Monday, June 21: Update

Tiffany called me five hours ago. She wanted to tell me the results of Claire’s eye evaluation. Claire is medically blind right now. She has good corneal strength and her pupils react to light; however, the doctor believes her brain isn’t processing the data input right now.  We were aware that this was a possibility. The Medical City neurologist had mentioned that he saw some mild trauma to the occipital lobe in her brain. The damage is manifesting itself as blindness right now, but we don’t know to what degree. Today’s doctor said she sees this outcome frequently with hypoxic brain injuries and the ultimate outcome is difficult to predict. She has seen recovery and she has seen permanence. Those were the facts.

It was a shot across the bow for us. It pains us to think that Claire may be unable to look at picture books again. Claire would spend hours between book stacks. The week before the accident she completed her first reading lesson with Tiffany. She proudly placed a sticker on her chart denoting she had completed the lesson. She’d only started seeing the world as a place to explore and we’re scared she may not see it again.

The doctor cautioned us that the injury is still young and the chance to regain sight is possible. So we’ll continue to hold on to that hope. And we are thankful for the support of our friends and family who inspire that hope. The eye specialist told us we should get something that caught light and was multicolored because she seems to respond to light and color changes. When Tiffany called to tell me this, I told her that I already have something that works. I received it this morning. One of the police respondents to Claire’s emergency services call has continued to follow-up and pray for Claire. He came to check on Claire on Memorial Day. He and his wife sent her balloons. This weekend he went out-of-town and brought a gift back for Claire because we’d told him Claire likes balloons: his gift is hanging in her room now.

The colors are brilliant and when the light hits the balloon it showers beautiful color casts against the wall. It was exactly what the doctor recommended. When Tiffany heard about the gift she cried. It’s precious to us and we are eager to tell Claire about the man and his family who gave it to her.

While today was difficult, Claire was again not as agitated as days previous. She started the medicine that will introduce more dopamine to her brain and make her more alert. It takes a few days of continuous administration before we see the effects. Tomorrow is our Care Conference. We are eager to hear the plan for the next five weeks and also anxious about the evaluation results from the professionals. We remind ourselves daily that we are hoping for Claire to astound. Today we were told that our daughter may be blind. I think and hope otherwise. Whatever other low expectations may be set for her, I know that Claire has always exceeded them. I expect she won’t be getting out of that habit anytime soon.

Thank you for your prayers and support. We ask that you continue to keep us in mind tomorrow and as Claire works to arrange the communication between her eyes and her brain. Your support gives us strength.