Thursday, December 18, 2008

Holding Steady

When we got in to see Brian this morning, we learned from his nurse that he had a bit of a rough night. His heart rate was higher than they wanted & his fever was back up, which the nurse said is pretty normal for someone following surgery. However, when we left this morning, it appeared he was returning back to a more stable state.

Last night was pretty much the same, though we had some special visitors. His girlfriend brought her beautiful family to see him (apparently Wednesday nights are their sort of family date nights, "Wacky Wednesdays," I believe as they are known) who prayed over him, praising Our God's ability to deliver & heal. He also had a couple friends from Raleigh come down, in addition to the local regulars. He was even given an early Christmas gift--a digital picture frame (with remote!) for us to load the 1,000s of photos of his only nephew. Thank you all for coming.

Bottom line, at this point, we're sort of in a waiting game. They can't do much diagnostic testing on the spinal cord injury until he obviously is strong enough & more stable from the surgery. We just continue holding his hand, teasing him as he always has us (though I must brag & say as his older sister, I seem to always escape Brian's penchant for teasing nicknames he so amply gave his sisters & many others, I see), playing recordings of his nephew in his ear, & reading comforting passages from the Bible. He does seem to be sleeping much more peacefully, which is the physical foundation for allowing his body to recover.

He is being weaned off the respirator. Again, just slow & steady progress. A trend that undoubtedly will be the case for much time to come.

He continues to have so many visitors both in person & through the blog. We have been sharing all the love & prayers you have for him. He even got a special delivery of the most absolutely horrid balloon you've ever seen, one that even sings when you tap it. The instructions are to annoy him with it so much he defies all odds & gets right up & walks over to destroy it. Worth a shot I guess (though one of us just might beat him to it ;).

Again, we have to praise God for his faithfulness. You all just cannot begin to know all the blessings being sent our way...friends taking care of snacks at the hospital, bringing family into town, watching my son, watering Christmas trees & pets at home, & so much more. A high school friend of his younger sisters who works at the hospital even "just happened" to bring meal tickets for the cafeteria right when my parents were dividing up the cash among each other for their rotating shifts & today's food.

As my parents & I were engaging in those "deep theological discussions," touching on many of the questions I know you all too are asking yourselves about God & the way he works for good in our lives, we received a call from the priest who worked with Brian at State. Though he lives out of North Carolina now, he will be in the area for Christmas & plans to come see Brian to tell Brian what he told my dad: Brian has always been called to help people (though Brian himself may not have seen it) & God is seeing him through this to do exactly that. Amen. It can't be said any better than that.

Thus, in this Spirit, I ask you all to please take Brian's experience to see that God is good. God spared Brian's life for a purpose & has put him in a place to stand witness to His goodness. Though he can't even yet move, he's touching so many lives, inspiring people to call out to God & to be thankful for His blessings in their lives. Please let our experience help you believe that we serve a kind & loving God, who we can trust to know what is best for us, eternally.

Will continue to keep you posted. Thank you for your prayers & we continue to pray for you all too, for your continued support, your health, your families, & many more blessings, particularly at such a miraculous time of year.


  1. Kara, I hope you know that what you are writing in these blogs is also a blessing to Brian, your family, and all the friends who are reading this. Yours is the second family now that I have known to go through unspeakable tragedies, yet continues to see God's work and witness to others. I know I have never met you, but I have always known that Brian is close to his family, and I am getting to know you now through this. Brian and all of you are constantly in my thoughts and prayers.
    Cindy Tyndall
    (O'Toole's wife)

  2. Please pass on to your father, and Brian (who doesn't know me), that folks at the Blacksburg VA NWS office hold the entire family in our thoughts and prayers. I only met Brian and the family once at Kermit's retirement celebration, and was impressed in many ways by each of you (but this was not suprising to me knowing Kermit). I know Brian is in good hands (in all ways possible), and hopefully all the people simply praying for him and all of you will help in some small way. Thank you for keeping the blog so we can follow his recovery.


    Steve Keighton
    "SOO" at the NWS in Blacksburg, VA

  3. Thank you for keeping all of us who care about Brian so much updated on how he is doing. I am thinking of him constantly and it puts me at ease to "check in" on him this way. Brian, I love you and can't wait to beat you at a game of "Hug O' War" again! Your strength inspires me.