Friday, June 18: Update 1

The respiration therapy we started yesterday is producing a positive outcome so far. The only element we’ve employed to date is the use of a percussion massage on her back and chest. It has done an effective job of making the congestion more loose: Claire has been coughing without gagging and hasn’t thrown up since yesterday.

Claire is very sensitive right now to any kind of stimuli. I spoke with the doctor this morning and discussed strategies to avoid over-stimulation. At the top of the list is limiting visitors. We’re playing soft music right now, the blinds are drawn and she’s tucked in to bed. It’s been a while since we’ve had a baby, and those first three months of infancy memories are coming back.

The frustration I felt yesterday has abated somewhat after my discussion with the doctor. We also got our appointment for our first care conference set for Tuesday at 11:00 AM CDT. The doctor told me that they are still in the evaluation phase with Claire and waiting to see how she responds to different tests. Her agitation continues, albeit at a lesser degree than yesterday’s, and that prohibits some therapies. He did indicate that he is happy — a word he told me he regrets using — to see that her muscle spasticity is not as rigid as expected. He also encouraged us to continue bringing things up like the respiratory issues because it helps them deliver care.

The care OCH delivered this morning was again with occupational and physical therapy. Claire did better today than she did yesterday: she wasn’t as agitated and the therapists were both able to get her to  calm down completely at different points during the sessions. The goal right now is to stimulate her muscle groups, theoretically hoping to trigger her neurological and muscle memories of what they could due prior to the injury.  The other benefit is that Claire’s range of motion will be improved and muscle toning will be avoided. Aside from the sessions, Tiffany and I will be doing the exercises with her twice during the day.

I anticipate another update later today. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

20 thoughts on “Friday, June 18: Update 1”

  1. I pray for your strength and endurance. She’s a lucky girl to have such loving and gentle parents. Love and blessings,

  2. Lord we ask that you give Claire the strengthen needed to complete her daily excerises. Help to break up the congestion and allow her to breath easier. This is a big week for her, let this week be the week that will just amaze the doctors and all of us. Help this child, Lord, help this family. We ask this on your name Jesus.Amen.

  3. Lifting you up and praying for strength for all of you. Rehab after a traumatic brain injury is tough on everyone. It’s heartbreaking to see your loved one go through the pain of the recovery process. Our instinct is to protect them from harm. It it hard to stand by while someone puts them through something painful. I am praying that God will give you strength on this journey and that you will not grow discouraged. Keep reminding yourself that Claire’s tears and the cries are not in vain. Stay strong in knowing that from the suffering comes hope, strength, and ability. Do not waiver in your hope and encouragement for her. You are a wonderful advocate for Claire. I am touched by your love and sensitivity to her needs.

    The body is assaulted as the brain wakes up and recovers. You are wise to reduce her stimuli. She has a long road ahead. It will take time. She will need rest for her strength. Everything external will be draining and, yes, actually painful. It is hard to stand by and feel helpless, but your presence alone is a tremendous comfort for her.

    Thoughts and prayers,

  4. As the responses start to fade off, I want you guys to know that a lot of people are still reading and following Claire’s story. I am still praying for you guys all the time and I check this blog several times a day. It is a way I can keep updated without calling you every hour or so 😉 I know she will prove to be the strong person she is- it will just be in Gods timing. Love you!

  5. I am in NC and read your daily updates. I want you to know I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. I have two special needs children and have dealt some of the issues you are facing. Never give up and believe in your daughter and yourselves. Doctors first told our sons would only live to be 5 years old they are now 26 years and 20 years. And while they still face challenges what they have over come is amazing. They are my world. Take care of each other so you can care for Claire.

    Love & Prayers


  6. I am a member of a women’s prayer chain at St. John’s UMC in Albuquerque NM. I have been praying for all of you since I first heard of Claire’s need for prayer. Know that the care you receive is the best available. Baylor Medical center and all of their facilities are awesome. They have the best people with the best skills working with you. (I know from experience in my own family…but with the Bone Marrow Transplant facility.)

    Please continue to know that there are blankets of prayer surrounding each of you and may you feel their comfort when the days are long and exhausting.
    Prayers and Peace

  7. You guys continue to amaze me at your knowledge and faith during all this; being sensitive to the needs of Claire b/c you know her heart better than anyone. We are continuing to pray for quick, complete healing and for more angles to surround OCH!! Love you all!

  8. Glad to hear the congestion [ and subsequent vomiting ] is clearing up -she will feel and do much better.
    The agitation is hard – minimal stimulation is hard to enforce, and do your self.
    Less spasticity – yay! Easier to work those muscles, and re-train them!!
    Care for the caregivers; love and parayers to all.
    Susan D.

  9. Good Afternoon to you both! I want to assure you are doing a very good job as Claire’s advocate. Your feelings are important and do not be afraid to express them to the staff in a kind and respectful manner! You are getting to know them and they are getting to know Claire and her family right now and this takes time. Know God is a patient God! Wait on Jesus, tell him your feelings, He can handle it and will help you deal with all you have on your plate right now. I am so amazed at your perseverance. I know you may not feel it, but you are doing an amazing job with your hearts being so broken and hurting! Know we are praying for Claire’s recovery often each day.

  10. Please know that our family is still praying every single day for your beautiful Claire. We are also praying for your whole family! We look forward to each post you make and are anxious to read about her progress! As a mother of a 3 year old, your story has really touched my heart and actually grown my faith!! I respond to your posts in hopes of blessing your family but…. you actually have been a blessing to us!! May God’s peace and presence be with you all as you travel this new, unexpected road!

  11. I just want to thank all the prayer warriors for Claire for continuing to pray.I thank God for laying her on your heart. Thank you for your faith and for caring so much. We feel your support.

  12. I’m so thankful for your updates, so I can pray for your specific needs. Anytime the powdered potatoes get to be too much, please call me – I’ll be glad to bring some of dad’s goodies to you! I’d love the chance to help in some small way.

  13. I have been following your Clair journal….I am praying for her….
    I met her through a friend barbara salerno..

    By the way , cam I ask HOW did she fsll in the pool when this happened”///

    Things will all fall into place
    Keep up the faith
    Lee Ann

  14. You dont know me,but I am Beverly Rhoads sister and we are good friends of Kennuth and Jana Kirkpatric. We were invited to join the prayer list and so we did. I have a good friend who had a stroke and suffered many impairments. He was given Hyperbaric treatments with great success. Would this be a posible theapy to help Claire?
    You all are being carried on the wings of prayer, stay strong.We love you. Carroll.


    1. Carroll:

      We’ve has other families also mention HBOT. We are still researching he treatment with respect to hypoxic brain injury. We are also seeking the counsel of different doctors and professionals when it comes to alternative treatments. We are interested to hear of any other treatments that have seen positive outcomes. Thanks for mentioning this one.

  15. Tyler and Tiffany: I understand the fustrations of wanting things to move quicker.. Remember what a friend told us early on about issues with the brain, “bad things happen really quickly and good things are very, very slow..”… ..praying for you and Tiffany both, in this slow time.
    Will see you guys next week..

  16. Tyler and Tiffany,

    You make me see Claire all tucked into her bed with the soft music, a little calmer today. I hope today passed w/o any vomiting. I pray one of you is getting home each night to sleep in your own bed. Sounds like you advocated really well for Claire–keep it up! Stay strong with God for Claire’s sake, and your own, and that of Heidi and Autumn.

    I too look for your posts several times daily. This isn’t to push you to post more often, just to say I, like so many others, care so much about your whole family and what you’re going through. Feel what you’re feeling, and express that–you’ve already seen it matters in helping her get the care she needs. And I hope writing the blog helps you. You’re a very good writer!

    Please take up Cindy’s offer of something other than powdered potatoes–I don’t know her, but I cringed when I read that’s what you had to go with your salisbury steak. Homemade sounds better!

    For those who are nearby and can do this, offers of something specific are a good idea, rather than “just ask for what you need, and we’ll do it.” Tiffany and Tyler may not KNOW what they need until you make a specific offer. If it doesn’t fit right then, don’t feel bad if they say so. I’m too far away (Seattle) to offer anything but prayers (I know, that’s very important!), but if you know the Martins well enough and live close enough, suggest something you know you can do. Now I’ll shut up about that, but I’ve been wanting to say it for several days, and Cindy made me do it, with her offer!

    Love and prayers,

  17. I’m glad that little Claire is making progress everyday, I pray for her each night and you both,, Stay strong and you know that the power of prayer works miracles…..

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