Jim & Xan Donaldson and family

Jim and Xan Donaldson are like my second parents.  Their daughter, Brandi, has been my very best friend since I was 15.  

On Friday, 9/28, they departed for St. George, Utah for the weekend to attend the wedding of their granddaughter.  When they arrived at the hotel, Jim fell while chasing after a luggage cart in the parking lot.  When he fell, he landed on a curb and the luggage cart fell on top of him, causing serious injuries which were and are exacerbated by previous trauma and health issues.  He has been in the hospital in Utah ever since (going on day 10 and day 7 in the ICU) and will be there for the foreseeable future as his injuries have been described by the trauma doctor as consistent with being crushed by a car. 

We have no idea when Jim will be able to come home as his condition is serious.  He had made some progress in recent days only to take a turn for the worse which has left everything up in the air.  (Updates from Brandi posted below—as you can see, his injuries are serious and progress is slow.  I also just heard from her this morning and Jim is on his way into surgery for a tracheostomy, a feeding tube, and possible plating of his ribs—I will continue to post updates as I get them)

I’m asking for immediate help for them and their family on a multitude of levels.   Obviously, Xan has been there by his side since all of this happened which means she’s unable to be at work and is staying in a hotel.  They are going to need a tremendous amount of help not only covering the hotel stay (and eating out every meal), but also regular expenses for their household here in Littleton.  In addition to Xan being there since this happened, Brandi has been as well and has also been unable to work.  There will be expenses for travel back and forth as she has a family and work here that she has to attend to and she will also have to get back to Utah to support her mom and Jim in his recovery.  

Any support you can give is tremendously appreciated.  They have been through so much in recent years and would never ask for a bit of help from anyone.   As you can imagine, this has left them all reeling.  It is difficult to deal with this kind of accident at home, but being in another state just adds to the difficulty and trauma and expense.  

Thank you so much for reading and considering!  

All my love,

Sarah Edmonds


UPDATE ON MY DAD (Sunday 9/30) - For those of you who don't know, my dad (Jim) took a fall on Friday night. He was running after a luggage cart (we're in Utah for my niece's wedding) and when he caught up to it, he lost his balance and fell into a curb. Then the luggage cart fell on top of him. His injuries are far worse than they should be because he has osteoporosis. The pulmonologist says that it looks like he's been crushed by a car. He has 7 broken ribs and a broken clavicle on the right side and 3 broken ribs on the left. He also has a fracture in his sternum and bruising on his lungs. Because of these injuries and his preexisting sarcoidosis, his lungs are compromised. Obviously, it hurts to breathe with broken ribs, so to get him to use his lungs fully they have given him an epidural in his thoracic region and lots of pain meds. It's given him so much relief. Unfortunately, he's still retaining too much co2. They thought the bi-pap machine would help that but it hasn't, so last night they put a breathing tube in. It's already brought his co2 levels down a little. So now we wait through the weekend and see if Kaiser wants to fly him home. Please do your work, prayer warriors, love and light givers, and positive thought senders! I'll update tomorrow. Love to you all.

UPDATE (Monday 10/1)- My dad is doing well on the breathing tube. His co2 levels are much better. However, we found out that his right lung (the side that took the brunt of the trauma) has partially collapsed. The docs put a tube in that lung this morning to help it out and it seems to be doing the job. They've decided, because the hospital is in the insurance network and because he's not stable enough, to keep him here in Utah in the ICU. They are still not sure about surgery, if his bones are strong enough and if it would just be more trauma to his already traumatized body. It's pretty much a waiting game to see how well his lungs are able to heal and breathe on their own. If they aren't, chances are they'll proceed with the tracheostomy. Thanks for the continued prayers and love. We can feel it! 

Update (Wednesday 10/3) - Wow! Thank you all for the prayers, love, light, positive thoughts, and good juju. It is palpable.

There isn't too much to report today. Jim is still on the ventilator and still has his chest tube in. The doctors say that it's a very, very slow process. Wait and see. His heart rate was extremely high last night and they weren't able to bring it down with meds. It was still high this morning, so the doctors did a cardioversion (shocked his heart) to restart the heart and correct the high heart rate. It worked for now but there's always a chance it could be needed again. Jim was agitated and confused when he asked for a ride to the airport and we had to remind him that he's here for the long haul. There's this thing called ICU delirium and that is no joke. The staff does their best to keep his days and nights on schedule but it IS the ICU and that's difficult most times. So, it's our job to keep him awake and his mind busy during the day. He's able to sit in a chair (with much assistance) and likes to watch the news. But most of the time even the littlest amount of activity wears him out. We love the few moments where he's lucid enough to give us a thumbs up or wink at us.

I'm staying here until this coming Tuesday. I have to get back to my clients for a week or so. I'll fly back as soon as I can. Mom is staying put of course. Please keep her in your prayers as well, especially in the times when we can't be here to support her.

UPDATE (Saturday 10/6) - The last few days have been eventful! Jim's chest tube came out yesterday! His heart went back into that A-fib rhythm so they had to cardiovert him again. It was successful and he's on meds to help keep that heart rate down, hopefully for good this time. Mom and I walked in this morning to see that they had taken out his breathing tube! Yay!!! He's still finding his voice and his throat is very sore, but it's so good to hear him talk. Now they will test him to see if he can swallow water without coughing. The first attempt wasn't successful. The nurse will try again tonight. They have turned his epidural off and will take it out later today. He's now getting pain management through his IV. I think he's really starting to feel those broken ribs. If today goes well and his breathing stays on this upward trend, he gets moved out of ICU tomorrow! We're still not sure when he'll be able to come home but his trauma doc says maybe within the week. Mom and I will more than likely drive him back. A few more milestones have to be reached before that though. Once we get home, the road to rehabilitation will be a long one. My dad is so strong though, I have no doubt that he'll be just fine! TODAY IS A GOOD DAY!!!!!

Thanks again for surrounding our family in love! We couldn't keep going without it.

UPDATE (Sunday 10/7) - My mom and I got a call from the doctor this morning. Jim had a rough night and his lungs were really full of mucus when the doc checked on him. They put the breathing tube back in immediately so they could suction him and clean out his lungs. They did a biopsy and culture on all of the crap they took out. No results from that yet. The trauma doctors came in to discuss (once again) plating his ribs and still aren't sure that's the way to go. It does look like they will be doing a tracheostomy tomorrow if his numbers are better, and possibly a feeding tube in his belly to get rid of the one in his nose. Right now, the most important thing is that he doesn't develop pneumonia. He's been sedated and resting all day. Two steps forward, one step back. Today was his step back, and that's okay. He's strong. Tomorrow's a new day.

Again, thank you for the prayers and love! It's keeping us going.
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Organizer and beneficiary

Sarah Edmonds 
Gateway, CO
Linda Xan Donaldson 
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