After my grandson, Austin, had a stroke on December 13th and the procedure to remove the blood clot in his brain was complete, he was moved back to PICU to be closely monitored. A CT scan on December 15th showed several small areas of damage on the right side of Austin’s brain and because he has to be anticoagulated while on the VAD (Ventricular Assist Device), there was a risk of bleed in those areas. On December 16th the doctors thought Austin’s VAD may have another clot and they began treatment by increasing the dose of Heparin Austin was on but that also increased the risk of bleed in the damaged areas of his brain.
On December 16th Austin began to have diarrhea and was vomiting a lot. On December 17th the doctors said they were concerned that Austin may have an ulcer because there was blood in his vomit the previous night. Test results, including endoscopy, on December 18th showed that Austin had superficial tears in the lining of his stomach and doctors suspected those tears were caused from Austin throwing up so much. More importantly, the test results showed that Austin had a bacterial infection (C. diff). Treatment with antibiotics started immediately and Austin was moved to PICU isolation, where his doctors expected he would remain for two weeks.
On December 19th, a decision was made by Austin’s main doctor to move him out of PICU and back into an isolated room on the regular pediatric ward under ICE care. A nurse will with be him at all times while he is in isolation.
Austin is recovering from the effects of his stroke a little more each day. He walked a short distance yesterday, December 20th. Although Austin has not regained 100% movement in the side of his body affected by the stroke and has some difficultly with parts of his memory, the neurologists who are caring for him expect a full recovery.
Another CT scan was done on December 20th. Thankfully, it showed that no bleed has occurred in Austin’s brain (risk of bleed is significantly reduced 7-21 days (doctors opinions differ) after stroke). Austin will be in isolation over Christmas but his room is much more comfortable than the isolation room in PICU. He even has a small table-top Christmas tree and a few decorations.
I have out-of-town family arriving on Saturday to spend Christmas with us although none of us are really sure what Christmas will be like this year and probably won’t know until the day arrives. I am planning to prepare our traditional turkey dinner but we may also spend part of the day at the hospital. I’ll be taking care of Austin’s siblings for most of their Christmas school vacation (they arrive this afternoon). For these reasons, my posts may be sporadic for the next couple of weeks.
I have been sick with a head cold this week and haven’t been to the hospital to visit but my daughter assures me that Austin is in good spirits. When I am well, I’ll visit Austin and take an updated picture of him. The most recent picture I have is this one that my daughter took in PICU on December 15th.We still have lots of hope and your continued prayers for Austin’s continued healing are precious beyond words. Thank you.
Edited: to add this picture of Austin that my daughter sent to me this afternoon (Dec 21st). He’s very pleased with his new teddy bear that he received from Santa, who visited the hospital today.
If you’re new to my blog and you’re unfamiliar with Austin’s story, I’ve included links (in the first paragraph) to previous blog posts I’ve written since Austin got sick in November. Until that time he was a perfectly healthy little boy who turned 8 in October.
Sue C says
Thank you, Julie, for the update on Austin. I will continue to pray for him and for your family. For him, of course, complete healing; and for you and your family, the peace that comes from knowing that God has us all in His hands and loves us so. This is very difficult for you, so I pray that you will have time to rest and relax and enjoy Christmas with your family. Taking care of Austin’s siblings will be a huge blessing for you! I have found that being a grandparent is the best blessing ever!
In His love,
Marilyn aka G-Ma says
I pray that he keeps getting better and better. He is so young to be having strokes. Take care of yourself as well as taking care of him and your family.
Dawn Edmonson says
Oh sweet Julie, thank you so very much for the update on Austin!!! I will keep your precious angel in my thoughts and prayers ~ Wishing you a blessed Christmas sweet friend, hugs and love, Dawn
Julie @ follow your heart woodworking says
Bless him. I think of Austin all the time and wish and pray for his recovery. I hope that you, Julie, can have a peaceful Christmas.
Thank you for the update. May the coming new year be gentle and bring you all health, peace, and bright days!
Cecilia Reyes says
I am new to your blog and I am so sorry that your grandson, so young become sick. I am praying for his recovery, I wish children never ever get sick, it’s so sad. I wish that God may take care of all your family. Hope you and your family have a better new year… Hugs.
Dear Julie, I watch everyday to see if there is news about your little Austin. You are in my thoughts and I pray for Austin’s complete recovery in the New Year. Lynn
I am new to your site and thank you for all the wonderful designs you share with us, but more importantly I will keep your grandson and family in my thoughts and prayers for his full recovery. I’m a grandma of two young grandsons 4 and 6 that mean the world to me. This past summer my husband had a ruptured brain aneurysm, was in surgery for 9 hours and two other surgeries followed. Five months later he is doing wonderful and made a full recovery. Praise the Lord!
Miracles happen, prayers are heard and I will keep Austin in my prayers.
Bless you and yours~
Julie J says
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to each of you for your sweet, kind and thoughtful sentiments.
Thank you Sheila for sharing your story. I firmly believe that prayers are heard and that miracles can happen.
I wish you all a blessed, happy and peaceful Christmas.
With much love,
Praying for sweet Austin, you and your entire family! He is such a little sweetheart and fighter…may God bless you all and continue to heal Austin…
Julie J says
Thank you Alisha. Your prayers are treasured.
All the love and health to dear Austin and for you and your family.
Julie J says
Thank you so very much, Michal.
Lynne Hughes says
Prayers said for Austin’s quick and total recovery. I also prayed for the whole family. Best wishes and Merry Christmas.