I’m Tommy Daniel, Scott’s father. I’m not a journalist so I realize this is not very well written. But I hope and pray this story will keep someone alive, and/or not in the circumstance that Scott is currently.
Gregory Scott Daniel has been fighting the results of TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and massive body trauma for over 16 years.
March 8, 1993 Scott was on his way to visit a friend in Birmingham. He had driven between four and five miles from home when he was hit head on by a drunk driver.
This is the point where this story really begins. To provide background, Scott was married to his second wife. Scott had two sons from his first marriage, Derek and Cory.
On March 5 Scott had just began a new job as a computer graphic artist. He did graphic art jobs Friday, Saturday, Sunday afternoon and Monday and was hit at about 6:30 that evening.
Days later, in the hospital waiting room, his boss told me that ‘because of Scott’s imagination, he was one of the best graphic artists he had ever seen’ and if he ever got to a point where he could do art again, he wanted him back.
Months later he told me that if Scott could do the work he would bring projects to the nursing home for him to do.
I am giving you this information to let you know that Scott’s life had just taken a turn for the better. He was very active in his church and God was blessing him. I do not know why God allowed this to happen, but I do know that HE had a purpose.
I came upon the accident site on my way home from work. I stopped and asked a young lady what had happened because I could see only one of the cars. She told me that a woman had been weaving all over the road for several miles and had hit a young man head on.
I began thinking that I would need to turn around and take another route home when I remembered that Scott was supposed to go to Birmingham that evening. I walked up the hill so I could see both cars.
I could not tell if the car was my son’s because it was so badly damaged but I saw his shirt through the window. (Excuse me but this is hard to relive. I have put this in the back of my mind for many years and I am sure you can understand why. Even now my heart is beating faster and my breathing is shallow.)
I went to the car as fast as possible and got in on the passenger side. Some men were attempting to put a chain around the bumper to try to pull the front of the car out so they could open the door and get Scott out. Someone told them not to do that because they might kill him.
The dash was about a foot away from Scott’s head and the bottom of the steering wheel was bent under back against the steering column. I assume that the dash or windshield caused the TBI and the steering wheel caused the internal injuries.
The impact was so hard; the support that attaches the seat to the frame crushed his left hip. After a few minutes, the Rescue Squad came and used the ‘jaws of life’ to get the door off and remove Scott. The paramedics were in the car trying to get the bleeding stopped before they removed him. Scott was wearing his seatbelt and shoulder strap which had to be cut off him.
After removing Scott from the car, the paramedics were putting him in the ambulance when the Policeman asked if they wanted a police escort.
I believe the paramedic started to say no because he looked at me and said, ‘I guess we better.’
I don’t think the paramedic thought Scott would live to get to the hospital.
I stopped at the house to pick up Scott’s wife and drive her to the hospital because I felt that the wife should be with her husband. One of my many mistakes was not telling my wife to put Scott’s stepdaughters in the car and follow us to the emergency room. She did anyway and for that I am grateful.
After Scott arrived at the emergency room, and before we arrived, they gave him 8 units of blood to stabilize him enough to get him onto the operating table. We were allowed to go in the emergency room to see him before they took him to the OR.
He was still aware at that time, I would not say alert because of the pain but he did, according to her, tell his mother that he loved her.
The surgeon, Dr. Lee Thomas, operated for almost 8 hours putting everything back in place. Everything in the lower part of his stomach was pushed through his diaphragm into his chest. His spleen was removed, his liver was lacerated, everything else had to be put back in place and his diaphragm repaired.
Over the next 12 to 14 hours I was told that he died either 3 or 5 times, and they had to bring him back. Finally, at about 6:30 on Saturday evening he was stabilized enough to do a routine CAT scan.
That is when they found the closed head injury and had to do emergency brain surgery. The surgeon told me that the bleed was about the circumference of a baseball on the front, left side of his head (left frontal lobe).
Five days after Scott’s first brain surgery, the bleeding was back in his brain and they had to do a 2nd brain surgery. This time they left a shunt in place to drain off any excess blood or fluid.
When the brain surgery was complete, the orthopedic surgeon went into Scott’s hip, put in a pin attached to a weight to try to hold the bone together. When he did this, a blood clot turned loose and went into his lungs. It is humanly impossible for him to have survived, but he did.
As I said earlier, God had a reason for keeping him alive. I do not purpose to know why, but I do know that God is the Great Physician and only He could have kept Scott alive and when God does something, He has a purpose.
After they found the blood clot in Scott’s lung, they had to put him back to sleep and put a Greenfield filter in his groin area to block any additional blood clots. They could not put it in the neck area because of the tracheotomy tube to which the respirator was attached and breathing for him.
He was on complete ‘life support’ at this time During all this time, and for about the first 4 weeks most of the family slept on the floor of the ICU waiting room. We were allowed to go in and look at Scott any time we wanted. This, I learned later, was because everyone in the ICU knew that Scott was not going to live so they wanted us to be able to see him as much as possible before he died.
A registered nurse stood over Scott’s bed watching everything 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for about 7 weeks.
After Scott had been in the ICU about 3 weeks, Dr. Thomas told me that he never expected Scott to come off the operating table the first night and when he did, he gave him a maximum of 2 days to live and after finding the brain injury and doing surgery he gave him no chance for survival. I asked him what Scott’s chances of survival were at this 3 week point, and he said they were a little better than 50/50. Isn’t it great that God is still in charge.
This may not be the right place to put this in this article but I want to say this before I forget. Over the years since Scott’s accident, I have had well meaning people ask me, sometimes shyly or in a round about way, if I thought it would have been better if Scott had died in that wreck.
My answer to that is an unequivocal no. I feel sorry for the fathers and mothers whose children have died. We can hug our son every day and they can’t. I realize that Scott would be better off, because he would be in heaven with Jesus, but being a selfish father I’m glad he is here with me.
They may ask these questions because of the problems surrounding taking care of Scott. Whatever the reason, caring for Scott is a small price to pay for that hug I get everyday and telling me he loves me several times each day. I wouldn’t take anything on this earth for that.
After 7½ weeks in the Trauma ICU in Tuscaloosa, Scott was transferred to University Hospital in Birmingham.
The transfer was supposed to be a direct transfer to the orthopedic ward. Instead he had to go through the emergency department. We arrived there at approximately 8 AM and didn’t get to the orthopedic ward until after 3PM.
Physicians from, neurology, pulmonary, cardiology, orthopedics, and other disciplines had to do assessments. That is the reason that we spent over 7 hours in the emergency department.
This should never have happened but the hospital he came from and the one into which he was going, blamed each other for the mix-up.
At this time Scott was breathing on his own, alert, in that he had is eyes open and looking around, but you could tell that he was confused and did not understand anything that was going on around him.
When they came to take Scott to the orthopedic ward, he had not been fed since 7AM. He still had a tracheotomy (trach) tube which they had moisture on.
When we arrived at the orthopedic ward they put Scott in a bed, removed the moisture device to take back to the emergency room. When the nurse came in I informed him that Scott had not been fed since 7AM that morning and asked if he shouldn’t have moisture on his trach. His only reply was that he was awaiting orders from the doctor.
This went on for what seemed like hours but in hindsight I’m sure was probable only an hour or so and all this time I was giving the nurse ‘what for’ because I didn’t feel they were taking care of my son or even cared to. I finally told the nurse to get the orthopedic surgeon up there and I meant now.
In a few minutes the chief resident arrived and asked what the problem was. When I began to tell him, he started making excuses. That was not the smart thing to do at that time.
I then, shall we say, told him to get out of that room, get the orthopedic surgeon up there and never come back again. Shortly the orthopedic surgeon came in and I told him what had occurred, that I had brought Scott to him because I was told that he was the only surgeon in the state that would touch Scott’s hip.
I wanted to know if he was going to operate on Scott because if he wasn’t I was going to get Scott out of there because I did not bring him there for them to kill him. He told me that there had been some miscommunication and to give him a few minutes.
Within 10 minutes there were 4 other heads of departments in line outside the door waiting to talk to me.
I don’t believe I have ever been as angry in my life as I was at that time. All I asked was that they take care of my son the best they knew how and that did not appear to be happening. Many people have asked me why I didn’t sue the hospital over this but I didn’t want to sue, I just wanted my son taken care of.
After Scott’s hip was operated on he was transferred to Spain Rehabilitation Hospital. Until this time his mother or I had stayed in the room with him 24 hours a day. At Spain he was in a ward and we were not allowed to stay but we were assured that he would be well cared for, and he was.
We stayed with him 14 hours each day he was in Spain Rehab. We went to therapy with him, fed him, pushed him up and down the halls and outside in a wheelchair. We tried to communicate with him and get him to communicate back. We did everything we could to try and get him back to normal.
During this time and for at least a year after the accident, I fully expected him to recover enough to be close to his old self. I am an optimist and still expect him to improve and he has over the past. I know that he will not be whole until Jesus comes again, but I still expect him to improve somewhat every day.
His primary physician at Spain Rehabilitation was Dr. Jay Meythaler, MD, JD, and Director of Brain Injury Services who, in my opinion, and probable in fact, is one of the top physicians in the world in his field. Over the years I have learned a lot from Dr. Meythaler and I’m sure he has learned from Scott and our family.
Dr. Meythaler told us that we made him realize how important the family was in the recovery of the patient. When Dr. Meythaler was forced to discharge Scott from Spain, he told me that I should put Scott somewhere and get on with my life because Scott would never be anything but a vegetable.
He would never talk, never feed himself, never do anything.
At that time I believe that was the accepted diagnosis for someone with Scott’s injuries and may still be today.
I believe what Dr. Meythaler was telling me, was not to devote all my time to Scott’s recovery because it probably was not going to happen. He didn’t mean for us to abandon him, but not let our lives revolve around him.
During Scott’s time in Spain he was treated for aphasia. Aphasia was explained to me as: you are speaking to someone in English and in their brain it’s as if you are speaking in Russian. I believed that Scott was not aphasiac and told Dr. Meythaler. The day Scott was discharged, Dr. Meythaler agreed with me. I am telling you these things to show that Dr. Meythaler is human and can be wrong just like any other human.
These examples are why Dr. Meythaler agrees that the family is probably the most important element in recovery of a head injury.
I will be mentioning Dr. Jay Meythaler several more times during this article but he is no longer at Spain Rehabilitation, University of Alabama at Birmingham. His new address is:
Jay M. Meythaler, MD, JD
Dept. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Wayne State University, School of Medicine
Rm. 422 Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan
Detroit, MI 48201, Phone (313) 966-0444
I consider Dr. Meythaler leaving as a great loss to UAB and the State of Alabama and a tremendous gain for Wayne State University. I am going to truly miss having him as Scott’s primary neuro physician. I have placed his address above, with his permission, so if you know someone with a head injury or spinal column injury in the Detroit area, I highly recommend you send them to Dr. Meythaler.
After Scott’s discharge, we took him to my home, which we had modified to get him in and out. For the uninitiated, this can be very expensive. Ramps must be built to get into and out of the house. Doors may have to be replaced and openings widened. Carpet may have to be replaced with tile. You will need a hospital bed, feeding table and other items needed in a sick room. Other changes might have to be done depending on the mobility of the individual.
Scott was still basically a vegetable and could not do anything for himself.
Scott was being tube fed through a G-tube and was on a Foley catheter. His trach had been removed at Spain because he was breathing on his own.
After being at home for about 3 weeks, Scott developed a temperature and we took him to the emergency room. There we found he had a urinary tract infection and because of his condition he was admitted.
While in the hospital getting rid of the urinary tract infection, he contacted a staf infection. He was in the hospital for approximately 2 months. During this time I was fighting with the hospital to put him in their Rehab department on a long term basis. I did not realize at the time this was not possible because Medicare and Medicaid would not pay for it.
I was just looking for the best for my son and I didn’t care who I had to “take on” to get what he needed. At one point I was told they were going to discharge him that day and I had to take him home. Because of other family problems, I knew that was not possible so I told them to put him on the street and see what happened.
To make a long story short, we finally agreed that Scott would go into a nursing home after being convinced I was fighting a losing proposition. The hospital social worker arranged for the nursing home and, I was informed months later, told the administrator to ‘watch out for his father.’
I suppose I have gained a reputation over the years and sometime I have been right and sometime wrong. But I will continue to fight for my son as long as there is breath in my body.
At the nursing home, Scott was given Speech, Occupational, and Physical Therapies as long as Medicare and Medicaid paid and to the therapists’ credit, they continued speech therapy even after pay was cut off. Most of this was done on the therapists own time. I was very pleased with the therapists and when they could no longer perform services they sat down with me and explained why, in a way that I could understand.
In September of 1993, six months after Scott’s accident, I decided he needed to be checked out by a neurosurgeon. We took him to the only neurosurgeon in Tuscaloosa at that time and the only thing he was concerned about was his legs drawing up. He did not order a CAT scan, check his head or anything. This happened on a Tuesday and on Saturday Scott was just not acting right.
You would have to really know Scott to observe this because he was still basically a vegetable at this point. I called his GP physician and she told me to take him to the hospital for a CAT scan of his head.
She then called the neurosurgeon and his only question was had she noticed any change in him. Of course she hadn’t because it is difficult to notice a change in a vegetable. I was not satisfied so on Monday I called Dr. Meythaler who recommended a neurosurgeon in Birmingham. I made an appointment for the next day.
I went to the hospital and checked out Scott’s CAT scans and took them to Birmingham. The doctor admonished me for not bringing Scott but looked at the scans and wanted to know how soon I could get him there. I took him the next day and the following day a shunt was placed in his head.
Fluid had built up on his brain and if I had taken the first doctors word Scott would have had additional brain damage or worse.
After the shunt was put in we noticed an almost immediate improvement in Scott. Within a short period of time he began to say a few words and to eat solid food. He cussed the therapists when the therapy hurt. That is something he would never have done if he had not had the damage to his brain.
Dr. Meythaler said that even ministers will curse at one point in their recovery from head injury.
About this same time, Scott’s second wife moved from my home into an apartment and soon after left town with another man. At close to this same time, my wife moved out in part due to the additional strain caused by Scott’s accident.
In February of 1994 I took Scott back to Dr. Meythaler to be evaluated for a research project to place bacoflin pumps in head injuries. When someone has a head injury the brain stops producing the chemical that gives elasticity to the tendons and causes contracture and muscle spasms.
Bacoflin, a relaxant, is a chemical replacement. It is usually taken by mouth and has to go through the brain and down the spinal column so very little ever reaches the lower extremities. Because of this it is much more effective put into the area of the spine where it goes to the lower extremities first.
At this time Scott was able to say a few words and could use the thumb and forefinger on his left hand to hold a Styrofoam cup and drink through a straw. When Dr. Meythaler walked into the room he said, ‘Hi Scott, how are you doing?’ Scott replied, ‘Fine, how are you.’ Dr. Meythaler’s face lit up like a roman candle. He could not believe the improvement in Scott. I don’t believe I have ever seen a man so happy to have been wrong.
In March I took Scott back for the blind test and immediately knew this was what Scott needed. When Dr. Meythaler put an injection into Scott’s spine he relaxed and went to sleep. This was the first time I had seen Scott completely relax since he came out of his coma.
Due to the assistance of Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, the procedure was approved through the FDA in about 6 months and Scott was the first head injury in the world to receive the Bacoflin pump.
The first Bacoflin pump lasted almost 5 ½ years before the battery went bad and the pump had to be replaced. The shunt to his spine was about 75% clogged and also had to be replaced. To this point, Scott had never had any major medical problems.
Five days after pump replacement, I tried to raise Scott from the bed with his lift and he yelled in pain. The only way he did not hurt was when he was laying flat.
I took him to the emergency room and they found an infection. He was admitted and put on antibiotic by IV for 5 days. The cause of the infection was never discovered but when we tried to put him into a sitting position, he screamed in pain and said it hurt where the pump was. The doctors could not understand why he was in pain in that area but they finally increased the flow of the pump and the pain subsided.
That should not have had any effect on the pain, but it did. To this day, no one has been able to explain this.
At this point Scott’s health began to deteriorate. He began losing use of his left arm and leg. The neurologist diagnosed ALS (Lou Gehreg’s disease). After being monitored for a year, they decided he did not have ALS. They did not know what was causing him to deteriorate in his left arm.
To be fair to the doctor, there has been so many traumas to Scott’s body there is really no place to determine a baseline for deterioration of the muscles so all they could do was make an educated guess.
I went back to Dr. Meythaler several times during this period because of my concern and also for the refill of the Bacoflin pump. Dr. Meythaler did every test in the world on the pump and shunt and could find nothing wrong. Because of the ‘coincidence’ of the pain in the area of the pump, so soon after placement of the 2nd pump, I felt that this must have something to do with Scott’s problems.
I kept after Dr. Meythaler and after 2 years he convinced the surgeon to remove the pump. The problem, I think, was that Medicare would not pay because nothing could be found wrong or the surgeon was waiting for the 2 year statute of limitations to expire so he couldn’t be sued.
During the 2 years that Scott had the second pump, he lost most of the use of his left arm and hand, he is paralyzed on the right, and his breathing had become very shallow.
On June 6, 2003 I took Scott to UAB to have this second pump removed. After removing the pump they gave him something to counteract the anesthetic then sent him to a room.
They called me in the waiting room and gave me his room number. I needed to go back to the 12th floor to get his wheelchair but something told me to go to him.
When I got there I could not get him awake. I called the nurse, who called in an intern and soon we had 5 doctors and 4 nurses in his room.
He had stopped breathing and the doctors had a blood gas drawn and his CO2 was 149. Normal is 20 to 45. They were forcing air into his lungs manually with a bag but the doctor could not believe the CO2 level so he had them do another blood gas and it came back at 89. At that point I could get a response from Scott so they bagged him all the way to the ICU and hooked him to a respirator.
He was in the ICU for a total of 3 weeks. They tried several times to get him off the respirator but each time he went into a deep sleep, he stopped breathing.
When I began questioning the pulmonary doctors, I guess I made them angry because Dr. Meythaler called me and told me they were transferring Scott to a long term facility that specialized in getting people off respirators. Dr. Meythaler also asked me what I said to make the pulmonary folks mad. I never saw them after that and the next day Scott was transferred.
We spent the next 2 months in that hospital trying to get Scott off the respirator and were able to do so, until he went to sleep. When I brought him home I brought a respirator with him and at this point he is still on it at night.
If he goes into a deep sleep, he stops breathing. I was with him 24 hours a day except for about 4 or 5 nights that I came home to get clean clothes. Someone else, usually his mother, Pam always stayed with him while I was away.
We have been back in the hospital 3 or 4 times. Most of the time it has been for infections but one time his trach came out.
He had skin cancers removed and a cyst removed from his neck. We had to make regular visits to his GP, Pulmonary, and Dermatology physicians. I had a health care worker that came in during the morning Monday thru Friday provided through the SAILS program. She gives him his bath and fixes his breakfast and lunch.
She and this program were a tremendous help, for without this, I would have to care for Scott 24/7 and I could not hold up very long. As itwas I had to get up every 2 hours during the night to turn Scott and/or suction him. I gave him his bath and fed him on the weekends except when his mother was able to relieve me.
He gets medications 4 times each day and 4 breathing treatments each day. It is tiring but I would not change anything except, if I could afford it, I would hire someone to sit with him at night some, so that I could get a full 8 hours sleep without interruption.
God tells us that He will not put more on us than we can bear and that is the truth. Reading this you may think you could not handle this situation, but you could.
There are many, many other problems that I have not included in this article such as all the problems in the nursing home, cleaning up BM’s, disposing of urine, etc, because it would be more like a book than an article.
Put your child or another loved one in the place of Scott and try to think of something you would not be willing to do for them. You probably can’t think of a thing. There are many things, given a choice; you would not want to do but nothing that you would not do.
On December 6, 2004, I took Scott to the hospital because I felt that he had aspirated some grits. I know that at least 2 or 3 did get into his trachea because I suctioned them out. I called the Dr. and she told me to take him to the ER. When we got there they did a chest X-ray as they always do and said that he had pneumonia. I asked them to check this x-ray against previous ones because each of the previous times we had been there, they would always say possible pneumonia, find some other infection, treat that until it was gone then send him home. He had pneumonia and was admitted. This means that Scott probable had the pneumonia for over a year.
After being in the hospital for about a week Scott’s left lung collapsed. They put in a tube and allowed the lung to re-inflate. Some days later, at 2:40AM, a nurse who was not accustomed to working with ventilator patients, put too much saline down his trac and sent him into distress. I could see in Scott’s eyes that he was drowning. I ran that nurse off and got the respiratory therapist in the room and she spent an hour getting Scott’s oxygen saturation back up, and when she did a ‘blood gas’ his saturation was only 70%. He was then taken to the ICU. In the ICU his lung collapsed again and they had to reinsert a tube. He spent 3 weeks in the ICU and then was transferred back to the respitory floor. During this time I could tell by the way things were said and watching ‘body language’ that no one thought Scott would survive.
I want to tell everyone that the ICU and respitory floor of DCH, the respiratory personnel who regularly work that floor and the support personnel, are second to none. The bottom line is, any hospital or health care facility, even with the most up to date equipment, is only as good as the personnel working there. The regular RN’s, LPN’s, PCA’s and Respiratory Therapists, for the most part, of DCH Hospital are the best. They care so much that even when they are working in another area, many of them will come by to check on Scott or see me in the hospital and enquire about him.
In March or April, I can’t remember which; Scott was transferred to a long term health care facility at Alabaster, AL. Of course I stayed with Scott. I purchased a lounge chair and put it in his semi-private room even though there was very little room and the health care facility did not want me to do so. The respiratory department there did not follow any of Scott’s pulmonary doctor’s instructions. We stayed less than 24 hours and I had Scott taken back to DCH. Marilyn Webster, a DCH Respiratory Therapist, accompanied Scott to Alabaster and on her day off, she came in the ambulance to bring Scott back to DCH. That, to me, shows real dedication to DCH patients and is indicative, for the most part, of the third floor staff. That 24 hour period put his recovery back over 3 weeks. If I had not stayed with Scott, he would surely have died because I would not have known what was going on.
During this whole 7 month period Scott is being given antibiotics, as many as 3 at a time. They could get the pneumonia down to a small amount in the lower left lobe but could not get rid of the virus. He would come off the antibiotic and within 2 weeks or so; the pneumonia would be back as bad as ever. This went on until July 2005. During this period of time his doctor was using techniques that are not commonly done with pneumonia patients, but I am convinced that what she did kept him alive.
In June 2005 I read about nutritional supplements in a book and did a search on the internet. There must be thousands of articles and websites on this subject but God led me to one that made more sense than anything that I have ever read. It told about the nutrition that the cells in the body require for communicating and regenerating. This is needed for the body to improve its immune system. This made so much sense that I requested more information. I was very skeptical because I have literally spent thousands of dollars over the previous 12 years trying to find something that would help Scott. I received a call from a representative in Canada and after he answered my questions I decided to order the products I had been reading about.
I began giving these products to Scott on July 3, 2005 and by July 25, 2005; Scott’s pneumonia was gone and has not returned. What happened was that Scott’s body received the nutrition that his immune system needed and along with the antibiotics destroyed the pneumonia cells. Additionally, Scott began to get some of his strength back, and mentally is able to do things that he has not been able to do in over 12 years. When he was weighed on August 8 his weight was at 124.4 lbs and on Oct. 3 his weight had increased to 133.3 lbs. Prior to giving him these products, I believe his body was pulling nutrients from all parts of his body trying to get rid of the pneumonia. I think that his body was actually eating itself away.
I or Pam stayed in Scott’s hospital room and did until he went home. He has the best nurses and aides in the world and they have spoiled him to death, but I just feel better being there. You never know when someone might be assigned that does not know Scott, and love him the way his current caregivers do. We are still experiencing setbacks but still making progress at the same time. I believe if we give our bodies the nutrition it requires, our bodies can heal itself and I know in my mind and heart that Scott has proven this. Because God led me to find these products and the improvement I have seen in Scott, I believe that he will eventually be better than he has since his accident.
I must tell you, I believe Scott is doing exceptionally well. From the point of death to being where he is now is something only God can accomplish. Scott’s doctors seem to be truly amazed at how well Scott is doing and the progress he has made.
Scott has gone through much healing and much pain. He is still being tube fed and on a ventilator. I previously told you about the nutrition I was giving Scott that built his immune system.
I have continued to give Scott this nutrition in his feeding tube and I believe his body has continued to heal. This nutrition works at the cellular level and gives the cells what they need to communicate and regenerate. I am telling you this so you might understand why I believe his body is healing.
One thing I have failed to tell about, and is important to me, is what really led me to this nutrition. In late May or early June, 2005 I finally decided to let God take charge of Scott and signed a Do Not Resuscitate. What this means is if his heart stopped beating they would not try to bring him back. I had decided that if Scott’s heart stopped, it was God’s will and I had no business interfering in what God wanted. Because of the type personality I have, that was the hardest decision I have ever had to make.
I knew from the things the doctors and nurses said, and the way they acted, they expected Scott to die at any time and this was what made me know that God had to be in charge. I could not, and can not heal Scott, that is God’s domain. The lesson here is that once I turned loose and let God be in charge, He led me to the website that explained this nutrition and I believe this is what God is using to heal Scott along with what the doctors are doing.
Between Christmas and New Years 2005 we noticed that Scott was not responding as he normally did. On 12/30/2005 they did a CAT scan of his brain which showed a slight fluid buildup. He continued to deteriorate and a 2nd CAT scan was done on 01/09/2006. This showed a large buildup of fluid on his brain.
Scott had a shunt in his head for over 12 years which had been stopped up for years. The neurosurgeon said that if he did not operate and remove the old shunt, Scott would eventually die and if he did remove the shunt, he could get a massive infection and die anyway. The shunt was removed on 01/11/2006 and unknown to the doctor, the bottom of the shunt had gotten into Scott’s bowel.
When he pulled the shunt out, it pulled feces through his body and out his head. A drain was placed in Scott’s head to drain off any excess fluid and he was put in the Trauma Surgical Intensive Care Unit (TSICU). On the 13th, Scott’s white cell count was extremely high.
The doctor’s told the TSICU nurses that I was to be allowed to give Scott anything I wanted. They did not say I should give Scott his supplements, but that is the only reason they would have told the nurses to allow me to give him anything. The nurses stated they had never before been told to allow a family member to give anything to a patient.
Within eight days, Scott’s white cell count was down within the normal range. This was due to the antibiotics fighting the infection and Scott’s immune system fighting at the same time. Several of the Nurses said ‘they had never seen a white cell count come down that rapidly. While the drain was in Scott’s head, white small granules were draining from his head. I believe this matter was dead brain cells from the time of his accident.
The head injury was primarily in the left frontal region, and the CAT scan on 01/09/06 showed ‘white matter’ which is neural tissue that consists largely of myelinated nerve fibers bundled into tracts and underlies the gray matter. It also stated ‘gliosis is suspected in the left frontal white matter, and appears stable.’ ‘Gliosis is excessive development of glia and glia is supporting tissue that is intermingled with the essential elements of nervous tissue and is of ectodermal origin, and is composed of a network of fine fibrils and of flattened stellate cells with numerous radiating fibrillar processes.’ The definitions of white matter, gliosis and glia were taken from Medline Plus Medical Dictionary.
In laymen terms, what this means is there is cell growth where before there was only dead cells. Additionally, the cat scans state there is atrophy in the left frontal lobe. Atrophy is ‘shrinking’ so this means to me that the damaged area in the left frontal lobe is getting smaller.
This can only mean that cells are filling in this area. From this you can understand why I believe Scott’s brain is healing and this is what caused the fluid on his brain. We will see over the next months, or a years, if my hypothesis is correct or not.
From 2002 to 2004 I took Scott to the hospital ER when he would run a high fever. Each time, they would do a chest x-ray and say that he had possible pneumonia, and then they would find some kind of unknown infection, put him in the hospital, treat the infection and send him home. Since the doctor found the shunt in his bowel, they think this may have been the cause of the unknown infections.
The doctor put a new shunt in Scott’s head on Feb 22 and it seems to be doing well. They kept him in the TSICU to try weaning him off the ventilator. He was too weak and breathing on his own sapped what little strength he had but he is a trooper, whether he realizes it or not.
I thank God for where Scott is and I thank each of you that have said a prayer for him. Without prayer we would not be where we are today.
We went home from the hospital in September 2007 for the first time in 2 years and 9 months and were home for less than 3 months when Scott had to go back due to a bad gallbladder. After several tests Dr. Thomas decided the gallbladder had to be removed.
Right after the operation, in the recovery room, Scott’s blood pressure dropped and they gave him 2 units of blood and then sent him to the TSICU. About 6 PM that evening his blood pressure began to drop again. It went down to 50/45 and his body temperature dropped to about 93.9F. I was standing there watching him die. God in his wisdom, had Dr. Thomas in the TSICU at that time and he rushed Scott back to the Operating Room. He also ordered 2 more units of blood “stat”. They did not have time to type the blood for Scott.
In the OR, Dr. Thomas opened Scott up again and tried to find anything wrong and could not. All he did was flush him with a warm solution and sew him back up. Evidently this brought his temperature up to normal and his blood pressure close to normal. Because of the trauma caused by the blood pressure drop, all his internal organs shut down. His kidneys, bowels, etc did not function. Two days later, Scott went into a coma which lasted for 6 more days. His white cell count went to 49,000 and not one of the medical staff thought he would live. His body swelled up to almost twice its normal size. His body was rejecting the blood that was given “stat” because the antigens in the blood were wrong for him. Again his mother, Pam, or I stayed with him 24/7. We could not give him his supplements at this time because his organs had shut down. He was fed through his veins and because of all the sugar content had to be given insulin. We spent several weeks in the TSICU and a total of 6 months in the hospital.
We have now been home since June 30, 2008 with only one additional stay in the hospital. A mediport (an IV line placed under the skin and in a vessel) got infected and had to be removed which meant a 7 day stay in the hospital. This was a very serious infection that turned out to be a staph infection. With the antibiotics he was given and the fact that he has a strong immune system his body was able to fight off the infection very rapidly.
There are still little things happening that are worrisome but I believe our bodies know more about what it needs than any doctor in the world. Only God knows more and that is because He made us. I know God is still in control. The more I learn about the human body, the more convinced I am that we could not have been an accident and only a Supreme Being could have made us this way.
Most of the medical professionals think I am delusional because I still think Scott can and will get better. Perhaps they are right, only time will tell. But I do know one thing, with certainty, and that is that whatever happens will be God’s will and in His time. The professionals see Scott as consistently getting weaker and closer to death. If they are right then I believe I can accept God’s will and rejoice that Scott will be with our Savior Jesus Christ.
I also see that Scott has gotten weaker in the past months but I do not see him closer to death. Instead I see this as a part of God’s healing. Most of the new symptoms Scott is now showing are the same ones, or similar to the ones he displayed in 1993. My personal belief is that in 1993 his brain compensated to keep him alive and that now his brain is reversing that compensation so that he can get back closer to where he was before the accident. As an example, a few months ago Scott spiked a temperature of 103.2 and of course scared me and everyone else. The doctors had urine, sputum, and blood cultures done and nothing was found. In 1993 Scott’s body temperature was so high they had to keep him cooled for a week or more. Since nothing could be found, I believe it was his brain reversing the 1993 compensation and a sign of more healing.
As for my hope this scripture says it best. Romans 5:3-4 “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:”.Now that you have read Scott’s Story you can understand why this and other scriptures mean so much to me.
Thank you for all your prayers and I hope you will keep Scott on your prayer list that God will provide what he needs so that his body will continue to heal.