Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday, November 18

Thanks so much for the concern and well wishes.

Bill was hit by a limb in a falling tree late Monday morning. Our local (volunteer) EMTs responded very quickly and when they realized the extent of his injuries they called a helicopter in. The nearest and best-equipped trauma center was in Morgantown, WV, at WV University.  Billy broke cervical vertebrae 4, 5, & 6. Two of those three were fused in surgery Monday pm. He came through the surgery pretty well and was responsive to nurses, family, & visitors yesterday. He would wake up, open his eyes, and could nod or shake his head in response to questions. He has some gross movement in his right arm and very little in his left. One of the main concerns is how long his brain went without O2 after the accident. He is not as responsive as they had hoped, but he's also on some powerful pain meds. He's on a ventilator and started fighting it yesterday evening. They put him on a sedative that seems to have knocked him out for now. The O2 in the vent is down to 55 percent which is good. I think they will try to wean him off the vent tomorrow. He has a probe in his head monitoring brain swelling, which there is very little of. However, as long as he has the probe he cannot have an MRI. The MRI will tell us more about the extent of O2 deprivation but will not change his treatment at all. For that reason they are going to monitor the swelling a little longer and worry about the MRI when the probe is removed.

Today he goes in for minor surgery to install a filter in the vein returning blood from his legs to his heart (the  inferior vena cava.) The filter will catch any blood clots that might form in his legs and might break loose and potentially cause an embolism. This is only a precaution and is a very simple procedure.

It is still too soon to know what the long term effects of this accident will be. Some degree of paralysis is certainly possible, but is not certain. He is young, healthy, and strong. It's just too soon to know anything for sure. We are taking things hour at a time and are truly thankful for the progress we have seen so far. Your thoughts, prayers, and calls have meant so much to us. I will do my best to keep you informed.

No comments:

Post a Comment