Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Oops, I received pictures on Friday of last week and it completely slipped my mind to upload them.  My apologies for the tardiness.  I've been a little absent-minded lately.  WARNING: The first image below is of Jack's wounds. Though clean and improved, they may still be a little graphically disturbing to anyone with a weak stomach.  Just a warning! The second photo is not so graphic and shows the setup he currently has on his two worst wounds.  If you don't want to see the graphic image, scroll past it to view the second.

As you can see above, the wound vac is doing its job and creating new tissue around the wound.  This will be useful when the surgeons begin the skin graft process.

Above is an image of the new wound vac Jack had put on/in last Friday.  It includes a bridge which links the two wounds together.  They both drain into one machine.

Jack and Carol Ann are in Portland today seeing a surgeon to discuss skin grafts.  More updates soon, we hope.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Plastic Surgery

Jack and Carol Ann will return to Portland on October 19 (next Wednesday) to meet with the plastic surgeon.  For now he is seeing the wound specialist at the hospital in La Grande.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Double Your Fun

Today Jack's wound vac (sorry to have called it a "rack" earlier - getting information via voicemail can be tricky) was split into two.  He now has not only the original in the large wound near his armpit, but now he also has one in the puncture wound on his chest. 

As a refresher: The wound vac is a sponge-like piece of foam inserted into the wound and attached to a tube.  The tube is connected to a machine which pumps out any and all drainage from the wound.  The sponge-like foam contains organisms or chemicals (not sure which...) that encourage regeneration of tissue and fight bacteria, cleaning out the wound and giving the doctors extra tissue with which to work when doing skin grafts.  Jack's two wounds are now connected to one tube that drains both into the same machine. 

He is very much enjoying being home, as you can guess.  On Saturday he thoroughly enjoyed a large omelet, specially prepared just for him by Rolie (Whitney's husband).

Friday, October 7, 2011


WARNING: The post today is a photo of Jack's worst wound.  It is doing much better, and the photo is to show improvement (compare it to the earlier post of his injuries).  Please do not scroll down if you don't want to see the image.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Going Home!

Jack was released from the hospital on Tuesday afternoon.  Here he is enjoying visiting with family at his sister-in-law's house in Portland, where he and Carol Ann stayed the night last night.  They plan to drive home to La Grande today. 

Thank you all for your prayers, thoughts, and for visiting this page to keep up with how Jack was doing.  I would guess there will be a few more updates over the next few weeks as Jack goes in for a checkup next week, schedules surgery, discusses skin grafts with the doctors and surgeons, and works in physical therapy to ensure he regains range of motion with his arm and hand.  However, those updates will be much more infrequent.  Stay tuned, though - we'll keep you posted on his full recovery.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Monday morning Jack's creatinin levels were at 2.76; if you will recall, the goal is to get them down to 1.3, so we are getting ever closer. 

His legs are getting stronger every day; he is now using the restroom regularly on his own, and this not only indicates healthy kidneys, but also assists in his muscles regaining their strength. 

Doctors are hoping to be able to discharge Jack from the hospital tomorrow (Wednesday), though only time will tell if his body will be ready for that.  Once he is released he will need to return to the hospital for a checkup in a week, and hopefully at that point the surgeons will be able to discuss skin grafts and surgery with him.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Up and About

As you can tell, Jack loves having his picture taken.  :)  Here he is enjoying some time OUT of bed, visiting with family from the chair in his room.

Right now I'd like to give a huge thank you to everyone who has shown support and love for Jack and his family during this crazy situation.  The shelf next to his window has a number of cards from various people who care about him, and currently there is a beautiful bouquet of orange and yellow fall-looking flowers brightening up the room.  (There's also a box of chocolates which I'm sure won't last long.)  All of your thoughts, prayers, and gestures of solidarity mean a lot to all of us, and we are so thankful for such wonderful friends and family members.

The Weekend

Sorry for the delay in updates since Friday; I wasn't around a computer very much over the weekend, as we went to visit Jack in Portland again.

While his creatinin (apologies for any misspellings, I am NOT a doctor) levels started at 9 (people with absolute kidney failure often have levels this high), they have dropped significantly over the last couple of days, ending up at 3.87 on Saturday.  Once they get to 1.3 he will be allowed to go home.  If things continue as they have been that could be as early as Tuesday.

On Sunday morning Jack was released from his renal diet to a regular, "eat almost anything you want" diet, which was a joy for everyone because now he could eat some of his favourites from the menu.  He is now trying to decide between everything that sounds delicious on the hospital vegetarian menu.  His favourite item: Raspberry or mango sorbet.

Ever since he was moved from ICU he has been much more alert and awake; the IV pain medications were keeping him knocked out most of the time.  Now that he is on simple oral pain meds ("simple" meaning as little as Tylenol), he only naps once or twice during the day and the rest of the time he spends chatting with family, watching football and baseball, and reading.

The room he is in now is a private room on a floor that was recently remodeled, so everything is bright, cheerful, and modern.  He has his own bathroom with a large shower including a fold-down seat, and can see a little bit of Portland from his room window.  There are several outdoor areas where you can go walking and sit and watch the tram (which goes from OHSU to the South Waterfront), and on a clear day even see Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Adams.  Jack has been taking "walks" in his wheelchair to get some fresh air, and it seems to be doing him good.