Saturday, October 3, 2009

Update #63 on Kevin

Kevin had an uneventful night last night. Yesterday, he had his trach capped for at least six hours by the time, that we left last night. Usually, they would give his lungs a break, by putting him back on wall-flow, but I’m not sure what time they did that. Regardless, six hours would be his record so far, for being capped and breathing only through his mouth and nose. His respiratory therapist even gave him his breathing treatment with a mask over his mouth and nose.

He has had a fever a couple of times over the past couple days, so the doctor ordered some blood cultures to be done. Speaking of blood, Kevin had some in his urine last night, but apparently, it was just from getting his catheter pulled or something, because that cleared up overnight too.

Kevin’s stomach digestion issues are still a little buggy. They have to keep starting and stopping his tube feeding, so that he can digest better. Keep praying for his digestion issues as he adjusts to a higher dose of tube feeding.

Thanks for praying for the family as we navigate all the issues that naturally come up in a situation like this. Pray for us to find time to deal with the flood issues too. It is difficult tearing time away from Kevin to deal with material things.

Thanks for caring,
Matt, Angie and family
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Friday, October 2, 2009

Update #62 on Kevin

Last night, Angie and I stayed with Kevin. We went to the fair last night. Our family had fun together, even though it was strange that Kevin wasn’t there. We walked around, went in buildings, ate food and played games. Really, the only game we played was the knife game. It is a favorite of my family. I won a couple red knives in Kevin’s honor, red is his favorite color. After the fair we came back to relieve a family friend and our mom and dad. Then we spent the night.

Kevin had a relatively good night. Yesterday, the doctor had increased his tube feeding rate from 50 to 70 and he has been having some issues adjusting to the digestion. He has had various high residuals (leftovers in his belly). Sometimes that is part of his body getting used to the new amount. Pray that his stomach can start handling the new amounts, which will give him more nutrition.

Kevin has had his trach capped since 2:30 pm (it is 5:04 pm now). So he is going on 3 hours, which was his record so far to date breathing only through his nose and mouth. He is supposed to be moved into his blue neuro chair around 6:00 pm for his evening stint. This morning, he was having different spasms, and his heart rate went up. The doctor explained to us that this is a byproduct of being stimulated, including us touching him. It isn’t causing him pain, it’s like when you work out with weights, you work hard and your heart rate goes up. He said we don’t want to stop touching him, so therefore we accept the byproduct.

The doctor ordered an MRI for Kevin’s eye on Monday morning. EMSA will arrive around 11:30 AM, he’ll go to Southcrest and come back afterwards. I believe this will also give us an MRI of Kevin’s brain at the same time. Two for one!

Thanks for praying and reading,
Matt, Angie and family
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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Update #61 on Kevin

Our family loves the fair. I can’t actually remember the first time I went to the fair. I am guessing it is because I start going as a baby. Every year my family spends several days at the Tulsa State Fair, playing games, eating corn dogs and listening to concerts; our dad has even played music out there for concerts and in contests. Last year, I took tons of pictures and video, so that the years we are in Italy we can look at the photos and think about the good times with family.

When all this happened, we didn’t even know if it would last this long. We had no idea if we would be here in America for the fair. As the time for the fair approached, we started thinking about the decision of going or not going. It will be so strange and emotional to go to the fair without Kevin. Although, it would probably be just as strange to not go.

Our family has a meeting spot at the fair. Before cell phones, it wasn’t easy to meet up without a meeting spot. We meet at the OU booth in the IPE building (Quiktrip building). Often we would be stuck waiting forever for someone. If we end up meeting there this year, we might find ourselves lingering a little longer for Kevin to arrive.

We did decide to go, at least a few times. Kevin would, and he would want us to do that too. So tonight, a family friend will be with Kevin allowing our family the opportunity to go all together, at least once. So if you remember our family tonight, pray for us to have a good time and have the strength to make it through the emotional aspects of going without Kevin.

The search continues for a next step facility. Kevin is here at Meadowbrook for another week, until next Tuesday (it is a week to week approval). But we don’t want to be caught unprepared so we continue to look at what’s next. Right now, it would need to be a facility that accepts patients with a trach, and some even distinguish between recently placed and older trachs. His is considered a recently placed trach.

The past couple days he has had the trach cap on, which only allows him to breathe through his nose and mouth. He continues to do well with it, sometimes having more coughing issues, but other times doing fine. It is a relearning of breathing. His respiratory rate continues to do well. The other night they removed all leads from his chest (telemetry). The only things they are monitoring now are through the pulsox. It measures his oxygen rating and basic heart monitoring. Kevin had a couple of small sores on his back that he got while in TICU. He hasn’t gotten anymore since being at Meadowbrook. One looks better, the other has looked better and not as good (but never really bad). They both need to heal more.

He has had the trach cap on for a couple hours again today and is doing well with it. He also was in his neuro chair today. In a future update, I’ll post what questions we are asking of the facilities we are looking into for Kevin. It is a long list and some centers respond better than others. I thought it may be helpful for others. And also if anyone out there has more experience than we do, feel free to send us questions we may not have thought.

Thanks for praying and reading. And maybe we’ll see you tonight if you brave the rain and make it out to the fair tonight.
Matt, Angie and family
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Update #60 on Kevin

Kevin did well throughout the night, as far as his stats are concerned. This morning the doctor looked at Kevin’s right eye (the one severely infected). He saw that there was some white coming back into his eye. We looked at his eye and saw it too. There is a sliver of white on the left side of his right iris. Also above his iris, there is white with a web of red veins, but you can see the white peeking through. The rest of the sclera (white part) is fire engine red, but the filmy layer of pus has come off the iris, so you can see his brown iris.

They put him in his blue neuro chair at 10:00 AM. Around 11:30 AM the Respiratory Therapist placed the cap on the trach again. This blocks off the trach hole and forces Kevin to use only his mouth and nose for all breathing functions. This time, Kevin seemed to adjust well. His heartrate did not go up. His respiratory rate only increased from 22 breaths per minute (bpm) to 25-26 bpm’s.

At 11:45 AM Kevin started having a muscle spasm reflex in his right arm. I used a technique taught to us by the Physical and Occupational therapists. You slowly bend his hand back and hold it in the position. I did that for about 30 minutes, giving him a rest. His heart rate is between 103-110 and his respiratory rate is between 20-25 bpm.

We are trying to investigate the next stage facilities for whenever that may come. If this were his last week, we would need to move him in the next couple days. However, he is still on IV antibiotics and they are trying to work on capping his trach. So that makes it less likely that this is his last week.

The thing is, we want him to be wherever God wants him to be for healing. Please just pray that God would place Kevin wherever he wants him to be.

Thanks for praying and reading,
Matt, Angie and family
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Monday, September 28, 2009

Update #59 on Kevin

So Kevin ended up breathing with the speaking valve on for ten hours today (minus the 30 minutes he had a breathing treatment). The Respiratory therapist switched Kevin back on Wall-Flow so he could have a break tonight throughout the night. He did great on it tonight. Breathing in through the trach, and out through his mouth and nose. Pray that he can make the switch over to the trach cap. That means everything goes through his mouth and nose, no trach support for that!

His right eye was definitely less swollen today, but it was still very red and extremely irritated. It continues to appear that there is a layer of puss just under the outer skin of the eye. Pray that it can be determined if the infection has entered his actual eyeball.

One of Kevin’s nurses had it set up so that she could remotely monitor his blood pressure. Just another way to watch over Kevin as he continues to heal. As soon as she was told it was set-up we heard the cuff start airing up! I love technology.

For the past week, whenever Kevin has been put in his blue neuro chair, he starts having these synchronized muscle reflexes. Both legs, both arms, both hands and all fingers contract in bursts. It will last anywhere from 2 minutes to 45 minutes. Physical and Occupational therapy told us that his brain is firing signals to his muscles. His brain fires too much at one time. When he begins having these, we can slowly push his hand backwards towards his foreman and hold pressure. It helps his body to relax. The goal is for his brain to fire just the right amount of signal.

I returned our rental car today. As the employee was driving me back to drop me off, we began talking about where she was dropping me off. I explained it was at Meadowbrook Specialty Hospital. I told her my brother was in a coma after an automobile accident. She knew my name from the rental and asked if I was related to Kevin Crosser. I told her I was his brother and that was the brother that was in the hospital in a coma. She reacted with surprise that she knows Kevin. Her husband worked with him in the past. It is hard for one of us in the family to go anywhere without someone knowing Kevin. He knew so many people. And he had a big impact on quite a few of them.

The stitches are out of Kevin’s wound on the right side of his head. His scar is healing up nicely and hair is growing back in around it. The scabs on his ears, have all but fallen off, or completely healed.

I’ll close tonight’s with Kevin’s stats…
Heart rate 89-95 beats per minute
Respiratory rate 20-24 breaths per minute
Latest blood pressure 97 over 55
And his Oxygen is holding firm at 100.

Thanks for praying for all these things! Let’s thank God together that he has answered so many prayers. Please pray for healing of Kevin’s mind. Pray for healing of Kevin’s brainstem. Thank you for giving your time to the recovery of Kevin.

Matt, Angie and family
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Update #58 on Kevin

They tried to cap Kevin’s trach around 10:30 AM. His stats were okay, but he seemed to be trying to breathe through the capped trach. His body hadn’t quite adjusted to breathing in and out through his nose and mouth yet. So, instead of going completely back on the trach tube, they put his speaking valve on. If you’ll remember, the speaking valve, allows him to take breaths in but he has to breathe out through his nose and mouth. He has been on the speaking valve since since then and his vitals have continued to improve. Just now his heart rate is in the 90’s and his respiratory rate has been in the high teens and low 20s. That means he has been off the trach tube and on the speaking valve for 2 ½ hours. I think before the longest had been around 1 hr 20 mins.

The respiratory therapist came in to take his speaking valve off. She only did this to give him a breathing treatment. He coughed just a first and she suctioned it off. Then he was clear. She said he continued to sound really clear. After the breathing treatment, she put the speaking valve back on, but this time left the nasal O2 line off. They had put in on this morning, when they tried the cap. They said that they didn’t think he needed it, but it was just a precaution. He has done so well, it is better that he has it back off.

Physical and occupational therapy came in and worked on his range of motion. Also over the past couple days Kevin’s residuals have been next to nothing. Residuals are just the measurement of what is left in his stomach, in other words, what he is NOT digesting. So low residuals mean that he is digesting his food well. His doctor said this morning that his nutrition levels were normal, so he is getting what he needs.

People continue to ask what they can do for the family, so I will list options here….

 - If you work at American Airlines and have days off that you would consider donating to my brother, Greg, you can do so at the administration desk located next to the injury counselor’s office in the admin building (near the credit union). We are getting ready to start sorting through all Kevin’s possessions that were in Kevin’s house during the flood. We have to go through every single item. It would be very helpful for us if Greg was able to have the time off to help at the warehouse.

- If you want to prepare meals for the family or deliver the meals is something that you would like to help with, we could still use help in that area. You can contact Jeff Congdon, if you would like to prepare or deliver a meal OR you can contribute to the Crosser account #4374300 at 742-DINE.

New stats:
Members of the “Pray for Kevin” Facebook group: 295 members
Subscribers to the “Pray for Kevin” email update list: 285 subscribers
Visitors to 1,968 people
How many times has viewed: 6,815 views
Twitter followers of pray4kevin: 30 twitterers

There’s almost been 2000 people go to! Thanks for spreading the word. If you know of anyone that would like to get these updates, please forward the updates to them. Or have them go to and sign up to receive the updates via email.

Thanks for praying for Kevin,
Matt, Angie and family
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Update #57 on Kevin

Have you ever heard the song “Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good” by Don Williams? I remember Kevin bringing home that song on an 8-track. For those of you too young to remember the vinyl albums and 45s, good luck remembering 8-tracks. They were basically pre-cassette cassettes, about the size of a thick piece of toast. Anyway, the lyrics to that song are…

Lord, I hope this day is good
I'm feelin' empty and misunderstood
I should be thankful Lord, I know I should
But Lord, I hope this day is good

Lord, have you forgotten me
I've been prayin' to you faithfully
I'm not sayin' I'm a righteous man
But Lord, I hope you understand

I don't need fortune and I don't need fame
Send down the thunder Lord, send down the rain
But when you're planning just how it will be
Plan a good day for me

You've been the king since the dawn of time
All that I'm asking is a little less crime
It might be hard fo the devil to do

As we arrived here this morning (we had another family member stay last night thankfully), the sun was up, and things felt hopeful. We got there in time to meet today’s respiratory therapist and RN. A short while later and his main doctor came in. We have felt very thankful to God for this doctor. As he examined Kevin, we waited. Once he finished, he shared some thoughts and we chatted for a bit. We had already noticed that Kevin’s right eye had lost some of its swollenness, then he noticed too. He wants to make sure he isn’t missing anything, even though he already called in an infection specialist doctor. He mentioned different ideas such as calling in favors of eye doctors that he knows to get them in Meadowbrook. In fourteen years, he told us he hasn’t had an eye specialist come in there. He also talked about the possibility of taking Kevin somewhere to have his eye checked. Another option was to have an MRI done of Kevin’s eye. He wants to make sure that the infection is not getting into Kevin’s right eyeball. He said the benefit of an MRI is getting one of the brain at the same time. Two for one, he said.

We have heard some suggestions from staff about looking at the next stage for Kevin’s care. Meadowbrook is an LTAC. An LTAC is to help transition Kevin from the ICU to a more healthy, stable life. His vitals have continued to improve. His scarring is healing on the right side of his head. His swelling has gone down from his left arm, where the clot is. The PA said that his pneumonia is doing better. And his pseudomonas is something that can get better, but that he would have the bacteria in his lungs as long as he has the trach tube. The next stage depends on a few factors. In order to move to a rehab center, Kevin would need to be able to participate in rehab therapy three hours per day. At this stage, we aren’t sure if this is possible. Most of it would be range of motion and things like that. He isn’t at the point to do it on his own yet, since he isn’t really waking up. He just seems more alert at times than others.

Another option for the next step would be a skilled nursing center. These are usually a part of a nursing center, but are more advanced and for patients that need more attentive care. If Kevin still has his trach tube in, we are limited in choice to five different places in the Tulsa area. One in Bixby, one in Inola and three in Tulsa. However, the PA came in today and said that they wanted to try out a trach cap today on Kevin. Basically, it caps Kevin’s trach tube, removing the tube that goes into his trach. This gives him a trial run of breathing only through his nose and mouth. Another RT, had told me he was breathing some through his nose the other day, even with the trach in. If this trial goes well, we can look at taking the trach out completely, but putting in a trach button which keeps the hole from closing.

Please pray that Kevin breathes fine without the trach help, that is with the trach cap on. Pray for his continued healing. Pray for him to wake up. I just finished playing for Kevin a Don Williams CD I picked up. His eyelids fluttered when the music came on. Lord, I hope this day is good. In fact, we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Thanks for always planning a good day for us God.

Thanks for reading, praying and encouraging,
Matt, Angie and family
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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Update #56 on Kevin

Can I just say, I miss Kevin? I do. This morning at church, I was really missing his voice, personality, etc…

After church, my family went to lunch together. Then we went over to Kevin’s house to see how things were going. Greg had taken the lead at the house during the cleanup, while I remained at the hospital with Kevin, family and visitors. It is actually the first time I have seen the house since the flood. In the driveway there is a long blue dumpster for getting rid of the old damaged sheetrock, cabinets, etc… The front of the house looks pretty much the same. When we arrived, we noticed that there were workers there. Trucks outside, front door open and the curtains drawn in the windows. We went in and introduced ourselves. They showed us what they are doing. The new sheetrock was installed and now they were texturing the walls so that the new pieces were blended with the old. They told us that it should be ready for trim tomorrow. The cabinets have been torn out in the bathroom and kitchen, although the upper ones remain in the kitchen. The insurance will only pay for the ones on the bottom, the damaged part. So at this point, Kevin will have old cabinets on top and new ones on bottom. All the appliances in the kitchen were damaged and should be covered by insurance as well. After the trim is put on, they can start painting the walls.

Kevin has continued to have a pretty good weekend. He was put in his blue neuro chair yesterday twice and so far once today. His heart rate goes up (around 120’s bpm)often when he is in the blue neuro chair and it did again today. He is back in bed with a heart rate in the 90’s.

Please be praying for his right eye. It continues to look worse. They put new antibiotics for his eye, in case it is bacterial. If it was viral it would just run its course.

Keep praying that his lungs would continue to heal. Pray for his mind to continue to heal.

Kevin’s left arm that has the blood clots in it, has lost most of its swelling. The doctor even said he would be fine if they took blood pressure readings from that left arm and leg (which also has a clot). He said that normally, after a week or more, the blood will drill a hole through the clot in order, which allows good circulation. It does take about 6-8 weeks for the blood clot to completely dissolve.

Pray that the picc line in Kevin’s right arm would not cause any clotting.

Thanks for following all of this and thanks for praying,
Matt, Angie and family
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