update: Garrett's day was filled with ups & downs, a CT scan which showed minor improvement of the pneumonia, also showed no clots or further infections, though he continues to spike fevers, but responds to Tylenol. Most have concluded that the "bottoming out" spells he is having when moved or repositioned is actually "anxiety attacks' for lack of a better word.
(cont'd:) so, baby step forward today, hoping for at least 2 tomorrow (today actually) Please continue to remember Jeniifer's family, The Leonards, of Hoover/Vestavia, and also remember the adjusters of companies who are seeing such destruction, grief and sadness day in and day out right now because it's their job.
Garrett's lungs were still not responding well to the antibiotics, so he continued on the ventilator. Sedation was light enough for him to wake and comunicate slightly with his family. After coming home from the hospital on Fri. night, Frank wrote:
update: as Janell & I stood by his bedside tonight, holding Garretts hand, it was obvious that he was dreaming. He would squeeze your hand so hard that it actually hurt, then when you would wake him, he had this wild look in his eyes which would soften when he realized we were holding it. We believe he is reliving the storm in his dreams.
He has communicated to his brother that he is having nightmares, and asked Kevin if he was too. Kevin told him dreams of finding him ion the rubble and etc. We have told the dr's and they have started medication they think will subdue them. our next specific prayers are for peace in his mind, heart and sub-conscience. Words can't express our thanks to everyone for lifting us up!
Frank's pattern was to update every night after coming home from the last visiting hour of the day.
Update: Thank God 4 an uneventful day! His resp. statistics R improving. Dr's have added Adivan (sp) to help him chill out & are seeing slight improve. in his sleeping spells. Sort of relating this to Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, in my mind at least. I can't imagine NOT being able to talk, cry, vent emotions. I will be in church in the AM service, so any calls after 12:30 please.
Sun. night, May 8
Update: Garrett had a peaceful day of rest today. No real setbacks, but resp. issues are still the main comcern. Found out 10 days after the fact, he has 3 fractured ribs on lft side, which explains having to take short shallow breaths, just any movement would put him in pain and deep breaths are impossible.Some minor fractures on the "wings" of cerv vertebrae also has some swelling in region of T4, T5, T6 vertebrae but neurosurgeons have determined surgery is Not needed on any of the affect. vert. at this point, they think they will heal on their own. May God answer each of your needs & concerns as He is answering prayers for Garrett. We love you all, strangers & friends!
Update: It's a good day when he doesn't take any steps backwards. Thank you Father! He will have a trachea tube put in tomorrow for vent. Dr's believe this will free up jaw movement & he'll be much more comfortable. Please pray for Jenn's mom, Brenda Leonard. She is having a really tough time. Decisions that are legally Garretts and his alone concerning Jenn must be made but at the right time for him.
At some point, Garrett required the insertion of a chest tube in his left side, to drain out extra fluid surrounding his lung, inhibiting its expansion.
Tues. night, May 10
Update: Garretts oxygen levels dropped Mon PM>Tues AM, so trachea surg canceled, will try again Wed. As of 10:15pm Tues, his O2 stats were much improved so his vent settings were adjusted downward slightly. Major prayer concern is his lungs. Dr has said that all tornado survivors are suffering bad pneumonias' due to the foreign matter inhaled. Garretts size and lung capacity means he inhaled more of it. We'll discuss sensitive issues in the next 48-72 hours w/him, that hopefully won't cause a reversal of his levels, but provide much needed answers for all involved in the loss of Jennifer. Please pray for the Leonards & especially Garrett. We feel the prayers of everyone & are getting stronger in His arms each day. We are not worthy of your love/concern, but ask Him to bless all of you for bearing our burdens
Wed. night, May 11
Update: another uneventful day. All med teams have revisited their different tests & no other explanation is availble for Garretts inability to maintain desired O2 levels. Their only explanation is that his body is working so hard to repair so many injuries that it's healing abilities are just stretched to the max. A patient with just pneumonia might recover in 2 weeks, but in his case....?
Jennifer's mother was having a meltdown about the delay in Jenn's funeral. She and the rest of the family needed closure, so she broached the idea of a graveside service soon, with a memorial service after Garrett was released.
We discussed w/Garrett going ahead with services for Jennifer both last night and today, just to be sure he was comprehending us and remembering it. Chances are a graveside srvc will be this Sat. & possible a memorial when he's able. Just broke my heart to see him answer yes to allowing it. Breaking bad news twice to my #3 son, is no easier than it was to Brandon. Fathers are not suposed to have to do this.
Trachea vent tube surgery will be sometime Thurs., per his drs. They insist it will happen unless his stats tank during the night. praying this will be his turning point. They say God collects every tear you shed. Well, I guess I'll have a swimming pool in heaven! Thanks, everybody, for keeping us in your prayers. We are stronger because of you!
We all know that life goes on, even in the midst of a crisis. Frank and Janell began the paperwork for filing insurance claims, FEMA forms, and forwarding mail that could no longer be delivered to the wiped-out community. One of these items was a dress Jennifer had ordered to take with them on a cruise they had planned with their best friends. This is the week they would have been gone.
On Thurs, Garrett hit a brick wall:
Not a good day. No trachea surgery. Did a CT scan for blood clots-none, but required a follow-up bronchoscopy (camera into lungs). When they finished this procedure his O2 fell critically. Have him on 100% oxygen, induced paralysis and full ventilator breathing. Have never been where I couldn't hear or feel God, not a good feeling. O2 level will be monitored closely. Going back to hosp. tonight.
Please pray specifically for healing of Garretts lungs, and pray that we all get peace. I am trying to pray away the spirit of fear, but its so hard.