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!