On February 23, Kyle was hit by a car as a pedestrian in Portland, Oregon. He and his family were in town for his sister's wedding, which was scheduled for February 27. As a result of the accident, Kyle suffered a traumatic brain injury. He had a portion of his skull removed and remained in intensive care for several weeks. At this point, nearly five weeks since his accident, it's unclear how much damage he's suffered, he remains in a comatose state and the recovery process will be long, difficult, and uncertain.
In the frightening days that followed Kyle's accident, friends and family from all over the country came to visit. They flew in from Michigan, California, Louisiana, and Georgia. Seeing someone who is typically so vibrant and funny so still and silent was heartbreaking. Kyle is the perfect person to call when you need cheering up, because he's quick with a joke and even faster with an offer to help, so it's not surprising so many people wanted to give their love and support.
When it comes to an injury like Kyle's, recovery is talked about in months and years. His injuries were severe and were focused on his head. He suffered multiple skull and facial fractures, a moderate brain bleed on his right and a severe bleed on the left side of his brain. His brain was also swelling severely due to his head trauma he suffered in the accident. Surgery was performed immediately following the accident to stop the bleeds in his brain and a large part of his skull was removed from the left side of his head to allow his brain to swell during the healing process. He was diagnosed with a severe midline shift to the right which is the shifting of the brain past its center line.
The first two and a half weeks were very difficult for Kyle. It was the doctor's goal to create the most optimal conditions for his brain to begin healing, however Kyle’s injuries were causing major swelling, increased cranial pressure in his brain which is very dangerous. He underwent multiple CTs and many complications occured.
On one of his CTs it was noted that he had brain stem bruising which the doctors had suspected due to his decorticate posturing, abnormal posturing in which a person is stiff with bent arms, clenched fists, and legs held out straight. This type of posturing is a sign of severe damage in the brain.
Once they were able, doctors performed a diffuse axial MRI to better determine the damage to his brain. In this scan the imaging shows where the “frayed ends” are in Kyle’s brain. In the brain, axons are connected to dendrites, in severe head trauma such as Kyle’s it is common for many of the connections to break, or fray similar to a fraying electrical cord. The MRI unfortunately showed the most damaged connections were in Kyle’s brain stem. This makes his recovery much more difficult as the brain stem does not heal as efficiently or as well as the rest of the brain. There was also significant damage to the area of the brain responsible for speech.
Kyle still remains hospitalized in the trauma unit of Emanuel Medical Center. He currently responds inconsistently to sounds, sights, movement, touch and pain. His responses are non-specific and non-purposeful.
Since Portland is not home for Kyle or most of his family they have been traveling back and forth from Michigan and staying long stretches in Portland. Kyle's family would like to move him back home to Michigan, where his family, brother and other sister also live and could provide care for him. They are working at finding a care facility for him and a medical flight to move him as he is unable to transport via commercial airline or vehicle.
His family wants to give him every opportunity at a full recovery, and any support is welcomed. The family truly appreciates the kindness, love, prayers and support you've all shown Kyle. Thank you.
Here is a link to a website we created to document Kyle's road to recovery.