Saturday, December 26, 2009
Merry Christmas. There haven't been any changes, and not any change in Britney's progress so I haven't put in an update on the blog in a while. Britney is still in a coma with brief periods of awareness where she will blink if we ask if she can here us or when she will look at us. She is more awake. Her progress has been very slow and her neurologist has asked me if he could consult a coma specialist from Cornell. She is six months out and since her progress is slow her doctors are not very hopeful but she is still making progress. We still have a very strong peace that she will come back but her progress is completely unknown at this time. If there are any new updates I promise we will put them on the blog right away.
The best news we have is that the kids finally got to visit Britney on Christmas. They haven't been able to see her for 2 months because Kindred banned visitors under age 18 from November to March because of the H1N1 flu virus. We have asked many people to make an exception but have not been able to get one until Christmas when I ran into the infectuous disease doctor who asked me how the kids were doing. I told him how much they missed Britney and he said since they had their flu shot they could visit her again. Jonas cried and said it was the best Christmas present ever. He has been saving his money so Britney can go to a hospital where they would allow kids to visit. Britney followed us around the room with her eyes. She was very peaceful and relaxed.
We are still going through the process for social security disability and guardianship. We have a court date in January and after that we will hopefully be able to move her to a skilled nursing facility. For now she is still at Kindred in Denver. When she moves we will update the blog right away.
Thank you all for the incredible kindness you have shown our family over the Christmas season. We are overwhelmed at all you do. Thank you. Merry Christmas.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Thanks for your patience between posts. I was able to go to Colorado last week after being up post call and flew home the next day. It was amazing to see Britney, and to be with our kids. Britney woke up when I came in her room and said hi and looked right at me. A few days ago she was stretching her arms and head. She has been more awake and looking at people when they talk to her. She has made some sounds but hasn't said anything yet. She is still at Kindred because we are not able to find a skilled nursing facility that will take her because of insurance issues. We are working with a lawyer to help her qualify for social security disability for nursing home care and to work with our insurance to cover her at Kindred until she can find a skilled nursing place that will accept her. In the mean time she has continued to get great physical therapy and become more responsive the past few weeks. She will be at Kindred until we get this figured out. We will post as soon as she goes to a new hospital with directions for all of you wanting to visit. Thank you for all of your support and prayers and birthday messages for Britney.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
When we got to the hospital Britney's Aunt Jan and my Mom were waiting there. Just as much emotion as at the airport. Jan has been talking to Britney on speaker phone most nights and posting comments on the blog. Britney has responded to her so much in the past and I'm sure she will continue to help Britney come back. My nephew Dante was climbing in the room and Britney turned her head and eyes and looked at him. Britney's hospital is amazing. We feel like her care is phenomenal. We met with everyone from almost every group already PT, OT, Speech, Dr. Yager the medical director and critical care Dr, and many of the case workers, nurses, etc. There is an outstanding neurologist who has known she is coming who will meet her tomorrow and one of the PM&R Dr.'s from Craig will meet her in the next few days. She will be put on the waiting list for Craig right away and a plan to get her to Craig is in the works. We feel very very peaceful about our decision to bring her here. Talk to everyone soon.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
This has been in the works since Thursday afternoon. Britney will not get the rehabilitation care she needs in Tucson. We were told this by multiple people, and by the rehabilitation doctor who came Saturday. Dr. Toiber suggested that we should look into Barrows in phoenix which would be harder for our family. After much discussion and looking into places we found an acute care hospital in Denver that has PM&R doctors from Craig hospital who come there everyday. It is a kindred hospital but they have a much higher level of care there than in Tucson. They have 24/7 Critical care on site, intensive rehabilitation. They prepare all of their patients to meet criteria for Craig hospital. My dad visited it on Saturday and was very very impressed with the atmosphere the concern and human touch. They are the best place in the country to get her ready to go to Craig. Their Medical director Eric Yager did his pulmonary critical care fellowship in Tucson and my program director knows him. We feel very very good about this decision. Our insurance has approved for her to come to Denver and there is a good chance the insurance will pay for the transport. All the details are being worked out now. Hopefully she will fly to Denver this week. We will let you know when we find out when she will be going.
How this affects our family.
Everyone has asked this. All of the kids will go to Denver to be with family and Jonas will go to school with the same teacher Britney in Littleton. Britney's parents Casey and Jana will drive the kids up with their stuff. My parents and Britney's parents live 15 minutes away from eachother. Both the kids and Britney will have increadible amount of support and care in denver. We have tons of extended family there and many many friends. I have no doubt it will be better for them. I will go with her to get them settled and be back there for my vacation in 4 weeks from today. I do not qualify for family medical leave because I haven't worked at UMC for a 12 months. I will be able to visit on days off and as needed take elective time. It is a very hard situation but we have prayed about it a lot and feel a huge peace about it. I need to keep up with residency #1 to keep Britney having the insurance she needs to get the best care there is, and #2 to make a future for our family and our future. This situation will be sustainable long term. We are getting out of our lease and I will stay with friends in Tucson until we get a time frame worked out. This way we will be able to save the money we need for me to fly back and forth.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
Britney had a really good night. She was flexing her arms up to her face again and almost pulled off the ventilator tubing multiple times. The people at Kindred are great. The Dr. who took care of her at TMC in the ICU back when she first got sick came to Kindred to take care of her. His group comes there also. He told everyone in his group that he wanted to come take care of her. It totally made my day. He was instrumental in saving her life has been following along on the blog for the past 6 weeks. Thanks Dr. Toiber. Talk to you soon.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
3 of Britney's sisters are here for the next 2 weeks. Mckenzie, Jessah, and Arielle. The kids are having a blast with them. They have been playing with some friends a few days a week. They went swimming today at our pool and had a great time. Vera is turning 3 on Saturday and is really excited. Anna is 15 weeks old and is growing a ton. She is a really easy baby. Vera was too until she could roll then she rolled around the house following Britney everywhere, and pulling things off shelves. We'll see what Anna does. Jonas has been having a harder time the last few days and has need a lot of one on one time. Yesterday he stayed with me at the hospital and played games with me. Tonight he read me a chapter of one of his books.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
We have had many requests, by people wanting to donate money, to open a trust fund for Britney and her family. Reluctantly John has agreed to open a fund. We don’t want anyone to feel obligated to donate. We have been helped in so many ways and we could never express how grateful we are to everyone who has helped us during this time. We appreciate EVERYTHING that you have done for us.
We would like to thank all of you for your thoughtfulness, prayers, help with the kids, words of comfort, offering your homes to us, meals, and rides to and from the airport. We are grateful to those who have made it possible for us to spend time away from our homes and jobs to be with Britney and to care for her kids. Thank you to those who are assisting John to help him keep up with residency. To the doctors who have used their skills and knowledge to make the best decisions for Britney, and the nurses who tirelessly care for her and are willing to answer all of our questions. To those who have already made donations and all who are simply thinking about us and letting us know you are there for us. We could never list all of the ways you have helped. What a difference each of you have made. You have been the hands of the Lord to bless us and help us through this.
For those who wish to donate:
The title of the trust fund is “For The Benefit Of Britney.”
You may donate at any Chase bank.
Bring account number #815195532 with you.
Make all donations to John Winkler. (We are unable to put Britney’s name on the account because she cannot be there in person)
Donations can be made using check or cash.
All donations are anonymous.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Have a great night,
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Britney had a tough day. She has been biting her tongue and lips and had to have a bite block put in. She bit it so hard she broke one of her front teeth. She is still very sleepy. The hardest thing is being patient for her to wake up. We all miss her a lot. The brief moments she opens her eyes and looks at us are wonderful but so small a part of everything we miss about her. The kids are having a great time with their aunt Jessah. My mom is going home tomorrow. She has been incredible to have here. I got through the 1st week of residency (lectures only) and was able to miss my 1st shift in the ED to be with Britney. We have the best intern class in the world. I have to go read a book to Vera now. Have a good night.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Anna doing karate
At the request of Grandma Foster or grandma LuLu as our kids love to call her here are some more pictures of anna for everyone. I haven't uploaded the latest and greatest pictures from our digital camera so these are a few months old. We will get some more up soon. Britney had a very good day. She has been awake off and on today. Her dialysis is going well. We had an awesome party for all of the new interns to meet the other residents and faculty. Everyone had a great time. It was really good to get out and have fun. The kids had a blast. Hope everyone had a great 4th.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Have a great 4th of July tomorrow everyone.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Thank you for helping us with our dinner cause our mom is sick and my dad is helping with mommy. Thank you for praying for my mommy. Thank you for watching me and Vera. We miss you.
love Jonas (Jonas told me what to write)
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Britney had a great peaceful day. No ECMO removal. Maybee tomorrow or Monday. Her aunt and uncle Debbie and Gordon came just for the morning to say hi. When Debbie and Jana (Britney's mom) were holding both of her hands and I was standing right by them she looked at each one of them and stared at their faces. Then she had a few tears roll down her cheek. She had a lot of pain responses today with repositioning so they increased her pain medication and gave her some sedation so she slept peacefully most of the day. She is in there trying to wake up. Have a great night everyone.
Today she needs many prayers to help her fight this pneumonia, and if they take her off ECMO in the operating room today. Thank you all for your love and support.
For people helping in Tucson.
I am setting up a online calender in a gmail account so people can know what kind of help we have from day to day and so we can sign people up who want to bring food or play with the kids. I tried to copy and paste the calender into the blog last night but it didn't work so we may have to have one or two people sign people up to help and have links to the PDF calender file daily on the blog. Have a great weekend.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Britney had a great night and day. Sorry I didn't get this out earlier. I had a lot of calls to see when I would post this. She has so many amazing friends, family, and people she has not met doing everything they can to support her. A sincere thank you.
Today Britney turned her head to the right and moved her left toe. She continues to cough, blink. She opened her eyes all the way today. The neurology resident and attending doctors stopped by today. Her cranial nerves are completely intact. They said her coma at this point could be due to her severe infection, some due to the lack of oxygen during CPR. It will be difficult to tell and is too early for people who have had hypothermia (cooling the brain). We are very hopeful and have a very peaceful feeling.
They are doing great today. Kurt Demminghoff (one of my teachers) and his wife Amy took me, Jonas and Vera to the Desert Museum today. They loved it. Jonas especially loves Gila Monsters. It was very nice to get out and get our minds off of everything. Thank you for a great day.
We slept at home last night and feel much better.
I am going to my orientation day tomorrow. We have so much family here to help out that want me to and I know Britney would want me to also. I am very excited to learn and help other people. My program is amazing. If Britney wakes up they will let me take a family medical leave.
Thank you to so many people that offered to pick up a shift for me. I think we are ok for now.
I'll post another post after orientation and Britney's sister may post one before then.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
The vascular surgeon is very very pleased with her feet. The left foot will be fine and the right foot may only lose a couple of toes.
We also just want to provide her with as much emotion comfort as we can. Yesterday afternoon, they calmed Britney down with more sedation because she continued breathing against the ventilator. Her heart is working so well, they may need to decrease her blood pressure to make her heart take a rest and allow the ECMO to do the work.
She took a 3 hour nap yesterday, then was able to go swimming with the Jones family and her dad. Vera slept here at the hospital all night, so she could be close to her mommy. She read her stories until 10pm and then watched her barbie movie. She feels much better this morning.
Thank you for all of your incredible support. We love all of you.
Just one more quick update. I just talked to the infectious disease team and they said if her OB had not given her the right antibiotic by chance (she is penicillin allergic) she would not be here today to continue fighting. There are many series of events like this that have kept Britney fighting.
Love you all,
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Our whole family
Britney had a great night last night. She had a chest wash out which is common for any one with their chest open. Clotting is common if there is not constant drainage from chest tubes. After the clots were removed and a pnemuothorax (air in the chest cavity compressing the lung) was drained with a chest tube her heart began pumping above the ECMO which is an amazing sign. The blood flow to her feet hands and face improved greatly. Her left foot has normal color now and the right foot is looking much better also. She had a pain response during the surgery and blinked her eyes 20x. She was very stable overnight. They continue to give her blood because the heparin from the ECMO is causing some small bleeding from all of her surgical sites but this is controllable.
I have been a blood donor for 4 years since going to medical school. It is an incredible way to give back. So many people ask what they can do. Give blood locally where ever you are.
Jonas is doing much better today. One of the childlife specialists helped him get his feelings out over a game of air hockey, and his friend Isaac who moved to Phoenix last year from Milwaukee was able to come down and suprise him. Today Vera is sad and acting out but we are getting through it. She thought that since mommy looked more like herself last night she would be awake and was angry she wasn't.
Thank you everyone for your love and prayers. We have incredible family and friends. The Emergency Medicine program here has quickly become our family and along with people from our church have taken us in and we will love them forever.
I'll post another update later today and a story of what happened for all of the people I have not been able to explain how she got sick and the series of miracles that has kept her alive and with the chance of recovery.