Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday afternoon--96 hours

Today has been a rough day. Peak brain swelling was expected to occur at 72-96 hours after the injury. We have finally meet that hurdle and hope to see things start improving. The last post mentioned that her CT scan this morning was somewhat reassuring--the ventricles were actually bigger (they should be compressed if the brain was swelling ). At 7:15am, Shannon was taken off the pentabarbital (coma drug) and the vecuronium (paralytic) drips. The plan was to let the medication wear off so her neurologic function could be assessed. The paralytic effects wear off within 1 to 2 hours. The issue is the pentabarbital can take anywhere from hours to several days to wear off--everyone is different. Her ICPs continued to be elevated in the high 20's all morning and there was no change in her neurologic exam--no movements, no spontaneous breathing, no change in her brainstem reflexes (gag, cough, pupils). The neurosurgeons came in around noon and suggested that the paralytic be restarted to try to bring the ICPs down and give the pentabarbital time to wear off completely. Since the paralytic has been restarted the ICPs have dropped to around 20. The consequence of this plan is we won't be able to assess her neurologic functions while on the paralytic. They are going to hook her back up to the continuous EEG which will help us see when the pentabarbital effects begin to wear off. At that point the paralytic can be turned off and after an hour or two, we should be able to see what she will do neurologically. The wait continues...

The concern continues to be her pupils which should not be effected by the pentabarbital or paralytic. There are effected by fentanyl which she is on. Fentanyl should make her pupils pinpoint (1-2mm). Her pupils are 4mm and nonreactive. We continue to be hopeful that her swelling will start to subside and we will start to see some improvements.

On a lighter note...the nurse last night suggested that we buy Shannon some high top shoes to help prevent her ankles from becoming "frozen" pointing down. She wears them for several hours at a time. Her nieces in NC thought it was pretty funny that Shannon was "sleeping" in bed wearing shoes. I'll let you decided if we'll see Shannon wearing these shoes walking down the halls of Lone Peak as a big senior next year....

We continue to be hopeful and prayerful. We feel the strength of the Lord and the strength of your prayers and support. He is in control and we trust in Him.


  1. melody told us about Shannon's accident - we've read through your updates and you can add us the to list of people who are pulling for you, shannon, and everyone else. Love the shoes! you are in our prayers. Scott & K'Lynn Wood.

  2. Dear Blackham's...our thoughts and prayers have been with you ever since we heard the news about Shannon. Ruthie says that Primary Childrens is one of the finest hospitals of its kind in the nation. Our faith has been strengthened as we have read your updates seeing how your family has been united together for your precious Shannon and Kate too. May God continue to extend his tender mercies to you during this time - Your Friends & Neighbors, The Veater's

  3. Phoebe,
    I think I check your blog on the hour.....She is on my mind constantly. You know, you were my first friend in the ward, Shannon was my second. I love you both and we are praying constantly for all of you. I have been thinking alot about our conversations and because of those talks, I know that Shannon is in Heavenly Father's care. Until I can do it myself, please tell her that Finlinkoo loves her. Love to you, Becky

  4. We think the Senior's next year will see her DANCING down the halls of Lone Peak High School in those high tops:)

  5. We are praying for you and our thoughts are with you all. Josh and Krista Goodall

  6. The day we heard about Shannon, Tyler called all of the boys for a family prayer. It was a great moment for our family, and we thank Shannon and the good neighbors we have for giving us the opportunity to grow our testimony. May the faith and testimony that I've always noticed in Shannon's heart since teaching her in Beehives, be the source of her full recovery at this time and always. We pray for Shannon EACH day, and the boys ask about her daily. The Gambill Family: Tyler, Cynthia, Cole, Tate, Trey and Kade.

  7. Shannon,
    Your picture is so beautiful! I half expected you to say hi to me as I was looking in your pretty eyes. You keep resting so that your sweet little body and mind have time to heal.

    I missed you today in Young Womens. It is not the same without you there, and everyone felt the same way.

    Do kind of hurry, though, so we can catch up on what you have been dreaming about.

    I love you,

    PS I honestly wonder if you ever knew how many people love you, and just how much? Amazing!