Monday, May 26th

Day 60 (weekly update)


No big updates on the medical front, but small steps of progress in the right direction. Today we met with the general surgeon that performed the life saving operation to remove Kate's spleen. He was throughly amazed at Kate's progress and expressed to us that he did not expect to be talking to her in such great shape this soon after the accident, or at all. We are very thankful that even though the situation did not look promising the medical experts still gave their best effort to save Kate. We are even more thankful that they were successful.

Kate's follow up appointments from the hospital are wrapping up, and with that the therapy is stepping into high gear. Physiotherapy will be one of the main focuses in the next little while as the physical limitations she faces are the most obvious right now. These will be quite tiring as Kate has to rebuild a lot of strength. Please pray for her as she progresses through this stage and the challenges that it will bring. The emotional challenges are as big, if not bigger than the physical ones, so please include those in your prayers as well.

Kate is also back online and can be reached via email at: kate (at) kategraham (dot) ca
Paul on 05.26.08 @ 11:46 PM EST [link]


Monday, May 19th

Day 53 (weekly update)


As mentioned in last week's update we were scheduled to see the dental surgeon this week. The good news is that Kate's wiring was removed, the bad news is that it was a painful process. Thankfully that is behind us, and the last visible device has been removed. Kate also went to physio last week and learned a bit about what to expect (she'll need to work hard).

Looking forward our prayer requests are that Kate continues the progress we have been seeing in her recovery. Each little step gets us closer to "normal" and the small victories are important for morale. Some days are better than others, but that is to be expected and the overall progress is in the right direction. Kate is starting to make contact with some friends and family which has been excellent but tiring for her. Kate is so thankful for the contact people have been making, and appreciates all the care and concern people have been showing her. The challenges she is facing are many, but are more manageable knowing that so many people are praying for her.
Paul on 05.19.08 @ 11:11 PM EST [link]


Monday, May 12th

Day 46 (weekly update)


The first week back home is behind us, and things are rolling along. We had a number of appointments last week, mostly just to follow up on the hospital treatment, with one big exception. Last Wednesday Kate had her cast removed and the x-ray showed that she didn't need to get a new one. This was fantastic news, except that now Kate is relearning how to walk (again). She is recovering well, but having a cast on for 6 weeks creates its own challenges in addition to the others she already has. All the other follow-up appointments have been uneventful, which is great news, and an answer to prayer.

We continue along the road, knocking off the follow-up appointments and setting up the next steps of the treatment. Please continue to pray for Kate in her recovery and the challenges it is presenting. A specific area to consider is her mobility and ability to walk without assistance. In addition this week Kate will be seeing the surgeon that worked on her jaw. We are hoping that the wiring is ready to be removed, as this will make Kate more comfortable. Thank you for your continued prayers.
Paul on 05.12.08 @ 11:14 PM EST [link]


Partner for Life


A note regarding a blood drive Kate's classmates have organized in Kate's honour. This week's update will come later this evening.

On March 27th at 10:15pm my wife was in a head-on car accident that was caused by a drunk driver. She sustained a number of life threatening injuries that required emergency surgeries and procedures to save her life. One of the major contributors to her survival was the use of blood, platelets and fresh plasma that were given to her by the trauma team. Those blood products were donated by volunteers through Canada Blood Services.

We are all aware of the need for blood donors, however sometimes it takes circumstances like this to make us fully aware how important your donation can be. The simple fact is that if people did not donate their blood I would not have my wife today.

Kate's classmates at Charles Sturt University, where she was attending Teacher's college, have organized a blood drive in honour of Kate. I will be donating blood as part of that blood drive and I am encourage others to donate.

Many of people reading this may have never donated blood, and some may very good reasons for that. I am asking that if you have chosen not to in the past that you reconsider your reasons and think about how donating could help someone else like Kate who requires your donation to live.

Kate's classmates will be donating at the Burlington clinic (at Brant and the QEW) over the next couple days, however you can donate at any Canada Blood Services location. You can call 1-888-2-donate or go online at www.blood.ca to arrange an appointment at a location near you.

Canada blood services has a program called "Partners for Life" that allows you to have your donation counted in someone's honour. If you would like to donate in Kate's honour you can sign up online here. Kate's Partner For Life ID# is INSU009157, partner name is "In Support of Kate Graham". If you go to a clinic and would like to donate in her honour, please mention it when you sign up and they can provide you with the appropriate information.

I would like to say thanks in advance to everybody who donates, and especially those who donate in Kate's honour. It is very meaningful to us that people would give of themselves in this selfless way.



Paul on 05.12.08 @ 04:09 PM EST [link]


Monday, May 5th

Day 39


Today is the last of the daily updates, and the first of the weekly ones. I'm not sure how this is going to work out, so we'll have to see how it goes.

This week we have a number of follow up appointments with some of the various doctors that treated Kate while she was at Hamilton General. We are praying that everything will be routine check-ups and that no further intervention would be required for Kate's recovery. One appointment in particular is to do with Kate's cast and what further treatment will be required for her broken leg. They will be removing her current cast and upon taking an x-ray will be determining if she needs another cast, and if so what type. The current cast is affecting Kate's mobility and balance, so we are praying that whatever is needed will also allow Kate to get around easier.

Please pray for these appointments as well the adjustments that we are all making as our situation changes. We had been running on adrenaline since the accident, and the reality of the situation and the consequences are beginning to set in. We have been really appreciative of your prayers so far, and we ask that they continue as we move forward as we need them now more than ever.
Paul on 05.05.08 @ 11:13 PM EST [link]


Sunday, May 4th

Day 38


With today being the last of the daily updates (tomorrow's will serve for a week) I have been struggling with what to post about. I feel that I have never come out and said what all Kate's injuries were in one posting. Here are the ones I have talked about.

I have mentioned that her spleen was removed because it had shattered and caused massive internal bleeding. This required major emergency surgery and a complex balance of blood and blood products. I have mentioned she broke her leg and that it is still in a cast that is proving to be a hindrance to Kate's balance and mobility. I have mentioned her fractured pelvis. I have talked about her head injuries and how the final effects of that will not be known for a long time, but that we seem to have avoided any major problems. I have mentioned the weakness she had on her left side that also resulted from the head injury, but that has improved greatly and is getting closer to normal. I have mentioned that her jaw was broken and dislocated and required surgery to repair. I have mentioned the issues with extubation and how that caused anxiety when it was delayed, but when it did happen Kate was whispering right away and hasn't stopped talking since. I have talked about the infection that she acquired and eventually shook once a number of antibiotics were tried.

I have mentioned other things in my postings, however there are many injuries, experiences, and events I have not included. Over the past month I have tried to keep the balance between keeping people informed as well as keeping our privacy. I strongly feel that keeping people informed helped people pray more effectively and during the time of acute care that was appropriate. Now that we are transitioning into a longer term rehabilitation and recovery I feel that daily updates would be less appropriate and would either be too vague to be useful or too personal for me to post.

I am thankful that people were able to follow this daily and be able to pray and encourage us each step of the way. Please continue to keep Kate, myself and our families in your prayers as we continue to recover from this tragic event.
Paul on 05.04.08 @ 10:59 PM EST [link]


Saturday, May 3rd

Day 37


Our first full day at home, and an exhausting one at that. Kate is so glad to be home, but all this change is proving to be exhausting. We have been reflecting a lot on the past month and the various experiences we have had. It is so clear how our prayers have been answered at each difficult stage and that is why we are asking that they continue. Kate is working on building her strength as her body continues to heal, and is finding this quite tiring. Her mum's cooking is helping lot, both physically and emotionally, but even that won't make everything better fast enough.

I think I have decided on Monday to be the day that I will switch over to a weekly posting. I won't be planning on posting anything between Monday's unless something specific comes up. Please keep Kate in your prayers even though there won't be daily postings. Thank you again for all the prayers, they are still very needed.
Paul on 05.03.08 @ 10:36 PM EST [link]


Friday, May 2nd

Day 36


Today was an early one for all of us. I don't think anybody was able to get a full night's sleep with the anticipation of today's discharge. When the time did come we went through the paperwork and then went down to the car and headed off.

The drive home presented a couple issues that are probably typical in these situations, but before long we were home. It was great to arrive home and see the decorations Kate's nephews had made for the front door, and even better to go through that door. The rest of the day was uneventful by design, and even still proved quite tiring for all of us.

I had been considering writing about all of the injuries that Kate sustained as a result of the accident, and talking how she was coming through all of that. I'm not going to write about that tonight, in part because I feel that writing about that would somehow send the message that everything was fine, and life was back to normal. On the surface some things may appear normal, but a second look shows that there are many wounds both physical and emotional. Both types of wounds will take time to heal. While a chapter of this story is complete, it is in no way the conclusion.

This next chapter is going to be an interesting one. Its starting with our plans for the weekend, but it includes next week and is starting to look beyond that. I don't know what is in store for us, but I do know that we have been greatly blessed to be at this point so soon. Please pray for us as we continue this journey. I have only a slight idea of what to expect going forward, but I know it will have its own challenges and rewards that are different from our previous experiences. Please continue to pray for Kate and the rest of us as you have been through the initial stages. Thank you.
Paul on 05.02.08 @ 11:56 PM EST [link]


Thursday, May 1st

Day 35


Finally, the last night that Kate has to spend away from home. I will be getting up early tomorrow morning and going to pick up my wife to bring her home. It is so nice to be able to say those words. I imagine it will be bitter sweet for all of us as it will be great to have Kate home, but we will be reminded that things are not the same. Today we had a number of items delivered that will help Kate manage some normal tasks with her physical limitations. These will be great tools, but will also serve as a reminder that life is not back to normal.

Today was a busy last day at rehab. Yesterday's exercises really tired her out, and she felt it in her muscles this morning. I imagine after today's work she will feel it even more tomorrow morning. Its a lot for the body to adjust to after a month of almost no activity. Kate is still finding difficulty with balance, but its hard to tell how much of that is related to the cast. We won't know for a little while yet, but next Wednesday we have an appointment to have that cast removed, x-rayed and most likely replaced (hopefully with a smaller lighter cast).

Today's prayer requests are to do with Kate's return home. It is going to be a very emotional time for all of us. There will also be some adjustments made by Kate and us with her current limitations. We ask that you pray for comfort, peace, patience and strength as we all make these adjustments.
Paul on 05.01.08 @ 11:32 PM EST [link]





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