Monday, December 22, 2008

Pressing Forward

Just spoke with my dad. Though the breathing tube remains in, Brian "pulled breaths" today without its assistance! It wore him slam out & they'll have him back on it this evening but they really want to move forward with the tracheotomy tomorrow. They believe having a tube directly in the throat will help expedite the daunting rehab process. The benefits of the tube include more rapid progress towards communication (& no, he won't sound like that guy from that ridiculous South Park cartoon), more rapid progress towards mobility, & less obstruction towards helping the lungs clear out the fluid that continues to build as a result to the trauma to the lungs & that stupid pneumonia. The fact that Brian is successfully able to breathe, even if for a short time, in spite of how busted his lungs are simply amazes me. The options available, in US medicine particularly, for facilitating recovery once again just simply amaze me.

They also met with one of the rehab doctors, William Scelza, today & were encouraged by his demeanor & personal testimony to what's possible for Brian. However, he didn't mince words, Brian's got a long, rough road ahead. Though as "Brian T." posted, the fact he's in the position to even take on the challenge is encouraging in & of itself.

Admittedly, a lot of us have been struggling with the current situation. We seemed to be moving along so smoothly, given the circumstances, & now we've hit this awful lull. My dad was encouraged today by remembering that God is good. Many of you were answers to one of my desperate prayers for encouragement with your comments from my post this morning. Thank you, God is using you to be instruments of His Word & His goodness.

Another few passages come to mind pulling from what my dad said & from the encouragement provided to me this morning:

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:30)?
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword (Romans 8:35)?
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height or depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:37-8:39).

With that said, my dad purchased his much missed Christmas trees (well, artificial 3' ones), lifted them up over his head, & committed to celebrating God's goodness & Christmas this year.

You all know about that "Keeter Christmas," don't you...


  1. Great job Brian! Keep it up!!

    Kara... glad you and the rest of the family are finding comfort in the prayers of others. You ALL are prayed for often.

  2. Keet,
    Buddy I'm so glad to hear that you took that breath on your own. STAY STRONG and KEEP FIGHTIN BROTHER!! LOVE YA MAN

  3. Brian,

    Just wanted to say hello, glad to hear your making small improvements, which will lead to bigger improvements , which will lead to huge improvements. Keep fighting, keep your faith, and let the Lord lead you through this. Praying for you and your family, wishing I was there with you, and your family. Be strong. You can't believe how many lives you have touched and impacted. You are loved by so many, what a testament. See you soon.

  4. Kara,

    Hello. I'm Janet's sister, Jamie (in the pink hat). It's nice to see that not only is Brian's doctor a specialist in spinal cord injuries but has lived quite well with one himself since he was 17! And, his boss--who must be there at the same hospital--scored the highest ever in the US in the physical medicine and rehabilitation certification specialty... probably not coincidences.

    After reading all of these blogs and comments, you folks seem to be on the right path. The only thing I might suggest to you is that since Brian and his girlfriend are adults, that you include her in helping you with the things we talked about in the earlier emails. It will give her a sense of purpose and direction and may take some of the load off of you. Don't ignore her need to help. Just an outside observation...

    I'll write you more later. I know you have a lot to do with the holidays approaching and your own young family. Just catalogue my emails somewhere so you can start going through them when you have time. It will get better... I'm not promising... but I've seen this kind of thing and he's in the thick of it right now.

    Personally I'd also suggest praying for God's will and the strength to carry that out. Praying for more specific needs (in my opinion) is kind of directing God--and that gets all kinds of tricky. But, maybe He doesn't care. Just believing is a good place to be.

  5. Hey Keeters!

    Everytime I want to write something... somebody has already written what I want to say. I just want to let you know that I have thought of Brian every single day. He is truly in my thoughts and prayers. It is so wonderful how positive you all are and I know that Brian gains strength from all of his family and friends support. You are an amazing family and we are all better people for knowing you guys. I wrote a fun little "tribute" to the Keeter family on my Blog also.

    Love you guys!!

    Kristine - Leah's little Pineapple friend

  6. Kara, you and the rest of your family amaze me with your strength. I know it can't be easy, but it is simply a testament to your strength as a whole on how well Brian is doing. And I can't tell you how much this blog means to me and everyone else who care so much.

    I love and miss you guys. Give your Mom and Dad and sisters a big hug from me. And if I was there, I would give you one too. Tell Brian I am thinking of him and praying for him as well. And really, if you ever need anything, please don't hesitate to ask.

    Your Cousin,


  7. My relationship to Brian is what my Dad used to call "a shirt tail relative" -- I am Kara's husband's mother's sister.

    My qualification for the optimism that follows: I am a surgeon's daughter who grew up with dinnertable discussions that included massive injuries Dad was taking care of (Dad was an orthopaedist) and the assumption was that the patients would get well, which they did. (Surgeons do things that seem pretty dramatic to the non-medical folks, with a long range goal of full recovery.) Also, the years of those conversations (1940s-1960s) were the time many of the medical advances were being made from which Brian is now benefitting. Dad was a friend of the famous Dr. Stapp who used to strap himself into a speed sled at White Sands Proving Ground and see how much deceleration the human body could take.

    My stronger qualification for optimism is my Christian faith. The Lord is taking care of Brian, of each of the Keeters, and of us all. We often do not understand that. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:12: "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." Over and over and over and over we are told by the Good Book, "Fear not . . . " We have to be told that a lot because it is so natural of us to have fear. Remember in times of fear this explanation that Jesus gave of why it is okay not to fear: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27

    Brian's progress will be slow and have bumps, and that is absolutely normal. The physical trauma does not heal instantly: there is a timeframe for each sort of tissue, and these natural rules will be followed by his body (which is young and strong - and that is very good). The rest he needs takes away some of his vigor, and that too takes time restore. You gotta go with that flow. Fear not.

    I am thrilled to hear that the Keeter Christmas is moving ahead. I was privileged to be part of a Keeter Christmas a few years ago, and they are fantastic. This will be Owen's first Keeter Christmas where he will really know what it going on -- so that will be very special too. His eyes will open wide as we celebrate the greatest of miracles in the history of humankind:

    "And the angel said to them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign to you; You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

    Merry Christmas!!!

    Judy Breck

  8. Keeter, my man, your daily fight is such an encouragement to so many people. I love you, and my thoughts are with you constantly.

    Kara and family, your testimony is so inspiring, and your prayers are being answered. Brian is strong, and your support is a rock for him. God bless you.

  9. Brian - Keep fighting and stay strong. You have been and will continue to be in the thoughts and prayers of the entire David family.

    Eddie, Kristy, Little Eddie, Brian, Shannon, and Mr. and Mrs. David

  10. Brian, the Scates family is thinking of you every single day. I hope you know how much you mean to all of us, and how much you have touched our lives. I know that you have always been the Scates' favorite because you have shown so much kindness to us. You are so strong Brian and I know you are fighting hard. You continue to be such an inspiration to all of us.

    BIG hugs and see you soon BK

  11. Hi Kara, Brian, Keeter family and friends:

    Just wanted to say, like everyone else, that I am continuing to pray for Brian and the entire family. I miss chatting w/Brian during the day when we're both supposed to be working. So we'll just have the longest chat ever someday soon!

    I was just given a little present w/a Bible verse on it and thought I would share it: "My God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" Phillipians 4:19. We just have to know that God is taking care of Brian in His perfect time. Love you Brian!

  12. Kara et al., This is Kristen Kostelnik (aka Rosenfeld). My thoughts and prayers have been with you since the beginning of this and have been following Brian's progress through David and this blog. Please give your Mom & Dad a big, long Christmas hug and kiss for me. Brian is a tough cookie - he'll come through this. Especially with all the love and support he has from his family and friends. PLEASE, if you need something on this end let me know. I know you will all be spending much time in Charlotte. Hang in there, all of you. Much Love, Kristen

  13. Hi Kara,

    I can truly say, I'm excited about the level of commitment you guys have, not only for showing the fruit of longsuffering (Gal 5:22) towards Brian's healing, but touching so many with your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. What the Devil meant for bad, God has turned into good. I can think back to high school when Brian was our influential leader on the basketball court even though he was quiet in doing so. And now I can see him being an Apostle leading many into the healing power of the Holy Spirit. Can you say Healing Evangelist! Wow I'm excited. That same power that was given by the Holy Spirit to the Apostles in the book of Acts is still active today. I think of some of the great healing evangelist in times past like Smith Wigglesworth, Kathryn kuhlman, AA Allen, Aimee Semple McPherson, and Oral Roberts to name a few where people of great courage and tremendous faith who overcame some type of adversity dealing with an infirmity in the body. Brian is being setup to become one of the great leaders to walk the face of this Earth. I don’t think you can lead people into the greatness of God until you have been broken yourself and experienced the power of God. Brian is in this category.
    Hi Mom and Dad, Love you guys

    Praise the King

  14. I have been reading the blog every day and following your progress Brian. Hang in there- you have made remarkable progress- although you may not feel like it some days.

    My 15 years of working in trauma ICU and taking care of young guys like you taught me something. Never underestimate the power of being male and being young!!If you are strong enough to make it this far you will make it all the way. There will always be bumps in the road but that is what will make you stronger..
    The trache although daunting will really help you. Respiratory muscles are like any other muscle- they get weak when the ventilator does the work for them. The trache will allow your muscles to initiate breathing for short periods of time and when you are tired, the ventiltor will be hooked back up to let you rest-You will be amazed how soon those muscles get strong again. No one is able to run a marathon without putting in the training- that's what weaning off the ventilator is likened to- running a marathon.. Slow and steady..
    It looks like you have a great team taking care of you (although they are the competition-Sorry- had to put that plug in!) We are all thinking about you and praying for you to stay strong. Hang in there Keeters!

    The Gagans

  15. Kara,

    You are doing such a wonderful job keeping everyone informed and updated. I find myself checking the blog 4 and 5 times a day. Your posts are also very uplifting even when the news on Brian is not the greatest. Your message is one we all need to follow to help Brian get back on his feet - Trust in the Lord and keep a positive outlook.

    Brian and your entire family are ALWAYS on my mind! Thank you again for reaching out to all of us. Brian will be forever grateful.


  16. Good morning Brian and Kara,
    I have to agree with Sarah, I am checking this blog all throughout the day as well as checking in with Troy for updates. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this Kara. You and your family definitely have the right mindset, that God will see Brian through this. I hope you will all cherish your Christmas with him. I wish I was there right now. Brian, I'll be coming again with goodies for you! I miss you so much!


  17. Brian,
    It's so typical that today is the first day that I've realized you could leave comments on here! I just want you to know how impressed I am with the huge improvements you've already made. Each day that I have seen you, you are looking better and better. This always makes me impatient to see you again! Joanna is probably coming with me next time, so you better make sure to give her a hard time when you see her. Can't wait to see you and I miss you so much!

    Thank you so much for keeping all of us updated. You have no idea how much it means to everyone. I've become addicted to this since I sit at a computer all day at work. It's great to hear how he's doing and how much faith you and the family have in God and in him.

    Sarah Davis

  18. The Keeter Family,
    We too look forward to reading this blog so that we can stay informed on Brians recovery. Thank you so much for sharing with us all. We continue to pray for you all, especially during this Christmas season. Stay strong and remember how many people are here for you.

    Merry Christmas,
    The Inge Family