You might remember at the beginning of August I posted a prayer request for a friend's brother-in-law (Mike) who suffered severe burns over 60% of his body. I've been praying nightly for this man whom I've never met, devastated at the thought of such a tragedy happening to such a young family. My friend and her family heroically relocated back east to care for the three young children involved and will be there at least through next spring.
I emailed and asked for an update on Mike's condition. Here are updates from shortly after the accident, and then from this week:
"He still has the bacteria/mold issue going, and is running a fever. BUT they have already completed a bedside tracheotomy and still plan on beginning his first graft tomorrow. He has shown signs of awareness in the past 24 hours. He has responded to the voices of his wife and mother - blood pressure rising, brief movements, and slight opening of the eyes. Encouraging signs that both mom & wife needed to witness!
"Also Mike has a sort of blog devoted to his progress. Sondra registered him on carepages.com under the name "CORQY". You do have to register - just to keep out the weirdos. But she is posting daily updates, and there is room to comment.
"Your readers had inquired about contributing to the family. Please know that while Sondra is not soliciting contributions - she is so grateful for the outpouring of love and support, even from total strangers. I believe her employer has set up a contribution account, however it is a regional bank.
"I know more than anything she wants for people to learn from her experience. That your life can drastically change in the blink of an eye. She is hopeful that others will use this tragedy as a wake up call to 1) put personal SAFETY above all else on the job site ; and 2) organize business affairs so someone can take over in an emergency..
(While he did keep notes, his filing system for bids, billing, receivables, etc. is primarily in his head - and he cannot communicate!)
"Here are links to the most recent local articles (here and here).
"Thank you again for your thoughts and support!"
"Hi Patrice! Thanks for inquiring about Mike and the family. We are in the 10th week now. He had his sixth and final graft a couple weeks ago and is now beginning occupational/physical therapies. It will be a long and extremely strenuous haul for him. Still on the ventilator but at a low setting. There is an issue with one lung not inflating completely, and still some degree of pneumonia. The pneumonia will not improve until the vent is removed. He was having an issue with extreme anxiety when they began weaning him from some of the meds. That issue has subsided since his med combination was adjusted, and some of the stronger meds are clearing his system. He now has periods of alertness, understands where he is, and how long he's been there. He still has very limited communication ability - primarily signals like blinking eyes, wiggling toes. The goal is to have him home by Christmas - but that will depend a lot on his motivation during therapy. While there are no more graft procedures, he will require laser and plastic surgeries.
"The children are doing remarkably well in spite of the circumstance. School is going well and overall we've had very few issues. I believe a lot can be attributed to them being in their own home, sleeping in their beds, with consistent people caring for them. Their mama is typically here 3 or so nights a week. Several families from their church have offered to keep them while she's away, but we want to keep them in their own space as long as possible. Our lives can return to relative normalcy at some point, but there is very little of those little girls' lives that will be untouched by this accident. Playing hide-and-seek, a day at the beach, or even a simple outdoor picnic with their daddy will be difficult for some time."
Update from Sondra, Mike's wife:
"Another day of progress for Mike. He was removed from ICU status today, and is now considered a floor patient. With that, they removed the monitors of heart rate, blood pressure, etc. He still has the oxygen monitor (and will as long as he remains with the trach). They were able to cap the trach today, and he was able to talk some.
They also administered a swallowing test today - and he passed. This means they can start liquids and then progress quickly to food if all goes well. His feeding tube will remain in place, and he will continue to get nutrition from that until his eating is at the level to supply his body with the required calories (the calorie requirements are still quite large to facilitate continued healing, and will be for some time).
"The physical therapy, occupational therapy and the emotional impact are still large obstacles to navigate. However, the improvements we have seen over the past weeks are amazing. The glory goes to God - thanks once again for the continued prayers on our behalf."
I can't emphasize enough how much prayers are helping not only Mike, but his family as well. Please continue to support them. Mike has a long, long, long road ahead of him.