Sunday, May 31, 2009

Day One - Surgery

Andrew went into surgery at 4:40 and the surgery ended at 6:40 - it was two hours long and went great! The doctor said that there were no surprises except that Andrew was a little bigger boy than he expected and they used an additional bone graft to fill the gap. But- they successfully removed all of the bone fragments (since the vertebrae was "completely pulverized" according to Dr.Yazbak who did the procedure). The doctor also said that "everything went like clockwork" and "the screws went in rock solid"- thank you for your prayers! Next step is WIGGLING THE TOES!

Andrew is back resting for the night, we will make sure to keep everyone posted. Also, the doctor even mentioned that Andrew should be able to sit up 90 degrees tomorrow although he still has the breathing tube and will for a few days to Andrew's chagrin. Feel free to leave messages or words for Andrew, we will make sure to share them with him.


Andrew was in a horrible accident at a hotel pool and was found at the bottom of the pool by a security guard. After being rushed to the hospital we found out that he had broken his neck and we were unsure of the possibility of brain damage from being underwater for so long.

Family and Friends gathered at the hospital and the prayers started for Andrew. After almost no reaction from Andrew, we feared the worst and the doctors were going to start to chill his body in order to take some tests in 24 hours. Before they began that process, however, Andrew opened his eyes for a moment, which was a small ray of hope. Because of this, they decided to give Andrew an MRI right away. On the way to the MRI, Andrew began to wake up, and, Thank God, by the time he was finished was able to communicate with the nurses and with us. While he has a breathing tube in, Andrew is shaking yes and no (despite a neck brace), blinking yes and no, and even wrote with a pen and paper. He wrote: Cold, Pain, Get the tube out, and an expletive- all of which gave the doctors and nurses reason to believe there was no brain damage.

We did get results from the MRI this afternoon and the doctor did assure us that Andrew has no brain damage. We have been in and out of his room assuring him that we love him and that things will be all right, and he has told the nurses that he does not remember anything from the accident, but that he is not afraid. The doctor also mentioned that he can not explain how Andrew went from no response this morning to such a positive response this afternoon- yet we know that the power of prayer is working and ask everyone for their continued prayers and support.

After meeting with the surgeon, Andrew will be going into surgery at 4:00 this afternoon to have his 7th vertebrae replaced. The bone has burst and a donor bone will replace the current pieces and then be bonded to the other vertebrae to help Andrew begin to recover. Several other vertebrae were fractured, and Andrew will have to wear a neck brace for at least 12 weeks to help those bones heal in addition to the surgery. We hope the doctor is able to remove the tube within a week or two as Andrew does not like it, but with this kind of injury it is difficult for the patient to ween off the breathing tube. The other partial good news that we received from the doctor is that Andrew did respond to pressure on his legs. He was able to let the doctor know if the pressure was from his right leg or left leg. The doctor let us know that the spinal cord, while not severed, was bruised. This can be a positive thing as it's up in the air as to what lower body recovery Andrew will have. While he is not able to wiggle his toes, this does indicate that there is a possibility that Andrew can regain feeling/sense in his lower body, which is our ultimate goal.

At this time please pray pray pray for a successful surgery and toe wiggling. It is a terrifying thing, but Andrew has been so strong and is doing better than can be expected.