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Zahava Recovery – March 25th 2012

It has been three months since the last update. We are still in the hospital and Zahava is still on the road to recovery.

Things were going great at the start of 2012, but unfortunately an accident at the hospital in February caused a very dramatic experience for everyone.

Zahava was left alone after being changed by the nurses and did not have her arms secured, which is a precaution taken to make sure she does not pull the trachy from her throat. We do not know exactly what happened because no one was there, but Zahava managed to pull the trachy out herself, which she cannot breath without and was not discovered by nursing staff for 10 minutes.

By this point she had almost passed out, had turned blue in the face, and her heart eventually stopped. She was found, an emergency was called, she was resuscitated and a new trachy put in place. This led to a long weekend spent back in ICU, with Zahava in a situation very much like where she was when the stroke first occurred – not very conscious and not moving very much at all.

It was very hard for Phil and me, and of course Zahava, as we felt like we had climbed a huge mountain only to be pushed right back off just as we were reaching a milestone.

The doctors all told us that because it was a second injury to Zahava’s brain, recovery was not likely, and there was a good chance she would have more brain damage. They also suggested we call in the Palliative care team, which we did.

After 5 days in the ICU, Zahava was taken back to the stroke ward to her old spot, in a condition similar to where she was 6 months ago. We then waited once again for her to show signs of recovery.

Thankfully Zahava defied the doctors and showed signs of recovery almost immediately after returning to the ward. Her speed of recovery has been a lot faster this time as well, as it appears the damage to her brain was minimal.

I am pleased to say that six weeks now since the accident, Zahava is almost back to where she was before it. She is awake, aware and communicative (no voice still of course) and continues to work on her therapy.

Removing the Trachy is still our main goal, but the speech therapists are being extra careful as Zahava has had to once again relearn how to use her tongue, mouth, and swallow properly.

We continue to take each day as it comes, work on physio for her body, coordination with her occupational therapist, and saliva control with her speech therapist.

Visitors are most welcome as Zahava loves seeing her friends when they pop in and enjoys listening to updates from your life.

Thanks again for your well wishes, on behalf of Zahava, Phil and Yaro.