Yesterday Gabe had his first outpatient surgery clinic appointment. It looks like his incision is healing well. The sight of it could still make you weak in the knees though! Gabe has done well with his liquid diet so they are graduating him to a soft food diet as long as he chews everything excessively! Yesterday he had a piece of pizza (without a stomach, he has to eat small meals throughout the day). He said it was so good, a couple of hours later he had another piece, than another later in the day and then guess what he had for breakfast? Right! Cold pizza!
He is still having a lot of pain, which is normal. He says his new look is a permanent grimace. They have also been concerned about his spleen not functioning, so he has to be careful with his immune system. Overall, his recovery is going very well. He looks pale, weak and frail, but his spirits are good.
He is thankful for all of your prayers and support.
Gabe was released from Harborview Medical Center yesterday! Chris and I packed up his things on Friday while Claudia and daughters got a room ready. A new comfy bed was delivered as well.
Gabe was so happy to be out of the hospital! He is still on a liquid only diet and has a tube coming out of his side. He has to change his wound dressing a couple of times a day. His pain is still pretty high, but is diminishing as well. He's doing great considering, but was pretty tired as he settled into his room.
Your continued prayers are appreciated. Thank you for all of your support!
Today they are saying Gabe might be able to be discharged tomorrow! His white blood cell count is coming down, slowly, so it depends on what it looks like tomorrow. He is able to change his own wound dressing. He's tolerating trading liquids by mouth and already tired of both and Jello! :)
Chris will help me move stuff out of Gabe's apartment tomorrow and he'll stay with Uncle Chris and Aunt Claudia for recovery.
I was surprised when I saw Gabe yesterday and he was up walking around! I had left and came back with his guitar so he is now playing and working on getting his lungs strong again, for singing.
Thank you for all your prayers and support. Gabe has another long road ahead for his recovery and life may be even more different, but he's got a great positive attitude and is thankful for what he does have!
He passed! Gabe gets to start taking in liquids by mouth! He sipped some water and just ordered broth, juice and gelatin! #onehappycamper
The nurse had me change his wound dressing. Let's just say that isn't for the squeemish! Large, open incision down to muscle tissue. I'm surprised Gabe can look at it, but he said he's going to change dressings himself. There's about a 10" long incision with a one inch gap in the center that I had to pack wet gauze into. I'll spare you the rest of the details!
There is a little concern about the color of discharge and the white blood cell count.
I will be back at the hospital later today. I spoke with Gabe's nurse this morning. They are still monitoring his white blood cell count...it is high. No other signs of infection. He's had a little digestive issue with the feeding tube nutrition, so they will try another mix. Right now they are giving him a test where he swallows blue dye and they look at his esophagus with a scope to see if there is any leakage. If not, he can start having liquids by mouth! This would be wonderful for him!
"We have lift off! The epidural has been removed and he is now taking a walk with his nurse. He is so determined. The pain man came in and told him that they would work with him and his goals to get off the "meds". Still no fever, and haven't heard what his white count is yet. The cat scan decision is still up in the air depending on the white count results.
Just in : white count down a little.
Gabe seemed to have a restful night. ( heard him snore). He said he slept 1 1/2 hr.
He's resettled in bed and feels good. "
I talked to Gabe this morning as I'm still away,, working. He was in God spirits, but mentioned that he misses his stomach and wished he could eat pizza!
So! LAURIE, the PA said his white count is up 25,000 normal being 9,000. No fever so it could be just inflammation. Antibiotics will remain the same. Nausea meds. Increased and he will have a cat scan tomorrow of his wound and pelvis to get a good look at what's going on. The holes are a slight concern and there is some drainage (pus) that is a moderate concern she said.
Gabe is in such a good place here. He is going to have a bath now and get up in the wc for awhile. Chris and Claudia will be coming sometime today he said.
Thank you for praying . In the midst of all of this we are fine. Love hanging out with the boy. And we're being held.
Saturday morning update for Gabriel Kennedy from Connie Coalwell:
Just a little update from Harborview. Gabe seemed have a fairly restful night. The beepers went off a couple of times when an IV was empty . The pain mgmt. team breezed in and out saying all looked good. They are all so pleased with how good his wound is looking...healing nicely. He really wants to walk today. He has his prosthesis AND his clothes on his bed ready to go.
Connie (Bethany's Mom) is hanging out with Gabe tonight, up to Sunday! Here's her report:
"Gabe is doing so well. When I came in (about 5pm) he was just getting settled in bed. He had been up in a wheelchair for an hour looking out over the City! He tolerated it very well, not even dizzy. He was given pain meds and now he is resting. He asked if I had a Bible along and wanted to hear some verses. He never got tired of hearing it."
I am on the island working on catching up on life as I have a 3 day trip tomorrow. Forgive me if you send messages or call and I don't get back to you. I am just overwhelmingly busy!
Gabe didn't sleep well last night. I stayed in his room again and noticed he was awake coughing and saying ouch every few minutes. He is still slightly delusional from all the meds, but communicating regularly. Still, he's been a good patient and they've been able to remove the restraints and mittens. They are thinking of moving him out of icu to a regular room today. He still has the O2, but is breathing well on his own.
Chris is coming today and maybe Tashia too. They tag teamed me yesterday so I could get a shower and rest! #learningtoappreciatethesimplethings
Gabe has made a great deal of progress in his recovery. Every step of the way you have been with him. Your prayers and support have been a God-send! He is now walking with a prosthetic leg and without the use of a cane or crutch! Most of his cognitive abilities have returned. He still suffers from extreme fatigue (due to brain injury) and intermitten pain (due to the amputation of his leg and reconstruction of his shoulder). Yet, overall, his recovery has been miraculous and we anticipate him being able to eventually live a full and functional life! Although the person who hit Gabe was tried and convicted of felony hit and run, they do not have any assets and are currently unemployed. Contributing less than $35 per month, they are not really able to help with his past medical bills or his living expenses while he is in recovery. (Gabe is now on Washington Medicaid, but there were previous bills not covered.) Gabe has been denied Social Security Disability. We have hired attorneys to appeal and expect to win, but the court date has not even been set and won't be until sometime next year. At this time, Gabe receives $189 per month from the state of Washington disability. Since he cannot live on this, we have been relying on contributions from all of you to help cover his cost of living, care, legal fees and other expenses that are not covered by Medicaid. I have no idea what we would have done if we had not had your support. We are so thankful for all of you! I was recently talking with a friend who was surprised to hear all of this, she said that she heard that the person who hit Gabe was helping with his care. I told her that not only was this not true, but we are getting close to running out of funds to cover his expenses. Gabe is actively seeking employment, but since he cannot be awake all day, he may only be able to work part time. In order to work, he will likely need to drive again (no transit here on weekends or evenings.) He is now working with Vocational Rehab and they are going to help outfit his car with hand controls so that he can drive again. There are mandated costs of repair to his vehicle in order to get it fit for the hand controls, so we have that expense as well. Also, he will need to work enough to cover the costs of driving. My friend suggested I let everyone know. We talked about how if even half of the people following Gabe's recovery contributed a small monthly amount , it would likely be enough to cover his living expenses! Gabe needs a few more months of help in order to get back on his feet. If you can afford to and would like to help, please consider contributing $5, $10 or $15 per month for the next 6 months. Hopefully by mid next year Gabe will start receiving Social Security until he can return to work full time. I appreciate your consideration and even if you cannot afford to contribute, I am thankful for your continued thoughts, prayers and support!