Dear Family and Friends,
The day began at 5:30 am with a call from the NICU nurse to Ginny asking her to come sit with Joe as he seemed to want company. Ginny sat with him until about 7, reporting that he was opening his left eye, blinking a lot and looking around most of the time. We wanted to bring his glasses to him as he's blind as a bat without this contacts but nurse indicated it was too soon for that. Joe responded to commands throughout the day but he was pretty tired during the day; however, fatigue is to be expected given the amount of PT and OT he's receiving daily in addition to the hourly testing by the nurses.
The big news is that Dr. Tao okayed reconstruction surgery--at least the first phase--for tomorrow at 8:00 am on Joe's cheek and jaw. Dr. Knoll, who will perform the surgery, indicated that he will repair the upper part of Joe's cheek and his jaw. With apologies to anyone with medical backgrounds for the errors I will inevitably make in describing this, the surgeon will first align Joe's teeth, put surgical braces on them, wire the jaw shut, and put an external mandible fixator outside of Joe's jawline to allow the bones in his jaw to heal and fuse together (or something like that). The surgery will last about 2 hours, and we have been warned by the nurses that perhaps due to the surgery and all associated with it, we may see a little regression in Joe's progress. We are very thankful for Joe's progress and we cannot emphasize enough how much we appreciate your continued prayers and masses for Joe. Father Phil stopped by this morning. We prayed over Joe and received holy communion which gives us the strength of the Holy Spirit to continue this journey of healing.
Many meetings took place today and lots of decisions have been made and others are in progress. We've decided that we need to have daily meeting with the extended family every day to coordinate schedules and "to do" lists. Our goal is to have this meeting at 2:15 every day in one of the consult rooms so if we're not there when you visit, please just hang out in our usual room behind the ICU information desk. Some of you have asked that we post when we are visiting Joe so I've listed that below: