Friday, May 21, 2010

Major Milestones

The end of the day was well worth the wait!! Shannon made it back from the CT scan a little before 4pm. Shortly after, the neurosurgeon resident came and took Aaron and me (Udell) through the results of the MRI and CT scans that had been done earlier in the day. He was pleased that the scans did not show anything unexpected. Perhaps the main thing they wanted to see from the scans was whether or not Shannon had suffered serious vascular injuries that would be manifested in things like strokes or other large area brain injury. The scans did not show anything like that. Consistent with the force of the injury, there is evidence of DAI (diffuse axonal injury) like what would happen with a severe concussion except they take longer to heal than a bruise from a concussion. We don't know what kinds of challenges may result from that--only time will tell. But Shannon is a fighter and with your continued faith and prayers she can tackle them.
While the neurosurgeon was giving us the update on the scans, the rest of the team came to remove the breathing tube. So the breathing tube is out!! She is off all the sedation meds that she has been on for the past 9 days. They will be shifting to some other medications as they watch her adjust to the significant changes that have occurred today. Somewhere in the middle of all of the travel and exams, she was examined by an ophthalmologist. Her left eye has been really swollen and we wanted to make sure that there was nothing else that needed to be done. He indicated that it is swelling of the tissues around her eye resulting from the original injury, and that the swelling should diminish over the next several days.
So the summary version is that Shannon accomplished many milestones today, and she is tired. It has been a very eventful and busy day for her. Although she is waking up, that is not to say that she is alert and talking and all of that. She is responsive to us some of the time, but still has a long way to go to overcome the injuries and the trauma she has gone through, not to mention the treatments of the past many days. There are more milestones in store for tomorrow as they do some additional testing to determine if we can lose the cervical collar, which I think she will really enjoy. She deserves a restful night. As always, we appreciate more than you can know your support, faith and prayers.


  1. Shannon, This is your time to fight, but relax and take care of yourself. You know your own body and what it will take to get better. Heavenly Father is right there with you with the still small voice telling you what to do to help in this process. Take the time to listen and obey which you are so good about. I hope Hank is keeping you company and gives you hugs since I cannot. I love you and am so proud of all you are doing and especially of who you are! With love, Sue

  2. Happy to hear things are looking so positive. I continue to think about Shannon and your family and will continue to pray for you.

    Julie Buswell

  3. Dear Blackham family,
    We just want you to know we are praying for sweet Shannon. The news spread quickly last Sun. in the 9th ward as we heard about the accident. There are so many in our ward that love you all and are praying for these "miracles" that we are seeing. Thank you for this inspirational blog. We are checking it several times each day! We love you all!
    Love, The Wheadons

  4. Shan you are always in my thoughts, and also your family. I know it is a slow process but you are one fighter and you can do it. We are keeping your names in the temple. Love