It has been a LONG day but I’m thrilled to report that everything is going smoothly! The entire surgery took about 8 hours, during which they used a diamond cutter to get to his spinal cord and then stuck him with 20 injections of stem cells. Dad no longer has three of his upper vertebrae but instead has a couple million stem cells making their way through his nervous system. Crazy.
When we first saw him fresh out of surgery he was clearly in a lot of pain and still really groggy from all the drugs and anesthesia. That was about 3 hours ago and I’m with him now and he has visibly improved. He is definitely still in a lot of pain, but is evidently making his way toward recovery. I read a lot of your comments to him and he showed a little smile listening to what everyone had to say, so thank you guys so much for reaching out. All of a sudden the magnitude of the situation hit me today and I can’t help but feel incredibly lucky for so many reasons. We are all so lucky that we were in the right place at the right time for this surgery. We’re lucky my mom is so damn organized and strong, because she’s really the superhero behind all of this. We’re lucky dad is so courageous and tough to bear the pain and uncertainty of this experimental surgery. And we’re also so incredibly lucky to have such outstanding friends and family in our lives. Your words of encouragement gave us confidence to make it through the day. Your gifts kept us entertained and well fed during a 12 hour day in the waiting room. And your humor allowed us to keep our sanity during such a hectic time.
Dad is spending the night in intensive care, and I’m cozied up in a nice leather armchair right next to him for the night. The doctors and nurses have been tremendous, and during our brief conversation just a few minutes ago, dad muttered “this is the best hospital in the world”.
Everyone (including ourselves) wants to know when he’ll be out of the hospital, how long recovery is, what results are expected, etc. I wish we could provide answers, however he is only the second trial in this study, so he’s really just a guinea pig in this whole experiment. The doctors and the researchers conducting the study don’t have answers to those questions. They’re watching him to deduce those answers. They estimate he’ll be hospitalized for 4-7 days, then are hoping to see some results in a month or two. And who knows what those results will entail. This disease has taken us on one hell of a journey, and hopefully these little cells will reverse our path and lead us to a much brighter destination.
He is fast asleep now and I’m exhausted myself, so I will let everyone know how he’s doing in the morning! Thank you again for everything you guys have done, you have no idea how much we appreciate it! Goodnight!