Friday, November 20, 2009

One Month..

I didn’t get a chance to write notes on all the information that was passed along to me this morning so please understand if I miss something or I’m not 100% accurate with my words. Also, from the time I get this info to now, some information may have changed.

Today Ellen is in a coma for 28 days or one month. The doctors have given us a lot of information on her injuries and finally have agreed that she has made some progress. When she was admitted to the acute hospital she was considered not stable enough and a decision would be made within 5 days if they would move her back to a medical hospital. After 5 days, the doctors decided to re-evaluate at 30 days and now with Ellen’s medical condition improving they will re-evaluate at 60 days. Depending on her progress, she will be moved into a sub-acute hospital.

The staff is still trying to wean Ellen off the ventilator. Each day she is taken off a little longer and she seems to be doing well. During the day she is almost breathing all on her own. The ventilator is on at night but only to 30% so Ellen’s breathing is 70% her own. Ellen had her 3rd tracheotomy procedure today to give her a smaller trach which is a sign that she may be breathing completely on her own and hopefully waking up soon.

After numerous tests, the doctors will not be doing any cat scans, mri’s, tests for a couple of weeks to give her a rest. Ellen has an obstruction in her stomach but the doctors feel this will resolve itself with medication. There will also be a procedure to reconstruct her ear drum that ruptured during the accident. The lung infection has improved but they will continue to drop dye to see where her fluids go to prevent further infections and problems. She has numerous skull fractures which will take approximately one year to heal.

The doctors believe Ellen is in an agitated state which could mean that she may wake up within the next couple of weeks. This is amazing news! Ellen is moving around inconsistently and they believe involuntarily which is a sign of an agitated state. She has her days and nights confused. She’s most awake between 5pm and 8pm so the nurses encourage visiting during these hours to tire her out. They hope she will then sleep through the night and will be most awake when the doctors evaluate her in the morning. So far she is in her deepest sleep when the doctors visit. The nurses pre-warned us that the next phase of agitated state is yelling and cursing but she doesn’t know what she’s saying, doesn’t mean it and will not remember it.

One of the evaluations the doctors use is called Glasgow scale which diagnosis symptoms of TBI. The scale is based on a 3-15 point scale. When she arrived at this hospital she was scored at a 3 which is considered sever disability. Yesterday she was scored at an 11 which is categorized as moderate disability. She’s almost there but we still need to get to 15.

Ellen continues to amaze me each day. I’ve always admired her grace and attitude toward her life and life in general. She has shown us all how much she wants to be here and LIVE. She has chosen to live. She fought through almost unbeatable odds to stay with us. I’m so proud of Ellen. I love her so much and I continue to pray for her miracle.

Let's all take the time to pray tonight for her miracle. To continue to make progress, come back to us and have a full recovery.


  1. This is great news! Although ellen and i aren`t close ive been praying for her everyday. I just think she is one of those few people who have the ability to bring joy into peoples lives. Hearing the stories from her family and friends shows me that she is a really good person. So way to go Ellen! The power of prayer is truly amazing. God Bless!

  2. I am so proud of Ellen! What a strong woman she is. I'm not ashamed to say I was brought to tears by this post, but they are mostly good tears. I can't believe how far she has come, and though she still has so far to go I have so much confidence that she will be the exception in this, as she is in most other things she does. I've read so much about her type of injuries and situation that I've become inundated, but to see that she's gone from a 3 on the Glasgow, with the doctors in doubt, to an 11 with the doctors in amazement puts me in a cautious sense of ease. It by no means clears Ellen from danger, but my god if it doesn't beat the hell out of a lot of other possibilities.

    This past month has given me many things. New perspective, a new appreciation for those around me, and a humility that comes with realizing my own fragility by way of this incident. I expect to experience many additional feelings along with everyone vested in Ellen's well being over these months to come. I'm overcome with feelings of anticipation and trepidation. I'm eager to have her wake, but at the same time I'm terrified of the prospect. I hold out
    hope that with all the support that Ellen has that she will allay my fears and
    come back to us as positive and energetic as always. There is a void in all of
    our lives now that Ellen has been quieted, but we must remain positive- as Ellen would- that we will soon again be reunited with our friend.

    I miss you, El.

  3. Wonderful news!!! I've always had such faith that things would turn around. God does amazing things. I think she knows somewhere deep inside how much she is loved and it drives her to fight. Blessings on you and your family.

  4. Ella, it was really touching to read this. I hope all the continued prayers keep Ellen improving everyday. G-d does do amazing things.

    -Kim Carter

  5. This is wonderful! I have no doubt that her positive road will continue. This has opened the eyes of all who know her, even if they were not close to her. I believe Ellen has given us all a gift to appreciate all that we have and never take a single moment for granted. I am certain that with every day she will continue to fight more and more and she will show us all how to never give up!

  6. WOWWW!! Not that I am at all surprised by her progress, but the last few days have been amazing. When I saw her yesterday, she had me laughing like she always had in the past. To see her smiles and hear her few words just made my day. And to hear her say "Bye Brenda" just lit up my world.