|From: "Dan Goodkin"
||[May. 24th, 2005|11:07 am]
Just got back from Vegas.
Jer looked peaceful. He’s been under sedation since last Monday as his brain has been swelling due to the damage suffered by the stroke. You could mistake him for just being asleep if it weren’t for the ventilator and IVs. Seeing him did give me some hope. He occasionally moves his arms and feet although not in response to any outside stimuli. People try holding his hand and asking him to squeeze it but he hasn’t done so yet. Its unclear whether that’s due to the morphine or other sedatives or simply because he cannot. Apparently, when the sedation starts to wear off, he reaches for all the various tubes that are attached to him and tries to pull them out. That suggests that there is at least some brain functioning. From what I was told, the entire right side of his brain is a blur on the CT scan, indicating severe damage/no activity. At some point that started to spread to the left side as well. According to Kevin, the last two days there has been no change, which is a good thing since that means the damage is not spreading. However, his brain is still swelling and as you can imagine, with no place for it to expand to it may cause further damage. The plan as I understand it is to continue sedating him until the swelling stops. At that point they will take him out of sedation and see what function, if any, he has.
The doctors have prepared the family for the worst and their opinion is that he will either not make it or will have extremely minimal functioning. The words “persistent vegetative state”, which have become part of pop culture vocabulary, have been used to describe the likely result if he should make it through. However, no one has given up on him and everyone is holding to some hope that he will have some awareness and capability to live some sort of productive life. Throughout the time I was there, Karen, Kevin and Dialo his friend from law school, were constantly at his side, reading to him, stroking his head, talking to him. If sheer willpower and love can get Jer through this then he couldn’t have better people surrounding him.
The family has asked that I not distribute any phone numbers. I let them know that there are a lot of folks whose lives have been touched by Jeremy and that I had received a lot of emails and IM’s asking for more information. Fred very much appreciates everyone’s well wishes and support. For those of you who know Kevin, or knew him back in the day, he’s really become a great guy. He is absolutely devastated as of course are his parents and Jer’s fiancé Karen.
As far as going to visit, Jer’s father Fred doesn’t want anyone to come that he doesn’t know. His feeling is that Jer wouldn’t want people to see him like this. That said, if you know Kevin or Karen you can always run it by them and see if its ok. There honestly isn’t a lot to do or say there. I spent the time telling Jer stories with Kevin, Dialo and his parents. Being there was more for me and for them since its really not clear if Jer has any awareness at all. Apparently Jer is really into giraffes and there are tons of them around the room. If you wanted to send something, I’d suggest something giraffe related. He’s currently holding one in his hand whether he likes it or not. I told Karen that if I had known about the giraffe thing I would have been making fun of him for years!
http://www.southernhillshospital.com/ - he’s in ICU room 18.
I’ll continue to send out emails whenever anything changes.
[NOTE from dan: If you'd like to be added to the email update list send your address to lowdrive(at)pipline dot com]
[NOTE from irena: Fuckin' Giraffes, man - He'll never live this down.]