We are on Day 36 at the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital with Kaleb. We came in on October 14th with headaches and double-vision. He was treated for a sinus infection the first week here, but something was off. At the beginning of our second week, he went into an unresponsive state. This set into motion at battery of tests (CT scans, spinal taps, blood draws, etc.) and it revealed Kaleb had fungal meningitis. The infection was in his spinal cord and brain. He was having seizures, numero-storming, and even suffered a stroke.
We went over seventeen days at one point with no responsiveness from Kaleb. Our little boy was there in the bed, but we didn’t know if he was “in there.” However, Kaleb has slowly started to make progress and recover. He began following us with his eyes when someone spoke to him. He gave occasional finger-squeezes when prompted to. These were life-giving encouragements to us.
Here is where we are today:
- Kaleb is awake most of the day and is completely lucid and aware of what is going on (praise God!).
- He squeezes our hands on request almost every time he is asked.
- We have gotten several smiles in the last week, though we still don’t get those on command or on every request.
- Kaleb is doing Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy and is having to regain his strength and relearn simple motor skills. He has to be assisted to sit up on the side of the bed and needs assistance holding his head up. However, he held his head up on his own for 6 seconds, 7 seconds, and 12 seconds yesterday. All new records!
- We have started using communication cards with Kaleb and they seem to be effective. We have a “yes” and “no” card that we can use to ask him questions, and he’ll direct his eyes towards his answer. This has been great, and has given us opportunity to have “conversations” with him.
- He still has swelling on the brain, but it was reduced from the previous week’s MRI. They plan to do another one next week to see the progress being made. Hopefully reduced swelling will equal more ability to recover previous abilities.
- The fungal meningitis appears to be cleared. His last positive test was on November 2nd, and since then, nothing else has grown on the cultures (thank you, Jesus!).
- The doctors are telling us we will likely be here another two weeks and then Kaleb will be transported to Atlanta for an inpatient rehab facility. This will allow him to have the best treatment possible to recover as much of his previous abilities as we can. The timeframe for going to Atlanta is at the end of November and staying there for most of December.
Specific Ways to Pray
Kaleb has made such significant progress in the last two weeks. He is not even close to being back where he was before all this; however, he is not even close to being where he was just a few weeks ago. Progress is being made. Our family is at a loss for words for how grateful we are for your prayers. It means so much to us. Here are ways you can continue praying for us:
- Pray for our faith in Christ to hold firm through these trials, and that we could be a witness to the many doctors, nurses, specialists, and care-givers we come into contact with every day.
- Pray for continued steps of progress for Kaleb’s strength. We specifically want to seek him regain more usage of his arms, hands, and fingers. He needs to be able to control his head more where he could soon get to a point where he can sit up unassisted.
- We pray for increased ways to communicate with him, but ultimately, we pray he begin to recover his speech ability. We know this may take time, but we are praying for his tongue to be loosed. We imagine it is frustrating for him to be cognitive and lucid, but unable to express himself. Ask the Lord to give Kaleb peace through this difficulty.
- Pray the fungal meningitis would be completely gone and that Kaleb’s brain swelling would be reduce drastically.
- Pray for our family as we make arrangements and adjustments to be in Atlanta for 2-4 weeks with Kaleb. I will likely go down and stay with him, and Katrina and the girls will likely join us once the girls are on Christmas break at school.
Our family is so thankful for the many prayers of so many people. Friends, the Lord is answering those prayers and He is also building our faith as we learn dependence and trust in Him alone. May He be glorified in and through this entire frowning providence!