Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tuesday's Update

Miracles & Medicine

The saying goes “the miracle of modern medicine”, but in Laine’s case I see it as “Miracles and Medicine”. I know it sounds rather cliché, but Laine’s recovery has been nothing less than a miracle. While she is not entirely out of the woods, she is certainly out of the thick of it and well on her way back. She is down to a single chest tube (they decided to leave #3 in for one more day) and she has been breathing without the ventilator for more than 30 hours. She’s able to write notes now and communicates with hand gestures. She even asked for her iPhone today. (I’m not sure what she thinks she can do with it.) She has been improving so quickly that even her doctors are amazed (or should I say, they are especially amazed)? For they; more than anyone know how delicate and dire things were in Laine’s most critical hour. This makes me believe “miracle”. But this is not to take anything away from the doctors and healthcare professionals here at University of Kentucky, because they were brilliant.

When Laine was airlifted here at 4:10PM on Saturday, April 26th, she was critically injured. The Blue Trauma Team jumped into action. With both her lungs collapsed and the right one having multiple lacerations, the Team made their initial assessment and stabilized her quickly. At that point the broken bones and jaw, while severe in their own right, were secondary. At that moment and for the next couple days, Laine’s very survival was in question. The Blue Team considered emergency chest surgery, but decided to give it time and to watch and wait. The wait paid off and Laine stabilized more and eventually began improving. Dr. Boulanger, Laine’s primary physician and senior member of the Blue Trauma Team at U of K, is a fine doctor. He, along with his other team members, Dr. Sonka and Dr. Bernard, have also done an outstanding job. The results speak for themselves. They made the right prognosis and prescribed the right treatments. Beyond the medicine, they were all personable, engaged, informative and caring. We can’t thank them enough, but would guess that Laine’s recovery is all the thanks they really need.

Soon Laine will be moved out of the ICU. That should happen by tomorrow, some eleven days after her fall. This hospital, for its size and scope, is a well run facility yet no function is more important than the minute-by-minute care that Laine received from her ICU nurses. We need to give them special acknowledgment. So, Debbie, LeAnn, Tracy, Hannah, Patti, Michelle and Ester, you were all exceptional nurses and masterfully performed your duties with the utmost care. Doctors prescribe, but nurses perform the myriad elements of treatment, minute-by-minute, day and night.

Finally, I can’t move on without extending further thanks and deep gratitude to everyone who expressed their love and concern for Laine. Soon she’ll be able to enjoy your cards, letters and emails. For those of you who have offered up prayers for Lainey, thank you. Those prayers have been heard and answered; and we’ve witnessed a true miracle.

Michael Ashker