After preliminary tests, it was believed that Mark could be paralyzed from the chest down. When I saw him earlier today, he was able to move his fingers and arms a bit, but not his torso or legs. Our TIB Radio colleague, Tom Blumer of BizzyBlog.com saw him later in the day and reported a positive development: Mark felt the urge to go to the bathroom which the experts say means that he may be starting to regain some feeling.
At this time, we ask for your prayers and sending positive energy in Mark's direction.
1/1/14 UPDATE: After a few days of small, but significant, steps in the right direction, Mark has taken a turn for the worse. Mark now has pneumonia and is on a ventilator.
Mark had begun some physical therapy working on finger dexterity and arm strength, I can only assume that this changes that whole program.
1/4/14 UPDATE: Let me start with a correction to the 1/1 Update, Mark hadn't actually contracted pneumonia, but it was a real concern that his team of doctors were focused on. The current concern is his kidneys. A whole bunch of his family and friends were in to see him yesterday as it was thought earlier in the day that he might not be able to respond much later. I heard reports from friends and family all day that he appeared to be in good spirits, but he was pretty exhausted by the time I got in to see him that evening.
Please keep praying for him. I know it is working.
1/7/14 UPDATE: Mark continues to have good news/bad news kind of days.
I heard from his grandmother: "Kidney doctor sees improvement in the output. He is going to wait for a while before making the decision about dialysis. Reducing his ventilator today to see how he handles that."
His sister posted in his name on Facebook earlier today: "Brother is making tiny steps forward it seems but we definitely need more prayers. Right now he has a uti and the start of pneumonia. But he's breathing on his own now and his kidneys seem to be turning in the right direction. Thank you to all those who have posted encouragement and prayers,keep them coming"
1/8/14 UPDATE: Another Facebook post from Mark's sister:
He is not very responsive and the doctors really aren't sure why. They are trying to get him weaned off the ventilator but this delay in him waking up will undoubtedly slow that down. Please pray that brother will wake up and be more alert soon so we can finally get him off the ventilator and I can hear his voice again before I have to return to vet school. All the love and prayers are appreciated, thank you allAnd now this from his grandmother:
Mark Sr. just texted me. Mark Jr. was put on an EEG this morning because he wouldn’t wake up. Mark Sr, is saying Mary took his ipod so he could hear Elvis music. Some songs make EEG lines jump but mostly, he is relatively flat. His temperature is 103. Thank you for your prayers. GOD bless and love.
1/9/14 UPDATE: Sounds like today was a good day!
Mary: "Brother is on the right track. Hes much more awake. The docs think if he keeps progressing like this they can get him off the ventilator in the next couple days. Praise God for His healing. Prayers for continuing progress would be appreciated. Thanks for all the love and prayers"
Grandma: "When I got there today, the chaplain was visiting and before he left he prayed. I was holding Mark's right foot and don't you know his leg moved from the knee down. Then Mary saw his left leg move. A nurse told Mark Sr.she had seen his leg move. He was awake a lot of the time I was there. I pray he can get off of that ventilator soon so he can talk to us. He so wants to tell us things now. GOD IS ABLE TO DELIVER!!!"
1/12/14 UPDATE: From Mark's sister:
Brother is still in need of prayers. The doctors say that he's doing well physically but his spirits are as low as I've seen them. He also now has some wounds that have to be treated. Tomorrow he should be getting his breathing tube out so he'll be able to talk again. Visitors are welcome. He seems a bit happier when people come to see him
1/15/14 UPDATE: Mark's grandmother:
Mark Jr. had a decent day today. Kidneys are working, potassium is down as it should be, again, they think he has pneumonia. Took chest Xray today, still has a slight fever, AND I saw his left leg move from ankle to hip. What that means, I don't know, but it did move. Mary was exercising his ankle and that leg moved. After that, I saw it move a few more times. The trach will be put in maybe Friday, depending on the staff the surgeon can get pulled together - or Monday when full staff will be on duty. I pray it works this time. It will be a different surgery since his neck is so big. Also heard doctor saying he was going to get with the brace dept. and get a better neck brace made. He slept pretty much. Mary can get him to wake up and she can lip read some of the things he is trying to say. So, now the prayers are for the trach to be a successful operation and that he won't get so irritated with that vent being down his throat. Easy for me to say. Thank you all for your prayers and expressions of concern...GOD bless.....
1/19/14 UPDATE: Mark's grandmother:
Today, Mark Jr. seemed more sleepy than yesterday. He did point to some letters on the Alphabet Board, that his cousins prepared for him, so he could point to letters and be able to communicate that way. It takes a while, but it is so good to finally know what he wants to say. Still no decision on the trach operation. Please pray that his breathing would get good enough to get it in soon.
1/22/14 UPDATE: Just got a FB message from Mark's grandmother:
The trach is in - - HALLELUJAH!!!!! Everything seems to be going well at this point. The doctor was encouraging that things are going to be allright. He is already breathing on his own, but they will probably keep the ventilator hooked up to the trach a while longer. He will be able to talk after a while. It is just pure pleasure to see his mouth without those tubes in it. He is still very sleepy and I think that is good so he won’t be so aware of the pain. They have started the pain medicine, so hopefully, they will get ahead of most of the pain. The doctor thinks he will be able to swallow food in a short while. PRAISE GOD FOR ALL HE HAS DONE!!!
1/24/14 UPDATE: Mark's Grandma:
Mark JR. is still doing well. The plan is to move him to Drake Hospital next week. I am praying that he connects with another person there who will be able to inspire him to push forward. The fever is still high and nobody knows why. They did another procedure to get phlegm to test it for pneumonia again. The Lord is Good.
1/31/14 UPDATE: Mark's Grandma:
Mark Jr. was doing better today. His temp is down around 99. I pray it holds around there. They decided it was an infected pic that caused the infection. If things hold steady, he MAY move to Drake Monday. Physical therapy was working with him and he could lift his arms from flat on the bed up to his head. It was so exciting to see him do that!