Monday, December 31, 2007

Monday Dec. 31

Yesterday was a good day for Brent, today seems to be starting out good also. Brent wanted an ipod and his cell phone--He does get very tired quickly. We'll see.

The x-rays from yesterday didn't look good, so they took him in for a CTscan--we heard through the grapevine that they looked about the same--they are amazed that the test look so "cruddy" but his oxygen level stays high. Brent is sitting up and talking to us when he isn't tired. He is starting to get his appetite back, he likes chocolate Ensure--he isn't going to live that down. All breathing devices have been removed. He is now breathing on his own without oxygen just room air. He is able to sit up 52 degrees now and wants to occasionally.

The most remarkable thing-- for a dad that is-- last night Brent and I sat and watched a little football on TV, that was the first TV that Brent had really watched. Amazing how some of the small things we use to take for granted are now so treasured!

I'm flying back home this evening, will return Thursday late afternoon. I will start working in Florida during the week and return up here for the weekends, hopefully long weekends. I'm so lucky to work for Farner Barley & Assoc., they have been so supportive through all of this! Thank you for your prayers--we know God has heard those prayers and is answering them!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Day 22 2:40 PM

Seems like the day after we get good news, is always followed by a day of uncertainty and today is no exception. As I wrote in the last entry yesterday, the doctors were encouraged with Brent's lung and took him off the vent. and removed his chest tube.
After more x-ray's this morning it was found that the lung is still partially collapsed. This seems to be due to fluid built up in the chest cavity. A surgeon was called in for consultation to determine if Brent needed the chest operated on and cleaned out. The doctor reviewing his case thought doing the operation at this time would cause more damage than it would help. He was very blunt by Brent's bedside, now Brent is depressed. The Neurology surgeon is waiting on Brent to stabilize to do the repair work on the screw in his spine. The Orthopedic surgeons are waiting on the Neurologist to stabilize Brent's back, so we are on the same merry of round. At times I'm fearful of even updating the blog, because it seems to change each hour.

We solicit your prayers for Brent's healing and peace of mind, I can't tell you in words how much Kathy and I appreciate your prayers and support!

The ICU is getting strict on visiting hours, the hours are 9-11 am, 2-4 pm, and 8- 10 pm each day. Kathy and I are spending most of our time in Brent's room. Brent can have short visits, but tends to get worn out very quickly.

Pete & Kathy

Friday, December 28, 2007

Day 21 5:30PM

Just a quick update, I will write more later.... First things first--Kathy and I thank God for answering our prayers. We would also like to thank each and every one of you who have been praying for Brent's recovery.

Today after several tests, and another Boncoscopy it was determined that Brent was strong enough for the doctors to remove the ventilator. This was a hard because he has been sedated with the tube in. The doctors now needed to wake him and slowly allow him to start breathing on his own before total removal. When he awoke, he was scared, saying "there is something in my throat." We were able to comfort him and help him understand what was happening.

The doctors said they were going to remove the chest tube being used to drain his right lung cavity. This is currently being done.

The neurosurgeon came by and told us that he wanted Brent stronger before going back into the operating room to reposition the screw in his spine. It looks like this surgery will happen next week.

I will update a little more later this evening.

Pete & Kathy

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Day 20 2:45 PM

Things are still about the same with Brent today. He is heavily sedated, there are times we believe he hears us talking and at times makes hand gestures (a thumbs up) when we say things to him. We still see the positive attitude in Brent, he has always been an extremely upbeat and positive person!

Brent still has the ventilator in to help his lung to heal. All his vital signs are now strong. It is our understanding he is to have another "Broncoscopy" this afternoon, to further clean his lung. The last news on further surgery is they plan to do the shoulder surgery this coming Monday morning. We have met with the doctors and the following needs to be accomplished.

(The nurse just called Kathy and they are doing the Broncoscopy now) 3:00 PM

We ask that you pray for the following;

Blood cultures to be free from infection. The infection and fever is what stopped the left shoulder surgery on Monday the 17th.

The lung needs to clear and be free of fluid.

The neurologist needs to make the determination on the screw in Brent's spine.

Brent's peace and comfort.

We continue to be bless with support, it's amazing that people we didn't know a few weeks ago have now become such a large part of our family. I am continually amazed that Kathy and I are 900 miles from our "home" but it seems like we have come "home". Our family has definitely made many life long friends!

Thank you so much for you prayers and support.

Pete & Kathy

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Urgent Prayer Request:

As I write this post Brent is in surgery, we were informed this morning that his right lung has fully collapsed and does not look good. He is having the Bronchoscopy preformed now, he is also having a larger chest drain placed high in the right side of his chest. When Brent left ICU, Kathy sensed his fear in having this procedure. Brent is worn out right now!

Pete & Kathy

Update 2:40Pm
Brent is out of surgery, the Bronchoscopy was completed and now the third chest drain has been placed. The doctors placed an endotracheal intubation tube in Brent to keep positive pressure in the lung and aid healing. They have scheduled another Bronchoscopy on Brent in the morning. Brent will remain sedated thru tomorrow's procedure.

Kathy and I thank you so much for your concern, calls, and most of all prayers!

Pete & Kathy

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Brent says, Merry Christmas everyone.

Today we are starting to get a little more information on how Brent's surgery's will proceed. Brent is on tomorrows fill-in list for surgery to his right lung, the plans are to take him in for a Bronchoscopy. (This could be done outside surgery, but due to Brent's condition the doctors prefer him to be in the operating room) He is still having problems keeping the right lung clear, if this procedure doesn't take place he could easily develop pneumonia. We are still waiting to hear when Dr. Pait will return from vacation and be able to take care of the screw problem with Brent's spine. After that, Orthopedic will fix Brent's shoulder, we think we are talking only days now.

Kathy and I really appreciate your emails, phone calls, and encouragement. It's a little lonely spending Christmas Day in ICU, but with all your support things are easier!

Brent seems to be able to communicate a little better each day, and is much more alert. God is healing him and making him stronger, thank you for your prayers!

I Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Isaiah 4:10 Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.

Pete & Kathy

Monday, December 24, 2007

Brent is still in ICU, sleeps much of the time. As noted earlier, it looks like we are not going to see any surgery until after Christmas. Currently respiratory is trying to clear Brent's right lung, although the new chest drain is helping--it isn't enough. Every two hours Brent has to use a "Percussionair -- Impulsator" to help clear his lung, if this doesn't work they may have to put him back on the ventilator.

Yesterday, Kathy, Bryan, Amanda and I were able to worship with the Pleasant Valley Church and also attend Brent's Bible Class. Very uplifting for our family!

Amanda flew to Kansas City late yesterday afternoon be with her husband as they spend their first Christmas together. Bryan will fly home (Leesburg, Florida) late tomorrow.

It has been great having both Amanda and Bryan here for the past few weeks, for years Kathy and I took care of them--now it seems they are the ones we are leaning on.

Again, our family would like to thank you for all the support, cards, food, words of encouragement, love and most of all prayers!

God is opening doors of opportunity around the hospital everyday-- trust me when I say this. Bad as we think things are, I can relate many stories now of the trials and suffering I have seen at UAMS! There are so many opportunities to show the love of God!

Pete & Kathy

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Day 15 12/22/07

Our family would like to thank everyone who is praying for Brent. We know God has heard those prayers and has answered them in a powerful way! We count our blessings everyday. God is going to use Brent in a positive way--great things are to come! To everyone who has stopped by UAMS to visit with Brent and have offered encouragement to our family-- Thank You! We can not believe all the food, supplies, housing, but most of all the love demonstrated to us.

So many of the staff here at UAMS have commented of the testimony you are showing. The power of our God is being seen by many! You are making a difference in the lives of not only our family, but so many working here. Many have told me they have never witnessed the magnitude of support and love, that you have shown to our family! God is working in a big way here at UAMS.

Brent had a good night, and continues to improve. His mind is sharp and wit is as quick as it ever was. We are so thankful Brent did not suffer a brain injury! The doctors removed the drain to his right lung a few minutes ago, then placed another drain a little higher over the same lung. As soon as they inserted the new tube, the lung started to drain again--that's a good thing! Brent is sleeping better now, and seems to be a little more at peace. Right now things are at a stalemate medically until after Christmas, we look forward to celebrating Christmas in a few months with Brent!

Many have asked if we needed anything--the only thing we can think of is prayers. First we are now thanking our Lord for answering our previous prayers. Many times we ask, and ask God of needs--when he answers those prayers we feel it is just as important to show and express our thanks to Him! The second is to continue to ask God to strengthen Brent, both physically and mentally. We have a long road ahead of us, but with His help, all of you who have been so faithful in visiting and encouraging Brent and our family we will be able to accomplish anything!

Pete & Kathy (Brent's parents)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Day 14: 12/21/07

The surgery on Brent's shoulder that was intended for today unfortunately was not performed. We are not sure as to when this surgery will take place but we will make sure to update as soon as we find out. It does sound like it will be after Christmas before any more surgery is preformed. The neurosurgeon that operated on Brent's back is currently on vacation. Our understanding is the spine needs to be stabilized to his satisfaction prior to the shoulder being operated on. Brent will have the shoulder operation from a sitting position.

As far as updates on Brent, he seems to be making slight improvements each day. His lung seems to be improving, they are talking of removing the tube draining his lung within the next few days. It seems like baby steps to us, but he is improving. We know that God is in control and has a wonderful plan for Brent!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Day 13:
Last night after we left the hospital around 10pm, the doctors performed a ct scan on Brent's chest. They found some fluid in his lung, this may cause them to add an additional tube in the right lung. When reviewing the scans of the spine they noticed there was a screw in a dangerous location, near a major blood vessel. They have put Brent back on spinal precaution, and we are awaiting news as to when they will fix this issue. Brent's fever is still down- as for now surgery on the left shoulder will be performed tomorrow morning. Brent is now on a clear liquid diet, and he is very thankful to finally getting something to drink!!:) Brent is doing well but still has a long ways to go. Thank you for your prayers! We love you all.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Day 12:
Brent was moved to 4th floor ICU last night-Room 452. (The ICU is located just down the ramp from where the family has been staying for the past few days.) Brent's fever broke during the night, and he was able to get some good rest. He is on the vent only to assit him, in getting more strength in his lung. They hope to ween him off the vent today or tomorrow. While in ICU Brent is limited to visitors, and only during visiting hours. Please pray that Brent's body will be free from infection, so that they will be able to perform his shoulder surgery Friday morning. Thank you all so much for your kind words of encouragement- they have been a source of strength for our family! We could not imagine going through this without you!

" Then you will call upon me come and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." - Jeremiah 29:11-13

Update 12:30:
Praise God!!! Brent is making great progress!! Mom and I have been able to stay back with Brent for the past few hours (even though they aren't allowing visitors- doesn't hurt to ask! thats my theory!:)) Brent loves to hear good news and we've gotten quite a bit this morning. They have had his arms strapped to the bed so that he wouldn't pull on tubes. I asked if they could take them off if I watch him to make sure those would not be bothered- they let me!!! He was quite relieved!! They have done an x-ray on his chest to see the condition of the lung in hopes of taking out the breathing tube. His stats are great right now, and they are hoping to take the tube out shortly. The resident working with Brent even went to the extent of showing me his x-rays and the condition of his lung- quite interesting! Brent kept sending me out to get more information about every 30 mins. It seemed like every time i went out to get information we would get good news! I think the nurse might be tired of me asking questions!:)
The best news of the day... Brent's spinal precaution has been lifted!! He is able to sit up, and move around. His first request was to have his back scratched!! The doctor told me that if Brent wanted to he could even sit up 90 degrees in a chair!- we are needing to make baby steps, but making great progress! They plan on sending a physical therapist around within the next few days and start working just a little bit at a time. Brent is so excited!
We have told Brent to write us notes instead of trying to talk because it hurts, that's been a great source of communication :). I am soo proud of Brent! He is such a fighter!
Thank you all so much for your prayers! I know that Brent is doing so well because of them! Our God is awesome!!

Update 7:30pm:

Brent is still doing great! After 3 different chest x-rays, the doctors decided to remove the vent around 4:00. Brent is breathing on his own with the help of oxygen. His stats are still looking good!:) He's had a great day with lots of positives. We weren't expecting any of this to happen today! God is so good! Please continue to pray for his comfort.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Day 11

Brent wasn't able to have the surgery on his lung last night, for what reasons I don't know. But he is having it this afternoon and it should last about 30 minutes. He's not really up to seeing visitors right now, and only Amanda and Kathy are at the hospital with him. I will update as the day progresses. Please keep Brent, Kathy and Amanda in your prayers and keep Bryan, Pete and Brooke in your prayers as they are traveling.

Brent was able to have surgery on his lung this afternoon at 1:54pm. They were able to go in and perform a bronc. They went in to observe the condition of his lung and clear it of obstruction. The surgery went well, but Brent is now back on a vent, because the stats were not to the doctors satisfaction. At this point we are still down in the OR waiting room, until they are able to find a room for Brent. He will be moving up to an ICU on the fourth floor, for more intense care. Thank you all so much for your prayers, please continue to lift him up in your prayers.

Brent has been moved to to ICU room 452 - He is able to have visitors 2 at a time- although he does get a little overwhelmed at times. Dad and Bryan will be back up here on Thursday evening, Bryan will be staying until December 25th, and Dad will be here until January 1st.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Day 10

Today Brent was supposed to have his surgery but is running a fever of 102 and has some fluid build up. The surgery will have to be postponed probably until Friday. Please continue to keep Brent and the surgeons in your prayers but also keep the family in your prayers. Pete, Bryan, and Brooke will be driving back to Florida this week and Pete and Bryan will be flying back. So please keep them in your prayers as they travel. And keep Kathy and Amanda in your prayers as they care for Brent here.

But I do have good news! The blood drive at Pleasant Valley yesterday went extremely well. The initial goal was set at 15 donations (mainly because they had just had a blood drive) but after only a few minutes they upped their goal to 30. The drive was supposed to end at 2 but I received a call after 4 saying the final count was 68! They had to go get more bags and supplies! And even later a nurse said that the final count had actually been 71! The second largest donation in UAMS history!! Brent will have more than enough blood to help get him through several surgeries. A big thank you to all who helped out and donated!!

Update: 7:15pm
Brent has had a rough day. He has developed a bacterial infection in his blood stream that caused the fever this morning. They are treating him with antibiotics and should be able to have surgery on Friday. Tonight (sometime) he is having a noninvasive surgery on his lung. We're not entirely sure, but we think it's either to clean out the buildup that he has been coughing up all day, or repairing some of the damage that has been done. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal but they are going to have him in the OR just as a safety precaution. So please pray for the doctors tonight and the nurses who will be taking care of him.

Pete, Bryan and Brooke will be driving to Florida early in the morning. So please remember to keep them in your prayers as well.

Update 10:05pm
Brent was unable to have surgery tonight concerning his lung. He was on standby for the operation but they were unable to get to Brent, hopefully they will perform that surgery tomorrow morning.

Concerning the surgery on Brent’s left shoulder- they have postponed it until later this week. Although we were bummed about it, we also have to consider the positives. Last night Brent did very well, he did not run a fever, and was able to sleep most of the night. When they went to pre-op, they discovered the fever. Had it not been for them discovering that fever, they would have performed the surgery and we would have been facing a lot more serious issues, because of the infection. The infection is being treated with antibiotics and is showing signs of improvement.

Brent is facing a lot of pain right, please be praying for his comfort, and that we might be able to get these surgeries done as soon as possible. Brent is very anxious to get these surgeries done!

Dad, Bryan, and Brooke are going home for a few days, while our Aunt Christy is coming to stay for a few days while they are gone. Pray for their safe travels!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sunday- Day 9

We have had some set backs today regarding Brent’s progress. This morning he was moved from the third floor to the fourth floor, which is a step down ICU. During the night he had some complication and collapsed the upper section of his lung. (This happens when a person has shallow breathing patterns.) We need this section of the lung to improve to insure the surgery on his shoulder will be performed first thing tomorrow morning. He is still breathing on his own, but with the help of a breathing machine to help regulate it. This morning Brent asked to practice his breathing exercises that the nurse had shown him earlier this morning. I was able to visit with Brent a little this afternoon and he seemed to be doing alright. It was good to see Brent making jokes with the doctors as they were attending to him. Brent has not lost his personality, that’s for sure. He's a trooper! He was having some irritation on his shoulder so they temporarily have taken the sling off his left shoulder. They have also done this to assess for tomorrows procedure. He is physically uncomfortable right now, but I assure you that the Lord has comforted him as only He can!

For the next 24 hours while Brent is in the step down ICU they are allowing family only in the room with him. They are asking us to take shifts with Brent throughout the night to help monitor and calm him. He tends to get worked up when surrounded by a lot of people. We are telling Brent of all the friends that are coming to visit. He knows he is loved by each and every one of you. We were told that they will allow some visitors other than family tomorrow after the surgery. Thank you so much to all of you that have been there to comfort us as a family throughout this. Your love and support has made an impact on us that we cannot even begin to express the degree of our appreciation. To all of you that have been at the Blood drive in Brent’s name. Thank you!! I wish we could sit down and tell each and every one of you how much you have impacted us, and how much we greatly appreciated you. We feel like we are home with family when we are surrounded by you. We cherish the relationships that we have formed.

Please continue to lift Brent up in prayer. Tomorrow is an important day regarding his rehab. He is going to need as much strength in his arms as possible.

Although today has been rough, we firmly know God still has his hand in this- He will never give us something we can’t handle!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Day 8

Sorry for those of you that got confused. I did post yesterday but I thought it was Thursday when it was really Friday. I fixed it now.

Kyle and Amanda graduated this morning and Pete, Kathy, Bryan and Brooke were all able to attend as well as all of Kyle's family. They were able to take all of their finals and it was so good to see them both walk across that stage.

Brent is awake and alert again today. In fact he's become really honest on his pain meds and the boys are enjoying his sense of humor. They moved him from the sixith floor ICU to the third floor ICU. Brent had the nurse call Bryan on his cell to tell him they were moving him to room 303. It's a good thing Brent's on top of things because the nurse told us room 313. I'm glad he isn't leaving us to the hospital staff! Right now we are in the second floor waiting room, the same one that we were in on Tuesday during his surgery.

Update: Blood Donation
Don't forget that you can donate blood tomorrow at Pleasant Valley Church of Christ. (More details below under blog "Blood Donation")

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 1 Corinthians 1:3-4

Friday, December 14, 2007

Day 7

Brent is awake!! They have taken him off of the ventilator and he is fully breathing on his own, awake, talking and is as sharp as a tack. During a breathing test he said "I've done this before, during an appendectomy when I was fifteen." So we are thanking God that he has absolutely no brain damage. He didn't remember anything about Saturday, but Pete reminded him that he went out to the racetrack with Jay and had a bad fall. Brent then remembered going to the track but fortunately didn't remember the accident. Brent wanted to know everything that has happened so Pete gave him a brief summary and they are telling him a little bit at a time the extent of his injuries. He feels pain in his right shoulder but Pete assured him that it would be fine. He asked about his left shoulder and Pete told him he would have surgery on it on Monday. Brent wanted to know why he had to wait so long. He now knows what day it is and exactly where he is.

Pete and Kathy have been provided with an apartment through Little Rock Church that is less than ten minutes from the hospital. They will have this apartment through January 8th and they will work on something more long term in the few weeks to come.

For those of you wanting to visit Brent and his family they are at UAMS. To get there you will need to take 630 to the Fair Park exit. Head North on Fair Park. You will pass the Stadium on your right and be at the Markham intersection. Take a Right. You will pass Wendys and Backyard Burger on your left before you get to Hooper Dr. Take a Right. Follow directions for Visitor Parking. It will loop you around the drop off site but will bring you back to the top of the parking garage. You will need to have cash with you to pay for parking. Enter in the Main Hospital Entrance. You will walk all the way down the hall towards the Information Desk. Take the Elevators on your Right right before you get to the desk. Brent is on the 6th floor. Out of the elevator take a left. The family is in the Family Room second door on your left.

Update: 6:30pm
Brent has been in and out all day. When he is awake he is very alert but also very aware of his pain. Right now Brent doesn't know the full extent of the injuries.

Please continue to pray without ceasing. Prayers are being answered every day.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Day 6

Just an update on bringing food for the family.

For those of you who would like to prepare food for the family we would like to coordinate this in hopes of preventing over abundance as well as a lack of food. They do have transportation to pick up food if it cannot be dropped off at the hospital.

Monday Dec. 10th Carol Hix is providing taco's from Taco Bueno for dinner
Tuesday Dec. 11th Cynthia Matthews & Amanda Slayton - Sandwiches
Wednesday Dec. 12th Tia would like to prepare a meal to be delivered around 5:30 pm
Thursday Dec. 13th Bill is providing pizza for the family.
Friday Dec. 14th Lunch provided by Courtny Hix Dinner will be by Barbara and Rich Crews
Saturday Dec. 15th BESH, out of Tavares, Florida the company that Brooke Ward works for is providing food this night.
Sunday Dec. 16th Sara Kathryn Smith is providing food for this night.
Monday Dec. 17th Clay- Dinner from Nick's BBQ
Tuesday Dec. 18th Daniel/Brymer Life Group for dinner
Wednesday Dec. 19th Melani and Matt Blansett for dinner
Thursday Dec. 20th Mitch and Elizabeth Breitweiser dinner from Whole Hog Cafe
Friday Dec. 21st Cassandra Mangham Hicks and Brent's high school graduating class for dinner
Saturday Dec. 22nd West Orange Church of Christ (contact person Linda Vaughn)

Email me (Amanda Raibley) at or call Jay at 501-366-1492 before you plan on bringing food and we can let you know approximately how many people are going to be there that day as well as put you on the schedule.

Please keep Brent and his family in your prayers.

Update: 6:18pm
Brent is awake! From what the doctors have told us they have to give Brent "vacations" from the sedatives to give his body a break and to let him slowly get used to some pain. It's just a process of weaning him off of the sedatives. Around 5 or 5:30pm they were giving him a "vacation" while Gary Lashley was in the room. He noticed the nurse talking to him so he stood up and Brent's eyes were open. He would ask him questions and Brent would respond by squeezing his hand. Pete and Kathy got to spend some time with Brent and whenever Pete would ask him a question Brent would respond by squeezing Kathy's hand. Hard. Jay and I were able to join them and he knew who we both were. He is breathing on his own but still has the ventilator tube in his throat for now. They are debating leaving the tube in until the surgery on Monday but might be able to take it out tomorrow and reinsert it just for the surgery. They will be testing his blood to make sure there is enough oxygen in it. As soon as there is enough oxygen in his blood then they will take him off the ventilator and sedation. So it looks like tomorrow he will be nearly coherent. I will post again as soon as I know anything else. God is so good! We didn't think Brent would be opening his eyes again until next Tuesday! I was about to post that we really wouldn't have much to update you all about for three or four days. And God through Brent once again amazes us all! Here we were thinking of him still as fragile as can be but he proved us wrong again! He is already showing us his strength. Praise God for all that He is doing and going to do!!

Update: 8:15pm
Brent did so great tonight. He was so very responsive and fully aware that he was in the hospital but was being taken care of. He was able to breath on his own without the ventilator for over two and a half hours. They put him back under sedation and on the ventilator for tonight but will probably be able to take out the ventilator in the morning. God willing he will be able to stay off of sedation after tomorrow. He is so strong and will continue to show us that nothing will hold him back.

Please continue to pray not only for Brent but for his whole family. Pray not only for physical strength for mental and spiritual strength. We don't know yet when the family will tell Brent the extent of his injuries but please pray for him to be comforted by those around him. And pray for him to find comfort in God. Also please pray specifically for Pete and Kathy and that God will continue to comfort and strengthen them. Please pray for Bryan and Brooke as they drive from Florida to Little Rock tomorrow. (Bryan flew from Memphis to Orlando today to get supplies) And please pray for Amanda and her husband Kyle as they finish up their finals and prepare to graduate on Saturday. They are also driving back home to Searcy (about an hour away) every night. So pray for them as they travel. And of course don't for get to praise God for all that he has done and will continue to do.

But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, "You are my God." Psalm 31:14

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Day 5

Wednesday December 12, 2007

Here is a letter from Pete and the entire Adams Family.

Things are stable with Brent; he is recovering from the major surgery preformed on his spinal column yesterday afternoon. As you read on the blog yesterday, we did not receive the result desired.

The surgery to do a total replacement of his left shoulder is scheduled to be preformed early this coming Monday morning. It is very important this surgery is accomplished successfully. Brent is going to need both arms to be strong as possible to help in his rehabilitation. This is going to be a touchy surgery because of all the internal damage that his body has sustained, plus the previous spinal surgery. We found out a few minutes ago, the doctor fused a total of 6 vertebra together.

The doctors have started to bring him off some of the sedatives so they can see his tolerance to pain. He was moving his arms this morning, and while Kathy was in seeing him – he briefly opened his eyes. We were not expecting this to happen for a few more days. After seeing the pain he was feeling, the doctors again placed him under more sedatives.

Our family can’t express to each of you how much we have felt the comfort of your prayers. I can not imagine having to walk this path without your help. I can not begin to tell everyone how much your care and concern has meant to us! Your prayers are powerful, we understand there are people praying for Brent from the West Coast to East Coast, Panama and Africa. We are for the most part on hold for the next few days—I would imagine we will only be updating the blog once a day unless something happens.

I know that I should be calling so many and personally thanking each of you—please forgive me. I’m having a hard time with remembering everything that I’m suppose to be doing. I will do my best in the future to start returning calls and voice mails along with emails. Your concern means so much to Kathy and I— we couldn’t get through this without you.

To all the Elders, Ministers, and members from the Pleasant Valley Church of Christ—there are not words to express the impact your love and concern has meant to us. Every need has been met before our family even knew we were in need. We have been offered cars, houses, food, gift certificates, food vouchers for the hospital, home cooked meals, and most of all many prayers. The Singles Group has made a huge impact on this wing of the hospital; I have heard comments from Doctors, Nurses, Social Workers, and Janitors about all “OUR” family. It’s so neat to tell them about Pleasant Valley—you are making an impact they have not seen before. So, until I can come to PV and speak to you in person, which Kathy and I desire to do—with all my heart— WE THANK YOU!

Pete, Kathy, Bryan, and Amanda

Update: Blood Drive

Please scroll down and read under the post Blood Donation for more information. And again if you have any questions about blood donation or anything else you can contact me at

Update: Monday Surgery

Brent's surgery on his shoulder on Monday will not be a total replacement. Praise be to God!! The orthopedic surgeon (who was a suitmate of Bryan's in college. Just another God thing!) will be performing the surgery. He is going to attempt to repair the shoulder as it is. He thinks that the shoulder is in good enough condition for Brent to be able to use it. This is such wonderful news and just another answer to everyones prayers. Brent will be kept under sedation until after the shoulder surgery so his body can continue to heal.

Thank you for continuing to pray for Brent and his family. We are truly seeing the power of prayer as each day goes by.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Out of surgery

For men are not cast off by the Lord forever. Though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love. For He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.
-Lamentations 3:31-33

In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 we are told to pray without ceasing. I know many of you have already been doing so and will continue to do so. The only way Brent will continue to recover is with prayer. He still needs prayer. He is still has a long road to recovery.

And God has answered our prayers. God works in mysterious ways and will continue to do so. The doctors told us that they could not operate until Brent had made it past the most critical time: 72 hours. At 73 hours an operating room opened up. The head neurosurgeon had 6 hours available as well as everyone needed for the team to perform the surgery. The only one who could have orchestrated that miracle was our Father. We may not understand His plan in Brent's life right now but we know that He will show us as soon as we are ready. Right now we are praying for guidance to help Brent and be there for him in anyway we can. We know that no one can comfort him the way our Father can so we are just praying that he can feel His arms around him.

Even though it may not seem possible God loves Brent even more than we do. He knit Brent together in his mothers womb. We praise God because we are truly fearfully and wonderfully made in His image.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Proverbs 3:5-8

We may not understand but we will overcome only with the help of God.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:11-13

Day 4 at 2:30

Our family has just met with the doctor that will be performing the spine surgery on Brent within the hour. This is the surgery that was originally scheduled for Friday! Praise God that there was an opening, and Brent was able to take that slot in the O.R. Brent is currently in the O.R. waiting to be operated on. The surgery is to decompress and realign the spine. It should last anywhere from 4-6 hours. We ask that you please be on your knees in prayer for the doctors, and for Brent's healing. We are remaining optimistic- Our God is an Awesome God!!

Update: 4:45pm
Brent went into surgery at 4:00 and should be in there for 4-6 hours. We will keep you updated as often as we get updated. During the surgery we will be on the second floor at UAMS if you want to wait with us while Brent is in surgery.

Update: 5:30pm
The nurse came and informed us Brent is doing very well and the surgery is going well. We are all taking great comfort knowing that God is there guiding the surgeons hands. Keep praying.

Update: 6:45pm
The nurse told us he is still in surgery and doing well.
Pete and Kathy wanted me to pass on a message to you all. They want to personally thank, but for now will just have to thank through the blog, all of the churches that have surround them with love and prayers, especially PV. The support and love that is surrounding them right now is very humbling. From Chuck and Hans to the elders, from the singles class to everyone else at PV, we can truly feel their love and prayers. It is almost hard to imagine what this experience would be like without the love and support of people like all of you. Looking around at others here at the hospital without people to pray with and without the knowledge that our Fathers arms are around us is scary. But we are so comforted by the fact that God is here and what an amazing God He is! We love all of you and are so comforted by your prayers.

Day 4 at 1:10

Today there has been a bit of encouragement on behalf of Brent. Yesterday the doctors told us that the soonest they would be able to perform surgery on Brent’s spine would be Friday, today they informed us that they will be able to do that surgery later today! Praise God! We just finished speaking with the one of the doctors and will soon be speaking to the surgeon that will be performing the surgery. They will be performing two surgeries today- the first surgery will be done to help prevent blood clots, it is a serious issue but the surgery in and of itself is considered a minor surgery. The second surgery later this afternoon will be the most critical surgery; they will be realigning and stabilizing his spine. Please keep Brent in your prayers, we are specifically requesting that you pray for the knowledge of the doctors working with him. We know that the Great Physician will be with them guiding their hands as to what Brent’s specific needs are. Please continue to lift Brent’s name up to our Heavenly Father. On behalf of his family- we cannot thank you enough for your prayers. Your prayers have been a source of comfort to us and we know that is the reason we are able to stay strong for Brent. We feel that so many of these prayers have been answered. We wanted to share with you a few things that we have counted as a blessing throughout this ordeal. We know that we cannot list them all because God is continuing to show us new blessings, its unbelievable how amazing our God is and we wanted to share a few of those with you:
  • When we found out about the accident we were uncertain of how my parents were going to get here. The accident happened at 2:15pm. We realized the severity of the accident around 3pm, and my parents were able to get here by 8:30pm. The company that my dad works for, Farner Barley was able to make contact with the owner of Graham Construction out of Dublin Georgia, they flew their company jet down to Leesburg, and then from Leesburg to Little Rock.
  • Once here in Little Rock we were uncertain of where the family would be staying, a member of the Pleasant Valley Church owns the Guesthouse Inn, about 3 minutes from the hospital and was able to provide us with a place to stay!
  • UAMS is the best place in Arkansas for Trauma accidents.
  • UAMS has some of the best doctors in the southeast!
  • We found out yesterday that one of the orthopedic surgeons that has been and will continue to work on Brent was our older brother Bryan’s suitemate at Harding. -coincident? No it’s a God thing!
  • There is several staff members at the hospital that attend Brent’s home congregation, Pleasant Valley that have been able to help in many ways!
  • At one point early on we were told that Brent’s left leg was broken, the next day they came back unable to find the break in his leg!
  • We were told that the soonest Brent would be able to have surgery on his spine would be Friday; they are doing it today- Tuesday!!!
  • We have had all of our physical needs met before we even know what we needed!!
  • They told us after 72 hours, the lung would be at its most critical state- to the best of my knowledge, and doctors did not mention anything to us yesterday about his lung.
  • We have been constantly be surrounded by God’s people! From near and far; Aunt Christy, Uncle Johnny, and Aunt Carol from Alabama, Gary Lashley came from Florida, Matt Pruitt, Jantzen Cole, and Justin Hunton who have all grown up with Brent in Florida, as well as numerous members of PV, well over 100 in the first two days! Thank you!
  • We have had doctors coming in to pray with us. (This is a state hospital – not associated with any church or denomination)
  • Brent’s doctors are ones of faith, and keep reminding us the power of prayer!

There are so many more blessings that we cannot even begin to count them all, but we wanted to let you know just how truly blessed we feel to be children of God. He is our father is constantly watching over us. Our faith and your prayers are what will get us through this! We cannot thank you enough for all you have done; if I tried you wouldn’t hear the end of it! :) We are putting all our faith in God- and putting Brent into his hands. As one of the elders at PV has stated in prayer, God put Brent together once in our mothers womb and we believe He can do it again! – That quote has stuck with me! We are not limiting God and know that all things are possible through Him!

Day 4

The most recent right now is good news. Last night the doctors had planned on performing Brent's back surgery on Friday but decided this morning that he is stable enough to perform the surgery today. The most recent I've heard is that the back surgery will be performed around 3:30 this afternoon. This morning he was having a filter inserted below his kidneys that will filter out any blood clots that may form in the legs and prevent them from moving into the upper body. This was a minimally invasive procedure and is only preventative and not permanent. If anyone wants to go to the hospital to pray with the family during Brent's surgery you are more than welcome to. If not please just pray during that time. Hopefully I will have more information about the surgery before then and will be able to update you all.

For those of you trying to leave comments but are unable to:
After reading a blog at the bottom you will see "14 comments" or "leave comments". Click on that to read others comments or leave one of your own. On the right side of that page there is a box where you can write a comment. Scroll down and you will see underneath "Choose Identity" a link that says "No Google Account? Sign up here". Click that. That does not mean that it makes you a new email account. They didn't word that very well. On the next page all you need to do is enter in a preexisting email address twice along with a password for this site. You will also need to enter a display name. First and last names would be appreciated so the family knows who is leaving the post. Then you finish the word verification and acceptance of terms and click the continue arrow. On the next page you will be able to leave a comment. From then on all you need to do is re-enter your email address and password whenever you want to leave a comment. If you have any other questions or want me to post for you, you can contact me (Amanda Raibley) at and I would be more than happy to help you.

Already God has answered so many of our prayers and will continue to do so.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Day 3

This is an email Pete (Brent's dad) wanted you all to read.

Another update on Brent---
Well there are times in a persons life that are benchmarks, today may have been one of those days.

A long time ago, we knew a young woman with terminal cancer--we prayed,we prayed, we prayed--asking God to heal her and make her whole again.She was so young, had children, was a rock in the local congregation--so much to live for........ in class one evening we were again speaking to God about her, someone in the back of the class spoke up and said "I'm mad at God! He should heal her!" A very wise person spoke up and reminded us that God may look at things differently than we do. God is more interested in the spiritual welfare of his children, than the possible physical problems. I know this is hard, but try to think about it. In my eyes, that is exactly true--God will be able to use Brent.

Kathy and I are very lucky in the strong church that Brent is a part of-- currently the elders are on their way to pray over Brent.

Please remember that Kathy and I know, beyond any doubt, God is in control and has a plan--we continue to pray for a miracle.

Please pray that God will use Brent to show how powerful and awesome He is. He has already answered many of our prayers. We strongly believe that through prayer God CAN heal Brent completely. We pray that He can use Brent to strengthen our faith and others. --Kathy

So much in Him!

Pete & Kathy

Please continue to pray and pass this along so that others can begin praying as well. We will continue to update as soon as there is any other information.

Re: Address
For those of you who have asked about sending cards, you can send them to Brent and Jays house and Jay will bring them to the family. As soon as we get an address at the hospital where they can receive cards I will post it.

1611 Wagon Wheel Dr
Little Rock, AR 72211

Re: Food Preparation
For those of you who would like to prepare food for the family we would like to coordinate this in hopes of preventing over abundance as well as a lack of food. The only day that is being covered thus far is Thursday evening. They do have transportation to pick up food if it cannot be dropped off at the hospital.

Dec. 10th Carol Hix is providing taco's from Taco Bueno for dinner
Dec. 11th Cynthia Matthews & Amanda Slayton - Sandwiches
Dec. 12th Tia would like to prepare a meal to be delievered around 5:30 pm
Dec. 13th Bill is providing pizza for the family.
Dec. 14th BESH, out of Tavares, Florida the company that Brooke Ward works for is providing food this night.
Dec. 15th
Dec. 16th Sara Kathryn Smith is providing food for this night.

Call before you take food up there and I will post it to everyone up to date
501-366-1492 Jay Cell

We aren't sure of the best way to keep this organized but for now if you would like to post in a comment to this post on when you could provide and even what you may bring others can see when/what to bring. Meals and/or possible finger foods and/or sandwiches would be fine.

There are 9 family members staying in the waiting room each day to give you an idea of what to prepare for.

Canned drinks, water bottles and ice are very helpful as well.

Anything that you would like to do would be greatly appreciated.

Update: Blood Drive
Will be held at Pleasant Valley Church of Christ. More information below under the post "Blood Donation"

The first two days

On the afternoon of December 8th Brent Adams and his roommate Jay Weaver went to ride dirt bikes at the Hwy 89 Speed way in Mayflower, AR. Brent made a few passes around the track and looked very comfortable. Having ridden a dirtbike for a good part of his life he was very familiar with riding however when he went over a jump he lost control and crashed. He was unconscious for 5-7 minutes. I arrived after the crash to find him just after he woke up. He knew his name and was lying on his back and wanted his helmet off and to straighten his leg out for him. Over half a dozen other riders had come to his aid immediately after he crashed. To keep him from moving the other riders on the track held him down until the paramedics could get there. We waited there for another 10-15 minutes on the ambulance to arrive on site, they finally got there and removed his helmet, took his boots off, and got a hard board under him. They rushed him to Conway Regional Center for treatment. I called Amanda Adams Kuepker to leave Searcy AR, about 45 minutes away to come sign for her brother. After she arrived the doctor would talk to us, telling us that he was beat up really bad, very seriously hurt, many broken ribs, bleeding on the brain, a broken back and a punctured lung. They stabilized him and had to insert a tube to drain two liters of blood out of his right lung. Once stabilized, they transported him to UAMS where he is receiving treatment, and many CT Scans. Many prayers have already been answered. Brent's parents and brother knew someone who was able to fly them on their jet. They were able to arrive less than seven hours after the accident. His two aunts and uncle also arrived from Alabama this morning. He has been surrounded by family and friends who love him and care for him.

The facts:

Thus far, they have preformed 3 full body scans.
He has broken his right shoulder, and shattered his left shoulder.
He has a closed brain injury with slight bleeding on his brain.
The orbit of the eye socket is fractured.
Several of his ribs and sternum were broken.
He will be sedated for the next 72 hrs. to 5 days.
This is to allow the punctured lung to heal and they will wake him up when his lungs are strong enough to support him. He is on a ventilator right now only because his lung collapsed. At the moment, they believe he is strong enough to breathe on his own, however they want his lungs to recover more before they take him off the ventilator.
There are 2 vertebra broken, T11 and T12.
There is also some displacement in his spine, they do not know the extent of the spinal injury at the present moment. At the track he could not move his legs, however he could feel the paramedic touch his legs and back which is a very good sign. We will not know anything further in his ability to feel until they take him out of sedation.

Update: 10:30pm
Brent is already looking better. His color has returned and some swelling has reduced. He responds to his mom and dad talking to him. He response involves movement in his hands and a change in his breathing. As quickly as he is showing improvement, we know that God will continue to quickly heal Brent.

Thank you again for all of your prayers.

Update: 11:00pm
The doctor was finally able to give us more information on Brent's condition. It looks as though the spine is 50% compromised, meaning that the spinal cord below the T11 and T12 vertabra is displaced approxiomately 50%. There is still a lot of edema (swelling surrounding the spinal cord) which could be causing part of this displacement. The doctors are continually monitoring his fluid levels to keep the swelling at a minimum. The doctor made it clear that nothing can be determined whehter or not Brent will have full funtion of his lower body until he wakes up and the doctors can evaluate him further.

The family is very concerned about this update and desperately asks for prayers specifically concerning this most recent development.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


At the moment most of the family's physical needs are being met. Obviously they will need continued support during this time. Right now the thing they need the most is all of your prayers. We will continue to keep everyone updated through this blog. If anyone has any questions we will do our best to answer them through this as to avoid bogging anyone here down.

Please feel free to leave any thoughts for Brent here as well. When he wakes up we want him to know how much you all love and care for him.

Blood donation

Brent lost some blood (approximately 2-3 liters) through his lung at the time of the crash. At the moment Brent is not having any surgeries performed however he will need them in the near future. If you are able to donate blood it would be greatly appreciated. We should have the information you need to donate by tomorrow morning. You do NOT have to have the same blood type as Brent however when you donate you MUST donate in the name of Phillip Brent Adams in order for it to be counted towards him. More information to come.

UPDATE: Dec. 10th 6:15pm

Compassion Blood Drive for Phillip Brent Adams

Sunday December 16th 2007

Pleasant Valley Church of Christ
10900 Rodney Parham Road
Little Rock, AR 72212

To sign up to donate call the church office at 501-225-5818 or email

UPDATE: Dec 12
Blood Donations may be made in Searcy at the American Red Cross (near White County Medical Center West on Main - Between CARTI and First Security Bank)
on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:00 to 6:00pm.
There will also be a blood mobile at the Searcy Wal-Mart on Sunday December 16.

Please specify that this is a
"Designated Donation"
to Phillip Brent Adams bank.

Thank you to Melanie Blansett for providing this information.

If you have any other questions you can also contact
Karen Hill at the American Red Cross