Thursday, December 8, 2011

Baby Steps!

We are watching (with great delight) Patrick's daily progress. When I arrived at the ICU yesterday, his eyes were wide open, he seemed much more calm, and his left arm, which has been moving spasmodically since he awoke from his coma, was less agitated. It seems that when he's more relaxed and well rested, his entire body is more at peace. (I guess that's true for all of us, no?) He spoke a few words yesterday, which was so exciting. He was able to say "hi" to Erin Bair, one of our visiting priests, and express appropriate indicators of his basic needs: "thirsty" "need help", and "pee". He really seems to perk up when visitors come, so if you're local, and if you're comfortable seeing him in an ill-fitting hospital gown, (and if you're willing to brave NIH's security), please come visit! I can't really handle coordinating your visit, or telling you when it's a good or not-so-good time to come, so just come. You may have to wait in the ICU lobby for a few minutes if he's having a procedure or getting cleaned-up, but in general he'd love to see you! He's able to make facial expression, so if you remain equally persistent and patient, you can communicate with him fairly well. I watched him smile at Dave Whitfield's stories last night, and communicate, using his (thinning) eyebrows, his thankfulness for various ministers and friends of ours that stopped by throughout the day and evening. He doesn't have loads of energy, so just keep your expectations low at this point!

His doctors are pleased at his progress. They'd like to see him pass his swallow test today, and once he does, he'll be able to get some food and drink into his body. Up to now, he's been surviving on IV fluids and wet mouth swabs, so I'm sure he's pretty hungry for something tasty, even if it's pureed. :( If he consistently improves, and if he is able to reach certain benchmarks in his ability to physically respond to various commands, he may be moved out of ICU on Monday (or thereabouts), and head back to his inpatient unit across the hall at NIH. At that point, the drs will further assess his neurological issues, and how to proceed with treatment.

So, please pray that he will continue to improve, that he'd pass his swallow test, that we'd all be encouraged with how well he is doing, and for wisdom, along with the drs, to know what to do next. I've come down with some sort of nagging cough/cold, so it would be great if that rapidly disappeared, too. I don't want to get him sick at this point, but it's also so hard to stay away from his bedside.

If you would like to visit, he's at NIH, which is located off of Rockville Pike in Bethesda, MD. (Just google it for directions.) He's in Building 10, which is the tallest clinical building on campus. He's on the 3rd floor in the ICU, Room 7. There's a parking garage below Bldg 10, as well as one right next to it.  I don't think there are strict visiting hours, but typically we're trying to get him settled for bedtime around 8:30 or 9p, so try to come before that, if you're interested.  There's also a metro stop right on campus - I believe it's called "Medical Center", or something like that.

Thanks for being a part of Team Patrick!


  1. Praying for your recovery Patrick. Love you and wish you and your family well.

  2. SO good to hear. Praying for you, brother, and for you, too Julie!

  3. Like you said steps! Open eyes, raised eyebrows, nods and short words are encouraging signs of God's miraculous design of the body. How it recovers despite a HUGE trauma.

    Our prayers continue for Patrick but also for YOU, Julie. This has greatly impacted your family life . Yes, Patrick is in a life-death struggle, but you are watching, supporting and loving him from the sideline. It's a tough place to be. Our hearts ache for you all.

    Hugs, Martha and Jeff

  4. Still praying for you Patrick, and for your family. Stay strong in the power of our Lord Jesus Christ. To Him who shed his blood for us, who gave his life for the forgiveness of our sins, We Trust In You! Amen.

  5. Praying for baby steps...for the passing of swallow tests and raising of eyebrows to jokes and stories...for lifting fingers to wave and to saying "yes" or "no". Praise Jesus for His healing touch and we continue to stand with you and ask for further healing...

  6. so great to hear of little improvements. today, we were waiting for a downed electrical wire to be fixed on the road in front of us. as some point, i noticed the license plate in front of me was "PK" and some numbers. Thanks for that reminder to pray, God! You all have been lifted up all day today, really. I am amazed at your love, patience, courage, hope and enthusiasm. stacy

  7. Patrick's recovery continues to be a focus in my prayers. It is good to hear that he is making progress. Praise God!
    I have my small group praying for Patrick's recovery as well and family is included in those prayers.
    I might be able to make a visit on Saturday. Never been to NIH before, but I know at least one or two people that work there. I am sure I can find a way. Blessings! -Patrick Bean

  8. Yeah Julie and Patrick!!! I'm so happy to hear Patrick's starting to recover!!

    Remember baby steps don't always come in a linear progression either, so sometimes its 2 forward and 1 back ... make sure he gets plenty of rest in between the more active times, because like you say, I think rest is really important at this point.
    I hope you're getting your rest too, and that Ceci is basking in Grand-Parent love and attention.

  9. That is amazing news...we are all praying.


Thanks for your prayers!