Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Day #33 - Tuesday 12/30/09

BIG prayer request this evening for Jennie!!!

The Rehab doctor is coming to visit her for a 2nd time tomorrow. Jennie has already been rejected for rehab one previous time.

We are hoping that the improvements she has shown in the past week will give her a different outcome this time. The improvements Jennie has shown include - tracking with her eyes, opening her mouth, and blinking on command.

Rehab will be a much needed opportunity to help Jennie continue improving rather than going to a nursing type facility.

Please pray specifically for this for Jennie tonight and for the doctor who will visit her tomorrow to make this very important decision!!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Day #29 - Saturday 12/26/09

From Jennie's sister, Jesse Smith:

"Merry Christmas to everyone who has been praying for Jennie and our family. She has been completely off the ventilator for awhile now and is working on closing the hole for the trach. Each day is still bringing something new, baby steps. We are still in need of prayer for Jennie to follow commands and be able to participate in rehab. Hope everyone has a wonderful new year and know that your messages have been very encouraging to us all. ~Jen's sister, Jesse"

Jennie has continued doing great breathing on her own without the ventilator! She has had some oxygen with a mask over her trach hole...but she has began to maintain a good level of oxygen saturation without the oxygen also. The doctors have started the process of closing up her trach hole, and it may be able to be completely closed as early as next week.

Jennie is breathing in through the trach, but breathing out through her nose and mouth. Since she is breathing out through her nose and mouth, her family has began to hear her make some sounds such as a cough. We are still praying for Jennie to have responses on command.

Jennie has to remain in her neck brace for 6 weeks, so she has a few more weeks to go wearing it. The foot support boots are very heavy for her to move her feet and legs, so her Mom was able to get her some high top sneakers to wear and be more comfortable. They have also been able to let Jennie wear some of her own nightgowns instead of the hospital gowns.

Jennie's temperature has stayed normal, as well as her white blood count. She is not at a point yet where she can go to rehab. Please pray for her family as they explore options for Jennie's next step after she is able to leave the hospital. They will continue to need all of our support as they look at different facilities here in the Wilmington area where Jennie can countinue her recovery.

We have received several cards for Jennie, so please continue to send those in - her room is filled with messages of love from many people!

Crossroads Baptist Church
c/o Jennie Savickas
340 Covil Avenue
Wilmington, NC 28402

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Day #25 - Tuesday 12/22/09

Jennie has remained stable since moving to her new room at the hospital.
She went all day yesterday breathing on her own without the ventilator. As she continues to breath by herself, they will officially remove the ventilator from being used. Since Jennie has the tracheostomy, the machine will still be in her room as a precaution if she needs the ventilator reconnected.

The next step will be to start the process to close the tracheostomy opening. This is done as a slow process through a series of steps.

Jennie has continued to show some purposeful movements. She seems to really enjoy the sunlight when sitting in her chair by the window. Several people have made CDs for her to help with stimulating her. She shows some response when her family talks to her, and she's had quite a few close friends from school to visit.

Jennie is not quite ready yet for physical therapy. She must show some more response, specifically on command. This is an area we can pray for progress in.

The pancake breakfast was a big success - we raised over $4000! Thanks to everyone for your continued support.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Day#21 Friday 12/18/09

It has been a few days since my last update.
Jennie is continuing to progress in her Journey.

She is definitely a fighter! On Tuesday 12/15 she had the probe removed. This was a big step because that means her ICP has maintained a good number for some time now.

Thursday 12/17 - Jennie was breathing alone and they were able to turn off the ventilator! We are not sure how long she will maintain breathing 100% by herself. The doctors can easily reconnect the ventilator if needed. This may be required if she gets too exhausted breathing all herself. A lot of rest is important for her to continue the healing process.

Jennie is showing some movements when stimulated by touch. She has not yet responded by doing anything on command; hopefully that will be soon to come.

When a room becomes available, Jennie will transfer from the ICU to the 8th floor.
This should happen in the next few days.

Reminder of our fundraiser for Jennie's Journey:
Pancake Breakfast @ Andy's Restaurant in Leland.
Tickets are $5 per person and you may pay at the door if you have not had a chance to get a ticket in advance. Breakfast will include - 3 pancakes, 3 slices of bacon + a drink. 7 to 9:30 am - We hope to see you there!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Day #15 - Saturday, December 12

Jennie is still progressing in her slow recovery. The respiratory staff has lowered the amount that the ventilator is assisting her in breathing. This means that Jennie is breathing a little bit more on her own.

Our 1st Fundraiser is all set for next Saturday, December 19, 2009.
Pancake Breakfast at Andy's Restaurant in Leland (Wal-Mart shopping center)
Time - 7:00 to 9:30 am
Tickets $5 each. You can purchase them in advance or at the door at this Andy's location only. Breakfast will include - 3 pancakes, 3 slices of bacon + a drink.

Call me for any additional details - 910-409-0862.
We hope to see you there! ~LuCinda Smith

Friday, December 11, 2009

Day #14 Friday 12/11/09

Jennie had another Cat Scan this morning and the family was told by Shawn, on the Neurosurgeon team, that Jennie is on the right track in her recovery.

Almost all of the blood in her brain from her injuries is gone. This is an excellent course for her - the brain is continuing to heal itself.

It's just a matter of time now, and her healing is in God's hands. The swelling in her brain has decreased. The doctors have discussed removing the probe in her brain (which measures her ICP-Intracranial Pressure) but they do not want to rush anything. It's nice to be able to monitor her ICP at all times.
With keeping the probe, this means Jennie will remain in the ICU. The family has grown very close to the doctors in the ICU, so the fact that Jennie will remain there a little while longer is OK and comfortable at this point.

Keep an eye out for an invitation to our 1st Fundraising event, coming up in the next few weeks. Details will be posted in the next day or so!

Thanks again for everyone's continued prayers & support!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Day #13 - Thursday 12/10/09

Early this morning, the doctors completely stopped the paralytic medication that Jennie was receiving. So, our prayers now begin for our next miracle - for Jennie to wake up from this coma. They are now allowing her extended family to visit Jennie to provide some stimulation to her - such as reading to her, playing music, or holding her hand.

We still have a long road ahead for Jennie, but in the beginning the doctors had only given her a 5% chance of living. She has continued to defy all the odds! We have faith that God will continue to show us miracles each day with Jennie! At the current time, her left arm, which is broken remains in a split. The orthopedic surgeon is not planning to do surgery on her arm, but will possibly be putting it in a brace to continue to heal.

Jennie's older sister, Jesse Smith, has opened a bank account so that we can look towards setting up some Fundraisers in the near future. All proceeds will go towards offsetting some of Jennie's medical costs, which as you can imagine will be quite a bit. The account is at RBC Bank. Anyone may contribute to this account. Please make checks payable to "Jennie's Journey Fund" and in the memo section of the check write "c/o Jesse Smith"

You can mail this to the same address as we have been receiving cards for Jennie:
Crossroads Baptist Church
Attn: Jennie Savickas
340 Covil Avenue
Wilmington, NC 28402

or you may send directly to the bank address of:
RBC Bank
Attn: John Query/Relationship Banker
2015 S. 17th Street
Wilmington, NC 28401

If you mail it to the church, we will be able to know who the donation came from. Or by sending it to the bank, this would allow someone to make an anonymous donation.

If you are interested in helping me with doing some Fundraising for Jennie, please email me at lucindasmith3@hotmail.com. I hope to get some planning done over theweekend. If you are gifted in the craft area, one thing I have in mind is an Handmade Craft fair, with items like you see on Etsy.com or at local craft fairs. Other possible plans include bracelets w/ Jennie's name or a message (like the "Live Strong" bracelets) and some t-shirts and car stickers with our own logo creation.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Day # 11 - Tuesday 12/8/09

I spoke with Patty at 12:30 today.  She and Jesse had a very good meeting with Dr. Melin, Jennie's Neurosurgeon. 
He is very optimistic about Jennie's recovery. He shared with them that about 95% of people with injuries similar to
Jennie do not make it more than a few days.
Well, today is day #11 for Jennie!!!
Some updates:
Her ICP (Intracranial Pressure) in her brain has remained stable, as well as her other bodily functions.
Jennie has on several occasions breathed on her own.
Dr. Melin is not changing her rating as of yet, she is still rated at a 4. Patty explained to me that the rating scale measures her brain activity.
A normal person would be rated at a 15, and a person who is considered legally brain dead would be rated at a 3.
Dr. Melin advised that due to the paralytic medicine Jennie is currently on, she will not be capable of showing any other signs.
So, starting today, they are reducing the amount of paralytic medication she will be getting.  They will monitor her ICP numbers to make sure
that Jennie's pressure does not increase as they reduce this medication.  There is not a perfect science to keeping this balance since every
patient is different, so it will be done as a slow process. 
Jennie's left eye is still not reacting to light, but the pupil is smaller.  This indicates that the pressure in the area behind her eye is reducing.
Her left lung is looking better. She does have a small infection of some sort, so they are treating that with antibiotics.
Let's pray specifically for the items above as Jennie continues her Journey.  I have received a few cards in the mail for her - please continue
to send them to: Crossroads Baptist Church Attn: Jennie Savickas 340 Covil Avenue Wilmington, NC 28402
Below is an awesome email I received at work today:

Hope Is Always
Sometimes it seems that all the news is bad. Sometimes it seems that the world around you is tumbling hopelessly downhill
and there's nothing anyone can do to stop it. Yet that is never the case. For the more difficult life becomes, the more motivated
everyone becomes to make real, substantial, positive changes. Nothing is ever as bad as it seems. Because when situations
become difficult, people become determined. And when enough people become determined enough, good and positive and
valuable things begin to happen. Hope, which may have previously been nearly impossible to see, begins to spring into action.
When the darkness becomes unbearable, someone will step forward and shine a light. And that light will inspire others, and others,
and others. Hope is always there. The more it is needed, the more powerful and effective it grows. -- Ralph Marston

Life is not about the time you have but about the effort you put into the time you are given.  When you dream, dream as though you are
living it every day and do not settle for anything below it!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Monday night 12/7/09

All went great with Jennie's tracheotomy and feeding tube procedures today. Her mom and sister said that she looked beautiful - no more tubes!!!

See below for a message from Jennie's Mom, Patty:

As soon as tomorrow the doctors may start reducing Jennie's meds. Although she is in a natural coma, she is also heavily medicated to keep her still and calm. They are hoping for some sign of thought process or command response...Please pray for her, this is this next biggest hurdle and she needs all of our prayers to help find the way.
Thank you all so sincerely,
Jennie's Mom

As you all have kept up with the blog and Jennie's progress, you can see that we are definately moving in the right direction! Praise be to God for every little bit of progress Jennie has made so far in her Journey!

We need to continue to remember Jennie's family in our prayers also as they try to juggle spending time at the hospital with Jennie plus trying to still maintain some of their own schedules as well. Patty is having to take some time off from her college courses for now...and Jesse worked for a few hours today for the 1st time since Jennie's accident. As their extended family and friends, please remember this is a very sensitive subject to them, and right now their main concern is to focus on Jennie getting better. I have been present on a few occasions where a person unknowingly revealed painful details of the accident, or asked questions that just were a little to personal for the current time frame. Though we all have good intentions, it can sometimes be upsetting to those who are closest to Jennie. Sometimes the best thing to do is just to be a listening ear for them...and when the time is right, they may want to answer questions or learn more details about everything.

"Listen closely to what I am saying. You can console me by listening to me."
- Job 21:2

Thank you so much to everyone for continuing to pray for Jennie and be so kind and supportive to her family! They can't do it without everyone's love and support...

Monday 12/7/09

Jennie's doctors and nurses are prepping her right now for her tracheotomy and the peg feeding tube procedures. Please keep her in your prayers for these to go successfully and for Jennie's'pressure and other stats to remain stable while the procedures take place. I will update everyone later today on hoe everything went.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Day #8 - Saturday 12/5/09

Patty spent most of the day with Jennie today in the Intensive Care Unit. Jennie had a nice bath, and her face is looking a lot better.

Since yesterday, after the doctors moved the location of the probe measuring the pressure in her brain, the readings have been more accurate. Today Jennie's ICP (Intracranial Pressure) has been between 17 and 23. This has been great news and one of the main concerns affecting Jennie's recovery.

Her blood pressure was better today, but her temperature has still been erratic.
Jennie has began taking a new medicine that paralyzes her, in addition to the morphine for pain. She has been very sensitive to noise and touch, which causes her pressure to increase. This new medicine will help her body to remain still so she doesn't get so excited, and keep her stats where they need to be.

We need to rally together again in prayer for Jennie for our next miracle for her - we need some type of communication from her - a "command response" such as raise her arm, wiggle her toes, or for both of her eyes to dialate, grabbing for the tubes, or even a verbal sound. This will help to confirm we are on the right track with her recovery.

The Prayers for Jennie Savickas page on Facebook now has 1,914 members - this is awesome and Jennie's family really appreciates everyone's support. Please continue to spread the word and keep those prayer chains going!!

"I will walk by faith...even when I cannot see...because this broken road prepares Your will for me..."

Friday, December 4, 2009

1 week 12/4/09

Exactly 1 week ago, the life of Jennie Savickas and her family were changed forever. If you are new to the blog, please take a few moments to read some of the previous posts.

Below is an update from Jesse Smith, Jennie's older sister:

Thank you everyone for your continued thoughts and prayers. Jennie's ICP (pressure in her brain) was at 23 as of 2pm. This is huge news since this number has been anywhere from 40-100+. The goal is less than 20. Jennie was scheduled for her third cat scan this afternoon and we are waiting on those results. ... Please continue to pray specifically for her temperature to go down and her ICP to continue looking so good.

I will continue to keep everyone updated each day on Jennie's progress. ~LuCinda

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Slow Journey 12/3/09,

I have an update as of this evening from Patti, Jennie's Mom. She met with a special team at the hospital today who is working with the family on Jennie's case. They reviewed the Cat Scan results that were discussed yesterday.

As Patti was told yesterday, there is still some swelling in Jennie's brain, though it has gone down. There is still some blood showing in her brain, and they are not certain if this is from when the injury originally occured, or if her brain is continuing to bleed. The only way they could determine that is if they continue to do Cat Scans and compare them. This causes an issue with Jennie because her body is very sensitive to sound and touch, and when they move her around and reposition her body for the Cat Scan, it raises the pressure in her brain, which we want to avoid.

Jennie is in a natural coma, not one that is medically induced. The only medicines that she is taking currently are morphine for pain, and mannitol to relieve the pressure of her brain. Today, her ICP (Intracranial Pressure) was very erratic, and the number fluctuated between 38 to 100+. A normal ICP for a person is less than 20, generally around 5.

Jennie has maintained a fever since she has been in the hospital, today her fever stayed between 100-102 degrees. Her fever is due to her brain sending the wrong signals to her body.

Her right eye was thought to be more injured after her accident, and today it was responding to the light, which is a good sign. Her left eye is currently not showing any response to light, and the pupil remains fully dialated.

Some things that Jennie will have coming up are:

~Filter - they will insert a filter in a main vein going to Jennie's heart to prevent any blood clots.

~Tracheotomy and peg (feeding tube) - will both go in on Monday, Dec 14th. The feeding tube will go directly into Jennie's stomach.

I did not get an update on the pneumonia, which is in one of her lungs, but lets continue to pray for this to clear up. Jennie also has a broken left arm, and they had it in a split when I saw her on Friday night after the accident...I will check to see if they have taken any further steps with her arm and the bruising to her left leg and knee area also.

I told Patti I feel like we are taking baby steps, and that is OK...some of our baby steps move us forward, but some of our baby steps have also moved us backward. The important thing to remember is that we are still moving and taking those steps, which means Jennie is still with us and fighting.

Please continue all of the wonderful prayers and encouragement for Jennie and her family and friends. At 6:00 pm, we marked Day #6 of Jennie's Journey - it is a slow journey, but she has a lot of people who love and care for her, and we are all on the Journey with her.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cat Scan Results 12/2/09

WOW!!! What an awesome God we serve!!! He has heard our many prayers...

The results of Jennie's cat scan show that her swelling has gone down.

She does still have pockets of blood in her brain that we are unsure if are continuing to bleed or are just left from the initial impact.

The doctor sounded lighter than he has about the situation and made sure to tell us that we are still in this fight and have no reason to give up at this point.

Jennie's family will meet with the neurologist soon to look at the specific areas of her brain that will be affected from her injuries, and what to expect during her recovery.

Some of the next steps in Jennie's Journey include:

~Tracheotomy - to allow Jennie to breathe through a direct airway instead of the tube in her throat with the ventilator. The tube in her throat for more than 7-10 days could cause damage to her vocal cords.

~She has developed a little bit of pneumonia in one of her lungs. The doctor says this is normal since she has been on the ventilator. But we definately want to pray for this to go away to help continue her recovery process.

Thanks to everyone for all of the prayers and keep on praying!!!!

Still waiting 12/2/09

As of 3:15pm, Jennie's family is still waiting to meet with the Neurologist to review the Cat Scan results.Jennie had a Cat Scan at 4am today. The Neurologist will hopefully be able to give specific information about the extent of Jennie's injury to her brain, and how exactly that will affect her. Update to come soon...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

CAT Scan scheduled for 12/2/09

Please pray tonight for God's healing hands to touch Jennie and heal her. She will have a CAT scan tomorrow to look at the details of the swelling of her brain. We know that God is awesome, and He can give us a miracle!!!

Jennie, a lot of people are sharing their love and prayers for you girl!!! You are very special to many people. Your family and friends have been at the hospital around the clock. They even have their own special waiting room as they take turns being there with you!

Thank you for those who have brought food, books, and other comforting items to the family at the hospital...this has really helped make it easier to remain there for extended time periods.

Please join the support group for Jennie on Facebook "Prayers for Jennie Savickas" There are currently 1,535 members of this online support group! WOW - what a great network of people who are praying for Jennie - even people who do not know her personally, but are kind enough to lift her up in prayer.

Day # 4 Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Well, we have officially made it past the 72 hour mark as of last night!

Jennie has made it through the night, and is still holding strong. Most of her stats are about the same as they were yesterday. I will try to get more specific details on her stats this evening.

Jennie has made one large step in her journey last night - they inserted a feeding tube into her stomach to see if her normal digestive functions are working. She consumed about half of what they gave her, so this was very good sign.

The family is still waiting to see Jennie's progress as time goes by.

There is a prayer page dedicated to Jennie on facebook also - I'll post the link so you can join this group in praying for Jennie's recovery.

The family is posting photos and cards in Jennie's room in the Intensive Care Unit, please mail cards to Crossroads Baptist Church Attn: Jennie Savickas 340 Covil Avenue Wilmington, NC 28402.

Thanks to everyone for all of your prayers and positive comments during this time!!!