Cliff was taken to DCH (DRUID CITY HOSPITAL) @ 3:30 am - Lisa was notified at approx. 3:30 am and was rushed to the hospital by the sheriff's office.
Appox. 11:00 AM Cliff was admitted to DCH TSICU. Pressure on brain continues to increase- heart rate is very low-they are not able to stabilize him at this time. The nurses report to Lisa that they are doing everything they can at this time but he is a "VERY sick man" Approx. 1:30 pm CT shows blood clot on the brain, Cliff is RUSHED into surgery- Please please pray for Lisa and Cliff at this time, please pray for Dr. Mc Kenzie during the surgery and that Cliff makes it through the surgery.
Approx. 4:00 pm
Cliff is back from surgery.!!!! :)) Thank you for all the prayers. We ask that you continue to pray for Cliff during the next critical hours.
He underwent surgery on his brain and received numerous units of blood. Cliff has a sheering injury to his brain, which resulted from the brain being shifted back and forth. He also has (DIC) which is a life-threatening condition that prevents a person's blood from clotting normally. It may cause excessive clotting or bleeding (hemorrhage) throughout the body and lead to shock, organ failure, and death. The DIC is casued by the Brain Injury. He continues to receive numerous units of blood due to the DIC
They found that there is no other internal bleeding
Tube is inserted to remove the fluid on his brain. Chest tube is also inserted. ICP (INTER CRANIAL PRESSURE) is in the 40's A normal ICP should be in the single digits.
Please continue to pray for Cliff and all of the nurses and doctors who are caring for him at this time. Lisa is here with Cliff and has not left his side since he got out of surgery. We are amazed at the support so far and the hundreds of visitors. So far Lisa is holding up strong. We ask for prayers for Lisa and Cliff's parents at time also. His mother was flown here by Sheriff Sexton from Baton Rouge and she was able to be here before he was taken into surgery. His father has since arrived from Baton Rouge.
Discovered that Cliff has a torn ligament in his left leg, He also has broken ribs, and a broken shoulder, all on his left side. These next days are critical we continue to ask for prayers for Cliff and Lisa at this time.
Brain pressure spiked and Cliff had to be rushed to CT. Cliff has had a high fever due to the brain injury. A baseline EEG showed slow brain activity. Cliff was placed on a paralytic drug to allow him to rest with no movement. It is dead winter and we have all the windows open with the AC on to help keep the room cool Cliff is also has a refrigerated blanket under him, all this to try to get his fever down. The nurses keep telling me the fever is due to the brain injury. He is still very critical. We know God is watching over us and taking care of Cliff! We would like to thank of you who have prayed for Cliff and showed your support. Over 200 people have showed up to sit with Lisa, thank you for all the support. The community has been amazing providing food for Lisa and the family at the hospital as well as the hotels that have provided rooms for our family and friends.
Brain pressure continued to increase into the 70's, which is extremely high!! therefore Cliff was placed in a medical induced coma for 3-4 days, after which may take up to 72 hours for him to come out of. Things are still very critical for him. Please pray that Cliff is able to come out of this induced coma.
Community prayer service held for Cliff at First United Methodist Church. The community support is amazing! The family can not thank the Tuscaloosa Community enough for all they have done!
Coach Mike Shula visited Cliff.
Induced Coma stopped at 6:50 am, Cliff began to shake within a few hours and was placed on a paralytic drug. Brain pressure continued to increase throughout the day, Cliff was placed on a sedative to keep him relaxed. Hopefully they can keep him relaxed and his ICP will be able to come down.
Cliff has started to respond to stimulus to his eyes with blinking.
Coach Gene Stallings visited Cliff.
Discovered a blood clot in left arm which can not be treated with medicine due to the DIC condition and the the high risk bleeding from a blood thinner.
Cliff began squeezing his hand on command. We pray that Cliff can respond to us more and wake up from the coma. He has a small case of pneumonia this is from the ventilator and being in the hospital for so long without being able to get up.
Cliff had "purposeful" movement throughout the night. Surgery was performed for a trachea tube and a feeding tube in his stomach. The ventilator tube does not need to be on is vocal cords this can cause severe damage to the cords therefore a trachea tube was inserted today.
Opened his rt eye, has ulcers on his eyes as a result of the eyelids being open for so long without any blinking, given antibiotic for his eyes. He is beginning to breathe on his own with the help of oxygen from the ventilator.
Taken off the ventilator, only receiving oxygen through the trachea. Pneumonia is getting better, along with his temp.
5:30 PM, Cliff followed commands by doing a "thumbs up" for his nurse 3 times. 11:30 PM, Cliff responded to his name being called by opening his eye. He knows when someone is calling his name and talking to him, he is able to respond however it is not consistent. We pray that he continue to respond and that he wakes up from the coma!
Began Physical Therapy. He is still in the coma however PT comes in to stretch him and moves his arms.
EEG showed the potential for seizures, although he has not had any so far. He is on room air only now.
Responded to questions by shaking his head yes or no. Cliff tried to pull out his trachea and got mad about it and gave Lisa "the finger". Lisa met with rep. from Shepherd Rehab Ctr. Cliff is ready to go now, we are waiting on approval from the insurance. His responses are still not consistent. We know he is emerging from the coma and feel that he will be awake soon!!! Thank you for all the prayers and the amazing support!
Cliff is now smiling and laughing when others laugh, blew Lisa a kiss and is still answering questions by shaking his head. He is getting more and more consistent each day with his responses. He does not always respond to people but each response we get is great!
Cliff is now waving his hand to say hello and goodbye along with shaking male's hands.
Cliff tried to take the toothbrush and brush his teeth today, he also has tried to get both feet on the floor and slide out of the bed. He is very restless and it is recommended that we go to rehab ASAP, so he can begin some beneficial movements,.
11 PM heart rate and temp increased - very restless. Cliff had a bad coughing spell and threw up all night. Please pray for Cliff at this time. Please pray that this is not a set back on the great progress he is making. We know is emerging from the coma!
Cliff cannot go to rehab until he is stable and the infection that is causing the fever is stable. He will not be going to rehab until at least Friday now, because of the infection.
Cliff's fever has not broken yet. At 8:30 PM Lisa was notified that there is inflammation in his gall bladder and he will require immediate surgery on Christmas Day to remove his gall bladder. Lisa left the hospital tonight to go to church, she was paged and immediately rushed back to the hospital to be with Cliff. The Doctor believes that the inflamed gall bladder is the cause of the fever as well as the nausea that he has been experiencing.
At 4:30 am, Cliff's nurse, Carol woke Lisa up... Cliff was aware of things around him. Cliff was not able to see Lisa laying beside him but when he heard her voice he waved his hand at her. Lisa got up and went to Cliff's side. She talked to him for about 1 hour. Cliff was able to give Lisa several kisses and hugs. He pulled Lisa to him and when she asked if he wanted a hug he shook his head "yes" . Lisa asked him several questions and he was able to respond to ALL of them with either head movements of facial expressions. He shook his head when asked if he understands that he is in the hospital and that he was in an accident, although he shook his head no when asked if he remembers the accident. She told him about all of the visitors that he had and he was able to respond with facial expressions, he seemed disappointed that he missed all of the visitors. She talked to Cliff for about 1 hour this morning informing him of everything that has occurred. He gave her several hugs during the conversations, some of them he initiated on his own. He would smile when he was asked to, but he would not smile for the camera. We were able to get pictures though. Cliff did seem confused that it was Christmas, Lisa explained to that he has been asleep for a very long time. Santa definitely brought us a very special gift this year.
What a wonderful Christmas present to have Cliff with us and awake..
3:45 PM - Cliff's surgery is complete. The gall bladder was completely dead, we are told that the trauma from the accident causes a lot of trauma to organs and that is what caused the problems with the gall bladder . They were not able to do laser surgery which we all hoped for so Cliff's recovery from this surgery will be longer than we hoped for. A filter was also placed to prevent any more blood clots from reaching his lungs. The surgery went well with no problems, however he will have to stay here in the hospital for another week to 10 days before he can go to rehab.
Cliff is recovering from surgery great. We are now being told by Shepherd that he can go on Monday and Cliff's Dr has approved for him to go. As of now we are planning to go to ATL Monday morning.
Cliff will now brush his teeth when asked to, and is able to hold a pen in his hand and scribble on paper. He was given a hat today and he tried to put the hat on. He is making super progress and ready for intensive rehab!
Cliff is having a busy day getting ready to leave Monday. He is being seen by all of his doctors and making sure he has everything he needs before leaving.
Exactly one month from Cliff's accident he was transferred with a police escort to Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA. Cliff did great on the ride over. He was immediately assessed by his Doctor here Dr. Ripley,. Dr. Ripley did tell Lisa that he is concerned about Cliff's vision, during the assessment Cliff was not able to respond to any visual stimulus. Lisa and Cliff are getting settled in Atlanta. After spending every night for the past month sleeping in the chair in Cliff's room in the ICU unit, Lisa is very happy to be sleeping in bed tonight although this will be the first night she has left Cliff since the accident. Lisa will be staying at the Shepherd Family Housing.
The trachea has been plugged and Cliff is able to talk some, in a whisper mode. It is so great to hear his voice. When Lisa walked into the ICU today a nurse was with Cliff. Lisa said "Hey Cliff" and the nurse said "who is this", and Cliff said "my wife" These are words Lisa will never forget!! He has been moved from the ICU to the ABI (Acquired Brain Injury) Unit. Cliff told Lisa that he had a busy day with a lot of people. This is the 1st day that Cliff has really realized how many people are in and out of his room each day. He was able to talk to his parents on the phone and did a great job although it is very hard to hear him right now.
Cliff and Lisa spent most of the day watching football. Lisa asked Cliff if he knew what year it is and he held up 4 fingers. He was able to talk to his mother on the phone again today. He had a relaxing day.
Cliff was able to sit up on the side of his bed today. He looks so good sitting up. He is talking more and more and loves to talk on the phone. He is still only able to whisper. We are told that is from the ventilator being on this vocal cords for so long and his voice should come back more and more each day. Every time the phone rings he holds his hand out for the phone.
BIG DAY! A lot of events today. During Speech Therapy, Cliff was given the OK to start eating. Lisa helped Cliff eat lunch and dinner. During Physical Therapy Cliff took 25 steps with the help of his therapist and a walker!! Wow !! :)) This afternoon he had his trachea taken out and the staples from the gall bladder surgery. He is starting to look and feel back to the old Cliff. It is so great to see him making so much progress, especially when we were not sure at one time if he would even survive. Cliff has asked Lisa for several days for a Smoothie and has wanted to know how many grams of protein he is getting (for those of you who know Cliff, you know how worried he is about getting enough protein) Lisa brought him a protein smoothie tonight !!!
Cliff is having surgery today at noon to repair some broken bones around his eye. The surgery is at Piedmont Hospital which is connected to Shepherd. The surgery is plastic surgery and will not have any effect of his vision loss.
The surgery went well, Cliff is resting peacefully. He is expected to participate in "light" therapy Tuesday. Cliff is still having problems with his vision and has an appointment with a Neuro Ophthalmologist later this month.
Cliff is making really good progress, despite the fact that he has no vision at the current time. His medical condition been upgraded and he is now participating in full rehab 5 1/2 days a week. Cliff has an appointment with a Neuro Ophthalmologist next week and has a tentative discharge date for early to mid February. He is making so much progress here, of course we want him to stay here as long as possible, the more progress he makes the more he is back to the old Cliff. Once Cliff is discharged he will begin outpatient therapy in a day program.
Sheriff Sexton visited, Cliff was able to talk to several sheriff deputy's on the radio. This was really neat, Sheriff Sexton gave Cliff his radio and told him to call dispatch. A few min. later several of the deputies got on the radio and said they almost wrecked their cars when they heard Cliff talking to dispatch. Everyone told him how great it was to hear his voice. Cliff's parents also drove up from Baton Rouge for the long weekend.
Lisa spent the entire day with Cliff for Family Training. She spent the day learning all the PT, OT and speech exercises along with the nursing services he will need once he is released from the hospital. The family training is great it taught her how to get him in the shower, dressed, in and out of the car etc..
Lisa transported Cliff to the Neuro Ophthalmologist for an exam and they were given the sad news that there is a very slim chance that Cliff will regain his vision. He has damage to both of his optic nerves. We were told this occurred when his brain pressured spiked so high, of course the medical staff at the time was worried about saving his life at the time. Cliff was put on some medicine and is hoping for some improvement. Lisa and the staff at Shepherd are beginning the process of teaching Cliff the adaptive skills he will need with a vision impairment.
Cliff is scheduled for discharge Feb. 4th and he will begin extensive outpatient rehab on Feb. 5th. Lisa and Cliff will be moved to the outpatient housing at Pathways, which is a part of Shepherd.
Sheriff Sexton and Sgt. Hood visited Cliff with a special visitor. Sheriff Sexton brought one of his dogs for Cliff to play with. He loved it and really enjoyed playing with the retriever.
Cliff is making great progress, he is gaining more and more strength every day.
Cliff is still making great progress and is working towards getting ready for Pathways (Outpatient therapy) next Thursday. He is walking a lot now without the assistance of a walker. His balance is getting better and better. However, Cliff still needs to hold on to someone when he walks and probably will for a while. His balance is still not back to normal which is not only from the brain injury, but also from the vision impairment.
Cliff is walking now and is only using his wheelchair for long trips. He is also able to walk stairs. Lisa and Cliff went to the bookstore today. He looked so good to be out of the hospital. He was wanting to try some audio books.
Several friends from college came to visit with Cliff this weekend. He and Lisa had a great time visiting, their friends Nicole and Alex brought their 2 dogs for Cliff to play with, they also had good friend drive from Birmingham and spend the weekend. Cliff loves playing with dogs every chance he can get.
Lisa and Cliff are getting ready to be discharged from Shepherd and are staying in the Transitional Living Apartment that is located on the ABI Unit. The apt. is set up like a real home with a kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. This gives Lisa and Cliff the opportunity to pretend they are in the home setting and are able to cook dinner, get ready in the morning etc.. but if they were to need any assistance or have any problems the nurses are right outside the door. They both are very excited to be leaving the hospital soon, although they will remain in Atlanta for quite a while participating in outpatient therapy.
Cliff and Lisa went home to Tuscaloosa for the weekend where they were able to visit with several friends. They went for a 2nd opinion today with a Neuro Ophthalmologist and were given the same diagnosis that Cliff has severely damaged optic nerves.
Cliff is participating in full day therapy at Pathways in Decatur GA. While at Pathways Lisa and Cliff are in their own apartment provided by Shepherd. It is equipped with all the medical supplies and adaptive equipment Cliff needs at this time. Lisa takes Cliff to therapy each morning and comes back to eat lunch with him and then picks him up each afternoon. By the time Cliff gets home from therapy he is exhausted and takes a really long nap before dinner.
Cliff and Lisa went to Tuscaloosa again for the weekend to finish moving into a one story house which will make it easier for Cliff to get around. While in Tuscaloosa Lisa took him to DCH to visit the TSICU. The staff was shocked to see Cliff "walk" through the doors. They never thought he would survive and less than 3 months later he walked through the doors! On Sunday he and Lisa were able to visit
with one of Cliff's nurse's Ren, who we all feel is a guardian angel. Cliff really enjoyed meeting her for the ist time and was more than grateful for all the love and care she gave him. She is a very special person to us, all of the nurses on the ICU unit never gave up on Cliff.
Once back in Atlanta, Cliff started another week of therapy. He and Lisa went to visit The Center for the Visually Impaired (CVI) in Atlanta and will begin therapy on an individual basis to learn basic mobility and orientation for the interim time period that he is still here in Atlanta.
Cliff has started work with a mobility specialist and will be working on getting trained with a cane in the near future. He is not really enjoying the training and needless to say he HATES to use his white cane.
He took a trip to the mall today for lunch and a community outing. The therapist feel that his primary impairment is his vision and he will be going home very soon to begin the vision therapy. Once home from the mall he told Lisa he ate at Chick Fil A because he was able to smell it all the way through the mall.
Cliff and Lisa return to Tuscaloosa for good! They are finally coming home!
Cliff met with Voc Rehab to discuss his options for a program for the blind. He is going to wait a few weeks before starting any new programs, so he can enjoy being home.
Cliff started his outpatient rehab at DCH, he will be going 2 days a week. Still getting settled at home, and continues to have a long road ahead of him, he is very happy to be home.
Cliff is still participating in outpatient occupational, speech and physical therapy. He is also now working with an orientation and mobility specialist. Cliff is leaning a lot of new techniques to make him more independent.