Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy New Year!

It seems weird to already by saying that . . . it's the New Year already? Having been slowed down for six months, I guess that has enabled the year to seem to go by quicker. I'm grateful for 2008 as I had wonderful opportunities and blessings connected with my job, with my incredible family and friends, and even the unexpected: a white Christmas!

I was able to fly to Seattle during Christmas week to stay with my sister and her family. Before boarding my plane, we were already aware that a snow storm hit the area. My flight wasn't hampered at all, but we did have plenty of snow during the week. There aren't too many white Christmases in Seattle, but they're beautiful when they come.

My sister was the only one of my immediate family who had seen me since I'd left the hospital in August, so it was fun and encouraging for all of them to see me since I'm doing so much better. It was a relaxing week - I got plenty of rest and I felt good all week. What a blessing!

Now it is back to finishing up my apartment to move in soon; rehab appointments (not too many of those remaining); and volunteering at my church. I feel rested and re-energized: grateful for the birth of Christ and thankful to be heading into 2009.

Blessings,

Kathi

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Celebration!


What a weekend! Our church held it's annual event for women to encourage them during the Christmas season. Delicious food, music, and a speaker made up the program. This year's speaker, Shauna Niequist,  was tremendous. She is the author of the wonderful book entitled "Cold Tangerines." Her message encouraged, challenged and inspired me.

Another exceptional aspect of the weekend was the great job the team did putting on the program. It was tough for me at times while in the hospital, and not having a part in the planning and preparation. But the team of women did a fabulous job - it was a great event.

Next is Christmas! I'm going to Seattle to visit my sister and her family for a few days over the holiday. It will be a blessing to see them!

UPDATES:
  • Therapy - My physical therapy is completed, but I have a couple more occupational and speech therapy appointments.
  • Work - I'm still not back to work, but hopefully soon. I have a doctor's appointment soon with the Physical Medicine and Rehab doctor, and hopefully a plan will be determined at that appointment.
  • Apartment - Slowly getting things put away and organized in the new pad. I have stayed there on night, but most likely won't be staying there until the fist of next month. My cat, Spike, has been making himself right at home . . . he has run of the place (but to be honest, he always has).
  • Encouragement - I continue to be encouraged by the many prayers, words of encouragement and support that people have extended to me. It truly has been a gift and blessing.
Kathi

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Yahoos!


I had a wonderful Thanksgiving. The family I'm staying with is wonderful and they are tremendous cooks as well. Therefore my day was marked by a delicious meal with wonderful people. I also spoke with my sister and tried to connect with my brother, as well.

I had an appointment with one of my surgeons last week who had operated on me, but whom I don't quite remember meeting. (I don't remember much from "the early days" of my accident.)

This doctor was my Orthopedic surgeon. He looked at my leg he had operated on and I believe he said it was "beautiful." Now, I don't think I had thought of it as beautiful ("interesting" maybe) but honestly, that was good to hear. The leg is healing nicely - Yahoo!

I also had an appointment with my dentist who did a tremendous job of fixing the couple of teeth that had been chipped in the accident. They, too, look beautiful.

In my previous blog, I listed some things that I'm thankful for - I really am thankful to God for many things. My healing body is a biggie. No, it is more than my "healing body," it really is the fact that God has been healing my body. I'm thankful for life and that God enabled me to have more life here.

Also, plans were finalized for me to be in Seattle for a few days over Christmas (that is another Yahoo!) to see my family. Then this morning (Sunday) was yet another Yahoo! as I was at my church once again.

Though I don't get to move back home quite yet, another Yahoo! is that some of my friends from Folsom and El Dorado Hills moved my things from the apartment I was living in to my new apartment. Because my walking and balance have been affected by my accident - and I did live on the second floor of my apartment complex - I was able to get a bottom floor apartment in the same complex.

My friends moved my stuff out of the old and into the new AND cleaned my old apartment! What a tremendous gift and blessing. I was a tad nervous if it all could be done by Sunday, but it was completed Saturday. Honestly, I have an incredible community of people that I am connected with and I could not have walked through this challenging time without them. Yahoo!

Okay, there is at least one more Yahoo! this week. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday my church is holding an event, The Womens Christmas Celebration, featuring author Shauna Niequist. She wrote the delightful book entitled "Cold Tangerines." I really enjoyed the book and I'm really looking forward to meeting her and hearing her speak . . . . yes . . . Yahoo!

I hope that you are experiencing your own slew of Yahoos! You know what I'm 'slowly' finding out about life? Yahoos! in life can be found in unsuspecting places. I've been walking through a challenging time in my life, but I've been blessed in many ways. God can bring Yahoos! out of challenging times. The Scriptures, God's words to us, tell us that God works all things together for good. That doesn't mean all things are good, but God can bring good out of the bad.

Yahoo!

Kathi

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thankful!

Thursday (November 27), in the U.S., we'll be celebrating Thanksgiving; a great time to gather with family and friends, to reflect on what we're thankful for, and eat wonderful food. I, too,  will be gathering with friends and having incredibly delicious food. But it is also a time to give thanks!

Walking through the past five months following an accident where I was critically injured, I thought it would be a good idea to identify some the things I am thankful for. Here we go:

  • For God saving me - twice (at least). The first time was in 1981 when I entered into a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. The second time was on June 18 of this year, when He saved my life from a terrible accident with a car while on my bicycle.
  • For God taking care of me emotionally. I haven't had much anger (except with myself when I'm frustrated with what I see as limitations).
  • For my family. Both of my parents have passed away, but I am very thankful for the time I had with them. My brother, sister, brother-in-law, nephew and niece. I love them so much.
  • My job at Lakeside Church. It has been a wonderful place to work, grow and connect. I work and serve with some wonderful people.
  • My caretakers, Steve and Vickie - than have been a God-send. They have provided a wonderful home and environment to recuperate. (As well as driving me to many places, waiting for me during rehab appointments and feeding me well!)
  • The paramedics who worked on me and my friend, Kathy.
  • The helicopter pilot that got me to the hospital.
  • For the many doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel who operated on me and took wonderful care of me.
  • For my rehab therapists - they are great.
  • For the many people who have prayed, given to help meet my needs (including giving blood), have written notes or emails, phoned, and/or visited: the encouragement has been a big part of my healing process.
  • For the healing that has taken place - I'm definitely a lot better than I was five months ago.
  • For God bringing good things out of hard times. God's love, care, hope, and faithfulness.
I know the list could be a lot longer, but I'll stop with this and continue to note the many blessings.

It's interesting, but I've begun to look and hear things differently following my accident. While singing at church or listening to music on my iPod - many of the words have a deeper meaning to me. (I hope this isn't just a temporary condition!)

I hope that there is plenty on your "thank you" list.

Love,

Kathi

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Five Month Anniversary!

Isn't it hard to believe that we're close Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) - meaning we're at the end of November? Time has definitely been flying by. Tuesday (November 18) was my five month anniversary since my accident. I've already been out of the hospital and staying with my friends for three months! Wow.

It doesn't "seem" like anything too exciting is going on, so I hesitate writing anything. But friends remind me of the severity of my accident and that it is pretty exciting to see how far I have come in such a short amount of time. When I remember how severe my head injury was, as well as my leg - I am so thankful for God's grace and His healing power; thankful for His placing such incredible, helpful people in my life.

At times, I must admit, that I get kind of discouraged. I know I still have some limitations and boundaries that I don't always like. I find that hard when I'm feeling so much better. I'm seeking to trust God, knowing that He has a plan and His timing is perfect.

My therapy continues, but I think it is winding down. My therapists have been a wonderful encouragement to me. They've been great. I'm volunteering at Lakeside for a few hours a week. I'm trying to apply things I am learning in rehab. I'm not sure when I'll be officially going back to work, but hopefully soon.

For those of you who have prayed for me - thank you! That means so much. Well, have a good week. In next week's blog, I hope to share with, that in light of my accident, the things that I am thankful for.

God bless you!
Kathi

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Hello Friends!

I trust that you've had a good week. My week has been pretty nice, as it has been filled with rehab appointments, attending church and Bible study, as well as seeing friends (including the "Great Pumpkin). It has been great to catch up with some friends that I haven't seen in a number of years - as well as those I haven't seen in a few months.

As rehab continues, I'm encouraged by how my therapists are encouraged. I'm not sure when I'll be cleared to go back to work - but we're working on returning (as close as possible) to my "pre-accident" state. I'm not a 100 percent there yet - but I am getting closer.

When I was in the hospital, I was told that this would be a long haul, that perseverance would be very important. I am definitely finding out how true that is. Though I am incredibly happy with the time frame of my recovery, sometimes it feels too long. I realize that I am not as persevering as I thought I was.

Thanks to all who have been praying for me. Here are a few more requests:

  • For God to strengthen my perseverance
  • For continued increase in stamina
  • For the continued healing that needs to take place
Thanks for your encouragement and support!

Kathi

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Good Workout!

Who would have thought doing jumping jacks, jogging a short distance down the hallway, as well as walking a short distance, turning while walking and then walking backwards would be anything to get excited about? But being 48-years-old and having suffered a traumatic brain injury brings a new appreciation for the simple things in life.

My therapists think I am doing very well. My balance has been returning, so that is encouraging and exciting. It enables me to get excited about doing things that I had really taken for granted. Four months ago (my accident occurred on June 18), medical personnel were wondering if I'd even survive and today I am jogging down the hallway!

God has been so faithful and gracious to me. I'm thankful for God's care of me. He has provided through many people: for my care needs, for my relational needs, my physical recovery needs, as well as my spiritual needs. I have been incredibly blessed.

I have been able to attend church two weeks in a row, as well as a women's Bible study. It has been great to be able to return to Lakeside. It has been fun and encouraging to see people I haven't seen in a while. This church has demonstrated Jesus to me and to my family in an extraordinary way.

This past weekend, my pastor gave a tremendous message on leaving a legacy - how would people remember me? Wow! That hit a little close to home having almost died, but it was a huge thought to ponder. I'm still processing that idea, as I know that there is plenty I have not done well and people I haven't loved well. But I am thankful for forgiveness, and to know that God is working in my life - changing me from the inside out. I want to be a woman with a strong character and life that honors God and I want to love others well.

May my life (through God's strength) be one of faith (in a faithful God), that in turn exudes hope that only God can bring (even when things don't look too "positive"), that produces a love for others as God would have me love them.

I hope that as you are reading this, that you recognize God's love for you. May you see it and experience His love in a special way.

Blessings,
Kathi

Monday, October 6, 2008


Hi friends,
I know that it has been awhile since I've been in touch, so I 
thought I'd write about what has happened this past week.

Monday (September 29)
On Monday, my sister came to town! It was SO good to see her. This was actually her fourth trip to California since my accident, but I only remember the last trip (a few weeks or so ago).

Things have changed since I saw her last. For example, I'm walking (most of the time) without the use of my cane. My memory is a lot better. Physically I am doing better . . . it was an encouraging visit for her and for me.

My sister is 3 1/2 years younger than me and it was great to see her in action. She is mature, smart, a go-getter, and has a good heart. I've been the recipient of her love, hard work, encouragement, and expertise.

She left Sunday and this was probably the longest time we spent together in a couple of years. I can't wait until she can return again. We spent the past week going to therapy appointments getting together with friends, doing a little shopping, eating, and just hanging out together.



Tuesday & Wednesday (September 30/October 1)
My therapy continues to progress. I had two days of therapy last week and will have two days this week. Today (October 6) had me in for all three therapies (physical, occupational, and speech). It went well and each of my therapists has been very encouraging and helpful.

Thursday (October 2)
Here is another cool thing that happened last week! I got to meet the medics who responded to the emergency call for Kathy Hurd and me. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet the men and women who treated and cared for us in the initial moments of our accident. Their timely and accurage treatment of us was critical. They saved our lives.

I know I have a hard time understanding just how critical my condition was, but hearing the various stories and seeing some pictures from when I was first in the hospital is enlightening me.

Sunday (October 5)
It was sad to leave my sister at the airport, but I'm thankful her family let her come down for the week. I'm glad she is back home with them.

Sometimes I don't feel like I'm doing anything! But I am consistently reminded that doing what I can do to get better is what I am to focus on. Though I don't have a lot "scheduled" into my week, it does take physical and emotional energy from me. I'm encouraged to hear that the frustrations and challenges are all part of the healing process.

If you have been praying for me - Thank You Very Much - and please continue. Pray for perseverance, continued healing, and for the wisdom that I need each day. Thanks.

Blessings,

Kathi

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Happy First Day of Autumn!

Hey there!

I hope that you had a good weekend and that the new week has begun well for you.

My time in Folsom has been going well. My friends have been taking incredible care of me. My time at their home has been great for my recovery. I had good news last week - I began my outpatient  rehabilitation! It was just introduction stuff and meeting my therapists. They were very nice and encouraging. This rehab facility is in Roseville (not too far from Folsom - that is very nice). I have appointments this week for physical, occupational, and speech therapies.

This past weekend was nice in a number of ways: my friends, Debby and Veo, took me to Outback Steakhouse and a frozen yogurt place. There was golf on TV. And the Chicago Cubs baseball team guaranteed themselves a spot in the Major League baseball playoffs. Okay, that is pretty shallow, but it all did make for a nice weekend.

I've been able to see a number friends this last week. That has been really encouraging. Physically I'm feeling stronger; my leg is healing; and my memory is getting better. I'm looking forward to next week as my sister will be back for a visit. It has been so great to have here here.

Life isn't back to "normal" yet - the recovery is definitely a process, but I'm grateful for how encouraging and helpful people have been to me on this journey.

Take care, God bless, and have a great week.

Kathi

I want to take a moment to share how impressed I am with Kathi - her courage, faith and strength - in how she is handling this process. She is teaching me so much about God and his love and faithfulness. I know that if God had chosen to take Kathi home this summer, he would have still been a God of love and faithfulness, but I am blessed that he has healed her so well, and promises to continue in the healing process.

I was sitting in church last weekend enjoying worshipping God. We sang "You Never Let Go" by Matt Redman, and even though I have sung that tune may times before, the words touched my heart. So, I share them with you . . .

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
Your perfect love is casting out fear.
And even when I'm caught in the middle of the storms of this life,
I won't turn back, I know You are near.

And I will fear no evil,
For my God is with me,
And if my God is with me,
Whom then shall I fear, whom then shall I fear?

Oh, no, You never let go, through the calm and through the storm.
Oh, no, You never let go in ev'ry high and ev'ry low.
Oh, no, You never let go, Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on,
A glorious light beyond all compare.
And there will be an end to these troubles, but until that day comes
We'll live to know You here on the earth.

Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on,
And there will be an end to these troubles,
But until that day comes, still I will praise You, 
Still I will praise you.

Praising God with you this week - V

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Having been "home" for a couple weeks now, I'm beginning to feel more comfortable. I think I was feeling a little overwhelmed at first. As well, let me make sure that you know that "home" is staying with my friends, Vickie, and her husband Steve.


Staying with Steve and Vickie has been a tremendous blessing. Their home is very comfortable and quiet. (Staying at the hospital  wasn't always quiet. Needless to say, I am sleeping very well.) I've been very well taken care of. Vickie is a great cook, but we've also enjoyed delicious meals that have been made for us by some of you.


My body is continuing to heal, though I have not begun rehabilitation yet. The good news is that I have an appointment this week at an outpatient facility located in the Sacramento-area city of Roseville. I'm also walking a lot better and my leg has been doing fine.  Please pray that will go well. Thank you.


The other area you can continue to pray for is my memory. It is getting better, but I still have a little ways to go. I'm remembering quite a bit, but still have some lapses (which I hear is normal.) Memory-wise I tend to forget the short term stuff and people's names, but it is getting better.


I'm very grateful for God's provision of you all in my life! The fact that you're praying for me is huge. Though it may not totally look like it, but God has done so much good: healing, encouragement, stamina, provision for needs. I'm very grateful. God has used many of you to meet my needs and answer our prayers. Thanks for being willing participants.


Take care and have a great week.


God's richest blessings, Kathi


Editor's Note: We are opening up visitation for Kathi at this time. If you would like to come by and chat with her, please contact Vickie at svdarcy@comcast.net. Some of the things to consider for visitation is keep it to no more that 30 minutes, talk in your "inside" voice," and only two people at a time. She is greatly encouraged by visiting with people and we will do everything we can to accommodate you!
Steve & Vickie


Saturday, September 6, 2008

Words from Ms. Kathi Sturgeon - herself!



Hi family and friends!
I know you haven't heard from us in a little while, so here is your latest update on Kathi (me). Yes folks, I'm doing my own blog today.

It has been two weeks since being released from the hospital! Though I was treated well there, it sure was nice to leave. I am very grateful for my friends, Steve and Vickie! They have been taking very good care of me. They have a comfortable home, have encouraged me on this journey, and have fed me some great food. (That is a big "thank you" to many of you who have provided some wonderful meals.)

Even though I am doing quite well, I still have a ways to go on my recovery. I am feeling well physically and my injuries are healing nicely. I am posting a picture from the I.C.U. along with a picture from today. I think it is evidence of God's tremendous power and grace.

Before closing this note, I'd to share of few "thank yous":

First, I would like to thank and praise God for all He has done for me. I continue to hear stories of God's working things for good out of a bad situation. Romans 8:28 has been very evident. God has been healing me; He has been providing for me in a variety of areas,  He has been working in other people's lives, and He has been filling my mind and heart with peace.

Next I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and other medical staff at Sutter Roseville TNICU and Mercy Hospital Rehabilitation Center for the incredible job they did while I was with them. And not just with me, but it was interesting to watch them care for the other patients on our floor. 

I would like to thank you for your prayers (God has been answering them!) Also for your words of encouragement and support. The emails, letters, and calls I have received had been tremendously encouraging. And there was more than once when the words were received by me at just the right time -- right when I needed them!

I would like to thank my sister, Theresa, and my brother, Jack. They have been a huge help, even though they live Washington state. They have been incredibly supportive in so many ways.
I love them so much! And my niece, Emma, was able to come down with Theresa and it was great to have her here, too.

Others that have been doing some great things: Steve and Vickie for their hospitality, care, taking care of me and their support. It has been huge! 

Thanks Debby for all you have done for me and my family! Your words of encouragement and acts of kindness have meant so much.

Thanks Veo for taking care of Spike (my cat) and checking on my place. 

Thanks to the staff at Lakeside Church (my place of employment) for all that you have done for me!
  
I know I'm probably forgetting someone, so please forgive me. But I'll just blame it tonight on the traumatic brain injury and thank you in another email.

God has reinforced to me during these couple of months that life is not to be lived alone. We really do need others (sometimes it is more evident then at other times.) Thank each of you for being a part of my life. 

I love you all and will check back in next week.
~ Kathi

Saturday, August 30, 2008

First Week Home!


Well, it's been a week and a day since Kathi came home from the hospital. Being in a quiet environment, especially at night, has helped Kathi sleep better, and therefore, have more energy. We have tried taking short walks outside until the heat drove us back inside. Her ability to walk and have good balance is getting better everyday. We hope to get the out-patient therapy locked in by next week, and we are still waiting to hear about the insurance decision on the Bakersfield Rehab facility.
Yesterday her sister, Theresa, and niece, Emma, took her out to lunch (first time out for a meal!) and then we drove to Lakeside to pickup some paperwork, and Kathi had the opportunity to see some of her co-workers. What a treat to see her eyes light up as she walked into the office and saw familiar faces. Then we came home and took a nap!
Theresa and Emma flew back to Seattle last night, so Kathi said her good-byes. It makes her a little sad to see them go, but Theresa will be back in a month or so. 
Please continue to pray for healing of her mind - thinking, memory and reasoning. Also pray for continued stamina and strength. And praise God for the miraculous healing we have seen!

Friday, August 22, 2008

D-Day!










Yes, folks, today was D-Day, as in DISCHARGE! YEAH! Kathi's sister, Theresa, and niece, Emma, flew down to Sacramento on Wednesday. We have spent a few whirlwind days being educated, buying supplies and cleaning the bedroom where Kathi is going to stay for a while. It has been such a sweet and precious time, filled with anticipation, and then today . . . we brought her home. We arrived about lunch time, and after eating, Kathi went to bed for a nap and is still asleep as I'm writing this blog (2 hours). She told us that her body was in shock from the ride home and not being in the hospital anymore. I believe it!
She is still having difficulty with her memory and confabulation (verbalizations with no basis in reality) but we expect that to get better with time. To help her with this, she has a "memory journal" where she keeps information to refer to when she is confused. She is walking, but is unstable from weakness and dizziness, so she is using a walker. That, too, should get better in time.
At this point, we will start out-patient speech, physical and occupational therapy sometime next week. We are still waiting to hear about the facility in Bakersfield - there is still a possibility that Kathi will still go there for some "fine tuning" if it all works out with her insurance. 
Kathi is desperate to shave her legs, and we hope to get her hair cut!

When I look back at pictures of Kathi taken in the hours and days after her accident, I still audibly groan. Personally, I confess that I was not hopeful that my sweet friend was ever going to make it. But God gave us a miracle - His power and grace is so evident when I watch my friend smile, crack a joke or share some thoughts on her relationship with God.
"To God be the glory,
Great things He hath done!"
Thank you for surrounding Kathi (and us) with your love and prayers. Blessings to all of you!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

French Fries!



                                                I received a call from the rehab team where Kathi is -- they told me that she wasn't eating well. A little tired of hospital food? They put her on the phone and I asked what she would like to eat and she said french fries. I made a run to McDonald's, joined by our friend, Susan, and we dined on our fine cuisine OUTSIDE on the patio of the rehab unit. Fast food and a little fresh air!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Rules, Rules, Rules


"There are too many rules!" That's Kathi's latest complaint. Today I found that Kathi has been transferred to a new bed - a mattress on the floor. This is because our dear friend keeps getting out of bed and sometimes falling. To prevent injury, the staff felt a six-inch fall off a mattress wouldn't be too bad. Either today, or tomorrow, they plan on trying a regular "lo-boy" bed. Kathi just laughs.

She was pretty alert today and commented that she is a little frustrated that she can't just do what she wants to do, when she wants to do it. I think we have heard that before. She said this was especially true last Sunday - she really misses being at Lakeside and doing her job.

When the PT person came in, I asked Kathi to let me see her walk. So here are the pictures that show how well she is doing in that area. I praised her on how well she is walking. She said, "You know, everyone says that to me. But I don't feel like I walk well at all!"

The wound on left leg is well healed. The skin donor site causes her some discomfort as it itches. There is a little discomfort on the side of her knee when she is doing some of her exercises. But nothing too awful. 

By her own account, her dizziness is getting better, and the nausea is pretty much gone. (Yikes! We didn't even know she was nauseated.)
My general assessment after todays visit: Kathi is pretty tired of being in the hospital. "Too many rules!"


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Phone Chat

So . . . I was sitting in the break room on Wednesday, grabbing a quick lunch, when my cell phone rang. I didn't recognize the number and answered with that hesitant voice we all have when we are afraid it's a sales call.

"Hi! It's Kathi." It took me a moment to do the mental puzzle to realize it was KATHI! It was just the sweetest thing in the world. Two other friends were sitting with me, and Kathi said hello to them, too. She told me that they are allowing her two calls a week now, and she "hoped she wasn't bothering me."  We chatted a bit, said good-bye and hung up, and then I cried. Not given to much emotion, and having not really cried much during this journey, I was overcome by the miracle that God has blessed us all with. OK - enough sentimentality.

Last night, Spike made an appearance and Kathi had the chance to hold him and see him. She told me it was "good for him to see her." When my husband asked if Spike seemed glad to see her, she said "he's not exactly a warm and fuzzy cat." Which we all know is true!

You see in this picture that she is looking at her most recent mail. To her classmates in Washington - celebrating a 30-year class reunion - she was amazed and touched by your card and picture. She remembered each and every one of you. Once again, she is still awed by the people who have encouraged and inquired about her.

There are once again specific areas of prayer. First, even though you can see the normal sparkle in her eyes, Kathi still struggles with memory and dealing with thoughts that she thinks are reality. Sometimes she is right on the money, sometimes she's way off the mark! So pray for continued healing in her brain. 

There is a possibility, only a possibility at this point, that Kathi may be going to another more intense rehab facility in the next couple of weeks. There are many issues to be worked out, but if she could go, it would be the best thing in the world for her recovery. This is a facility that simulates real life and helps her begin to learn basic skills of daily living. Pray that God will make perfectly clear his plan for her immediate future.

Her one complaint is fatigue - pray for increasing strength and stamina. 

Wrapping up this week's blog, I'll close with some of Kathi's humor - which by the way, is so very present. While meeting with some people last week from another rehab facility, they asked what her work hours were like as the Director of Women's Ministries. She said about five and 1/2 days a week. One of the people joked that they thought pastors only worked on Sundays. Kathy responded with "Yeah, that's just the "guy" pastors."


Thursday, July 31, 2008

"Give Me a Break!"

Hi Friends!
What a great day . . . Kathi "showed off" a little for me and I was amazed at the progress in just the last 3 or 4 days. 

The first thing I did today was check her sleep log from last night - and she had slept the entire night. Praise God! When I walked into the room, Kathi looked at me and said "The doctor told me I would be in the hospital for a few more weeks." 


Now, the significance of this is 1) She finally remembered she was in the hospital. 2) She remembered talking to the doctor this morning and 3) She's right about the time frame. 

Kathi proceeded to tell me that she had walked in the hallway today with a walker and it was hard. She expressed amazement at the length of time she has been in the hospital and that she can't remember any of it. Her self-awareness was greatly improved today. The down-side of this self-awareness is now she recognizes that she has pain in her leg and some of her joints. 

I was shown some of her work from a few weeks ago when the therapist asked her to outline the letters "A, B & C" that were pre-written for her. She couldn't do it. Today, she wrote the entire alphabet without any problem. When she forgot her therapist's name, she said "Hey - I have a traumatic brain injury, give me a break!" What a hoot!

We sat for a while as she opened, read and talked about the various cards and notes she has received. She was flabbergasted that so many people had written her encouraging cards and had been praying for her over the last six weeks.

After 90 minutes of working hard, her ability to concentrate on the present started to suffer a little. She asked me to help her pack her things up so that we could get home. But today, that minor glitch in her thinking was the exception and not the rule.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

I thought I would just send out a picture of Kathi after she enjoyed lunch today. She has been upgraded to eating with three other people along with a monitor. Good improvement! It was so exciting to see her sitting and holding up her own head - because the last time I saw her sit up, she could not hold up her head. 
I was on a mission to deliver some clothes today, but was pleasantly surprised to be able to talk to one of her therapists. She wanted to give us all praise for putting Kathi's therapy ahead of our need to be present. She also said that Kathi was working "like a dog!" Right after taking this picture, Kathi insisted that I take one of the two of us.

She looked at me today and said "This body   -   it just won't do what I want it to." That was a very coherent statement. It will soon, Kathi, it will soon . . .



Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"Appointments For Tomorrow"

First of all, I want to say a big "thank you" to everyone who donated blood on Kathi's behalf last Sunday. There were 62 donors (42 at the church and 20 in BloodSource's office) - way above our goal of 24 donors. The people at BloodSource said that each donor has the potential to save three lives. If you do the math, 62 x 3 = 186 lives. You guys are great! What a wonderful gift.

I popped in to see my friend tonight while she was having dinner. Kathi is still on a soft diet and needs 1-to-1 monitoring while she is eating. This is because she is still not a strong chewer and swallower. 

She was delighted to see me, but basically stopped eating at that point to talk to me. So her nurse took her dinner away. This just reinforced to me that she really can not focus on two things at once right now. (I guess all those specialists are right . . . go figure!) 

Once again, she was very chatty and animated - but confused and fuzzy in her thinking. Innately a Type A personality, she feels the pressure to be accomplishing something. She was concerned about her "appointments for tomorrow" and wasn't sure that she will continue to be a full-time student, or work part-time. Bless her heart - her mind is just racing trying to fill in the holes. In case you wonder, we gently bring her back to the present, reinforcing where she is, what has happened, that she no longer is in college, and that her only job is to "get better." We assured her that we are taking care of all her appointments and ministry responsibilities. Someday she will recall all this on her own.

It was also interesting to watch when another person entered the room and began to talk to her. You can tell that she becomes easily overwhelmed and stops talking - trying to process all that is going on. I tell you this, because I want to be accurate and up front with how she is healing. Time is her friend in this "re-booting" of her brain. Thank you all for respecting the "No Visitors" restriction at this point. We all want what's best for Kathi.

Her leg is healing well, but sleep CONTINUES to be a problem. The doctor has tried various medications to help, but she still only sleeps an hour or two at a time. I asked her if she was out of bed today - she said yes, but that she is very weak and she doesn't understand why. So continue to pray for rest, strength and healing of those fragile connections in her mind.




Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday Small Talk

I know for many of you, this is a lifeline to Kathi. So, I am diligently filing the latest blog even though there hasn't been much change, or things to report. I visited with her today for about thirty minutes, and she was exhausted from the beginning. We read her most recent cards - she enjoyed the riddles that were sent to her - and that just about wiped her out. I was informed that she still isn't sleeping well at night (only about 4 hours last night) and that is tough on her. 

She was gracious and excited to see me, though. We talked a bit and I commented on how her memory was a little fuzzy. "Really?" she asked. "Did I tell you that I recently married Robert Redford?" She gave me that famous grin, and then admitted that her memory was fuzzy. I'm amazed that she never misses an opportunity to make me laugh. 

This begins week two of rehab. Please pray for her ability to get some good sleep - especially at night. Pray for strength and continuing healing of her brain. Praise God for her sweet spirit and sense of humor.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Evaluation, Treatment Plan & Blood Drive

Today was a big day - we met with the various professionals involved in Kathi's care and treatment. It was informative and helpful! 

We first met with her speech, occupational and physical therapists. They are bright, competent and compassionate people. They let us know that Kathi is doing great. Very constructive information was given to us, along with ideas to make this rehab be the best it can be. One of their basic requests was to decrease her stimulation as much as possible. She is easily distracted by sounds in the hall, a napkin in her lap, or a chipped fingernail . . . and then she can't focus on their training and instruction. So they asked that we discontinue any visitation except for her immediate family. They explained the energy it takes to "visit" with someone detracts from her ability to re-train her brain. As painful as that is for us (and you), whatever is best for Kathi is our focus. Thank you for your understanding!

Kathi's diet has advanced a bit, and she is enjoying it. She has been transferred to a special bed (a veil bed) to better protect her from injury or falls. The various teams told us that Kathi is such a sweet person - her kindness shines through to them. They warned us that with TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) we may find that she displays unusual anger or frustration, so don't be surprised. But at the end of the meetings, the speech therapist said she doubted we would ever see that in Kathi. It isn't in her spirit. 

We all want to know HOW LONG and HOW MUCH recovery will we see, right? I know that I want to know . . . and as you can imagine, the rehab teams won't say. It could be six months or two years - but they were very optimistic that she would have a "good" recovery. Just to remind everyone - Kathi sustained a horrible brain injury. We give praise to God for her recovery so far - and it is totally in His hands as to her further recovery.

This Sunday, July 20, there is an ability for you to help in a tangible way. The first week following the accident, Kathi needed a HUGE amount of blood products. So, Lakeside Church is hosting a blood drive from 8:30am to 12:30pm through BloodSource at the Lakeside Folsom campus. Your blood donation can be credited to Kathi's blood account which will go towards saving another person who sustains a traumatic injury. You can make an appointment ahead of time by emailing nancyconley@sbcglobal.net, or you can just walk in that day. If you want your donation to be credited to Kathi, just mention that to the blood drive staff. For additional information, you can call Lakeside Church at (916) 985-3245.

In closing, I want to give you a "Kathi-ism" - we were discussing styles of music today. One of us mentioned that we like a combination of old hymns and current Christian music. Kathi smiled and said "Aren't all hymn's old?" Hmmmmm . . .


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Address for Kathi

For those of you who want to send cards or letters to Kathi, you can send them to

Kathi Sturgeon
c/o Lakeside Church
745 Oak Avenue Parkway
Folsom, CA 95630

Monday, July 14, 2008

"What Was I Thinking?"

OK . . . first some humor. This afternoon, Kathi was snoozing a little bit when the hospital chaplain walked in. He introduced himself and asked if I was family. I explained just a close friend and Kathi's medical contact. She opened her eyes and looked at me and said "Who made you in charge?" I came right back with "That would be you, Kathi." She gave me a cheesy smile and said "What was I thinking?" Oh my goodness - besides being very funny to me, it shows what great connection she is making in her brain. Is it always like this? No . . . but more and more often. 

She was cranky, in general, when I arrived today, but in a sweet way, and always with a smile. When I would reach for her hands that are always scratching and picking, she would smile and say "You're mean." She must have told me four times that rehab was hard. Yes, it is. I explained that she was used to hard work, having trained for huge bike trips. She said, yes, but she had never done rehab before. 

She discontinued her own NG tube in the middle of the night, (pulled it out herself) and the staff decided to give her a shot at eating pureed and thick fluids. So far, so good. She asked me why she couldn't have water and complained about "too many rules." 

I share all this just to give you a glimpse of how she is doing cognitively. (Great!) She is very much the reflection of Christ, as she complains with grace and humor. 

She was able to recall on her own today that she had been in an accident riding her bike. She is amazed that people are asking about her . . . and Rodger and Lynn Schmidt in Mozambique, she gave a huge smile to me when I told her of your prayers. In fact, everyone should know that we have read every card to her, and relayed the messages from the blogs. 

Prayer requests: increasing strength and endurance for Kathi; continued tolerance to feedings; healing of her leg wound; wisdom for her doctors. 

As I was leaving Kathi asked if we should make plans for lunch tomorrow. I explained that I wouldn't be there for lunch. She said ok, then said . . . "Shouldn't we make plans for lunch tomorrow?" I'll give her that one.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Change of Scenery!

Well, it finally happened today. Kathi made the move to the rehab facility. She handled the move with grace and humor. I was pleasantly surprised how much she was talking today. I caught up with her just as she was being wheeled into her new room. She is just the sweetest thing - still smiling and saying "thank you" for everything. It is exciting to have her begin this new journey. She was able to verbalize that she was in "rehab" and would be "working hard." The challenge will be if she remembers that tomorrow.

She once again forgot my name (ouch!) but remembered my special skills and complimented me on them. But, she also forgot where she lives, or that she lives alone. Oh well . . . she still makes me laugh!

We broke the first rule today - no phones. But, what can I say - rules are made to be broken (sometimes!) and we dialed her sister, Theresa, in Washington state and Kathi talked to her for a while. We had to hide the phone - much like I'm doing on my drives this week. 

Assessment of her skills/needs will happen over the weekend by physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy. Then on Monday, the work begins! The doctor in charge of her rehabilitation has stressed that she can't have visitors while she is in therapy during the day. He suggested that we hold visitors for a week or so to allow her to settle in. She also cannot have phones or TV until she "earns" them. When evening visiting is allowed, we will let you know and ask that you schedule with her care team. Information on who to contact will be posted on the blog.

Physically, her leg wound is healing well; she no longer has an IV; and the doctor hopes to remove some of her other tubes tomorrow. She still has a feeding tube and that will also be assessed over the weekend. 

We wished her a "good-night," tucked her under her covers and told her to go to sleep! This may be her first night of sleep without alarms and monitors. Sleeping is healing . . . pray for good sleep!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Moving Day - NOT!

Today is day 22 . . . and when we look back at how far Kathi has come in her healing, it's amazing. Focusing on this helps deal with the small "hiccup" in this week's progress. Kathi didn't transfer to the rehab facility as we had hoped on Tuesday. Yesterday, she was still very fatigued and less talkative, running a fever, breathing a little harder and her left eye was swollen from Monday's surgery. The doctors decided to keep her in the TNICU, repeat a CT scan of her head and get a chest xray.

Today we learned that her CT showed improvement from yesterday, her chest xray was normal, her temperature was nearly normal and she had regained her sense of humor. She is still very tired, her voice is merely a whisper, and it takes a long time for her to process her answers. She isn't able to have liquids anymore, but continues on the tube feedings. This afternoon tests revealed that she has a urinary tract infection, so antibiotics have been started.

I watched today, as the occupational therapists slid her onto a tilt-table, strapped her on and moved her into a standing position, bearing most of her own weight. It was difficult for her to hold her own head up because her muscles are weak - but even in that, she gave me a smile while I took her picture for her scrapbook. After about ten minutes, you could see that she was wiped out. She became very pale. But this was a great accomplishment. Back to bed she went, and sound to sleep. 

On a positive note, I enjoyed looking at pictures with her that were left by her sister, Theresa. Kathi was able to identify some of her friends, her cat, Spike, and all of her family. When I received a phone call from her "big boss," Pastor Brad, she heard his name and smiled a big smile. (That was very politically correct, Kath!)

Anyway, continue praying for strength and healing. The Great Physician is in control!


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Small Setback

We know that Kathi's journey will be sprinkled with setbacks, and today we had a small one. As I stated yesterday, Kathi had surgery yesterday to replace her bone flap. Today she is still somewhat drowsy and less animated than she has been over the last week. Her left eye is a little bruised and swollen today, most likely from the surgery yesterday. Given all that, her sister wasn't surprised that the doctor decided to keep her another night and repeat a CT scan in the morning before signing off on the transfer to rehab. It is likely she will transfer tomorrow.

On a positive note, she passed her "swallow test" and had her first lunch of thick liquids. If she handles this diet well, at some point she won't need her feeding tube. This is a specific prayer request that she begin to eat and swallow effectively. 

We were able to give her a manicure today. This was not just for "looks," but Kathi tends to scratch at her wounds, and we just wanted to decrease the chances of injury. She slept during part of it (the soaking in warm water) and was a little confused during the trimming of her nails. But we were successful and she was sweet!

Another area of prayer: Theresa and Dave, Kathi's sister and brother-in-law. This is a huge event in their lives. Most people never have to experience what they are going through and the stress is huge. Theresa has been strong, wise and pro-active in dealing with Kathi's accident. Pray for continued strength and discernment as they continue to work through this tragic event. Theresa hopes to return to Washington for a much needed reunion with her husband and daughter after Kathi is settled into the rehab center. As you can imagine, her feelings are very conflicted - wanting to stay and wanting to go. I love this woman very much - please pray for her. 

When Kathi is transferred, we will let you know. God bless you!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Sponge Bob

Today was another day of steps to healing for Kathi. She went to surgery this morning to replace the piece of skull that had been removed after her accident to allow her brain room to swell. It was determined by her physicians that her condition had stabilized well enough to do this. Yippee! 

This afternoon she was sleepy and sedated, gradually coming out of the anesthesia. So, she wasn't quite as perky as she has been, but she did still make me laugh out loud.

She was a little restless -squirming a bit. I asked her about pain, then asked if there was anything else I could get her. She looked at me and said "coffee." I apologized to her and explained that she couldn't have coffee quite yet, but soon. I then tried (unsuccessfully) to find a baseball game on TV for her to watch. While flipping through the channels, the cartoon "Sponge Bob" came on and I asked if she wanted to watch that. With a totally straight face, she said, "No - he's too self-absorbed." (Get it? He's a sponge . . . absorbent . . . ) Then promptly fell back to sleep. I don't know if she was making a joke, or merely rambling while coming out of anesthesia. Regardless, I laughed . . .

It hasn't been firmed up yet, but she may be transferred to rehab tomorrow afternoon.  That will be excellent for her - a dedicated team of people to help her re-learn to do all the things she needs to do.

What a blessing to laugh at her bedside and watch her mind continue to heal. How powerful is our God!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Confession Time . . .

OK - confession time. Two of us are doing the blogging, and I've been back east for a week visiting family. When I walked into Kathi's room today, my heart soared . . . when I left last Saturday, she was no where near the level of recovery that she showed me today. Can I hear a loud "PRAISE GOD!" I asked her if I could take her picture and put it on her Blog. She gave me a look that we all recognize as "please, no pictures!" But she said yes, although she looked a little confused. I explained what a Blog was and that hundreds of people have been reading about her progress. She said "wow." She also stood today with a special device of support for about 15 or 20 minutes. After that, she was pretty tired. 

Kathi did not pass another swallow test today, so her feeding tube is going to be reinserted. She was able to tell me that she worked at Lakeside Church and told her sister that the year was 2008. But she couldn't remember my name . . . I'll try not to take it personally! After visiting for a while, I told her I would be back tomorrow, and she said "What time?" 

Her leg is healing well according to the orthopedic surgeon. She is getting stronger and stronger. It is unknown exactly when she will be transferred to rehab, but the sooner, the better. She still has a long road ahead, but it is with much support from all of you who love her.

Thank you, thank you to all who have prayed, fasted and kept Kathi in your thoughts. It is only by God's grace that we are seeing such recovery. 

Don't be discouraged if the updates begin to go every other day. We have a busy couple weeks ahead of us. We will make sure that significant events are communicated well. 

Friday, July 4, 2008

I Feel Strong

"I feel strong!" Those were the words Kathi shared with her sister yesterday. In fact, Kathi is feeling so strong that she pulled her feeding tube out on her own. And if she passes her swallow test today, she can begin to eat soft foods. Yes, Kathi's progress continues to be remarkable.

The nurses have spent the last couple of days trying to get Kathi as active as possible in preparation of her transfer to rehab. They have her sitting up, standing up (while strapped into a tilt table), and doing memory exercises along with strengthening exercises several times a day. If all continues to go well, it appears that Kathi will be transferred to rehab on Monday or Tuesday of next week.

Regarding her memory, Kathi recalls and identifies family and friends. She knows her birthday. And just this morning she started reading some of her cards on her own! Yahoo!

She is also beginning to put words together in complete sentences. And her vocal projection has really improved in the last couple of days! In fact, Kathi really blessed her sister yesterday when she said, "I really appreciate all you are doing for me."

While Kathi continues to run a slight fever, the doctors really feel this is neuro related and has nothing to do with the possibility of infections in her leg or lungs. So as the swelling in her brain continues to go down, so will her fever.

As we have indicated, the next step for Kathi will likely be rehab. It appears that she will likely be moving to the Mercy Rehab Program at Mercy General in Sacramento. Theresa visited the facility yesterday and was comforted by the caring staff and program they have at the hospital.

I don't know about you, but it boggles my mind to think that she is going to rehab so soon. She has made amazing progress and I am so thankful to the Great Physician for the continued healing of our friend and the faithful prayers of his people.

Today, as we pause to give thanks to God for our freedoms here in America, we also give thanks to God for Kathi. She is a blessing to so many of us. Happy 4th! May God bless you! May God bless Kathi! And may God bless America!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

An Update on Kathy Hurd

According to Gary, "Kathy's physical progress is nothing short of miraculous."

Kathi was released from UC Davis last Friday and the family celebrated her return with an inspirational piano recital from her son, Miles. While still in considerable pain at times, Kathy's strength is amazing. And her faith in God and the love of friends, gets her through those tough times.

She has begun twice daily "laps around the neighborhood", which consist of walking about 5 houses up the road and back. Way to go Kathy!

In an email, Gary writes, "We know that much of her recovery is a direct result of our many supporters who have been lifting her up in prayer over the past weeks. We are forever in their debt."

As you pray for Kathy Hurd, pray for pain management, relief from the nausea caused by the pain medication, strength, and continued healing. And pray that Gary would find patience, renewed strength and compassion as he heeds God's calling - Hebrews 2:1-4.

Finally, the Hurd family wants to go on record that they are Giants fans!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Amazing!

To quote Theresa, "Kathi amazes us!" And today was no exception.

First, Kathi made it through the skin graft quite well and is all patched up! There was no further infection, so the doctors were able to do what they needed and she is resting quite well in her room this evening. Due to some other emergencies they unfortunately had to delay her surgery until this evening, but around 9pm we got the great news! So it is looking like rehab is the next step in Kathi's journey.

Other positive news today is that Kathi's temperature consistently stayed under 100. A culture of her lungs came back clear. And the swelling in her brain seems to be going down. Kathi's progress is simply amazing and we see that each day she becomes more and more reactive to outside stimulus.

Kathi evidently showed some attitude while working with an exercise ball today. Her sister Theresa was doing some hand exercises with Kathi in order to help her gain more strength and movement on her right side. When asked to move the ball from one hand to another, Kathi looked straight at Theresa and asked, "why?" Theresa said, it was as if Kathi was telling me, "I will show you!"

Another fun incident happened when some of the gals around Kathi where talking this afternoon about shopping for shoes. As they talked, Theresa mentioned to Kathi that she can't go shopping for a lot of shoes because "her husband has her on a budget," at which Theresa made a face. And without missing a beat, Kathi mimicked the facial expression of Theresa. While that brought laughter to the room, it did reassure everyone that Kathi knows what is going on. Brother Jack put it this way, "Kathi hasn't lost that twinkle in her eye. And in that twinkle, you see her love for life and her love for God."

Yes, it is all simply amazing! And while we have all witnessed God's amazing hand on Kathi's progress, we just want to remind everyone that her journey will still likely be long and involved, so your continued prayers are so appreciated. We will continue to keep you updated!

P.S. Kathi when you get to reading this, I just want to let you know that the Giants beat the Cubs tonight 2-1!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Talkin Baseball

As I update the blog this evening, the Cubs are hammering the SF Giants 9-0 in the top of the 8th. Kathi's Cubs may currently have the second best record in MLB, but I would have told her that today's score had everything to do with the fact that Zito (3-11) was pitching for the Giants. It would be a lively conversation, because Kathi loves baseball and she loves the Cubs! So I am sure it brought her great pleasure today as she watched a little baseball on ESPN.

Kathi continues to make good progress in her recovery. According to her sister, she was very alert and curious this afternoon. And she is attempting to pull her tubes out, which is another good sign (although we don't want her to be successful in doing so).

Tomorrow the doctors have scheduled Kathi for surgery. They want to attend to the laceration on her lower left leg. As we posted earlier, the laceration is very deep and has not been healing well. The surgery will involve taking off the top layers of skin that are dead around the wound. If the tissue underneath is clear and not infected, the doctors will perform a skin graft in hopes of getting her leg to heal. However, if the skin underneath is infected, they will need to clean it out and wait another 72 hours before doing the skin graft. If this happens, this could delay her going to rehab for a couple of days.

So pray for her skin to be clear and viable tomorrow as they do the surgery. And pray for the family as they make decisions related to which rehab facility would be best for Kathi.

As always, your thoughts and prayers are appreciated! And watch the blog tomorrow for an update on her surgery!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Smile & A Kiss

Yesterday was another encouraging day for the family. Last we mentioned, Kathi was working really hard to breathe and her respiratory rate was twice or three times the norm. Because of that, there was the possibility of having to be put back on the breathing tube. We asked you to pray and by God's grace, Kathi has continued to breathe on her own. And as of yesterday, her levels were looking great.

The positive signs that the nurses and doctors note is that Kathi is sitting up in the chair and prefers to sit rather than lie in her bed. She continues to be responsive to commands and blinks, mouths or smiles to respond. She is also beginning to talk a little, but the doctors feel her challenge mostly comes from irritation and inflammation of the breathing tubes and they are treating her accordingly. She even gave her sister Theresa a kiss yesterday!

Because Kathi's Rancho Levels are so high, it appears that she could go right from the ICU to rehab! In general Rancho Levels are based on observations of the patients response to external stimuli. And they provide a descriptive guideline of the various stages a brain injury patient will experience as they progress through recovery. That the doctors feel confident to send her right to rehab is great news!

As you continue to pray, pray specifically for some decisions that the doctors and family will need to make this next week related to when Kathi moves to rehab and where. Depending on when the swelling in her brain shrinks back, she could have the bone replaced in her skull with continued care from the wonderful team at Sutter Roseville. The other option would be to postpone the bone replacement (because of continued swelling) and decide instead to send Kathi directly to rehab, which would most likely be to another facility. So pray for wisdom for the doctors and family, as they determine the best route for her long term recovery.

Your continued prayers and support of Kathi are so encouraging!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Another Step Forward

Wonder of wonders! This morning around 8:30am, Kathi's breathing tube was removed. Throughout the day, the medical team has monitored her carefully - her vital signs have all remained stable, including tests to check her oxygenation. But, she has been working very hard all day to breathe. Her respiratory rate is twice or three times normal. Because of that, the possibility of having to put the breathing tube back in is very high. To quote her nurse this evening, "we are riding the fence." They think the difficulty is mostly from irritation and inflammation from the original tube and they have treated her accordingly. As of this writing, she is still managing on her own. But honestly, it could still change and she may have a breathing tube again by morning, and that's okay. We know she can breathe on her own, and she may need a little more time. Praise God!

She still is opening both eyes and responding to voices. She looks right at you, and sometimes tries to mouth a response. I do want to explain to those not familiar with these type of injuries that most likely, she will not remember this time of healing. In fact, every time she closes her eyes to sleep, she probably loses what has happened and restarts her thoughts upon waking. Sort of like re-booting your computer. She is still not having normal thought-processess and interactions with people. THIS IS EXPECTED! I just want to make sure everyone has a better understanding of this process. 

Gary Hurd has emailed that "his" Kathy has had a little set-back - she didn't get to come home on Thursday. But he was confident that she would be discharged on Friday, and I haven't heard otherwise. He asks for continued prayer for pain management, relief from nausea & dizziness, and healing of her intestinal tract issues. 

Both Kathi and Kathy are taking just one day at a time. Thanks for continuing to keep them in your prayers.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sweet Reunion!

Today was another eventful day - Kathi sat up in a chair for an hour and forty minutes. I arrived right after she was returned to her bed and she was sleeping soundly. I can't imagine how much energy it must have taken to sit up for that long. She has one less IV in her arm, which makes it easier to hold both hands now. She is breathing more and more on her own and her temperature is even lower. It just keeps getting better and better each day. She smiled today, too!

Her sister, Theresa, returned from out of state with their brother, Jack. I'm glad Kathi slept during my watch, because I'm told she was very animated this evening with her special visitors. Quite a few of the pastors from Lakeside also dropped by to check on her.

An area to pray about specifically is the large laceration on her lower left leg. It is very deep and is not healing well. It may require some further surgery. Only time will tell. So, that's it - just wanted to get a quick note out to all of you this evening. You are all a blessing to Kathi and her family!

Ways to Respond

While we continue to be amazed by the outpouring of love on behalf of our friend Kathi and her riding partner Kathy Hurd, I believe we have not yet scratched the surface of those within our community that wish to assist in one way or another. And I know that many of you have been waiting for this posting, which we hope will give you some more tangible ways to be involved in Kathi's recovery. So here they are:

1. Pray - God hears the prayers of his people and there is no limit to what he can do through them!

2. Give Blood - Blood donations provide life-saving treatments to accident victims, surgery patients, cancer patients and many others in need. Those who want to make a replacement donation of blood on behalf of Kathi, can do so with BloodSource. A donor account has been established on Kathi's behalf. Kathi's donor account number is P916. BloodSource does have an office in Folsom and their hours of operation are M-W (11am-1:15pm; 2:30-6 pm), Thursdays (9am-12:15pm; 1:30-4pm) and Fridays (8:30am-1pm). Their Bloodmobile will also be at Lakeside Church on Sunday morning, July 20th.

3. Assist Financially - While we have no idea what exactly Kathi's financial needs will be at this point, we want to encourage those who wish to help in this way, to give to Lakeside Church's Compassion Fund. Funds given to this account will be used to help financially offset Kathi's needs as well as those within the greater community of Lakeside. Gifts can be sent to Lakeside Church, 745 Oak Avenue Parkway, Folsom, CA 95630.

4. Provide a Meal - We are asking interested people to help in bringing lunch for 3-4 of Kathi's caregivers each day and driving it out to Sutter Roseville Hospital. We would also love to have people stop by around 4pm with coffee for Kathi's support team. If you are interested in being scheduled for this, email marniemcfarlin@lakesidechurch.com.

5. Write a Note - Cards are being collected in the Lakeside Church office and will be read to Kathi and later given to her when it is appropriate. We also encourage you to continue to leave your comments on the blog as well.

Finally, the Hurd family is requesting that instead of flowers, donations be made to Ride for a Reason, one of their favorite charities.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"Hi!"

OK - so let's not use the word "coma" anymore. I'm just going to tell you what I saw when I entered her room today. BOTH of Kathi's eyes were open and she looked right at me. I asked her to turn her head to look at her other caregiver. She did! Then she turned her head and looked back at me . . . see a pattern here? She was awake most of the time I spent with her - a little restless. I could tell she was tired so I encouraged her to sleep/rest. She fell asleep for a short while, then her eyes popped open. I looked at her and said "Hi!" and she tried to say "Hi" around her breathing tube.

I am so excited at the healing I see taking place. Her fever was down almost a whole degree, and you could see color in her face again. She played with my hand for almost three hours. Sometimes she doesn't follow commands - not sure if she is tired or just being "difficult!" But I'll give her a little grace on that.

Another "milestone" is approaching - Kathi is initiating most of her respirations during waking hours. When she falls asleep, the ventilator takes over. (Breathing machine) This is very significant and we can't wait to see further improvement so that we can say "bye-bye" to that breathing tube!

Unfortunately, Physical Therapy did not happen today, but she is first on their list to get up in a chair tomorrow morning. Her nurse said that she will only be up for about an hour. AN HOUR? Wow! That's a long time if you've been in a "coma" for a week.

Anyway, just want to give you all the latest and greatest of what is happening with Kathi inside the NTICU. Once again the nurses and doctors are singing her praises!

Remembering where we were exactly one week ago today, I personally want to go on record as saying that Kathi is a miracle in action. To God be all the glory!

Thumbs Up

Exciting news! We received word early this morning that Kathi was responsive to the nurses command and gave a thumbs up to the nurse twice! In response to her movement, the nurse took her arm restraints off and Kathi began to feel and touch her arms and face. Dr. Ridgeway also wants Kathi up in a chair today and as soon as that happens, she will begin with some physical therapy.

It is normal to have set backs in these cases. We haven't seen any yet, so pray that if and when they come, that we wouldn't loose heart and that Kathi would continue to push through.

The family is overwhelmed with emotion! And we are all giving thanks to God for his healing hand!