Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A time for us to be thankful

Ellen has made lots of progress in the last couple of days. She is officially off the ventilator for over two days. The trach has been removed but hasn’t been closed up yet. The doctors will see how much progress she makes in the next 1-3 days and will determine whether to insert a small trach or close it up. Ellen is now sitting in a wheelchair which is great for her lungs and recovery. The lung infection is clearing but she still has the eye infection. Ellen’s x-rays came back positive and her neck is not broken. The neck brace was removed yesterday and Ellen was very happy about that. She's getting a cat scan next week at another hospital for further tests on her brain. When I saw her the other day she waved hello and goodbye and even tried to blow a kiss. The best news of all, Ellen spoke her first words…She said Mom, hello and she wanted to speak with her twin sister, Amy and a couple of friends. She speaks very quietly but it’s not a whisper. At times it’s hard to understand her and she does get frustrated. She started swearing after every other word which was to be expected and the staff also thinks she will ask a lot of questions over and over again. All good signs!! She knows how old she is but was confused about what year she was born. Ellen is still in semi acoma and state of unconsciousness. She won’t remember most of what she is doing and saying but everything she is doing is part of the waking up process. Diane limited her visitors and Ellen was well rested over the weekend. Diane has been reading Ellen her favorite books and she’s listening to her favorite music, which all helps the healing process.

We are all very happy with Ellen’s progress. Even her doctors and nurses were surprised at the speed of her progress in the last week. If only they knew Ellen the way we all do then they wouldn’t be so surprised. She’s such an independent, strong, positive girl with a zest for life (as Brenda has said many times). We still need to take everything day-by-day. TBI injuries are 1 step forward, possibly 2 step back process to recovery. We are constantly reminded of this and are praying the next couple of days will be good days for Ellen.

We have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Let’s all give thanks for our loved ones, for good health and for Ellen's accomplishments. Let’s all take the time to pray for her continued progress and full recovery.

I'm also very thankful for everyone who has supported us with their generous donations, has taken the time to visit our site and write the most heartfelt comments for our family to read. This website has truly helped get me through the roughest days.

Thank you and God Bless.


  1. God bless you and your family. I`m glad to hear ellen is doing better. Have a happy thanksgiving! :)

  2. We truly have much to be thankful for this holiday. Ellen's progress is remarkable. After a couple of failed attempts I was finally able to visit her this past Saturday. The feelings I had while with her were of such a good and positive nature. In a way, I'm almost glad I was unable to see her until I did. The scene was nothing like I had imagined. Ellen was so full of energy and she was really determined to get out of that bed. I know she is keeping her nurses very, very busy! Though it saddened me when she frowned in discomfort, it was also endearing and reassuring in a way- Ellen is never hesitant to express when she doesn't like something, so that familiarity was comforting and I knew she was close to making some sort of breakthrough. She did manage to smile a couple of times, give a thumbs-up, and wave goodbye, though! I was really floored with her resolve; she is an absolute inspiration. I am not at all surprised to read that just a few days later she is now free from her ventilator and speaking again. Keep up the good work, El.

    I'd like to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all within eyeshot, and more specifically to Ellen and her family, who have received the greatest gift of all.

  3. wow! so glad to see the progress!!

  4. I am very happy that Ellen is making a lot of progress!! She is and has always been a strong person who fought for what she wanted. She knows she has a lot more to live for and it is not her time yet! She is going to make an amazing recovery, in time, and make it seem as if it is easy because it is so natural for her to give it her all! I wish the best of luck and send my love to her and her family! Continue to keep us posted! Love you El! Love always, Laura H x0x0