{What A Father Feels…Part One}

OCTOBER 25, 2020

I will try to keep facebook updated with status updates. If you know people who don’t do social media, feel free to pass it along.

We just finished up Day 2 with our daughter in the ICU unit at the hospital. Its been a dreadful day of mixed feelings, hopes, and fears. Shaylyn had a mixed prognosis. Some areas of her brain looked really good on the scans others not so much. Initial scans showed subarachnoid hemorrhaging. Later scans started to show signs of diffuse axonal injury, which is a lot worse.


“A subarachnoid hemorrhage is bleeding in the space between your brain and the surrounding membrane (subarachnoid space).”



Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is a form of traumatic brain injury. It happens when the brain rapidly shifts inside the skull as an injury is occurring. The long connecting fibers in the brain called axons are sheared as the brain rapidly accelerates and decelerates inside the hard bone of the skull.


Despite the doom and gloom, we have seen progress. Yesterday, she showed no sign of response to verbal commands at all. She would only respond when pricked by the needles or when the feeding tubes were messed with. Tonight we watched as the nurse told Shaylyn to open her eyes, and to our amazement, she immediately struggles, raised her eyebrows, and lifted her eyelids open. We got to see both of her eyes. We could tell it took a LOT of effort for her to do that. She did it multiple times as well.

Despite that success, she still showed no signs of finger movement or toe wiggling on command. Long ways to go. The doctor told us that we need to think in terms of weeks not days and prepare ourselves for more of a marathon rather than a sprint. We have a long road ahead of us. It will most likely be weeks before she gets to return home to us.

Shilo and I are doing alright. Shilo is making sure our kids are being taken care of, while I am going over all the phone calls and errands I have to run and how to fit them in and still making time to sit with our daughter. We have a couple more days of shock treatment, then we have to figure out how to balance work, school, and home, with visiting Shaylyn while preparing for the landslide of bills that I’m sure are heading our way.

The outpouring of support we have received is stunning. Our phones have been pinging off the hook with offers to help. Everything from taking the kids to offering meals, even just to talk. Friends old and new. Family from all sides, close and far. Thank you all. We are confident she will return to us. It is just a matter of us juggling life until she does.

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