GREETINGS, ALL! I have been terrible about posting updates on Thomas.
He is doing great! He has not been able to go back to work yet, but is working hard towards that goal. He still uses crutches but has begun putting weight on that injured leg, and he is in physical therapy several days a week. For those of you who know Tom as the athlete he is, he also pushes himself to the limit in physical endurance. I am so proud of how far he has come and of the way he has beaten the odds, but most of all, I deeply admire his positive attitude.
Tom is doing well in rehab. He said they wear him out a few times a day! He has been learning to do stairs, and has been getting around well in his wheelchair and his crutches. I don't know yet how long he will be there, but hope to find out on Tuesday. Thank you for your prayers!
Thomas went to the rehab facility today - YAY! It will be some hard work but he's ready for it. He sent me a text that said "Sidelined for 1/2 day by blood clot behind knee. Bed rest til filter put in tomorrow morning. Tarnation!" But it's nothing scary, he says. He is in good spirits and ready for them to bring it on. :)
Thomas got the results from his spinal/neck x-rays. No surgery will be required! He still has to use the neck and back braces but this is great news. Hopefully he will be able to move to the rehab facility this week. Thank you all again for your prayers and support!
I haven't really been comfortable saying anything publicly about the whole deal, because I didn't do anything significant. I was just out for a ride and I got hit by a car, which has happened, unfortunately, to a lot of cyclists. I don't want to seem desirous of undeserved attention. I finally got online, though, and was overwhelmed by the support and generosity from friends, family, cyclists and everyone, and I had to respond.
Recovering in the ICU the last few days, with bad lungs, broken back and broken leg, I have never felt more fortunate and grateful in my life.
I was completely irrational for most of the past week, and I don't remember anything at all from Sunday when they vented me until late Wednesday night, when I finally got lucid again with my brother Mike and my brother Craig in the room with me. I woke up Thursday morning and asked my body the standard questions about its willingness and ability to keep on keeping on. Usually, my creaky, 39-year-old mesomorphic heap of bones does its best to square the old shoulders and send forces to the fore. Thursday morning, I got nothing back. I had no urge to quit, but I didn't feel like I had any horses running for me. I was pretty damn scared. I thought of my kids, and I mouthed around the tubes in my throat to my brother: "Mike"¦am I going to die?" Mike's eyes got kind of round and he said "No Tommy. Of course you're not going to die."
It turned out Mike was right. The creaky old mesomorphic heap was just pissed off from fighting all night and wouldn't talk to me for a while. The docs took me off the vent later that day, and it's been onward and upward since. From that moment of lucidity on, I realized how mind-blowingly, freakishly and undeservedly fortunate I've been.
If my accident happens in a place without quick access to high quality trauma care, I'm dead. If Marshall, who has been such an amazing source of support, doesn't call 911 and stay with me in the gutter until the EMTs get there, I'm dead. If my subsequent lung infection happens in a place without the best doctors and nurses on the planet, I'm dead. It's completely ridiculous that I'm alive, moving and am wiggling the toes of BOTH my feet. To Marshall, the EMTs, and all the nurses and doctors at Creighton Medical: Thank you for saving me, twice, and giving my life and sons back to me.
It's also been confirmed again that I have more and better friends and family than I will ever deserve. That includes everyone who has sent wishes or donated. I have no way to be worthy of you. None. It's a weird place to be. The remaining physical pain is grateful, almost joyous in its import, and I cannot express how grateful I am to all of you.
I apologize for rambling on. The only thing I feel, at this, point, is pretty much gratitude towards everyone and everything.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, and much peace.
Tom has been moved to the step down unit! He should be going to an acute rehab facility next week.
He called me this morning, sounded absolutely fantastic! and will be posting a message to all of you later today. Once again, thank you for all the prayers, donations, caring, support, etc. You will all hold a special place in our hearts forever.
So it sounds like they are trying to move Tom out of the ICU today, to telemetry. Dad said they were waiting for a bed there. Great news! I talked to him on the phone for just a minute and he sounds wonderful
Hello this is Ann Burbach Gray, another one of Tom's sisters. I just wanted to thank everyone for the outpouring of support-we are so blessed. I spent part of the night with Tom last night beginning at 2 am. It was his first night off the vent, he was supposed to be using his CPAP and he was pretty anxious so we just visited. I told him about this site and he is humbled, he said " I can use the donations towards all the medical bills but I feel bad. I didn't do anything to deserve it except get hit by a car" We are all just so appreciative. Thank you again
Thomas got to try breathing for a little bit on his own today! Not able to get quite enough oxygen so he is still on the vent. I'm sure this is far more frustrating for him than for us, and any of you who know Tom know how much he loves to talk!Please keep the prayers coming - he will get through this.
News from my siblings who are at the hospital this morning...Tom's chest x-rays look a little better today than they did yesterday, which is great news. He is still on the ventilator though, still needs more time for his lungs (and him) to rest and heal. We are still awaiting the 72 hour results on a couple of cultures, but the doctors are proactively treating him.
He is resting fairly peacefully, according to one of my siblings.
Thank you to everyone who is praying for him, for the donations, for your care and support, You are ALL appreciated!
I went to visit Tom on my lunch break today. He seems less sedated, and it was heartbreaking to witness as he tried to tell/ask me something with the ventilator in, and I could not make out what he was trying to say. He kept trying to raise his hands, but they are loosely tied down to stop him from pulling the vent. I tried a notebook and paper, but he could not manage to write - not coherent enough for that.
I will find out more when I go back up tonight, but in the meantime, please keep the prayers coming!
Tom is resting peacefully on the ventilator. His lungs really needed a rest and this is the way to do it. He is being kept sedated for a couple of days to allow the vent to do what needs to be done. Thank you all for your support, love, prayers, and generosity.
Tom spent a rather restless night in the ICU. He has a little ICU delirium, which is common the nurses said. His pain is the least it's been since the accident, so that is good news. His chest x-rays this morning showed his lungs to have some infection. They are waiting on blood and sputum cultures to decide the best and most effective antibiotic treatment.
Tom Burbach was injured severely in an accident on May 20th, 2013. He was riding his bicycle when struck from behind by a car, which kept on going. He is in the ICU, and when released from the hospital will need to go to an acute rehab facility.
He is the father of twin boys, 7 years old, and also worked two jobs. I, as his older sister, am attempting to raise money for his considerable medical expenses and loss of income.
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