June 30, 2011

Meaghan has made significant gains in her recovery during the last two days.  Unfortunately, her swallowing eval was not stellar although she passed.  The doctors are not sure if the problems they were observing were due to the larger trach or if it was injury related.  In any case, she finally did get something to drink only it had to be thickened to a “honey like” consistency.  The first thing she wanted was a Pina Colada Slurpee.  Immediately my oldest daughter Erin and I started to search for a 7-Eleven.  Around our area, and probably in much of the South, there are at least a half dozen 7-Elevens in any given square mile.  However today it seemed like they had all vanished as we spent a good half hour driving around before we found one.  Besides the Pina Colada Slurpee we also stocked up on Gator Aid and Sprite.  When we got back to say Meg couldn’t get enough to drink is an understatement.  I think she spent the rest of the night making hand gestures indicating she wanted more.

Yesterday morning Meg’s discharge nurse Francis started to talk about moving her to a rehab facility perhaps as early as today.  I immediately asked my friends on Facebook to pray that a bed would be available in Richmond.  My thinking was 1) that Richmond was the closest facility being mentioned by the discharge nurse, and 2) my daughter Erin lives in Richmond which would be a built-in support system for both Tracy and Meg and is a relatively close ride from Va Beach for Conor and I.  Then around lunchtime some representatives from the Shepherds Center in Atlanta stopped by to tell us about their program and facilities.  It sounded great but it was outside of our HMO network and they would have to fight with the company in order to justify Meg’s treatment there.  They were confident that they could make it happen, but there was also the issue that insurance company might require Tracy and I to pay for transportation which meant a private jet with medial staff at around $7,000.  Thankfully,  a TBI specific facility also contacted us from Washington, D.C. with a bed available.  Then there was a place in Charlottesville, the Kluge Center, that also specializes in TBI and treats only those 21 years or under with a bed available.  Finally, at around 3:00 Francis told us that there was a bed open in Richmond but that they cater more to senior citizens.

At that point I asked if we could give her our decision first thing in the morning.  Regrettably she said that would not be possible and that we only had a half hour to decide (we persuaded her to give us at least an hour).  While Tracy, Erin and I were discussing our options in the hallway, one of the hospital’s Chaplains stopped by to see how we were doing.  We told her of our dilemma and she asked if we wanted to pray about it, which we did.  Afterwards as we continued to discuss what to do it became clear that while Richmond was our first choice, Charlottesville seemed a better fit.  We reasoned that as Meg becomes more aware of her surroundings perhaps having older patients around might freak her out a bit.  Whereas having kids around her own age or even younger might actually help.  Meg has always loved little kids and they have always gravitated toward her.  The confirmation that we had made the right decision came later that night when a physician friend of ours, Albert, called and when I told him what we had decided he said; “Good choice. They’re the best in the state.”

Meg seems to grow more lucid every day.  On Wednesday Tracy spent the “evening shift” at the hospital and brought home sheets of paper where Meg was having conversations with her friends.  What encouraged me most was that most were logical and you could tell she was clearly interacting with those she was talking with even though she couldn’t speak.  Today Meg was asking more about what happened to her.  Her friends Caitlin and Keila were explaining again what happened.  They mentioned that the news had also covered the story of the crash and I told her that I had saved them all for her for a later date.  She said she wanted to see them now so I played one clip from a local news station.  After the clip, she wrote “Daymn….”  At one point I said, “Yeah, Meg, we almost lost you.”  She wrote back; “But you didn’t.”

After that Meg logged onto her Facebook account to see what people had been writing.  Meg even posted her status; “ im osy jdt in the hopital” (which loosely translated means “I’m ok just in the hospital”). She also got Caitlin’s phone and even started to text a few of her friends.  Now, I can’t say that it was all totally coherent, but Facebook and texting were pretty much what Meg’s life consisted of before the accident.

Later today they downsized her trach and shortly after that they put a oneway valve over it to see how she would handle it.  She did.  The valve also allows Meg to start to speak even if right now it is only a whisper and just barely. The next step is to remove the trach entirely.  In addition, Meg’s nurse, Terry 1, removed the 47 or so staples in Meg’s head.

Tomorrow morning Meg and Tracy head out for Charlottesville.  Meg in an ambulance and Tracy following close behind.  They’re expected to be there for 4 to 6 weeks and afterwards Meg will be prescribed outpatient rehab locally as needed.  I told Tracy she’s going on “Meg deployment.”  Tracy said her head is spinning as this is all happening so fast.  She said she feels overwhelmed.  But she is also worried that the rehab facility won’t use her and that she’ll be relegated to be a spectator sitting on the sidelines (something she said would drive her nuts).

Please pray:

  • That through the rehab process Meg will be restored to the same girl she was before the accident (with or without super powers) and that she might look back on this period of testing not with regret or remorse but as something that had a profound and positive effect on her life.
  • That the staff at the Kluge Center will utilize Tracy in constructive ways to help in Meg’s recovery and that Tracy will feel that she is a useful part in that process.
  • That both Meg and Tracy will have traveling mercies and that Tracy will not feel at any time isolated or alone while she’s there.

Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me.  But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.  My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.  I and My Father are one.”

Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?” The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”



June 28, 2011

I wasn’t going to write an update this evening but Meg’s former JV Softball coach who we love, Teryn Wineberg, told me I should and who am I to argue with the coach.

Meg continues to make progress and it seems like a number of her cognitive functions remain intact, even if it is still way too early for the OT (Occupational Therapist) team to offer any long term prognosis.  Even if they could they still could be wrong regardless of what their professional determination might be.  Besides the astronomical variables related to severe head trauma, I continue to look to God who has already determined from eternity Meg’s prognosis.  Tracy and I continue to rely on Him to bring Meg back to us whole, the opinions of medical professionals, as awesome as they are, notwithstanding.  (I did tell coach Wineberg that I think Meg will come back to us with super powers like instead of hitting at least one batter every couple of innings she’ll miraculously turn into the next Jenny Finch. Admittedly, Meg already has super powers in Centerfield, on First and occasionally at the plate,  but a couple of extra super powers couldn’t hurt).

Last night and today Meg continues to write.  Mostly it’s “Sprite/Coke/Punch/Desani” or “If I don’t get something now I’ll shoot myself.”  Thankfully her nurse Deborah has periodically tried to relieve her parched mouth by swabbing a small sponge dipped in ice water attached to a suction apparatus.  Yet, despite these relief efforts Meg continues to write things like “Slurpee” and “Frostie.”

She did get her hands on her friend Kayla’s cell phone and texted a message to her other friend Caitlin who was standing in the room.  Beside the message Meg also entered Caitlin’s phone number. The message was simply; “I loovee you.”

Earlier in the day they did try to add a valve to her trach.  The valve allows air to pass in one direction so that she can exhale out of her nose and mouth.  Unfortunately she didn’t handle it well.  Her heart rate shot up to 150 – 170 and she looked like she was gasping for air.  As I understand it because her trach is relatively  large the valve can cause the sensation of choking.  I imagine it would be like trying to breath through a snorkel underwater that only allows air to move in one direction (hopefully the right one).  A smaller trach evidently will allow air to pass around it so her breathing will seem more natural. Tomorrow she’s scheduled to get a smaller trach which will help alleviate the choking sensation and allow her to tolerate the valve easier even allowing her to speak.  It is also a necessary step to removing the trach entirely.

Since Meg couldn’t  handle the valve, the hospital’s Speech Pathologist couldn’t do a swallowing evaluation, and since she couldn’t do her swallowing evaluation Meg can’t get her Slurpee.  So the Speech Path ordered a barium swallowing eval for tomorrow morning.  As I understand it they’ll have Meg drink something the consistency of runny yogurt under an X-ray so they can make sure she can take food and fluids orally without choking.  However, seeing how Meg sucks every drop of liquid from the moist sponges supplied by Deborah, I think she’ll pass with flying colors.

In the meantime, Meg remains in the NICU.

Things to pray for:

  • That she will successfully pass her swallowing eval.
  • That they’ll downsize her trach tomorrow, that she will tolerate the trach valve and that she’ll speak  (I suspect her first word will be “WATER” or “THIRSTY”).
  • That her heart rate will remain stabilized.  There were a few times during the day, aside from when she was choking on the trach valve, that her heart rate would shoot up to an alarming level.
  • That the Lord would provide the perfect rehab facility for Meg.  They’re thinking Richmond might be an option, which would be good since my oldest daughter Erin lives there and they are a TBI specific rehab facility.  However, it appears a lot of this will be dictated by the availability of beds and our insurance company (which in itself is unnerving).

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.

Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice.

Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You.

Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, The God of my salvation, And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.

O Lord, open my lips, And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.

For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart . . . .

Happy Birthday Meaghan

June 27, 2011

It’s 7:30 Monday morning day 12 since the accident and there is very good news on a number of fronts.  While Meg had a very restful day yesterday (it was the Lord’s day after all), last night she had a flurry of activity.  When I came in this morning her night nurse, Jennifer, said that at about 2:30 am Meg sat up in her bed and was looking around.  Jennifer said she looked like she was awake and had a confused look.  Jennifer asked if she wanted to write something since she can’t talk due to her trach.  Meg nodded yes.  Here is Meg’s side of the conversation, punctuation included:

Where is Caitlin?

I need water!

What happened to me?

I’m in a lot of pain still.

When Jennifer explained about the accident and that the boy who was driving was hurt but alright, Meg wrote:

Can I call him or have my cell phone

I need water please! omg

After that Meg laid her head down and went back to sleep.

Needless to say, while she probably won’t remember today, I am confident that one day she will look back on today (at least this record of it) and realize that this was the best birthday of her life.  God is good.

This morning I spoke briefly with her neurologist, Dr. Gurtner, just to confirm that Meg did not suffer any hypoxic injury to her brain and that her brain was receiving oxygen throughout her ordeal.  She confirmed that this was indeed the case, but stressed her brain injury is extensive and not limited to just her right side but is diffused throughout her brain and brain stem.

All this is important, because yesterday evening when I got home another parent of a boy who also suffered a TBI in 2009 as the result of a car crash that makes Meg’s crash look like a bumper car, posted a link in the About section to a blog she did for her son Mikey.  While I’ve only had time to skim her blog, I did come across the following entry:

The doctor later clarified on this issue by explaining that brain damage occurs only when there is a lack of oxygen supply to the brain. Brain damage is also irreversible; brain injuries heal! Mikey was breathing even while he was unconscious so he did NOT sustain any brain damage. Instead, his brain was bruised which means that once the swelling subsides he should (and will) be able to make a full recovery. What a relief! Doctors additionally said that brain injuries are unpredictable; they take time. Some patients demonstrate miraculous progress overnight while others take baby steps daily. All we can really do is take it one day at a time.

I confess I didn’t know there was a difference between a brain injury and brain damage and perhaps it is a matter of semantics.  As Mikey’s mother Leslie explained in an email she sent me this morning; “though not inaccurate the distinction between brain damage and brain injury is misleading in that TBI is brain injury which is brain damage. What we had going for us is first and foremost Mikey’s age.”   Dr. Gurtner explained again this morning that is why they did the tracheotomy since they didn’t want to risk Meg’s airway being cut off when they took her off the ventilator or risk her aspirating which could have contributed more damage to an already bad situation.  Echoing Leslie’s clarifying point above, Dr. Gurtner quizzed me this morning and asked me; “What’s the most important thing?”  While I was still on my first cup of coffee I confess all I could do was look stupid and shrug my shoulders.  She exclaimed; “It is her age!”  Amen.

It looks like they will be removing her cooling catheter today along with moving to start reducing the size of her trach.  They will also introduce a valve to her trach that will allow her to force air through her vocal chords to see if she will speak.  I suspect she will.

Please pray that the Lord will give us wisdom in selecting the right TBI rehab center for Meaghan as that next step is now very close.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?  Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long;We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


June 25, 2011

Quiet day, quiet night.  Meg was pretty tired throughout the day today.  Opening her eyes periodically, but when she did it was very clear that she was becoming cognizant of her surroundings and trying to communicate.  She can’t speak yet or make any noise due to the trach.  But, on those moments when she wakes Dr. Gurtner instructed Tracy and I to make the most of them.  Show her familiar pictures, smells, and other sensations to help her recall familiar memories.

Since it’s late I’ll share one story from this evening.  I got back to the hospital around 8:00 and sat beside her most of the night holding her hand while reading copies of Entertainment Weekly (the latest Woody Allen movie sounds like it might be worth watching). Tracy had been working with Meg earlier in the day moving her legs and arms, particularly on the left side, to keep her joints flexible and prevent stiffening.  However, when I arrived Meg’s heart rate was pretty high and she was shivering due to the cooling catheter.  While Tracy had asked me to continue to work with her, I just thought she just needed a break.  I was sitting on Meg’s weak side, her left side, and in one of those moments when she started to wake I asked her if she loved me.  I said if she did to squeeze my hand two times.  She did.

I have to say, I am very encouraged and blessed by all the insights, information and personal anecdotes people have been sharing on this blog and at God’s Hammer regarding family members, or even the individuals themselves, who have suffered with TBI (a new acronym I’ve become familiar with: Traumatic Brain Injury).  Thank you all.  Some stories are really tragic and heartbreaking.  Others are very hopeful. Needless to say I continue to rest on the latter.

I’ve been taking pictures with my cell phone of Meg’s progress.  I hope to share them here soon.  I think the contrast with the pictures I have been posting of her paints a graphic picture of how far she has to go and how far she’s come in just a short time.  To think that little over a week ago Tracy and I were preparing ourselves for the news that our daughter had died.  Today I praise God that He continues to knit Meg back together and for giving us the real hope that one day soon we’ll see Meg whole and back with us again.

O Lord, You have searched me and known me.

You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.

You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.

For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.

. . . Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?

If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.

. . . For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.

My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.

… Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties;

And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.


June 24, 2011

I’m writing this update Friday at the hospital.  Last night I was just too tired to even think much less type.  Tracy and I have been trying to split our time at the hospital as we’re doing what we can to try and make my son Conor’s life as normal as possible.  We try to all be at the hospital together for Meg in afternoon, but asking a 12 year old boy to hang around a hospital room for four hours is asking a lot.  Thankfully we have a great network of Conor’s friends who have all been very eager to help out (especially Laura and Dave, thank you guys).

On Thursday when I arrived around lunchtime Meg’s doctor had removed her bandages and she was breathing through a trach.  She looked a lot more comfortable without all those tubes going down her throat.  I told some of her friends who were visiting that with her bandages off and half her head shaved she looked like Sinaed O’Connor and they all stared at me blankly.  Then I said, “How about crazy Britney Spears” and the light came on and they all nodded their heads and said “yeah.”  As I mentioned in a previous post the rest of Meg’s hair had been cropped very short by, uh, nurse “Betty” (I promised I wouldn’t tell Meg her real name, although I’ll take the blame).   I guess you can say Meg looks like one half crazy Britney Spears and on the other she’s a member of the Runaways without the Doc Martins (although the blue Adidas high-tops her aunt Gwen and uncle John bought her at the request of the doctor are pretty sweet.  Note to Meg’s friends: the Runaways were an all girl punk band).

Throughout the day Meg periodically opened her eyes briefly and would go back to sleep.  In the morning when Tracy was here the occupational therapy team came by to evaluate Meg.  They showed Tracy a number of exercises that we are to do with Meg to make sure her joints remain limber. They even had Meg sit up on the side of the bed which she did with her eyes closed, but she evidently impressed the team.

I didn’t mention it, but when Meg had emergency surgery following the accident her neurosurgeon, Dr. Gurtner, removed a small portion of the right side of her skull.  Evidently they froze it to be used in her reconstruction later on. Given the size of her scar I thought most of her skull on the right side had been removed.   Thankfully that was not the case.  As it is Meg’s friend Caitlin counted 47 staples.

There was also some discussion about rehabilitation down the road which may require going out of state, perhaps even down to Atlanta at some point where we’re told they have a top notch TBI rehab facility.  Richmond may be an option too (if that were a comparable option she would be near her big sister Erin).  Please pray that the Lord will work out all those details when the time comes and that Meg gets only the very best help that she’ll need wherever that might be.

The other thing I should point out in reference to some of the chatter on FB is that this is most likely not going to be something out of the movie Awakening, where Meg’s eyes will pop open and she’ll be asking how she got here and when can she can get out.  Talking with the nurse this morning it seems very clear that her wakening and regaining consciousness is a process.   But things are moving along quickly.

In the evening Meg’s friend Kayla stopped by and painted her finger nails.  The nurse this morning told me that during the night when she was working with her she said; “Meg, did you see your friend painted your fingernails with pretty green polish.”  The nurse said Meg slowly turned her hand towards her face and looked at her nails.  Also during the night Meg was able to grab hold of her feeding tube which is down her nose and pulled it out.

Today, Friday, Dr. Gurtner came to check on Meg in the morning and when she started to open her eyes for Dr. Gurtner she said; “Do you see your Daddy.  Reach out for your Daddy.”  And Meg turned her head and reached out and grabbed my arm.

Then about an hour ago the occupational therapists were here again and Meg sat straight up with her eyes open.  Next they had her sitting up on the side of the bed and put a washcloth in front of her and told her to take it and wash her face.  She slowly took the washcloth and wiped it on her face.  They said they want to order her a helmet so they can work even more with her next week  (I think we’ll keep the helmet for whenever Meg finally get’s her drivers license).  Needless to say they were all very impressed by her progress as are we.  What a difference a day makes.

God willing Meg will be released from the NICU sometime early next week.  All of our prayers continued to be answered.

Affliction is one of God’s medicines.

By it He often teaches lessons which would be learned in no other way.

By it He often draws souls away from sin and the world, which would otherwise have perished everlastingly.

Health is a great blessing, but sanctified disease is a greater.

Prosperity and worldly comfort, are what all naturally desire; but losses and crosses are far better for us, if they lead us to Christ.

Thousands at the last day will testify with David, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted.” (Psalm. 119:71).

– J.C. Ryle Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: John, volume 1


June 22, 2011

It’s been almost a week now and today was an encouraging day.  The littlest things right now seem gigantic and I suppose they are. The day started out with Meg’s night nurse (I call her Terri 2) telling my wife Tracy a story from the night before.  I should preface this by stating that Terri is a wonderful Christian woman who knows a number of people very close to Tracy and I.  Terri at one point during the night was coaxing Meg asking her repeatedly to raise two fingers on her strong side, the right side. After a few tries Meg barely and weakly lifted two fingers.  Terri nicely told Meg that wasn’t good enough and she couldn’t count that as actually lifting two fingers.  At that moment Meg decidedly and with purpose lifted her finger; the middle one.  I know for all those who know Meaghan that is the sign that our Meaghan is still with us.  Terri was happy too.

At around 9:30 Tracy called me to tell me there seemed to be some disagreement as to whether or not Meg should get her scheduled tracheotomy.  Immediately Tracy sent out a text to a handful of our immediate church friends to please start praying that the doctors would be of one mind as to whether or not the tracheotomy was necessary.  Arguably Meg would have done fine without the trach, but since she had up until that point not opened her eyes except for a few seconds and as the result of pain (pinching of the shoulder muscle), it was decided that the trach was the safer option.

Skipping ahead to this evening, Meg’s friend Vic had found Meg’s Ipod that she had mistakenly left with her after a day at the beach last week.  That was a blessing because before returning to the hospital and after dinner I was trying to find the Animal Collective album that I thought I had downloaded some months earlier as I knew that 1) it was a band Meg loved, and 2) it was considerably mellower than what Meg normally listens to (a pleasant anomaly as far as her taste in music). After Meg’s friend Keila showed me how to navigate the Ipod, we found the album, got the volume right, and stuck the earbuds into her ears.  At one point Keila noticed that I didn’t have the headphones all the way in so she pushed them in.  The volume shot up and Meg’s eyes popped opened in obvious distress.  After pulling the headphones from her ears I apologized for blasting her.

Roughly a half hour later the night nurses tried to rouse Meg giving her the command to raise her two fingers on her right side. When that didn’t work, one of the nurses squeezed her left shoulder muscle and told Meg to give us a thumbs up.  Instead of thumbs up she started to opened her eyes.  I asked the nurse if it was because of the pain stimulus.  She said she hardly pinched her.  Immediately after that  Meg opened her eyes again briefly and without coaxing.   As I said, sometimes very little things are huge.

While I could see there must still be incredible pressure behind those beautiful gray/green eyes, I praise God for knowing that one day very soon we will see her looking at us again through those beautiful eyes.

I want to thank everyone for continuing to pray for Meaghan.  There seems to be thousands.  I heard today that Carter, the boy who was driving, was also in an ICU at another hospital with bleeding in his lungs.  While I’m confident that the doctors will be able to stop the bleeding and help restore him to health, I can’t imagine having to carry the guilt around that will surely remain long after his physical wounds have been healed.  That’s why Tracy and I continue to pray for Carter and his family and ask that the Lord might use this tragedy to bring them and many others to Himself to the praise of His name.  Besides, when I was his age I was very much just like Carter.  Probably worse.

And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”

So he said, “Teacher, say it.”

“There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?”

Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.”

And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.”

Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”

Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”


June 21, 2011

Not much to report.  I don’t know that I will be updating this blog daily, but Meaghan continues to fight to regain consciousness and responds with considerable prompting to some basic commands like raising her thumb and lifting her knee.  She responds mostly on her right side as her left side remains very weak.  She still cannot open her eyes, but continues to try.  To try and coax her back we have been playing her some of her favorite music and Tracy even had the TV on so she could hopefully hear I-Carly and MTV in the background.  We’re told that familiar sounds and sensations are helpful.

We had to cut all of Meg’s hair cut off this afternoon as it was matted with blood from the surgery.   I’m sure she’d be mad and God willing will be at some point, but seeing Meg mad at me right now could not make us happier.

Tomorrow at around 10am Meg will be taken off the ventilator and given a tracheotomy as the risk for a lung infection increases every day she’s on the ventilator.

While Meaghan’s injury was considerable, and neither the doctors or nurses have downplayed the extent of those injuries, and I confess I haven’t yet asked the actual extent of her brain damage (at this point I just don’t want to know), they remain optimistic for a good outcome — even if it may be a long way down the road.  Meg’s neurosurgeon, who is wonderful, continues to point to Meg’s age as the reason to hope.  Evidently young developing brains have the ability to adapt and overcome neurological damage that would cripple an adult.

I thank all of Meg’s friends and for all those who are right now praying for her.  God alone can restore our daughter to us, but His will be done.

On a slightly different note and to confirm what I already knew (see the About section of this blog), Meg has distinctive bruising on her right and left hip that clearly demonstrates she was wearing her seat belt.

You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called….


June 20, 2011

Meaghan has been fighting for the last four days since the accident trying to regain consciousness.  There have been a number of hopeful signs.  She has been able to respond to some commands and at times has been able to raise her thumb or fingers.  She is breathing on her own but is attached to a ventilator primarily to ensure that her airway remains unobstructed. The goal during the last two days has been for Meaghan to open her eyes and start to focus.  The doctors would like to remove the ventilator but said they need to wait until Meaghan is able to open her eyes on command and be able to focus.  While we have been hopeful that yesterday, Father’s day, would be the day she finally was able to open her eyes it was not to be.  Today it seems like we took a step backward as she seems somewhat less responsive than she was the day before, despite being off of all sedation.  One of the attending nurses did tell us with neurological injuries to expect ups and downs.  However, at this early stage any setback seems major and fearful.

Things to pray for:

1) That today’s apparent setback is temporary and that Meaghan will continue to gain the upper hand in her fight to regain consciousness.

2) That the Lord might shield her from any infections as the risk that increases the longer she’s attached to the ventilator and cooling catheter.

3) That the Lord would give the doctors and nurses wisdom in their decisions concerning Meaghan’s care.

4) That the Lord might continue to knit Meaghan back together and continue restore our daughter to us.