Saturday, February 19, 2011

Update #137 on Kevin - Back at Home!

We were able to bring Kevin home last night. He stills needs to rest and continue to recuperate but he's doing so much better. He also got some redness and a slight sore while at the hospital so we are taking great strains to heal that through application of medication and consistent turns every couple hours. At this point he can't stay in his wheelchair for more than a couple hours so that he isn't stressing the already tender skin.

Our home health care agency has been trying to staff the house with 24 hour nursing. We are hoping that this can continue for the unforeseeable future since it has been difficult to give the best of care with only 8 hours of nursing. We won't know about approval for how much nursing we will get for a week or so, but right now they are trying to staff us with as close to 24 hours as possible. For instance, tonight from 10PM -8AM we don't have anyone and tomorrow from 4PM - 8PM we don't either, but the nursing agency is doing their very best to fill all those slots.

Part of the process, for whatever amount of nursing we get is having new nurses. That means lots of training and teaching for how things work at this house and what Kevin needs. Also, right now everything Kevin is getting (medicine, food, care) is spread out over the entire 24 hours to ease him back into things. That means the few breaks we worked into his schedule are gone. Every two hours he is turned (takes about fifteen -twenty minutes), food is every four hours, breathing treatments are every four hours, eye ointment is every two hours, etc…….. Little rest in between and it makes a big difference that we have more nursing right now. We pray it will continue.

If you want to send a message to Kevin, I took an idea from the hospital and added it to his website ( All you have to do is click this link to send a note to Kevin We'll print it off and read it to him. This way Kevin can hear from you even if you can't come by and see him. And if you would like to come by and see Kevin, please try. We know he would love it.

Thanks for all the love and messages at the hospital. Outside of all the emails, facebook messages, and comments we had over thirty St John's "Well Wishes" emails hanging on his wall before we left! It meant so much to us and him.

Thanks so much for your prayers during this difficult time during Kevin's already difficult recovery. Your prayers are heard.

Matt, Angie and family
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Friday, February 18, 2011

Update #136 on Kevin - Prepping for Home

So, here I sit in Kevin's room listening to Jazz and waiting for the doctor to come in with news that we can take Kevin home today. It's 11:15 AM and she has usually come in around 9:30 AM, therefore anticipation is building.

Kevin has remained great on room air for two days. He's been off antibiotics for a couple days. All his testings have come back with good results. He does have a small sore that is right on top of a scar from one of his old ones. I have the nurses doing "extreme" side turns so that he does not put any more pressure or moisture on the spot. They've pulled unneccessary catheters from Kevin and he's doing good and regulating things on his own. All that's left is a picc line which they will remove towards the last minute.

As far as the pressure spot goes, I will argue that for fourteen months he has had none at home. When he first came home, there were two pressure sores that were healed within about two weeks. At home we only have one "patient" to monitor. So, even if he goes home with it, the hope is between good care, the circulating air mattress and meds he will bounce back from that too.

The pulmonologist came in earlier, commented on my Coltrane playing and stated that he didn't see any reason why Kevin's main doctor in this unit wouldn't let him go home today.

Angie stayed at the house last night and has cleaned like a banshee in order for it to be ready if we bring him home today. I stayed with him at the hospital and helped the nurses get him far on his side for pressure relief.

We have thirty well wishing emails that you all have sent and after being read to Kevin are hanging on the wall in his room. When I read him some yesterday, he opened his eyes bigger, turned towards me and listened. Thanks for encouraging Kevin and us. Many staff have commented that they didn't even know they had this on the St John's website and they thought it was so cool that we have them hanging in his room.

As soon as we get the discharge info, we can get it to our home health care agency, Maxim, and they can request approval for nursing. Because he needs round the clock care we are requesting twenty-four hours per day nursing. Insurance has only paid for eight hours per day so far, but then again, many of you are praying. Our God is bigger than any insurance company's policy!

It's 11:45 AM and still no doc. The Jazz relaxes and calms me. A couple other nurses came in and loved the Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone that was playing. Now, hopefully we can listen at home tonight. Now one of my favorites, the Girl from Ipanema (Stan Getz version).

If you still want to send an email message to Kevin, just go to and click "contact a patient" on the right side, the form will pop up. Do it soon, in case we get to go home this afternoon.

Thanks for reading and praying,
Matt, Angie and family
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Update #135 on Kevin - Out of ICU!

So, more good stuff to report.

After waiting all day, Kevin finally got his MRI's late last night. The hospital is really full here, so he kept getting bumped for more urgent cases.

Then around midnight, Kevin got moved to a new room out of ICU. He is on the same floor in room 845. It's a private room with great nurses and aides so far. Today they pulled him off oxygen because he was doing so well and has been on humidified room air ever since.

I spent the night here with him (the nurses encourage it in this wing) and Angie went home to sleep. Tonight we are tagging out. I'll go home and Angie will stay in the room.

When Angie came up today she brought Kevin's wheelchair. This afternoon the nurses put Kevin in his chair. We wanted to start it out slow, so it was only for 2 1/2 hours but Kevin did great.

We are making arrangements with home health care because they are still looking at Kevin going home later this week, probably Friday. We hope to have more nursing in place so please pray for more than eight hours to be approved.

Feel free to keep sending messages to Kevin through the St John's website. We have read every one to him and hung them on the wall in his room. The link is

Thanks for praying and reading,
Matt, Angie and family
Pray For Kevin
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Monday, February 14, 2011

Update #134 on Kevin - ICU

Okay, much to update. Good stuff too.

Kevin has been off any breathing machines for over twenty-four hours. He's on flowby or wallflow air. It's basically just room air with adjustable oxygen (right now he's on 50% oxygen).

They stopped irrigating his bladder about 30 hours or so ago and he has had very little blood showing up, just occassional spots. That should continue to clear up over time.

He's only got one antibiotic left out of the three he was on for the pneumonia/infection. It is scheduled to end on Wednesday.

Gastro doctors scheduled a peg tube replacement this morning and it was done before we got here. We were pleasantly surprised when we got here and found out about it. Kevin's Critical Care doctor was surprised that the gastro docs could fit it in so quick and do the procedure in Kevin's room.

Kevin has MRI's scheduled for tomorrow (which again were ordered by his neurologist before Kevin came to the ER). These MRI's are for the regular recovery process and are of his brain and brain stem specifically.

The CC Doctor told us that Kevin has transfer orders ready for him to be moved into a step down unit on the other side of the hospital. However, there has been a waiting list, so we aren't sure when or if he will get moved there before being discharged later in the week.

Now, we are actively looking at post discharge stuff like reopening his home care nursing, alerting his doctors, etc… We are going to be requesting more daily nursing hours from insurance. In fact, we were already looking to do that before this sudden experience and had to put it off. Kevin requires more care than the eight hours of nursing he has been getting. Please pray for this need.

Kevin will also be getting a short break from physical, occupational and speech therapy. We haven't yet decided when in March he will start back up, but we will also be discussing this with his doctors as we make the decision.

Prior to this hospitlization, Kevin has continued to do new things in therapy and his therapists have so great and creative as they stimulate and improve Kevin's functions. His body control continues to get better. He has stood assisted by therapists, and increased neck control to where he can hold his neck up to 17 minutes long once. Back in June, his record for neck control was only a few minutes. He still needs to do this more consistently, but the increase is exciting. In August, we took Kevin for a swallow study which tracked different thickness of liquids as an Xray showed which of his muscles were/weren't working. This study gave Kevin's speech therapist the information needed to know which muscles in the back of his neck needed stimulated to improve swallowing. She has wanted to schedule a new swallow study so that we have a benchmark for comparison.

This ICU stay may give Kevin a little bit of a setback, but as you can probably tell (or already know) Kevin is a fighter. Two steps forward, one step back is still progress.

Thanks for all the notes that were sent through the hospital website, we read them to him today. The ones from February 9 & 10 just got here. Feel free to keep sending them and we'll keep reading them to him. The link is and you can fill out the form. There are fifteen of them taped to Kevin's wall.

Thanks so much for your prayers and encouragement,
Matt, Angie and family

Quicklinks to Recent posts -
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Update #128 -
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