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Big Decisions, Tiny Miracles

chappy-kids

It’s been a very long week, that’s for sure. Lots of sadness. Lots of good things. Lots of stress. Lots of big decisions.

Yesterday I told you about Chappy’s accident which left him in a coma fighting for his life. Over the weekend, more sad things happened. More good and happy things. More stress. More big decisions.

Lots more big decisions.

His daughter and the rest of the family probably had the biggest decision of all. To still have the wedding when her dad was so recently critically injured or not.

The day before the marriage was supposed to take place, the doctors officially and finally started talking hopefully about Chappy. They started mentioning rehab and a future (as hard as it was going to be) and they stopped talking about Chappy possibly dying. He would probably be stabilized in the intensive care unit, in and out of his coma, for several weeks. This was huge (and good) news.

And then the best news of all. Chappy made it past the first 72 hours.

I guess the medical standard for brain swelling and bleeding after a brain injury is 72 hours, meaning that if it’s stopped swelling and isn’t getting worse after 72 hours, chances are it is not going to get worse. Of course, he’s not out of the woods, but it’s good news.

And finally getting there, the wedding was able to happen, albeit sad clouds looming over it as Chappy missed his father’s dance at his one and only daughter’s wedding. I wasn’t there, so I can only assume that the air was heavy. I can only assume the decisions surround it all were beyond difficult. I know how much that girl loves her dad and I know how much Chappy loves his little girl.

As for Noah’s mom, I don’t even want to guess how many big and small decisions she has had to make this past week. I can only assume it has been overwhelming and impossible at times.

As for us, I’ve had many of my own decisions to make.

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280 comments
Zfrischer
Zfrischer

17 years ago this december, my father was in a horrible car accident that left him in a coma for 7 years, before finally taking his life. I was 8 going on 9, it was horrifying as a child, and hard as a teen. I learned so much during those years of hospital visits. I simply want to say, Dan, don't give up, don't lose hope and don't hang by every word a doctor says. As for Noah's mom, Through out my years of visiting my father in his hospital bed, i saw doctors lose hope, and renew fear. I learned that giving yourself time to cry time to smile and time to heal is important. Words of advice, talk to him, HE CAN HEAR YOU, sing to him, play his favorite music, talk to him about things he would enjoy talking about. Give him hope, when nurses and doctors are too tired, and over worked, to. I saw my father come out of a coma, and slip back in, every case is different. I saw a man, wake up after 10 years and ask for pizza, what i am saying is every hard decision comes with ups and downs but those tiny ups go a long way. If you can touch him, hold his hand, massage his fingers, feet, tickle him, be his hope. I know first hand how hard it is for family to see the most wonderful man, a father, go under such pain. I wont lie and say it get easier, or better, but it does get easier to accept his improvements, as for Noah, I commend you both for not keeping him in the dark and allowing him to feel. This will change him, perhaps take his smile on hard days, but he has such an amazing Dad, that will be there to hold him. One last note, I used to talk to my dad about things we did together, and he would open his eyes and i could see his smile. I pray that his recovery is swift and without glitches, i pray that the hands of the doctors, nurses and CNA's are steady, strong and willing. I pray for your family, his daughter, his sons, his wife, and i pray that he finds strength to recover fully. Thank you for sharing and reminding me how precious life is and how important it is to appreciate loved ones, to tell them how much you love them and hug them every chance you get. Thank you SDL and my love for all of you- Z, 

Angel
Angel

20 years ago this October my brother, only 17 at the time, was a passenger in a car that was t-boned on his side and ended up in a coma for 9 weeks as a result and for stabilization of a massive TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). Those first couple months were touch and go and I remember what I considered barely a relief when doctors said we'd passed those critical times (3 days-after they'd been telling us each day they didn't think he'd make it through the hour or day or week) and then each of the little milestones as he came through the stages of coma. We were surrounded by support the first few months but as the process took so long to recover and rehabilitate, within a few months most people had gone on about their lives. In the 2 years that followed he had to relearn how to walk-starting with crawling just like a baby learns, learning to eat-I'll never forget him diving mouth first into a moonpie just like a toddler diving into his birthday cake, and eventually talking. Again, like a baby making single syllables that over the year turned into short words. Several years of rehab later, he was able to go from a semi-assisted housing to living on his own again and he still needs a lot of assistance from his family and friends but he is living on his own and functioning as an adult (although he cannot hold a job and has no short-term memory because of the brain damage). I don't say any of this to compare but instead to give you hope. See, we were told for several days that he would not make it. Then over the course of the coma we were encouraged to pull the plug because we were assured he would never be more than a vegetable. Our family and friends prayed and prayed and my parents prayed for discernment on whether to listen to the doctors or not. in the end, he has come much farther than the doctors ever expected him to. it's amazing what time can do to bring about healing. He may end up back to his normal self, he may be himself but with disabilities, he may be someone far different from the man he was, but Chappy sounds like a survivor and he sounds like he is surrounded by support. I pray he makes a full recovery and that he surpasses all expectations!

KimClarkHuggins
KimClarkHuggins

until this accident, I didn't know anything about Noah's Mom, or Chappy. Just reading this I am so amazed at how all of you work together and get along and have much respect for each other. I love how you make decisions together for what is best for Noah. I wish more people lived this way! Prayers and good thoughts going out to all of you!!


Karen Sanderson Runquist
Karen Sanderson Runquist

God is aware of you all, and know your needs. Bless you for the suppport you are being to all your family right now. :o)

Kimberly Davis
Kimberly Davis

Prayers for all involved. Hope to hear good news soon...

Spyctre
Spyctre

72 hours are the most critical for anything I was told.  Glad he made it through them!  Is the next milestone 2 weeks?  Can't remember.  Our wedding was put off a couple weeks when they found an apple sized malignant tumor in my mother-in-law.  She was doing pretty well, but we didn't want her to need a wheelchair.  Little different.  Thoughts and prayers out to your family!

Debbie Martin Anderson
Debbie Martin Anderson

5 years ago this month. One of our best friends had a motorcycle wreck and was not wearing a helmet. It was very scary and awful for many weeks. Today he is working and pretty much his normal, wonderful self. Still some problems thinking of words and remembering things. But we tell him, hey! We have those same problems and we didn't have a brain injury!! Praying for a good outcome for your family!

SusanAberg
SusanAberg

Will continue to pray....so relieved for the good news! Thanks!


lostmymarbles
lostmymarbles

Will keep praying! Have a wonderful time with Noah!!

Kate S
Kate S

Praying for Chappy, Noah, and you!

Thyri Cazares
Thyri Cazares

So glad things are looking up. I hope that he gets 100% better very soon.

Mary Waninger
Mary Waninger

I'll keep praying for all. Have fun be safe laugh a lot.. This trip will help Noah too know that Chappy is doing better or the two of you would not be going away.  It also may  help to let Noah know that it's kind of a secret but that you love Chappy too and you should bring something silly home that will make Chappy smile, like maybe matching goofy hats for Dad, Noah and dad #2 Chappy and something funny To say,like  " We are the Goofy men in mom's life!

Liz Green
Liz Green

Continued best wishes for all of you.

tina makarewicz
tina makarewicz

Am going to keep up my prays for you all, I think its a wonderful idea to take Noah and let him enjoy him self and to get away and keep his mind busy, Enjoy your trip, And prays for you all, thanks again for sharing, And will keep you all in are prays, And bring Chappy a gift back, You are such a wonderful family, Chappy , Noah And noahs mom, And most and for most you, God bless, And have a great time take lots of photos, for us and Noahs mom and chappy, Am sure he would love to see his son having a good time during this sad time, god Bless you, Great Man you are Matter of fact you all are wonderful people to be able to teach him, its ok that mom and dad love each otherand no need for bitterness, great family Noah has to look up too, god bless You all, Have a great trip and safe one , prays with all of the family members !  

Linda
Linda

When I read your news I popped Chappy into my healing box as well as Noah and Chappy's family. With the slightly better news you can enjoy your holiday and take Chappy back something silly.

Stacy Martin
Stacy Martin

Chappy will be OK---you can tell that he is a fighter and he has a lot to fight for and a lot of people who love him. As the swelling goes down, he will recover more and more quickly.

Lisa
Lisa

The daughter will regret not postponing the wedding, for the rest of her life. Mark my words.

Luccianna
Luccianna

We will continue praying for you and yours while respecting the need and desire for privacy during this process.  Best of luck!!


TychaBrahe1
TychaBrahe1

Everyone will just have to commit to having Chappy dance with his daughter at a five-year anniversary party.  Have faith that that day will come.

ThatOneGirl
ThatOneGirl

Good for you for taking Noah...  I think It'll be good for all of you to get away. In my opinion: Life moves on, and the best way to teach our children is to do just that.... move on and keep on living. My thoughts are with you since I don't pray. I hope you guys enjoy your trip and make some wonderful memories for Noah to hold onto during the rougher times.

LoriOostenbrug
LoriOostenbrug

Praying for you all!  I truly believe it will be a long haul for you all but you will all be stronger and better for it in the end.  Our family went through this early this year, my dad fell off a ladder and ended up with a skull fracture and multiple bleeds, while on blood thinners for a heart condition.  He had some brain damage but after 30 days in the hospital he came out and is recovering well.  Tomorrow we celebrate his 75th birthday.  My prayer is you too will be able to celebrate again as a family, looking back at all you've gone through TOGETHER!!!  You are such a great human being and great representation of loving unconditionally!   Enjoy your time with Noah in Disneyland.


ConnieWhiting
ConnieWhiting

Prayers continuing for all here in Ohio. **hugs**

Chrisis36
Chrisis36

Holding you all in my heart, and especially Chappy- c'mon, Chap, you're needed here!!!

rubberduckiesmom
rubberduckiesmom

Keeping Chappy and all the family in my thoughts and prayers. Noah needs little moments of "normalcy" in the midst of this, I believe. I'm sure his mom will call you with regular updates.

Martha Wright
Martha Wright

We will continue to hold Chappy and the entire family up in prayer. Good things have and will continue to come from this. Many good things.

Ashley Chaffee
Ashley Chaffee

Your definitely in my thoughts and prayers. Try to enjoy the vacay (at least for Noah) and family time...:) Everything will be okay I do believe...

DefGuySezHuh
DefGuySezHuh

From one biker to another, here's hoping to a safe and quick recovery for Chappy.  My own accident, though nowhere near as severe as his, occurred just four days after my daughter was born.  I was coming home from the doctor from an annual physical with a clean bill of health (ironic, no?) when an SUV lost control as we were entering the highway and swerved into me.  I was able to jump off the bike and roll into the grass before the bike ended up underneath the SUV, but not before slamming my hip into the motorcycle handlebars.  I ended up with a large hematoma (just over half the size of a football) in my right leg, severe bruising from the knees to the waistline on both legs, and minor lacerations on my face.  I was wearing a 3/4 helmet and the impact forced my goggles into my face, cutting into my eyebrow.  As I said, not nearly as severe as Chappy's, but I remember breaking down when I saw my daughter and my wife, who had just given birth four days earlier, was driven to me in the ER by my sister-in-law.  If I had been in Chappy's boots, I would want my kids/stepkids to take any moment of happiness that they can while I was recovering, even if it means I might not be there.  Take Noah to Disney.  He may not be as enthusiastic as he was the last time he went, but he'll still be happy to see all the Disney characers.  Maybe he can get something to bring back to Chappy while he's there so that he can tell him all about it? 

Leila Samrad
Leila Samrad

I will keep praying every day for Chappy and all of you to get through this in the best way possible, and sending so much love and light. What a lovely family you all are, Noah is a lucky little boy.

ladylaura
ladylaura

Similar situation: when I was the one in a coma, my husband made the decision to go ahead with our son's sixth birthday party at a popular pizza parlor with comic characters.  He was criticized by some people for being "disrespectful" of me and my situation because I was fighting for my life.  When I woke up and heard about that, I was angry at the critical people and told my husband I would only be angry if he hadn't loved our son enough to give him a chance at some momentary happiness during that very stressful time. Love my son if you love me.  Do what you can to have happy moments, not more somberness and sadness.  Now over ten years later what my son remembers is "you were seriously ill when I had my pizza party, weren't you?"  not, "we sat around and cried on my sixth birthday." Chappy will enjoy being told of the good times when he wakes up.  Believe me, I've been there.

Carol Rita Sylvia
Carol Rita Sylvia

Sending good thoughts for your family. Noah is a very fortunate boy!

Val Broste
Val Broste

Wow! Enjoy the trip. Be as "in the moment" as you are able to be. Clearly the energy being sent out is reaching Chappy.

Anne Doyle
Anne Doyle

we are thinking of you... and your effort to re-create normal for Noah is probably exactly what he needs right now... Have a good time, enjoy, life does go on and fun is allowed... that is the example that Noah needs...

annied01
annied01

please know that our thoughts are with you all at this time... life does go on and for Noah normal is doing stuff not sitting around worrying like an adult... normal is life...

JudyGordon
JudyGordon

Glad to hear the good news and will keep praying for all involved. Enjoy the time at Disney with Noah -  I agree that it's probably good for him to have some fun. He won't understand the time frame for healing anyway so it's good to keep busy. Bless you all.


SusanDawne
SusanDawne

Big Hugs Dan! One day at a time is all you can do... My heart aches for your little guy, but I know you are are doing all you can to comfort him. You are a beautiful person and father. Sending prayers for Chappy and Noah and Andrea that the healing may begin and you guys are all re-united as the great family you are! 

Kathleen Young Rybarczyk
Kathleen Young Rybarczyk

Here's to continued improvement of the situation all around. I'm hoping Chappy will be well enough to dance with his daughter at her first anniversary celebration!

Jane Cavanagh Smith
Jane Cavanagh Smith

I should not read your blog at work. The posts about Chappy triggered me and took me back to January 19, 2012 when my husband ended up in ICU (where he stayed for 159 days until his body finally gave out). My heart breaks for Noah's mom - having to balance being mom with being wife. I hope that she has someone she can just say "here, take the kid" so that she can focus on being at Chappy's bedside. I was fortunate in that I had that. Stupid tears. Stupid heartbreak. I hope that she has a better outcome than I did - if not there are resources out there to help her get through. I'll be keeping her in my thoughts and wishes and hope that she doesn't have to join the widow's club. I really shouldn't read your blog at work... dammit :'(

Karen Wheeler
Karen Wheeler

It's great to hear that things are looking up. It's all so sad, I can't understand how someone with a family depending on them could ever think it was a good idea to ride a motorcycle without a helmet. I really hope he pulls through, he sounds like a great guy.

Debbie Hutchinson Helton
Debbie Hutchinson Helton

I just want you to know....my husband was critically injured in a motorcycle accident almost 4 years ago....he to had a shattered skull on the left side and had to have it removed and a titanium metal plate installed, he suffered a TBI, he was in critical care ICU for 19 days and a Brain Injury Rehab facility for 14 days...tell your son's mom to never give up hope...I have attached a picture of my husband one year after his accident, he is a walking miracle, he still has some struggles, but he is living and breathing. I will be praying for your son's step dad.

TracyThompson
TracyThompson

what a hard road, praying for you all. my aunt suffered a severe head trauma a few years back, I understand the fear, hard decisions and rehad journey. noah is so blessed to have a dad like you who has let him love his stepdad so deeply and what a gift you would be for his mum with your amazing support

hgubisch
hgubisch

What great news! Thanks for sharing! I agree with moving forward with your trip! Enjoy it the best you can! **hugs**

Faun Februus
Faun Februus

I will keep him in my prayers to. Thank you for the update.

CandiceAllen
CandiceAllen

I have cried reading every one of these posts with regards to Chappy.  Thank you fro sharing and may the goddess be with him and your family.

Monie
Monie

@Lisa Nobody but you is marking your words. Like he said, she loves her father, and it had to be an INCREDIBLY difficult decision to make.


What is wrong with you? Gross. I'm grateful you're no family member of mine.

SFTom
SFTom

@ladylaura

I just have to share something I remember from the 1960's  (I remember weird stuff).

Mrs. Kennedy had the November birthday parties for both Caroline and John, Jr. that were planned for the week that President Kennedy was killed.  It drove home to me that she wanted the kids to have their special times, despite her grief.