Hello Family and Friends.
This praise report is long overdue. There is so much to tell.
Nettie has been working hard to get back her strength and balance.
Every other day she is up on the tilt table which moves her into a
semi-upright position and puts weight on her legs. This plays
havoc with her blood pressure, but hopefully she will get more control
of that as she moves on. She now has movement not only in her
upper arms but in her wrists! The exercises her therapists are
pushing are those that will strengthen the muscles in her arms such that
she will eventually be able to feed herself. Her voice grows
stronger by the day and the trach tube is out entirely as of an hour
ago! Praise God! She was very afraid of that whole
procedure, but as it turned out it was no big deal. She will have
a little scar, but the hole should close in about a week. She had
a few health setbacks along the way so her progress was delayed.
With the removal of the trach and getting her constant nausea under
control the doctors say they expect her begin to make rapid progress in
her physical therapy.
Thank you all for your continued prayers. We wouldn't be so far
along if it weren't for you.
God bless you all ! ! !
Nettie is totally off the
They've removed it from her room.
Here's a short update to tide you
over for the weekend. Nettie got to go outside yesterday on a
portable oxygen tank. She was all smiles!
I love you all.
From Diane, Nettie's sister:
Hello dear Family and Friends,
Thank you for your continued prayers. Please also pray for the son
of a friend of a friend of Nettie's who was involved in a motorcycle accident. He is in his late 20's and his name is Heath Teague.
He injured his spinal chord at C3 and he and his family are facing the
prospect of a life of paralysis even worse than Nettie's. Please
tag on a little prayer for Heath and his family every time you pray for
Nettie sends her love to all of you. We had some action packed
days yesterday and today. Yesterday the docs "scoped"
Nettie's throat to get up close and personal with her non-functioning
vocal chords. What they found was very encouraging. Her
vocal chords are fine. She even moved them when she coughed.
The problem appeared to be that her trachea was just very small and was
hugging the trach tube and not allowing any air to get to the vocal
Today I went by early on my way to work and the physical therapists were
getting her out of bed and into a chair. They sat her up with no
problems and monitored all her vital signs. She continues to
tolerate the upright position very well and says it is easier to breath
that way. Next the speech therapist came by to test her on the
one-way valve trach tube. They swapped this one for the regular
valve, which is constantly open. The one-way allows her to breath
in, but then closes when she breathes out, thereby forcing the air up
and out across her vocal chords. Once they had the valve in place
they asked her to cough and we heard it! Then they asked her to
try to talk and she was able to whisper! We could hear her just
fine! Among other things, she said my name. I praised God
and continued to listen to her every word. The doctors are going
to change her to a smaller trach tube which should make it even easier
for her to talk more and more. Even after the therapist took out
the one way valve she was able to whisper "around" the trach
tube. You could see the joy just dripping off of her.
I also got to feed her some peach yogurt, which she thoroughly enjoyed
until the respiratory therapist made us put some blue food coloring into
it. They do this so that when they suction her they can monitor
whether the food or liquid is going into her lungs. Once that
yogurt was blue I had to hide it from her sight. I have to agree
it did look yucky.
This afternoon she will be up in the chair again and maybe out in the
atrium for some fresh air. More later.
From Diane, Nettie's sister:
Hello friends and family.
This has been a busy few days, and Nettie has made great strides. The
docs gave her a swallow test on Monday which she passed with flying
colors. That paves the way for her to begin EATING! Her first request
was a diet coke, which they gladly let her try. She thought that was
The physical therapists also did and "edge of bed" test. This
began by bringing her upright and swinging her legs over the edge of the
bed. They closely monitored her blood pressure, pulse and oxygen levels.
She did remarkably well in all areas. The therapists then forced her to
lean on her arm on each side, each time supporting her from all sides.
She said that was really scary and she felt like a Weeble (you know,
Weebles Wobble but they don't fall down.). Next the therapists forced
her to lean on her elbows on each side. This whole exercise was very
tiring and disorienting, but they assured Nettie that each time it will
Nettie asked me to relay to each and every one of you how much she loves
you. I told her about the fundraising efforts and she was blown away.
I am attaching a picture of Nettie and me in happier times. I keep it on
my desk and it gives me comfort that together we can get through this
trying time. I thought some of you might want it too.
God bless you all ! ! !
From Diane, Nettie's Sister
As you know from the last update, Nettie moved from Parkland to LifeCare
down the street. What a difference that made! I visited her yesterday
for about an hour and a half. The pulmonologist came by while I was
there and said that Nettie was making great progress with her breathing.
In fact, the whole time I was there she had been breathing on her own
and I didn't even know it! He said that she was just receiving a little
positive pressure to breath around the trach, but she was doing all the
work. He thinks she might be weaned off by this weekend! God is so good!
Next we had a visit from the dietician. Nettie was complaining that
the food they were pumping into her stomach was making her
nauseous. The dietitian said that they would give her a swallow test
next week and see if she could begin EATING REAL FOOD! Blessings and
After all the docs had left, Nettie told me a little secret that she had
yet to tell her doctor (he was due to visit at 7:00 p.m.) -- she has
feeling down to her elbows and the back of her neck and her back,
between her shoulders ! ! ! !
All this goes to show that our prayers on Nettie's behalf are being
heard and answered. Keep it up. God is performing miracles. Let's get
rid of that pesky infection so Nettie can have visits from her friends.
From Diane, Nettie's
Sorry I've been out of touch for
a while. Nettie had the second part of her surgery last week . She
will be so much more comfortable. This was a stressful weekend and
Sunday we just had to high-tail it for the lake to decompress.
With Dad still in town we were able to get away for a bit.
Nettie had some scary episodes
where the doctors thought she might have thrown a blood clot to
her lungs. This turned out NOT to be true. Thank God and thank you
for all your prayers. The doctors still don't know what caused the
episodes, but they think it might have been anxiety. You'd be
anxious too if you were conscious of all the goings on in Parkland's
ICU. So much grief and hysteria.so many people in life threatening
situations. Nettie says it is just crazy at night.
Dad and Gail supervised her move
to LifeCare down the street yesterday. There they will try to wean
her off the ventilator and begin rehabilitation. Don't know what
that will consist of, but we're standing by. She's still in
isolation due to the infection that she hasn't been able to shake,
so sorry, no visitors yet. I promise I will let you know.
A bit of bad news for all of you
who sent cards and stuffed animals. They all had to be destroyed
when she was moved. The infection she has is transmitted by touch,
so everything in her room had to be sent to the incinerator. I
read them all to her over the past three weeks, so your messages
got there. Please send more. I won't take them into her room until
we have this infection under control. I'll copy and read them to her. I
had not taken any tapes in yet, so those are all okay.
Thank you all for your loving
care and support.
Dear Family and Friends,
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers! I spent a good hour with Nettie
today. She sends her love to all of you. She seems to be tolerating the
trach tube, although it seems that she is still uncomfortable. She is
having awful dreams and is reliving the accident and her long wait for
rescue. This was too, too, sad for me to think about. I had to change
the subject to a more up-beat discussion about her animals. She asked me
some hard questions like "what will I do?" I had to hedge and
say that she had a long rehabilitation ahead and we would see from there
how things went.
We are now navigating the muddy water of social services and insurance.
I have an appointment with Social Security on Monday, October 18 at 9:00
a.m. to discuss things with them. I am becoming the reluctant
"expert" on all these issues. There was a very scary but
"to-the-point" article in the Dallas Morning News on October
3rd about the issues we are facing -- housing, long-term care, social
services, in-home care vs. nursing home care, etc. I recommend reading
it if you have a loved one facing the possibility of long-term nursing
care. I have decided to create a huge chart so that I can understand how
these things impact each other and Nettie. Please pray a specific prayer
for me to find the abilities within myself to deal with these very
confusing, but very important issues and make them all work toward
enhancing Nettie's long term quality of life. If you are an expert in
these areas, please call me. If you know someone else who is, please
forward their contact information to me.
We have found a home for Gracie, the gray cat in my bathroom.
Thanks to all who volunteered.
From Diane, Nettie's sister
Hello Family and Friends,
Nettie had 1/2 of her trach surgery. The doctors did the breathing part,
but not the feeding part. They discovered some infection when the made
the incision, so they stopped short of doing the entire procedure until
they got the cultures back from the lab. She is uncomfortable so the
docs are giving her medication to take the edge off the pain. Her
spirits are up and down, as you might imagine. Please send your pet
pictures so I can finish the collage. Keep the cards and letters coming,
as well as the jokes. They make her smile. I tell her every time I see
her that you are thinking of her and wish you could be by her side. She
understands this and is working hard to be in a better position to
receive your visits.
I love each and every one of you.
From Diane, Nettie's sister
Nettie should be in surgery right now getting the tracheostomy.
This shouldn't be a long surgery. Please pray that God will
guide the doctors' hands and judgments. We will see her today
after her surgery. I saw her yesterday and had a good, long
"talk" with her about the animals. I explained where
each one was and that they were all in good hands. I told her
some stories about her bird, Kuka, which made her laugh. She
told me some foods to try on Kuka (she needs a balanced diet,
after all). She asked for coffee, and I had to tell her I
couldn't give her any.
I told her that her friends were beaming lots of love and
encouragement her way and burning up the prayer-ways. She was
scared about the scheduled trach, so our step-mom, Gail
explained all that to her again and she seemed to calm down
about it. She sends her love to all of you and understands why
you can't be with her right now. The doctor told us that they
had her off the ventilator for an entire hour yesterday morning.
She's making some good forward progress, so keep up those
prayers. I will let you know when she can have visitors. That
will probably be after she is transferred to the
"step-down" facility and is deemed by them to be
stable. One more thing, I found another cat ! ? ! ! ## !
Actually, two, but we can't catch the second one. The one we
caught is a sweet little gray number
-- female. She is very talkative and wants attention. She
is currently living, unhappily, in my bathroom. Please, please,
if you want to do something for Nettie, take this puddy and give
it a good foster home. She is a real sweetie.
Thank you for all your prayers and good wishes.
All your cards are being read to Nettie, when we catch her awake
and alert. She seems to be getting a little of her old
spunkiness back, so send bad jokes. She rolls her eyes and
wrinkles up her forehead when we tell them to her.
We were all due for some good news,
so here it is. Yesterday was a very good day for Nettie. The docs say
she is over the hump with the pneumonia and beginning to recover from
it. She is still in isolation due to the infection. Our sister, Karen
came in from DC to see Nettie and had her LAUGHING! Nettie was very
alert and was able to explain to Karen, using the letter board, how to
find a Starbucks downtown. The pulmonologist has the breathing machine
back to the setting where Nettie starts a breath and the machine
finishes it. This is a giant step back in the right direction!
I attribute this turn-around to all the prayers that have been going up
on Nettie's behalf. You are truly an amazing bunch and God is hearing
The two cats from my bathroom have new foster moms as of last night.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have a special request to all of you
who have been so generous to open your homes to Nettie's animals. Please
take a picture of yourself with your adopted furry friend and send it to
me. I would love to put together a giant collage of photos to hang on
Nettie's wall. She loves you all and even more so now that you are
caring for her babies.
Please don't ask to come see her yet. The doctors are still advising us
that visitors tire her out and she needs ALL her strength to learn to
breath on her own. This is TOP PRIORITY for her recovery. Her future
quality of life depends on her developing the skills she needs to breath
on her own. Please know that we are not keeping you away for any other
reason. We continue to pass along everything you tell us by email and by
cards and letters.
I feel I must tell you that Nettie has had another serious setback. On
top of everything she has contracted a particularly antibiotic-resistant
staff infection. Please pray with us that her immune system will be
adequate to fight the infection where the drugs cannot. She is in
isolation in ICU and the family must put on gloves and gowns to even
enter the room. We need all your prayers.
Nettie has developed pneumonia and a pressure sore
on the back of her head. They are treating the pneumonia and keeping an
eye on the sore.
Nettie Carey was taken by Care
Flight to Parkland Hospital early on the morning of Sept 15th, with
serious injuries resulting from a one car accident.
She had a fracture of the 6th and 7th vertebrae, which has caused a
complete spinal cord injury. The doctors say the cord is not severed,
but their prognosis is the same. They have stabilized her spine by
fusing it with bone from different parts of her body.
They did this not to fix the spinal cord, only to stabilize her for
rehabilitation. They can't fix the spinal cord. They say she might
regain some movement up to two levels lower, but not her legs.
Care of the Animals...
The person who was going to take
the orange tabbies backed out at the last minute. They are
mother/daughter and we want to place them together. The foster home
they're in now already has 6 other cats who show their dislike for the 2
tabbies. Please see the attached photos.
Click here for a photo
Click here for a photo
Don Duncan is assisting in coordinating a fund raising effort for
Nettie. Please contact him privately at email@example.com.
A Second Raffle is
now being held...
One of our dance friends is a
cosmetic surgeon and he has offered to donate his services to help our
attempts to raise money for Nettie. Raffle tickets are $10
each and the winner receives his or her choice of ONE of the following
1. Laser hair removal (valued at $500)-- does not work for blond
or gray hair
2. Permanent eye liner -- includes free touch-up
3. Permanent lip liner -- includes free touch-up
4. Permanent eye brow -- includes free touch-up
5. Hair transplant (100 grafts valued at $1,000)
1. Laser hair removal (valued at $500) -- does not work for blond
or gray hair
2. Hair transplant (100 grafts valued at $1,000)
The Fine Print:
1. The drawing for the winner will be held on November 1, 2004 at
Fairfield's. Winner will be notified by phone if not present.
2. The winner's certificate is transferable, so you may give it to
someone else or use it yourself.
3. The winner's certificate MUST BE REDEEMED BY December 15, 2004.
4. The surgical office is located in Tyler, Texas, and your
procedure must be performed on a Saturday.
If you would like to purchase "cosmetic" raffle tickets to go
along with the "airline" raffle tickets you have already
purchased, please contact Lori Hayner or me. We are at Fairfield's
every Monday and Wednesday evenings (and occasionally other places
during the week).
If you would like to help sell cosmetic raffle tickets, please contact
either Lori at 214-566-1260 or me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to purchase cosmetic raffle tickets and don't see Lori
or me, you can send your checks - payable to Diane Blair - to me
at P.O. Box 860901, Plano TX 75086-0901. I promise your ticket
will be added to the raffle.
If you would like to add to this
page, write me.