This fund raiser is being managed by Christy's friends and co-workers. As you can imagine the international medivac and cost of medical expenses in Mexico are mounting. Funds will be used for medical, travel and accommodation costs for the family while Willy is recovering in San Diego.
An update from Christy - Good news to share from this morning! At 9:30 this morning- he opened his eyes for a moment all on his own and responded to verbal commands to give a thumbs up and wiggle his toes. His left side is showing purposeful responses which means he is making movements and reactions on purpose which is good. His right side is only making withdrawal responses which means he responds to pinches and pain points but only because of the response to pain- not on purpose. At 10:25, Willy seemed a bit more awake so Bailey started talking to him. She said Michael would be here soon to visit and that he could flip him off when he gets here. Then Willy gave us the bird!!! Oh my gosh- we cracked up! So good to see that Willy still has his humor. At 11:30, I asked if he would open his eyes again and he did! This is really good that he is able to open his eyes and follow commands. He doesn't always do what we ask- but even one thing is better than no response at all. He definitely knows we are there holding his hand, giving him kisses on his forehead, and praying for best possible recovery. I have shared with him the overwhelming outpour of support from family, friends, First Federal and the wonderful employees, Bryon and Colleen Gunnerson from The Dungeness Lamb Farm, and the entire community. I now know how important all of this is- it means so much to us!
Another update from Christy! Such good news!! - I'm so excited to share the update today! He has been progressing more and more. Here are some new things he has done...Willy talked for the first time- when his mom called, he said "hi mom"- when Alexis was talking to Kenny (her boyfriend) on the phone, he said "hi Kenny"- when Owen came to visit, he said "Owen" in a pretty loud Darth Vader voice. We can tell he wants to talk more but it is a huge effort. Willy has been rubbing our hands a lot, especially to see if I have my ring on! I'm giving him a bad time about that... He has been up in the cardiac chair quite awhile today which is good for his lungs. He gets occasional breathing treatments to also help his lungs be healthy and open up the airways. His occupational therapist (OT) was very pleased with his movements- she cleaned his face really well and finally washed his hair. If you know Willy, he can't stand greasy hair. While getting his bandages changed, he also squeezed his right hand which is an improvement for his right side. Doctor wants us to encourage him to look and move with right side from now on. If any of you know medical terms, he is at a Rancho level 2-3. We are hoping he gets moved out of ICU tomorrow. Guess what? His OT is the Aunt of Kat Von D! Kat Von D is the famous tattoo artist on LA Ink. So, she said she would take him to get a tattoo as soon as he is better! Thank you everyone for your comments- those really lift our spirits and I share them with Willy. We also want to thank you for the generous donations- they help more than you know.
A message from Christy Rookard! We know that Willy has a neuro brain injury called Subarachnoid Hemorrhage. There are other possible brain injuries as well but too soon to know. He just had the breathing tube removed today and he is being monitored very closely to see if he can sustain breathing on his own. We are very hopeful he will continue to safely breathe on his own- if not, he would have to get a tracheotomy. It is important that he coughs and can swallow so he doesn't get fluid in his lungs. Willy has not opened his eyes yet or talked yet. Neuro response tests are done every hour- things like asking him to open his eyes or thumbs up. He hasn't responded to verbal commands but he is responding to pain points. When they pinch him, he moves or tries to reach for the pain spot which is good. When we asked the doctor what we should communicate to everyone, she said it is too early to know what his prognosis is but whatever the recovery is- it will be a steep mountain to climb. Of course, we are hopeful that he will continue to progress. We REALLY want him to open his eyes! As far as getting closer to home, we have to wait until he is stable enough with breathing. One day at a time.... Thank you every one for the outpouring of love, prayers, and financial support. It is simply overwhelming in a good way! I will try to post updates often
The family can move to San Diego but can't afford the medical expense?
An update from Christy! Reflecting back on the last 53 days since the last update, it really helps me to see how much progress Willy has made. Healing and progress is still happening but it is at a different pace than in the first three months; so I don't always realize how much until I sit down and really think about it. Do you remember when I have written about the Rancho Levels of Cognitive Functioning? The scale is from Level I-VIII. Willy started out at level I when he was in ICU which was for "no response". After reading the descriptions again this morning, I believe he is at level VIII which is "Purposeful and Appropriate". Some of the descriptors for this level are: *Realizes that he has a problem in his thinking and memory *Have thinking problems that may not be noticeable to people who did not know Willy before the injury *Ready for driving and job training evaluations *Still become overloaded with difficult, stressful or emergency situations *Need some guidance to make decisions (Willy read this update and disagrees with this statement) Those descriptions fit Willy to a tee..... Driving is still being worked on. Willy's primary doctor forwarded the recommendation for a skilled driving test to the DMV two weeks ago. So now we are waiting for a letter from the DMV to set up a test. We figured Willy better start practicing, so the other day he drove on a back road to find out how his driving is. No lies here, I was white knuckling it! Willy did okay- certainly still knows the rules of driving, just needs to get the "feeling" of driving again and focus. Remember when you were learning to drive or when you were teaching your teenager to drive and how much focus is on every detail but as you gain experience the detail is embedded so you don't have to focus so hard. Well, right now, Willy needs that level of detail focus for how much pressure to put on gas pedal and brake and anticipation of speed for curves, and paying strict attention to the driving. Willy is slowing returning to work. Right now, he is working two 1/2 days a week and is building up his stamina to work more than 1/2 a day. Willy's physical limitations in his right arm/shoulder is continuing to limit the duties he can perform by himself. This really reeks havoc with Willy's self worth because he doesn't feel like he is making enough of a contribution. It's hard to have patience even when everyone says it just takes time, this type of injury has a longer recovery period. Of course, Willy's co-workers and boss are totally supportive. Yes, therapy is still happening. Willy continues to see the speech therapist twice a week to help Willy's brain recover with things like speed of recollection and expanding his thoughts outside of rigid and concrete thinking. This all helps the neurons and synapses connect again and find new pathways. The most recent exercise is giving Willy a word to think about such as "car". He then says as many things as he can think about that have to do with car even using the five senses. It has been interesting because Willy does have difficulty expanding outside of the concrete thoughts of car unless prompted with questions like "what are some experiences you have had with cars", "how did it make you feel", "what sounds come to mind", etc. As mentioned earlier, Willy is having a heck of a time with his shoulder. He is working with a physical therapist but we are all still trying to figure out if there is more that needs to be done. Currently communicating with insurance for approvals for MRI, etc. to see if there is more going on inside the shoulder that needs to be fixed. I tell you what- I certainly have learned the whole dance that doctors and insurance have to play.....I sometimes wonder if the patient is remembered in the dance or if it is all about the $. We now have a helpful way to refer to Willy prior to the injury and after the injury. Prior to injury, Willy is referred to as Willy 1.0 an after the injury as Willy 2.0. This kind of makes it a lighter way to talk about the changes Willy is experiencing. I want to thank all of you again for your support!!! The support has been and continues to be AWESOME! I wish I could send personal thank you notes to every one of you. We are blessed to have this community, friends, and family surrounding us.
Wondering how he is doing??
So very happy to hear that Willy is making progress. I live in Issaquah and would like to offer my help in anyway possible to help transport Willy and your family back home to Sequim. Please do no hesitate to ask. My prayers and thoughts are going out to you from Issaquah!
Update from Christy..."Yahoo- Willy is being moved to rehab later this afternoon. This means the therapists and doctors feel that Willy can sustain at least 3 hours of acute rehab a day. He will receive PT, OT, and Speech Therapy.....Willy is talking more- using more sentences than one word and I can understand him more often. Sometimes he makes me laugh- today he asked me what I wanted to do tonight."
I'm from Seattle and living in San Diego and have family in Sequim. If you need help while in San Diego. A ride or something, please don't hesitate to ask.
Many Prayers from strangers and all of your family is on our prayer chain ! Hugs for all
Sending the family my thoughts and prayers.
Thank you for the updates! Thinking of you during this difficult time. Sending lots of love your way ❤️
right now all I can do is send lots of love and prayers to the whole family....and let them know that I love them dearly ......
Willy I know you are gonna make a full recovery! Thoughts and prayers 24/7! ♡♡