentative plan is that she will move there Monday morning. It is a live-in facility and we expect that she will continue her progress there. It is a big step forward and will be the next phase in her recovery.

Kate also met with one of the acquired brain injury specialists today and had a good long talk. They were able to discuss some of the future plans and get some general time lines for her recovery. Kate is doing quite well considering what she has been through, but still feels like she has a long way to go.

Thanks for the prayers about today's visits. Please pray for the transition to the next phase as we wind down our stay here at Hamilton General.
Paul on 04.23.08 @ 09:54 PM EST [link]

Tuesday, April 22nd

Day 26

A few quick updates before I head to bed. Kate made some steps forward today with her mobility, moving up to a new walker that has four wheels (instead of two) and allows her to move faster. She also was able to make it up a half flight of stairs and back down again using the railing and a cane. It was quite slow, and required some close supervision to make sure she didn't fall, but its a great start.

Yesterday night was an important night for Kate, in that she met one of the police officers who attended the scene of the collision. Kate was interested in learning more about that night because she doesn't remember anything about it. From what they understand about the accident at this time there was nothing Kate could have done to avoid the other car. We have been telling her that, but hearing it from a person of authority helped put her mind to ease. Kate also learned that the other driver has been charged with impaired driving causing bodily harm. We had decided not to tell Kate until she had a chance to recover and would be able to take that kind of news. She felt it was good for her to hear that from the police officer, and I think the timing was at an appropriate point in her recovery. This is not something that we have focused on at all as a family, as our priority is Kate.

Tomorrow is a big day as we will finally meet the brain doctor that we have been talking about. Kate has been dwelling on this all week and wants to make a good impression. There will be some other introductions tomorrow for Kate, so it will probably be a tiring day for her. I think a lot will be decided tomorrow, so please pray for those making the decisions.
Paul on 04.22.08 @ 11:44 PM EST [link]

Monday, April 21st

Day 25

Hi everyone, I'm here with Kate (Kate says hi too) in her hospital room with a weak wireless internet signal from outside. Kate would like thank everyone for their prayers. Today she spoke with her doctor who called her a progress miraculous. This was special for Kate to hear and she would like to ask you to continue to pray for her recovery.

In talking with the various specialists it sounds like her stay here might be wrapping up shortly. With this comes many questions about what is next. She is still feeling like there is a lot of things that need to improve physically and mentally, but this time in the trauma ward is coming to an end. The specialists with the acquired brain injury team will be meeting Kate on Wednesday, and the impression we are getting is that things will happen quickly after that. Some of the factors deciding the next steps will be what kind of waiting lists there are for the various rehabilitation facilities.

Please continue to pray for Kate's recovery as well as the doctors making decisions about her recovery. These next few days will have some important decisions and our prayers are that they would help Kate recover as quickly and fully as possible.
Paul on 04.21.08 @ 10:20 PM EST [link]

Sunday, April 20th

Day 24

I must admit, its been a lot harder to write these entries lately. The main medical stuff isn't changing much daily, and its very hard for me to quantify the other changes. The understanding we have is that her rehab needs for the next step will be determined this week. We don't know exactly what sort or amount of care she will require, but it is apparent that this is only the first part in a longer process. There will be aspects of physiotherapy, occupational therapy, as well people from the acquired brain injury group.

One of the challenges we are having now is not knowing what will be next, and how long it will take. What we are learning is that brain injuries are very hard to predict, and can have long term effects that range from significant to non-existent. Our prayers are that she makes a complete recovery, and we recognize that part of this is getting the right treatment at the right time. Please pray that those decisions would be made in such a way that Kate gets the best treatment possible.
Paul on 04.20.08 @ 11:48 PM EST [link]

Saturday, April 19th

Day 23

As expected, not a lot to report on medically speaking since its a Saturday. It gets fairly quiet there on a weekend.

Kate has received a couple letters already, and has started reading them. She was worried that I had promised a quick response from her, but I assured her that the writers would understand if she took a little while to get back to them. She is re-reading the cards that have been sent, as she doesn't remember reading some of them. Her memory of the last few days seems to be doing well, but anything prior to that doesn't seem to have stayed with her. That's a bit of a challenge for us because we have to think of what we have told her and assume she remembers, but doesn't. She has been enjoying talking with her siblings and siblings in-law, her mum and my parents. We are having more and more special moments with Kate and it has been a great blessing for us. Also, as she learns more about who has been sending their thoughts and prayers she is overwhelmed by the number of people who have been in contact. Its all a bit much to comprehend especially when it is over three weeks worth of events are being revealed in a few days.

Thank you for your continued prayers. The fact that we get to talk about that with Kate is an unmistakable answer to those prayers. Thank you, and please continue.
Paul on 04.19.08 @ 11:30 PM EST [link]

Friday, April 18th

Day 22

A bit of a later update tonight, but its because I'm staying and talking with Kate until she's ready to sleep so I don't feel bad for making some of you wait.

Kate's antibiotics are only a couple times a day now, so they're able to unplug the IV in between doses for a number of hours. This is good because if its plugged in when she sleeps it usually ends up beeping loudly and doesn't make for a good sleep. Last night it was unplugged and Kate got a great, uninterrupted sleep, so that was a nice change. Tonight they did the same thing, so she should get another great night's sleep.

Today was a bit of a quieter day for Kate, but she was up with the physiotherapist again and adding to her endurance with the walker. We're going to be practicing it a lot over the weekend, and hopefully by Monday there will be even more improvement. She's able to spend even more time outside, which she appreciates because there is more happening there, and the scenery is a bit more interesting.

Please pray that Kate is able to continue with the progress she is making and the areas that need improvement would heal. Next week sounds like it will be pretty big in terms of determining the amount and type of care Kate will need coming out of the hospital, as well as some determination of the types of rehab she will require. Please pray for the doctors and specialists that will be making those decisions.
Paul on 04.18.08 @ 11:42 PM EST [link]

Thursday, April 17th

Day 21

Three weeks ago I don't think we could have imagined the progress we have made. Today was another great day for Kate. More walking with the walker, and a little without. Her balance and coordination is getting much better. Her left side is improving and that is helping a lot of other things come along as well. She did some reading, writing and memory tests today and she said she felt her score was worth a high distinction.

As Kate is getting to understand more about the accident and the outpouring of love and prayers from so many peopl. She is really amazed by that and is really interested in what people have been up to in the last three weeks. She doesn't want visitors in the hospital but would still love to hear from everybody. To that end, she has a request for anybody and everybody. She would love it if you were to write her a letter and tell her what is going on in your lives. It can be about anything you like, but she requests that it not be about her accident (apparently she hears enough about that at the hospital). She is also asking that it be sent by snail mail and has promised to write everybody back. Please send the mail to the following address:

Kate Graham
2154 Emily Circle
Oakville, ON
L6M 0E5

Thanks in advance, I think this will be a great way for everybody to help Kate in her healing process.
Paul on 04.17.08 @ 11:42 PM EST [link]

Wednesday, April 16th

Day 20

If yesterday was a bit of an emotional valley, today was something of a mountain top experience. Another set of quantum leaps although they are a bit more like baby steps. This morning Kate got a new cast that she can walk on, and with the help of the physiotherapists she took her first steps. It was a big deal for all of us, and great to see her out of the bed, even if only for a short while. That was quite tiring, so we spent some time in the wheel chair and were also able to get her unplugged from the IV and outside again for a cup of tea in the sun. She had a nice little nap after that, but it was great for her to spend a significant amount of time out of bed.

On the medical side Kate had a full briefing from her trauma doctor about all of her injuries and where there at now. She has been learning about them a little each day, but this would have been the first time she heard it all in one go. I'm sure its all a little abstract for her, and will take some time to sink in (as it did with us a few weeks ago). The news is all great, and the shopping list of injuries seems be completely under control. The infection has been gone for 48 hours now and will be given the official all clear after 72 hours.

All in all, a big day for all of us, and hopefully Kate gets a good night's sleep so that we can have another big one tomorrow. Thank you for all the prayers and support. We are continuing to see answers to prayers and have so much to be thankful for. Please keep praying for Kate.
Paul on 04.16.08 @ 10:56 PM EST [link]

Tuesday, April 15th

Day 19

Short update tonight, just to say some more progress today, and some more of the same. Kate is making progress every day with her memory and awareness. Her voice is getting stronger and she is occasionally trying to sing. I guess a tube in your throat for 2 weeks takes some time to heal.

The biggest news of the day is that Kate was able to get outside for the first time in two and a half weeks. The physiotherapist helped us get her into a wheel chair and we were allowed to take her outside. We stopped to grab a tea on the way out so that the experience would be complete. With the weather improving each day hopefully this will become a regular occurrence.

Today the only test was an ultrasound of her legs to make sure there were no blood clots. The infection seems to be gone from her blood, but they are going to keep her on the antibiotics for a while longer to make sure nothing comes back.

Please continue to pray for Kate's recovery as well myself and the family. Looking back at my posts I can see that Kate has made amazing progress, but it can still be hard for us to see when we are there all day every day and only seeing little changes. For me this last bit has been even more difficult then the first two weeks in the ICU. Now I get to talk to Kate and hear her words and see her struggle with so many things. Even though there is so much to be thankful for it is terribly difficult to say good night and leave the one I love.
Paul on 04.15.08 @ 11:19 PM EST [link]

Monday, April 14th

Day 18

Another day, some more progress and some more tests. Kate made it out of her bed today and into a wheel chair for a little while. She is also making a lot of progress with her speech and conversation. She is making a lot less mistakes with details and remembering things easier. With this is a greater understanding of what happened and what is still healing. It is getting more difficult for her as she learns more, because for her she is finding out more and more about what she can't do yet. For us it has been the opposite because we started with the worst possible news and have been building on it. So, watching her progress is bittersweet because we see the worries she has, but are glad that she is grasping more and more.

In the medical department Kate had another ultrasound (this one of her bowels) and another CAT scan of her heart. There was some initial concern that she had damage to her aorta artery, but it might have been an artifact from her moving during the scan. All the specialists said it wasn't likely a problem, but the only way to completely rule that out is another CAT scan. We should hear about that tomorrow. The ultrasound was to make sure that there were no issues with her bowels and that there are no issues from the surgery.

Every day is a journey with its own peaks and valleys. We ask that you pray for Kate's continued healing as well as us (the family) as we go on this journey with Kate.
Paul on 04.14.08 @ 10:52 PM EST [link]

Sunday, April 13th

Day 17

Some more incremental improvements today, both mentally and physically. She is showing more strength and determination trying to sit up on her own and expressing desire to get up and go. She was able to feed herself some soup for dinner with her right hand, and is using her left hand a little more.

She is more aware of where she is and why, but we have only explained the injuries that she can see or feel. It would seem like her confusion is a confusion between dreams and reality. In addition her senses are bombarding her brain and she is having a hard time filtering. This can be overwhelming for her and get her a bit frantic. This is why we are asking for no visitors at this time. The area we are in doesn't have as nice or as large a waiting room as the ICU, so there is less immediate family around at any given time. It is possible to walk right in and see Kate, but we ask that people don't. We understand that people want to see the family too, so it would be best to call first to check if there is someone to visit with before coming up. We (myself and Kate's family) are asking this because we feel that it is what's best for Kate and her healing. If it was just the physical injuries we would likely be inviting people all the time, but since it is her brain we are trying to be very deliberate with the experiences she is having.

On a positive note, Kate's french seems to be fantastic. She was working on brushing it up this spring in order to get her qualifications to become a french teacher and was worried it had left her. She has been speaking fluent french to Doug and Claire whenever they spend time with her, and even when she gets confused she sticks with it. Another reason to be amazed by the brain.

To close, please continue to pray for Kate's healing and recovery. The process of healing from brain injury is still a very puzzling area and most of it is left to the body to recover. None of the doctors can really tell us what to expect because she beaten the odds and made more progress then they are used to seeing. Please pray that her healing keeps beating the odds and we have our Kate back soon.
Paul on 04.13.08 @ 10:05 PM EST [link]

Saturday, April 12th

Day 16

Another day, more tea, and now some soup. Kate is continuing to improve, and getting stronger. Her confusion and frustration comes in waves that seem to be shorter and less severe. She is more aware of where she is and why, but still not able to put it all together. Its hard to describe, but we are seeing improvements. They are taking her off some of the more potent pain killers and that seems to help as well.

Her strength is improving too. Yesterday she was barely able to sit up with help, today she was able to do most of the work herself. It isn't tiring her out quite as much, and I imagine that it will improve over the next few days.

Not much else to report on. The infection is still there, but her fever was gone today. Its pretty quiet there on the weekend, so we don't expect to have much news to report. The nurses are enjoying having Kate there as she's very polite to them and comes out with some really good lines now and then.

Paul on 04.12.08 @ 10:04 PM EST [link]

Friday, April 11th

Day 15

Today's big news has to be that Kate is back to drinking tea. The past two weeks are probably the longest stretch Kate has ever gone without tea, so she was quite happy to have a small taste, even if it was through a straw. She's allowed to sip liquids now, so of course she is requesting tea.

In addition to the tea, I'd say that the day went quite well. We started with physio having Kate sit up in bed again and support herself for a little while. In the afternoon we had another CATscan of her brain and an electro cardiogram of her heart. The CATscan showed us how much improvement there has been with the damage, but that there is still some healing that needs to be done. I'm no expert, but from what I was shown and how it was explained to me the progress is quite remarkable.

The electro cardiogram was to check to see if there is any infection in the valves around the heart. She is still fighting some infections, so they needed to make sure it wasn't going to affect her heart. The initial results are that there was nothing obvious, so that's encouraging. They seem to be taking her infections quite seriously and have her on the strongest antibiotics available. She has had a mild fever and elevated white blood cell count, but those seem to be coming down. Please pray that those stay down and the infection goes away.

We are also happy with Kate's cognitive improvements. She is improving every day, and the connections seem to be coming back together. She's getting some details mixed up, and can get worked up easily. It was easier to calm her today, and she was able to stay focused longer. Please pray that we continue to see these types of improvements until she is back to 100%.

Sorry for posting this so late, but from now on I expect to be posting later in the evening after I leave the hospital.
Paul on 04.11.08 @ 11:22 PM EST [link]

Thursday, April 10th

Day 14

Wow, another big day. Kate got a decent sleep last night, and slept again for a couple hours into the afternoon. Once she was awake she was chatty and pretty happy about everything. Her voice is still a whisper, but stronger than yesterday. About mid afternoon a bed opened up at the step-down unit in the trauma ward, so they moved her up there. It was a pretty big deal for us to leave the ICU after spending 2 weeks there.

Now that we're in the step-down ward its apparent that our main challenges are to do with Kate's head injuries, and the recovery process involved there. She is exhibiting some of the classic symptoms, and this is can be difficult to handle. We are seeing aspects of the Kate we know which is very comforting, but there is a lot of confusion and strong emotion. Please pray for her progress, and us as we go through these steps with her.

Here's a note from Kate's mum:

This is a very personal thank you to all of you who have chosen to leave comments on Paul's site. You have been a balm for me during this journey. At the end of each day I look forward to reading your comments and the scriptures that you have chosen to share with us. I am encouraged so much and reminded that Our Lord is able to handle this situation for Our Kate and that foremost she is His Kate.
Thank you for standing and kneeling by us.
Meg Dias [Kate's Mum]

Paul on 04.10.08 @ 10:23 PM EST [link]

Day 13c

A quick add on to today's news... Kate was continuing to talk off and on for the rest of the day and evening. We're trying to get her to sleep, but she is quite restless, which apparently is normal for this type of brain injury. She was coming out with some weird stuff, but also having really special moments with us. I'm sure it will be better tomorrow when her throat has had a chance to get over having a tube in it for almost two weeks.

So they are going to keep her in the ICU tonight and possibly move her to the step-down ward tomorrow. This is dependent on the number of beds available, so might not happen right away.

Regarding visiting Kate... we are still asking people to hold off even when she gets moved out of the step-down ward. Our number one concern is Kate's well-being and recovery, and it is still too soon for her. She has some catching up to do in terms of the last two weeks as well as understanding the road ahead. It would be too much to deal with those things as well as visiting with a large number of people. We understand that it may be hard to wait, but when the time comes we will be sure to let everybody know. If you have any questions, please feel free to send me an email:">
Paul on 04.10.08 @ 12:44 AM EST [link]

Wednesday, April 9th

Day 13b

Forget baby steps, we just had a giant leap forward. The doctors took the tube out today at 1:30 and not only is she breathing on her own she's talking. A huge blessing for us and a giant sigh of relief. Her voice is very weak, so its a wisper, but that's to be expected after having a tube in there for almost 2 weeks.

She's a bit confused about things and why everybody is so happy to see her. I received a few emails today from some of her classmates about a project they did. Her face lit up when I told her how well she did.

Going back in to see her, but I'll post again tonight.
Paul on 04.09.08 @ 03:58 PM EST [link]

Day 13

A quick update... we've been told that there's a good chance the tube will come out today at 2pm. They have taken every precaution and it seems like they are at the point where they will just do it. At this point we're hoping, but we'll have to see at that time. Please pray that her airway is able to keep itself open and they aren't forced to do any emergency procedures to reopen it.

The sedation is a little lighter today and she is looking quite comfortable. The nurse braided her hair into two ponytails this morning which looked quite nice.

I'll try to update again this afternoon saying whether or not the tube came out, and how that went.
Paul on 04.09.08 @ 11:45 AM EST [link]

Tuesday, April 8th

Day 12b

Nothing really new to report tonight. Some different specalists saw Kate at 5:30 and there's a decent chance they will extubate tomorrow. We'll have to see when it happens and we hope it goes smoothly. There are many possible complications that the doctors are trying to avoid so we pray that it goes smoothly.
Paul on 04.08.08 @ 10:50 PM EST [link]

Day 12

No big news yet today. We're still waiting to hear if the tube is coming out, so I'll post another update is we hear anything. They have Kate sleeping now and she's been like that all day.

Everything else is progressing slowly but in the right direction. Her body is pretty much covered in bruses but even those are getting better. Last night she did the thumbs up with her left hand, which I hadn't seen yet (only with her right hand). Anyway, an anxious day waiting with not much to report on.
Paul on 04.08.08 @ 02:45 PM EST [link]

Monday, April 7th

Day 11

Well today we had a pretty uneventful day. The specialist came to see Kate about the breathing tube at about 2:30 and decided to keep it in for another 24 to 48 hours. The cuff leak is still really small, suggesting that there is still swelling in her throat. The belief is that this was caused at the crash scene when the paramedics tried to intubate her. They had a hard time getting it in, so some trauma mave have resulted from their efforts. Tommorow the doctor is going to come back and check the tube again and bring his scope to see if he can see anything.

Otherwise there wasn't much new happening. I haven't heard the official word about the cat scan, but it seems that it isn't anything too serious.

The infection in her lungs seems to have cleared as she is only coughing up clear stuff.

Since they were hoping to extubate today they had her on low levels of sedation. As a result she was quite active. She's constantly moving her right leg and trying to manouver her hands to pull tubes out. These are good signs even though it can be hard to watch her move around like that.

Final update on her condition is her face. Initally she had very little visible damage to her head, just some scratches to her left cheek, a bad cut on her left ear. The scratches are basically gone and her ear is healing well. The jaw is swollen from the surgery, but that is going down now.

We ask that you continue to pray for Kates recovery and the family as we walk with her through each of these steps. The support from friends, family, coworkers and Kates's classmates has been a great blessing and is really helping all of us manage.
Paul on 04.07.08 @ 06:00 PM EST [link]

Sunday, April 6th

Day 10b

A small add-on to today's update to address a few issues.

The therapy used to help Kate's left ear seems to have been successful and they have stopped that for now.

Kate's hemoglobin level has been low so they gave her two more units of blood today. I think this is the first new blood since Saturday (when she had surgery). Thank you to everybody who has donated blood in the past, and please continue to do so.

Cat scan results aren't official at this point, but indications are that there are no blockages in her digestive tract, but that the issue is intestinal shock due to prolonged blood loss. If this is the case it should heal, but will take some more time.

And we're on a wait and see status with the breathing tube...
Paul on 04.06.08 @ 08:57 PM EST [link]

Day 10

Still no progress with the breathing tube today. They did the leak check and her throat is still too swollen to let air pass around the tube when they deflate the cuff that seals it in her throat. So we're in a similar position of wait and see until tomorrow.

Another issue presented itself yesterday with food absorption problems. They have been feeding with a tube, but had to stop because it was just sitting in her stomach. There are a few other digestion issues so they did an xray today to see is there any issues resulting from the spleenectomy. Those were inconclusive so they have scheduled a catscan for this afternoon to get more info. Hopefully this is nothing major, but one concern is an infection where her spleen used to be.

So another anxious day waiting for the swelling to go down and seeing if there any digestive issues. In general they have been keeping Kate sedated since yesterday afternoon. They will keep her this way until she is ready to have the tube removed.

Thank you for all the encouraging comments. We really appreciate the kind words and prayers. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have better news about the tube and the results from the cat scan.
Paul on 04.06.08 @ 01:43 PM EST [link]

Saturday, April 5th

Day 9

Well, we just heard that the tube isn't quite ready to come out. That was definately a bit of a let down for us because we feel like we've been so close for so long. They had lowered her sedation this morning in order to prepare her for possible extubation.

I was able to spend quite a bit of time with her this morning before the doctor's did their rounds. This was nice because she was able to interact with me more then she has been before. Her eyes are making eye contact more than we've seen and she seems to be more purposeful with her hands. She is still trying to pull on tubes and lines but she seems to stop when told. I tried to explain what was going on and where she was. We have have been telling her that all along but we've never been sure how much of it she comprehended. I'm still not sure how much of that will sink in but it seemed to settle her a bit. She is showing a bit more strength on her left side, squeezing a little harder and opening it. She is also lifting her left knee a bit higher.

So today our prayers are still focused on getting Kate strong enough to get the breathing tube and staying out. She is going to be on less sedation now so we hope she is able to sleep lots and not get too bored.

As mentioned before we have been learning more about the details of the accident and Kate's initial status. Welland fire and rescue were the first on the scene and were followed by the Niagara OPP. It took about 70 minutes to extricate her from the car. She experienced seizures (not sure exactly when) and had a very low blood pressure and pulse. When they took her into the OR in Hamilton they found that she had lost 3 litres of blood from her internal injuries. For a point of comparison, the average person has only 5 litres of blood. Some of that loss would have been blood and blood products they had given her. I am only saying this to illustrate how dire the situation was and how blessed we have been with her progress. We still have a long path to travel but considering where we have come from it is easy to find joy in the small victories.
Paul on 04.05.08 @ 12:13 PM EST [link]

Friday, April 4th

Day 8

*small update below*
Not a big update yet... Its 10:30 and the doctors haven't made it to Kate on their rounds so we don't know the full plan for today. There was a cuff leak on her breathing tube last night, which is a good thing and a sign that she is getting closer to breathing on her own. I imagine we will know soon what the plan is.

They changed all her IV lines and antibiotics yesterday to fight the infection. No word on its status but her fever seems to have come down.

We're also noticing that most of her swelling is gone, save her right cheek and left ankle. Initally her whole body was quite swollen and was for the first few days. Apparently this has a lot to do with all of the blood products they had to give her at first.

The open fracture on her right shin seems to be healing well. The nurses have been checking it and there doesn't seem to be any signs of infection.

Anyway,things are progressing and I'll try to put up another update when we hear from the doctors.

*update* 2:00pm
The doctors need to do an xray on Kate to see if the breathing tube is ready to be removed. We are still waiting for that but hopefully it will happen soon.

*update 2*
They decided not to do the xray today and based on yesterday's xray they are going to wait until tomorrow. Kate is doing well and she is opening her eyes more and making eye contact.
Paul on 04.04.08 @ 10:43 AM EST [link]

Thursday, April 3rd

Thursday update

As mentioned in the quick update the surgery was successful and we were hopeing to have the breathing tube removed. Well, we had a bit of a setback today in that regard. We had been told to expect bumps in the road and today we had two.

The first is that the breathing tube isn't ready to be removed. They did some checks this morning and found that her airway is a bit swollen (likely from the surgery) so they want to wait for that to open up a bit more before they extubate. They will be checking this later today but we don't expect to get it out today.

The other setback is that Kate has an infection. The same bacteria is in her blood and lungs and they have changed the antibiotics ahe is on to treat it specifically. This is unfortunate, but quite common in this type of situation. They are also changing her IV lines in case they are contributing to infection.

A piece of good news that wasn't reported on yesterday was the clearing of Kate's lower spine. They are able to put her in different positions now including on her side and bending at the waist so that will help the physiotherapy she is getting.

So the prayer requests are for her infection and airway. These are things that can be expected but the sooner they get better the sooner she can move out of the ICU. At this point it doesn't look like that will happen before the weekend but we are hopeful that it will be soon.

Thanks again for all the comments, everybody in the family has been really encouraged by them. We will be sharing the emails with each other eventually, but for now the comments are being read by all of us.
Paul on 04.03.08 @ 12:07 PM EST [link]

Wednesday, April 2nd

Wednesday night

*update at the end*
Sorry for the late update tonight but plans have been up in the air all afternoon. Close to the scheduled time for the operation we were told that it had been delayed and were behind 2 other operations. The expected time was 11pm provided they didn't have any other delays. This wasn't great because it would have been likely that it would be delayed to tomorrow. So the good news is that plans changed again, and when I went in to see Kate at 8:30 they were preparing her for surgery. By 9:30 they were in the OR and we expect it too take 2 hours or so.

So its 10:45 now and we're waiting for the surgery to finish. I'll update this again after the surgery.

The surgery was a success and we were able to see Kate at 12:30 after they had brought her back to the ICU. The breathing tube is still in but we expect it to be removed today.
Paul on 04.02.08 @ 10:50 PM EST [link]

Wednesday morning

Ok, we've got the word from the doctor about the next little while. First off the jaw surgery is scheduled for today at 5pm. As mentioned earlier, this is holding up the extubation, which is needed before she is allowed to leave the ICU. They might take the tube out tonight (if the surgery goes well), but it sounds more likely that it will happen tomorrow morning when there more people around to make sure she is able to maintain her airway.

The other progress has been Kate's awareness of her surroundings. Last night when Joe was in with her she was playing with his ring and bracelet, then to his surprise she started snapping her fingers. I imagine she's quite pleased with this new trick and was happy to do it for a little later in the night. That said, we were out of the room most of the night so that she could sleep. She knows when people are around and gets moving around. This is good, but right now its more important that she gets her rest.

We also got comfirmation that we were out of the 5 day period of risk for increased brain swelling and that she was doing well in that regard. They said that there was no need to do follow up catscans because she is responsive and showing signs of improvement.

The last bit of good news was the topic of Kate leaving the ICU. No specific timeline, but the fact that the doctor's are talking about it is nice. Her next step would be sub-accute ward which is an intermediate step before moving to the normal ward.

So prayers for her surgery and extubation that there are no complications. I have been reading the emails everybody has been sending, and I plan to read them to her when she's more awake.
Paul on 04.02.08 @ 11:49 AM EST [link]

Tuesday, April 1st

Tuesday night update

A few more baby steps since the last update this morning. Kate is showing a little more strength and purpose in her movements even though she is clearly affected by the pain killers she is on. When I was in with her this afternoon she was spinning my ring on my finger, and seems to make eye contact when she opens her eyes. Her right hand is stronger than it has been, and she has enough movement with it that they have had to restrain it to make sure she doesn't rip out the breathing tube.

They have reduced the breathing machine down to its minimum setting now, so she is basically doing all of the breathing for herself. At this point she is ready to have it removed, however the jaw surgery is holding that up. We were hoping to get a spot in the OR today, but nothing was available. We are on the list for tomorrow, but we don't have a sepecific time, so we'll have to see what happens in the morning. There is the possibility of complications when you remove a breathing tube then put it back in quickly, so they are trying to avoid that by waiting.

Another small thing was that the nurse washed Kate's hair today and got it looking nice (thank you Joey for the hair products). Last night the nurse was able to get all the tangles out with some spray in conditioner, but was unable to fully wash it with the neck brace on.

That's most of the things that happened to day. We are really hoping that the surgery will be scheduled for tomorrow and the breathing tube will be removed. At this point those are the big things that need to happen for Kate to move out of the ICU. We're not sure how long they will keep here in there, but its looking like there is an end in sight for this step.

Thank you to everybody who has left a comment, sent an email, called, made something or dropped by. We have had tremendous support in this from everybody, and that has been a great blessing to us. We are also very thankful for all the prayers people have been saying for Kate, myself, the doctors and our family. We feel very comforted and have a great deal of confidence that we will come out on the other side stronger in our faith and closer to one another. Thank you.
Paul on 04.01.08 @ 08:24 PM EST [link]

Tuesday morning update

Another small step forward this morning with results of the MRI. No ligiment damage was visible so they cleared of Kate's neck and the removed the collar. They will now be trying to schedule the jaw surgery today or tomorrow. Once that's done they should be able to remove the breathing tube.

Kate is more awake now, and the breathing tube is obviously uncomfortable. She is also more agitated and moving around in her bed, but this is a good thing in terms of her recovery. Her eyes are more engaging and she seems to be understanding more of what we are saying. Her left side is still a lot weaker and we have been told that it may take a long time for that to recover.

Anyway, that's the news this morning. Once again, thanks for all the prayers for Kate, and please keep them coming.
Paul on 04.01.08 @ 10:32 AM EST [link]

This page is maintained by