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Lexi's Recovery

$24,699 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 455 people in 3 months
On Tuesday, March 12, my sister Alexis Livingston was involved in a head-on collision with a tractor trailer.  She sustained a traumatic brain injury, several broken ribs, a torn carotid artery, broken legs, shattered ankle, and other various injuries.  She is currently on life-support in the Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit at the VCU Medical Center where she is receiving the best care she can get from some brilliant doctors and caring nurses.  
        We are thankful for the prayers and well wishes of friends and family.  Many people are asking if they can help in any way and if there was some way they could contribute to her recovery.  The dean of her school at Liberty University suggested a fundraiser as this will be a long road to Alexis' rehabilitation and recovery.  Therefore, we have started this campaign to allow her family, friends, and colleagues to contribute.  The goal of $25,000 is there just because GoFundMe requires a goal, but all contributions would be appreciated.
        Alexis is the most selfless and caring person I have ever met.  She is the best sister ever and has always been there to take care of me and support me in my endeavors.  Alexis is one of the strongest people I have ever known and I am sure that if anyone can recover from this, she can.
        Please continue to pray for the healing of my beautiful sister.
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June 18, 2019 (Day 98)

Good morning from Alexis Livingston and I from the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. Rachel Livingston was here last week with Alexis and I have been here this week. I drove down with Hayley Livingston so I had the two of them for Father's Day weekend which was very nice. It was obvious that Alexis enjoyed seeing her sister after almost a month and Alexis was interacting with her much more than in her therapy sessions! Alexis was also much improved last week as the UTI has cleared up, we bought a mouth guard to take the pressure off her teeth from her bite, and her congestion has cleared up as well. We are looking into finding a dentist to come in to the Center for her. She has been actively participating in her therapy and is making progress. She consistently tracks objects and people, she holds her head up most of the time unless very tired. She can reach with her hand and move her wrist towards objects but doesn’t have either the strength or the motor planning to raise her arms or legs yet. She is often making mouth sounds like she is trying to talk but we can’t understand her as yet. She continues to do coordination and strengthening exercises every day in the gym. She is showing functional object use now like being given a cup with a straw and asked what to do with it – and with arm support she brings it up to her mouth. She can grasp objects and can differentiate between them almost consistently. She has been experiencing increased spasticity and tremor in her left arm and leg and her doctor believes it is because her body is waking up and producing its own neuro chemicals again. That is a great thing however as a result of that she is now overstimulated with the neurostimulant medications so those are being reduced. She’s still having trouble with her airway managing her secretions, likely due to some really dry recirculated air but we are managing so she can breathe easier.
She will be undergoing a bilateral tendon release procedure tomorrow afternoon to correct the foot drop and curvature problem. Once that is done, she will have both legs casted for a short while so her feet can heal at a proper right angle. Then we can begin more weight-bearing exercises to strengthen her up and increase range of motion in her legs.
Thank you all for your continued prayers, love, care and concern for Alexis and our family. We are very appreciative and grateful for all the support we have been blessed with. Have a good week.

Eric & family
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June 7, 2019 (Day 87)

Good morning from Alexis and I from the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. I know I am overdue for an update and it is because it has been a rough week for Alexis with essentially a week of setbacks. She has developed a UTI, has nasal congestion, and the teeth grinding caused by her brain injury has caused her to grind one of her lower molars in half. It may have been deteriorating all along as she has had her teeth clenched and grinding for months. I am sure it is causing her pain but we cannot address dental matters here. We can’t get it fixed until after discharge, whenever that may be. The nasal congestion that developed last weekend has made it more difficult for Alexis to breathe with her trach tube capped so she has had to work harder just to breathe. The harder work makes her tire faster so she has been less participatory in her therapy this week. The stress and struggle to breathe regularly also caused her to neurostorm last weekend into Monday and we had to give her morphine several times to help. The morphine makes her sleep most of the day in her diminished state. Lastly, because she has had difficulty breathing, her trach was uncapped and a hydro filter attached to add moisture to the air she breathes in to help with secretions and swallowing.
I wish I had better news to report but Alexis is doing the best she can in her condition. We are definitely struggling. She is a strong person and we will do our best to love, support, and take care of her in her rehabilitative efforts. Thank you all for your continued prayers, love, care and concern for Alexis and our family. We are very appreciative and grateful for all the support we have been blessed with. Have a great week.

Eric & family
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May 29, 2019 (Day 78)

It has been a good week for Alexis at The Shepherd Center in Atlanta. The pain medication regimen Alexis follows has kept her from neurostorming since last Friday which is a wonderful break for her body. She now only has a Fentanyl patch which gets changed every 3 days and we are very hopeful that even that gets weaned next week to half the dosage. We are hopeful that perhaps the storming period is over. She has her trach tube capped and if she continues to have no problems swallowing then she can have it removed next week. Alexis shows us all a new development or improvement every day and is trying very hard in her therapy and rehabilitation. After only 16 days at Shepherd’s, Alexis is able to hold her own head up midline in bed for short periods of time, move her hands, arms, feet, and legs. She has been grasping on to objects such as tennis balls and is able to release them when asked. No consistently yet but it is a start. Her eyes are open longer and longer each day and are able to track and fix on objects. When shown a video on our cellphone she is able to watch it and will follow the phone with her eyes as it is moved and is starting to turn her head in the direction now as well. On Monday Alexis was able to move her left leg slightly to kick a ball in physical therapy and on three occasions sounded like she was trying to form words. These instances are becoming more frequent every day. Today this happened – they have therapy dogs that will visit the patients from time to time and someone had the idea to put this little black yippy dog on Alexis’ lap. Alexis brought up her left arm slightly to hold the dog on her lap and moved her left hand fingers in order to pet it.
There was a family meeting with her doctor, case manager, and staff today and it was explained to us that Alexis came to the Shepherd Center in a persistent vegetative state with an evaluation of 2 out of 15 on the coma scale. Because of her progress in the last 2 weeks alone, Alexis has been upgraded to being in a “minimally conscious state” with an evaluation of 14 out of 15. To be considered “awake” or in a “conscious state” she has to either be able to communicate in some fashion or show functional use of an object. That would be like giving her a brush and she holds it up to her hair or giving her a cup and she brings it to her mouth. We think we are very close to that point now and we will keep working every day to help Alexis find her way back.
THANK YOU ALL for the continued prayers, love, care and concern for Alexis and our family. We have so much hope for Alexis and are appreciative and grateful for all the support we have been blessed with. Have a great week.

Eric & family
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May 21, 2019 (Day 70)

Good afternoon from Atlanta at the Shepherd Center. I had returned to Richmond last Thursday night for work and returned to Atlanta last night. Rachel is now back in Richmond through the week for her patient care schedule and should return to Atlanta on Saturday. Alexis is doing very well here and this past Friday afternoon was moved from the ICU to her room on the traumatic brain injury (TBI) rehabilitation floor. She had been receiving therapy, rehabilitation services, and medication management in the ICU as they could manage around the neurostorming that she has been suffering from but now that she is on her treatment floor her scheduled sessions and schedule has begun. Her medications are being monitored daily and adjusted as necessary to try and contain the storming symptoms with the least amount of sedative effect and to stimulate her brain. She is no longer on scheduled morphine although it is available as needed if she starts storming badly. She has a fentanyl patch on her arm for pain and we are presently inquiring about weaning that down as well. She met her doctor and treatment team yesterday (Monday) and went right to work. She gets dressed every morning and is taken to the rehabilitation gym and provided therapy to increase her muscle tone, flexibility, and coordination – whether she appears awake or not – she gets worked. Muscle groups are massaged and stretched and she is manipulated by several therapists per session.
We wanted Alexis specifically admitted to this emerging consciousness program to bring up her level of awareness in the hopes that she wakes up. I suppose I naively suggested in my last update that I would post a BULLETIN when she woke up but that was a mistake by a desperately hopeful parent. Her awakening will not happen suddenly. As she emerges from her coma we will start to see her react or respond differently. Rachel had told me Sunday that in one of Alexis’ sessions she saw Alexis respond to a command from the therapist. Me being the skeptic I though perhaps Rachel saw something that she just wanted to be an intentional action by Alexis. I was wrong. Alexis IS in there and she IS responding. I saw it for myself today. Alexis has started making moaning sounds around her trach tube. Until she wakes up more she cannot form words yet but the moaning has been sporadic all day today. I watched her therapy sessions closely and when told to extend her left leg she did it. When told to hold out one finger she did it. Her eyes are also able to intermittently track. A picture was held up and she followed it, not smoothly but she was able to move her eyes to follow. She did the same thing when they used a mirror to get her to track the other direction. Seemingly small actions – but HUGE implications. They were on command and not spasms or reflex. Alexis is in there, and this is just going to be a much longer road to travel with her but we will not give up.
THANK YOU ALL for the continued prayers, love, care and concern for Alexis and our family. We will continue regularly posting her progress for all of our family, friends and colleagues. Have a great week.

Eric & family
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Raised by 455 people in 3 months
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