Monday, June 14, 2010

Another Significant Milestone

Shannon wants me to tell you all that she has her head screwed back on now!! That's right, she underwent surgery this afternoon and had the portions of her skull put back in that were removed when she had her surgery 4 1/2 weeks ago. She went into the operating room at about 1:30 in the afternoon. She was excited for this event and was not at all anxious about it. She bade Pheobe and me a cheery good-bye as the anesthesiologist wheeled her into the operating room, and we headed for the waiting room. By about 2:15 we got an update from the operating room that she was stable and doing well under the anesthesia. At around 4:00 Dr. Siddiqi, a Plastic Surgeon came and explained the procedure he had done during the surgery when a fracture in a sinus cavity in the forehead part of the skull was discovered. The neurosurgeons had mentioned that they would be examining and cleaning out these areas of the skull prior to replacing the bones. The fact that there was a fracture was not a big problem, they just wanted to make sure that her brain was protected against infections in the future that could migrate from the nasal passages into that sinus cavity and into the brain. His procedure sealed off that cavity so that such a problem would not occur. As he was finishing his explanation, Dr. Walker came in and gave us a report on the bone replacement. He said that things had gone perfectly and that the bones fit back together really well. for the record, there were a total of three sections that needed to be replaced, two large ones and one medium sized one. He was really pleased with how well things had gone. They still needed to close the incision, which was the same incision made previously which had taken 68 staples to close. But this time the plastic surgeon was doing the closing and used sutures instead of staples. It took quite a while to get everything completed so she didn't get out of the OR until about 5:00 or 5:30. She went straight to the Pediatric ICU unit, where she will spend the night under observation. Baring any complications, she will head back to the Rehab unit tomorrow.
This was an interesting day for me. Since we were in many of the same places I had been during the evening of May 12th, it was natural to think back on the events of that day and compare and contrast them to this day. Some of the same feelings of trepidation were there since Shannon was going through major surgery. It was a little like Deja Vu, sitting in the same waiting room, anxiously awaiting word from the same doctor regarding the outcome of the surgery and how Shannon had fared. I have to admit, I was calmer today than I was then, but a familiar Spirit of peace was present. I had an opportunity to give Shannon a priesthood blessing today prior to the surgery, much as I had done before and feel that assurance that comes from Heavenly Father. Once the surgery was complete, we went back to the ICU, in fact to the room right next to the one she had come to before. I was reminded again of those tense hours of waiting and was grateful that she was already responding by the time we were allowed into the room. That was perhaps the most stark contrast of all and reminded me again of just how far Shannon has come and the miraculous recovery she has made. Some of the doctors and nurses who are here tonight knew her when she was here before. And they are amazed how how great she looks and how much progress she has made.
All in all, it has been a great day. We are so grateful for the wonderful skills of outstanding doctors and nurses who do incredible things. We are grateful for their families who sacrifice so much so that they are in a position to be able to do those incredible things. We are grateful for Shannon's drive and determination to beat the odds and come out on top. We are grateful to you for your continued faith and support. And we are eternally grateful to the Savior for His love and kindness. It is a great day.


  1. I am so happy to read that Shannon has come through this surgery. It is a testament to the faith of your family, the skill of the medical staff, and most of all, to Shannon's will to regain her life. Life is a blessing and a miracle--Shannon's journey reminds us of that with every healing step!

  2. I've been waiting all day to get this report on Shannon's surgery and and appreciate so much finally hearing the details of the day. I am humbled again by the mercies and merits of our Savior and how we are all experiencing blessings upon blessings as we watch Shannon's healing. I have such an appreciation for the power of prayer and of Priesthood blessings through many of my own life's experiences and am so very grateful for these blessings and miracles that have been granted to Shannon.

    Shannon, you are an inspiration to us all--keep up all your hard work. We love you and never stop praying for you.

  3. We're glad Shannon's head is screwed back on, but the Johnson's want to know if her head is screwed on straight. (People often asked about mine so I got wondering about Shannon's)

    Please tell Shannon that Lucy and Owen continue to pray for her each and every day. I think it may continue into Shannon's early 30's.

    Butch, Nate, or whoever thought it up, thank you for the blog. It was inspired and our family has enjoyed the journey you've shared.

  4. Oh good, Will she have to wear her helmet while she heals or is she finished?