Saturday, August 29, 2009

Update #15 on Matt's Brother, Kevin - Another Way to Help

I forgot to include in my last update another way to help the family. We received word through our food coordinator (Chef Jeff) that an account was set-up through a local service called 742-DINE. Someone had started the account with a donation and he told me that anyone can contribute towards it. He will continue setting up meals throughout the week. If anyone would like to donate to the 742-DINE account, they just have to call that number, 742-DINE and tell them you want to contribute to account #5553900.

Not too much has changed today for Kevin. His vitals have stayed stable. The only exceptions were his heartrate racing for bit until they gave him a betablocking drug. The nurse only gave him ½ of what they had been giving him and he still responded well, so that reduction is good.

Tonight the family was asked to come to a ceremony at the Tulsa Oilers hockey game tonight. We may not all stay for the game, but they are honoring Kevin tonight by making him an honorary Oiler. They are presenting his kids with an Oiler jersey tonight before the game. Kevin has worked with the Oilers on different things in the past.

Thanks again for your prayers,
Matt, Angie & Family

Update #14 on Matt's Brother, Kevin

Another night gone by and Kevin is progressing in some areas. Dr. Fayer, the general trauma doctor, was in this morning. He said his vitals were looking good. The antibiotics are looking good and working. He does think has some pneumonia somewhere in his lungs, despite the fact the cultures never picked up on it. Kevin had several bouts of coughing last night, which is getting the gunk out of his lungs. Kevin had a small B.M. last night which was great. During the night, when the night nurse was in here with Kevin, Kevin threw up some of his food from the feeding tube. There is always the possibility of some of it getting in his lungs, but she thinks they were able to get it all. It was very good that he did while she was in here. Dr. Fayer said that the plan was still to do a tracheostomy and move his feeding tube next week some time. The feeding tube will actually go directly into the stomach.

The respiratory therapist was just in giving Kevin his routine breathing treatment. She also said that she just switched to a completely different circuit on the ventilator from a dry mode to a heated wet mode with moisture. She said that they do this after seven days. It acts kind of like a humidifier that goes directly into the lungs. She said that this allows the secretions in Kevin’s lungs to stay moist and easier to expel.

The worst area of Kevin’s injuries is in his brainstem. It is in an area of the brainstem called the Pons area. This area controls the heart, the stomach, respiratory system, coughing and consciousness (the urge to get up). It is why the doctors are most concerned about his injuries, but having better respiratory control, coughing, etc…. are encouraging signs that at least part of the area is working. Pray for Kevin to be healed.

I wanted to share a little more about Kevin. This is directly from a personal profile that he wrote about himself.

“My name is Kevin and I shoot straight. I like to joke around though and enjoy meeting people .My children are the highlights of my life next GOD. My Mom ,Dad, brothers, sister-in -law ,and their children are very close to me also .I have many special friends and extended family and they know who they are. I love my job at AMERICAN AIRLINES I’m a EXECUTIVE BOARD OFFICER for the TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION LOCAL 514.I love softball , hunting, and being involved in the community. I like to help people. I think this is what God intended us to do .I have the honor of setting on several boards. Vision 2025 , Red Cross Chapter, Red Cross Blood Services and recently I've been asked on the INCOG federal reserve Board. I know every day matters so live it like you should.”

Pray for our family as we go through this extremely difficult process. It strains and stretches, pulls and tempts to break us. My family has always been close, yet during these times our bonds are tested.

I so appreciate the last line of Kevin’s profile. ”I know every day matters so live it like you should.” This is how we should all be living.

Thank you for your prayers,
Matt, Angie and the Family

Friday, August 28, 2009

Update #13 on Matt's Brother, Kevin

So the night was uneventful for Kevin. This morning they took his neck brace off. Apparently, the neck fractures that we didn’t know about until yesterday had aligned correctly which allowed them to remove the neck brace. A nurse told us today that she thinks he might have a fracture on his finger on his right hand, therefore they are going to do an X-Ray. His legs had the same response to stimuli as the last two days. Again no response in the eyes. His fever broke yesterday, but it has fluctuated today. I asked last night and they told me that there was still swelling on the brain and that the swelling has not changed in the past two CATscans. We don’t know what, if anything, will change once the swelling goes down. They switched the ventilator back to the mode where Kevin is doing the breathing and the machine is helping. That is a good thing. It is also only at 40% oxygen and he is taking deep breaths.

I realized that so many of you are graciously praying for my brother with no idea who he is. I thought I would take a quick opportunity to tell you about my big brother. He’s forty-seven, dark hair, tanned olive complexion, six foot tall. He has three kids, Taylor, Kohl and Jacob. Kevin is a guy who would give you the shirt literally off his back. I can’t tell you how many guys that were in a down time in their life stayed for weeks/months on Kevin’s couch. Most of those guys have gone on to live a better life now. Kevin has been there for them. Kevin is the king of networkers, bringing people together that may not have ever known one other. Yet, each of those people were not just contacts, they were truly friends and often brothers.

Thanks so much for your prayers,
Matt & Angie

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Update #12 on Matt's Brother, Kevin

This afternoon we met with the general trauma doctor. He said Kevin’s stitches could come out of the right side of his head and from his ear. He also gave us the results of the CATscan of Kevin’s face. There are a few fractures in Kevin’s facial area, including above the nose and within the jaw. He is calling in a plastic surgeon to verify what needs there would be. He verified from the X-Ray of Kevin’s neck that he does in fact have two fractures in two different vertebrae.

They removed the chesttube from Kevin’s punctured lung, so that seems to be a good sign. Apparently, his lungs are doing better. They have lowered the oxygen from 45 to 40% (it had been at 100%) so that is another good thing. Kevin’s fever broke this evening and he was doing well tonight.

After, going through another rollercoaster day, Angie and I retired to the hotel that is setup for our family. Last night we stayed in Kevin’s room, tonight Taylor is staying in there.

Thanks again for all the love and prayers,
Matt & Angie

Update #11 on Matt's Brother, Kevin

Last night, Kevin struggled with fever and fast heartrate. They gave him several breathing treatments and the respiratory therapist explained very well the tracheotomy that they intend to place in Kevin’s throat sometime next week. They did several tests over the last day, EKG – came back normal, routine sonogram on Kevin’s legs (looking for blood blots) – came back clear, X-ray of Kevin’s neck (apparently, Kevin also has two fractures in his neck, but for some reason they hadn’t told us yet) and finally, a CTscan of Kevin’s face to determine if there are fractures (we understand this to be a routine exam too). They were going to put Kevin on antibiotics because they think he does have either pneumonia or bronchitis. This is a setback. The neurosurgeon did reflex tests again on Kevin. No pupil response yet. Today his eyelids did not try to close with the Kleenex/eye test. However, both of Kevin’s legs jerked when the doctor pinched a toe on each one.

The family has been able to take some time off since we arrived, which has been good. Greg has been over at Kevin’s house today while the water removal is going on. A few of us have been holding the line at the hospital today. Sometimes there are struggles with discouragement, sometimes we don’t give into the temptation. We continue to cry out to God to heal Kevin completely even as the doctors give us very little hope.

This morning, while the physical therapist was with Kevin, she taught Angie how to move Kevin’s limbs to help avoid joint stiffness. She works on that as well as massages his feet and hands to keep circulation going. She can now teach some of the other family members how to do this as they return to the hospital.

For those that have offered to help, we have been trying to get a couple things organized. First, we have a food coordinator, Jeff Congdon. Jeff is the Senior Minister of Sandusky Avenue Christian Church in Tulsa. If you are wanting to bring meals up, cook food, pick up food etc… for the family at the hospital, you can give Jeff a call or shoot him an email. His cell phone number is 918-408-7680 and his email address is This will help release the family from dealing with the coordination of meals as well as take care of “double-bookings” and confusion.

The other way you can help is that Highland Park Christian Church in Tulsa has set up a couple hotel rooms for our family to stay at together while we go through this crisis. Some of us are from out of town, others from town but wanting to be with family. The hotel rooms allow us to have an extension of the waiting room for our family to be together. If you want to help offset the cost of this you can contact Brian Jennings at Highland Park Christian Church. The number is 918-627-0783 and the email is

Every once in awhile we come up with things we need or errands run. These are mainly done in a random manner. Thanks so much for your prayers, words of encouragement and visits. It means a lot. If you want to pray for my family by name:

Kevin Crosser (brother in hospital)
Bill & Jeanne Crosser (Dad & Mom)
Taylor, Kohl and Jacob Crosser (Kevin’s kids aged 21, 18 & 14)
Greg Crosser (brother)
Brandon & Brittany Crosser (Greg’s kids)

Thanks for your love,
Matt & Angie

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Update #10 on Matt's Brother, Kevin - The Good and The Bad

Okay, so good news and bad news.

The bad news actually has nothing to do with Kevin’s body. It has to do with his house. Some family friends were checking on Kevin’s dogs and they found that Kevin’s bathroom had flooded the entire house. The hallway had ankle deep water in it. We have already gotten the information on Kevin’s home insurance. Also, one of Kevin’s friends has a restoration company. His company is already taking care of the situation.

Better news has to do with Kevin himself. He had a racing heartbeat earlier in the day that took some time to care for. They finally got it under control and ordered an EKG to check Kevin’s heart. The report came back that Kevin’s heart was fine. When his heart rate increased, we were playing one of Kevin’s favorite groups, Coldplay, while Angie and Taylor were talking to him. So maybe he was making a connection.

A little while ago, the kids had brought up a board game into Kevin’s ICU room. They put the game on a bed table and were playing the game around Kevin’s bed. They were even taking Kevin’s hand while making it hold the dice and had him “playing” with them.

Today Kevin had another CATscan. When the main doctor visited this afternoon, he told us a couple of things. He had said that today’s CATscan would provide good information on where Kevin’s brain is exactly damaged. It is easier to see now that the bleeding has mainly stopped and the swelling should all be down. He also said we would need to be looking at the possibility of inserting a tracheotomy. This is a procedure to open a direct airway for ventilation. It is more comfortable for the patient and better for longterm patients. This will probably be sometime next week.

Thanks for all your prayers,
Matt & Angie

Update #9 on Matt's Brother, Kevin - Steps Forward

There hadn’t been much change in Kevin’s condition overnight. Vitals were good. They have reduced pain meds to morphine (as of late Monday night). Angie and I had a good night’s rest. We got my parents to go and rest away from the hospital as well. We came back up around 6:30 AM and had just missed the doctor. The neurosurgeon did not come in until around 11:30 AM.

When he was in, he was checking his stimulus reactions on his feet and hands. There was no reaction on his hands, but when he pinched a toe on Kevin’s left foot, the foot jerked away. The doctor said that was a good reaction. However, he followed it up with the notion that even someone who has a severed spinal cord injury can do that reaction. We find the good news in the fact that Kevin’s foot has not reacted this way so far.

Then he proceeded to check Kevin’s eyes. With light there was still no pupil dilation/reaction. So then he pulled open Kevin’s eyes, and poked his eyeball with a wad of Kleenex. Out of six pokes, Kevin’s eyelids on his left eye tried to close (blinked as a reaction to pain)! I know it is only one out of six, and I know that he may be somewhat involuntary to pain, but it hasn’t happened so far. And once out of six times, is better than none out of six!!!!

Then there was the statement where the neurosurgeon said, that I actually found encouraging. He said, Kevin does not have a dead brain, he has a badly injured brain.

We go through different stages of grief, excitement, laughter, joy, sadness, etc…. Thanks for your prayers, words of encouragement, food, offers of assistance, etc…

God is sustaining our family.

Matt & Angie

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Update #8 on Matt's Brother, Kevin

Today was a long day of ups and downs. Kevin had some respiratory issues, so they had to tweak the ventilator settings. The neurosurgeon and doctor have not given us much reason of hope citing different issues. However, we know from them that there is a chance he could wake up, we just aren’t sure what limitations he might have. He did have a B.M. which was the first time in the hospital and an important step of progress.

Many people came to the hospital. Some brought food and snacks. Our intermediate family was surrounded by love from God’s people and other family members.

HPCC got my family a place to stay throughout Sunday. Angie and I staying there tonight and tomorrow we stay back up at the hospital. We will try to work on some kind of family rotation. We also are working on a medical journal for Kevin, citing all the things that the doctors are telling us.

Pray that our family could stay strong during this time of trial. Pray that we stay unified even as the enemy would have us shattered. Thank you for your help and kind words, but especially thank you for your prayers.

We will head back up to the hospital around 6 AM to meet with Kevin’s doctors. Please keep praying.

Matt & Angie

Update #7 on Matt's Brother, Kevin

So, we got in last night and came to the hospital. Kevin had earlier stopped moving his leg. The thought was maybe he gotten worn out. We were told that he had moved it over thirty times. Angie and I have been very happy to be home with family and friends through this incredibly difficult time. In Italy, we were in a waiting game. We couldn’t walk down the hall and see him, or talk to him. But now we can. Angie and I have not hardly left his side since we arrived. We stayed in his room last night, giving other family a bit of rest.

An hour or so after arriving, Kevin was having trouble breathing, so they gave him a sedative/pain killer. Kevin had x-rays taken during the night, which has become somewhat regular. Two doctors came in this morning at different points to explain their areas of care. One doctor said they think he might be getting a touch of pneumonia, his lungs had blood in his lungs, which raised the possibility of pneumonia. The neurologist talked about several things. First, he said one area of major concern is that his eyes are unresponsive, no dilation of the eyes when confronted with light. The brain stem, where there are three blood clots (signifying damage to his brain stem) is the seat of consciousness. This adds to the fear that he could never wake up, since his eyes aren’t responsive.

The neurosurgeon said while the leg moving, itself is a good thing, it doesn’t tell us anything other than that the leg can move. For instance, it does not tell us if he can move his arm on the same side of his body and his leg. It does not tell us if and when he will wake up. But we will cling to the good of the leg moving and look for more good things like eyes opening. The neurosurgeon said we can talk to him as much as we want. He also said that it may still take a couple of days for all the sedative and major pain killers to wear off.

My prayer is for my big brother to wake up and take up the helm that he has held for his many years of protector and guardian of the family…whether we always liked it or not.

Thank you so much for your prayers, encouragement and offers of assistance,
Matt & Angie

Monday, August 24, 2009

Update #6 on Matt's Brother, Kevin...GREAT NEWS

We are in NY at JFK airport waiting for our flight to Chicago and found out that Kevin is moving his right leg and had a tear in his eye when Greg (our other brother) kissed him. It rolled down his face. We can’t wait to get there! Please keep praying!!!

Matt & Angie

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Update #5 on Matt's Brother, Kevin 20090823

So, we have spent the last day preparing to head back to the states. We fly out tomorrow morning from Milan. We told the groundskeeper of our building what was going on and he insisted on driving us two hours to the airport! April has Brinkley and is looking out for some of our stuff. The Caseys are staying until tomorrow to help us with final details. We will arrive in Tulsa at 10:23 PM Monday night and I want to go see Kevin.

Today, we found out that even though Kevin was taken off the sedative, the neurosurgeon said Kevin is still on a major painkiller which sort of acts as a sedative. This drug would make it so Kevin would sedated, even without a sedative. He said it will keep him from remembering any pain, as well as keep him from hearing anything we might be telling him. This is strange for two reasons, first they told the family to talk to him since he was off his sedative. The other reason it is strange is because the first thing the neurosurgeon did when he came in the room was call out loud Kevin’s name. Why do that and then tell the family we can say whatever we want, but he won’t hear us. We do know that God will. The neurosurgeon said he would be on this pain killing drug till around Tuesday or Wednesday. Please keep praying for Kevin’s full recovery. He is blessed to have so many of you praying for him and his family.

On a good note, they gave Kevin another CAT scan and they said the swelling had went down on the brain and his blood clots surrounding the brain stem are not any worse!! Please keep praying for the removal of these clots and full healing of his brain.

We look forward to seeing family, friends and especially, Kevin, tomorrow night.

In Christ,
Matt & Angie