Sunday, October 31, 2010

Waiting

Things are still the same with Zane. All vitals remain stable, no new infections, still dealing with fevers. Tonight when we went in, his fever was at 101, but that was the highest it had been all day. He got his hair washed and teeth brushed today- his nurse joked that he was their "sleeping beauty". I'm sure he'll appreciate hearing that when he wakes up. :) His nurses are working hard lately- the skin growing in needs special attention to minimize scarring. The staff at Brigham's works phenomenally hard- burn patients require a lot of TLC. We are SO thankful for their meticulous care of Zane.

Tomorrow they'll be checking his grafts & trying to gauge when they'll be able to start lightening up his meds. We've been warned that when they start going down on the meds and waking him up that he'll go through periods of confusion and agitation as we got a taste of last week. We're hoping that he'll be more alert and clear-minded by next weekend when his parents and grandparents fly in.

Just a little note for those of you who may be in the Boston area- You really should check out the Halfway Cafe if there is one near you! We have close family friends that own and manage the 7 locations in the greater Boston area & we've had the privilege of having a few meals from their amazing menu. Twice they've brought us in catered dishes to the hospital, and last night we got to go out to one of their locations. The prices are fantastic and the food is even better! Check out their website here.

We are so very blessed & we can't wait to start feeding Zane some of the great food Boston has to offer!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Day 19

Zane was pretty quiet all day today. As expected, they're keeping him very sedated after the back grafting surgery. He is continuing to have issues with fevers. Today it was as high as 103. They put the cooling blankets back on him and when we left tonight it was down to 101.5. We found out that there was an area on his right shoulder that was growing an infection prior to yesterday's surgery. Hopefully with the debridement and grafting, it will clear up. This is first wound infection he's had, but it's not an unexpected thing. He's still on antibiotics, so those should cover anything he has.

Dad got back in last night and went to see Zane this morning. He couldn't believe the improvement in Zane's face in just 5 days! I guess because Mom and I are seeing him each day, it's not as obvious to us. But, Dad was blown away. They also had a small section of his chest uncovered and we got to see the graft site. When we saw a picture of it a week ago, it was pretty gruesome. The donor skin had been "meshed" so it pretty much looked like a fish net, with all the muscle and tissue showing through. Not going to lie.. it was hard to see. Today, it looked almost exactly like normal skin. The little holes had filled in and it looked just like it was supposed to be there. The nurse told us that, in her 30 years of nursing, she'd never seen a graft heal so well. She made the comment, "He's a great healer". I said, "And, he HAS a great Healer". God is certainly healing him!

Your continued prayers for the fevers and for his grafts to continue healing well would be appreciated. His arms aren't doing as well as his chest, but they're coming along. There's also a high risk for his back graft not to take well. He's laying on it, and as soon as they start waking him up, he'll be moving around a lot. But, as always, we have faith that God will take care of every inch of Zane's body.

Impossibilities

Three weeks ago I wouldn’t have thought it possible that my husband’s life could be almost taken from him. I would have rendered it absurd to think that he could be involved in such an unusual and tragic accident. No wife ever imagines that they’ll be the one rushing to the hospital and pleading with God for their husband’s life. It all seems so far away, so removed from the smooth day-to-day lives that we lead. We hear about these things in the news; we see tragedy afar off. But rarely does it truly touch us. Rarely does it grip your soul and shake your entire existence. In our minds, we simply render such hurt and loss impossible.

Zane always believed in the impossible. If you were blessed enough to know him, you knew that it was because of his faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Our God is well acquainted with impossibilities. After all, he’s walked on water and raised the dead… what else can’t he do? But sometimes we forget just how possible He makes things. Sometimes our faith is lacking and we don’t truly believe that our God can move mountains. Sometimes it takes a situation like this to make us believe again. Let me share with you some of the “impossibilities” that have strengthened my faith over the last few weeks.

When the electricity arced out from the substation disconnect, it made contact with the rail of the scissor lift Zane was on rather than with Zane’s body. Direct contact with 69,000 volts would have killed him instantly.

Zane’s neck, chest, arms, back, and abdomen all suffered 3rd degree burns. His face only sustained minor 2nd degree burns along the jaw line, ear and a tiny bit on his nose. His face will heal and look entirely normal. No one can explain how his face was protected.

His hands are just as miraculous. They were not burned nearly as severely as his arms. We are being told that they will heal on their own, without grafting. That, of course, is huge because grafts would make it much harder to regain full use of them.

At the time of the accident, my dad was only a parking lot away & was able to be with Zane immediately. My mom was working in the ER at a hospital she only works per diem at. The fact that she was there when he came in is miraculous. I was working directly across the street from the hospital. Dad picked me up and we were also there within minutes. Because mom was on duty, she was able to get me into Zane’s room before they sedated him & he was able to tell me he loved me. God worked out each and every detail.

There are two commercial flights out of our small town to Boston each day. We had just enough time to run home, grab clothes, and catch the last flight out. We got to Boston at the same time Zane did.

My uncle was in Logan Airport waiting on a flight that was delayed by 35 minutes when he got a text from family telling him what happened. Even though he couldn’t reach us because we were in the air, he postponed his flight and was going to head to the hospital. For some reason, he stayed at the airport and when we landed, he was there to pick us up. Had his flight not been delayed, he would have been on his way to Memphis.

Several financial miracles have taken place that allowed family members to be able to get here.

On Thursday night/early Friday morning (the 14th & 15th of Oct.), we were told that Zane had ARDS. I didn’t know it at the time, but this is often fatal. By the time Saturday rolled around, Zane had improved drastically, and the ARDS was no longer a threat.

Also on those horrible nights, Zane’s lungs were in extremely fragile condition and had started to fill with fluid. A chest tube was placed. By Friday evening, the fluid was receding and shortly thereafter, they removed the chest tube. We’ve been told by nurses that they can’t believe how quickly he bounced back from that night.

Several veteran nurses told us that they’ve never seen a neck graft look as good and heal as fast as Zane’s has.

We were told that it would be 30 days before we would be able to communicate with Zane at all. On day 13 he talked, responded to a question, and told me he loved me.

So, tell me what’s impossible and I’ll tell you how my God made it possible. Tell me one thing God can’t or failed to do, and I’ll tell you three things that He can and HAS done. Often our lack of faith limits the miracles that we’re able to see. We get blinded by realities and logic. But, how sweet it is when our eyes of faith are opened and we truly see God work! NOTHING is impossible for Him.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Through Surgery #4

Zane is through his fourth grafting surgery and everything went well. They ended up grafting the right side of his back and some on his right flank. They also patched a small area near his right armpit. The doctor told us that the right side of his back was a "deep dermal" burn, but not a "full thickness" burn. So basically, they had to debride the dead skin in that area, but there was a layer of his own skin tissue that was still "okay". It probably would have healed on its own, but would have taken 6-8 weeks. They did the grafting anyway because it will help that area to heal much faster. The doctor commented that he was "very stable" during surgery and that there were no complications whatsoever.

The rest of his grafts are looking good. However, his arms are looking tight so Dr. Pomahac said that he will most likely need a 'release' procedure down the road, once everything heals. It is very common for the grafts to contract as they heal. This often means that movement gets limited, especially in the joints. To give patients more movement, they make an incision at the joint, stretch the limb to where it should be able to move, and insert more grafting tissue in the gap. This won't happen, though, until all the skin is healed.

Zane will be kept very heavily sedated the next few days so that the grafts have time to take. Because he has a history of being rather antsy in his bed, they don't want him moving around and ruining the graft. We are SO THANKFUL that the entire back didn't have to be grafted! God heard our prayers and is so faithful. Thank you all who remembered Zane in your prayers. Our God is powerful, and he is taking such good care of him.

{Zane, 2 of his sisters, & I}

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Beautiful

Zane is still doing well today. Because of the continued fevers, they took the central IV line out of his groin last night and put one in his neck. The neck is a cleaner place to have it, so it's less likely to get infected. They keep drawing cultures, and nothing new seems to be growing from them so there are no new infections. He was a little more alert today, but still very agitated and moving around a lot. He won't stay still or lay straight in bed- he keeps pushing himself up and down with his legs and twisting sideways. The nurses had put an oxygen monitor on one of his toes and he clearly did not like it. He had his leg lifted way up in the air and was wiggling his toes all around trying to get it off. It was pretty comical, really.

He seemed to recognize who we were today and responded appropriately to things we were saying. He smiled when he saw mom and me. He was able to mouth the word "cold" to us so the nurse got him a sheet to cover up with. After we covered him up he mouthed the words "thank you". I joked and told him he was more polite in the hospital than he was at home. :) The occupational therapist came up to help him move his arms around and change the dressings on his hand splints. She left the left hand splint off for a while so he could move around his fingers. He held and even squeezed my hand a little. I rubbed his feet when he started to get agitated and sometimes it helped calm him down. I pulled up a chair and sat beside him, holding his hand for a while. At one point I saw him staring at the wall so I asked him if he was looking at the pictures we'd printed out and put up there (there's a big one from our wedding a few smaller ones of the whole family). He nodded, kind of motioned towards the picture of us with his eyebrows, and mouthed the word "beautiful". It's so good to see little signs of life like this. After him being so delirious the past few days, it was so reassuring to see him with a bit sharper mind.

This morning I signed the consent for his surgery tomorrow. They won't know for sure how much they'll have to do until they actually get him in to the OR. They'll definitely have to do some debridement to get the dead cells off. The question is how much grafting they'll do. The PA we met with this morning said Dr. Pomahac was thinking it would be mostly on the right side. Praise God they're not thinking they'll have to do the whole back! The surgery is scheduled for 7:30AM EST so I will update you all as soon as I get some news after.

Being a major trauma center this long, I am constantly reminded how blessed we are. Zane isn't out of the woods yet, but he's certainly doing well! There is so much pain and suffering around us, but we do our best to empathize and share a little of the hope we have with those families. People are very interested in Zane's story and we have made many friends. We've been blessed by being able to pray for them, and by their prayers for us. It's a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thank You

Zane continues to be about the same. Vitals strong, breathing great, but still having fevers. This morning his temp was around 101 and they were putting the cooling blankets back on. He's less alert because they've switched up his meds. We're trusting that his body is getting stronger during this down time though, and that healing is taking place! As you're keeping his back in prayer, please remember the fevers. While they're not a huge problem in and of themselves, they still make everyone a little uneasy.

Thank you all for your prayers last night at 7. We certainly felt the power of so many people's prayers. We prayed right in the lobby of the hospital, and claimed healing for Zane. Also, thank you for forgiving my lack of a post yesterday. It was my mom's and my birthday and while I intended to post, I ran out of time. We we blessed with a couple visits from some awesome family and friends & plenty of sweets!

We have been SO blessed by all of you- look at this stack of cards that have come for Zane already (please excuse horrible cell phone quality photo):


Words can never express the gratitude that we have for all the support we've been shown. Each one of you have been a blessing, and we can't wait for Zane to be able to read each of your comments, emails, facebook messages, and cards.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Slow & Steady

I think it's safe to say we've entered a "hurry up and wait" phase of Zane's recovery. We had an uneventful day today, but uneventful is good. All Zane's vitals are stable, but he is still having the fevers. His blood cultures are still not showing any infection, so the doctors are thinking the fevers are just due to the hyperdynamic state his body is in. They decided to try and help him break it by putting cooling blankets underneath and on top of him. When we went in to see him this evening, the fever had broken and his temp was down to 98.6. They've also switched up his medication to make him less delusional and less agitated. He's been pretty out of it when he wakes up, sometimes having hallucinations & mouthing the same thing over & over. He's been trying to move around in bed and get his legs off the side of it. Hopefully the change in meds will calm him down some. They're still taking him off the vent for a few hours per day & letting him breathe on his own.

Zane's mom asked if I would invite everyone to participate in a time of prayer for Zane (& specifically, his back) tomorrow night. If you'd like to, please join us in praying for him at 7pm tomorrow (10.26.10). We'll flood heaven with prayers & claim healing for his body. We believe that prayer is powerful and that thousands of God's people praying at once will have miraculous results. Thank you so much.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Where Is She?

Today was another big day. We went in to see Zane earlier today & he woke up again for us. The nurse paged the respiratory therapist to come up & place a device on the trach that allowed him to talk. He's still VERY high and very out of it because of the meds, but he was pretty responsive. He was having a hard time coughing again. The only words we heard him say were "it makes me hurt" in reference to the coughing. Just hearing words from him was fantastic, even though I hate to see him hurt.

The nurse told us before we left that his back wasn't looking too good and that the whole thing would need to be grafted on Friday. My heart sunk, of course, when I heard this. But, the doctor could have a different opinion and we still have several days for that to change. We fully believe God can still heal his back. So, we ask you to send up some FIERCE prayers for healing on his back. If God decides to heal it, the glory will go directly to him- it would be a miracle for all the doctors and nurses to see. If God decides not to, we will still praise him for the other miracles He has performed.

After going out to get a late lunch/early supper, we stopped back by the hospital. When I went in Zane's room, he woke up again. He'd been breathing on his own for a few hours. The nurse quickly grabbed the speaking device & put it back on because Zane had started mouthing words again. He looked at the nurse and said, "Where is she?". The nurse said, "Who?" & Zane responded, "my wife". AHH!!! The nurse told me to take my mask down so he could see my face. I leaned over in front of him & told him I was there with him. He looked at me and ever so quietly, but clearly said "I love you". If I could fly before, I could move mountains now. Mom and Dad both choked up when the nurse told them what he said.. and the nurse teared up herself!

They had to take the speaking device out because he was coughing again. I stepped to the end of the bed & rubbed his feet until he started to relax. I stopped after a bit and started to back away. It wasn't more than 5 seconds and his eyes popped right back open, he shook his head & wiggled his feet. I asked him "Honey, do you want me to stay?" & he nodded his head. So of course, I stayed and rubbed his feet until he was sleeping.

What. A. Blessing. I'm not going to lie, I had a hard time after the nurse told me about the grafting on his back. But, I should have known better than to get discouraged. God came right back with some even more encouraging moments. I am constantly reminded of His faithfulness. Our God is amazing.. I would not have made it thus far without Him.

Oh, and can I remind all of you that we are on day 13 since the accident & the doctors told us it would be a month before Zane would be at this point?!? Everyone talks about how young and healthy he is.. but I'm confident they'll start to realize before long that it's our Heavenly Father healing Zane.. nothing else will be a "logical" explanation. We are covering Zane's back in prayer right now & praising God for the incredible moment of communication today.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Awake

Despite continued fevers, we had some high points today. This afternoon, while mom and dad went out to get groceries for the new apartment, Zane's nurse let me sit with him in his room. I still had to have a gown, mask, hat and gloves on, but I got to sit by his bed for a few hours and just watch him breathe. Up until now, we'd only had a few 5 minute visits per day. Today was wonderful- I got to sit there listening to the praise music on the ipod dock we bought & read scripture to him.

We had some wonderful friends come and take us out to dinner in the city. It was my first time being more than a mile away from the hospital so it was a little hard, but it was good. We came back to the hospital after and went in to see Zane again. They had taken him off the ventilator at 3, so he'd been 5 hours breathing totally on his own. While mom, dad, and I were in there, he woke up and looked at us. Mom, being super-nurse, told him where he was and that he'd been hurt, etc. He nodded his head like he already knew. He kept mouthing words, but because of my inferior lip-reading skills, I had no idea what he was trying to say. I just kept nodding my head like I understood. I told him why he couldn't talk & that he didn't need to try right now- just rest. When I said "I love you" he kept trying to mouth words so I said "it's okay honey, I know- you love me too". He just closed his mouth and smiled. His smile was enough to make me fly..

He coughed up some secretions on his own, but was struggling so the nurse came in and suctioned the trach tube. Mom and Dad stepped out to give the nurse more room. The nurse went out in the hallway to call for respiratory therapy to come & put the vent back on. While they were out there, Zane kept lifting up his right leg and mouthing something. I was trying so hard to figure out what he wanted & then all of a sudden it was like God told me. I said to Zane "Honey, it's still there. You have both legs & you're not missing anything. The doctors told us you'll be 100% normal before too long." He looked so relieved and his whole body relaxed. Praise God- Zane probably really needed to know that and had no way of asking us or finding out.

He continued to have kind of a hard time with coughing up secretions- his face got pretty red & you could tell he was in pain. The nurse mixed him some tylenol & motrin to put down his feeding tube & upped his pain & sedation meds to get him more comfortable. All the while, I just stood by his bed, holding his head & talking to him to keep him calm. The respiratory therapist came in and started doing her thing. Zane kept looking around like he didn't know what was going on so I tried to give him a play-by-play & remind him to relax. I kind of figured I was in the way, so I told Zane I'd let the nurses do their job and hum him amazing grace in the morning. As soon as I left his side he tensed up, but I knew the sedation would be setting in soon, and that the nurses were very capable of taking care of him. It was hard to leave after having such contact with him for the first time, but he really needed to rest.

We knew Zane had woken up for the nurses before, but he'd never been this alert with us in the room. I'm thanking God so much that we were able to have those moments with him. He may never even remember them, but it helped me to feel like I was helping him, I guess. When I was leaving, the nurse looked at me and asked if I was alright. For some reason she thought it would have been hard to see him go through that, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. Of course I was okay- my husband is alive & I'd just gotten to see the most vivid sign of life I'd seen in a week and a half. Praise God- He sure knows when we need these little reminders of His power and faithfulness!

Another Prayer Effort

Things are pretty much the same with Zane as they have been the past day or so. I called his nurse from the apartment this morning and found out he's still spiking fevers. While he's on antibiotics for the infections, it's evident his body is still fighting something. His vitals all remain steady, but the fevers just won't go away. Your prayers for the fevers to subside would be much appreciated. It's the only thing just hanging over our heads, so we're waiting to hear that he's made it through a day without any fevers. We know that God can heal this problem just as he restored Zane's lungs. We trust that this is just a small roadblock in the path to recovery. Thank you all again for your continued prayers- we know that they are powerful and that our God is hearing each and every one of them.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Modern Miracles & Stubborn Bugs

The tracheotomy went well! It's all in and he looks a million times more comfortable without all that stuff in his mouth. They also placed a thin feeding tube in through his nose that actually extends down beyond the stomach. It's much more comfortable for him, but it also makes sure that the nutrition gets through his system. We just went in to see him and I am simply blown away by the progress. We got to see the graft on his neck and it looks downright amazing. It just blows my mind that God not only created such an amazing, complex body, but that he also gifted human minds to be able to create the technology and medical know-how to do such things. AMAZING!

We did get a report that a new strain of infection has developed. It looks like it may be septic (in his blood). But, they have identified what it is and have covered it with antibiotics they know it's sensitive to. We're into the stage now where Zane's greatest threat is infection. These little guys are stubborn and can become resistant to antibiotics, so the doctors are trying to stay very on top of tracking them down and treating them. His blood pressure has been a little low and his heart rate a little elevated. But, they assure us that this is just a little down-swing that is to be expected with infection. Your prayers in this area are very needed right now that God will give his body the strength it needs to fight off these infections.

His breathing remains good, and they're hoping to take the vent off his trach and cap it at some point this weekend so he might be able to communicate with us. What a blessing that would be! Your prayers for Zane's mind would also be appreciated. We have no idea how he'll cope with all of this when he wakes up. We know that his faith is strong and he is a very calm, logical guy, but tragic events can really shake a person up.

We are praising God that he looks so good- in another week his face is going to look fantastic! While we pray for those pesky infections to go away, we trust that God will provide just as he has through the past ten days. I am ever, always in awe of the love and faithfulness of our Father.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Honesty

Not a whole lot of 'new' news to share this evening, other than that Zane will have the tracheotomy tomorrow. Basically, he's experiencing a lot more pain with the increased graft sites & is becoming tolerant to the pain meds. They're going to start putting him on propofol (an anesthetic drug) during dressing changes. With the increased sedation, they feel it's best to have the trach in to prevent any airway compromise. Tonight when they turned him, the nurse said he very clearly mouthed "ouch". We want him to be as comfortable as possible, so we are all in favor of the trach. However, it was good to see "signs of life" like that. The trach will also allow him to talk for brief periods with a 'cap' over the opening. The procedure will take place tomorrow at 7:30am, so if you're awake, whisper a prayer!

We got to see a picture of his grafted chest tonight.. While it was a little gruesome, we can see healing taking place and that is encouraging. It was kind of a stark reminder of the reality of this all though.. and was a little bit hard to take. I'll be honest, not every moment is easy. Every once in a while my heart aches for him.. Every once in a while I really, truly miss him. But during those times, I'm reminded how grateful I am for his life. Each day that I miss him brings me one day closer to life with him again. And I am ever thankful for that.

"Hear my cry, O God; Give heed to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a refuge for me, A tower of strength against the enemy."
-Psalm 61:1-3

Another Day

Zane had a steady night, but began spiking fevers again this afternoon. They reached 102.9. Because they weren't entirely sure of the source, they decided to take the central line in his chest out and replace it with one in his groin. The lines can become infected and changing them out reduces that risk. We were just informed that the procedure is done and went smoothly. His blood pressure also went down a bit, so they want to make sure that he's not septic (infection in his blood). He had a lot of pain this morning when they did his dressing changes and the pain is requiring more medication than before. Greater medication can also compromise the airway, so they have decided it would be best for him to have the tracheotomy tomorrow. While he's still breathing well, this will make the dressing changes easier and hopefully more comfortable for him. The PA spoke with us and sounded very optimistic about everything. We've been assured that these things are relatively normal, but they can never be too cautious.

His parents felt comfortable enough to return to Ohio today. We pray that everything will remain stable and positive while they're gone, for their own peace of mind. Our prayers are never-ceasing for his strength & ability to fight off infection, as that is the greatest risk right now. The grafting for the right side of his back has been scheduled for next Friday, the 29th.

Thank you all so much for your support. It's been nine days now since the accident and we continue to receive many messages and comments. While we don't always have time to reply quickly, we read each and every one and we are SO, SO thankful. We are moved into an apartment now and will stay there for the duration. It is a nice place, and we are only .6 miles from the hospital- an easy walk. We're about to get some Chinese food, as I've had a craving all day. I'll continue to keep you all updated as we find out more.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I Believe In Miracles

Zane came through his third grafting surgery tonight. It took them less than 2 hours (sorry for the late post!)- which is less than they thought! They did all of the grafting on his left arm and actually didn't have to debride as much of the skin as they thought because there was some healing on it's own. They did the grafting on his abdomen as well. They only had to take skin from his left thigh, and didn't even touch the lower half of his leg- which is awesome! They took a look at his back and are thinking they won't have to do any grafting on the left side. They're a little on the fence about the right side though- the burn was quite a bit deeper. We are all praying that they won't have to do ANY grafting on his back, as it'll be the hardest area to heal since he'll be laying on his back.

He's been breathing so well & his lungs are doing so much better that they might not even have to do the tracheotomy on Friday!! This time next week he could be breathing without vent support at all. Praise. God. His fever is back down and his vitals are all strong. We bought an ipod dock w/ speakers this morning and brought it into his room tonight. Now, he can listen to praise songs while he rests. The nurses are even enjoying it!

I really don't know how someone could go through something like this and not believe in God and miracles. God has been doing SO much for us & is taking care of Zane in amazing ways. Not only did our Savior die for us, but he saved my husband. We are forever indebted to Him & will tell our story until the day we die.

Delayed

I apologize for not posting earlier- we were hoping to have surgery results for you a few hours ago. However, Zane just went into surgery at 4:40 and they expect to be in there for anywhere up to 3 hours. He was running a fever again so they wanted to do a CT scan before surgery. The CT got delayed because they couldn't get a peripheral line in his foot. They wanted this so that they could inject IV contrast for the CT. They ended up taking it without the contrast. The initial information that came back didn't show anything of concern. Because of the delay with the CT, his OR time was delayed as well. Right now, we're just waiting to find out how things went. We'll keep you posted just as soon as we hear something!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Little Things

I had an amazing moment tonight. As I've done each night since I thought of it, I stood by his bed and hummed 'Amazing Grace'. Before I got through the last phrase, he opened his eyes. I told him again where he was and that I was there with him- basically stuff to calm him down and help him not to feel alone. He still wasn't very 'with it'- he couldn't look out the corner of his eyes to see me or have his eyes show recognition. So, I got up on my tip toes and kept talking. I told him he had a big day tomorrow and that he needed his rest. I told him to relax and close his eyes... and he did! A few seconds later he opened them again (he always was stubborn). I told him not to worry- he wasn't missing anything & told him to close them again... and he did! Direct responses to my commands- amazing!! He truly did hear this time! As he closed his eyes, tears streamed down both sides of his face. Talk about your heart just swelling up..

He still has a low grade fever- so please continue to keep that in your prayers. Right now, it's the only thing of any concern. The doctors keep giving us very encouraging reports.. they think he's doing so well just because he's young. But, we know the truth- he's doing so well because our God is in control & HE is taking care of my husband.

Zane's third grafting surgery is coming up tomorrow at noon, so your prayers for that would be much appreciated as well. We have a family friend who works in the cardiovascular wing but used to work in the burn unit. She said it's amazing that Zane hasn't had more post-OR complications- almost all patients do. But thus far, the fever has been it. We're praying that tomorrow will be the same way. Of course, I'll post an update just as soon as we get the surgery results. Thank you all so much- you prayers are like gold to me right now.

{taking a ride through NYC on our honeymoon, 2008}

Staying Steady

Zane spiked a bit of a fever last night- it hit 103.4 at one point, but has been back down under 100 this morning. His blood pressure and heart rate are stable.. in fact, his heart rate even went down a little- which is good. He was a little more alert this morning, so they think he's getting too tolerant of the drugs. They were going to switch his medication so that he would stay more sedated.

We went in to see him a little while ago and he had to cough again. When he coughed, his eyes opened, but he's not really aware of anything. I told him to just relax and close his eyes again and he did. We got to see his leg where all the grafting was done and while it's a little bloody, it looks much better than I thought it would. He's such a fighter.

They're planning on removing the chest tube today because there hasn't been much more fluid draining from his lungs- another good sign! We are continually thankful and counting our blessings.. I believe I've lost count. :) I tell God every day how thankful I am for these days with Zane. Last Tuesday, I didn't think I'd have many more and here we are a week out already and God has continued to keep him alive. I can't believe it's been a week. Time is moving so fast- which is a blessing in itself. It won't be too long before I'll be bringing him home with me.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Victory!

Just a quick update this time, because I'm too excited to write much. I just received a call from Zane's lead doctor telling me the surgery was over and it had gone as well as it could have! They were able to excise and graft his entire right arm and his left flank, and excise the rest of the skin on his abdomen. He had minimal blood loss and didn't need any transfusions in the OR. They'll probably give him some once back in the ICU, just to keep his levels where they should be. The grafts done last week on his neck and upper chest haven taken beautifully as well. They expect to be able to do the grafting on his left arm and the rest of his abdomen on Wednesday, and do the tracheostomy on Friday since the neck graft has healed so well. Praise God!

We are elated and thanking God just as fiercely as we plead with him for Zane's life. Prayer is real; miracles are real.. and my amazing husband is living proof.

The Rally Before The Big Game

Zane is still strong, and after a solid weekend, he's looking good for surgery today. He will go in at 11 for grafting on his right arm, and possibly more excisions on his abdomen, depending on how he tolerates the work on the arm. His cultures did show that he has pneumonia and he is now on the appropriate antibiotic. The fluid draining from the chest tube has decreased so they're planning on removing it after surgery today. His vitals and ventilation support remain the same. He did have a fever last night/early this morning that hit 103. They gave him tylenol & motrin & it's back down under 100 now. After the nurses looked at his back this morning, they're thinking the skin may heal on its own without grafting. That would be HUGE! Grafting on his back would not be a good thing since he's laying on his back & it opens up more chance for infection and graft rejection.

The doctor told us that he is more responsive this morning, and he even had his eyes open. Of course, I was about to run straight into his room I was so excited. But, they were in the middle of burn care so I am anxiously awaiting a chance to go see him before surgery.

**Update: Just went in to see him & he opened his eyes and looked at me!! It didn't totally seem like he had full visual recognition, but mentally he knew we were there. It was SUCH A BLESSING, just seeing the whites of his eyes. I told him where he was and how many of you are praying for him. We told him to stay strong and know that God had already worked so many miracles in him.**

We are optimistic about this surgery, and know that God has brought him thus far, and can bring him through this as well. The power of God has just been present in SO many ways this weekend- even beyond our family- God's blessings are pouring over into so many other people.

Please be in prayer over the next couple hours if you can.. this surgery is definitely needed, but like with anything, there are risks. The good part is that no risk is too great for our God.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Another Strong Night

I don't have any real news to share this morning, except that Zane has had another strong night. His vital signs remain strong and his oxygen support is down to 40%, which is the lowest they go. The cultures of his blood, urine, and sputum that they sent out continue to show no infection thus far.

Praise God for uneventful nights. Each one we get is a HUGE blessing. We know just how precious they are after Thursday night's events. One of these days I might just leave the hospital and sleep in a real bed. :) Our God is so, so faithful.

I was able to go into his room late last night and spend some time with him. It was such a special time. I thought about what he might want to hear, and Amazing Grace came to mind. He loved that song. I figured that if I were in a coma, I wouldn't want to hear myself singing, so I hummed several verses of Amazing Grace. And isn't it true? God's grace truly is amazing. He's poured out huge amounts of it over the past 5 days. We pray for continued grace to go through this time, and for continued healing for Zane.

Each day is a miracle, and we are so privileged to be able to witness so many acts of God.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

An Additional Praise

My last post was only about an hour ago, but I just went in to see Zane so I wanted to give you a few quick stats.

Zane is now breathing on his own (kind of)!!! Rather than the ventilator breathing for him, he is now taking his own breaths and the ventilator is just assisting him. The fluid appears to be receding from his lungs significantly and his heart rate and blood pressure look good. Praise God!

There will definitely be more dips in the journey, but this is a major victory! OUR GOD IS FAITHFUL!!

An Old One :)

A Good Night and A Great Morning

Last night was pretty uneventful for Zane. His vitals stayed strong, and we heard this morning that they cut him back to 50% oxygen- another steady improvement! Each moment that passes without decline is a blessing in itself. When we went in to see him this morning, he was looking much better. They've decreased the amount of fluids they're giving him, and so his swelling has come down. His face looks so much better- still such a handsome guy!

More and more family and friends have been arriving, and we've had to take over our own conference room. There is a wonderful attitude and spirit covering this section of the ICU. We have come together to praise God that he is ever faithful and to continue to lift Zane up in prayer.

This morning a few of our "group" had the opportunity to go over to the other waiting room and pray for a family who are here for a man with lung cancer. They'd been here all night, and were very concerned about some internal bleeding. Zane's sister Christi and our [should-be-family] friend Keith prayed over him with some of their family members. No sooner did Keith finish praying, but the Doctor walked in and told them that they'd been able to get the bleeding to stop. Praise God! Nothing is too big for him.

Each day that Zane continues to have steady vitals is a day that he's gaining strength. We also risk more infection with each day the grafting surgeries are delayed. We trust that he'll be all set to proceed with the surgery on Monday. As far as we know, there is still fluid in his lungs. We haven't gotten any feedback on whether it's gotten better or worse, but we'll let you know when we do.

This morning a local pastor (whom also happens to be the father & father-in-law of some old friends) came by to do a short anointing service for Zane. Basically, we (his parents, my parents, the pastor and myself) went into the room and stood around his bed while the pastor read scripture and prayed for God's healing. While we were in there, the rest of the group came together in prayer in the conference room. Some of you may have received texts to join in the prayer effort simultaneously. It was powerful.

We are praising God for his continued protection over Zane and the healing that has already taken place. He is still in very critical condition, and we know there will be more bumps along the path, like Wednesday night/Thursday morning. So, we will praise God then too. Because, when the devil attacks his body, we believe that God is greater.

Again, thank you SO much for your prayers. They have been flooding heaven by the tens of thousands, and we know God's getting a pretty good idea of just how many people care. We will be ever indebted to you for your support and love during this time. It is irreplaceable.

Zane with our favorite drink. :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Rollercoaster

You guys must have sent up some powerful prayers. Zane is still critical, but is showing steady signs of improvement.

I figure I should take a minute to let you know that this whole journey is going to be a rollercoaster. You may read a series of positive updates, only to get a large negative one the next day. That is the nature of his injury and condition. I really hate to send you all through the ringer with the ups and downs, but those down moments are when we need your prayers the most.

Zane showed steady improvement throughout the morning. He was on 100% oxygen support in the wee hours of the morning, but is now down to 60%. His heart rate and blood pressure have returned to normal. He is still on antibiotics just in case the fluid in his lungs is a sign of pneumonia. The lungs remain a bit of a mystery, but will be monitored closely until a definitive answer can be determined. The inserted a central IV line in his right shoulder, which miraculously was not burned in a small area. We're guessing it might be because of a harness he was wearing (the MPS guys might be able to confirm this). The central line will allow them better access than the groin line that he had the past day or so. He came through that procedure very well.

So, all in all, he's showing improvement but not out of the woods by any means. He will undergo a grafting surgery on Monday and another on Wednesday if all goes well. By this time they should have about 90% of the grafting done.

God is faithful. That first dip on the rollercoaster was hard. But, I imagine the first one always is. We feel a little better prepared now to handle the rest. We are claiming the promise that God will not give us more than we can bear. One of my favorite quotes reads "God brings us through deep waters not to drown us, but to cleanse us".

Calling All Prayer Warriors

Last night was hard. Zane's oxygen levels and blood pressure dropped, and his red blood cell count dropped as well. He had a fever all day and his lungs progressively got worse. They filled up with more fluid, which made it difficult to ventilate him. They have him on maximum ventilatory support and told us this morning that he has ARDS (Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome). They feel there's more damage to his lungs than they originally thought. They gave him antibiotics in case it's pneumonia, but it's not as likely. They did a bronchoscopy around midnight to get a better look & it ruled out the complication of a mucous plug. A chest tube was inserted this morning to assist in draining excess fluid from around his lungs. We were just informed that this has helped some. However, the grafting surgeries have been called off until he's more stable. This delay in itself is a risk.

So.. we continue to wait and claim God's promises. I was able to go in once the chest tube was in and lay my hand on his head and ask for healing. I'm fiercely petitioning God for his intervention.. Right now, that's basically what's going to make a difference in his condition. So please, join us in the most fierce and desperate prayer effort yet. We believe in the power of prayer and we appreciate yours immensely.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

He Heard

A few moments ago I got called into the ICU to sign consents for Zane's surgery tomorrow. They also asked me if I wanted to go in and see him. They had the sedation lifted just a tiny bit and I saw him move for the first time. I can't even begin to explain the relief that flooded my system just to see his legs move around in the bed. I went to the bed and stood by his head to talk to him. As I talked, I saw his eyes try to open. Obviously, they couldn't entirely because of the immense swelling. But, he did get them open a crack a couple of times. He opened his mouth and took his own breaths. When he was really getting squirmy I rubbed his leg and told him to calm down & stop giving the nurses trouble. His legs relaxed and he stopped moving. I believe he was hearing me. This was such a high point for us. Just to know that he may have heard what I was saying- what a miracle! It was so important to me to somehow be able to communicate the love and support we've been receiving to him.. and I think he heard it. Praise God! What an amazing gift! He truly knows right when to send little victories like this to sustain us through the trials.

He is also breathing on his own, using the ventilator for assistance only when needed. He decides when he takes a breath and how deep it is. He goes in for his second grafting surgery tomorrow and will have a third on Monday. Please continue to pray, especially in this period, that he stay free from infection. The risk heightens with each skin excision and each day that he stays on the ventilator.

This is Zane right before our wedding... :)

Staying Strong

Night number two is now behind us, and Zane is holding strong. We were just in to see him and he's looking great. He's running a bit of a fever but they've given him Tylenol/Motrin to control it and it's come down since this morning. They're attributing it mostly to the stress of the surgery yesterday on his body. His vitals are still strong- they gave him some medication to slow his heart rate down a bit because it was a little high yesterday- between 145 & 150 bpm. He's down to around 120 bpm now. They also attributed that to the stress of the situation, and said that it is entirely normal in a young healthy man.

They sent off some lab work of his urine and blood to check for infection after the surgery. We should have the results in a couple days. We'll also know whether the grafting has "taken" within a couple of days.

Last night he was taken for a CT scan of his chest because of some unclear xray readings. They saw a little cloudiness and were unsure of what it was. The concern would be swelling near the heart or a rupture of the aorta. The preliminary results came back within a couple hours and we were told that it looked like upper right lung was not getting fully inflated. The resident doctor told us that it was not a big deal at all- that probably it was just that the intubation tube was down a little too far and just needed to be pulled back a bit. It's not an unusual thing to happen, and it's not difficult to correct.

So basically, any "hiccups" have been just that- minor. He remains strong and the staff seem to have everything under control. Although... we know who is truly keeping things under control- God's hand has been on Zane from the second he was struck. Our Father is an almighty God and He is truly capable of anything. He has raised the dead, and I know he has held my husband all through this. Zane's strength is a result of the faith that he has in Chirst. For those of you who knew Zane, you probably knew that his faith was unshakable and bold. Zane was the most Godly man I had ever met, and it was that faith that made him the unforgettable person that he is.

Our spirits remain high and our faith remains strong.. not because of our own strength, but because of the grace and peace that God has given us. I hope He's given you all that same strength. Somehow in my mind, I believe that I have to be strong for Zane.. that somehow God's strength working through me is translating to strength for Zane. Your prayers and comments have blessed us more than you know. Each message we get is like a ray of sunshine into our days. I can't wait for Zane to be able to see all of this after. :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Through Surgery #1

Zane's first surgery seems to be a success! He made it through with no complications, and his vitals are still strong. They were able to graft some of his own skin (from the legs) onto his neck and upper chest- which is amazing! They didn't even think they would be able to do grafting from his own skin until Friday. But, because he was so stable, they were able to do that- praise God! They also excised skin on his arms and replaced it with cadaver skin. They will continue with more surgery on the rest of his torso on Friday. Zane is strong, and our God is stronger! We have an amazing international (yes, we have received word from people all over the world) network of friends, family, and supporters, and we treasure you all. Thank you so much.

We Made It Through The Night

Zane has made it through the night and his vital signs are strong. They were worried about damage to his muscles so are giving him large amounts of fluids. He is also on a medication to stabilize his heart. He went into surgery about 45 minutes ago to excise the skin of his upper body. Cadaver grafts may be used to close the wounds until it is safe for the skin of his legs to be grafted & moved to the upper body. This is where it starts to get really risky for infection.

We spent last night at the hospital and have a hotel a couple blocks away that we ran over to shower at this morning. We were able to see Zane for a couple minutes this morning before he went into surgery, and he looked good, but is quite swollen. By the grace of God, his face didn't sustain any 3rd degree burns. The lower half of his face has some 1st degree burns, and his chin has at least second degree burns. This is huge though- when he gets through this, the marring to his face will be minimal and he'll look like the same person in the mirror. He's 25 and completely healthy, doesn't smoke or drink, etc., so he has all of that going for him.

For those of you who have been asking, we are at Brigham & Women's Hospital at 75 Francis St, Boston MA 02115. We are in wing 8C- the burn & trauma ICU.

Ultimately, Zane is in His Heavenly Father's hands.. and what better place for him to be? We praise God that he is alive- which is a miracle in itself. And we know that God is in the business of working miracles, and no job is too large for our God.

Your prayers are truly appreciated and have been felt immensely by all family members. There is a peace over us, and we will remain strong in the fact that God is sovereign and he has a plan and a reason for all things. My husband is an amazingly strong man of God, and would only want us to glorify God through this situation. So, we will be strong for Zane while he can't take care of himself. We will lift him high up to the throne of heaven and trust in the fact that God's will is larger than ours. We will trust that good will come from this and that our faith will be strengthened. We thank you all and we love you... and Zane will be so blessed to see all of the support you've given once he comes through this.

*sidenote* I'm labeling all of these posts under "Zane's Accident", so if you would like to see the whole story you can access all of the updates with one click.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

..And Our Lives Will Never Be The Same

Hi everyone, I'm deviating from the usual design content to both ask for prayers and update friends and family. My husband, Zane, is a lineman for a power company and was involved in a very high voltage accident at 12:30pm today. He was hit with 69,000 volts of electricity and sustained serious 3rd degree burns. He was taken to an excellent burn and trauma hospital in Boston. Myself and family and friends have all flown/traveled here to be with him.

Currently 50% of his body is covered in 3rd degree burns, but the doctors have given him a 70% chance of survival. He will undergo his first skin grafting surgery tomorrow. The first 24-48 hours are the most critical, but it will be a very very long road to recovery. He is deeply sedated due to the pain and will most likely be in that state for the next month. So, basically we won't be able to communicate with him at all for the next month. He'll be in the hospital down here for at least the next 2 months, and will require extensive therapy and most likely multiple surgeries. There are also huge risks for infection with all the grafting.

So.. it'll be an extremely long road to recovery, but we'll make it through. We serve a mighty God who has given me an amazing peace. We trust that He will give us all grace to get through this time. Zane is in God's hands, and there is no better place for him.

Your prayers would be VERY much appreciated.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Jonathan Adler on HSN

I know this is my second post this morning, but I just had to share this. HSN is having a home design event today and tomorrow, Oct. 11&12, and guess whose products they're carrying?? Jonathan Adler! The line is called happy chic, which is a perfect reflection of the products. How cute are these tins??


And these pillows?? Perfect for a kids room, or even for the more bold adult.


Loving these blankets..


Doesn't everyone need a pear-shaped trivet??


These lamps are understated but versatile.
Anyway, click on over & check it out!

Design Plan: The Great Room

I've mentioned before how Zane and I have differing design styles. I think almost any couple can relate to some extent. He loves all things rustic and raw. While I can appreciate those things in proper dosage, I have a greater appreciation for a more contemporary, clean, but organic & cozy look. We are super blessed to have agreed on all major finish choices thus far. Our floors will all be a hand scraped engineered hardwood with a dark finish. All our trim will be a crisp white. Our kitchen cabinets will be a warm white. You get the idea.

I realize the house won't be built til spring, but perhaps what makes me okay with waiting so long is the opportunity to refine our choices. Such is the case with our great room. The key here was to make it very kid-friendly (no, no bun in the oven for a few years), laid-back, but sophisticated. And, our goal for each room is to have one element that people say "wow" about. That element in this room will be the fireplace.

We're going to have a propane fireplace built up on a hearth about 2-3 feet high. The material will be a stacked stone with a hand-hewn (by Zane himself) beam for the mantel. The other element in the room will be decidedly neutral. I have an ever-changing style and the higher dollar elements need to be ones that I can easily integrate less expensive accessories with. Take a peek.


Isn't that side table PERFECT?!? It's my more modern touch to the rustic coffee table (which we'll be building ourselves as well). Gosh, I can't wait to pull it all together. But for now, back to perfecting the floor plans & calculating the linear footage of trim we need. :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Design Crush: Nicole Yee

Remember the gorgeous dining room I shared with you? Well, after further investigation, I've decided I love the designer as much as I love the room. Bloggers, meet Nicole Yee. And, meet some of her amazing spaces:



Friday, October 8, 2010

Words To Live By


found via Paloma's blog. Have a wonderful weekend, you guys!

(I've added this to my sidebar I love it so much!)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Even The Cat...

...likes home/design magazines

{sorry for the crappy pic.. my good camera is out for repair}

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Evolution of a House Plan Part 2

We're back with part two of the floor plan evolution. To recap, the first floor plan was rectangular with an 8 foot extension in the front for the great room. We loved the plan, but felt that it might just be too much to take on financially. So, I whipped up something entirely new a little over a week ago. We still kept a few things we loved in addition to those we needed:
  • 4 bedrooms
  • At least 2 1/2 baths
  • 3rd floor laundry
  • Cathedral ceiling great room
  • Office
  • 2+ car garage
  • Walk-out basement
  • Open concept
  • Walk-In closets in the master
Here's how the plans turned out:




As you can see, we reduced the size of the basement pretty significantly, which makes building much cheaper. The square shape is also cheaper to build because of the floor trusses and concrete (or so Zane tells me). It's also cheaper to heat shaped this way. So, let's take a look at the pros and cons again.

Pros:
  • Less expensive to build
  • Less expensive to heat
  • Bigger Master, better bathroom & closets
  • Slightly bigger bedrooms
  • 3rd floor laundry
  • Less wasted space
Cons:
  • Smaller kitchen, great room
  • Less basement space
  • Not as impressive from the outside
Overall, it may not have as much space on the main level, but I love it more than the last one just because I know we can afford it. I could look at and talk about floor plans all day, so I'll wrap it up now. But, for those of you who have any questions about the process or any suggestions, please feel free to email me or just comment. I'd love to chat with you!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Dining Room Lust

When I saw the cover of the October 2010 issue of Maine Home & Design, I knew I had to buy the magazine. The dining room left me speechless.

This room was designed as part of the Museums of Old York Designer Show House by Nicole Yee. Here are some other shots of the room.


Gorgeous, right?? It's safe to say I'm in love... or lust. :)