Update on Alex – July, 27, 2011
Now that Alex is more alert and involved in his own care, he has asked that we update his friends as to his condition. Below is a summary of what happened to him and an update on his recovery. Please continue to pray for him and Linda. — Thanks, Beth
As many of you have heard, Alex recently sustained a serous spinal cord injury. On Saturday July 2nd around 10:30 p.m. while sitting on his patio, Alex took ill. He asked his stepson, John Pat, to get him some water from the kitchen. When John returned less than a minute later, he found the chair on its side on the ground with Alex still in the chair. At that time Alex was unresponsive. John performed CPR on Alex and successfully regained a heartbeat. 911 was immediately called. Alex was then transported to Williamson County Medical Center where test confirmed that he had not suffered a stroke or heart attack. After being transferred to Baptist Hospital in Nashville, an MRI determined that a cervical disk was severely compressed, impinging upon his spinal cord. The disk was removed and a titanium disk put in its place.
Alex remains in the Medical ICU at Baptist Hospital following surgery to relieve pressure caused by the disk injury. The latest MRI indicates bruising still on the spinal cord and until the bruising heals, we won’t know what permanent damage he may have sustained. As the trauma heals, the doctors expect the extent of the paralysis to lessen. In addition to the physicians at Baptist, a nationally know neurologist from Duke has also been enlisted to assist on Alex’s case.
As often happens in cases when a person is forced to lie on their back for an extended period of time, Alex is working hard to fight off pneumonia. To this end, the doctors performed a tracheotomy and placed him on a ventilator four days after the surgery. This helps in two ways: it makes it easier for Alex to breathe, and it also allows him to focus his energy towards the healing of his spinal cord injury. The downside is that, for the moment, Alex is unable to speak. The doctors have begun weaning him off the ventilator and we look forward to hearing his Scottish brogue in the very near future.
Alex will continue in the ICU until the pneumonia is arrested. He will then be transferred to a special facility for additional treatment of the spinal trauma. Though many have expressed a desire to visit, at this time, visitation is limited.
Alex and Linda offer their sincere appreciation for all of the e-mails, Facebook comments and cards they have received. Alex is particularly touched by all of the prayers and good wishes that have been raised on his behalf by not only his friends, but also by those who have heard of his situation. The love shown by those who have responded to his injury has touched his heart and gives him immense strength to see this through. Alex and Linda continue to invite you to send them your thoughts and well-wishes via his Facebook page and email.
While Alex’s injury has been rather traumatic and the road to recovery may be a long one, his attitude is extremely positive and optimistic! His nurses say he is an inspiration to them and to all who come in contact with him. His doctors universally agree that his positive attitude will contribute to his recovery. And…. anyone fortunate enough to have met Alex already knows that his love of people and performing will push him through this episode to a full recovery.