Friday, August 30, 2013

Allison's Update - 08/30 2 weeks Post Op

We removed Allison's bandages today!!  She was a bit nervous to have us remove them because her back is still so tender and sore, but she was excited to finally see her scar. It was a 25 minute process to remove the bandages slowly and gently...but once complete she quickly wanted to see pictures! LOL  She is proud of her scar. =)

Please keep her in your prayers as she continues to heal.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Allison's Update 08/28 - 12 Days Post Op

Allison is slowly doing better each and every day. She still relies heavily on her medication to help keep her comfortable throughout the day, which is to be expected at this point. She is getting out more often now with trips to Walmart and to craft stores (to keep her busy and refocus her pain). She has even gone out to dinner a couple times! These activities really tire her out easily so we keep them to a minimum. 

We will be removing her bandages this weekend. It makes me and John nervous but Allison cannot wait and has been counting down the days!!! lol  One more step in the recovery process. =)

Allison has thoroughly enjoyed the cards, flowers and gifts she has received. They truly made her feel very special.

We are grateful for the support we have received from family and friends. It is times like this that make you realize the special people in your life.

We will continue to send updates once a week (or more) until she is back on her feet and gone to school!! (which she is really looking forward to)!

This is a picture of Allison going on a walk tonight at the park. Did I tell you the surgery grew her about 2 inches?! She is just a wee bit shy as tall as her dad now!! (5'7") That is pretty tall for a 13 year old!! =)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Allison Post Op Day 6 - Update Aug 22

Allison comes home!!
Allison was released from the hospital to come home.  We received all of our instructions of do and don'ts before leaving and loaded her into the car with multiple pillows for the car ride home!  Along the way we stopped for two of her favorite foods, a smoothie from smoothie king and Orange chicken from the panda express! Her back was bothering her too much by the time we got it to eat, so it was saved for dinner.  She is now trying to get settled into her regular bed after having the fully adjustable bed and Kathleen and I excited to sleep in our bed after sleeping in her room for the last week.  I will have to admit though that Kathleen and I will miss the hospital room service!  The food was pretty good at the hospital and the best thing was somebody delivered it to us!!  Attached is a picture of Allison leaving the hospital and the other picture is Allison's spine with the new hardware!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Allison Post Op Day 5 - Update Aug 21

Allison is almost ready to go home!  She had another busy day today.  She was able to shower with some help from Mom and put on her makeup to make her feel better, see attached picture.  She had her post op xray which we will get a copy of when we check out of the hospital.  She has been eating better today also.  The only bad part now is that she is till in a tremendous amount of pain which they explain is expected.  The pain is her back is the healing from the muscles being cut through to get to her spine and of course the work on her spine itself as well as the rods straightening it out.  The good news is, she will be discharged from the
hospital to come home tomorrow! =)


Monday, August 19, 2013

Allison Post Op Day 4 Evening Update

Today was a huge day for Allison!  She walked the halls, used the bathroom on her own and sang with the music therapist!  She was so happy singing today. She sings every day at home but hadn't since surgery. It made her so happy to sing again it brought tears to her eyes and even inspired her to walk up to the family room and play the piano while she sang!
 She still has a lot of pain that she has to deal with but the doctors and nurses are very happy with her progress and will probably let her come home on Wednesday! =)

In addition to the attached pictures see this link of Allison singing from bed for the first time since surgery:

Allison Post Op Day 4 - Morning Update Aug 20th

Today is a big day for Allison.  They started off changing her dressing which you can see in the attached picture.  There are no stitches on the surface of her skin, all the sutures are below the skin.  Her "Happy" button that delivers her pain meds was just removed and she started a by mouth pain medication.  She will also be getting up and walking today with the physical therapist. If all goes well, she is scheduled to come home sometime on Wednesday.  

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Allison Post Op Day 3 - Evening Update

This update is from Allison typed by her Dad.

Today, I had to stand up and sit in a chair again, it hurt but not as bad as the first time.  I also had allot of visitors, The Gillards, my sister Haley and her husband Jeff and nephews Clay and Bentley.  My Grammy also stayed most of the day.  The Stewart family, my cousins, Scotty and Sarah and My Uncle Jim and one of best friends Eden!  My Aunt Janet is also coming tonight to see me.  It was nice everyone coming since I could remember everyone.  I also got some nice gifts and cards today.  It was a good day....zzzzzzzzzzzzz    she just fell asleep.  

Allison - Post Op Day 3 - Afternoon Update

Allison is doing much better now!  She sat up in a chair for the first time and although it was very hard for her she did it!!  She also had her first solid foods today!  She is sad though because her best friend Savannah who has been with her every day just had to leave to go home and get ready for the first day of school.  Her other best friend Eden though is now by her side filling in.  You can see in the picture her support system, with Mom, Savannah, Eden and her brother Johnny.  Thanks for all your prayers.

Allison - Post Op Day 3 - Morning Update Aug 19th

Good Morning Family and Friends! Please say some extra prayers for Allison today! She is having a very difficult time today with the pain. Everything is ok with her healing, but they said this is expected for her to have a lot of pain at this stage after the surgery. God Bless our little girl!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Allison Post Op - Day 2 - Afternoon Update

First time sitting up in bed!
Allison just completed a major milestone in her recovery!  The physical therapist came in and had Allison sit up on the edge of the bed. It was the single most challenging physical thing she has ever done as it was extremely painful but she did it and we are very proud of her!  Tomorrow they will have her try and get out of bed and sit in a chair.  Pray she does well!!

Allison - Post Op Day 2 - Morning Update Aug 18th

Moving from ICU to 7th Floor
Allison has just been moved to her regular room on the 7th floor.  The room number is 716.  The phone number for the room is 727-767-1716.  Visiting hours for the hospital are 9am to 9pm daily.  She is still pretty groggy but is very aware of her surroundings and is open to visitors.  The hospital is located at 501 6th Ave, St Petersburg.  If you plan to visit, the easiest way is to pay $3 for valet, or you can park in the garage across the street for free.  If you park in the garage, use the elevator to go to 2nd floor in the garage and the walkway will bring you through the out patient center right into the hospital.

Allison - Post Op Day 1 - Morning Update Aug 17th

Allison is doing well this morning!  Her blood pressure did drop a bit in the night which caused lots of people to keep coming in and kept her awake.  They gave her lots of extra IV fluids and talked about the possibility of a transfusion but luckily got it under control.  Today will be a big day for her as she will be moving from ICU to a regular room on the seventh floor, but unfortunately they have her in an ICU bed which means she has to transfer to another bed and isn't looking forward to that ordeal!

She has been a trooper and wants get well cards.  If you do plan to visit, call me to get the new room number and would be best to come this afternoon after she is in her regular room.  If you were planning to bring flowers or a plant, don't, because All Childrens does not allow them.

Check out the attached picture with gifts from her best friend, Savannah!!  She has a "build a bear" with a shirt on of her favorite group One Direction and singer Harry Styles.  She is also holding a blanket crocheted by Savannah.  Her best friend Savannah has been awesome for Allison, she has never left her side since the night before surgery and has even stayed at the hospital both yesterday and today keeping Allison's spirit up!  I can't forget her good friend Eden who also stayed with her the night before and stayed with her at the hospital until she went into surgery.  

I also wanted to let everyone know that although I have not been able to answer all of your emails in support of Allison, I have read them all and shared all of them with Allison.

Thank you!!  

Friday, August 16, 2013

Allison Update - Surgery Day - Evening

Allison is doing well! She was in a huge amount of pain and was very frustrated that she couldn't talk well or open her eyes for the first few hours, but now she is doing better.  She is talking a little better and learning to use her pain medication button, but when she uses it then she feels tired and falls back asleep.  She is however getting her "attitude" back and is cracking jokes and then says "crap I don't have the energy to laugh or smile". (I asked the doctor to remove her attitude during surgery but I guess this wasn't possible) :).
Her vitals are all great and if she is doing well tomorrow she will leave icu and go to a regular room.

 Allison gives a thumbs up that all is well! What a trooper!

Allison Update!!! - Surgery Day - Post Surgery

2:00 pm Allison's surgery is complete!  Everything went great!  We just spoke to the Doctor and he was very happy with how everything went.  She was a little anxious when she woke up from surgery so they had to try and keep her calmed down.  They are prepping her now so that we can go back and see her.   By design, she will spend the rest of the day and night in ICU.  I will send more updates later.

Allison Update - Surgery Day - Mid Surgery

They just updated us that Allison is in phase 3 of her surgery.  All screws have been placed in her spine on both sides T2-T11, they are now removing bone between the vertebrae to allow them to adjust the curvature of the spine.  Next they will start placing the rods and straightening the spine and then they will pack the spine with bone fragments and bone marrow to start the fusing process.  They said she could be out of surgery as early as 2pm.  

Thanks again everyone for all the prayers and emails of support!!

I will continue to send updates.

Allison update - Surgery Day - Morning - Aug 16th

They just brought our baby girl in for surgery at around 8:45. We met all the doctors and nurses and know she is in good hands! She was so scared when they started to bring her away, it broke our hearts. Please continue to keep her in your prayers!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Allison's Surgery - Pre Op - August 14th

Dear Family and Friends,

Today. Wednesday, August 14th we went to Allison's pre op appointment at All Children's Hospital in St Petersburg.  We were at the hospital about 5 hours, while they collected lots of information from us, collected blood from Allison and gave us a full tour.  They were extremely informative and even went over the various things with Allison to expect before, during and after surgery.  I think it helped Allison (and us) to understand everything better but also gave her and us the realization that this is about to happen.

On Friday, we have to arrive at All Childrens by 6:30am!  She will be taken into surgery at 8:30am and it is expected to take about 5 hours.  They will be fusing her spine from T2 to T11 in order to correct two curves - the largest at 56 degrees.  She will spend the rest of the day in ICU mostly sleeping and then will be moved to recovery to spend the next 4 to 5 days before she can come home.  

I will be sending regular updates starting Friday morning along with some pictures if she lets me!

Please keep her in your prayers!!!!

John and Kathleen

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