My apologies everyone for the delay in updates.
Amy's progress is less dramatic than in the first weeks after her accident - this is not a bad thing!
We are beginning what will be a 6-18 month process of intensive therapy and re-programing for tasks such as communication and eating among other things. This takes a lot of energy for us all, and mostly from our brave Amy.
Amy's spirits remain good. She smiles, shrugs, gives thumbs ups, and continues to hold hands with determined strength. At the arrival of every card, poster, or picture she lights up and observes each attentively.
Physically Amy remains on a feeding tube as she has to re-learn how to swallow. She is still receiving oxygen support and is on another round of anti-biotics for her current lung infection. It takes a great deal of energy for her body to deal with excess cerebral fluid that is not being properly absorbed and it is likely that a surgery next week will help her deal with this problem for the long term.
Amy's vitals are all stable, however she is highly susceptible to any bug or infection from the outside world with her highly compromised immune system. Please continue to send her your love in emails to be read to her, cards, and pictures of you and loved ones.
Cognitively Amy is about one month into what doctors tell us will be a 6 month process just to reach her new baseline. Our current priorities mostly deal with communication and language. Because Amy was hit on the left side of her brain it is very difficult for her to recall words and even the shape that your mouth makes to pronounce sounds. Amy's speech therapist is working with her and family to access other pathways of potential communication on the right side of her brain such as music and tapping out rhythms. Although, because of an added component of Amy's trake which allows oxygen to be pushed through her vocal cords, she is physically capable of speech it is unlikely that we will hear her voice for a very long time.
When Amy is stable enough, able to participate in three hours of therapy a day, and has had the surgery to return a piece of her skull (which was removed to alleviate pressure from swelling when she first arrived at the hospital,) she will be moved along with family to a live-in brain injury rehabilitation hospital.
I want to emphasize that my sister still looks like herself and behaves like herself. This tragedy has altered her life in significant and undeniable ways which we are all struggling to comprehend, but Amy is still Amy - bright eyes, full head of wavy hair, delicate dancer arms, simply just as beautiful as ever - and loves with the same sincere, tenacious love she has taught us so well over the years.
We sincerely appreciate your continued support, concern, love, and enthusiasm for Amy. We will continue to update this blog, however if you have specific questions or are concerned between updates please email myself (Jess, writer of these blog updates) at email@example.com, instead of Deanne who needs to focus all of her attention on Amy's health and does not want your emails or calls to go unanswered.