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Help Keilani Triumph over Tragedy

$84,860 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 989 people in 3 months
Created April 11, 2019

38417846_1555002868616722_r.jpegLast Saturday afternoon, a friend’s beautiful 20 year-old daughter was seriously injured in a horrific head-on collision. Keilani and two of her fellow Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Art and Design majors were driving to see the wildflower Super Bloom when another car rounded a blind curve and swerved over the solid yellow line directly into the front of the car carrying Keilani and her roommates.

Keilani was the most severely injured. She was airlifted to a hospital in Santa Barbara and remains in critical condition, in a medically induced coma. In addition to a traumatic brain injury, she suffered broken ribs, broken pelvis, abdominal injuries, broken ankle and foot. She is expected to be in the Santa Barbara hospital for four to six months.

This beautiful girl is a talented artist and designer, avid reader, basketball and soccer star who radiates happiness and positivity. She has been a leader in her program at Cal Poly and already had her summer internship lined up. She lights up a room and is a truly kind person, and I can’t even imagine how she is suffering right now, to say nothing of her family.

I have been friends with her mom Cori (Baldoza) Waxdeck since I was thirteen years old. Cori, her husband Joel and their children Lenny, Braxton and Keilani are like family to us. I keep thinking, “What if this happened to one of my kids?” My friend Cori is an emergency room nurse who has been on the incoming end of such injuries during her twenty-seven-year career and never dreamed that she would be on the opposite side of the equation.

As you can imagine, this situation incurs many expenses. The airlift to the hospital is not covered by insurance, and may cost as much as $30,000. It isn’t clear yet how much of the hospital stay and doctor costs will be covered. Cori and Joel, who live in the San Francisco Bay Area, will stay in Santa Barbara for four to six months to be by Keilani’s side as she fights to recover. This means they will not be working (though fingers are crossed that Joel may eventually be able to work remotely). 

Between the medical bills and the cost of staying in Santa Barbara while not working, it’s a lot, so I hope that we can help the family defray some of their costs. Keilani will need the presence and support of her parents, and it’s important for them to focus on her rather than having to worry about the finances.  

Funds raised will be turned over to the family to help with immediate medical bills and living costs while they are far from home and, if any are left over, to support Keilani’s extended recovery when she is finally released from the hospital. Hopefully one day she’ll be able to hike the meadows to sketch and photograph the wildflowers as she had planned to do with her friends that day.

Whether you contribute financially or not, please pray and send positive thoughts to Keilani and her family at this time of great distress. And if you can, please:

1)      Give whatever you can. Any donation can make a difference.

2)      Share on social media.  Please use the hashtag #FlowersForKeilani

3)      Email this page to your family and friends.

http://mustangnews.net/cal-poly-students-severely-injured-in-head-on-fatal-collision

https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/nature-travel/southern-california-super-bloom-photos

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Keilani has continued to make progress under the care of her team who have customized a routine that will optimize her recovery. OT (occupational therapy) has been helping her relearn activities of daily living. A wound care nurse has been making sure her surgical sites are healing. PT (physical therapy) has the task of teaching her how to walk and increase her strength. SLP (Speech Language Pathologist) is working on her aphasia (helping her communicate in expressing her thoughts & needs) and cognition (incorporating therapies to improve memory as part of the brain injury recovery plan). Memory aids help build language for the brain injury patient. For now, Keilani writes each task, on a dry erase board. Checking it off as she completes it. She also has a Therapeutic Recreation therapist. There are different art projects Keilani has completed ranging from tie-dying to gardening. She draws, colors or paints every day.

Keilani has lost 20 lbs since her accident. Her nutritional intake and appetite have been a challenge along with her insomnia. This is common in many patients following a TBI, the inability to restore the sleep-wake cycle results in sleepless nights and exhausting days.

Based on the Rancho Los Amigos Scale, her level of cognitive function has been fluctuating between 4 and 5. She is easily fatigued, leading to agitation and restlessness. Each day she is awake by 8 am and goes to sleep by 930 pm. Her therapies begin at 9 am with rest periods scheduled in between her therapies and throughout the day. This provides her an environment of low stimulation. Her favorite break time activity is being in her bed & looking @ pictures on her wall. Keilani's room is filled with beautiful reminders of love from family & friends. The nurses comment on how relaxing her room is (thanks to lavender air freshener, sachets, and relaxing background music.

Much gratitude for all the continued prayers and positive thoughts for her journey to recovery. We are beyond thrilled that she took her first steps the other day!
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Hi Fab Funders!

Here is an update from Cori:

Good afternoon from sunny Colorado ☀️

Keilani is progressing in her recovery! Since the last update, she’s had a series of assessments including MRI, X-rays, EEG, and modified swallow test done. Best news so far is that her trach was removed 6/3 and IV on 6/3.

Here at Craig Hospital, the emphasis is for TBI survivor is to SLEEP, structured routine and healing environment . Every day, she has therapy sessions with speech, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. Her nursing team is managing her medical needs. There are different levels of recovery and included here is the link to the video of that her doctor recommended watching. https://youtu.be/ZWJUfSWYppM

Keilani is at Level 4 and it’s a matter of waiting to progress to the next level. This can be the most challenging and exhausting phase of her progress. She is easily agitated, restless and combative, however, these are all signs of emerging consciousness. So low stimulation is a priority. This means controlling her environment: low lights, soothing, meditative music at times, no tv, tablets or IPhones, and a maximum of 2 family members and limited visiting hours.

Each day, Joel and I feel very blessed and grateful that Keilani is here .

In the midst of her confusion, the times she is calm Keilani is outdoors basking in the 300 days of shine (and in her room when it rains ). She also participates in recreational activities. The recreational staff make special accommodations for Keilani. She has her own room with a 1:1 recreational therapist with her. She’s made a mug, sun print bandana, potted plant cutting, decoupage beverage coaster & her latest — plant bucket.

Cori and Joel are planning on being in Colorado until late August. Until then, cards, letters are pictures are very much appreciated! Keilani reads each card she gets and Cori posts it on her bulletin wall. Thank you all for continuing to pray for her improving health and progress and channeling positive energy to Keilani.

If you would like to mail anything to Keilani, here is her mailing address:

US Mail
Craig Hospital
c/o Guest Services
Attention: Keilani Waxdeck
3425 S. Clarkson
Englewood, CO 80113

UPS & Fedex can be delivered to
Craig Hospital
Guest Services
Attention: Keilani Waxdeck
3427 S. Emerson St.
Englewood, CO 80113
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Hey Fabulous fund Fam! Here is a bit about Keilani’s first full day at Craig’s. It’s a busy one! She’s participating in the rehab, already worked with speech therapy and was able to tolerate ice chips. All the muscles in her mouth are working so she should be ready to eat soon. She got her 1st shower and finally got to wash her very short hair. She’s also working with occupational therapy and physical therapy. In the afternoon, she was able to go around all the spots on her floor to see the outdoors and garden space. We’re so happy she’s here. She’s also said Hi to EVERYONE and either waved or fist bumped them.
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It's another time of transition for the Waxdeck family as they will be said good-bye to the staff at the acute care hospital in Santa Barbara. Keilani has been transferred to her new temporary home, Craig Hospital, in Englewood Colorado where she will be welcomed by an interdisciplinary team that will maximize her healing potential. Joel will accompanied Keilani in the air ambulance and Cori flew separately to set up family housing.

Keilani continues to make progress with the therapies that have already been initiated. As you can imagine communication requires a set of complex skills that are commonly impaired in patients with brain injuries. Among them is her ability to speak and express herself. At this point, she is beginning to expand her vocabulary saying "stop that", "that's weird", "What's it for?", No Simon/Simone"(her cousin)"See you later buddy","I don't know"& other words which are jumbled. What comes out clear, however, is "WTF" every time the staff comes in to do their care. What is not lacking is her DETERMINATION, a quality that is sure to make all the difference in her recovery. Keilani wasted no time in showing her spunk and resolution when she was transferred to the chair and waited for the nurses to leave and she tried to get up and stand!! Thankfully, Joel was close by to prevent any further casualties as she still cannot bear weight on her leg.
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$84,860 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 989 people in 3 months
Created April 11, 2019
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