This page will include daily updates on Taylor King, a sophomore tennis player from Rogers, Ark., who, after spending time at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, is now recovering at home in Rogers.Please check back for updates. The most recent updates are at the bottom of the page.
Sunday, August 13, 2006
(Those that we have met and those we have yet to meet)
As many of you already know, at about 9am on Sunday, Taylor was taken by the Angel One Emergency Transport Crew to the Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock. A special thanks to the pilot that day for flying fast and flying low. Taylor’s present condition is described as stable but extremely critical. My wife (Michele) and I have been overwhelmed with the outflow of love, kindness and support from so many people. We can not begin to thank them all. Michele and I ask that you please keep praying for Taylor.
I know that you are concerned about Taylor and want to know how he is doing. To help keep you up to date, Coach Cox has kindly provided this link to allow me to share Taylor’s progress with you.
On August 5th Taylor and Matt (Roberts) returned from the Chicago area where they were playing in a futures tennis tournament. At that time Taylor did not feel well and as soon as they arrived home we took him to the Norwest Arkansas Medical Center. During that weekend Taylor was treated for an abscess near his tonsil. He was released from the hospital on Sunday but developed additional symptoms on Wednesday and we took him back to the hospital. There he was diagnosed with pneumonia complicated with hemorrhaging in the lungs. Taylor’s condition worsened severely over the next few days. On Sunday morning (August 13th) the doctors were forced to place Taylor into a chemically induced coma and begin life support. Taylor was then immediately transferred to the Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
Since arriving in Little Rock the doctors and staff have shown why they are considered some of the best in the world. Also I would like to say that many of the doctors here have praised the care that Taylor received at the Northwest Medical Center that allowed Taylor to survive the transfer to Little Rock. Of course I can not thank them enough.
I promised that the updates from this point forward will be much much shorter.
Sunday, August 13, 2006 11:00pm
Less than 12 hours after arriving at ACH Taylor’s condition has been upgraded to stable but extremely critical. He remains in a chemically induced coma and on a special ‘high pressure, pulse respirator’. This wonderful machine was crucial to saving Taylor’s life.
There are several teams of specialist working on improving Taylor’s life support system, and even more teams beginning the process of diagnosing his illness. They no longer believe that he has pneumonia.
That Taylor has survived the unbelievable amount of stress placed on him the past 24 hours is nothing short of a miracle. Your prayers are working, please DO NOT STOP PRAYING!!!
Monday, August 14, 2006 10:00am
Taylor’s vital signs have continued to improve as the doctors have made good progress on fine tuning his life support system. The doctors are comfortable that they have Taylor stable enough to give the diagnostic teams the time they need to determine what is causing Taylor’s illness. In the mean time Taylor is receiving a tremendous amount of attention (in any other circumstances he would be loving this).
Monday, August 14, 2006 10:00pm
Taylor’s condition is still ‘stable but extremely critical’. Throughout today Taylor has made steady progress, becoming more and more stable. The bleeding in his lungs is being controlled and Taylor is requiring less blood transfusions. Though the life support system is keeping Taylor’s lungs working as the doctors had hoped, there are some inherent risk to Taylor’s other organs. We are particularly concerned about how his heart is handling the additional stress. While the pulse respirator expands the lungs and acts much like a compression bandage it also compresses Taylor’s heart. Unfortunately, because of the layer of ‘high-pressure air’ surrounding his heart, it is not possible to look at his heart with ultra sound equipment. The doctors hope that as Taylor gets stronger the pressure can be reduced enough to allow them to look at his heart.
–Please pray for a miracle—
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Taylor’s condition remained stable through the night with no significant changes.. However, we had a small set back early this morning when his right lung allowed air to pass through to his chest gravity, causing an air pocket between his rib cage and the right lung. This required that a chest tube be inserted to allow relief the pressure and provide room for his lung to function properly. All in all, Taylor had a fairly good day with slight improvements in the function of his lungs and blood pressure.
–Please pray for Taylor’s complete recovery–
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Taylor had a bit of a rough night but his condition is still stable but extremely critical. At about 3am this morning a chest tube was inserted between his rib cage and the left lung. This is the same procedure that was performed yesterday on his right lung to relief pressure caused by air trapped in the chest cavity. The procedure was successful, however, because they had to roll Taylor on his right side during the procedure his right lung partially collapsed. This is being correct by changing the ventilator setting to help re-inflate the lung. Taylor’s blood pressure and heart rate were pretty elevated during and after the procedure just to let the doctors know he didn’t like being messed with. They are much better now.
I know this sounds a bit alarming but the doctors keep reminding me that we need to measure Taylor’s progress on a week by week basis. Certainly Taylor is much better than he was a couple of days ago.
Several people have asked how they could get a message to us. If you would like to send a prayer or message to Taylor please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will read it to him.
Once again I would like to thank all those who have called or sent emails offering support through prayer and deed. We are so very grateful.
–Please keep praying for Taylor’s complete recovery–
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Taylor remains in ICU in extremely critical condition. Taylor had another very rough night and worked the doctors most of the night. The doctor did another amazing job of stablizing Taylor and over the past few hours his vital signs have improved to safe ranges. We expect him to become more stable as the morning hours pass.
Last night around 10pm Taylor began to have problems expelling his CO2. After several hours of trying every possible setting on the oscillator, the doctors decided to switch Taylor to a regular respirator (at max settings) as a last resort. The thought being that the oscillator might be over ventilating him. Taylor immediately responded to the new ventilator and between the hours of 1am and 6am his CO2 dropped to encouraging levels and the doctors have already started reducing the oxygen settings. It is good to see that he is able to oxygenate his blood on a regular respirator. We are a little concern now that his lungs are without the compression the oscillator provided that there might be more bleeding in his lungs. If Taylor can reach and maintain stability, he can be moved to the lab for CT scans which may answer a lot of the doctor’s questions concerning the condition of his heart and lungs.
We also were informed yesterday that they believe Taylor has Wegener’s Granulomatosis. Wegener’s Granulomatosis is a rare disorder that causes blood vessels in the upper respiratory tract (nose, sinuses, and ears), lungs, and kidneys to become swollen and inflamed. The eyes, skin, and joints may also be affected. Arthritis occurs in about half of all cases.
Taylor’s symptoms seem to have centralized in his lungs. There is some indication that he may have suffered some minor kidney damage.
Though there is no known cure for WG, it is treatable. In most cases, patients treated with high doses of steroids and moderate doses of chemotherapy will experience complete remission.
Taylor received his first treatment of steroids at 4pm yesterday and his first treatment of chemotherapy at 4am this morning. This is a fast acting treatment. In many cases of successful treatment the patients will show signs of improvement within 24 to 72 hours.
Thank you for all your emails to email@example.com! they are great! They are keeping Travis (One of Taylor’s best friends) busy printing them out and reading them to Taylor.
ps. so much for that "much much shorter promise"
–Please keep praying for Taylor– He needs a miracle!
Friday, August 18, 2006
Taylor finally had a good night. He seems to like his new ventilator and improved gradually through the day yesterday. Taylor remained stable with good numbers throughout the night. –Thank you Jesus.–
Though Taylor is more stable than he has been since coming to ACH, He remains in very critical condition. Even with the better numbers, we should anticipate him remaining in his chemically induced coma as long as he is on the respirator. No telling how long this will be but they keep telling us several weeks at a minimum.
More tests came back yesterday that confirmed that he has WG. He received his second dose of steroids yesterday with his third scheduled at 4pm today. I am not sure when his next chemotherapy is scheduled. No news yet on the effectiveness of the treatments, maybe this weekend we will know something.
We continue to received your emails. Each one is a blessing. Our plans our to paper Taylor’s room with them so when he wakes he can immediately see how much he is loved. I am sure that he will want to read them all as soon as he is able.
Your prayers are working! Please Keep Them Going!– God Bless You.
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Taylor remains in a chemically induced coma, in the ICU of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Though he is still in critical condition he seems much more stable. Taylor has continued to make good progress over the past 24 hours. That he has remained stable for the past two days without any major changes to his life support system is a very good sign. The doctors believe the bleeding in his lungs has stopped and that his lungs are beginning to heal. They have begun feeding Taylor through a feeding tube and he is tolerating that well. All of this is a good indication the treatments of steroids and chemotherapy he has received over the past few days are beginning to show results.
The doctors now believe they can be a little more aggressive at weaning Taylor from the ventilator. Of course there is no given time-line; it all depends on how Taylor responds. As long as Taylor is on the ventilator they will keep him in his coma. It is going to be a slow process (probably several weeks), but they began the process last night and Taylor is responding very well to the lower ventilator settings.
We continue to be comforted by your emails to Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org). Taylor will have a lot of reading to do when he wakes up. Thank you for all the encouraging words. We read them to Taylor everyday, I know that they are helping. Please spread the word and keep them coming.
Obviously we are very happy with Taylor’s progress and we are sure your prayers are working. Thanks you so much and PLEASE KEEP PRAYING. We have a long ways to go.
–Please pray for Taylor’s complete and speedy recovery– God Bless You.
Monday, August 21, 2006
Taylor remains in stable but critical condition in the ICU at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. He continues to make slow but steady progress. Taylor’s lungs are continuing to heal and the doctors have made good progress towards weaning him from the ventilator (we still have several weeks to go). From time to time the doctors will reduce his level of sedation (they call it a holiday). They do not want Taylor to become stressed or move around to much so as soon as he shows signs of consciousness they increase his sedation to calm him back down. On the few occasions that I have been at his bed side at the right time, during these ‘holidays’, Taylor is responsive to my voice and will try to open his eyes. However, if his increased heart rate and blood pressure are any indication, he is not quite as responsive to me as he was to a certain young lady visitor he had on Sunday. Another healthy sign he is getting better.
All in all the doctors tell me he is heading in the right direction in all areas except his kidney functions. The stress that has been placed on his kidneys by the disease itself in combination with the tremendous amount of medication he has received over the past week has his kidneys pretty overwhelmed. There is a good chance that Taylor will need dialysis for a few days to help his kidneys catch up, so to speak. This does not necessarily mean that his kidneys have suffered any permanent damage or that Taylor will ever need any additional dialysis, we will have to wait and see on that.
We continue to receive your emails, they are wonderfully comforting. Thank you. Thank you so much for all the prayers, they are working. Please keep praying for Taylor, I know that God hears us and is watching over him. God bless you all.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Taylor remains in the ICU in stable but critical condition. He continues to take baby-steps towards recovery. The doctors continue to slowly weaning Taylor from the ventilator with a couple more adjustments yesterday. He is responding well to the lower ventilator settings and I suspect they will be able to take a couple more steps in the right direction today.
The doctors have taken Taylor off the paralytics so he is no longer paralyzed but he remains heavily sedated. He occasionally moves his arms, breaths on his own and opens his eyes; usually all at the same time. All of this is a good sign as long as he remains calm, which the doctors make sure of with their arsenal of "feel-good" and "feel-nothing" medicine (you know I could use a little of that myself).
Taylor received his first round of dialysis yesterday. Even though it was a very light treatment his numbers improved quite a bit. He will probably received more dialysis today and tomorrow. Additional treatments will depend on his progress.
His liver functions are not quite what they need to be and this will have to be addressed before Taylor can receive all the nutrients the doctors would like to give him. I am not sure what the doctors have planned here, I will find out.
Overall, the doctors are pleased with Taylor’s progress and are confident that it is just a matter of time and a whole bunch of ‘baby-steps’ to recovery.
Taylor’s web-site has had nearly 3,000 hits and we have received several hundred emails. Many of the emails represent several thousand prayers. These are unbelievably helpful and we truly appreciate every one of them. You can send a message to Taylor at email@example.com. We will make sure he gets it.
The number of people praying for Taylor increases everyday and we need to keep the momentum rolling. Please keep praying for Taylor and help get him on one more prayer list this week. Taylor still has many difficult hurdles in front of him, he needs all the "prayer help" he can get.
Michele and I are so very grateful for all your support and prayers.
–Pray for Taylor’s quick and complete recovery– God Bless You All.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Taylor remains in critical condition in the ICU, however, he continues to improve. In fact, he seems to be making better progress than the doctor anticipated (or at least better than they let on to us). His lungs are becoming stronger and his ventilator settings are being reduced once about every 12 hours. Even with the assumption that Taylor continues to improve as he has the past few days (we are warned about assuming things like that), we probably still have about a week (give or take a day or two) before the doctors would consider taking him off the ventilator.
Taylor had his second round of dialysis yesterday and his kidneys are performing much better. Because of the good results the doctors are going to hold off a day or two to see how he does on his own before considering additional dialysis. As far as Taylor’s liver functions, the doctors believe the inefficiencies in his liver are more due to some of the medication he is receiving than anything else. They not overly concerned at this point.
Other than his predisone, sedatives and an antibiotic design to protect from certain infections (particularly pneumonia), Taylor is off his cocktail of medication. He may receive more chemotherapy this week but that has yet to be decided.
Now that Taylor has been off the paralytics for a few days, he is becoming more and more responsive. He his still very heavily sedated but he can answer a few questions now and then by a nod of his head or a squeeze of his hand. This is very encouraging.
In summary the doctors are very pleased with his progress this week and are confident that he will continue to improve (baby steps).
With school just starting, I know that many of you are just learning of Taylor’s illness. We appreciate you kind thoughts and prayers so very much. If you would like to get a message to Taylor you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org . He has received hundreds of emails so far. We are keeping them organized for him to read when he wakes up. We also read many of them to Taylor everyday. By his reactions I can tell he enjoys hearing from you. Please keep them coming, they most definitely help!
Thanks you all for continuing to pray for Taylor. Your prayers are strengthening not only Taylor but also the doctors, nurses, Michele and me.
–Please keep praying for Taylor’s quick and complete recovery– God Bless You.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Taylor remains in the ICU in critical but stable condition. Over the past 24 hours he has made good progress. To prepare Taylor to come off the ventilator his sedation must be kept at a minimum. The hours to come will be difficult ones for Taylor. I suppose the discomfort that he must endure over the next couple of days is a necessary part of the healing process. Though Taylor makes it known beyond a doubt he is uncomfortable, there is little chance he will remember his struggle. The doctors believe that (barring any set-backs) Taylor will make it off the ventilator sometime on Saturday. This is a big step in his recovery process and is obviously very good news.
Taylor will receive dialysis today to give his kidneys some more help. The doctors still have very little information concerning any damage that Taylor’s kidneys may have suffered. To help answer this question the doctors will perform an ultrasound on Taylor’s kidneys today and biopsy tomorrow morning. We should know something by Monday.
In summary, the doctors remain pleased with Taylor’s progress.
Our sincere thanks to all of you for your prayers. Though Taylor is out of immediate danger, he has a long way to go. Please keep praying for him.
We continue to receive your emails and they continue to give us great comfort. Thank you very much.
–Please pray that God will give Taylor comfort, peace and a complete recovery– God bless you all.
Friday, August 25, 2006
Taylor is still in the ICU, however, his condition continues to improve. Taylor had a good night with his ventilator set to "assist mode". He was able to breath on his own with little, if any, assistance from the ventilator. At 11:30am this morning the doctors took Taylor off the ventilator entirely and removed the breathing tube. I am not sure, but I believe Taylor’s first word was oooouch.. Not up there with "A small step for man…" but we will take it. Taylor remains pretty disoriented but now that he is off the ventilator they have dramatically reduce his sedation. This is a very big step for Taylor. Not to mention it is a wonderful birthday present for Michele.
Taylor is very hoarse and will be for a while but it is good to hear his voice, even faintly.
I have not even asked the doctors about how long Taylor might remain in the ICU. I am sure it will be at least a few days. We have been focusing on this day pretty much exclusive to the rest of Taylor’s recovery so I have no information concerning what lies ahead of us. I hope to have more to report on that soon.
Your prayers are working. I know you are probably growing tired of hearing this but…Please keep praying. Please help us thank Jesus for standing by Taylor and also ask him to continue to lead Taylor to a full recovery.
Thank you all again for the prayers and emails. Please keep them coming. It is hard to express enough how much they help.
–Please Keep Praying for Taylor’s complete recovery– God Bless You All.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Taylor has done well off the ventilator and will probably be moved out of the ICU in the next couple of days.
Because of the chemotherapy Taylor’s white blood cell count is very low. This is an expected side effect of this type of treatment. Taylor’s low cell count severely limits his ability to fight off infections. For that reason the doctors will keep him isolated in the ICU. He can still have visitors but each visitor is asked to wash their hands before visiting him. A visitor may also be required to wear gloves and mask if they have recently been sick. Taylor’s body will replace these cells over the next several days.
Taylor is resting well and seems much more comfortable now that he is breathing on his own.Because of the residual affects of his sedation he is still very weak and as loony as a goon. He kind of acts like he is four Absolutes past a good buzz. His head should clear quite a bit by the end of the day.
If I understand things correctly, Taylor faces about two weeks of rehabilitation before he will be healthy enough to leave the hospital. The doctors still have not been able to get a clear look at Taylor’s kidneys or lungs. They plan to perform a kidney biopsy as soon as it is possible. However, until Taylor’s body absorbs the air that is trapped in his upper torso the ultrasound that is required before doing the biopsy is impossible. Of course the health of his kidneys could dramatically affect his treatment and his physical therapy which in turn could lengthen his recovery time.
Taylor is receiving small doses of steroids each day and dialysis as need (three times so far). Taylor has only received one dose of chemotherapy. Of course chemotherapy comes with a whole host of nasty side effects so they will limit these treatments as much as possible. Depending on Taylor’s progress he may require another chemotherapy treatment before he is discharged. Certainly this might also lengthen his stay by a day or two.
We thank the Lord for the progress Taylor has made. Far more quickly than the doctors first anticipated. We also thank each of you for your prayers and your emails of encouragement. Taylor still has a long road ahead of him but I am certain that your words of encouragement and love will strengthen his resolve (I know it has mine).
If you would like to send Taylor an email, please send it to email@example.com . We read his emails to him everyday. Hopefully it will not be too long before he is strong enough to reply.
–Please keep praying for Taylor’s complete and speedy recovery– God bless you all and please help us thank the Lord for the progress Taylor has already made.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Taylor continues to improve since being taken off the ventilator. He was moved out of the ICU last night after resting well all day. Taylor is becoming more and more coherent as the heavy sedation begins to work its way out of his system. It is still difficult for him to remain focused on what is being said, however, he can general get his point across.
He is doing fairly well on the lower sedation level but he is running a bit of a fever and filling the discomfort of being bed-ridden for such a long time. Taylor began breathing therapy today. This should help him strengthen his lungs as well as get his voice back. By late last night Taylor had worked is way up to taking clear liquids such as water, sprite and Popsicles. Unfortunately we over did it a bit so now we are back to just ice chips.
Taylor’s blood counts looked better today so no dialysis today. Hopefully, Taylor will get one of the two remaining chest tubes removed today. Other than that he is just resting and doing his breathing therapy.
Thanks again for you prayers. They really are working miracles.
It will not be too long until Taylor will be able to read his own emails. Until then we will continue to read your emails to him. Now that he is awake he will be able to enjoy them more than ever. You can email Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org
–Please keep praying for Taylor’s complete and speedy recovery– Thank you all and God Bless.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Taylor is still on the 4th floor of the ACH in the early stages of his recovery since being freed from the ventilator on the 25th.
Taylor had a fairly restful day yesterday. However, he still very weak and xrays indicate that his lungs may still be in danger of collapsing, for this reason, the doctors will not remove
Taylor’s two remaining chest tubes until his lungs are a bit stronger. To help that along Taylor is working hard at this breathing exercises and physical therapy. It is very stressful for him but he is staying strong and working hard. His motivation is to be able to eat real food (he is still being feed through an IV), drink a Dr. Pepper (he is only allowed ice chips) and be allowed in a wheel chair to roam the halls (of course this would require him to be quite a bit stronger and both chest tubes to be removed).
Taylor’s condition is improving a little at a time. He is talking better and is more aware of where he is and what his going on around him. However, he is still under the influence of some pretty strong drugs and probably a couple of days from being ready for me to talk with him in detail about his illness. They have people here to help us with that when we are ready. For now he just knows is that he is really sick, but getting better.
Because of the ‘Sub Q Air" remaining around Taylor’s organs the doctors have not been able to use ultra-sound to look at Taylor’s lungs, kidney or heart. So we still have limit information on Taylor’s condition in these areas. We do know that Taylor’s kidneys are functioning and only requiring small amounts of dialysis, Taylor’s heart seems to be working very well, and his lungs are certainly getting stronger and able to support him without any assistance.
Taylor is really enjoying the emails we are reading to him, thank you all so much.
Taylor is no longer battling to stay alive, however, the battle for his life and health is just beginning.
–Your prayers, encouragement and love will see him through and keep him strong– God bless you all.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Taylor made a little more progress yesterday. Making it through a few sessions of breathing therapy as well as physical therapy. He is unbelievably weak. To simply lift his arms to shoulder height or drink a bit of water through a straw takes everything he has. It is hard to believe that just a few weeks ago he was banging tennis balls on the future’s circuit.
His lungs continue to get stronger and I am told he may get the two remaining chest tubes out today. That would make physical therapy much easier, not to mention just making Taylor a lot more comfortable. Taylor’s kidneys seem to be working better and he has not required any dialysis since leaving the ICU. The nurses have been having trouble with Taylor feeding tubes for the past few days so Taylor probably has not been getting as much nutrients as he needed but they got that resolve this morning.
The short of it: Taylor is a couple of ‘baby steps’ closer to recovery. It is just a matter of time, patience and a lot of very hard work.
We continue to read Taylor his emails. He is looking forward to being to getting strong enough to respond.
Your prayers are working miracles. Thank you so much.
–Please keep praying for Taylor, he has a hard road in front of him– God bless you all.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Taylor is progressing well with his physical, occupational and respiratory therapy. Between the doctors and therapist Taylor is pretty busy throughout the day. When he is not working on his therapy he is trying to watch some of the US Open, however, he usually falls asleep within a couple of minutes (same goes for Dad).
Taylor is regaining his motor skills. He was able to brush his teeth this morning and sit up in a wheel chair for about an hour. Grant it, he was a sleep most of that hour due to the exhaustion brought on by the effort of getting into the wheelchair. He will probably do this again this evening and assuming he can stay awake he may be able to wheel about the hospital a bit (he is looking forward to that).
Taylor has been placed on an eight day schedule to wean him off of the heavy pain killers and sedation. For now he is still quite sleepy and sluggish. This should change dramatically over the next few days.
Taylor has not required any dialysis since leaving the ICU and his white blood cell counts have returned to normal. The doctors see this as a good sign that his kidneys are functioning better and that is body is recovering from the side effects of the chemotherapy. They are still anxious to perform a biopsy of his kidneys to get a clear picture of his health, which will allow them to construct the most effective regiment of treatments.
Taylor is doing better with visible progress everyday. He is taking clear liquids and he is quite excited about being allowed a couple of Popsicles per day. Orange is his favorite but I am pushing the banana since I usually get the other half.
He is not quite up to reading his emails but he really enjoys hearing them read to him (when he can stay awake long enough for me to finish one). If you would like, you can send an email to Taylor at email@example.com. They are sincerely appreciated.
Taylor is working hard to get better and I know that your prayers are helping him get through this.
–Please keep praying for him to stay strong and his complete recovery– God bless you and my sincere gratitude.
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Taylor had a really good day yesterday. His food restrictions were removed and he was very excited about trying a little of everything. Given cart blanc, Taylor choose cherry Jell-O, chicken noodle soup, strawberry smoothie, chocolate pudding, 2% milk, sprite, an entire orange Popsicle and a bunch of water (oddly enough no Dr. Pepper). He also was allowed to leave his room for the first time. After his physical therapy he went for a ride in his wheel chair with Coach Cox.
They had a good visit though I suspect that coach did most of the talking. Needless to say by the end of the day he was exhausted and had a bit of an upset tummy. After receiving a little medication for his upset stomach, he slept well through the night.
Taylor was still very tired from his activities yesterday but managed to wake up long enough to eat half a cheese omelet this morning. He is making progress everyday; however, even the effort of raising a fork to his mouth is still totally exhausting. As most of you know, Taylor is a hard worker and has a great attitude. He does not seem discourage that even the simplest task takes a monumental effort.Taylor just returned from his 10am therapy session. He was styling through the halls with his superman sweet pants and razorback hat (turned backwards of course). His coordination and muscle strength are slowly returning. His lungs are improving every day. Because he is still receiving quite a bit of sedation, Taylor is still quite sluggish. It is very difficult for him to remain awake for more than a few minutes. As he is weaned from his medication this should improve.
The ultra sound and kidney biopsy that the doctors need is schedule for next week. He may also have his tonsils out at the same time, but that has yet to be decided.
Taylor has received over 300 emails and his web page has had nearly 6,000 hits. We sincerely appreciate your support and prayers. Thank you so very much. If you would like to send Taylor an email please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org .
–Please keep praying for Taylor’s quick and full recovery. Your prayers are at work.—
God bless you all.
Friday, September 1, 2006
Taylor had a good nights rest. He did not do as well with his food intake yesterday, I guess the newness of eating is wearing off. He is falling into a routine of physical and respiratory therapy with each day showing a tiny bit of progress. You can tell he really wants to do more for himself now, but he still does not have the strength or coordination to do much. He can not sit up or stand by himself, yet. This is a bit frustrating for Taylor, he has always been very independent. I’m sure it is only a matter of a week or so before his strength improves enough to do some of things that are frustrating him the most.
We talked with Taylor about the disease he has for the first time this morning. I believe he understands the basics of WG but he is not quite with it enough to ask a lot of questions or really understand the seriousness of his situation. However, I do believe he understood that their is no cure and that he would need treatment for a long time. He ask for assurance that he was getting better and that he would be able to live a normal life. Of course that is what we expect to happen. I believe that over the next six days, as they complete weaning him off the methadone, he will gain more understanding of his illness.
Taylor’s progress is sort of like the hour hand of a clock. Relatively speaking it is moving quite quickly but given close scrutiny it does not appear to be moving at all. To realize want progress he is making, you simply have to think back to where he was a few days ago.
Taylor slept through the Agassi match last night but he had a big smile on his face when I told him how Agassi had won. "That is sooo cool", he says. Maybe with the smaller doses of methadone he will be able to watch more of the Open.
Taylor wanted me to thank everybody for the emails you have sent. He is aah-struck. "These are awesome, I didn’t know I had so many friends", was his reaction after seeing the book of emails that Travis and his family put together for him. I am hoping that in a week or two he will be strong enough to use his lap-top to respond to your emails. Until then we will keep printing them out and adding them to the book for him to read later. Of course we still read to him at night but to be honest he is usually asleep before I can get through the first one. But I enjoy reading them anyway. You can send him an email at email@example.com
Taylor and the doctors are working hard at his recovery. His blood count remains good and they have taken him off isolation. His lungs are oxygenating his blood at normal levels but are still weak compared to where he needs to be. His therapy and time will work wonders over the next few weeks. He still has not required any additional dialysis and none is planned for the future. He is still facing a kidney biopsy next week but the E.N.T. doctor does not see any infection in his tonsils and believes they will heal fine over time. The fact that Taylor will not need this additional surgery is great news!
Michele and I continue to be comforted and amazed by the power of your prayers.
–Please keep praying for Taylor, he still has a long road to recovery and understanding– God bless you.
Michele and I wish you a glorious holiday weekend.
Saturday, September 2, 2006
Taylor is still doing his best imitation of sleeping beauty. He is sleeping pretty much 24 hours a day. He wakes up for a 10 to 30 minute period a few times a day. During that time he is fairly coherent. He is still having trouble keeping his food down but he seems to be better since yesterday afternoon. He had an abdominal X-Ray to make sure that there were no unseen problems. The X-Ray was normal.
The doctors still do not have a time line for Taylor’s recovery. It is just a see as we go process. I believe that we still have several weeks to a couple of months to go. Taylor is getting better every day. We are certainly thankful for that.
Other than that, there is little else to report.
We continue to receive your emails, they are great and greatly appreciated (some of you are very creative). Taylor’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
–Your prayers continue to work miracles. Thank you so very much.– God bless you all.
Sunday, September 3, 2006
Taylor is doing better. One result of his improved awareness is that he is becoming more restless. Mentally he is ready to do more than his physical fitness will allow right now. This is certainly a good sign. Physically he is getting stronger and improving his coordination. He was up in his wheel chair this morning rolling about the halls. For the first time was allowed outside to enjoy the weather. He loved it! One of his first stops was the coffee shop to get a strawberry smoothie. Taylor is also making a few calls on his cell phone and asking for his computer. However, we are keeping his phone turned off most of the time to allow him to get his rest, so if you call you most likely will have to leavea message for him to return your call when he is awake. Nothing out of the ordinary about that, another good sign that he is getting back to the Taylor we know and love. This morning his feeding tubes were removed and the doctors also removed his oxygen assistance.He is breathing normally and his lungs seem to be doing there job as expected. Taylor was very excited about getting the last of the tubes out of his throat and nose. He is tube-free!! We believethis will allow him to eat and breathmuch easier. Taylor knows that if he has trouble taking in the necessary amount of calories then the feeding tubes may have to be replaced. Taylor made his own decision about the feeding tubes which is probably the best indication that the tubes are no longer needed. He has lost a tremendous amount of weight (nearly 50 lbs.) but he has be gaining weight every day for the past week. The emails keep coming. We read everyone of them and they are the highlight of our day. Thank you so much. I am sure it will not be long now until Taylor is able to retrieve, read and respond to your emails himself. You can reach him at email@example.com.
Thanks again for all your prayers. It is incredible how powerful they are.Taylor is working hard to speed his recovery, his goal is to get home as soon as possible (he still has several weeks to go). Please pray for him to have the strength and courage he needs to get through this very difficult time. — Please help us thank the Lord for the miracles he has given us and for standing by Taylor as he continues to fight.–God bless you all.
Tuesday, September 5, 2006
Taylor is still working hard to improve his strength and coordination. He has been eating regular meals for the past couple of days andhis appetiteis good.However, his good progress may have temporarily went to his head when he attempted to take a midnight stroll and ended up in a heap on the floor. Taylor was not hurt, however, I suspect his Nana will change that if he tries it again. I guess the nurses decided they had better get this kid walking soon so they putTaylor on his feetand (with minimal assistance) Taylor was able to take his first few steps. Of course, his ability to lift himself and walk unassistedare major ‘mile-stones’ on his road to being discharged from the hospital.There is no doubt Taylor is very motivated to get home. He really misses his friends andbeing in NWA. It is easy to tellTaylor is gettingback to normal. He is sense of humor is returning. He has begun to tease the nurses,give his mother a hard time and complain about the awful food. I am not sure thenurses are prepared for a wide-awake, I having nothing else todo but entertain you, Taylor.It would notsurprise meif they volunteer to workovertime to get him healthy enough to send home early. Taylor is still schedule for his kidney biopsy for this Thursday. As soon as we know the results, we will have a better idea of what is aheadas far as treatment and long term care for Taylor. The doctors continue to be very please with Taylor’s progress over the past 10 days. We are proud of how he ishandling his ordeal. Taylor is a very brave and determinedyoung man. He is certainly putting the disciplines he haslearned over the past year from Coach Cox to work in his rehabilitation. I have heard him mumble ‘Stay Strong!’ under his breath and I keep expecting to hear him call the Hogs when he completes a particularly difficult exercise. I would be riddled with guilt if I missed an opportunity to thank all of you for your support and your prayers. The Lord has heard our prayers and is watching over Taylor. We thank Him everyday for his mercy and kindness. If you would like to send Taylor a prayer or message please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks. –Pleasehelp us pray for Taylor’s continued improvement and his complete recovery, we would not want God to think we are ready to stand on our own, else we may end up in a heap on the floor like Taylor.– God bless you all. PS. Sorry I got this out so late. It will try to do better.
Wednesday, September 6, 2006
Taylor had a really good day today. Though he still needs a little assistance to keep himself steady, he is walking longer and stronger. He was able to combine histherapy walkfor todaywith a much needed and long awaited shower. With his improved strength, his stamina is alsoshowing notable improvement. He remained awake for most of the day chatting up the nurses, doing his breathing exercises, making phone calls and writing a few emails. If he feels up to it, I will probably beturning the "Daily Updates" over to Taylor this weekend. Taylor’s appetite is nearly back to normal. Today’s menu included, biscuits & gravy, chicken strips, lasagna and a couple of lattes. Sounds normal to me. It is so nice to see him enjoy eating again. The highpoint ofan already good day was a call from Coach Cox and the Team. They each spent a few minutes talking to Taylor and then they all called the hogs together. As Taylor put it, "It was pretty awesome!". Taylor’s kidney biopsy is scheduled for Thursday at 3pm. Please help us pray for the best possible result. I hope to get Taylor setup with his own computer this weekend to make it easier to reach him at email@example.com. We will continue to post daily updates until Taylor is released from the hospital. We still do not know the time frame for his release. We will have a better idea after we receive the results of the test on his kidneys. Your emails and prayers have been working wonders. Thank you so much. –Please help us give thanks for the progress Taylor has made and for his continuing improvement– May God bless you.
Friday, September 8, 2006
Taylor is still recovering well on the 4th floor of ACH. All of Taylor’s vital functions are much improved and nearing normal. He is getting stronger and his physical therapy is going well. Since Taylor’s kidney functions are normal, his kidney biopsy is less urgent and the doctors have decided to wait a few weeks until his lungs are stronger. They still want to do the biopsy but have decided it would be better done on an outpatient basis so it is no longer an obstacle for his release. In fact, Taylor has quickly overcome most all the hurdles that are keeping him from being released from the hospital.
Taylor is still occasionally receiving small doses of insulin to control his blood sugar. This may be his last hurdle to getting out of here. The doctors are reviewing his charts this afternoon and will decide on when he can be released. They may want to keep him a few more days to try to eliminate the need for the insulin.
I will send another update as soon as we know when the doctors have decided when Taylor will be released.
Taylor has made a remarkable recovery and if you ask him, he is ready to come home now. Your prayers have been working miracles. Please help us praise the Lord for this blessing.
–God bless you.–
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Taylor is home!!! Taylor was released from ACH yesterday afternoon and we left the hospital about 5pm on Saturday. His early release was a very good surprise. Your prayers, your support and Taylor’s determination has help him leave the hospital much earlier than first anticipated. Taylor did well traveling back to Rogers last night but he is very tired and a bit sore this morning.Taylor is very happy to be home. However, his is feelingthe stress of the adjustment. I guess it is a little scary to not have allthose doctors around telling you that this pain or that pain is perfectly normal and that you are doingwell. Especially when you do not feel like you are doing very well atall.I believe this is pretty normal andhis anxiety will pass in a day or two. I would liketogive a special thanks toDee(Taylor’s Nana) forher tireless help and support throughout Taylor’s ordeal. She has beenarock and instrumental in Taylor’s recovery. Thank you Dee, you are the best mother-in-law anybody good ever hope for. Because of the medication Taylor is taking, his immune system is still weak and he willhave to avoidsituations that mightlead to infections such as crowds and public places. Thebiggest risk to his recovery at this point is a new infection.Mostly, hewill be staying home for the nextmonth or two, going to physical therapy five times a week andrunning up a big phone bill.Certainly, Taylor can havevisitors at homeas long as the visitor is not illorhas not recently been ill.He is really looking forward to just hanging out with his friends and watching movies. Taylor wants to keep you up to date as he continues his recovery at home, however, he was not quite up to writing his own update today. Maybe tomorrow. If not, I will write it for him when I get home from work tomorrow night. Thank you all for you prayers and support.It would be impossible to explainwhat a tremendous difference you have madein our lives. –God bless you all and we praise the Lord for his kindness–
Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2006
Taylor is progressing well with his recovery at home. He began his physical therapy yesterday and did well. He will continue his therapy, five days a week, two hours a day, for many more weeks. He is walking short distances on his own, his appetite is good and he is beginning to gain weight. Our goal is to avoid any set backs and have him ready to return to school for the Spring semester. As far a tennis goes, it is not likely he will be ready to pick up a racket for many more months. However, we are in new waters here so any prediction on my part is simply a wild guess.
We will continue to post periodic updates, so please check back here from time to time. Though we have reached a point where each day is pretty much like the one before, we will try to post an update at least once a week. Taylor is in full mode on his computer so you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He his checking his emails nearly everyday. He will be glad to respond to any questions you might have.
Again, I would like to thank you all for your prayers. Taylor is still in need of all the prayer power he can get.
–May God bless you and keep you near him–
Wednesday, September 20, 2006 Taylor is still progressing well. However, he will continue to be confined to quarters for another few weeks. Until the doctors can be certain that his immune system has recovered, he is pretty much limited to visitors at home. However, he does get out of the house nearly every day for physical therapy in Springdale. Not exactly a road trip but at least he is out of the house for awhile and the therapy is going well. Taylor is still taking prednisone (steroid) and cytoxine (chemo) every morning. He also needs tiny amounts of insulin to control the side effects of his medication. Other than his medication causing him to feel puny for a couple of hours each morning, he is in good spirits. He is eating well, sleeping well and is slowly gaining his strength back. He is getting around the house just fine and has no problem with the stairs or short walks. Taylor really enjoys being able to have his friends over to talk and watch movies. Now that Taylor is sleeping well at night, he has a lot of ‘awake-time’ to fill during the day. I will know that the boredom level is reaching a critical stage if I every catch him reading a book. Taylor is schedule to return to Arkansas Children’s Hospital on October 18th for testing. With good test results Taylor may be released back into the wild. However, his physical activities will be limited until his lungs are fully recovered. We continue to receive your emails and they are great encouragement. Thank you very much. You can send Taylor an email email@example.com .Your prayers are working miracles and we are immeasurably grateful. –God bless you–
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Taylor had a bit of a set back this weekend. Taylor developed a slight cough with small traces of blood. He was admitted to the Northwest Medical Center in Bentonville on Friday after X-Rays revealed that his left lung had partially collapsed. A chest tube was inserted on Saturday morning to help resolve the problem and Taylor’s lung has already shown a great deal of improvement. The blood we saw was simply an indication of the partial collapse. Taylor’s lungs are not bleeding and he will likely be home on Monday or Tuesday depending on the results of tomorrow’s X-Ray.
There is no way to know exactly why Taylor’s lung collapse. His lungs are of course still very weak from his sickness and he is still battling Wegners. The doctors say that in Taylor’s weaken condition it would not be that unusual for something as simple as a cough to cause a lung to partially collapse.
Taylor is resting comfortably, is in good spirits and his lungs seem to be working just fine. In fact he really is not feeling any real ill effects from the set back, however, it will be a week or so before he can resume his physical therapy. Though it is disappointing to have a set back like this we must remember just three weeks ago we were preparing for Taylor to be in the hospital for several more weeks if not months. Taylor is still making good progress.
Thanks to everybody that came to visit Taylor in the hospital this weekend. It really picked up his spirits.
I will let you know the results of Taylor’s X-Ray tomorrow.
Please keep Taylor on your prayer lists. He still has a long road ahead of him.
–God be with you and bless you everyday–
Friday, September 29 2006 Taylor was released from theBentonville hospitalearly this week. His lung (which had partially collapse last week) is much improved and the chest tube has been removed. His movement and strength areagain improving. The four day hospital stay does not seemed to have lost him much ground in his recovery. It will be anotherweek or so before Taylor can return to physical therapy. However, since leaving the hospital, Taylor has beengetting what exercise he can by taking short walks near the house and working the stairs a little each day. He hasa ‘follow-up’ examine schedule for early next week and we are praying the checkup will bring us good news. Taylor is determined to stay out of the hospital. Taylor will continuehis scheduled treatments ofpredisone andcytoxin until hispost release review at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in mid October. Most likely he will continue to need treatments after October, however, the amount or frequency of his treatments may be adjusted. Though Taylor’s current treatments cause him discomfort and agitation he has not experience anyserious side effects. I will update you again next week. Thanks for your concern andkeeping up with Taylor’s progress. Even though Taylor is not quite up to writing a lot of return letters, hereally enjoys reading your emails. If you would like to email Taylor you can reach firstname.lastname@example.org. I can assure he will greatly appreciate hearing from you. Please pray for Taylor’s continuing recovery. Thank you so much. –Be well and may God bless you.–
Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2006
It has been a little over a month since I last wrote an update. Sorry about that. With things returning to normal it has been more difficult to remember to do those things thatare not normally….well normal.
Taylor’s check up in Little Rock in mid October went well and all of his test indicate he is in full remission. He will be back in Little Rock in mid November for a scheduled kidney biopsy. The biopsy is design to verify his diagnoses and measure the extent ofdamage to his kidney (if any). Hopefully, the information gained from the biopsy will give the doctors confidence to reduce Taylor’s medication.
With the exception of being extremely out of shape (relatively speaking) and his daily regiment of medication, Taylor has returned to afairly normal routine.Driving all over town, attending gatherings (parties)and hanging out with friends.Isuspect that many of you have heard from him or seen him out and about.Taylor isback on campus…."socializing", however,he will be back in school, full time,this coming semester. He is working on his fitness and hopes to return to the tennis team in the spring of 2007.
All in all Taylor’s recovery has been nothing short of remarkable and a testament to the power of prayer. Thank you all.
This will be the final entry to this blog. However, I encourage you to write Taylor at email@example.com ifyou would like to hear from Taylor on how he is doing.