Tuesday, January 4, 2011

the full story

The past few days have been some of the most difficult that I can remember. After church Sunday morning while shopping at Wal-mart, I got the phone call from my dad. I automatically knew something was wrong because my dad never uses his cell phone on the weekends. He hates the thing. And when I answered the phone, his voice was soft and shaky, not his usual tone.

At 6:30am, my dad had gotten up to let their dog, Tex out to go to the bathroom. He heard a strange noise coming from my brother Randy's room. He went to inspect thinking he would find Randy's TV on, but instead he found Randy in the middle of a giant seizure. Randy's whole body was convulsing and he was spitting foam from his mouth. He wasn't conscious and was making soft grunting noises. My parents immediately called 911 and he was rushed to the nearest hospital. He was in that same seizure state for over three hours. He was still like that when my dad called me.

It took the medical staff another two hours to get him stable enough to transport to a hospital that was better equipped to handle his situation. My dad called again when he was on his way driving to the next hospital. He was trying to get to the hospital before my mom arrived with Randy in the ambulance. The last time I heard my dad so upset was when his own father passed away when I was seven. I rushed down to the hospital to be with him. It was absolutely heartbreaking. I don't think I could've understood his pain before becoming a mother. You never want to see your child hurt in any way, shape, or form and would gladly trade places with them in an instant. I have to say, I would've gladly traded places with my dad at that moment to take away his pain.

After a short while, Randy and my mom arrived at the hospital. My mom came and updated us on his situation and then took my dad back with her to see him. Eventually I was able to go back there with them to be with him. I knew his situation was bad, but I was not mentally prepared for how I saw him. Randy was now in a medically-induced coma. He was still constantly shaking, having minor seizures. The ventilator he was on was breathing for him and he had tubes draining the contents of his lungs, stomach, and bladder. There were large bruises up and down his arms where various IV's had been attempted to no avail. While I was there, the medical staff finally had to put in a central line (an IV in his neck) to draw blood and administer medicines and fluids. He was placed on a cooling mat to bring own his fever. Between 6:30am and about 1:30pm, he had already had a CT scan, an EKG (to test his heart), and an EEG (to test his brain waves), not to mention the various blood tests. Yesterday he even got an MRI.

This whole situation is absolutely heartbreaking. Randy is seriously one of the absolute sweetest and most caring people that I have ever had the chance to meet, and I'm not saying that because he's my brother. He's been dealt a rough set of medical circumstances over the course of his short life and its so hard to see him have to face another hurdle like this one.

We have seen improvements though. After the MRI yesterday, he was taken off the medicine that was inducing the coma and today he'll wiggle his toes a little if you ask him to. My mom says you can tell he's struggling to do it, but he's trying nonetheless. He's also being given the opportunity to breathe on his own. I consider each of these developments small miracles in his recovery. Sunday morning we weren't sure if he was going to survive and now he's showing signs of coming back to us.

I truly and whole-heartedly believe that God was watching over him through all of this. Our Uncle Fr. Jack was able to come give him the Anointing of the Sick on Sunday when he was still fighting the seizures. Through the power of our families and Facebook, there are people all over the world praying for his recovery. We have had many people stop by to give well-wishes and my cousin Kelly even brought my parents snacks and water yesterday. I am so truly appreciative of the out-pouring of kindness shown and I know that my parents feel the same.

To Randy: Keep fighting buddy. We love you more than you know and I'm not ready to lose my baby brother. Keep fighting. Please.


Karen said...

So many prayers for you and your family...

Jessi said...

Oh gosh Katie! I had no idea! I'm sorry to hear Randy & the family are dealing with this right now, I'm sure he'll fight his way right through this. We'll be praying for Randy, and all of the family.

Belinda Berling said...

You are definitely in my thoughts!