Monday, February 28, 2011

Progress!!

On Saturday my dad took me out for a couple of hours to give me a break from the hospital. My dad had to pick some things up from The Home Depot so I was happy to go browse through the tools section and make an early Christmas wish list. Although it was nice to get out I found my thoughts constantly returning to Ethan in the hospital. It's kinda weird as you'd think that being in the hospital for a week would be really depressing and boring; but, I found that that's where I wanted to be.

On Sunday, Darryl and Stacy Seguin (Brittany's family), came for a quick visit. Their boys had played in a basketball tournament up in Leduc on the weekend and were passing through town on their way home. Visits from family have come at good times and we have enjoyed each of their company.

My parents (who had come up for the weekend) went home on Sunday afternoon. As I was walking out with them we were talking about all the little miracles that have happened over the past week. We talked about how the prayers of so many people have helped us cope with the situation at hand. I mentioned to my parents that although a date had been set for Ethan's skin grafts (Thurs. March 3), and that even though we have accepted the fact that he'll need them, I still had a little hope and faith deep down inside that the grafting would not have to be as extensive as originally thought. Well, today Ethan went in for his dressing change about 1pm. For some reason I felt a little more worried today than other days but once the doctors showed up my worries left. I think my uneasiness might have had something to do with the fact that this was his last dressing change before the skin grafts and we'd find out the extent of how much grafting will be needed. Ethan came back about an hour and half later looking pretty good. He snuggled me for about 2 hrs on the chair which was nice. Dr. Harrop, Ethan's plastic surgeon, came and visited with us about 3pm and mentioned that they are going to proceed with the skin grafts on Ethan's arms on Thursday. He also mentioned that it looked like the top of his right foot was going to need a little grafting as well. Dr. Harrop then said that they were going to hold off grafting any skin on his head for another week because the 3rd degree burn areas were starting to show signs of re-growth. I guess there are little areas of redness (which is a sign of vascularity or blood flow) and budding. The budding is a sign of hair growth which means that the skin can also grow. Britt and I were so excited for the great news!! In our minds this is a big miracle. We attribute this to all the prayers that have been given in behalf of Ethan.

Over the past week we have had offers from many people who have wanted to help out in some way. If there is one specific thing that we could ever ask for, we ask that all of you who are praying for Ethan will continue to remember him in your prayers and specifically ask our Heavenly Father that the burns on Ethan's head will continue to heal properly.





Saturday, February 26, 2011

End Of Week One!

Tonight as we were getting Ethan settled for bed we noticed there was something going on as the nurses in the hall (the nurse desk is right outside the door) were trying to get some rooms ready for incoming patients. We asked the nurse (who was attending to Ethan at the time) what was going on, she said that the emergency room was really busy and that there were going to be some new patients coming up to the unit we are staying in. Thinking of the people in the emergency room made me reflect on the night we drove up to Calgary. It wasn't until then that I realized that Ethan's accident took place exactly one week this evening. I started thinking of all the ups and downs that have happened this week and thought I'd share a couple of them...



UPs

  • An overwhelming sense of peace and calm from the time we gave Ethan a blessing in the Lethbridge Regional Hospital's emergency room until now.
  • The overall response of EMS responders who got Ethan to the Hospitals in Lethbridge and Calgary
  • Awesome Teams of doctors and nurses that have attended to Ethan's every need, he wouldn't be where he is without them.
  • A large support group of family, friends, and strangers who have offered prayers and thoughts, meals and visits, and everything we needed this past week.
  • A couple of good night sleeps.
  • Burns on Ethan's face are healing with no visible scarring.
  • Swelling of Ethan's head going down.
  • Ethan being able to open his eyes.
  • Ethan eating on his own.
  • First smile.
  • Hearing his voice as he communicates back to us

DOWNs

  • Not being able to recognize our little boy as a result of all the swelling and and burns.
  • Learning the extent of his burns from our plastic surgeon.
  • Watching the pain in Ethan's face throughout the recovery.
  • Britt and I staying up one night holding Ethan down for 10hrs straight (11pm-9am).
  • Exhaustion and lack of sleep.
  • Ethan hates blood work and so do we.
  • Keeping Ethan from ripping his bandages off
  • Having to deal with all the tubes and I.V.s hooked up to Ethan

Ethan's swelling has gone down a ton! His face is healing well and the doctors are very pleased with how he is progressing! I am so glad I can finally see those big blue eyes; and he can see me!





Ethan giving me snuggles after a long walk. He wouldn't let my hand go after that!




Ethan hates the bed and just wanted to snuggle so I climbed up onto the bed and he cuddled in and feel fast asleep...for 20 minutes!



Grandpa Bart reading a book to Ethan. It sure has been nice to have Bart and Sue around to help out. They are great company too!



Tim and I woke up early this morning, still feeling pretty tired while Ethan was wide awake and ready to go. He was talking to us and interacting quite a bit so I played peek-a-boo and he started to smile! Tim and I have been waiting to see tiny glimpses of Ethan and who he really is, so this was very exciting!



Ethan kept pointing to the door and crying today so we asked the nurses if we could take him for a walk. They found a stroller and helped us load him up and away we were. He absolutely loved it! He sat up and just checked out everything.



We took him downstairs to see the big fish tank and he loved it. He even sat up on his own and pointed to them while jabbering off about something!




video
This is a quick little video of Ethan the morning that we saw his first smile. It was so nice to see a glimpse of our little guy again

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011

Yesterday Ethan had his dressings changed, with burns of this extent it is hard to tell how deep they really are until they are a couple of days to a week old. The doctors informed us that Ethan's head will need skin grafting since it sustained 2nd and 3rd degree burns. His arms have burn patches that seem to be healing very well. One of his arms was a little worse than the other (if I remember right) which will require some grafting as well. His right foot shouldn't need grafting and is also healing good. The small patches on his chest are mere red marks now and the patch on his back is healing very quickly. A couple of days ago it made Britt and I literally sick with the thought of him having any skin grafts. It's been remarkable how accepting and ok we are now with the realization that grafting will be a major part of his healing and recovery. The doctors anticipate that Ethan will be here for at least another 4 weeks as the skin grafting is scheduled in a week from now. Deep down I think Britt and I are still hoping for some sort of miracle where he wont need grafting but realistically we have come to accept it for what it is. Ethan has been such a trooper and is more of a fighter than ever thought. He has such a great personality that whatever the outcome we know that he will take it in stride and not let it be a hinderance to anything he does.

Thanks again to all who have sent cards, gifts, brought food, offered their sympathy and prayers in his behalf. I hope that somehow we will be able to do the same in return for all of you.

Thank-you, Thank-you, Thank-you...






We had a visit from some friends down the hall, Rosalee Hughson and her son Tyson. Tyson brought by a couple of gifts for Ethan to lift his spirits. Both Britt and I were very impressed how nice and thoughtful Tyson and his mom were.


Ethan had his dressings changed yesterday. All the doctors and nurses taking care of him are doing such a great job. After a couple of days sitting with just dad, Ethan decided to switch it up and snuggle his mommy today.


The burns on ethan's face have been healing rapidly and are doing really well. Thanks for all the prayers and fasting on his behalf. We are witnessing daily miracles with his recovery.


Ethan and his Mom... He's usually Mommy's boy


I can't get enough of this kid








Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thursday February 24, 2011

On the Lighter side of things... this was taken the day before Ethan's accident. Being the only boy besides dad reaps great rewards of love from the girls.


Ethan's best buds: sisters Hallie and Ava


Ethan's new trick: he thinks that by holding his two bandaged arms over his eyes the nurses wont be able to find him. his other trick consists of him shutting his eyes and pretending to sleep; if he is sleeping the nurses are less likely to bug him... so he thinks.

We have been feeding Ethan water through these little baby bottles. We just cut the hole in the nipple big enough for the straw to fit through. He finally figured out how to hold the bottle without the proper use of his hands.

Ethan has been Daddy's boy the past two days. He wont let anybody hold him except dad. They sit in the lazyboy chair all day and sleep there all night. His new stuff animal puppy came at the perfect time (after a long rough night), since then nobody can touch the puppy, not even mom.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wednesday February 23, 201

Well, we are four days into this journey and Tim and I are both exhausted. We have gone through a whirlwind of emotions and are doing our best to cope with the situation. We know that Ethan will be alright no matter what the outcome, and have to have faith that he is in the lords hands...he has a big plan for him. It has been such a comfort to receive so many e-mails and to know so many people are praying for Ethan to get better quickly. Thank you to everyone...you have lifted our spirits! It would be so easy for us to dwell on the "what if's" but that won't do us any good. I have a hard time sleeping because I can't get the image of Ethan screaming out of my head. It was so horrific. Tim says the same thing....I don't know how we will ever go back to our house, the image of it is forever engraved with us.

My parents have been with us for the past two days and stayed in the Ronald McDonald house last night while Tim and I stayed in the hospital room with Ethan. He was extremely irritable as a result of the side effects of the drugs he is taking, along with the catheter,g-tube and fevers he has had. He thrashed around in his bed, tearing off his bandages, rubbing his burns on his face until they bled, pulling out his oxygen, and kicked so hard he almost pulled out his catheter several times. He did this from 11 pm until 8:30 am. Yep, Tim and I pulled an all nighter, standing on either side of his bed; Tim held his legs down while I held his hips still from turning over and hurting his bandaged arms. We literally stood holding him all night long,no chairs. My legs ached and i started to get a headache from all of Ethan's screaming. His throat was so hoarse, especially since he had a feeding tube down his throat and had a breathing tube earlier in the week when they put him under for his dressing changes. We joked because we would settle him slightly for two minutes and so tim would go sit down and as soon as his bum would touch the bed Ethan would scream. Ethan was miserable and he never slowed down. We found out that in the morning his morphine wasn' t working all evening so they changed the pump and set that up. Then they pulled out his feeding tube and
ethan completely quit his screaming and calmed right down. That lasted for about an hour and then he started up again so we waited to see the pain team first thing in the morning. they came in and upped his morphine patient control. Tim and I were tired and very stressed because we kept telling the nurses and evening pediatricians that something is wrong and they would do nothing. Once the new morphine kicked in he relaxed a bit. The life saver of the day was the stuffed puppy he got from some dear friends of ours. He would not let that thing go and as long as he had it he was peaceful. We did however get to remove the feeding tube, the catheter due to a bacterial infection he has, and two iv sites that weren't working anymore.
My brother Dale and his wife Becky and their daughter came to the hospital and helped out lots. They made sure I got a break and they brought us the best Chinese dinner, so we were spoiled rotten. Ethan will go in to get his dressings changed tomorrow at 1:30pm so we should know more then. His last dressing change was not as good as we hoped and his entire scalp had to be removed because it was burned so deep, so now we just hope that tomorrow things will look better.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tuesday February 22, 2011

Well another day has come and gone! Ethan had a pretty rough night last night and had a hard time getting comfortable. My Dad and Tim were up for a while trying to calm him while my mom and I tried to catch up on sleep. Tim got too tired and went to sleep while my dad stood next to him from 3am until 6am rubbing his legs to keep him comfortable. He spiked a fever and his heart rate was at 205. As long as my dad would rub his legs his pulse would stay lower around 165. Then we rotated and my mom and I took over.

His fever continued to rise to 41.8 degrees and so they opted to give him some Tylenol (they didn't give it to him earlier because he has been on so many drugs they were worried about his liver). The Tylenol took about 40 minutes to kick in and it dropped his temp. to 38.8. He continued to have an on/off fever all day that was quite high. To be safe, they added an antibiotic to his I.V. in case of an infection. Our doctor also wanted us to do a urine and blood culture to see if there was an infection. Ethan has had a lot of blood work done since we got here and only has one site to draw it from on his left foot (his other foot and both arms are completely bandaged). Two lab technicians came in and poked his foot but had no success so they tried a different spot on the same foot. Still no luck! They decided to come back in 10 min, which they did but still couldn't find. Spot so they opted not to poke him yet. 10 minutes later another two technicians came in and poked him two more times but still no luck. So they might have to put a PIK line in him when they do his next dressing changes on Thursday.

We have had a hard time getting him to drink or eat today and so we had to put another feeding tube in his nose which he absolutely hates and keeps trying to rub out. He also has oxygen running through his nose and so we have to constantly fight him to keep his hands off his face so that he won't rub off his burned skin. He also had problems with his catheter not flushing and so after several attempts to flush it
and no success they decided to remove it and put in a new one. So the day has been pretty rough for him and yet he has been such a trooper. He has tolerated so much but is sure to let the nurses know when he has had enough by saying "ewwee" or by giving them a wack with his heavy, bandaged arm.

On the good side of things his burn on his face is starting to heal and he opened both eyes today! This is a huge victory since his eyes have been swollen shut since the accident and he has been very frustrated not being able to see things. We won't know if is eyes were damaged until an opthamologist looks at them hopefully tomorrow or the next day. We also were approved for a room in the Ronald McDonald House and so that has been a huge blessing. They will allow up to five people to stay, will provide good home cooked meals once a day and have given us a few food vouchers to grocery stores and gas vouchers as well. No more sleeping in chairs!
So thats the update for today and we are continuing to pray for a miracle that Ethan won't need any skin grafts. Dr. Harrop our plastic surgeon is unsure if some of the burns on his arms and head are third degree and so we just wait to see what will heal on it's own and what won't.
Ethan and I in the Lethbridge Hospital waiting to be airlifted to Calgary Children's Hospital.
When we arrived in calgary emergency, trauma unit, this was how Ethan looked. A little more swollen than when we had last seen him in Lethbridge.
Ethan is much more swollen and looks pretty rough but was actually doing much better. He sure loves the nurse, and she calmed him right down by singing to him his ABC's.
Grandpa Bart and Uncle Steve came to visit. Tim's parents Bart and Sue came and helped out so much. We were so greatful to have them with us those first 2 days. Steve was very proactive in trying to give Ethan the very best care. I will explain more about that later.
Tim, Ethan and I. He loves to be snuggled by Tim or myself and it will usually settle him right down. The only problem is that he weighs a ton due to all the added fluid in his body and so we have to take shifts holding him. Sleep is hard to come by these past few days and so we try and sleep by taking turns, one of us always by Ethan's bedside.

Monday, February 21, 2011

First 24 hours

Ethan is 17 months old. We truely are blessed to have him as part of our family. We just cannot get enough of him. His two sisters Hallie and Ava absolutely adore him and he them.

On Saturday, February 19, 2011 Ethan suffered serious 1st and 2nd degree burns over 20-25% of his body. We were cooking with some hot oil and out of nowhere he grabbed the plug from the skillet and pulled the hott oil off the counter spilling the oil all over his head and body. Britt's motherly instincts kicked in as she quickly put her hand over his eye brows shielding the hot burning oil from his face.

I don't know that I'll be able to forget the terror that followed; the image of him being burned is imprinted in my mind. Immediately Britt grabbed Ethan and ran downstairs to the bathroom. I grabbed the phone and called 911. Those first few seconds seemed like and eternity as the 911 operator asked my address and what the problem was. I remember thinking, I don't have time to answer all these questions! The EMS quickly arrived, and rushed Ethan to the hospital.

Upon arriving at the hospital, I found a large team of doctors and nurses attending to my little boy in the emergency room. We were told that he was going to be airlifted to the Alberta Children's Hospital in Calgary. From then on, it was just a waiting game for us as we waited for the SPARC Team (fixed wing airplane) to arrive. As we waited by his bedside, Grant (Brittany's dad) and I gave Ethan a blessing. Throughout my life I have witnessed the healing power of priesthood blessings. Not only have I personally witnessed many of these miracles first hand, I have heard many experiences of others whose lives have been blessed when the power of the priesthood coupled with faith have been exercised in the behalf of others. When the SPARC team arrived, I felt an instant calming of all my nerves and shock. I had a feeling that everything would be ok. The pediatric team was great, they instantly had my full confidence as they calmly packed Ethan up and left for Calgary. Britt and I returned home, packed what we needed for a couple of days and drove through the night with my parents (Bart & Sue Anderson).

We pulled up to the hospital around 3:30 am and found Ethan waiting for us in the pediatric intensive unit. By this time, Ethan's head had swollen extensively to the point where he didn't look anything like himself. It was kind of disturbing at first but we quickly grew on his new look.

That first night went by quickly with little sleep. It seemed as though we had new doctors and nurses coming in every couple of minutes introducing themselves as member of specialty teams that would be working specifically on Ethan. So far, Ethan has his own personal plastic surgeon, physiotherapist, pediatricians, dietitians, multiple nurses, and a large support group surrounding him consisting of family and concerned individuals. It has been overwhelming hearing how many people have been praying and fasting for him. People all over the world are keeping him in their prayers. So thank-you all who have shown interest in our little boy, thank-you for your prayers, Ethan needs as much as he can get.

Although so much more has happened than what I've written we will try to keep this page up as new information is given. We will also be posting some pictures shortly.