Thursday, March 11, 2010

March 11 4:30 Lisa

Dear Family and Friends,

I might not be the most coherent as I'm piecing together various conversations I've had with Ginny and others but here goes.

Joe is getting 30 minutes a day of PT, OT, ST twice a day with rest in between. Respiratory therapy is there quite frequently, and the neuropsychologist will see Joe 2-3 times a week for 30 minutes. Family can be in Joe's room but typically don't follow him around to therapy. Yesterday, however, Ginny and Mom and Dad Leahy were able to follow him around to therapy, and then they had a late afternoon meeting with Joe's primary doctor as well as the neuropsychologist.

One of the primary goals (again, apologies to any medicos out there), as I understand it is, to close off the trach (also refered to as buttoning the trach or capping the trach--think these all mean the same thing). I think Joe made through last night with it closed off. This is good news.

The therapists are continuing to work with Joe on swallowing, and they put some thickener in the liquid--maybe apple flavor. This is also an obvious important goal so that Joe can ultimately take more and more nourishment through the mouth and ultimately wean off the feeding tube--this will be a long process, however.

Today they put a cast on Joe's left leg that covers his foot and comes up to this knee and it is fitted with a walking boot. Though Joe has no broken bones this is apparently a pretty common practice. Joe's left leg is weaker than his right and this will help him with walking. Yesterday, once Joe got his bearings sitting on the side of the bed, he stood up and even stretched his back.

I think I forgot to note that Joe has to wear a helmet to protect the soft part of this head where the neurosurgery took place to remove the bone fragments and other damage caused by the bullet. He may have to have a plate put in at some point from what I recall from the docs at Huntsville Hospital.

The endocrinologist has been monitoring Joe's blood pressure, sodium, etc. Sodium level is a point below normal so starting to ease off the medicine to help with that. On blood pressure meds as it had crept up a bit. Always a delicate balancing act but the endocrinologist is all over it.

Joe is generally in good spirits and very talkative when he is laying down; Ginny thinks that when he is sitting in his wheelchair, all his energy going to the physical aspects of sitting up and he is less chatty then. At some point Joe asked where he was and when Gin told him, he clarified his question, saying, "no, I mean where are we metaphorically?" Gin said Mom was quick on her feet responding "on the road to recovery." Good job, Mom!

Mom and dad left this morning for their condo in Florida. We hope they take time to rest up but know taxes need to be finished and other annoying life chores. Paul (Joe and my brother from Indianapolis) arriving tonight from a business trip in Orlando. He will stay until Saturday morning and then Keith, Stephen and Ginny's bro Ed will arrrive on same day and stay until Wednesday. After that Mark (my husband and fellow blogger) will stay with Ginny for a few days. Don't remember after that.

I'm sure I'm missing some details but that is all for now. I think I'll try to post more often with briefer reports as Ginny is able to fire off a quick email or text.

Please, please, please keep up the prayers for Joe and family

Blessings and Love to All,


Joe has a cast on his left leg with a walking boot


  1. We are so happy to hear of Joe's progress every day! God is Good.......All the Time. Know that we are praying for Joe and your whole family every day that God will continue to heal and restore Joe as well as strenghten and comfort Ginny and the boys.
    Keep the Faith, Andy & Marion

  2. Tell Aunt jackie she's a quick thinker and a very strong woman! The Leahy's may be fighting Irish, but the Browns are obviously standing right next to us!

  3. Lisa,

    Thank you so much for keeping everyone up to date on Joe's progress. It is definitely encouraging to hear the report. Know that the family is very much in our prayers.

  4. We here in Ohio haven't forgotten a single one of you fighting the fight along with Joe...Ginny, Keith, Stephen, mom Jackie, dad Phil, sister Lisa, brother Paul-all of the Leahy & Warnecke families. We pray that you are blessed with comfort, rest, & peace as you continue this journey.
    Lisa Fox

  5. Thank you so much for creating this blog and letting the world know about Joe's recovery. I'm so sorry this happened to him, and wish him and your family all the best.

  6. Even if I don't post often, I read the updates regularly and am praying for Joe's recovery

  7. What a great God that cares and loves us. So glad that Ginny is not having to be alone in Atlanta. She has scores of people in Madison that love and care but can't physically stop by just to hug and give a minutes encouragement. She is fighting not only forJoe but having to be the advocate on all fronts. She physically is going to need some down time, if 24 hours, which we know she won't take, but it is critical for her to keep her strength.

    St. John's continues to totally love and care.

  8. Hello Dr. Leahy and all there with you. This is Diana Ings. I just wanted you to know the students are working very hard and did very well on their first exam in Bys 214. (No, I did not give them a softball exam, I knew good and darn well you would not have liked that!)

    The students and I can all see how hard you are working. We are all encouraged by the tremendous progress you have made and are continuing to make. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.


  9. God bless you Joe & Ginny & all your family members & all the medical/therapy people & all your prayer partners! You are taking a tragic act and making it a miracle. I read your blog and all the comments and inevitably weep. Words are just not adequate. Your perseverence in faith and work and will towards excellence, wholeness is so beautiful and edifying, and what a powerful witness to our Loving God! I pray for all of you every day. Christ's Peace be w/ you! :)) ~MaryLouise

  10. Lisa said "Mom and dad left this morning for their condo in Florida. We hope they take time to rest up but know taxes need to be finished and other annoying life chores."

    Jackie and Phil = the REAL tax deadline is October 15th, so don't knock yourself out! By then Joe will be going so strong that Ginnny will be able to help you, and I can back her up!, gary


Please be considerate in all comments as families of the victims will see this.