Saturday, June 9, 2007

3rd Month Recap

WOW! How time flies.

3 months ago we got "THAT" phone call. While on a missions trip with Cedarville University, Dan, our youngest son, attempted a back flip and severely injured his C1 & C2 vertebrae . 2 weeks later we learned more about the 1st Minutes After the Accident. A severe contusion to the highest vertebra in his spinal cord caused a paralysis from his neck down, and requires a ventilator for his breathing.

Dan spent 2 weeks in Neurological ICU at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, and then transferred to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago just down the street from NMH. His stay here will be 3-5 months as stated in "nothing I didn't already know".

Dan's physical condition has not changed to date as his Spinal Cord Injury is termed complete. He could not eat by mouth, lost over 35 #'s and experienced a lower back sore [from a 9 hour transfer back to the USA] that became worse day by day. This will be fixed surgically in the next few weeks. He has been plagued by frequent headaches, high temperatures, and many 1-2 hour only nights of sleep.

His life now is about preparing to live life physically, mentally and spiritually as a quadriplegic who is also on a ventilator. There is no indication that his diaphragm will start working or that he will get off this ventilator.

Thankfully Dan did not sustain any head or brain injury. He is a quick study and does well on any new proceedures or challenge put before him. Here are a few GOOD highlights of Dan's progress.

  • He can speak normally with his Cuff Down, but has to keep it up at night, or his lungs get a build up of mucus. This 'up' time used to cause night time anxiety on Dan's part, but not in the past few weeks.
  • He has a power chair that he operates by "sipping or puffing" on a tube. It is not the straightest drive, and a wide hallway or large area is needed.
  • Via a computer, he has accessed his email, games, and web information.
  • He has ventured out in public, and is not concerned about the stares he gets.
  • His sleep has greatly increased in the past week. 6-7 hours of solid sleep.
  • His appetite for food is increasing daily. "I'd like a Happy Meal"
  • Visitors are welcomed with more interaction from Dan.
The "Ugly" or difficult areas of his rehabilitation are:
  • Transferring a 6'1" 150# lifeless frame in and out of his chair from his bed.
  • Showers - it takes 3 people in the handicap roll-in shower. 1) to Ambu bag him, 2) to wash his hair, shave and wash his face, 3) wash the rest of his body. This is done every other day. It's an hour plus long "event".
  • Chair to shower chair transfers.
  • Moving his trach tubes. They get knocked or bumped and cause discomfort to his trach.
  • Technology that does not always work right.
  • Spasms in his legs, that can affect his mental focus and cause anxiety.
  • Increasing his neck muscles so that he can hold his head up.
This photo of Dan and one of his campers is a favorite of ours. It encourages us during difficult times. Dan was ministering to children like this in Puebla, Mexico at the time of his accident. We have confidence that this "accident" will not stop Dan's future ministry opportunities. Everything in life is for the Glory of God. "This happened so the power of God could be seen in him." [Jn 9:3]

God Bless each and every one of you. Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers.


Jane-Jane said...

Dan, I am praying for the day that you get to go back to the camp and give your testimony as to how God is your provider. God gives each of us a testimony. Perry ( preached yesterday about how we ask God for direction and then tell Him no, we don't want to do THAT.

Dan, your testimony is very obvious (unlike many of us that hide behind our daily lives and don't show our struggles.) God is ROCKING many lives through your life. Mine included!

I'm praying for you, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

love, hugs and prayers, in Jesus' name,
Jane, your sister in Christ!

elj377 said...

Hey Dan!

WOW! You are truly an inspiration. Our pastor has been leading small group study on Sunday night instead of preaching and it has been focusing on the church both universal and local. I praise God that you can impact the Universal church through your testimony and the testimony of your whole family. It's amazing how miles don't change the body of Christ! We continue to pray. Have a great week and fun at the wedding!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recap on Dan. It was wonderful to see how much Dan has progressed since the accident that changed his life. The accident did not stop Dan's future opened the door to a ministry he had no idea he was going to have in the lives of so many people around the world. You said it clearly when you said,"This happened so the POWER of God could be seen in him." God has truly been seen in and through your family. Thank you for giving God the Glory and for truly living out your faith and walk in Christ.Keep looking up! The Basile Family

Papá to the best 2 said...

What a crazy 3 months Dan, but its so awesome to read through the recap of everything that has happened in that time see all the progress that you have made. It was really good to see how well you were last week. Keep up the great work.

"Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." Phil 1:19-21

Anonymous said...

Dan and family:
you are a true example to many people. Your faith in God is insipiring.
God is opening doors as we speak, and we trust that God will continue to use you (Dan) and your family to bring glory adn praise to God!!!
We continue to pray for you!!!

God bless you!!!

Vivas family

Anonymous said...

hey, Dan...several have said the word already in today's comments, but your testimony really is inspiring. you and your family have such a mindset for ministry and giving glory to God. thanks for sharing your journey with us...

Gerald said...

Dan and family,

I was thinking and praying for you this morning. God's grace to you in the days ahead. You are loved!

Gerald Hiestand
Family Pastor,
Harvest Bible Chapel

Jodi said...

Just a little hello from Jen's new sis. It was so good to see you this past weekend. Watching you grin at some of the "Jen" memories shared at the rehearsal dinner, be a part of the wedding (how blowing actually makes a wheelchair move is beyond me!), and seeing you dance with Jen at the Your perseverance, your determination, your thoughtful spirit shone through. It's an inspiration to me. Your whole family is! Thanks so much. Jodi Kraker