So here we are…..It’s Day 8
I spent the day with Tracy at the hospital – and we had a moment where I was able to ask her if I could share the truth about her condition and prognosis. A few days ago she did not want the details shared; today she agreed that I could let everyone know the details.
Last Sunday afternoon Tracy was training in Collingwood for the Centurion Bike Race that is taking place this upcoming weekend. She was on a mission to do well. The accident happened when she was going down the Scenic Caves Road (near Blue Mountain). She went off the road and was found in the ditch. An amazing young man named “Mike Hermanovsky” (a.k.a. HERO) found her and stayed with her until the ambulance came to take her to the hospital in Collingwood. They immediately airlifted her to Sunnybrook Critical Care Unit.
I arrived at Sunnybrook on Sunday around dinner time. The neurosurgeon came to speak to me in the waiting area to explain her injuries. Tracy had broken her neck at her C3 C4 vertebrae – breaking the bones and severing her spinal cord. They were blunt and matter of fact – Tracy would be paralyzed from her neck down.
That night they put her head into a “halo” to prepare her neck for surgery the next day. They wanted to operate to stabilize her neck – the surgery took place on Monday – one week ago today. It took over 8 hours. They first operated from the front of her neck putting two screws into the bones to hold them together and then they turned her over and operated from the back, taking a bone graft from her hip to fuse C2 to C5.
She is recovering well from her surgery, although yesterday she spiked a fever with a bladder infection. We are told there will be many setbacks. They plan to put a tracheotomy into her neck on Wednesday which will make a huge difference for Tracy as she hates the breathing tube in her mouth. We don’t know yet if she will be able to breathe on her own long term.
Tracy’s prognosis: Spinal cord injury “Complete” – meaning quadriplegic DEFINITION: Traditionally, “complete” spinal cord injury means having no voluntary motor or conscious sensory function below the injury site, in Tracy’s case C3 vertebrae in her neck. Luckily, Tracy did NOT suffer any brain damage.
Her injuries are comparable to those that Christopher Reeves sustained.
I think it’s important for everyone to know the life-changing nature of this accident.
We have a very long road ahead of us. We are told she will be in critical care for at least 2 months, and hospital for at least six months.
ON A LIGHTER NOTE: Today the nurse wanted to wash Tracy’s hair, but she was determined that I needed to spell something out for her. So, after several frustrating moments of figuring out what she was trying to tell us we discovered that she did NOT want to use the hospital shampoo and I was to go get her shampoo and conditioner from home! Well, the nurse and I broke out into laughter! Only Tracy would demand her special brand of shampoo!
PRAYERS: YES – keep ‘em coming!! We want and need all of them.
KIDS: Her boys are doing great, all things considered. Mom and Lynn have created a routine with school and getting them into their fall programs. They are two amazing women – my Mom and older sister!
TRUST FUND: We’ll let you know this week once it’s setup.
Be grateful for every movement.