Friday, June 3, 2011

Update #138 on Kevin - Trach Coming Out!

Okay, I last posted a note on February 19, 2011. I have had more smaller updates on Twitter since then, mainly because their shorter and easier to get out. We had a few things go on since Kevin came home from the hospital on February 18.  Here's the short version...

...two days after returning home we had a circuit breaker fire that displaced us for three weeks. Greg gladly opened up his home to the five of us (Matt, Angie, Jacob, Kohl and Kevin!) plus nurses round the clock. The house had to be restored due to smoke and odor damage.

...I had bronchitis and shingles for a few weeks; meanwhile Kevin never seemed to get over whatever he had that took him to the hospital.

...came back home for two weeks and Kevin got bad again. It wasn't as bad as when we took him to the hospital in February, but bad enough to go again. So we took him once more to St. John's ER. They admitted him for a week. They were never fully sure what was going on, maybe pneumonia, but weren't sure. Brought him home on April Fools' Day.

...April was a great month for Kevin at therapy. He was more alert and doing things he hadn't done since December. But the previous few months hadn't been good due to sickness so his charts looked bad. You can really chart that the reason he's not doing good was due to sickness. So the outpatient therapy we were taking him to had to discharge for now.

...May 2, Kevin seemed to be showing similar signs to when we took him to him to the ER, so we headed that way. They ended up treating him in the ER that day and sending us home with meds for bronchitis. That seemed to do the trick.

...In the May, Kevin had an eye infection, but with some antibiotics it's already cleared up.

...Since around the middle of February, we have had approval for twenty-four around the clock nursing. However, we haven't but maybe one week where we had that fully staffed. There have been many different reasons why, some were nurses getting sick or in car wrecks. But suffice it to say, we still need competent and dependably committed nurses to fill shifts. It means constant training and reworking of our schedules. Most of the empty shifts fall to Angie, which is incredibly hard at times.

...of course during all this, we have continued therapy at home. Now that the weather is nice we can take Kevin outside on the deck which was graciously built by United Way volunteers and some of Kevin's friends. It and the other developments they made have been a great benefit going into the outdoor season.

...Kevin's trach has been being capped throughout the day. On our last visit with the pulmonologist (lung doctor) she wanted us to be more aggressive with capping him throughout the day. We had slowly been working him back up to where he was before he started getting sick around the beginning of the year. She said let's aggressively add time each day that he does well. Because she believed he could do it, and so did we.

...This week we have been adding more and more time every day working toward a full twenty-four hour period of capping. His pulmonologist said if he got to twenty-four hours then we could take the trach out. He just did that! In fact, he has had it on for more than twenty-four hours now and still doing great. This morning Angie heard him naturally snoring, because his airway is totally through his nose and mouth when capped.

...We called the doctor and left a message. She called back soon and said let's take the trach out! We can either do it with a nurse or bring him in on Monday. We are discussing it and determining which way is best.  Either way, his trach is coming out!

...We'll note something, for sure on twitter, when it comes out. You can read the tweets at

...Remember you can fill out a letter online and send it to Kevin at It will be printed off and read to Kevin.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. This is a big step for Kevin's recovery. We give God all the glory for getting Kevin to this point.

Thanks for praying and reading,
Matt, Angie and family

Pray For Kevin
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