I went to visit our hospitalized relative over the weekend. His condition has been dropped a notch, and he has been moved. I think it’s still a form of intensive care, but I’m not sure.
When I entered the room, he opened his eyes and turned his head to look at me. That’s the first time anything like that has happened. His eyes were open a lot of the time I was there, but they didn’t seem to be looking at anything in particular. He still hasn’t spoken.
The brace has been taken off his neck. The bruises on his face are gradually fading. He is still intubated in all possible ways. He moans a little bit occasionally, and is obviously in great discomfort and pain.
I talked to the nurse practitioner about the results of his MRIs. Except for the fact that there is some brain damage, there isn’t much in the way of specific information, other than the fact that his brain stem was not damaged, which is good news. She said that after such a severe trauma, it will be six months to a year before we know for sure what the new baseline of his neurological functioning will be, including whether his speech will be permanently affected. Between now and then he will improve, but no one can say how much — it might be one of those amazing recoveries (especially since he is young), or he may have a permanent disability.
It won’t be too long before they get him out of there and into long-term rehab, which may possibly be in the Richmond area, because VCU reportedly has the best facilities. Or it could be even farther away.
This is going to be a long, slow process, and will be hard on everyone involved, especially his closest kin. I won’t post any more reports here until there are significant changes.