THE FIRST 7 DAYS
October 9, 2009-My Son Sean (38 years old) awoke from bed on the morning of October 8th approximately at 11:00 a.m. and fell to the floor. He complained of a severe headache. He was taken to a local hospital for a cat scan. He was transferred 11 hours later when he became unconscious for emergeny brain surgery (crainotomy) to save his life. We went to the hospital where the surgery was being performed . We waited for hours while he was in surgery and then went to the Brain Trauma ICU to see him when we were told it was okay. I saw my son and had a difficult time walking into the room. There were tubes for drainage in his brain, he was on a breathing ventilator and more tubes and monitors. It felt like a bad dream and I just wanted to wake up. He was totally out and of course did not know we were there.
One of the surgeons came in and told us that they had to perform emergency brain surgery or he would have died. He then explained Sean had a “AVM BRAIN Aneurysm” (Arterio-Venous Malformation). An AVM is an “Arterio-Venous Malformation”, is an abnormal collection of blood vessels. Normally, oxygenated blood is pumped by the heart through branching tubes called arteries to the brain, where it enters a fine network of tiny vessels called capillaries. It is in these capillary beds where the blood nourishes the tissues. The “used” (deoxygenated) blood then passes back to the heart through branching thin walled tubes called veins. Arterial-Venous Malformations are areas that lack the tiny capillaries. The location of the connection between the artery and the vein is called the shunt. The area of tissue is called a nidus of the AVM. An AVM can be thought of as a “Short Circuit” where the blood does not go to the tissues but is pumped through the shunt and back to the heart without ever giving nutrients to the tissues.We were told he has had it all his life since birth. He never had severe headaches and we had not idea he had AVM. AVMs are a rare condition affecting about 250,000 people in the United States. Much remains to be known. He also suffered a "right brain
stroke because of the rupture.
The first day I was a mess, in shock, scared and and a lot of crying. I was composed upon arriving at the hospital. loved learning. He is such a good man and just a “Gentle Giant”. He would stay at our home when we traveled on business or pleasure and take care of our pets and keep the home clean. I am strong and was there for him before but this is very hard for us. It hurts so much to see him suffer. He has struggled so very much. Need prayers and support…
October 10, 2009-We met our nephew Jeremy at the hospital but were told when we went to ICU to visit Sean not to talk to him or touch him because they did not want him to become agitated. He was still in a “drug induced coma”. We prayed for him and later my brother John visited and there was more prayer. We wanted to touch him so badly but it was for his own safety not to do so. He is restrained also for his own protection. The nurse said the first thing a pateint does is try to pull off the ventilator.
Octrober 11, 2009-Visted Sean with his Uncle Johnny. Still can’t touch or speak to him. Keeping him
in “drug induced coma”. Ir was hard for Johnny to see Sean this way. Johnny had some “alone
time” with Sean and prayed for him. We wanted to touch him so badly but it was time for him
October 12, 2009-HE CAN HEAR MOM TALKING-My husband and I went to visit Sean. We went into Sean’s room and be was moving a bit. I asked the Nurse if it was okay to talk to him. The nurse said "as long as he does not get agitated. I went in the room and held his left hand and said Sean if you can hear me squeeze my hand. I noticed that his right hand was squeezing and went to the right side of the bed and again repeated “squeeze my hand if you can hear me”. He squeezed my hand and my heart was full of joy and I thanked God my son could hear me.
October 13, 2009-HE CAN SEE US Husband and I again went to visit Sean in the ‘Brain Trauma’ ICU. He looked very agitated. I again asked the nurse could I talk to him. I was told "as long as he does not get agitated. My husband walked out of the room with stunned look and said Sean opened his eyes and looked right at him! My husband was surprised but composed and told Sean to relax and that he needed his rest to heal. I Walked into the room Sean opened his eyes and looked at me and I said “Sean can you see me?”…He nodded his head “yes”. Prayer works…so many praying for him. I could see him trying to speak but he still had the ventilator to assist in his breathing. He can hear us and see us. Thank God. He is on the ventilator breathing 65% on his own and a nurse said the ventilator may removed tomorrow.
October 14, 2009-Husband and I just can’t seem to get enough rest. The mental strain of the worry gets to you…went to see Sean. Ventilator not removed . To much drainage from the brain in drainage tube. Doctors say he is not ready until drainage goes down. He "as out of it "from pain killers one of which is morphine which he needs for the headaches from the surgery. Husband and I are so tired. Had to ask other people what day it is…Sean did know we were there
and struggled to look at us. He did see us. It is so hard to leave him. This is so very hard.
October 15, 2009-Sean can speak-Husband and I visiting Sean and the nurses said
they were going to to remove ventalitor. We were full of joy but at the same day wondered what
his speech would be like. Nurse came out to ICU waiting room with a smile and said come in after
ventilator removed. Husband said to Sean can you speak? Sean responded in a low rasky voice
“yes I can speak”. I had to leave the room because my was overcome with tears of joy and so
thankful to God for this miracle.
October 16, 2009-Sean eating Seans swallow test was fine. His Uncle Daryl, Sam
and I walked in the room and he eating his first meal. He can’t hold a fork and is using his hands
being fed by the nurses. Drainage tubes for fluid from brain removed. Sean got out of bed in ICU
and the nurses cuaght him just in time.
October 17-Sean moved to 4th floor. Out of ICU and taken to Neurosurgery Recovery floor.
October 18-Sean’s Uncle Johnny visits Seans over the weekend. Sean is restrained because he
wants to get out of bed. Does not know where he is most of the time. He is very tired. Has a nurse with him 24 hours around the clock.
October 19-Seans first Physical Therapy session. Not responding to demands of Therapists very well. Commands have to be repeated several times.
October 20-Sean takes 3 steps with two Therapist holding him up.
October 21-Seans takes few more steps. Can’t walk without assistance.
October 22-SEAN STANDS UP FOR MOM WITH HELP FROM NURSE -has left side neglect-
I was expressing to Sean all day how important is for him to learn to walk again. Visiting hours were over and we said goodnight to Sean. All of a sudden he told the nurse “I want to stand up and walk. I was so scared. Sean is a Big man and I was afraid he would fall. The male nurse was wonderful and assisted Sean as my “gentle Giant” stood and then proceeded to take steps.
This is when we really noticed the 'Left side Neglect”. He doesn’t notice things to his left side. We
were so happy to see him stand take some steps. We will all pray for his “Left Side Neglect” and
it goes away.
October 24, 2009-Sean transfered to Hospitals Rehabilation Center! Another prayer answered. He has “left Side Neglect” and is learning to walk again but bumping into things to his left side. He will be okay. God is Good, God is Awesome, God has mercy, God answers prayers.
Thank all of you who have prayed for Sean.
Sean has been in the hospitals Rehabilition for one week. He can take steps with assistance.
He receives 3 hours of therapy a day five days a week. They are working on his “Left Side Neglect”. He has problems reading and has to be told to look to the left side of the page and to look left while walking.
He becomes confused as he gets tired. He is more aware in the early part of the day. We are sure he
will walk by himself again. The therapists are working on his “Left Side Neglect” and reminding him to look to the
We believe in prayer, we believe that God is real and we believe Sean will be able to walk again
and have a good life.
May God hold all of you in the palm of his hand and bless you.
We were told that Sean may have to go to a skilled nursing home but we continued to pray and
brought Sean home.
Sean knew where the bathroom was. I had made our home office into a room for him and he
saw his bed. I stood in the bathroom with him for his first three showers and made sure he
held on to the bar my husband had installed. We were told he would need a “transition” bench
and could not stand and shower. After two weeks Sean was showering on his own.
I worked with Sean for the first week on his walking. The second week I had him practice going up and down the steps. Now the biggest problem is his “Left Side Neglect” (sometimes does not see things to the left). We continue therapy at Long Beach Memorial Hospital rehabilatation center
2 times a week and I work with him at home giving him exercises to learn to overcome his vision
Sean had wonderful holidays. We had Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Years Eve at our home with friends and family. We had rails put up on the front and back steps so he could enjoy the outdoors with his friends and family. His first day walking down the back steps with assistance from me and holding on to the rails was Thanksgiving Day. Family members were amazed of his determination.
January 29th, 2010-Sean’s vision is blurred and he still has some “Left-Side neglect. It has improved
but he is still not able to go out to crowded places such as stores because he does bump into some people. The Left-Side Neglect” is a result of the Brain Surgery. He gets around our home fine as well as his best freinds apartment and familiar places.
He is a Miracle. God saved him for a reason.
MIRACLES DO HAPPEN-GOD IS AWSOME-PRAYER WORKS