Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Latest status on Luke

I thought I would take a moment and try to recap Luke's condition and hopefully fill in any gaps everyone might have in their understanding of his conditions.

First, Luke does wake up and open his eyes, mostly during the day time. He does respond to voices, in particular Mom and to some degree Dad. He does respond to the tickling of his feet by pulling back on them. He does move his arms and hands, although he does not really reach for anything. He does move his head from side to side at times, although he does favor his right side. His eyes do move some, although here again he favors his right side.

He has had seizures and they are in the process of switching anti-seizure meds and he has had a few during this time. This should be completed on Friday some time.

Luke is not on a ventilator and does not require oxygen. He is breathing on his own via his trach. He does require suctioning of his trach to maintain his airway and until God heals his coughing and swallowing this will continue. He requires more suctioning when he is awake and very little when he sleeps. He is sleeping during normal nighttime hours 10pm - 7am type of hours. Mom, Dad, Aunt Cindy, Sister Amy and Friend Yoli are all learning how to take care of Luke's trach along with how to suction his airway.

Luke has a GJ tube for feeding and is receiving the food over a 20 hour period each day as the feeding machine drips it into the feeding tube.

Luke may get to go home next week, but it may be the following week. The biggest thing right now is the need to line up nursing care.

A friend asked me about my post the other day that said "Thank You Lord for giving us Luke for a little while longer." This was just a dad being grateful to God for what he had already given me and was not meant to indicate that Luke is near to death. On the contrary, Luke is doing quite well under the circumstances. That said each day is a gift from God. Luke has lots of challenges to overcome, much of it is related to the lack of oxygen to the brain. To a large extent we don't know all of the damage that was caused to his brain from the lack of oxygen, nor does medical science really understand the complexity of the brain nor how to treat it.

Luke has splints for his hands and will be getting the splints for his feet tomorrow. The splints help keep the muscles and joints flexible. Physical Therapy comes in each day and works each arm and leg to stretch the muscles and joints.

There was a question regarding HyperBaric Oxygenation Therapy (HBOT) with a link to a website We have heard of HBOT and from what I have read this is one of the more promising forms of treatment for children like Luke. As the post says, it is not a cure, but can help bring to life brain cells that are not fully functioning. We do plan on exploring this form of therapy.

Friend at REI, thanks for the song by Mark Schultz "He's My Son". This song has new meaning to me and I am richer for it. Luke's Dad

Just a few more Searles' updates:

Daniel is off at ministry school and I spoke to him tonight on the way home and he says it is awesome! He has lots of homework and said he would be working on it until curfew and then getting up early to finish. My prayer is he will be done before going to bed. Daniel, I am proud of you for earning all of the money to attend school and I know God will bless you abundantly. Daniel's Dad.

Amy and Natalie my two teen girls are doing an awesome job taking care of things at home. As most of you know we homeschool and this past few weeks has been a huge lesson in reality for both of my girls. I have been blown away by how they have risen up to the challenge and taken on responsibility. Just one example, each day we have been receiving meals delivered to the home and lunch at the hospital. My girls have taken it upon themselves to write thank you cards to each person/family that brought a meal. I am sure you can guess who trained them to be so thankful. Girls, you rock and I am so proud to be Amy's and Natalie's Dad.

Isaiah and Ezekiel seem to be taking everything in stride. They are a very busy 5 and 3. At times I have been tired only to be lifted up by the simple life of two little boys. There are moments when they miss Mom and I agree with them, I miss Mom also, but for the most part they are doing great. Isaiah and Ezekiel, I am a blessed man to have two little boys like you. Isaiah and Ezekiel's Dad.

Sue is holding up remarkably well. She does not leave the hospital very often, although she did leave for about 8 hours today. She watches over Luke like a mama bear watching her cub. So far so good for child number 7 that is due the beginning of the year, although we expect it just before the end of the year. Sue, I am awed by your faith in Christ and you are an inspiration to me and I am proud to be your husband. Love you, Gordy.

I just want to say a big THANKS to everyone for every prayer that you have prayed for Luke thus far. I know that you are praying, because God continues to strengthen us through this storm. Phil 4:13 "I know I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Love you all, Gordy


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the "state of the family" report! It does my heart good to know how each of you are doing through this trial! And it is encouraging and so useful in knowing how to pray for Luke's condition to have the more detailed report on how he's doing. Our "respect-o-meter" for the entire Searles clan has gone up quite a few notches!
Grace and peace,
C&K, Osaka

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Gordon. Your update reveals a better picture than the one formed in my mind via the posts. I'm encouraged by Lukes' activity and I hope you're seeing some progress. Hang in there and know we're all out here supporting you in our own different ways.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the detailed post!!! Cam, Connor and I read each read it, and are praying by faith, with thanksgiving for Luke and each of you!!! Each of you is a hero to us. I know you have feet of clay, like the rest of us, but I see you all being faithful, and experiencing God's faithfulness! (Oh, I guess Cam posted too.:))

Love you all,
Kristen for all, Osaka, Japan

Anonymous said...

Lukes Family, Thanks so much for sharing more than I know that you have to. We were so eager to get the post yesterday! Thanks! Luke, sounds like you are doing really good...what a blessings. We still are praying for you to cough and swallow. Sue, I am so glad that you are trusting in the Lord...your family seems so sweet. I wish that we could do something else to help....I am so glad that Lukes older sisters, and brothers are doing ok....I know that they miss Little Luke as well as life as it was weeks ago. Blessings and Prayers in NC, Shane, Julie and Children

Leon said...

Gordy that is a great post! We really appreciate the information. One of the reasons I got caught up in Luke's story is my own brush with drowning. I have been thinking of writing it down for a while. When I read this post I was deeply moved and decided to finish it. I would like to share it with you.

Hi Luke, You know I fell in a river? Yeah, but I didn't have to go to the hospital. You rest and get better little guy.

Anonymous said...

Good Morning Gordy and Sue,

Thank you Gordy for taking the time to write out all that is happening with lil' Luke and your family. I feel almost intrusive reading all of it, but it is so nice to know for prayer purposes. We love you so much and continue to pray for all of your family members. Praise God for your wonderful children. Each one of them have been blessings to us over the years and we can say right along with you that we are very proud of them. Also, what awesome representatives of Christ you and Sue are in your parenting abilities! Thank you for being such great teachers to us. Praise our Mighty God for each of the Searles and your extended family members as well. And thank you to Yoli who has been there all along!!

Have an awesome Day in our Sweet Lord Jesus,
Go Luke Go!!!

The Reeder Family

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update.
It is one of the highlites of my day to check how Luke is doing and to see how God is working!
Still praying here!!

The Centinario family

Julie Ward said...

Thank you for the update! I was so relieved to share it with Meg and Harry, we will be praying with you and everyone! It sounds like Luke really is doing great considering the situation! Brain damage is a tricky thing, I know all too well,BUT I know someone who CAN reverse it! And I believe Luke and I can be fully restored!
God Bless!
sorry for drawing myself in this but admitting I now have brain damage is hard enough for me , my hope is that I know beyond a doubt that it can be restored by the Great Healer

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the comprehensive update! I pray for Luke's recovery daily, and am in awe of the spiritual strength of you and your family. You have challenges ahead of you, but I think if anyone can take them in stride, it's the Searles family. God bless, Lisa D.

MaureenNDPA said...

Luke's recovery is in my prayers, and that of my prayer group. My heart goes out to your family. I friend of mine from Washington told me about Luke, as she knew I had started the National Drowning Prevention Alliance. We are a consortium of individuals and agencies uniting to share successful strategies to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening to other parents. We're a new organization, although the board members have been involved in drowning prevention for many years. When you are at a place in your life where you'd like to get involved in helping to spare other families from the incredible pain you're experiencing, or if you'd like to connect with other parents of children who've drowned or nearly drowned, let me know. Our fledgling website splash can be found at God be with you, your family, and especially, Luke.

Gordy AKA Luke's Dad said...

I hope to post a more complete picture every couple of days. I realized that by getting snippets that the picture becomes a little confusing.

Anonymous said...

Gordy, Sue and family:
Your testimony of faith serves as a benchmark for me as a Christian. Thank you for sharing your humanness as well as your strength. Neighborhood Church as a body holds you all up in prayer, and Jim and I, individually, continue to thank God for His provision for all of you and especially for Luke.

Only time will tell the countless numbers of individual lives that have been touched and will continue to be touched through this trial. God is faithful and His word is true. He is the rock that we must all build upon and then stand. You are all standing and we are here, standing with you.

Psalm 118:24 "This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it".
Much love...Marge Ray

Anonymous said...

Ya know Lukes Dad ....I think that you and Lukes Mom are doing great....Thanks for being concerned about posting to us...God Bless you both, Shane and Julie in NC

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