Monday, August 10, 2009

The Teardrops Fell

Ryan, Fletcher, Bjorn, and Bart said their good byes to Clark late Sunday morning and then headed back to SD. A couple hours later, Kristin, her husband Kellen, and their two children joined me at the hospital. Kristin and Kellen went in to see Clark. It wasn't long before Kellen came out and said, "Kristin wants you to go back there." I asked "is everything okay?" He said "yes, just go on back." As I got near I could see that Dr. Box was in the room hovering over Clark's bed. Then I could hear him asking Clark to follow some commands, one of which was to squeeze his hand. Clark followed all commands as needed. Dr. Box then looked at me with a HUGE smile on his face and said, "You can't complain about success." They are so pleased with his mental state. He is doing better now than he was before the comma was induced. I stood quietly beside the bed and returned a HUGE smile back to Dr. Box. Then I asked, "can I touch him?" "Oh sure you can, and you can talk to him too." I gently touched Clark's hand over all the wires in it and said, "Clark, this is Mom." He opened his eyes as best he could and looked toward my voice, then a river of tears ran down his cheek. He squeezed his eyes together and became a bit excited. What a wonderful feeling! Kristin said he had cried when she and Kellen first came in his room too. Kristin and I stayed at his side asking him some yes and no questions to which we liked all the answers. He said he is not in pain, he was comfortable with the temperature, and he could see us and knew who we were. He pursed his lips as if trying to say something but we assured him that everything was OK and he just needed to relax. He winced his face with emotion. He didn't like the cuffs on his calf's that constrict to prevent blood clots and fidgeted with each rotation. I told Clark I was going to go the waiting room while Kellen came back in since he hadn't been able to be with Clark much during the entire time. Clark shook his head no. I asked him if he wanted me to stay and he shook his head yes. Every time we stepped away from his bed, he reached his hand out to be held again. Kristin and Kellen had to leave shortly after as their baby McLane was getting a baby's blessing at their church that evening. I stayed for a some time more with Clark, then I left too to attend the blessing.

They took the paralytic medicine off and reduced some of the medication that was keeping him sedated, so they could check on his responsiveness etc. They were very pleased. They were able to drained 2 liters of fluid, helping reduce the puffiness and swelling. They rotate Clark every two hours, stuffing pillows under his back and legs to avoid getting bed sores. We are heading back to the hospital early this morning. He will go back to surgery today to have his belly flushed and cleaned and to check that the attachments are functioning properly. It's doubtful that they will sew him together as he still has a lot of swelling and the skin cannot be pulled together. Now that he is awake and responsive we will be spending much more time at his bed side. We cannot have phones in his room but will respond to messages when we can. We haven't been allowed to take a picture of Clark because he has been unable to give his consent. We will ask today if we can if Clark says it's OK.

Many have asked what they can do to help and how to give a monetary donation. The financial department said that if we do any fund raising it has to be done in a certain way to prevent being dinged with taxes. We will find out more about this today and set something up if you're interested. If you would like to send a card, Clark will be staying with Kristin Purles. You may email her at to get her personal contact info. Thank you.


Boyd Bischke said...

That's the best news yet this year!

Clark, I'm excited for your recovery and am hopeful that in time everything will return to normal, only better in some ways.

As many have stated, thanks to your family for keeping us all updated.

Eric & Kate said...

Awwww, what a relief. I can't even imagine the emotion Clark is going through right now. And the emotion you, Kristin and Kelen must have gone through experiencing this and being able to be right there for him in the little things that mean sooo much to him right now. What a journey so far!

Susi said...

I realize that I'm repeating myself but......Praise God!!!

I can think of nothing else to say... Praise God!!!!

The Likness's said...

So happy to learn about Clark's progress this morning! Keep up the good work Clark! Continued thoughts and prayers for your recovery.

The Likness's

Carla O'Farrell said...

That is amazing news, I pray the recovery is as painless as possible. Clark you have an amazing family, I cant imagine the emotions you all have had. As tears just flow down my face as ive seen pictures and read the progress reports, Hang in there all, things will be looking up from here... God Bless!!!

Jen said...

It is great to hear that Clark is continuing to do so well! You have been and continue to be in my daily thoughts and prayers! Keep fighting Clark!

Jen (Lantgen) Hill

Elliot said...

Man! I just can't help but feeling emotional when I read these posts. I'm so happy that Clark is improving so well and to receive so many good reports from the doctors!

We all love you Clark and are happy that you are still here with us after all this. We are excited for your complete recovery and to know what this experience has been like for you.

We're here to bear your burdens in any way we can.

Elliot, April, and Tate

char meyer said...

Oh Rhonda, I am so happy to hear the good new's that the surgery went well, and all is going good so far, I hope and pray that Clark's recovery will be as painless as possible. your such a strong person in~side & out, and what a wonderful family you have. GOD Bless, I will continue to pray for all of you. Keep up the good work Clark! God~Bless!
Char Meyer & Family

Dessie E said...

Clark I am so happy to hear that everything is going so well. I talked with our transplant surgeon about your condition and he is confident in your recovery even without knowing the specifics of your case. You are such a strong person and bless everyone you meet with your huge personality. I am so happy for you and your family and I pray and think of you everyday.

Dessie Erickson

Candice (Bludorn) Stangle said...

It is so great to hear that Clark is awake and responsive. I am so glad to hear that he is doing so well. I will continue to keep you all in my daily thoughts and prayers. The support group cheering for Clark is amazing. God really does work miracles, and Clark is proof of that :) Stay strong and God Bless!!

Karla said...

My oh my! I think I'm done being emotional, and then I read another update, and it begins again, for Clark, Rhonda, family, amazing physicians and medical staff, right down to perfect strangers.

I had no concerns at all that Clark would not come around quickly once he opened his eyes. He is a strong young man with an excellent mind. Way to go CK!!!

So many miracles, and so many blessings, and everything just went right! As his awareness of the events in his life unfold and he reads this blog, it will be an amazing blessing to Clark once he gets upright enough to read it and see the magnitude of love and prayers and efforts on his behalf.

What a journey!


Mom & Dad Lueck said...

wow, what a miracle! tears of emotion run down my face a I read the blog and see the wonderful progress Clark is making. We love him and your family, Kristen, what a support you have been to your mom Clark and family, your dad would be so proud. Your a very special lady...Rhonda, I am so happy I can only think of if it was me. You have been so strong. Clark, be patient you recover,but it will take some time. love you Nancy

jessica said...

I'm so happy to hear the the reports that clark is getting better. I will continue to keep clark and the your family in my prayers, also know that everyone here at work (premier bankcard) is praying for you as well!!!
Jessica Ekern