Long road to recovery

I am setting up this fundraising campaign to help my son with his immediate and upcoming needs after he was a victim of a shooting. This is only to help with basic support for the next few months as he's healing. 

The hope is that we can help cover his rent, utilities, food and transportation costs to get him to and from his ongoing medical appointments for the next 6 months as he regains his strength and can get back to work. 

A little about the crime and the injuries he's recovering from:

About the crime. Nathan, his friend Chris and his girlfriend were out at a bar he has been a regular of for 7 years. There was a man at the bar that made insulting and inappropriate comments to his girlfriend about how she looked and what she was wearing. Nathan punched the guy for his remarks. There was a scuffle and the fight was broken up. The bar kicked the guy out. A few min. later he came back.  He had a gun and shot Nathan in the back as he was standing at the bar. One of the bullets passed thru him and into his friend Chris that was standing next to him. His girlfriend jumped on the shooter as he was aiming to shoot Nathan a third time as he was laying on the ground. She was nicked in the thumb by a bullet that was fired while she was struggling with him. The shooter ran out of the bar to the car that was waiting for him.

There has not been an arrest. I have not been updated by the police so I don’t have any details other than he was positively identified in a photo line up by at least 3 people that were a witness to the event.


Sept. 16th, Sunday morning, I woke up to dozens of missed calls and messages from family that my son Nathan had been shot twice in the back while at a bar in the crossroads. I rushed to the hospital to find that he was out of his first surgery and in a medically induced coma. They had left his abdomen open pending a second surgery scheduled for the next day to repair a severed colon, his liver, spleen and one of his kidneys. Both of his lungs had collapsed and a bullet had torn thru the lower lobe of his left lung. 

Sept. 17th, Monday morning. Nathan’s second surgery went well. They removed a portion of his colon but we able to repair the area and everything looked heathy around the trauma so they went ahead and closed his abdomen. He was still on a ventilator,  they had 3 chest tubes in him to drain fluid and blood that had been partially filling his chest cavity pooling in and around his lungs.

Monday night. They were reviving him from his coma to make sure there weren't any motor or neurological deficiencies , the bullet in his chest passed 2 cm from his spine. He responded well to having the ventilator turned off and he was breathing on his own so they took the intubation tubes out. He was speaking and remembered everything about the event. He was devastated.

Sept. 18th, Tuesday morning. They had him on heavy pain meds so he mostly slept. Occasionally they needed him to do breathing tests to make sure his lungs were continuing to inflate. He needs to inhale at a 1000 cc air volume to show progress our they will re intubate. He’s able to hit the 1000 cc mark about 1:10 time he tries… but he tries. He actually asks to do the test on his own every once in a while without the staff asking him to do it.

Tuesday afternoon / early evening. He’s alert but very drugged up. Josh his brother, is back in town and they are talking in references only brothers know, inside jokes and making light of the situation. Nathan is showing a lot of humor as a response to his trauma and being intent on staying light. He’s coughing up a lot of blood an mucus which is super painful for him. His freshly sutured abdomen doesn’t have an muscle connection so we figured out that if we can apply a little pressure to his belly when he coughs it’s easier (no abs to contract to make the lungs work).

Sept. 19th Wednesday. Nathan is progressing very quickly. He had PT and OT come in to work with him and get him up. They wanted him to sit up in bed and as he was adjusting to be comfortable while sitting he stood up. They weren't expecting that so they brought over a walker and suggest he try taking a few steps. They took about a 10 step walk out into the hallway and then back to his bed. He was showing lung capacity improvement once they took out one of his chest tubes so they signed off on getting him out of the ICU.

Sept. 20th, Thursday. It was a rough day  for Nathan pain wise. There are issues with his chest tubes. They had repositioned a bit so one was filling his chest cavity with air. The other one is still draining but is sitting in a way that he feels every sensation of pain he was able to describe (sharp, dull, burning, throbbing, 9th gate of hell: repent or be consumed, type of pain). The types and frequency of pain meds are still being adjusted. They put in another chest tube so they could hopefully remove the malfunctioning one. He finally mentioned to enough people that he has double vision. When he told nurses in ICU they said it was a side effect of opiates... but after 2 days of seeing everything in duplicate they sent him in for CAT scans for his head. I had left the hospital early last night so I'm not sure about any results yet that came about from that. Two of his vertebra had been fractured but they don't believe it will require surgery. It's not interfering with his spinal column.

I'm baby-sitting for Nathan and Caitlin so she can spend nights in the hospital with him. Their son (Jeremiah) has been handing the chaos pretty well. He's been able to visit his dad twice and loves playing with the exam gloves blown up as balloons. He was having little melt downs yesterday, I'm sure just releasing the stress he's feeling but not able to articulate. Staying present for a 4 year old, making up fun things to do, and staying steady keeps my day busy and focused. My youngest son Josh flew back to KC to stay with Nathan and came by last night to play with Jeremiah. It was the cutest and most amazing thing to see those two bond. I have the most loving and sweetest family anyone could ever hope for.

Sept. 21st -23rd. Nathan has been able to have all cath ports removed, all chest tubes removed, has walked down the hall unassisted, meets all his breath tests and his vision has returned to normal. All medical intervention is being resolved and each department is signing off on the requirements he's needing to pass to be released from the hospital. 

Sept. 24th. Nathan is being released! He will head home and start the long road to recovery in his own bed. There are several follow ups with doctors coming up this week. So more updates as we have them.
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Rachel McMeachin 
Kansas City, MO
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