Monday, September 22, 2008

Peter's Accident

Below is some basic information about Peter's Accident... I put it in a time table format to help me remember what has happened when..... 

Saturday Morning

The day started off fairly normal as the family dropped me (Jeff) off at DFW Airport for a business trip to San Francisco, then they went to Suzi's sister house to play and visit. A little bit after arriving the kids were up in the play room above the garage. The thought at this time is that Peter was playing on the back a couch that was by the windows and leaned against the screen in the window and fell out. Luckily there was a ledge a couple feet below the window that we think he hit which slowed him down so he did not get the full impact of a 2 story fall.

After the fall Henry rushed out to tell Suzi what had happened - He was calm and collected and handled the situation perfectly. Suzi ran out the front door where she met Peter who was up and walking toward the front door.  

Suzi and her sister grabbed Peter and rushed him to Baylor Hospital of Plano which is fairly close to their house, Peter kept consciousness during this time as Suzi continued to bug him and ask him questions. He was really upset about the blood on his Superman pants. 

Saturday Afternoon

Once they arrived at the ER they immediately took him in and started their work. I'm a little fuzzy on this part, but I know they got him into a CT Scan there (#1) and then made a decision to put him on a helicopter to the Children's Hospital. One nurse took Suzi into a family room and told her to "make your calls" to notify Family of the situation. I was in the air and there was not much time so she called our Parents to let them know. Of course at that time information was very vague

My parents were in Oklahoma City and started home right away, Suzi's dad was in the hospital himself at the time.  

After a couple calls we had five brethren from the Church heading to the Children’s hospital to give Peter a blessing. Gordon (my brother) who left a party in Denton to go and help Suzi with his Wife Coren, Stephen Fluckiger (my Uncle from Sunnyvale), Evan (my brother in law) and his Father, and Bishop Mayberry from our ward. Peter got a great blessing (from what I heard) and they offered Suzi great support.

As I touched down in San Francisco I turned my phone on to check for messages... I had none. But my Dad called just a couple seconds later and asked "how’s Peter"? Which, was my introduction to the tragedy. Dad did not know much because everyone that had additional information either did not have a cell phone, or had to turn them off. 

I was tormented for a couple minutes as I had very little, but very serious information about Peter. Luckily American Airlines was able to immediately get me back on a flight to Dallas on the same plane I just got off of. I finally did get a hold of Suzi right before boarding the flight home and got a brief story. I then had to endure a 4 hour flight home to Dallas praying and pleading that all would be ok. 

While I was flying home they got Peter and Suzi down to Children’s Medical Center and did another CT Scan (#2) to check on his brain. They found he had two fractures, one above the eye and one below, he had bleeding in his head, but outside the brain. 

Saturday Evening

As I got off the plane my parents were just getting to the airport from Oklahoma, they picked me up and took me directly to the hospital. After pleading with the hospital staff to let me in (they were in the middle of a staff change and usually did not let people in during then) I finally got to see Suzi and Peter. Suzi was doing good, Peter on the other hand looked horrible. He had several tubes taped to his mouth and running down to his stomach and lungs (the ventilator) and the tape was covered in dried blood. He had an IV in each arm, 6 sensors taped to his chest, a sensor on his right hand thumb, and a couple other wires (some coming out of other holes in his body if you know what I mean). His right eye was swollen shut, his nose was caked with dried blood, his ears had blood in them (I thought it was from his ears, but it turned out that it was from his nose, it just dripped down there). The top of his nose was scraped and purple, and his forehead was really scraped up. It was terrifying seeing him like that. 

Saturday Night

We went down to get another CT Scan (#3) about 10:30 which showed continuing improvement in the bleeding, but the Doctors would still not tell us the long term outlook, it was still just a 'wait and see' approach. The next several hours was Suzi trying to sleep in Peters room with a couple blankets right beneath a really cold A/C vent amid alarms going off every couple of minutes and Nurses and Doctors running in to Check on him. Since only one person was allowed to be in the ICU I got to try to sleep in the Family waiting room, which was also freezing cold. 

Peters breathing continued to get better, they still had to suction out liquid from his lungs every fifteen minutes or so... which Peter hated as they slid a tube down his throat while he was fully conscious so he could cough while they were doing the suction. Peter could not make any noise because of the tubes in his mouth, but his eyes were screaming so loud. And while he was trying to reach out to be held by Suzi and I his arms were tied down to the sides of the bed to prevent him from pulling out the ventilator tubes.

Sunday Morning

About 2:00 am the feeble attempts to sleep were interrupted as Peter started to wake up as the pain medication wore off the nurses and doctors came in to assess where he was out. A decision was then made to remove the ventilator tubes as soon as we could. About an hour later we got everything ready and they removed him from the ventilator. As they removed the tubes he started screaming… although it was really quiet due to the swelling in the throat (from the tubes) and talking was extremely difficult from the swelling. Peter’s focus then changed from the tubes to his right eye which still was swollen shut.

Sunday Afternoon

It’s all a blur at this point in time – but most of Sunday was just stabilizing Peter… he continued improvement. He still would not eat, and if the pain medicine wore off it he was completely miserable, when that happened he the doctors gave him some morphine which worked really well and allowed him to sleep pretty easy. We got the catheter removed from Peter and he started to use the restroom in a bed-pan / cup type thing.

Sunday Night

About 8:30pm we got another CT Scan (4th). Continued progress & the head nurse felt good enough about the results to release Peter from ICU. (Being in desperate need of beds in the ICU probably helped as well) He was then moved to the Neurological ward at Dallas Children's Hospital, where he continued to improve rapidly.

Monday Morning

Peter continued to improve, the only major change is that his left eye is now completely swollen shut making him effectively blind which has been the scariest thing for Peter to date. The next step was to get Peter out of bed and to start walking and moving on his own again. The Physical Therapy nurses came to the room about 8:30 and were really pressing for Peter to sit-up on his own, however at this time his pain medication had worn off and he was in a horrible mood, he would not cooperate at all, and we eventually gave up after he threw up from throwing such a fit.  

Monday Afternoon / Evening

We took Peter to the Optometrist to check out his eyes…. They were not able to do a full exam due to the swelling but they were able to check the pressure, dilatation, and movement of both eyes and they were happy on the current state, although they had limited testing abilities.

The most significant improvement came when Henry came down after school, Peter perked up, started talking a lot with Henry, he sat up and ate and drank a lot (in comparison with the rest of the weekend) he even got out of bed and stood on his own to play with Henry.


I’m sure I’m missing some details (such as the neck brace, x-rays and their results etc) but we’ll go back and edit/add that later. 

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