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Brady's Battle

$32,036 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 393 people in 5 months
Created February 8, 2019
Tuesday, February 5th started out like any other morning. Shane and Brady were on their way to Brady's school when Shane was rear ended. The impact was strong enough to deploy the airbags and Shane was temporarily knocked unconscious. After climbing out of the passenger side door, Shane saw that Brady was pinned in the backseat. The impact had been so great that the back of the car had folded into itself. Brady was unconscious and needed to be extricated from the vehicle. 

Shane was banged up and needed several staples to his head. Brady was much, much worse. After undergoing emergency surgery to relieve the swelling in his brain, Brady was put in a medically induced coma to allow his body to rest. He has a broken femur, broken mandible, facial fractures, and pneumonia from aspirating a significant amount of blood.

As I write this, Brady is still fighting for his future in the Intensive Care Unit. Once the swelling in his brain is minimized, he will need to have another surgery on his leg, as well as his facial fractures.  Doctors are cautiously optimistic about his recovery but stress that it will be a long road ahead. 

Shane, Jennie, and Jakob are keeping vigil at Brady's bedside. They are not sure when they will be returning to work. They are not sure what types of rehabilitation Brady will need after his future surgeries. They are not sure how they are going to pay for all of these medical expenses. 

That's where you come in! Brady is so loved by many and the Swenson family needs your support. We are asking for your help in any of the following ways:

1. Donate to this campaign. The money raised will help pay the costs of Brady's mounting medical bills, as well as provide for the family's living expenses so Shane and Jennie can focus on Brady instead of worrying about finances. 

2. Pray. Spiritual support is so important in this time of great need. God is good and hears our prayers for a safe and consistent recovery for Brady. 

3. Share this campaign on your social media accounts and with your contacts. The most successful campaigns are the ones that are seen, so please take a moment to share Brady's story. 

This has been absolutely devastating to Brady's family. The worst part is that it was completely avoidable- Shane was not rear ended due to icy road conditions or faulty driving.  All donations will help ease the burden the Swenson family is bearing through no fault of their own.
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Yesterday afternoon we met with Brady's care team at Gillette and it has been determined that Brady will be discharged on July 25th - a mere 13 days from today.  By the time he leaves the Inpatient Rehab Unit he will have been hospitalized for nearly 6 months.  As we were told earlier this week, he has been a patient longer than most TBI patients are hospitalized.  Sadly, that is not a good thing in his case.

During the first few hours and days of those early February days, a very naive part of me thought that he might be home in a few weeks.  But as his time extended in the ICU at North Memorial and as his body continued to struggle to maintain "normal" levels of many different things, I began to realize this was not going to be a quick recovery or an easy journey toward healing.

And as we started to hear more and more about how amazing Gillette is - how many stories are out there proving miraculous recoveries, I began to feel true excitement about Brady's transfer to the specialty children's hospital - and even more excitement about his road to recovery.  But what I have learned over time, and again - maybe I was naive for a great majority of time - was that each story is different and each ending is unique.  The greatest care and the greatest hospital with a world-renowned reputation does not guarantee anything.  Not for lack of trying though - I promise you we have had incredible care from such an amazing nursing staff.  But in short, Brady's story -his journey - his path has been one obstacle after another. 

In a short five months, he has endured 8 surgeries.  And all along, after a couple of days of recovery, he re-engaged in the intensive weekly therapy schedule, participating to the best of his ability.  But to date, his participation is described as "inconsistent".  And each Monday his abilities are tested with the Coma Recovery Scale Revised -but again, the results are "inconsistent".  Heartbreaking words for a parent, regardless of the situation - but especially difficult to hear when it comes to a severe traumatic brain injury.

Yet, faith remains and hope continues.  And a sheer excitement to make our family whole outweighs any uncertainty, fear, worry, anxiety, disappointment or sadness.  I waiver between the excitement and the sadness - but in the end, I really cannot wait for Brady to be home once again.  It's been far too long.  And I hope that the love of his family and the familiar surroundings of his home and his puppies will bring him peace and the strength he needs to continue working hard - the hardest he's ever had to work.

Thirteen days and counting 'til our baby is able to come home.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and love.

With love & gratitude,
Jennie
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It was a bittersweet day today. 

It's July 5th and that marks 5 months since the day of the accident.  Brady has been in the hospital for exactly 150 days.  Aside from a diet, sobriety or training for a marathon, most of us don't do anything for 150 days straight.  That is a very long time.  And to do any one thing for that length of time takes a serious amount of commitment or a lack of choice.  Obviously, this is not by choice for Brady - but for necessity. 

The sweet in the bittersweet of this particular day is that this morning his trach was removed.  If I could climb to the top of the highest mountain and shout it to the world, I would.  He has been breathing on his own, and capped nearly all day and night for quite some time - but the trach remained for pending surgeries, to provide an airway if needed.  Hence, no expected surgeries in the near future (aside from the removal of the metal plate in his femur - surgery to take place this fall).  Hallelujah.  Amen.  Thank God.

The bitter in the bittersweet of this particular day is that Brady had 4 seizures today - all happening in a very short amount of time.  A CT scan showed no change from a CT scan earlier this week, other than some air in his brain which is probably a result of the external ventricular drain being removed.  That can be a natural occurrence when something like that is removed from the skull.  His body should absorb the air over time, but that leaves us with no known reason for the 4 events that took place this morning.

His anti-seizure medication was increased today, and of course we hope that today was an anomaly.  But as with everything on this journey, time will tell.  And patience is a must.

With so many twists and turns on this journey we sometimes can't help but wonder why this is his journey.  Such a sweet boy who is so faithful - believing without any need for proof.  Yet, for some reason, he must continue to endure roadblocks and detours.  I continue to pray for the relief that he deserves, and the patience that I need to have so that I can be there for him - emotionally, physically and spiritually.  Shane and I pray every night, and I know that so many of you are praying too.  Please remain vigilant in your prayers, good vibes, healthy thoughts - whatever you believe in, because I really believe that it all makes a difference.

Here is to moving forward and continued, slow progress.

With love & gratitude,
Jennie

"Keep your head up.  God gives his hardest battles to His strongest soldiers."
-Author unknown
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Brady's EVD was removed early this morning and he was transferred back to his temporary home - the inpatient rehab unit - sometime around 10:00 am today.  It was so good to see him back in his familiar surroundings with all of his temporary moms - nurses and nursing assistants who constantly and consistently provide such great care for our sweet Brady.

Over the past couple of days, Brady has locked eyes on me - and I cannot begin to tell you what it's like to stare into those beautiful Tootsie Pop eyes - especially when it seems as though he's trying to say something to me, without any words - but just by looking deeply into my eyes.  Hopefully he's thinking loving thoughts as opposed to any pre-teen thoughts of disgust over my constant kisses and telling him how much I love him!

The shunt appears to be working however, the EVD and shunt revision provided minimal change to the size of Brady's ventricles.  In essence, he has enlarged ventricles and low pressure in his brain.  So as long as the shunt can accomplish the task of moving the CSF away from his brain, we continue to hope for a long journey of continual, slow progress.  The longest journey.

Recently, some ball players from the Twins and Angels visited the patients at Gillette.  Tyler Skaggs was one of the Angels' players who spent time in Brady's room - taking pictures with him and he signed an Angels t-shirt and left it with Brady.  We were very sad to hear of his sudden passing today.  I can tell you from experience that walking into those patient rooms is not an easy task.  As a non-medical person, you don't know what you might encounter, and I admire anyone who spends some of their free time in such a setting, just being with kids.  Being present.  Taking pictures and leaving behind autographed memorabilia.  I didn't meet Tyler that day, but we have several pictures of Tyler with Brady - spending his free time with kiddos he doesn't know - but he definitely left a lasting impression with those kids and their parents. 

His passing is another reminder of how our lives can be turned upside down, without warning, in one brief moment in time.  Another reminder of how precious our time is here on this earth.  Another reminder to do what you love - live your life fully - be present always - and be the best version of yourself.  Let your light shine and share your gifts with this world; there are people in this world who need you to be who you were made to be.  

With love & gratitude,
Jennie
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At some point in the near future Brady will be discharged from Gillette and will finally come back home.  We are looking forward to that day, when we will feel whole again, as a family.  However, the reality is that Brady needs total care which is going to be quite a transition for all of us.  I know this is a fairly large community of people who are following Brady's story - many people we know and love, and others we don't know, yet are likely connected to someone who personally knows our family.  A lot of people have asked how they can help, and aside from continual prayers, we are now asking for additional help.  We are in search of caregivers who are interested in becoming a Personal Care Assistant (PCA) for Brady.  We will need a small team of people, working a variety of hours and days of the week, who are available to help out from early morning hours all the way through late afternoons/early evenings.  This is a paid position through our county and there will be an interview process, background checks and training provided.

If you, or someone you know is interested please message me directly: jenswenson13@gmail.com

With love & gratitude,
Jennie
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$32,036 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 393 people in 5 months
Created February 8, 2019
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