July 12 -Day 28

Dean had another great day of breathing along with stable pressures! The doctors will let him breathe with the trach collar through the night for the first time! They have the ventilator by his bed in case he needs it. Dean is doing well at clearing secretions from his lungs with a strong cough! Dean opened his right eye a third of the way four times in row when I asked him. He has been opening this eye a third of the way various times throughout the day. He keeps it open for a few brief seconds. We will continue to work with him to see more consistent responses upon command. 

He seemed a little tired during therapy today. They put his blue shirt on him for the first time and he looked so handsome all dressed in his own clothes. The therapist did this to protect skin breakdown before placing his "turtle shell" around his chest. They sat Dean up on the edge of his bed for the second time! They forced him to support his weight using his palms on the bed by his side and his feet flat on the floor. The therapist sat behind him to support his back and used her hands to keep his head up. His head still falls forward but this can be due to muscle weakness and alertness because of his coma. However, he opens his right eye a third of the way if he is in a lot of pain and tightens up his left arm. At times, he will motion to the pain with his right hand. The speech pathologist tested Dean for the first time today! He tightened his lips when she put a lemon swab in his mouth and twitched his eyes when an alcohol swab was passed under his nose. He didn't respond much to the other activities she tried. He was exhausted from his therapy session and afterwards slept peacefully for a few hours. Later in the evening, I placed a piece of paper in his right hand to stimulate a response. I began to crumble it with him until he did it by himself. After awhile he had it crumbled into a ball that fit in his palm. Then he tossed it away from him as though it were trash. I also placed a pen in his right hand and held a notebook to encourage him to write. He fumbled with the pen and seemed interested in holding it correctly. I will continue these little exercises with Dean in hopes he can show the therapist his coordination ability.

We thank the Lord for the miracles we see daily and continuously praise Him! 

But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: He is their strength in the time of trouble. -Psalm 37:39

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