Sunday, August 9, 2009

how easy to forget...

As i was looking at another blog tonight, i remembered that it has been a long time since i have been on this blog. I almost forgot how to access it. As I read the header..."Lifting up Dad from our knees" it hit me; How easy do we forget about what God has done for us.

I do remember spending a lot of time while at the hospital beging God to spare my dad's life. I was not ready for him to be taken. God performed miracles on dad and he was able to come home, but then my "lifting up dad from my knees" stopped. We tend to forget about God and the great things He does after they have come and gone.

Take time today to praise God for all the things he has done in your life. I will be the first to say that he has done many great things in mine. He deserves all the glory, all the honor and all the praise!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Surgery was a success

For those that may not have heard yet, dad's surgery was a success. There were no complications, and the doctor said that all went as planned. He was even able to go home the next day after surgery. Thank you for you prayers and constant support. Now it is time for recovery. There is pain associated with that, so please pray for comfort and patience --- both for dad and mom :)

Thanks again for the prayers!


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Time for Surgery

It has been a long time since this has had any update. During a recent doctor visit, it was discovered that dad's neck never healed properly. We were told that it was important to have surgery to have the risk of his spine closing in on his spinal cord taken away. This Tuesday the 7th, dad will have surgery to have two of his vertebrae fused together. This is a risky and time consuming surgery (4-6 hours). Please pray for the doctors to be precise in their work and that dad does well in the surgery, coming out of the surgery and in the recovery phase. Thanks for all of your prayers in the past and we are trusting dad into his loving hands as we did before.


Friday, June 20, 2008

On the move!

Hi Everyone,

Just a quick update. Jim and I are doing pretty good. Each day brings change and challenges but we have much to be thankful for.

We are on the move, again. Last October we left our house of 9 years and moved into a small ranch with no idea if this would be our permanent home or just a stepping stone. Much prayer and thought has been involved, as well as counsel and it has been decided to move to a new home back in the same area we moved from. The packing has commenced. I do believe I should have this moving thing down pat. This will be our 20th move in our 37 years of marriage. Maybe I should write a book on how to move under stress, listing 10 different reasons and how to survive each one and clean out your house at the same time.(He-he) We have to use the material we are given, right?

Jim is more himself each day and has retrieved many of the talents he possessed before the accident. God is good. Other areas have been hard for him but we try to remember that each day is a gift.

I think of you all, often and remember your kindness and prayers.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Spring has finally come! With it comes hope, renewal and rememberence.

Hope. Hope for tomorrow and more time to be with loved ones, more time to tell others of our savior, more time to live a life of compassion, more time to make a difference.

Renewal. My heart. New beginnings, personal growth, recommittment to Him, to family & friends, my eargerness to share a smile.

Rememberence. To last year at this time and all God provided. To the many family and friends who gave me hope and renewal when I was stuggling to stand. Rememberence for all I have, more than I will ever need. Rememberence for what is important...and what is not.

Spring is such a gift from God. Can't you just breath it in?

We are doing good. A few new challenges have arrived but...compared to last year, well, no comparison. But, still challenges. If led, please keep Jim in your prayers.

Thank you all. Happy Spring!


Saturday, February 9, 2008

Hello Everyone!

I have spent the better part of this evening reading post and responses from last year at this time. Memories came flooding back. Wow! I am once again blown away by all our Great God has done for us and thru all of you. I am, again, humbled by the prayers, love and great deads done on behalf of Jim and my family.

I miss communicating with all of you and hearing God's love poured out thru your scripture reminders, words of encouragement and songs of healing. It sounds so selfish to miss what we were given in such abundance.

I was thinking about the celebration of love that this month represents. That word is bantered around easily and for many trite reasons. Yet, God tells us it is the most powerful gifts of all. It can break the hardest resolve, bring a criminal to his knees, heal a broken heart, encourage the faithful and faithless, bring about a miracle.

We, the Maley family, has been part of and witnessed the miracle of love. A year ago today, Jim could not even open his eyes with little prospect of that happening. Tonight, we sat on the couch, shared coffee and ice cream and watched a movie together. This morning we ran to Loew's to pick out a light, stopped to visit Andy and his family. Each night I have the privalege of a hug a kiss good night.

Life is different and to be honest, hard at times. But I need only to return to this blog and reread all the Lord, family and friends have given us to refresh myself and gain strength to face whatever is ahead.

Happy Valentines month to all of you and May Our Great and awesome God continue to bless and keep you.


PS. I've asked Jason and Andy to post some recent pictures and updates, so keep watching. Thanks to all of you who tell me you still check this. You are such faithful prayer warriors.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

I don't know if anyone out there still checks this, but if you do, the Maley family wants to wish you a blessed and thankful Thanksgiving. We are so aware of the many blessings we have been given this hard and eventful 2007. What a year. You have prayed us thru it and walked with us. Thank you and may your day be filled with joy and bountiful blessings.

Sue and family

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

This will be my last post unless something dramatic happens. I love communicating with all of you, friends and family, alike. But, at some point I know I need to stop and go on with life as this new normal.

Jim continues to improve and is still in therapy, speech and occupational. He's fallen into somewhat of a routine but gets bored easily. The better he gets the more he realizes all that has transpired. It's hard for him. Depression seeks him out and he fights it. My last prayer request would be to continue to lift him to God for realizing God saved his life for a real purpose. He is having a hard time finding his way and worth in life.

Everyone has been so wonderful, again, I will never be able to thank each life who has touched ours but God knows and I ask him to bless each of you.

We will be moving to a small house the end of this month. This will be a monumental task to sizing down from what we have. It's ok, its all good. I trust we will find the beauty of simplicity of life.

Our kids and grandkids are all doing well and getting on with there lives. I am sure they will be forever impacted by all that has gone on this year. Their faith has grown and their awe of Gods provision thru his people.

If you would like occasional updates, I sometimes post on my personal blog, (}

God bless you each and every one.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Moving on

Hi Everyone,

I can't believe we've reached the end of September already and have passed the eighth month milestone since the accident.

We've now been home almost two months and Jim has improved dramatically. He's gained a little weight and moves around well. It's hard to believe he ever wore that awful halo. He still tires easily. He's enjoyed friends stopping by and renewing old times. He continues his therapy and progress. The one therapist is stirring his interest in art and he is beginning to sketch again. The hands don't work as they use to so it is difficult for him. He wants to drive. Some things have to be accomplished first.

We went for what we hope to be his last pension exam and are eagerly awaiting word on the result. This would help in the financial end of things.

We will be moving in about a month to a small home. Life is busy.

Thank you for your continued prayers for my family and all the cards, meals and visits.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Hi Everyone!

We are in Indy today for a visit to the VA Hospital. Jim had a scheduled appointment for, what we hope to be, an answer to his disability claim upgrade. A positive result would be an answer to prayer towards our financial stability for the future. If I may ask again, please pray with us for God's leading while the doctors and VA Board make a decision.

It wasn't all business here. Jim was very excited to visit, again, with the staff on the floor where he spent 2 months of his recovery. He doesn't have much memory of the accident before our stay in Indy. He does have fond memories of the people who lovingly and skillfully took care of him there. Smiles were all around as Jim gladly showed them his neck, minus the brace.

From there, we went to Steak and Shake for a giant milk shake. Ice cream is his passion. We are spending the night at Kelli's and loving the visit.

I know I don't write much, but life is somewhat a rountine now( this is a blessing) and I don't want to bore you. I recently updated my thoughts on all of this on my personal blog so if you are a glutten for more information on my own journey thru this you will find more entry on

Thanks, again for all the comments and encourgement. As we were told from the beginning. This is a marathon, not a sprint.

(Hi, Merri and Dottie in Florida, Helen and Steve in Arizona, Pete and Pam in Florida) Thanks for you love.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Where are the weeks going? We have been home over a month now. Every day, Jim's memory improves. He was retested this week and has doubled his skills from a month ago.

He enjoys the company he has been getting and loves to talk about what he remembers. He is getting a little bored with the routine of his day and needs something more to do but still tires easily.

I am still trying to adjust. Life is busy even though I am not working outside of the home.

I am praying God will show us a way to use and share all that he has done for us.

God Bless,

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Free at last!

The day has come that Jim has been waiting for. The neck brace has come off! As of today, there is nothing on Jim's body that didn't originally come with it. What a miracle this is.

We went to see Dr Young on Monday and he told Jim he was a miracle. Jim was focused on getting the brace off he didn't grasp the nightmare for which he has returned.

Please celebrate with us and praise God from who all good things come. I also want to publicly thank Dr Young, Dr Culp and all the medical teams, nurses techs support and neurology. Your God given skills and medical wisdom...and caring attitude helped save my husbands life.

Also, Parkview Hospital ICU and their awesome team of nursing staff( Tom, Randy, Linda, Chuck, just to name a few) who helped Jim stay alive during his most critical period. God Bless you.
The wonderful Rehab team at St Joe, Select who helped Jim first learn to walk and talk again. (Andy, Connie, Grace, and his speech therapist. and many more ) You guys should all get paid at the top of your scale. Thank you.
Also, the nursing and rehab staff on the Nursing Care floor and Rehab floor, who saw Jim through his agitated phase. My mind was so lost by then I can't remember all your names but I see your faces and remember your good work. You too, Rhonda. You all took a few blows for the team, literally, so thank you.

In Indy, you guys on the 4th floor Polytrauma unit of the VA, rock!( Can a grandma say that?) Again, there are so many of you I don't want to miss anyone but you know how I feel about you. Laura, Tasha, Mary, Sandy, LeeAnn, Dana, Melody, Darla, Dr Bushbacker, Carlos, Sheri, Vicki, Kathleen. This is where Jims memory begins and he has a special love for each of you. (His girls). You also put up with my much worn down body, mind and emotions. I wouldn't have made it without you. Thank you, thank you.

Finally, Our step home, Hook Rehab. Although we were only there 3 short weeks, this is where Jim learned to start to feel like himself again and gain the final skills to return home. Danielle and all the rest of the rehab helped Jim recall and fine tune his everyday skills enough to return home and try to go on with his life. You are doing a good thing there.

To our new friends at the VA FT Wayne, especially, Diane, speech therapist. Again, we have been blessed with caring and competent people to help us go forward. Thank you.

What a journey. I am tired.

From all the Maley family,

Good night and God bless.


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Another week....

Another week has passed since we returned home and we are settling into a routine. Jim loves being home and in his home. Each day brings back more memories and comfort. He attends speech therapy 3 times a week and will start physical and occupational therapy on Friday.

Monday, we go to the Dr about his neck to see if it has healed. I am asking God for another miracle.

Due to the generosity of a friend from church, I was able to attend the Women of Faith conference last week end. It was a great time of encouragement and joy. God is so good all the time.


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Hi all,

I thought I would give you faithful bloggers a quick update progress report.

We have been home over a week now and slowly finding our way into a new life. Jim is getting reacquainted with our house and yard and quickly realizing how much work can accumulate in six months time.

The first day or two, he insisted we get the weeds our of the front flower beds(not a small task) and out of the patio area. We also cleaned up the deck. The grass needed mowing and although the mower wasn't working, talked his brother into fixing it and mowed the back lawn by himself. He also cleaned some of the patio furniture.

He took it upon himself to do some of the laundry and sweep the living room. Needless to say, he was very tired each day.

Therapy is 3 times a week and starting next week, will add two more therapies. Appointments back in Indy start soon, so this is a busy time.

Although we are so grateful to be home, life has changed in many ways. Many decisions need to be made soon. But we will find our way as God leads.

Home never felt so good.

God bless to all.


Monday, July 23, 2007

HOME! Finally!

Wow! Does it feel good to be home. The week-end couldn't have gone better. Jim eased back into our new life at home as if he'd never been gone. Of course, life will not be the same as before due to Jim's memory and other changes. But, God will provide a new path for us and with time, we will find our way.

Sunday morning, Jim wanted to go to church to say hello to all his old friends. I knew it would be too much to attend the full hour but we did stop by and he gave lots of hugs to many dear friends.

As I sit here on Monday morning and look around to my house, I am visibly reminded of what 6 months of absence can do to a neglected home. Many things need to be done. Also, I have a ton of paperwork to get processed for Jim. Please pray that my mind will clear and I can focus on one thing at a time.

Jim will start speech therapy in Fort Wayne and many DR appts are ahead, here and in Indy.

We will find our way.

Although I have said this many times, please know I continue to ask God, My Father, to bless each of you for your faithfulness in praying for us and helping us thru this time.

We will probably discontinue the blog sometime soon. If you have any questions you'd like to ask or have anything on your heart for Jim or my family, feel free to write here or you can write me at Also, I have my personal blog for writing and sometimes update on Jim at (

God Bless and love to all,

Monday, July 16, 2007

Hi Everyone,

I'm sorry I am just updating on Jim's Dr. visit but it's been a busy week and week-end.

We went to see Dr Young on Thursday and he advised us to continue the aspen brace on Jim's neck for another month. Healing is there but not complete. On August 13Th we will obtain a new ct scan to see if completed. If not, surgery may be in the works.

Jim had a great weekend for the most part. Kelli, Shannan and I took him to the Indy Canal and ate lunch overlooking the water. He liked it but did not like the walking. I then took him to Lenscrafter to get his lost glasses replaced. Another miracle thru the hands of generous people. Lenscrafter gave him new glasses and lens for free. I was so overwhelmed with their generosity and willingness to help. Obviously, with neither of us working, this helped a lot.

Jim and I have been given so many wonderful blessings, monetarily and otherwise, at just the right time of need. God is good and so are his people. In the beginning of Jim's accident. Several of you, whom I may never know your names, generously sent funds to help defray living expense cost. I wish I could tell you all how touched I have been by this but if you are one of these kind donaters, please accept our deepest thanks. Others of you have helped in many meaningful ways, again, at just the right time, whether by food, cards, words of encouragement, cleaning my house, mowing the lawn, painting....everything.

May you all be blessed in a mighty way by God the Father.

We are coming to an end of hospital life for now, going home is ahead. So many things have to be addressed my head is spinning, including trying to make a living or finding community or VA funds to help out.

Carving out a new life for Jim, I and our family will be a challenge but God has been so faithful, why should I doubt he will work it out.

As you pray for us, please give praise for all he has done and maybe add an extra prayer for strength for me.

Love to all,

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

At last. Home!

The long awaited time is here. Six months and four days of hospitals, rehab and much answered prayer. Jim will be coming home to stay on July 23rd!

We can hardly believe it's going to happen. Much preparation for his homecoming will need to take place in the next week. The kids and I will do all we can to make it a smooth transition. I'm a little nervous, but very happy.

To God be the glory for all He has done. I am asking any of you who have faithfully traveled these last six months with us through this blog or otherwise, to consider writing and speaking your heart if God has used this journey to impact you or someone you know in any way. There are so many encouraging events that have taken place that I know it would encourage many others to have hope in difficult or impossible situations or maybe renew their hope in a faithful God.

You have all been arms of hope for our family. I pray I will someday be able to write down the many ways you were used to answer prayer or get us through a difficult day. When I look back to the beginning of this blog and see all of your responses to our prayer request I am so humbled.

Please join us in celebrating Jim's return home by thanking God for his mercies.

Tomorrow we go to Ft Wayne for a consult on Jim's broken neck. We will find out if it has healed or not.

I will update you then.


Monday, July 9, 2007

Success and a good time!

Jim went home for the first time on Saturday, in almost 6 months! This day has been a desire and a goal for such a long time it was almost surreal when we walked in the door. My dear husband was all smiles as he went through every room in our house as the memories flooded back. Home...something we all, or most, are privileged to go to everyday, but easy to take for granted when gone.

I quietly whispered thanksgiving as I heard him voice recognition of all that was once so familiar. Leaving the house and going to the back yard, he was in awe of how his plants and trees had grown taller since last year. Looking around to our neighbors, he remembered work he had done the year before on a neighbors house. He wanted to go over to say hello. Our surprised neighbor gave him a big hug and announced he would have more work waiting when he returned. Jim loved the idea.

The rest of the day was filled with family; kids, grand kids, my mom and sister. A good time was had by all.

The dreaded time to leave arrived and we said our goodbyes. Andy, our son, took us back to Indy on time and a very tired Jim seemed full and satisfied with his day. A new day of therapy would start early the next day.

God is so good, all the time.

I just wanted to share this moment with all of you faithful friends, family and prayer warriors.


Friday, July 6, 2007

It's been a good week for the most part. A few bumps in the road. Jim had his first outing Saturday. We went to Kelli's house in Indy and then just road around and listened to music for awhile. He seemed to enjoy it somewhat but is focused on home.

Saturday we will take him home,to Fort Wayne, for the first time in 6 months. We have a 10 hour pass. He is very happy to be going but not thrilled we have to go back. The kids will come to the house to visit and it will be a low key visit.

Again, please pray all will go well. So much depends on this for future visits.

He has surpassed his goals in therapy and continues to improve. God is so good.

May you all be richly blessed for your kindness to all of us.


Monday, July 2, 2007

Another week

Well, we have been at Hook for 5 days. It has been an adjustment but everyone has been good to us. Therapy has been stepped up and Jim is busy most of the day. But the weekend is very quiet in comparison, and pretty boring for him. Although, Sunday was fun for him. Steve Korn, an old friend of ours, now living in Arizona, and his sister Linda and his mom, visited with Jim and I. (Hi Helen!. Thank you for all your support) Also, our son Andrew and his family came a little later. Jim loves seeing all of them. He REALLY enjoyed that.

Jim entertained all. It was good to see him laugh.

There are two thing you could all pray for this week. One, Jim should be getting a cat scan of his neck by the end of the week. If it is not healed, surgery may be his last hope. The other is, it is possible he will have his first pass to go out with me on the week-end. This is exciting, but a little scary, too.

I will let you know how it all goes. (Hello to all at the VA, Parkview and St Joe)


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Final move before home!

The move is complete! Our new home is :

Hook Rehabilitation
Community Hospital East
1500 N. Ritter
Indianapolis, Indiana 46219
Room 1444
Jims Phone # 317-355-8444

Jim's nurse, Laura, from the Va hospital delivered Jim to Hook Rehab about 10:30 yesterday. The move went well but unfortunately, it went downhill a little, from there. There were some changes in his routine, as would be expected, and it was upsetting to him. He thought he might just leave, but, of course, that wasn't going to happen. After he calmed down, the rest of the day was quiet and I stayed the night. I left him this morning so he could start his therapy and he seemed OK. Change is hard.

WE hope this is his last stop before returning home in a few weeks. Please continue to pray for his recovery and cooperation with the Dr's.

What a journey this has been. We have been blessed with so many people who have helped and encouraged Jim.

The staff at the VA were nothing short of tremendous. Our hats are off to them and we will be forever grateful. They gave Jim a going away party with cake and ice cream and we took pictures. I will have my guys post them in the near future.

May God have all the glory for what He has done.


Friday, June 22, 2007

Progress and moving on!

Hi everyone,

Just a little update. Jim is having a great week. Wednesday the staff took him to the Indian Museum downtown. For those who don't know, Jim is an artist and loves to paint Indians.

They said he really enjoyed his time there and was showing them the different artist. He has begun to paint, again and has his easel and paints in his room.

Yesterday, he got the long awaited feeding tube out. The only outward sign left of his injury is his neck brace.

The VA staff have all been wonderful with Jim. They go above and beyond their duties and treat him as family. My family and I will never be able to thank them enough for their kindness and compassion. Laura, Tasha, Sandi, Dottie, Vicki Sherri, Mary, Carla, Craig, Dana, Leigh Ann, Jenny, Jackie, Audrey, Ramona and everyone else I may have missed, Thank you! Also, Dr. Buschbacher and Carlos. You have all been so helpful during the darkest of times. We consider them friends. But, it is time for Jim to move on. Wednesday, the 27th, he will enter Hook Rehab in Indy for, what we hope, will be his last stop before returning home. As I have mentioned before, Jim does not do change well. He is still focused on going home so I am a little nervous about his reaction to this change.

Again, I want to thank all of you who sent Jim a birthday card. They continue to pour in. (Pete and Pam, we did receive yours on Wednesday, thank you!) (Steve Korn, we look forward to your visit to Indy!) We read each on to Jim and taped them all to his window.

Please keep our son Jason and his wife Lynnette in your prayers. They are in Russia picking up their new baby girl! God's gift to us in the midst of all of this. Jim and I have been blessed with the most wonderful children anyone could ask for. Kelli, Jason, Andrew, Anna and Joe are loving, supportive and kind. Their spouses, Lynnette, April and Mike have been generous and supportive of the time and energy this has taken from their own families. I want to publicly thank each of them for their love.

That's all for now. God Bless. Have a great day!


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Family Time...

today as mentioned in a previous post was dad's birthday as well as father's day. we had a large group of us (kids and grandkids) at the hospital enjoying the time with dad. he was in good spirits and obviously enjoyed the time with us.

we were able to sit outside most of the afternoon and have food and cake while dad took it all in. there was a time that we were all sitting around and dad was expressing what he felt about each of us in his own words. it was cool to see that even when he didn't have the right words to use, he sure knew what he wanted to say. all of the non-verbal communication is there and we were tracking with him most of the time. there was one point in the time, however, that he turned a bit more serious. he made sure loud and clear that he wants to go home to fort wayne. we couldn't do anything but say that we know it is frustrating and that time will come.

dad's progress is slow but steady. please pray that his progress keeps ahead of the frustration for dad. the better he gets, the more frustrated he gets.

thanks for all of your encouraging words and prayers. we really appreciate and enjoy all of your comments.

check out the new pictures. we had a nice time, kelli was there the day before so unfortunately she wasn't in the picture with the kids.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Happy Fathers Day

The week went by fast in some respect. Jim had his first outing. He was taken to a restaurant by staff. This was a big step and allowed them to see how he would react to the outside world and all its confusion. He did very well. Although it has caused a slight problem. He no longer cares to be inside the hospital. Depression and frustration encompass each visit I have with him. Going out has made him more aware of missing home and a normal life. Bottom line, he wants to go home.

To complicate this problem further, he had a visit from Hook Rehab, evaluating him for further rehab at their facility here in INdy. The plan is for him to leave the VA the end of the month and go on to there. He, in no way, wants this to happen. Home is his only target. Please pray with us during this change, especially for wisdom to make the right decisions.

Sunday is his birthday as well as Fathers Day. The kids will be coming to celebrate. On a funny note, Jim was very surprised to learn how old he will be! 66 was not what he was thinking.

I hope all of you fathers enjoy your day and count your blessings for the joy of having the gift of children. Praise God for our heavenly Father.


Thursday, June 7, 2007


THE MUCH HATED HALO CAME OFF THIS WEEK END! HOORAY! Jim and I came in from outside on Friday afternoon and the nurse happily announced the Dr was on his way to remove the vest and halo. Jim's neck has mostly healed and he was well enough to go to a neck brace.

It was a great time of celebration. The whole nursing staff gathered around as we watched the Dr disassemble the barbaric contraption. Don't get me wrong, I am very thankful for it, but until you see one up close you have no idea how awful they are. We held our breath(as did Jim) as he slowly unscrewed the bolts from his head and loosened the screws on vest. When the last screw popped, Jim looked at the Dr with the most grateful eyes and said, "Oh, thank you, thank you."

There is only one drawback. The Dr warned that the brace must stay in place a month because the healing is not complete, and ....may not be complete. If it doesn't completely hear, Jim will be facing a neck surgery. He said this is no small surgery. I am also a little concerned with the fact that the neck brack is held on with only velcro. Jim could easily remove it if he gets the notion.

But we will celebrate the moment and praise God.

Jim is one happy person. He is now sporting a hat and regular shirts and a new beard. He truly is looking like his old self.

It is a new turn in the road of recovery and I am so thankful.

I will keep you posted.

Thank you all for your support on my time away. I had a restful time and was encouraged as I spent good friend time with Merrie and her family. It did rain or was cloudy the majority of the time I was there but it was a blessing for them, they needed the rain.

Jim did pretty good the first two days I was gone but unfortunately the rest of the week was hard on him. He is very focused on going home and is pretty sad and lonely. It's so hard to get him to understand that his need to stay and continue to improve outweighs his need to go home. The kids and I are struggling with this as we see his sadness. His birthday is June 17th and I had high hopes to take him out for a day but the Dr. doesn't feel this is a good idea. We will try to do what we can at the hospital but have to balance it with not over stimulating him.

If any of you feel led, would you consider sending him a birthday card or maybe a phone call that weekend. It's hard to make him believe he hasn't been forgotten.

VA Hospital

1481 W 10th StreetIndianapolis IN 46202

Patient: Jim Maley Rm C-4146

Phone: 317-988-3590

On an up note, the Dr. said today, he continues to improve but feels he may benefit from another facility here in Indy to continue rehab. I should be very happy but I know this will make Jim unhappy. I keep telling myself that it is in Gods hands and he will guide us. But my heart wants to take him home. Please continue to pray for guidance and wisdom.

I want you all to know I read all your comments and they lift me up. May all praise and glory go to Him who has given us so much and many miracles.


Thursday, May 31, 2007

Greetings from sunny(rainy) Florida! I am on a prescribed, mandated time away. Jim's Dr. suggested(made me) I take a few days away to reflect on all that has transpired the past 4 months. I am staying with my dear friend Merrie and have not done a thing all day.

It's been great, but different. My hardest part was telling Jim I was going on vacation while he was in the hospital. But he did very well with the information. (Could he possibly be tired of me?) He is going forward in his therapy and improving some each day. He is rather bored and restless. The halo is still in place and is healing slowly.

Thank you all for hanging in in there with us. As the days get longer, we are so dependent on your prayers for strength and patience. The road ahead is long and uncertain.

But....Praise Him for all he has done and continues to do.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

constant progress..

I was able to spend a little time with dad today. It was a pleasant time. He was excited to see me and gave me a big kiss (while my head got crushed by his halo ;) )

he was really working hard to tell me some things --- specifically that he things his house is too big and needs to downsize and that he wants to make sure that his disability is coming in every month to take care of mom. You need to understand that it takes a lot of work to piece together what he is saying and come up with a complete thought --- once i repeated back to him what i thought he wanted to say, he emphatically said "yes" and was very pleased.

we are told that the doctor will re-evaluate him in about 3-4 weeks and see where he stands. the halo is still on and very aggravating, but he's dealing with it. they are working hard to get him as much therapy as possible.

please pray that dad will participate in the therapy so he can continue to improve. he really does like company, so if you are in Indy, he'd love to show you around and introduce you to his nurses.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Realized another week has gone by so thought I should drop you all a line. Dad is moving along. He has difficult days and good days but being the strong man that he is, gets through them. The VA hospital has been wonderful to dad. They are very attentive to his needs and are always looking for a better way to get him to the next step.

This week dads visiting hours were cut to how often mom and the family saw dad in order to move him past the fixation of going home so that he could focus on his therapy. Although this has been hard on mom to only see dad 1 hr a day, and the kids 2 hrs at a time on the weekends, the process seems to be working for dad. He is now partcipating in his therapy again and handles us coming and going in a calmer manner. We know this is temporary and will do what it takes for him to get better.

During the times we are not visiting the hosptial has activities planned all day to keep dad busy and more occupied with getting better, we are thankful for all the staff that take care him. Continue to pray for the healing of his brain and neck injuries.

Kelli :o)

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


We were advised yesterday that the halo must stay for another 4 weeks. Dads neck is healing very slowly, it is starting to fuse but has not healed.

Please pray for healing of his neck so that it can come off earlier.

Also pray for the healing of dad's brain that he can move on to the next process it has been a very frustrating week for him.


Saturday, May 5, 2007

Wow, this week just flew by. Our apologies for no updates this week. We will make sure that we write more often.

Dad took a swallow test on Monday and is now eating a pureed diet. The only thing the feeding tube is used for is medications. Dad is enjoying his ability to eat (except for today, he told the nurse it was horrible..ha) and he gets all the ice cream he wants. I brought a gallon of his favorite of which he can scoop in the kitchen at anytime. Dad has always loved ice cream and would live off it if we let him.

We had the family meeting with the hospital on Friday. They took a CT scan of his neck and will compare it on monday with the scan from Parkview. This will determine when the halo comes off and the next steps to his broken neck recovery.

At this point, the recovery period here at the VA hospital is 3-5 weeks. In all, it's just a take each day as it comes and see what tomorrow brings. Dad continues to improve each day and it's up to him how long the treatment will last. We will continue to keep you posted.

The week has had it's ups and downs. There has been a few hours of aggitation per day but in all it's been a good week. Dad really misses the visitors he used to get though. Please see the mailing address and phone number below, we encourage you to write and call so that he knows he's not forgotten. I would like to plaster his walls with drawings from the kids that would like to send pictures to grandpa and cards from his family and friends. The hospital told us to make his room feel as comfortable as possible, I would love to see it full of love from everyone he knows. He really needs to feel the love right now.

VA Hospital
1481 W 10th Street
Indianapolis IN 46202

Patient: Jim Maley Rm C-4146

Phone: 317-988-3590

Keep in mind that if you call that Dad's conversations do not always make sense. He will do his best to talk to you, therapy advised that if you grasp what he is talking about to repeat back to him so his mind can work on putting it into perspective.

If you want to come to Indy and visit dad my house is always open and you are welcome to spend the night. You can call me at 317-578-4525. I know that Dad would love seeing anyone that can come.

Kelli :o)

Monday, April 30, 2007

Just keeps getting better

Dad moved to the VA Hospital on Thursday, April 26. Mom says that he had the best day yet on Friday. Dad took the move very well, we worried about set backs but there have been none. The staff at the VA Hospital are very attentive to dad's needs and continually teaches him independence. He told us this weekend that he like that they let him do things. He has already charmed the nurses with his humor and has started drawing again. He gets frustrated but know with time he will only get better. We are all excited about his progress.

Today they are going to do another swallow test so hopefully he will be getting some real food soon. The halo is due for review on May 3 so we should have so up and coming news on the removal of that.

If you are able to come to Indy and see dad he is missing the company. Andy and Anna and thier entire families came down over the weekend and Joe has been here since last Thursday, he really enjoyed this. Things will be quiet during the week as everyone goes back to work so feel free to come and see him when you can.

Thank you for your continued dedication of prayers. Continue to pray for dad's healing and that he will have patience in the recovery.

Have a great day!! Kelli :o)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

changes again.....

the last time we posted, we were planning on the move to Minneapolis. mom had her mind set and was going along with the plan. well, change is the name of the game when it comes to the VA. the VA decided that dad is too far along in the recovery to send him to Minneapolis. they then proceeded to tell us that there was no room for him in the Indianapolis facility --- where he belonged. after some really hard work on kelli's behalf, the VA has agreed to open up a room and move dad down to Indianapolis. this is a rehab facility for brain trauma patients. needless to say, it will be nice to have dad closer to home so we can help with the recovery process. this move will take place tomorrow (april 26th) at 10:00 a.m. please pray for an uneventful ride down there.

mom will be temporarily moving in with kelli since she lives in fishers. i believe that all things happen for a reason....including the closing of the Minnesota door and the opening of the indy door. also, kelli just moved back from arizona a little over a year ago and i am convinced that God brought her here for this whole process with dad.

dad's recovery steps are daily. he has passed all of the milestones that the therapists put in place. he is very determined to get home. we have to continually tell him that we will go home at some point, but not yet.

please pray for the following: 1) the move will go smoothly without much of a setback to dad -- each move has been a little bit difficult. 2) mom will continue to have strength through the process -- it has been very tiring to say the least 3) wisdom in planning future housing arrangements

finally, if you happen to find yourself in the indy area, feel free to stop by the VA hospital and visit with dad. he always likes company (I'm sure mom wouldn't mind it either :) )

thanks for partnering with us in the rehab process.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Another Move!

I am beginning to feel like a gypsy. Just as we are settling into our new room at Parkview we get the news we will be moving. Due to Jim's VA status, it would be in his best interest to go to Minneapolis, Minnesota VA Brain Trauma Center to continue his rehab program. This may happen as soon as next week, or at the latest, the following. There are a lot of logistics that will have to be worked out in this move, including, how to transport Jim. It's possible he will go by air and I will drive. Needless to say, many details to plan for, in a short amount of time. His length of stay is undetermined at this time.

So far, his time on the rehab floor at Parkview has been good, but not uneventful. He's had some rough days but is improving each day. He talks constantly and this is not Jim. But it is great to hear. He is also interested in his art again which is another answered prayer. He seems to know most people who have come to visit if he's had an ongoing relationship with them. I would encourage you to come visit if you like, before he goes.He does enjoy visitors. But, please check with the nurse before you go in to see if he is doing ok. They do ask for no more then 2-3 at a time. He is in room 1403.

This move will be a strain on our kids. Being 10 hours away from their dad while he is so ill will not be easy. I, also, will miss their help and comfort. I know that God has been faithful through this whole journey and will continue to be.

We will keep you posted as soon as we know more.

I pray you all enjoy this wonderful weather and your families this week-end.


Monday, April 16, 2007

Moved to the 4th floor

Dad has been moved to the rehab floor on the 4th floor. He will begin his grinding rehab at Parkview today, so pray for him to have patience and not to refuse the help. He has his in and out moments of which he justs says "no".

We had a great day yesterday with only a little aggrevation in the middle of the day. We have found that limiting his stimulation to music and a few people at a time works well, although with this there are still those moments. We are praying that getting back into the rehab program today will give dad new perspective and encouragement for his recovery.

Yesterday was an exciting day for me because it's the first time he actually remembered things he did. He spent an hour telling the nurse about all his drawings and photography shots that are in his room. Although his words didn't always make sense, there was enough right words to figure out what he was saying. I just sat there and cried. Later in the day he spoke to others about his time in Germany and Japan. What a blessing to know he has part of himself again. Since I only come on the weekend, he always amazes me with the new steps he has taken.

Continue to pray for his patience and healing. Each day is a new day.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

one long day at a time...

it's been a while since i have posted out here. mom has been a faithful "poster" but i figured it was time for me to get something out here. i recently had the opportunity to spend a few hours alone with dad and have a new appreciation for what my mom has been going through day after day. in the past few posts, mom has referenced "the phase that we are in". we are all praying that this "phase" comes and goes quickly. while it is a wonderful thing to see dad heal, the flip side of that is that he is currently very angry and agitated. he requires "round the clock" observance and this is really wearing on mom.

in the phase that dad is in right now, he understands enough to know that he doesn't want to be there anymore, is mobile enough to get to the doors/elevators/etc and is very determined. the hard part is, he doesn't yet have the reasoning or logic to understand that going out is not yet safe for him. this is why he gets angry. this is like dealing with a determined toddler in a strong man's body. frankly, it is hard.

you see, this is a delicate balance. we are so very thankful that we can be in this stage as we all know at one point we wondered if dad would even make it through the night, or open his eyes, or "move with purpose", etc. He has done all of this and much more. He walks, talks, and is getting stronger each day. it is just hard to balance knowing what is best for dad and yet wanting to keep him "happy" in the immediate term.

please pray that we have patience, strength and wisdom during this phase. please pray that this phase quickly moves on and that we can get dad home soon. finally, continue to pray that the insurance stuff is all worked out. mom has some decisions that need to be made within the next week and needs answers and wisdom.

thanks again for partnering with us in lifting up dad from our knees.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to all of you!

I was spending time alone with the Lord this morning, praising him for all he has done in our lives since Jim's accident,and also praising him for what he has personally done in my life since I gave my life to him almost 30 years ago. Easter is a celebration of hope eternal and present. There has never been a time of realizing that in my life, more than now. There is an old gospel song that rings true the words in my heart. It says, "Because He lives, I can face tomorrow; because He lives, all fear is gone. Because I know He holds the future, life is worth the living just because He lives!" AMEN!

I would be a fool and a liar if I told you I never have fear or sadness or anxiety. If this would all depend on me, I'd be so hopeless. But, He does live. And he holds the future for each of us, including my Jim. With the help of all of you and trusting God is leading, we will keep walking in Faith.

Thank you all for the encouragement on my last post. It really helped on a bad week. Jim is still going through a very hard time. It's not only hard on him but on our kids and grand kids, as well. Please continue to pray they will stay encouraged.

I do have a prayer request beyond Jim, that would mean much to me because it is a big concern right now. The week Jim had his accident, my mom lost her husband, my stepdad, Ed. Her and I spent alot of time together during his long illness and I now do not have that time to be with her. My sister and brother are taking on my time and help with her, but she is really struggling with depression and loneliness, not only with her loss of Ed, but Jim's accident. She does not drive and is dependent on us to take her anywhere. Please pray we can find a way to help her not feel so lonely and isolated.

Thanks to all and I will keep you posted. Jim may be moving again this week.


Thursday, April 5, 2007

It's been a rough week. The move to Parkview has been filled with many obstacles and new challenges. The stimulation of the transition seems to have brought on a new phase of Jim's injury and it's not a pleasant one. He's very aggravated and confused. He does not do well when I am not around but has become more mobil. He impulsively gets out of bed, causing much anxiety to the staff and myself. He is not steady on his feet but is getting stronger every day making him harder to navigate. This particular rehab floor does not typically provide sitters for this type of patient so I've needed to stay at the hospital from morning till night, for his safety. After Monday, they were able to secure a nighttime sitter who comes at 11pm till 7am. This has all been extremely hard on Jim. The immediate future plans are up in the air due to paperwork and authorization from pending insurance sources. Please pray that this will be worked out in the near future to help Jim get the best care he needs.

I hate to keep asking for your prayers, but God listens to his people and the need is urgent. Thank you for allowing us to be so open and needy. You are being used by God for great things and a powerful witness to many. Thank you all.


Sunday, April 1, 2007

Moving Day!

Moving day came quickly. Friday afternoon it was decided that Jim's return to Parkview would be imminent. Packing up all that we had accumulated in the 5 week stay and hugging goodbye all our new friends at St Joe Select, we began our next step in the healing process. Due to forthcoming paperwork from the VA, Jim is on the 5th floor rehab, room 515. Hopefully we will soon get him moved to 4th floor, intensive rehab. Praise God that we have come this far! It has now been over 10 weeks.

If you still would like to know how you can pray for him, this would be one we would request. That his paperwork would go through as we hope and there will not be any setbacks. Also, that he will adjust to the changes and not take a step backwords. He is getting impatient with the halo and it has caused some concern. Also, I have been down with a bug and my family has been overloaded with extra of my time. We are all getting tired. Pray we will not fall down, but finish the race.

Again, and again, thank you all for your support and prayers. The journey continues, with God leading the way. I do not know the end, but I do know the Keeper of the end. May God bless each and every one of you.


Tuesday, March 27, 2007


It seems the times are getting longer between post and I'm sorry. But the reason is good. Much is going on and we are all busy trying to regroup and make up for lost time, both with our lives and helping Jim each day.

The week-end, and Monday and today has been somewhat eventful. With waking up, Jim is discovering more items to mess with. Like his trach(he decided on Friday to yank it out. Sorry Dr Culp!) Bill Culp had just been so kind to put a shorter one in on Thursday. Fortunately, Joe, our son, was there to help; and fortunately, I wasn't! It was no easy task getting it back in. Mr Independence also decided to try to take a walk on his own and gave the nurse and I a good scare, not to mention aging me more than he already has. He now has a companion to keep him company at night.

Therapy is going fairly well, although he is having a lot of back pain so it's harder to walk for any length of time. His therapy team, Andy, Connie, Toni, Jolyn, Grace and Mike, have immense amounts of patience, skill and compassion. They treat him as they would a family member and we all see their dedication.

We have been able to enjoy a few outings in the courtyard, due to nice weather. I can't imagine how it must feel after being cooped up so long. Jim's smile blesses all of us and he already has most of his nurses wrapped around his finger... in the nicest way.

Jim's halo, for his broken neck, comes equipped with a wrench for emergency. I saw him eyeing it and trying to unscrew a couple of bolts. I forewarned the nurses he has a construction background and they'd better hide the wrench! They took heed. Dr. Young was summoned to make sure Jim didn't make any headway on his de-haloing project.

Yesterday, I walked in as Dr. Young was examining Jim's work on the halo and I pulled him aside to ask when he thought the trach would be safe to come out. "It's out!" he announced. Boy, things happen fast around there. Apparently the pulmonary Dr agreed with Jim and thought it should come out. (Surprise, Bill!) That husband of mine has always been one step ahead of his time.

One more thing to share. I was with him all afternoon on Sunday and he didn't utter a word to me. I was getting ready to walk out the door, said good by as I heard, "Where you going?" I looked back to see Jim smiling.

This truly is a walk of faith and surprises. God is so good.

Love to you all....please keep praying.

For those interested, I sometimes post about our journey on my own blog.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

An Easter Miracle

The miracle of Easter has never been more real to me than it is this year. The King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords has visited my life in the most amazing ways thru this experiance of Jims accident. He has, for reasons I may never know, chosen to show us in the most personal of ways, his power, might and deep love. Many weeks ago, I asked God to just let me see my husbands eyes. Not only did he answer my prayer, but in more ways than I can number, provided miracle after miracle, and love abounding. A week or so ago, Jason numbered the many answered prayers we received, against all odds. Many, many of you have been the angels arms of comfort, encouragement, love and practical needs. But today, I was given a gift for my heart, from God, thru Jim, to me. I heard the words, " I Love You," come from my husbands own mouth.

If you have followed Jim's story of recovery from the beginning, and the chances of this ever happening, you will celebrate with me this miracle of love. God is so good, all the time. Alleluia!


Monday, March 19, 2007

New things each day...

Our apologies for the length of time between posts. Dad is improving one way or another each day. Since the last post, here are a few of the things that have taken place: he has walked with a walker -- by himself -- from one end of the hall to the other; he has had his trach capped and no longer has extra oxygen used; he has started saying words here and there; and some of his words have turned into sentences.

We have been working on getting some of the more "automatic words" to come out with hopes that it leads to purposeful speaking. An example would be a phone conversation between him and one of us where we would say often used phrases like "hey dad, it's jay" and he would respond with "ya" -- it even got to "hey dad, i've gotta go, have a good night; could i please talk to joe" to which he would respond with "ok, goodnight" and then hand the phone back to joe.

Now, with all the good stuff comes some tough stuff. Over the weekend, dad looked mom square in the eyes and said, "I don't know what happened". He is finally coming to the realization of what is going on. With this realization comes tough stuff to deal with. Dad seems to be more down over the past few days, we are assuming that he is realizing what is going on and dealing with it. Please pray for his courage and encouragement to keep fighting.

Finally, there are some unresolved administrative issues that need to be worked out and we'd appreciate the prayers for wisdom. Thanks for your love and encouragement.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

afternoon adventure..

What a beautiful day it was! Andy, Jim's therapist, worked Jim hard yesterday. Connie, occupational therapy and Toni, speech therapy did, as well.

As I entered the room, Jim was resting on the mat. The energy he is expending to complete the simplest of task that you and I take for granted every day is enormous.

I have gone back to work in the mornings and look forward to rushing to the hospital each afternoon to see the latest progress. Yesterday, Andy had a surprise for Jim. It had been 55 days since Jim had been outside of the hospital walls. I had asked, and been given permission, to take him out into the fresh air.

As Andy got Jim back on his feet to complete the final stage of his therapy for the day, I could hear groans coming from his newly capped trach. This, also, was a new milestone. Capping the trach means Jim is breathing completely on his own. It also allows, with the help of a passover device, him to talk if he can. Speech therapy has worked diligently on getting him to form a word. As I sat and watched Andy get him in position for the parallel bars, I suddenly heard a familiar voice saying, "Oh, boy." I turned to look at my sons, Andy and Joe and new instantly, they heard it too. Praise God! All of the therapy staff responded. Yeah! It is the beginning of, hopefully, more to come.

With Andy encouraging Jim to complete his work, with the promise of a surprise adventure to come, Jim painstakingly walked the few necessary steps on the bars, then stepped up one step on the stairs.

Work completed, and back in his wheelchair, we headed for the elevator and down to the main floor of the hospital. I could tell from Jim's expression he realized something was different. When we reached the main door and wheeled him through it, the biggest smile came to his face!
God gave us a beautiful sunny, warm day to enjoy. We walked to the court yard and sat, just enjoying being alive. Of course I can't speak for my husband(nor would he want me to) but I believe with all my heart, he was thankful for the moment and breath!

Thank you Lord.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

great determination...

Today was very similar to most days at the hospital. Speech and Occupational therapy come in the morning/early afternoon to work with dad and then dad gets a slight break. After dads slight break, Andy(the therapist) begins to work with dad.

When i walked in, dad was sitting at a table with one of the therapist. She was trying to get dad to pull on a plug that is pushed into a hole, pick it up and put it in her hand. Dad was more interested in sleeping. This has been a normal thing in a way. She continued to try to wake him...he would open his eyes for a sec and then fall back to "sleep". He finally grabbed a hold of that plug and pulled it out of the hole....6 times! The therapist was very thrilled with this. When he was done, he rested for about 15 mins and then it was time to get up into his wheelchair and go over to the parallel bars. This is where Andy can lift dad up and dad can support himself on the bars. Dad did this several times and one time while he was standing, the therapist told dad that he could sit now...they even tried to help him sit, but dad was determined to stand. It was the look on his face that "this is killing me, but i am going to get out of here!" He ended up standing for 4 mins. This in itself is a huge task, but it doesn't end there. When they finally got dad sitting in his wheelchair, it was mentioned to dad that he needs to start using his legs and move himself around in the chair. Dad gave another look of determination and started moving his feet as if he was trying to move his wheel chair! This is a huge thing. That meant that he understood what was asked of him. This is great news.

Please pray specifically that dad will get very good rest at night so that he can work during the day and be awake. Please also pray that dad doesn't lose the determination and get discouraged. Be thankful for all of the progress that has been made! We will attempt to update you during the end of the week.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Work in progress

Today was hard work for Jim. His therapy team, Andy, Mike, Connie, Toni and Jolyn, as well as a few others,(sorry, not sure of every ones name yet) gave their best effort to help Jim start to recover some of his lost functions. When I arrived, he was sitting on the edge of the bed in the physical therapy room, surrounded by this marvelous team of people encouraging him to try to sit up and respond to simple commands. I am learning quickly that a brain injury is a complicated and frustrating recovery. God created us and our brain in such a way, no man can duplicate. Trying to fix or heal the brain without his divine intervention and blueprint would be impossible. These highly trained and dedicated team of people use all of their skills, creativity and muscle to help that process along. I am in awe of their skills,compassion ,dedication and sense of humor. There is no doubt, they care about Jim's recovery.

It is so hard to watch Jim struggle with the simplest of things, that just a short few weeks ago, he did without thinking. But I, as well as the rest of our family, am so grateful he is in the struggle. We have been blessed from the beginning of his accident to be surrounded by compassionate, highly trained, caring medical staff. While at Parkview ICU we were privileged to have wonderful nurses such as Tom, Randy, Linda, Chuck and many, many more. When Jim was at his most fragile, they nursed him as if he was their own. They also put up with our multiple questions, concerns, my crying spells and fears with much patience. There is no way I will ever be able to let them know how much they all mean to us.

May our mighty God bless each and every one of them for their dedication, skill and compassion.
If you happen to see one of them or have the privilege to be under any of the above mentioned staff, please let them know how grateful we all are.

As for all of you dear friends and family, I want you to know, we do not know how we would have survived the past 7 weeks without your support and love. I know we have said this many times but I can't say it enough. You are the best! And we are so blessed.

The days and weeks ahead will be grueling, trying to learn to live this new life. Jim has to fight to learn the tiniest thing, we all can do without blinking an eye. I know he has it in him, but it hurts so much to watch. I don't know what the future holds, but, I do know who holds the future and I will try to rest in that.

May God bless you, each and everyone.


God is Good

X-rays show no fluid today, no fever. Waiting on the results of other cultures taken, otherwise all is good today. Praise God!!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

New Complication

Yesterday Dad started to run a 102.6 fever, he now has fluid on his lungs. Because of the halo they cannot do the procedure to remove the fluid. Please pray for the healing of Dad's lungs and that his fever will subside.


Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Watching the Grass Grow

This has certainly been a long process. As mom was told by the prior medical staff, Dads progress will be like watching the grass grow. We can all say that is true. We praise God daily for each little thing that Dad has accomplished.

Everyday we have friends, family, co-workers and neighbors that are part of our daily routines. We smile at them from a distance, hug some, talk and laugh with others and some we could be a little mad at for a moment, however that's our expected routine. We take for granted that any of these people that make us who we are, could tomorrow be missing from our routine of which then creates a void in our lives. Sometimes that void is easy to deal with while other times very difficult. We as a family are feeling such a huge void. We all are blessed that Dad is still a part of our lives and that we can hold his hand, tell him our day, laugh at a joke, watch a show or just sit quietly next to his bed, however the Jimism's, comebacks, words of wisdom and hugs are truly missed. I personally want to shout from the Chase Tower how much I MISS MY DAD!!

Dad had a way of making each person feel like they were the most important person in his life. Each child, grandchild, family member and friend has something that they shared with our Dad in their own special way that at this point is leaving a huge hole in each of their hearts. Although we all know that God works in his own time, and we all pray daily and thank God for the miracles that God has done, we wait with patience and impatience for the completion.

We are thankful daily for each new thing that Dad has accomplished. We watch the struggles and pain that Dad endures to regain his strength and his mind. This has certainly been an eye opener as to the daily movements we all take for granted such as getting out of bed, eating breakfast or just walking.

So to close I ask that we continue to pray, specifically for the void in each person out there that their heart be lifted with encouragement, that when we grow impatient watching the grass grow we are given strength and for Dad that God continues to keep his hand on him to endure the pain and frustration each day brings. We appreciate each and everyone of you that follows this blog, encourages our family and does the loving things that you do for us. You have all indeed been a testament of faith.


Saturday, March 3, 2007

Reflecting on God's Goodness...

so this morning i was laying in bed thinking back over all of the things God has done through this process. i thought that it would be good to remind everyone, so hopefully you will be encouraged. i am sure that i missed some things, but here's a start:

1) didn't know if dad would make it out of surgery --- he did
2) mom really wanted to see dad's blue eyes again --- she did
3) dad got some weird infection on his hand which the doctors said could be as fatal as the brain injury --- it just "went away"
4) there was a constant fear of high ICP numbers --- it subsided
5) he had a fever for an unknown reason -- went away
6) dad's blood pressure would not be controlled without IV meds --- became completely under control with other meds
7) after making improvement, doctor says "can't do the trach, we have no options" --- Dr. Culp was able to do the trach without any problem
8) we were told that dad was not a candidate to go to the Select Hospital --- out of the blue, they decided that he was a candidate
9) dad had to share a room once he got there with a man that was hard of hearing (his tv was on full volume all the time) --- dad got to be moved to a private room

Well, this is a decent list of problems that have been answered. I am sure that some have been left out. Praise God that he answers prayer. I am encouraged and as this process continues, i am reminded to continue to present my requests to Him because He will answer.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Laughed at a Joke

Rehab went well today. Dad was put in this machine type thing so that he can stand and it helps him walk, but more right now to gain strength and balance. He sat on the edge of the PT table to learn to balance for quite awhile and sat and in chair for 1.5 hrs. He tolerated everything well. When put back to bed, he fell right to asleep, I am sure he was exhausted.

Although Dad cannot speak, Joey and Andy told a joke and Dad was laughing at it, silently. Dad gave Anna a big smile and just seemed to be in a better mood about the day. He still has those moments of staring around, and he hasn't responded to anything the doctor ask of him. Please continue to pray for his ability to understand, recognize, and speak through this PT process so that he can move on to the Rehab center at the hospital. He still needs to respond to commands. We are thankful for every little thing that he has done.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Good Day!!

Today the Physical Therapist did an assessment on Dad to make his therapy plan. The therapist found dad to be very alert and they feel positive about his treatment. As part of the assessment they had Dad stand.... yes I said STAND! He stood on his own with a person on each side. They said that the left leg is very strong and the right (which was always his bad side) was weaker. Dad smiled at Mom today and lately puckers up for a kiss here or there.

They are putting Dad on a big flat surface that moves him around so that he can get used to motion again, and will begin other PT options as the days come. We are all thrilled and give thanks for his improvement just in one days time.


Monday, February 26, 2007

Moving Day

Today Dad moved to the Select Care Facility in St. Joseph Hospital. His new room number is 815. He is on the 8th floor and visiting hours are from 8am to 8pm. We are thankful that he is no longer considered a ICU patient.

The transition went smooth, however it is a big change for all. Dad now shares a room with another patient but is in the bed closest to the door. They have ordered the special bed he had at Parkview that rotates, we are looking forward to him getting that. He will start physical therapy this week for 3 hours a day. This is the good part of the move as the PT is more focused and will help dad to get to the next level.

We believe in miracles, with God all things are possible. Everyday is a new day.


Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sunday Evening

Again, Dad was sitting up in his bed and awake much of the day. He did not respond much to any one person other then Mom. We brought a DVD that was made on his 63th birthday which had all of the kids, grandkids as well as trips him and mom took together. We played it a couple of times of which Dad would sleep and watch. We would wake him and say "Dad did you see...." and he would open his eyes. I am sure he would say he was watching it all along if he could.

Mom and Kelli went to check out Dads new home at the Select Care Speciality Center inside St. Joseph hospital. There is going to be great changes taking place with this move. Please pray for all of us to have patience, strength and courage to take this next step. Where as Dad had 1 nurse for 2 people, it will now move to 1 nurse for 4 people. There is a rehabilitation area of which Dad will be sent to each day, so here please pray for Dad to have paitence, strength, courage and the will to step it up to the next level. Dad needs to do well enough here to be sent on to the rehabilitation center back at the hospital.


Sunday Morning

Dad has had a busy week. Once the halo was on this gave room for new things. Everyday his bed is tilted to a sitting position so that he can now look around the room. however dad has been exhausted from the surgery and just having the halo itself so he sleeps most of the time.

On Friday, dad was moved to a chair for 4 hours. Joey brought Blaze to see dad during this time. Blaze was so excited to see dad that he was literally grinning from ear to ear. It's funny to see a dog smile. Blaze licked dads face but at this time there was no reaction from dad. We will continue to try.

Saturday, Dad was awake for about 4 hours. He was having one of his days where he just looked around but really didn't look at anyone that was in the room. He was in an upright position in his bed for about 4 hours as well. He seemed to be watching TV of which I bored him with What Not to Wear like old times. Andy took a movie up last night and watched with Dad as he snoozed in and out.

Dads vitals are all normal, he has been breathing on his own for 3 days now. They removed the ventilator from his room on Friday night. We are all thankful and praise god for this.

Please continue to keep dad in your prayers. Specifically that he will wake up and have knowledge and mobility to move on to rehabilitation. We all know that there is a long road ahead and are ready to take that next step of the journey with dad for recovery.

Rumor has it that he will be moving to a new facility on Monday. We will keep you posted.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

baby steps...

we are making baby steps forward towards recovery. since the halo has been put on, the doctor has given the go ahead to be a little more aggressive in rehab/therapy work. this morning when i showed up at the icu, dad was positioned about 1/3 upright in his bed. the goal was to continue to move him towards moving around. this afternoon, around 1 o'clock, the therapist and nurses set dad up on the edge of the bed and had his legs hang over the side on a stool. they were steadying him of course, but nonetheless, this is progress. i'm sure dad liked the view of the room instead of staring at the ceiling like he has for the last 30 days.

as far as we know, we will still be in the icu until monday. after monday, the plan is to move to a specialty hospital for additional aggressive "pre-rehab". once dad is fully able to participate in the rehab, they will increase the amount of time that he gets treated. please pray for patience on dad's part as he starts this process. i have been thinking about the fact that as he continues to become more aware of what is going on, he will likely become frustrated with the slow process (at least i would if it was me). pray that we continue to make steps (even little ones) forward. thanks for you love and support. we will update more as things progress...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

surgery complete....

Dads surgery is done. Dr Young said that it went well. Nothing to worry about. We are waiting to go back and see him now. They are going to try to sit him up tomorrow. We will update you more later.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

time for the halo...

tomorrow at 12:30, dad will go to surgery to have his fractured neck fixed. they will be putting a halo on him (a device that keeps your neck from moving that gets screwed into your skull).

there have been little improvements each day and we are thankful for them. we all want things to move faster, faster, faster, but we are often reminded that this process is long and slow. we consider ourselves blessed and fortunate to be as far along as we are.

as dad is being weened off the ventilator and his neck is being set by the halo, he will soon no longer be a candidate for the ICU. we will likely be moving to somewhere else soon, so stay tuned.
on another note, there are several families that haven't been as fortunate as we have in this process. please pray for comfort for the other icu families and that we can help them as they go through this hard time. thanks as always for your prayers and encouragement.

Monday, February 19, 2007

not much to tell you today....

I thought i would give you a brief update since one hasnt been given in a few days. Not a whole lot has changed. Dad's vitals are still doing well. They have continued to ween him off of the vent machine. They went for several hours with out the vent on last night...this is a great thing. This means that dad is doing well at breathing on his own for a bit and building those muscles that do this. He still is not that highly responsive. We might get few seconds here and there that we think that he is "with us" but nothing for long periods. The doctor wants to see dad being responsive for 4 hour periods of time. Sometimes it feels as if we are sooo far from seeing this, but i have seen God do miraclous things so far....I know that He could bring dad out of this comma at any time. Please continue to pray that dad will come out of comma quickly. Please also continue to give thanks for all of the things that have already transpired. On a side seems as if it is a really hard day for some folks here in the ICU. Please pray that God will wrap his arms around them and comfort them. Pray that His presence will be made known. Will update you later....

Friday, February 16, 2007

friday update..

well, as you know, the trach was put in successfully last night. they have already started weening dad of the vent. they are guessing that he could be off of it in a few days. in case you didn't know, the trach is just another airway to connect the ventilator to; instead of connecting it to the tube that was in his mouth, they now hook it to a small tube that is in his neck.

it looks pretty likely that they will be putting the halo on dad's head next week to fix his broken neck. once this is done, we will be able to move dad around, try to have him sit up, etc.

please pray for the following: first and foremost that dad will start "moving with purpose" consistently. it is important that he is able to participate in the rehabilitation process, and until he is more responsive, he cannot. second, please pray that as time moves on, God grants us wisdom as we have to make constant decisions.

thanks again for lifting us up in prayer. we have been blessed with the world's best support group.

Waiting for the doc...

We don't have much new to post this morning. I was trying to wait to post until the doctor came in, but he has not been in yet. They dropped the vent machine from 10 to 6. This means that dad is doing a lot of the breathing on his own. They are trying to ween him off of the vent machine. I spent a little time with dad this morning and his eyes are wide open. I don't think he is "always" there....but will look as if he recognizes us for moments. We will take the moments! I told him that his strength was still good in his arm but that i could beat him in arm wrestling now....he disagreed. As i was holding his hand in the air, he pushed my hand down to the bed! Its still dad alright. He still telling me that he will win! I'm OK with that!

Thanks for the continued comments on this blog. We look forward everyday to the support we get from all of you. You all have been such a blessing to us! Thanks again for your friendship and your care. Mom or Jason will update you once the doctors come in.

One last thing, if you scroll down to the middle of all of the posts, you will find one that says "Notes for dad.." , if you haven't had a chance to write dad a note, and want to...this is a great chance to do so. As dad starts to come to more, we will begin to read these to him and hope to give him some encouragement. Thanks for taking the time to do this.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

"Couldn't have gone any better..."

"Couldn't have gone any better..." is what Dr. Culp told us. Dad went in at 8:15 and Dr. Culp came out to talk to us at 9:15. ...Dad is now without the tube in his mouth and it is in the trach only. PRAISE GOD! Thank you for your continued prayers!!! They are supposed to call us back here in a bit to see him. We will update you tomorrow as to how dad responds to this new way of breathing.

quick update...

Dad has not gone into surgery yet....there has been a delay due to waiting for a room. We hope that he will be going into surgery in the next 30 mins or so. Its 7:45 right now...will update you as soon as we know more.

I like dads new hair cut...

I know that we said that there was not going to be a new post but i thought i would let you know that dad got a new hair cut! Tom the nurse decided (with the help of mom) that dad didn't look good with a mullet, so Tom got out the clippers and cut his hair; the problem is that the clippers that the hospital use do not have guards. This being is bald! It looks good though!!

Just a reminder that today is the big day...the day that dad gets his trach. This is supposed to happen at 6pm and last an hour or so. We will likely not have an update until later in the evening. Please pray for Dr. Culp and his team as they do the surgery. Pray that God will give the doctors steady hands and the surgery will go well.

Please also continue to pray for endurance. This has been and will be a very long journey. It has been pretty wearing at times and patience can run a little thin...

Praise God that dad has been more active and moving more each day. Earlier we saw some movement out of his right side. There hasn't been much until now. He is also moving fingers more instead of just his hand. I look forward to the day that he really knows that we are in the room!

Thanks again for your continued thoughts and prayers. We will update you as soon as the surgery is over....

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

update from the great white north...

things are much the same today in the icu. the doctor said that we are basically in a waiting period until thursday when the trach will be done. dr. young agreed that the trach could be done as long as dad's neck isn't moved. all of dad's vitals are good and he is occasionally awake. the tube seems to be really aggravating dad, causing him to gag and cough quite a bit.

we do not expect to have any news to update you with until after thursday 6:00 p.m. when the trach is done, so don't be concerned if you do not see anything before then. thanks for your continued prayers. stay warm :)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Post overdue.....

I am way overdue on getting a post out for the day. We are trying to get back into some normal life pattern (whatever that might look like) by going home some nights and sleeping. When we do that, we don't have the computers up here at the hospital and it makes it harder to get a post out. We are up here tonight and i have the computer with me so we will have you updated while here. If we get snowed in...then i will be up here giving you the normal updates!

Dad is slowly progressing. Today the therapist came in and worked on bending dads arms and legs. She was asking him to help her bend and he was. She would ask him to relax his arms and he would. It was evident that he was responding to her. Also, I had my kids up tonight and Kade came in and said " hey grandpa, its Kade...I love you"...and dad smiled. It was very evident that it was a smile and not any other movement! This is great progress.

The doctor also took a CT scan again. The CT scan showed that the shift has almost corrected itself. This means that the swelling is almost gone and there are no real signs of more bleeding.

They are also going to attempt to do the trach on dad on Thursday at 6pm. This is not confirmed with Dr. Young but is likely they will do it. Please keep this in your prayers. This can be a slightly risky task but thankfully they figured a way to get around moving dads neck!

This is all for now...i will try to give you some sort of update tomorrow afternoon. Thank you again for your continued prayers and support. If you haven't gotten a chance to yet...scroll down to the post "Notes for dad" and leave dad a note...encouraging him or letting him know how he has touched your life.

Until tomorrow...


Sunday, February 11, 2007

nothing really to update...

sorry for the lack of communication, but there hasn't been much to update today. all of dad's "numbers" are doing well. he hasn't been "awake" much today. the doctors are getting together tomorrow to decide on the plan for the week. when we hear what that is, we will update you. thanks for your prayers and encouragement.