May 2, 2013

April Showers Bring May Flowers

Happiest of May Days to all of you! What a year and what a lovely and very busy Spring!

We are preparing for family to visit. My second brother down (I am the oldest and only girl of five offspring) is flying down from the Juneau area to accompany his older brother (my first brother down, I am still the oldest of five ;) and experience a brothers' roadtrip from Portland, Oregon to  Anchorage, Alaska.

Yes, it's really happening! My Praying for a Miracle  brother, Doug, not only survived his many months long coma and hospitals stays in three states and four hospitals to be fully recuperated and ready to travel home again, to Eagle River, Alaska.

His wife, whom I am still praying for a miracle, will fly up as she continues to need a kidney transplant and has to be near a major hospital or treatment center at all times for her three times a week for 4 hours a day kidney dialysis. So, unfortunately, no Alcan Highway road trip for her. This one is just for the guys, this time.

Oh, what a year! I flew to Anchorage on a moment's notice, after being told that my brother was almost certainly going to die. I stayed by his bedside for 9 days (along with many, many family members) until we knew he was going to survive a horrific case of flu that led to MRSA pneumonia, severe brain seizures and the need for many, many months of the deepest sedation doctors had ever, ever induced in a patient.

He survived medical jet transport to a hospital in Seattle, WA after his Alaskan doctors realized he needed a higher level of critical care and a full time neurologist and seizure experts.  He stayed there, while I stayed in a hotel for a week, in order to be by his bedside, as well as by his wife's as she fell on her very first day in Seattle, and broke her hip.

After my time with him, he finally got so tired of listening to my non-stop chatter, that it was far easier to rise up through the levels of his deep coma and open his eyes. His way of saying..enough already ;) though he did it with beautiful baby blues and a huge smile of recognition.

Still on a ventilator, he was moved by ambulance down to Portland, Oregon to be closer to his wife, now staying at their daughter's house after breaking her pelvis on the first day in Oregon! Needless to say, she has now been diagnosed with osteoporosis on top of every thing else!

Two months in his specialty hospital in Portland, we got his trach removed and himself into a specialty rehabilitation facility where he improved in leaps and bounds as I drove from Salem to Portland several times a week, picking up Becky and bringing her to see Doug, too.

What a long six months until he could leave there and be at his daughter's, as well. And now...they are going home!!! At least until Becky gets a kidney and then back down they will come!

Thank you all for your support, comments and prayers during this past year. It meant the world to all of us!

Happiest of May Days! Our new beginnings start now.

And check out my small format art quilt donated to Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI and awaiting assignment for sale at a later date. 

For all of those I love...

I Will Remember You

Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares a quilting journey through her life in Salem, Oregon and Douglas, Alaska, as she sews, quilts, and creates small format art quilts, prayer flags, and comfort  quilts for a variety of charitable programs. Sharing thousands of links to Free Quilt and Quilt Block Patterns and encouraging others to join in her Liberated Quilting Challenge and make or donate small art quilts to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) Help us change the world, one little quilt at a time!


julieQ said...

I am so delighted to hear about your brother...a walking miracle! It was great to follow his progress thank you, thank you for sharing! When you mentioned all the drugs he was on in the beginning, my heart sank...that is what I do, nurse people and manage all those meds!

stitchinpenny said...

So happy that he will be going home. I wish all of your family well and will continue to pray for your SIL.

Unknown said...

The happiest of May beginnings to you and your family Michele - yours is a wonderful story of hope, strength and love. x

Lynne said...

Oh my! That is the most amazing story and I thank God for his goodness towards Doug and your whole family!