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

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


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!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Nuggets of Encouragment

I had an interesting conversation with a friend today. She wanted to know why we continued to classify Kathi as being in a coma when she was opening her eyes. Great question - let me see if I can clarify this.

Coma is the prolonged period of unconsciousness which is an absence of awareness of self and the environment. The normal state MOST of us are in is called Arousal and is the general state of readiness to respond to the environment. Basically, that means you can respond and take care of business. (Selective attention and purposeful responses.) The medical team grades coma on a scale of what a person can and cannot do. Two of the scales are the Glasgow Scale and the Rancho Los Amigos Scale. You can "Google" these yourself to see what they look at to evaluate a patient. Kathi is progressing along in their assessment, but is still officially in a coma. Whew! OK, that being said, let me tell you about today!

Great Day! Kathi was read to today, and during that time opened her eyes and looked right at the person reading to her. She has good movement and strength in her left hand - the right is a little weak and non-responsive. I concur with this - when I went in to see her today, she was much more responsive to my voice. Opened both eyes and followed my movement around the bed. Sometimes she squeezes hands on command . . . and sometimes not. Apparently the doctor on service today could not get her to respond to him. Hmmm . . . she really seems to enjoy her music for short periods of time. Also, Kathi had her ICP (Intracranial Pressure) monitor removed today because her measurements have been so stable. One less tube to her body!

STILL has a fever! Cooling blankets, Tylenol, antibiotics and prayer . . . it's the best treatment plan!

This afternoon, her nurse said that she believed that Kathi was going to do well. Strictly her opinion - but she has worked in that unit for 10 years. It's hard to balance hope and reality, but this was encouraging to hear from someone who has much experience dealing with patients with head trauma. I'm going to hang onto this precious nugget of encouragement.

Update on Kathy Hurd - I spoke to her husband, Gary, today. Kathy had a rough start to her physical therapy and needs our prayers, support and encouragement. She is a strong woman, which is good, because this is TOUGH! The UC Davis Trauma team has been exceptional in taking care of Kathy!

Tomorrow is the "one week" mark - yeah! The Sutter Roseville Neuro Trauma ICU Team is the bomb! You prayer warriors out there - God bless you.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Music to her ears . . .

Well, the fever continues to be an issue. They started Kathi on antibiotics today to see if there is any improvement. Once again all her vital signs are stable. They changed her head dressing today, and finished the "special" haircut from last Wednesday - a very special military haircut, aka - buzz. I think she was considering a new hairstyle anyway.

The trauma surgeon suggested and approved an iPod for Kathi to listen to some of her favorite music beginning today. So - we made that happen this evening. Thanks to everyone who hustled to get it done - they actually downloaded music off of her office computer iTunes where she had a large file of her favorite worship songs. So the plan is to give her music stimulation for short periods of time. It could be merely a coincidence, but her blood pressure came down as the music played.

She is still moving her left hand with some purpose - rubbing the sheet covering her. Her arms are restrained to prevent pulling out IV's and tubes, so her ability to move is a little restricted. Her left eye continues to open when people talk to her, or the nurses are bugging her. Actual focusing is not known.

Just a reminder - no visitors are being allowed at this time. Some sweet people dropped by today, but were turned away by the medical staff. Thank you for all your love and prayers.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Message From Theresa and David

"Words cannot express how grateful we are for all the support, love and words of encouragement from everyone around the world for Kathi. Each day as she gets stronger is a testament to the power of prayer and God's healing hands.

We are forever grateful to everyone at Lakeside Church who have welcomed Dave and I into their family. We would also like to thank First Baptist Church of Elk Grove and all of Kathi's friends who have gathered around to lend prayers and support.

Finally, to the Trauma Department at Sutter Roseville -- YOU ROCK!! The doctors and nurses do incredible work and we are so thankful . . . Kathi is in the best hands."
Theresa and David Huff
Kathi's sister and brother-in-law

Today was a good day. Kathi was reported by her nurse to be using her fingers in a deliberate way. Theresa watched as Kathi opened her right eye and seemed to follow her movements. Also, she squeezed the hands of some others. While I was holding her hand, she caressed the top of my hand with her thumb. Then she opened her right eye again.

Once again, we need to remember that she is still in a coma, on a ventilator and has a very severe brain injury and we still just don't what is going to happen. But . . . don't you just want to do a "happy dance?"

Areas of concern continue to be the fever she has and the potential of developing pneumonia. Other vital signs are all stable and holding. Thank you for continuing to hold Kathi up in prayer.

It was good to see Kathi's "Bodacious Babes" bicycling group at Lakeside this morning. It was very encouraging to her family. What a precious time of worship we shared together!

Update on Kathy Hurd

Gary Hurd shared today that Kathy is in good spirits and should begin physical therapy sometime this week. Pray for her in regards to pain control and appetite.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Saturday Salutations

We were not able to meet with the doctor this morning before this blog was posted, but he apparently told Kathi’s nurse that he was surprised at the progress she has made since he saw her on Thursday. He is the doctor who met her in the ER and began her care. And he seems to be pretty realistic and conservative with his words, so this was very encouraging to hear.

We stood by her bed this morning and held her hands and talked to her. As we were talking to her, she tried to open her eyes, but was not successful. But she did turn her head toward our voices on her own. Small, sweet miracles every day – that’s what we want!

She is running a fever and they are worried about her developing pneumonia, but they said it’s pretty common and they are ready for it. The swelling in her face has decreased dramatically, although there is still “road rash.” Her intracranial pressure (the pressure in her brain) has remained very stable.

We have passed the 72-hour mark, which is somewhat of a milestone, too. Visitation is still restricted to family only and will continue at least through this next week. So – we will continue to pray. We know that God loves Kathi more than any of us do, and that He has her in the palm of His hand.

Kathy Hurd, Kathi’s cycling buddy, has had surgery to stabilize some of the fractures in her back and has been moved out of the ICU into a regular room. She is awake, alert and talking with her family. Way to go, Kathy! There are no firm dates for rehab or discharge. Kathy’s husband, Gary, stopped by to check in on Kathi yesterday and it was good to see him. Continue your prayers for them and their children.

Many of you have asked how you can tangibly help and express your love to Kathi and her family during this time. At this time we don't have a lot of answers, but we are suggesting that those who want to make a replacement donation of blood on behalf of Kathi, do so with BloodSource. BloodSource does have an office in Folsom and their hours of operation are M-W (11-1:15;2:30-6), Thursdays (9-12:15; 1:30-4) and Fridays (8:30-1). Their Bloodmobile will also be at Lakeside Church on Sunday morning, July 20th.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Cautious Good News!

I want to temper the good news I'm about to share with the reality that Kathi is still very critically ill. But having said that we are greatly encouraged today. Praise God!

This morning we were able to observe Kathi open her eyes. She is not following commands, still in a coma and and still on a ventilator. But the doctor said she is doing things today that cause him to believe she can have a good recovery. He said he watches for four things to begin to happen: 1) Open her eyes 2) Reaching to pull out tubes 3) Following commands 4) Being able to come off the ventilator. So. . .we can check off number 1! He said she is ahead schedule on his expectations. So pray for her to continue hitting these milestones.

Due to the seriousness of her open head wound and the great risk of infection, the doctor asked that we restrict visitors to family only. This is so hard because we know every one's heart's desire is to come see and love her. We expect this restriction to be relaxed in a few weeks. We will let you know when this happens. (Details will come later.)

Thank you and bless you.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Evening Update

This afternoon Kathi had surgery on the large laceration on her calf, which needed to be cleaned and closed up. The surgery went well. However, it almost didn't happen this afternoon as the physicians had some initial concerns with her blood not clotting. But after platelets were administered, the doctors were confident her blood would clot and they could go forward with the surgery. She was wheeled back to her room in ICU at about 5:30pm.

Kathi is stable but still in critical condition. In the post op, the nurses have been attempting to deal with some low blood pressure issues, which presents some concern, but is still manageable. They will be watching this through the night.

It has been beautiful to see the Lakeside family and body of Christ respond with so much love! Thanks for your prayers, your support and for the posts which the family is reading and so encouraged by.

Afternoon Report

This morning, Kathi's sweet nurse, Alysa, came to update us and tell us what the day would hold. Kathi was on her way back to CT for another scan of her head. Then she went to the Cath lab for a special filter to be inserted in one of her large blood vessels. We were able to meet with the Trauma Surgeon for his most up-to-date evaluation.

He shared that her craniotomy done yesterday for a subdural hematoma (a large blood clot). The concerning factors were that the paramedics were not able to put a breathing tube in or start an IV. So she came into the ER already a little compromised. He's not sure how well she was oxygenated. Also her blood pressure was very low, indicating the severity of her head injury.

The positive things were a quick transfer to the hospital, and straight to the operating room after a quick CT. The surgery was successful and they left a portion of her skull off to allow the brain to swell without damage. Today's CT showed two bruises in the front of the brain and one on the side that they are watching. They are monitoring the pressure in her brain - and it's been great!

She will be having a feeding tube inserted in a few moments, and then will go to surgery to have the large laceration in her calf cleaned and closed up. She has some low-grade pelvic fractures that are not worrisome. He felt the fact that her pupils being equal and responsive was a very good sign. So, he said that you just don't know how it will all balance out.

We were able to pop in and see her for a while. She is stable enough that we were allowed to speak to her and touch her. Her nurse was great about spending time with Kathi's sister, Teresa and explaining things.

I know that the main question everyone has is what is the prognosis. At this point, Kathi has reflexes still intact - response to pain, cough, etc. She cannot follow commands - her movements are reflexive at this time. The doctor says that we will just have to wait and see - it's a waiting game. But to quote him "the cup is half full." We are continuing to have faith and hope. We believe in a God of miracles.

Kathi's sister and brother-in-law, Teresa and Dave, feel your love and prayers. Blessings to you all!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wednesday Evening Update

We want to thank everyone for their prayers and outpouring of love for Kathi. We have been overwhelmed by the calls, emails, and expressions of care by our beautiful Lakeside family!

As we write Kathi is in ICU at Sutter Roseville. She is in stable but critical condition. There are still a lot of unanswered questions related to her condition and the circumstances that brought her here, but our goal is to provide you with up to date and correct information on this blog.

Here is what we know. This morning she was out riding with her friend Kathy Hurd, training for an upcoming race when both Kathi's were struck by a car driving north on El Dorado Hills Blvd. Kathi Sturgeon was life-flighted to Sutter Roseville where she was immediately taken to the trauma unit and underwent emergency surgery for serious brain injury. The surgery was successful in reducing pressure and she was then taken to a room in ICU.

At this point we have no answers on prognosis. It will probably be days before we know. At this time her vital signs are stable, but she remains unconscious and on a ventilator.

The best thing for her at this time is rest. Therefore the medical team asks that her visitors be restricted to family only. Her sister, Teresa, has arrived in Sacramento from Washington, and her brother is in constant contact by phone. It is so hard when we can't do anything to help, but honestly there isn't anything tangible people can do at this time.

The pastoral team and her close Lakeside friends are here at the hospital keeping vigil. Please, please continue to pray for Kathi.

Also, please pray for Kathy Hurd and her family. Kathy Hurd also sustained injuries and is at the UC Davis Hospital in Sacramento.

We will constantly update this site with any info that develops. You can also post your comments and prayers on this site.

P.S. Spike is being well loved and taken care of!

Please pray for Kathi

Hi Friends,
There is no gentle way to say this, but our friend Kathi Sturgeon was hit by
an automobile this morning while she was riding her bicycle in El Dorado
Hills. She is in emergency surgery in Roseville as I write this note, and we
are not yet sure of her prognosis. She is surrounded by friends, Lakesiders
and soon by her family from Seattle.

Please be praying for Kathi.

I'll let you know when we know more, but I wanted you to be informed as soon
as possible. I am counting on God's grace for her. I know you will as well.

God bless you,