On May 6th, 2009 Austin was critically injured while riding his bike. He was with his friend and his brother. They were on their way to play football at the park with some other friends and were riding on loose gravel. When his friend accidentally cut him off he braked hard, his handlebars turned 90 degrees and hit him in the abdomin. He said he couldn't breathe. When he could move he started vomitting and then cleaned his bloody knees with leaves and rode his bike home! Even from the start he was determined to survive!
We rushed him to the Defiance ER and were told that he had suffered mild internal injuries and that they would keep him for observation. By Thursday morning it was clear that he was getting worse and as they rushed him back down for a CT scan and we suddenly saw the air flight crew getting around we knew it was bad. They told us that they found that the pancreatic trauma was a little worse than they thought and that they were sending him via helicopter to Children's Hospital in Toledo where they were better suited to treat a child with this type of injury and that they just wanted to get him there quickly. The doctor hugged my very tightly and told my husband to take care of me. They never told us how serious it was but I had a feeling they weren't telling us everything.
As we hopped into our vehicles and drove the 1.5 hours there I was hysterical. I called the ICU and they told me that they were getting his blood typed so they could have it on hand and were doing a slew of other tests. They were also going to have to put a tube in his nose and a foley in. I am sure they told me more but I didn't catch most of it. When we got there we raced back to his bed and there were so many doctors and he looked so bad laying there and then they very bluntly told me that my child was in critical condition, that he had a very serious injury, and that his pancreatic duct was fractured. They said what no parent wants to hear, that they didn't know if he would make it and that the next 24-48 hours were crucial. We were in for a long road to recovery.
They drew us a picture that showed exactly what was going on that all of his pancreatic enzymes were leaking into his abdomin. We were told that the body doesn't know the difference between food and us, and that it would try to digest itself, that he was suffereing tissue damage as long as that was happening. Because he did not come in to Toledo the day it happened we were limited in treatment options because it was too dangerous to operate at that point. If they had they would have had to remove 2/3 of his pancreas causing him to become diabetic, if he made it through surgery. They decided to wait if they could. That night he spikes a 104 degree fever and they start him on triple antibiotics to try and stop budding infections as he ws likely to get one.
Our surgeon told us about a procedure called ERCP and that they could do it in Detroit and that his colleague would perform it if he was a candidate. After reviewing his CT scan we were told that the risks would outweigh the benefits and that he wasn't really a candidate for the surgery. Back to waiting and watching.
Austin's lungs are starting to not function properly as he has been on his back a long time and the bottom of his lungs aren't inflating properly. He has breathing treatments every 4 hours and has to use an incentive spirometer to try and inflate his lungs as much as possible. They worry about his lungs collapsing, about pneumonia, about having to put him on a ventilator. Even though it is horrible, and it hurts and he hates it Austin struggles to take deep breaths and manages to stay off the ventilator.
Every day he looks a little better and we are told he is stable but by no means out of the woods. 1 week into his injury we are still in critical condition in the ICU and he is starting to develop 4 pseudocysts. 2 large 2 small, and that is where the body is walling off the damaging enzymes to protect itself. He is in extreme pain, and is very nauseous but keeps figthing, and we keep praying.
After 2 weeks in ICU we are told the best news, we can move to a regluar room. He is able to stop breathing treatments and is able to sit up. After about 3 more days in the room he is up in a wheelchair and 2 days after that he is walking. We still have a long road to go. I figured starting this site would help us keep everyone better informed and allow us to explain everything that is going on. He is determined to make it through this and I believe he is strong enough to get through the complications. We couldn't have done it without everyone's love and support, and prayers. Thank you all.