Message From Bill’s Family
Jeff and Derrick, we are so glad you
were there for Bill! Also, the 2 gentlemen that were ice-fishing who
helped transport Bill to shore. Thank you to Matt Anderson for
bringing all of Billy's belongings (Truck, trailer, and everything else)
We would like to thank the Breezy Point
Police Department, Pequot Lakes Fire Department and North Ambulance / Air
Ambulance for their quick response and care for Bill at the scene of his
accident. We can not find the words to express how grateful we are to
people like all of you.
Thank you to our family
members, STS family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, Bill’s many friends
as well as their families (the list goes on and on..). Your support
through this tough time has meant the world to us. Whether it has been
kind words, prayers, food or just sitting with us to pass time.
Please continue to pray as we wait for Bill to wake up from his
Ron, Connie, April, Jenny & Krissy
Daughters - Abby & Emma
Niece – Amber
Brother In-Laws – Mike & Ben
Bruised Lungs (right one is worse)
Femur Bone Broke in 3 spots
Fractured Face and Jaw
Blood around the Brain Stem
2 CT Scans were done & surgery on the femur bone
inserted a tube to drain fluid from brain
Right lung collapsed
- inserted a drain tube
Pupils reacted to light
Some movement in the arm and leg (possibly reflex
1st MRI & 3rd CT scan
Shearing of the brain stem nerves
Found out that the 2nd vertebra was fractured
Blood is flowing through the brain
One of the 4 arteries to the brain was damaged and
formed a blood
clot which went to the brain
and caused a large stroke on the right
side, which controls the left
side of the body.
4th Ct Scan
2nd MRI to look at the fractured vertebra more
More movement today
Bill had Neuro Storms throughout the day. It is when there
is a surge in the brain, and the body moves.
Plastic surgeon met with the family in the AM, explained that Bill may
not need reconstructive surgery on his face. There are many breaks
all over the face but they are all aligned and can heal on their own.
The jaw does have 3 breaks that need to be repaired. This is
typically done in the first 7 days, and they will wait until Bill is
stable to be put under. After the jaw is wired they will take
another CT to make sure the rest of the fractures are still aligned.
10:00pm the Dr. visited. The MRI showed that Bill has a
bruise on the spinal cord near the 2nd vertebra and the ligaments are
the MRI showed Bill does not have a cracked vertebra in his neck.
They have not determined if a neck brace will be enough
to correct this or if a halo will be needed.
We will need to start measuring progress on a week by week basis rather
than day by day. The movements he is making now are better than nothing.
Because of the coma we do not know if the movements are 'him' or reflex.
We are believing it is him, we know he's a fighter.
6:30am Bill's night nurse said he did well through the night.
His temperature dropped to 100.6. He had less Neuro Storms through
the night. We may see this increase through the day as it occurs
when people are talking/touching.
9:30am Dr. visited. Bill's pressure in the brain is down.
They will turn off the drain today (leaving it inserted) and monitor it.
If the pressure remains low through tomorrow they will remove the drain
tomorrow. He did say from the signs they have seen that it may be
months before Bill wakes up - "but he could also prove us
8:00 a.m. Mass at St
Anne's Catholic Church
in Hamel for Billy
200 Hamel Rd
Hamel, MN 55340-9613
Bill's fever was back up during the day (101). It is most likely
caused by brain trauma and not an infection.
His heart rate did come down in the evening.
Bill had another CT prior to 6am. His night nurse said he did well
through the night, his heart rate was up but under control.
The Dr met with the family, he said it may take a year for Bill to get as
far as he will progress. The Dr is very concerned about how the
stroke will affect him. They will do an angiogram on Monday, this
will show the blood vessel damage caused by the stroke.
The blood in his brain is absorbing, and will do so slowly over time.
The pressure has gone down enough for them to remove the stint that
was in his brain, this was done in the AM and the procedure was done in
the TNICU room. They were also able to remove his chest tube this AM
and that procedure was done in the TNICU as well.
They will not be able to wire his jaw yet (it is broken in 3 places), his
brain is not stable enough to handle the surgery/anesthesia, it
may be another 2 weeks.
They will have some ankle splints made for Bill. This will help to
hold his feet in more of a standing position so that the muscle behind the
ankle does not tighten up.
Right now they will continue to support the rest of his body while his
Bill's condition remains the same. He is scheduled for an angiogram of his
brain first thing tomorrow morning. This is where they will inject
dye and do a CT of his brain to view the blood vessels that have been
Bill's condition remained the same
throughout the day. He continues to sweat, we are told this is not
from his fever but from the brain trauma. He was moving around quite
a bit, but not on command. He had his Angiogram around noon, and his
nurse said he was solid as a rock throughout the test. We did not
receive the results on the angiogram from the neurologist yet.
The neurologist met with us on the
results this AM from his angiogram that was done yesterday. GOOD
1 - The angiogram showed that there
is blood flowing to all the main vessels on the right side of his brain
that was affected by the stroke. The smaller vessels are unclear, so
time will tell when he wakes up.
2 - This morning they fitted Bill
with splints on his wrists, and feet. This will help his muscles.
The speech therapist will start working with Bill today - even though he
remains in a deep coma and is unresponsive. They will also start
therapy, moving his limbs around - seeing if they can get a response
3 - They will also start to wean him off
the respirator today. A little at a time (each day) to see how his
body adjusts without it
4 - On Thursday they will do a
tracheotomy to move the respirator to Bill's throat. This will help
to wean him from the respirator, and will be much more comfortable than
having tubes down his throat. He will also be able to start
coughing, swallowing on his own when he's ready. At the same time he
is in the OR. getting the tracheotomy they will put a feeding tube
directly in to his stomach (much like the chest tube was directly to his
lung area). This will be much more comfortable for Bill than the
tube in his throat for feeding now.
5 - The may be able to wire his jaw at
the beginning of next week.
Bill was moving around
quite a bit throughout the day (his right leg). He was also
opening his eyes (half way) throughout the day off and on. It does
not appear that he is focusing on anything in particular when his eyes
are opening - but I know I saw him look at dad for a bit when I was in
there with him. Tomorrow early afternoon he will have surgery for
his tracheotomy and feeding tube. He will most likely be wiped out
the rest of the day after surgery, so we may not see much movement from
him after that. We know he is fighting though!! He continues
to give us signs daily.
At 11:00 this morning, Bill went
into surgery to have his tracheotomy put in, Dr.Arendt (the surgeon) said
that the procedure went very good. Bill is also able to
breathe very well through the trach. Dr.Arendt was all smiles
when he told Bill's family members that he saw Bill's eyes for the first
They also had another doctor in the room, and that
doctor had placed Bill's feeding tube into his stomach and they will began
feeding him sometime tomorrow morning.
They will keep Bill sedated for the rest of the
day today. They are planning on possible wiring his jaw next week,
they are going to have a oral surgeon in sometime soon to give us more
information on that.
The family plans on updating the website often.
There might be some days that no information is entered, that does
not mean anything bad has happened. We will keep it updated often,
we are just at the stage of WAITING now.
Bill's surgery went well.
Bill had a
rough night last night. His heart rate was up to 150 and his fever
was 105. They put ice on him and placed a water cooled blanket
underneath him. His fever came down a little throughout the day, to
103. His eyes did not open much during the day, and he was having
neuro storms throughout the day as well. They are
treating him with antibiotics, they also draw blood to test for
infections. The preliminary results show that there is an infection.
They will then culture the tests to show where the infection is coming
Bill did well through the night, his temp is now down to 100 and his heart
rate is down to 98. He will be resting much of the day to fight off
the infection. They believe the infection is coming from his lungs,
and the antibiotics he is taking should take care of this. We were also
reminded that visitors should be limited to immediate family only.
Depending on Bill's condition at the time we will only be able to
visit with him briefly if at all.
the nurse was in with Bill and she asked him to give the thumbs up.
He did it half way! Then she asked him to squeeze her hand if
he was having pain, and he did. They gave him some meds for the
pain. The therapist was in with Bill this morning, she said he is
improving with his movement on his right side. When she was leaving
she asked if he could wave good-bye, he wiggled his fingers at her.
Tuesday 2-24-2004 8:00am
Mass for Bill
At St. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Loretto, MN
session with the physical therapist today we were informed that he is
able to move his eyes all the way to the left and all the way to the
right. Bill is also breathing on his own now! He is still
hooked up to the respirator which is set at low to provide
oxygen when needed to make sure his lungs are expanding enough.
Thanks to Kurt, Bill's co-worker you can
now reach this web site by using the following web address http://billdahl.org
Overall things are going in the right direction and Bill's condition is
improving. He is being treated with antibiotics for Bronchitis so visitation
is still limited to immediate family only. Progress is being made on the
ventilator and Bill could be off it completely by this weekend. The oral
surgery on Bill's jaw will take place tomorrow at 9:00am and will take about
Bill was in surgery today from 9:30am to 2:30pm. The doctors were real
pleased with the way it went and everything went real well.
Bill has been sedated most of the day today and yesterday. He is kicking
around his leg quite a bit and they want him to relax. He is still pretty
swollen from his surgery on Thursday, They say (his nurses) that the
swelling is starting to go down now. He is off the respirator all day and
then at night they turn it back on to give his body a rest.
Bill is now completely off
the respirator. He is doing well without it but still gets a little
help to take some deeper breaths. The doctor's say Bill is
progressing very slowly, but he is showing progress. At approximately 3:00 pm today Bill was moved out of
intensive care into a room on 5 North. If all goes well through out the
night (no temps, no problems, etc) he will be transferring to Bethesda
Rehabilitation Hospital in St Paul on Wednesday March 3rd for
rehabilitation. Bethesda specializes in pulmonary and brain injury areas. We
will be updating the web site again tomorrow with more info such as his room
number, visiting hours and a contact phone number.
We'd also like say THANK YOU to everyone for
being so supportive and for all the prayers.
Bill was transferred today to Bethesda Hospital. He is in room 501. The move
went really well. He was also coughing and yawning on his own today.
Tomorrow will be a very extensive day with doctors and therapists making
their assessments. To find out exactly what type of therapy will be
needed. We will update the web site and let you know when
visitors will be allowed. There are a few restrictions such as no balloons
or cell phones allowed in the hospital. There are phones in the family
is such a great place for Bill! Everyone we have met is so kind,
helpful and just wonderful. It is clear that they will be giving him
the best care. Wednesday after he was moved the rest of the day was
spent getting him settled. He has been running a slight fever
since Wednesday night, 100, not too high. They are treating him for
that. Yesterday there were quite a few different therapists in to
meet Bill, work with him and assess him. They really took the extra
time to get to know about him too, his personality etc. They also
did an EEG test. They also had him in the wheel chair for a
while yesterday. He is not able to support himself or move around on
his own yet, but it was good to see them moving him around. Today
and tomorrow many different people will be continuing to assess him.
After all the assessments are done, the team of people who have met with
him will sit down for a group meeting and determine a plan for Bill.
After they complete their group meeting they will meet with the family to
inform us of this plan as well. He
is wearing his regular clothes now, no more Velcro boxers. His friends
will be happy to know he was wearing his infamous fish taco t-shirt
may be a few days until the next update. We will put out an
update as soon as we meet with the therapy team and we know their plans
for Bill. This should happen early next week. At that
time we should be able to let people know about visiting too.
The therapists did not meet with the family
today. It may not be until next week. The social worker met
with us and said that the therapists would need more time to assess
Bill. They also informed us of Bill's condition more thoroughly...
that he IS still in a coma. This came as a big surprise to
our family. We were under the impression that he was no longer in
a coma (2-23-2004 update). Apparently we misunderstood. This
does not mean that Bill's condition has changed and gone backwards, it
means we thought he was out of his coma and he is not. To explain
this simply, there are many steps to "waking up" from a coma.
Unfortunately it is not as easy as it sounds to "wake up", it
is nothing like the movies. This could be a long process, we do
not know, time will tell. There is a lot of information on the
internet about this waking up process, please see the below links to
information that will help explain this www.waiting.com/comabasics.html -
Understanding the term 'coma'. www.waiting.com/rancholosamigos.html
- This is the scale used by Dr's/hospitals. They provide a
descriptive guideline of the various stages a brain injury patient will
experience as he/she progresses through recovery. According to
this scale, and what we (his family) observe from Bill it seems that he
is around the level 3. Just as every brain injury is unique; so is
the rate of recovery. One can not predict the speed with which a
brain injury patient will progress from level to level, or at which
level the patient will reach a plateau, which is temporary or permanent
leveling off in the recovery process.
We did ask about visitors. At this time they would still like
it limited to immediate family. This will be until he is more
alert. The stimulation is just too much for his brain to process
at this point. We will be sure to keep everyone updated as well as
let everyone know when visitors can come down. Thank you for
continuing to keep Bill in your prayers!Level 4 (Confused-Agitated) Patient
is in a heightened state of activity and severely confused, disoriented,
and unaware of present events. His behavior is frequently bizarre and
inappropriate to his immediate environment. He is unable to perform
self-care. If not physically disabled, he may perform automatic motor
activities such as sitting, reaching and walking as part of his agitated
state, but not necessarily as a purposeful act.
The doctors said today that Bill's progress has greatly improved
over the last two days. He is now at level 4 on the Rancho
Los Amigos Scale, Below is a brief description about level 4 coma.
The results of the brain EEG that was done on
Thursday March 4th came back negative, which is GOOD! that means there is
no seizure activity.
have changed Bill's meds so that he can become more alert. Right now
they are doing everything they can for Bill, the rest is up to him and
Things have been going well for Bill. On Saturday they determined that
he does not have to wear his neck brace while he is in bed, but it does need
to go on when he is in the wheel chair. He does not like the chair
very much and gets agitated when he is in it. Bill has started to
speak to us a little. He can also nod his head for 'yes' and 'no'.
A few times when we've asked him our names he can say them so we're hoping
that means when he is truly 'awake' that he will remember us.
They will also be giving him a smaller trach tube, hopefully today.
When they change to a small tube it should be easier for him to talk when he
tries, and we should also be able to hear him better. Bill is
supposed to get a new bed today, it's called a net bed. This looks
like a big tent around the bed. He has been moving around so much they
want to be sure he does not fall out of bed.
Bills trach was reduced today to a 6. Ron just called from home
and said that him and Connie decided to stay home this evening and let the
girls go down to the hospital. Shortly after Ron and Connie got home they
got a phone call and they actually spoke with Bill on the phone. They were
Bill amazed us
when we saw him, he was talking - really talking in sentences, asking
questions, answering questions. When we got there, right away he asked
Krissy, "Krissy, how's your eye?" The day before when Kris
was visiting she was saying how her eye was bothering her, he remembered!
He knows who we all are! I read him some of the names of people who
came to see him the first couple days, he knew who they were. He
wanted to talk to Jeff, so I called mom & dad's house to get Jeff's
number. Bill talked to mom and then dad, wow - were they
ever surprised. The rest of the night he talked and talked and
talked..... He talked about the dogs that came in his room the day before
and he remembered their names. We put in a CD for Bill and he started
singing with it!! We will continue to keep everyone posted. We will
also let you all know as soon as the Dr's give the OK for him to have
visitors, for now it is still limited to immediate family.
Bill's spirits have been good. Although he is still
in a coma, somewhere between level 4 & 5. He's been going thru one hour
of therapy daily and is showing progress. Today x-rays were taken of his
right shoulder because he's been complaining of pain. The trach was also
capped today. This way he breaths completely on his own thru his mouth and
nose. X-rays of his broken leg will be taken on April 3rd, these
x-rays will let the therapists know how much weight he'll be able to put on
that leg. Visitation is still limited and were hoping that will change soon.
When it does we will probably set up some type of calendar so people can
sign up. That way we can spread the visits thru out the week and make sure
they won't interfere with his therapy and also minimize confusion and stress
Bill's trach was completely removed last night at 6:30. He
says it feels much better to have it removed and is very thankful it's
gone. They (Dr's) are talking about moving Bill to the 4th floor
soon. We will give another update when this happens. Along
with the update we will post information about visiting, on the 4th floor
the visiting rules / hours change.
was moved to a new room yesterday, 4th floor - room # 401. It is right
beneath his old room on 5th floor. He has been in very good spirits
the last 3 days. The oral surgeon (Dr. Laing) from North that did
Bill's jaw happened to be at Bethesda last night, he decided to pop in on
Bill and see how he was doing. He was very unhappy (to say the least) to
see that the braces and bands had not been removed yet. He cut the
bands off and said he'd make sure the braces get off soon as well (date
for the good part, visiting hours...... Yes, Bill can now have
visitors! We will need to limit the amount of people who are
in his room at a time. We ask that before coming down to see Bill,
please call Ron on his cell phone 612-221-2238. On the 4th floor
visiting hours are from 6pm-8:30pm Monday through Friday. On Saturday,
Sunday and holidays it is 12pm-8:30pm. Ages 16 and under are allowed
in 4 South (where Bill is at). Again - please call before coming so
that we can space out the amount of visitors at one time. Thanks!
Bill had a good weekend, his spirits
are good. His neck brace is now completely off. We are planning
a fund raiser which will be either in July or August at the Hamel VFW. We
will post the date as soon as we know for sure. If you have any items to
donate for the silent auction or suggestions on places that might
donate for the fundraiser event please contact Kurt Seydow at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill will be
going to the University of Minnesota Hospital on Friday morning at 8:00am to
have the jaw braces removed. Krissy will be going along with him. Following
the surgery he'll be transported back to Bethesda, and will probably be
pretty exhausted during the rest of the day. Yesterday Bill was taken
outside in his wheelchair for a bit to enjoy the gorgeous weather we're
having. We've also added a visitor calendar to the site. Check
it out and if you plan on visiting enter your name & time, this way
everyone doesn't show up at the same time.
called and said he had just gotten off the phone with the doctor.
is amazed at the progress Bill has made and also said that Bill is
COMPLETELY out of the coma. The family will meet with the doctors on Tuesday
April 13th for a family meeting.
The family will meet with the doctors on Tuesday
April 13th for a family meeting.
your calendars the fund-raiser at the Hamel VFW will be
July 17, 2004. We will keep you update as to the time as soon as we know for
sure. If you have any items to
donate for the silent auction or suggestions on places that might
donate for the fundraiser event please contact Kurt Seydow
Good Friday - Bill's
surgery this morning went really well. Krissy and Bill are waiting for their
ride back to Bethesda.
Bill is able to eat some foods now and is
drinking both pop and water. He still has the feeding tube attach and
hopefully that will be removed soon. The family is scheduled for a family
meeting tomorrow afternoon with Bill's doctors.
There was a family
meeting yesterday and the next one is scheduled for April 27th at 2:00
pm, here is the update:
Each therapist talked about Billy's attention span.
It is short but he has shown much improvement. We were advised
to look into care for Bill in about a month. We could possibly
take him home or to the Courage Center for therapy. Speech
therapist says he is a bit slow at swallowing but that was because of
the arch wires in his mouth. He is on many medications,
depressants, stimulants, pain relievers, buffers and blood pressure.
His mental test scored better this time, things like spelling words
backwards, what day it is and who the president is. He scored 23
out 25 questions which is really good! Short term memory test
was good and they are checking on the CT of his shoulder, if nothing
shows up they will ask for an MRI. The doctors say that for Bill's
type of injuries a rapid recover could take about 6 months.
X-rays came back today on Bill's left leg and he has no weight bearing
limits so he can put as much weight on it as he wants. Therapy will
include getting him back up on his feet again.
Friday April 16,
Bill enjoying his first Mr. Pibb in quite awhile.
Bill is now eating pureed food. He says it doesn't
taste very good but he knows he must eat it. In therapy he is up and
walking with help. One nurse walks in front of him and the other walks
behind him to prevent him from falling. He says he hasn't lost his balance
yet. And he has walked 75-100 ft. each day. He still does not
have use of his arms and they are doing some tests on Friday to look at why.
They expect Bill to be at Bethesda for approximately 3 more weeks. We
are then possibly moving him to The Courage Center in Golden Valley for more
rehabilitation. He does enjoy getting visitors. Just keep in
mind he also gets tired occasionally while you are there. So if he
shuts his eyes for a bit give him 5 minutes and he will visit more.
Our Family care counseling Meeting has been changed to Thursday, April 29th.
We are asking that everyone limit phone calls to
Bill's room and call only between the hours of 6 -7:30pm Monday thru
Friday and between 12pm-8:00pm
on Saturday and Sundays. Bill is unable to answer the phone on his own so by
calling during these hours most likely someone will be in the room with him
to answer your call. We should be able to provide a more detailed update
after the family meeting on Thursday.
had our family meeting this afternoon at Bethesda. He is showing
improvement in all of his therapies; physical, speech and occupational.
His speech therapist commented that "Bill really has a great sense of
humor". He is still on a puree diet for now, his
chewing/swallowing need to improve more before he can move on to soft foods.
He is also moving his left leg more. They will be fitting him soon
with a splint for his right elbow soon, to straighten it out. This
afternoon they will complete the 2nd half of the EMG test for his right
shoulder. We should have the results on that in the next couple days.
NOW FOR THE GOOD NEWS.... Bill's estimated discharge date is in 2
We are not sure at this point if he will be going to Courage Center or come
home until Courage Center has an opening. We will be able to post
more as the date approaches. The other good news... Bill will be
allowed to leave on a day pass this weekend for 6 hours. We are
planning on doing this Sunday. Since it will be for a couple hours we
are not planning any type of get together. He will be back at the
hospital by 5pm that day. Then the following weekend he will be able
to leave on a longer pass. Bill is thrilled that he will be able to
see home for a bit, and if plans stay on track - home for fishing opener!
Hopefully the weather cooperates and he may be able to drop a line in.
Bill had tests done on his right shoulder last
Thursday afternoon. It showed that his nerve is pinched in between the
C5, C6 & C7, these are the cervical vertebra in the neck. We are
told this is something that may be corrected surgically, now we are waiting
on word as to when he will be evaluated by a neurosurgeon.
Bill's visit home last Sunday for a couple hours went
very well. He was happy to lay in his own bed for a couple hours.
On Monday (5/3/04) Bill received 7-8 botox shots to his
left arm and leg. This is supposed to relax the muscle and alleviate
pain. This should take effect within 7 days to 2 weeks.
Overall Bill has been doing good in therapy and has been
in excellent spirits, he LOVES visitors!
He also can't wait for his weekend visit home this coming weekend.
Bill spent time visiting
with co-workers at STS Flooring on Wednesday May 12th.
Bill is doing well in therapy. They
have him walking 100 ft 2 times a day. He has also walked up some stairs.
The botox Bill had on his left side seems to be working. The doctor
was impressed. His arm is loosening up so the can work with it more in
therapy. On Wednesday Bill had a doctor appt. with Dr. Roach, his
trauma doctor from North Memorial. His first follow up appt. since the
accident with this doctor. The X-rays taken a few days earlier showed
there is fluid on the brain. More than someone his age should have.
So the doctor wants to put in a permanent shunt. This would drain the fluid
into the stomach and the fluid would be absorbed. Before this is
scheduled Bill will have an MRI (Tuesday) of the brain and the cervical area. We
hope to get some insight as to why Bill cannot use his right shoulder. We
should get the results on Wednesday May 26th. After the appt. at
North Memorial we headed to The Courage Center in Golden Valley for a tour.
Bill was very impressed and can't wait to go there. He was
ACCEPTED!!!!! Now we wait for an opening. It could be one week
or one month or whenever... After that we made a stop at
his work place (STS Flooring) He was glad to see everyone and had a
very nice visit. He can't wait to get back. After that we came
home for a short rest before heading back to Bethesda. A very
SPECIAL Thank You to everyone for all the prayers and kind
actions and thoughts. May God be good to you all.
and his family heard the news they have been waiting for. He gets
moved to the Courage Center in Golden Valley on Tuesday May 25th. As
far as we know he can have visitors anytime. We expect them to
reevaluate Bill to set up a new therapy routine. He also gets a day
pass on Sunday. He wants to go fishing really bad. Hope the
weather holds out. He is also looking forward to going fishing with
the group from Bethesda. If it rains they will go mini putt-putt
golfing. We have an appointment on Wednesday the 26th for the results
of the MRI.
Leaving Bethesda on Tuesday May 25th
Bill made it over to the
Courage Center today & is getting settled in. They will be busy
evaluating him for about a week. Bill seems to like the Courage
Center a lot but it will take him a couple days to adjust.
HOORAY - Bill
is at the Courage Center located in Golden Valley. As time goes by he
enjoys it more. He was bored at first because he didn't have therapy.
Just evaluations. He now has OT and PT everyday and Recreational
Therapy (RT) 3 times a week. He also has speech 3 times a week. He is
still on pureed foods but at the Courage Center the food is thicker and has
more flavor. The speech therapist is going to let Bill try eggs and sausage
for breakfast on Tuesday. If he does okay he will be on his way to
regular foods. He really isn't suffering because he has acquired
a taste for Strawberry and Cream Frappaccios. He has also gained
weight. He is up to 134!!!
We had an appointment with Dr. Roach for the results of
his MRI on the brain and neck taken May 26th. According to the MRI the
C5 and C6 nerves are intact. Contrary to the results of Bill's earlier EMG
test. There is fluid on the C7 which controls the biceps. This
cannot be removed and the damage may be permanent. He may never regain
use of his right elbow. We have another MRI set up on 6-07-04 to take
another look at this area. We should have results in a week.
As for the MRI of the brain it did show fluid on the brain. More than
the doctor would like to see. It could be caused by the shrinkage of
the brain due to the trauma or it could be fluid collecting and not being
absorbed like normal. The doctor is not sure what is causing this and
does not want to put a permanent shunt in unless he has to, so another MRI
is lined up for the end of the month to be compared to the other one and
then he will decide. Bill also had a recheck
appointment with Dr. Hauck to check on the progress of the broken femur.
GOOD RESULTS the femur is completely heeled. The doctor
was amazed at the rate of recovery. Thank you for waiting
patiently for more info.
A day of fun and sun on Lake
with buddies Paul, Matt and Brian
(Click on photo to enlarge it)
Bill has been coming home on
the weekends and making the most of it. He still gets tired
quite fast but enjoys seeing people. One night he went to a
neighborhood bonfire and another day he went to a grad party. Bill had
a great time at both. He said it was so much fun to see some of his
friends. His friends also took him on a pontoon ride and as you can
see in the picture his friends got a lot more sun than Bill did. Bill
loves to have visitors and the address of the Courage Center is 3915 Golden
Valley Road, Mpls, Mn. 55422. He also has a mailbox so anyone can send
him a note or whatever. His room number is G4a. He has a headset
rigged up on his phone and his number is 763 520 0756. Or you
can get a hold of him on his cell phone. Please don't call passed 8:30
pm. He is also using the computer in the media center and checks his
website. Also if he is home on a weekend and you would like to see him
just give us a call. 763 479 2388. I gave the wrong day for the
swallow test. It is on Wednesday morning at breakfast. We
also have dinner tickets and raffle tickets now available for Bill's Benefit
on July 17th. We will give more info very soon.
The results from Bill's MRI last Tuesday did not show
any damage to the shoulder. So now we are back to square one so to
speak and need to set up an appointment with an Orthopedic Surgeon.
They are wondering now if it could possibly be damage in the Rotor Cuff.
He gets to eat more solid foods for breakfast but not the rest of the day as
of yet. He told Ron he walked 250 steps in PT today and they are
teaching him how to get to the edge of the bed to get up by himself.
Bill says he's a bit skeptical about that part. He attempted to go
fishing on Tuesday but things got mixed up. He did go out and cast a
few times but they parked him in front of the lily pads. We all know
how that can get your hook tangled so he didn't enjoy it too much. But
he says he will try it again next week. He can't cast by himself but
the specially made fishing rod just needs to have you push a button and it
reels itself in. Great contraption.
Now for an update on the Fund Raiser. JULY
17th on a Saturday. Dinner tickets are $20.00 Adults and $10.00
for kids under 12. It starts at 4:00 with dinner served from 5:00 to
7:00 and we have a band lined up, "the Stampede" From 8:00 to
11:00. There will be a silent auction from 4:30 to 9:00.
There are also raffle tickets for sale for $5.00 each or 5 for $20.00.
The 3 big prizes are 2 - $500.00 in cash and One room carpet
installed. Valued at $500.00. For tickets to sell or to buy or if you
have any questions you can contact Ron 612-221-2238 or call our home
and leave a message on the recorder if we miss your call 763-479-2388.
June 21, 2004
was again home for the weekend. He has a hard time staying home on
Sunday because he knows he needs to go back and the longer he stays the
harder it is for him to go back. He enjoyed going to Lake Minnetonka
to see Aubrey and Emma's new apartment. Says it has a great view and
is very nice. He also went to see some of his friends in Delano.
He also got to go out on the pontoon in the evening. Thanks everyone
for making this possible. Bill has an appointment with a orthopedic
surgeon on Friday. This doctor looked over the MRI of the shoulder and
he wants to get to the bottom of this episode of why Bill can't seem to use
his right arm. Bill on Friday was very proud and lets people know that
he started to move the fingers on his left hand and he can raise his elbow
up to his shoulder height. He knows it will take more time but he is
very happy it is starting to work. He surprised all of us and got out
of his bed all by himself. His walking is slow but he is showing
June 28, 2004
Hey everyone - here's another update. We
saw the orthopedic doctor on Friday. He says after looking over the
MRI it does not show a rip or tear in the roto cuff. Nothing he can do
surgically can be done to fix the right arm. He says it must be
neurological. Meaning maybe in time he will get it back. He had
his 2nd MRI of his brain and neck today. We should get the results on
July 7th. Bill seems to be more himself every week. He is
working very hard to get himself back to how he was.
Again - - just a reminder about the fundraiser
being held on July 17th at the VFW in Hamel. For $20.00 you get a
chicken dinner and there will be a band from 8 to 11. There will
also be a silent auction. For tickets call Ron 612-221-2238 You
can also get raffle tickets for yourself or to sell. The 3 big prizes
are 2-$500.00 and a room carpeted. Valued at $500.00. You can also get
those tickets by calling Ron. We do need to have a count on the dinner
tickets by July 8th. So hurry and give Ron a call for your tickets.
It should be lots of fun!
Sunday July 11, 2004
Bill had a
good 4th weekend. He ended it by going to a friends sisters house to
see the fireworks. Says the finale was real good. He wanted to
be back at Courage Center on Monday to see what it's like to be there
without having therapy. Tuesday he was back in routine having OT, PT,
Speech, Psych and Vocational. Wednesday was his follow up with Dr
Roach, the trauma doctor. Looking at the MRI he has decided it would
be in Bill's best interest to have a permanent shunt put in. This
would be placed in the brain with a tube going into the stomach. It
should reduce the fluid build up. You will not be able to see this
because it is under the skin. This will be done on Monday July 19th.
He will be in the hospital for a couple of days. Wednesday afternoon
we went to see Dr. Britton at Bethesda. He was very happy when he
heard about the shunt. He hopes it will help with the elasticity in
his left arm and leg. He is very concerned about that.
This is a first step. Next he would like to put a Baclofen pump in his
front hip area. This would help with the spasms in his arm and leg.
3rd he would like to do another EMG. Bill says absolutely not. But
after the doctor explained things he is more willing to do it. They
also said it wouldn't hurt to get a 2nd opinion on his right shoulder.
Things in his shoulder are the opposite of what they should be. The C4
& C5 show no damage yet that is what is not working. The C6 &
C7 show damage and yet they work. Confusing right????? All this
was a lot to take in and by time we got home we were exhausted.
Thursday July 8th Bill had his Program Review. This is where he meets
with all his therapists and doctors in a group and he expresses his opinions
on how he thinks things are going and what he would like next. Of
course he says to get out of there. In OT - they are looking into a
device to put on his wheelchair so he can feed and groom himself.
PT - he goes in the pool tomorrow for the first time. They are
continuously working with him on walking, stairs, and his endurance.
Speech - 3 times a week. He is now on soft mechanical food for both
breakfast and Lunch. they work on his motor skills to make his jaw
stronger. And memory skills. RT - working on blow darts and
fishing. Hope to see you at his benefit. Look for another
update on Monday. (Hopefully)
Sunday July 18, 2004
Congratulations to the raffle
1. Pat Skeie - 1 room carpet installed ($500.00 max.)
2. Nancy Varner - $500.00 cash
3. Eric Mortvedt - $500.00 cash
Monday July 19, 2004
had his surgery this morning at 7:30. Doctor said all went well and he
did have pressure on the brain so this was a good move to make. He is
alert and talking but is tired. He feels discomfort but this should
pass in a few days. If all goes well he should be back at the Courage
Center sometime Wednesday. Thank You to EVERYONE for making the fund
raiser a huge success. We are overwhelmed by all of the support.
It's GREAT. THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bill again is having a good week. It
took a few days after his surgery to regain his confidence in his
walking but everyday you can see he is more sure of himself. He has an
attachment to his wheelchair he is learning to use. I haven't seen it
yet but it goes on the right side of the chair and enables him to use his
right arm. He has fed himself and also shaved himself using
this device. He had his stitches removed today and said his head feels
better but it's itchy. Bill also wants us to remind everyone that it's
okay to visit him. He generally is done with all therapy by 4:00 and has
supper at 5:00. They serve a real good meal and anyone can come to eat
with him. It's a decent price too. Keep in mind he would like us
to keep visits to an hour at a time and he likes to go outside after supper
in his electric wheelchair. So bring your walking shoes!!!
Directions: from Hwy 100 take the Duluth St. exit and go east (toward
the cities) at the 2nd stop light take a right and follow the signs to
the south parking lot. He is on the ground floor Room 4. He
enjoys having people come to see him.
Sunday - August 1,
lot of people are curious about how the benefit went. Very Well!
Everyone seemed to like the food. Rosie at the VFW did a wonderful job
in preparing all of it. Her time, her husbands time behind the bar and
the hall were donated for use at the benefit. The silent auction was a
huge success. All items sold with the exception of the '57 chev.
And there were a lot of items. People we talked to were very happy to get
what they bid on. I would like to say "THANK YOU" to
everyone for their donations for the auction. Without that it would
not have turned out as nice as it did. I can't thank people enough.
Everything was very well organized and we had many great volunteers that
made the night happen. Also a HUGE THANK YOU to the crew at STS
Flooring. So much time and effort was put into the event. It
turned out fantastic. It's unbelievable how much goes into planning an
event like this. The group from STS did a great job. Thanks
again. And a very special thank you to all the volunteers who helped
make the event such a great success. Love you all....
Bill's week at the Courage Center went mostly routine.
No doctor appointments. Just therapy, therapy, and more therapy.
His weekend was a different story. He was looking forward to a spaghetti
dinner on Saturday but didn't make it. He woke up with a huge headache
and vomiting and a fever. Went to emergency worried about maybe trouble
with his shunt but that was not the case.. Turns out we didn't give him his
sleeping pill and as a result he had withdrawals and a migraine headache.
On Sunday he started feeling better. This week he gets back to his
pool therapy which he had to skip because of his stitches.
- August 12, 2004
is in surgery this morning due to complications of the shunt and he is currently
at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale. We will provide more
information as soon as possible. So if you plan on visiting Bill this
week please check with Ron or Connie as to when he will be back at the
Yes Bill went to the
emergency room on Wednesday with bad stomach pain.. They did an ultrasound
and ruled out the gallbladder then did a CT scan and decided the pain could
be from the entry point of the shunt into his stomach. He had surgery
to relocate the tube so now it comes out of his side into a bag and not into
the stomach.. They also are doing a culture of the fluids in the stomach. We
should get those results tomorrow. He has been put on antibiotics and
he is doing okay this evening. Tomorrow is another day and we will be
talking to the doctors more. Thanks for keeping him in your prayers.
- August 16, 2004
Bill's first culture has been returned and he has a
minor low grade staff infection. He is on strong antibiotics at this
time. They are further culturing to see what exact microism is the
culprit and then they will be able to get the exact antibiotic to work
against it. Then we will be waiting to see what Dr. Roach decides to
do about the shunt. As of now he is still at North Memorial Room 547.
- August 19, 2004
Yes Bill had surgery to take out his shunt. Good news!!!!! After
the CT scan the doctor said the spot he was watching has not changed and
they would like to prevent all chances of infection spreading. If down
the road he shows signs of needing it again he may have to put it back
in. But the doctor feels this shouldn't happen. He should be in NMMC
until Monday if all goes well. He has been accepted at the Mayo Clinic
for a second opinion but not until October. Unless we can get in if
someone cancels an appointment. This has been a small set back but we
all know what a fighter Bill is and he shall do his best to get back to his
normal again. Thanks again for all the support and prayers.
Wednesday - August 25, 2004
Bill has moved again... He did
great at North Memorial and he has now moved to:
DELANO HEALTH CARE CENTER, 433 COUNTY ROAD 30, DELANO, MN. He will be
located at this facility until his IV treatments (antibiotics) are finished
(approximately 1 week) and there is a bed open at the Courage Center.
Bill got put on an IV treatment after they had removed the shunt to help
cure and prevent more infections . Bill was unable to go back to the Courage Center because they don't treat
patients with IV treatments.
The Delano Health Care Center has IV treatments and therapies
to help Bill with his progress. Visiting hours and times are OPEN to
any time and any day (no restrictions). We will continue to keep
everyone updated. There is a good map and info here to
get to the Delano
Wednesday September 1, 2004
Bill's doctor appointments
went very well. Dr. Roach said he is doing very good and they took out
his stitches on the back of head and his stomach. He will go back in one
month to do a CT scan to make sure things are going right without a shunt.
It sounds promising. He also signed a paper saying Bill can be his own
guardian. Dr. Shrock's office took out his IV pic and took him off of
his antibiotics. He is now clear to return to the Courage Center.
This happens tomorrow. (Thursday) We don't know yet what time but he
will be there by supper time.. He is really looking forward to that.
He has a positive attitude right now. You can visit him while he
is there. Just call the front desk 952-520-0308 to find out what
room or his phone number to give him a call. Or you can reach him on
his cell phone. We won't know his room number until we get him there
tomorrow and it will be to late to get it on the web page. The next
update should be next Tuesday so everyone have a great weekend.
Wednesday September 8, 2004
Yes Bill made it back to the Courage Center. He has his
pool therapy and regular OT and PT therapies. He sure got tired from
all the work after not doing it for awhile. He got his old room back so he
is still in G4. We are thinking he may be there for a month or so.
He had a good weekend. He went downtown with one of his good friends.
If you want to know what he did you have to ask him!!!! He did a
little shopping and he even went to work on Friday. By the sounds of
it they need to give him just a little more work to keep him busy. He's
quick! He goes to his work place for two hours on Fridays for his
vocational therapy. It's great he has this opportunity. He was
told by his nurse that he can now come home for the weekend without having
to check back in every 23 hours. So you guessed it, he is now planning
his weekend up north. Something he has wanted to do for a long time.
We will keep you posted. Thank you for all the support.
September 12, 2004
Sunday September 19, 2004
Bill said it was great to see the
whole fam damily at Kelly's wedding. It was Saturday at an outdoor park in
Stillwater and it was beautiful weather. Congratulations to
Kelly and Jon!!!! And welcome to the family Jon! Bill enjoyed
everything about the day. Bill had a very uplifting week. On Tuesday he stopped in at the Toll Welding Company who was celebrating
their 75th Anniversary. For their event they had a chopper built by
Orange County Choppers valued at 150,000.00. They had it on display
for people to get their pictures taken with. Bill received 2
pictures. One with him standing behind the bike and one with him
sitting on the bike. Something they didn't let other people do. We
will try to put these on the site next week. They also gave him a
T-shirt for coming and shooting the bull with them. Tuesday night he
went to a Ducks Unlimited Banquet. He registered for the raffle and his name
was picked first at the drawing. He got first pick at the prizes so of
course he now has a new 12 gauge semi automatic shotgun. His goal is
to use this by the fall of 2005.
On Friday Bill had pre tests done for a Baclofen pump. This
is a pump
that would be inserted under his skin and a small tube would put the drug
Baclofen right into his spinal cord which allows the medicine to go directly
to the areas that need it the most. Baclofen is something that
controls spacticity and would allow him to use his leg and left arm more.
The results of the test were very good. Bill could lift his foot
towards his head and his toes. Something he couldn't do before.
He is very excited about getting the pump now that he has seen what it would
do for him. We are looking at the end of October to have the pump put
in. We want to wait until after his October 12th appointments at the Mayo
Thursday October 7, 2004
On the weekend of
September 25th Bill was challenging himself as much as possible.
Friday night we went for a walk down to the boat launch. When we came
back up to the house, Bill walked all that way uphill from the bottom of the
launch, up the hill to the house, up the stairs and into the house,
including opening the door by himself just to prove he could do it. We
were very proud. He got weak at times but would not give up. He
has such determination. Saturday when I got home from work he was
sitting on the 4-wheeler. He told me he got on it all by himself and
wanted to drive it. Knowing the brake is applied with the right foot I
said he could try. Lo and behold the little shit drove it and took it
for a ride into the woods behind the house. He was very careful.
He was sooooooooooooo excited. Sunday is not registering in my mind so
I will have to ask Bill what else he did. This was the first week
without appointments. It was a nice rest.
On Wednesday we had rechecks with Dr.
Roach who told Bill he is a puzzle. The CT scan stayed the same and that's
good. He doesn't have to go back for 3 months. Dr. Schrocks
office took blood samples and said everything look good. He was the
infectious disease doctor. On Tuesday next week we go to the Mayo
Clinic in Rochester. We will be getting a second opinion on why his
shoulder doesn't work. We could be down there anywhere from 3-7 days.
Thursday October 14, 2004
It seems to be changing fast
around here. Hope we are ready. Bill is at the Mayo Clinic for a
second opinion on his shoulder and other things they would like to look
over. As of Wednesday night he had more consultations lined up and he
had a MRI and a sensory test on his left hand. Today after meeting
with a doctor Bill is scheduled on Oct. 27th for surgery. They will be
transplanting a muscle or tendon into his right arm to fix his bicep.
Bill will update this more with a more accurate message. The baclofen
pump surgery which was supposed to be on Oct. 28th will be postponed.
The doctors at Mayo believe his right arm needs to be taken care of first.
Bill also will be moving back home as of MONDAY!!!!!!!!!
Saturday October 16, 2004
It's me Billy, and I have two updates.
1. I'm out of the courage center, and living back at home!
2. I have surgery Oct. 27 at St. Mary's in Rochester. They are going
to take a nerve from my right hand, and place it in my right bicep, then
I'll be able to bend my right arm at the elbow. They also said they
can fix the left arm, but wanna do the right arm first. I'm very
excited!!! There will be 3 doctors from the Mayo Clinic doing the
Thursday October 21, 2004
Bill is adjusting
to living at home. He's spending a great deal of time on the computer so
it's pretty hard to get a hold of us unless you know Ron or Bill's cell
phone number, because we only have one phone line.
are waiting for the results of Bill's last MRI, but still haven't heard
Saturday October 23, 2004
results came back, and good news. No aneurysm ! The
neurosurgeon says Bill's brain looks like a brain of someone his age should,
and everything looks normal!
Also more about the surgery, they
plan on Bill being able to move his hand to his mouth by the end of the
surgery, but say it will be 9 months before the maximum results start to
October 30, 2004
The nerve transfer surgery on the
27th went well. They took two parts of a working nerve in my right
bicep and intertwined them with the damaged nerve in my bicep. I
will be able to lift my hand to my mouth in 6 months, and get the
maximum strength of my arm in 9 months. They kept me overnight 1 night
in ICU, unfortunately it was a rough night as I quit breathing due to
the medications they gave me. When they realized I wasn't breathing
they gave me a drug to reverse the others and I started to breath on my
own again. I am now home, and I have to wear an arm imobilizer splint
for three weeks.
November 6, 2004
picture was taken on Saturday
at Ron and Connie's surprise
30th anniversary party,.
(Click to enlarge photo)
November 6, 2004
Bill is getting antsy
sitting around the house. April is doing a good job at being with him
during the day while we are at work. She does take him places when he
wants and she gets him outside for walks. He says this weather is
perfect although we may think its a little cool.
Friday November 26, 2004
I'm going to the mayo clinic on Tues. the 30th,
hopefully I will be able to quit wearing the arm imobilizer splint I've
been wearing to help my arm from the surgery.
November 30, 2004
I got the arm imobilizer off today, the doctors were
impressed with my arm, and the way everything went with the surgery.
They gave me a portable electric stimulator to bring home for my arm
therapy. I will be going back down there in a couple months to go over
the options for fixing my left arm.
I will be bring what's left of my snowmobile to a class
on Thurs. Where they certify kids to snowmobile, to show them the sled,
and give a speech on the dangers of drinking & driving, and the all
around safety of snowmobiling
Sunday December 4, 2004
I gave my first presentation about the
accident to kids 12-13 yrs old at the Polaris headquarters
in Medina, Minnesota on 12/2/04.
The Sno-birds of Loretto have signed my quest book. You
can view the posting from this link.
Thank you letter
from the Loretto Sno-birds.
Wednesday December 22, 2004
I'm anxious to go ice-fishing, and I went in the hot tub
for my first time since last Feb.
It was great!
Tuesday December 28, 2004
Bill's new fish house 2004,
on photo to enlarge)
Wednesday January 5, 2005