Carly has made another giant leap forward! Yesterday she passed her swallow test, and can now drink liquids and eat solid foods. She has done well eating, with only a small amount of choking. In physical therapy yesterday, she did one lap around her rehab floor walking with no assistance! Afterwards, she walked down twelve flights of stairs with some assistance and then rode the elevator back up. This morning, she walked down three flights of stairs, and was able to make it back up! She also did some balance work and jumping, and did wonderfully. With the added fuel of real food, she is always ready to get up and go! You only have to mention going for a walk, and she’s out the door before you can even get up.
It will take several days of eating for her to reach her goal of 1,800 calories and 1.5 quarts of liquid a day. Once she is able to meet that goal two days in a row, they will remove the feeding tube. So it looks like the tube will be out in 4-6 days.
We also had a good conference with Dr. Ryser, who is the head of the rehab unit. The entire team meets every Tuesday to prepare an evaluation of the patients. Dr. Ryser took the time explain in detail how the artery was dissected, and exactly what that meant. He also had requested a detailed comparative analysis of Carly’s first MRI, right after the accident, and the second MRI, from six days after the accident. Originally, we had thought the second MRI showed evidence of multiple strokes and more brain damage, but it turns out that the first MRI just hadn’t been notated in as much detail. He went over the results of the comparative analysis, showing the pictures and explaining it so that we could all understand. The great news is that most of the problem areas that showed up very well on the most recent MRI were already present in the first MRI.
Dr. Ryser and the entire team are now very positive for a fabulous recovery. On Tuesday they were projecting two more weeks of in-hospital rehab, but with the passing of the swallow test and her physical therapy progress in the last two days, the time frame is very likely to become shorter. Even though being released from rehab will be an amazing step, Carly still has a long way to go, and she will be living in Salt Lake City with Carl, Janie, Noah and Abi indefinitely while she goes to intense out-patient rehab.
Thank God for Carly’s miracle, and for the wonderful caregivers of Intermountain Health Center! And for the blessing of the amazing Blalock family. They have opened up their beautiful home for the Mimstribe to stay with them (more details to come).
Please pray for Carly to regain her speech, for continued speed in rehab and for all the details that the Mimstribe need to work out.