Monday, June 27, 2011

in photos…

I didn’t have my camera with me the first 2 days we were at PCMC.  Even if I would have had it, I don’t think I would have taken any photos.  Those first couple of days were so scary…and not really anything I need photos of – the images of my sweet little boy laying there asleep in that big hospital bed with so many tubes and wires connected to him - while we questioned what was happening and when it would end - are forever burned into my brain…and that’s almost too much to bear. 

Once we felt like he was going to be okay, Brad and I hurried home one night to quickly shower and change our clothes…and that’s when I picked up my camera.  It still took me a little while to have the desire to get it out and take any photos – but now I’m glad I did.

This photo was taken in the ICU.  The little blue teddy bear that’s by his pillow was given to him in the ambulance on the way to PCMC.  I can’t begin to express how happy I was to see those big brown eyes open up and focus on me…and that sweet sweet smile return to his face.


He was so excited to see his sister and brothers on Sunday.  They were only able to stay for a short visit – but I think it was good for everyone to be together again for a bit.  I’m so grateful that my parents were willing to come home from their vacation (after being gone for less than 2 days) to take care of our other kids while we were at the hospital.  It was so comforting to know they were being taken care of so we didn’t have any extra stress beyond what we were facing at the hospital.


This drawing was created for us by the neurologist as he explained the location of Zach’s strokes.  There is so much to know about the brain and how it works.  We learned a lot in those few days…more than we ever wanted to hoped to need to know.  Trust me, though, this is NOT the way I would recommend learning about it.

We felt so blessed to have had such caring, patient, and amazing doctors and nurses with us the entire time. 


On Monday, Zach was moved from the PICU to the Neuroscience Trauma Unit.


He could sit up to 45 degrees for an hour at a time – but that was all – because his blood pressure was still really low.  The nurse brought him some cut-out wood cars to paint – and he was so excited!


On Wednesday, he was finally able to sit up straight and go for a wheelchair ride.  He was thrilled to be able to get out of bed – can’t you tell?!?  Our sweet neighbors brought him a huge gift basket and one of the items included was a bag with lots of quarters and a label that said “vending machine money.”  You can bet he was all over that – and every wheelchair ride landed us at the vending machine in the hall.  I don’t think he actually finished any of the treats he bought…but the idea alone was enough to get him super excited.


No words for this one…only tears of gratitude – seeing all four of them together made my heart sing.


And finally, on Friday, he was able to get up and walk with the physical therapist.


And build marble towers with the occupational therapist.


His balance and coordination were completely normal…


And he even got to cruise the halls on this fun bike – with the physical therapist very close by.


One last IV steroid treatment to go…


And he was finally officially released!


I was sure happy to be able to turn around from my seat in the van and see him sitting right behind me.


And when we pulled into our driveway at home, we found the kids and my parents waiting to welcome Zach home…complete with a banner, balloons, and lots of hand-drawn posters decorating the house.  :o)


We’ve been home for a week and Zach is doing amazingly well!  He is back to doing most everything he was doing before (I still haven’t let him jump on the trampoline or ride his bike…but we’re working up to it).  He has had more water and gatorade to drink in the last two weeks than you can imagine.  He had a follow-up appointment with his local pediatrician and it went great.  We’ll have an appointment with his neurologist in a few weeks. 

I’m finally starting to feel normal again.  We’ve caught up on our sleep and gotten our emotions under control (for the most part).  We feel incredibly blessed to have our family and friends continue to pray for us and check on our well-being. ;)  Thank you for all of your kind thoughts and words – they are all VERY appreciated!


  1. I'm happy to read that things are going well with Zach. Hopefully he'll continue to recover and be better. I can understand the anxiety, etc that you went through. It is just amazing how our brains work but it can also be really scary.

    Will keep you all in my thoughts & prayers.

  2. So happy to see your sweet boy doing so well!! Looks like he is surrounded by lots of love. That is great!

  3. Oh Wendy, I am so happy to read he is ok!!! What a beautiful family you have!! Thinking of you all!

  4. My heart goes out to all of you. I was choking back tears reading your post. I am so glad he is doing better. I will keep all of you in my prayers.

  5. Wendy.. thanks so much in sharing this. Zach is such a good boy and sure enough his body is able to heal itself.

  6. Hey Wendy, I'm so glad Zach's home now. What an amazing kid--it's inspiring to see his smiles in these photos and hear how good tempered he was during his time at the hospital. Your family is in my prayers.

  7. Hi Wendy,

    I'm so glad Zach's home and doing great! Everyone at CK's been thinking about you all. I have a great friend who works at Primary Children's (funnily enough, the physical therapist in your photos!), so we knew you'd be in great hands. We'll continue to send our thoughts and prayers.

  8. Wendy, I have been a follower of your blog for a long time and just came back from a family vacation to read your last couple of posts. My eyes welled up with tears as I read them. Your Zach reminds me of my son. I can only imagine what you all must have gone through. I will be praying for your little guy (and you as well!) God is so good and I am glad that He has been watching over you all! Blessings, Lisa

  9. Hi Wendy,
    I just wanted to check in to say how grateful I am to hear that Zach is going to be OK. I've been thinking about you and your family, and am so relieved that all is going to be well. What a frightful scare! Love to you!

  10. This sentence made me tear up big time, "I was sure happy to be able to turn around from my seat in the van and see him sitting right behind me." God is so good!