Sunday, June 13, 2010

What a Difference a Month Makes

A month ago today our world was turned upside down when Shannon was involved in a terrible accident, followed by paramedic transport to the Emergency Room in Provo and then the Life Flight ride to Primary Children's Medical Center. Her survival was very much in question and emergency brain surgery was performed. Then the long, agonizing hours of waiting began as she underwent very aggressive treatment to control the swelling and pressures in her brain. Countless prayers were offered, priesthood blessings were given, faith was exercised and the miraculous blessings of the Lord were extended to her. Comfort and peace came to us and to you and we have been strengthened and supported in every way imaginable. We have been eye witnesses to the power and glory of God and are so grateful for His tender mercies.
Today was another wonderful day. Kate came up early in the morning and was there for Shannon's three straight hours of therapy. (The therapist only do morning sessions on Saturday so they pack things in.) She did really well the whole time--amazing. She is continuing to improve in areas of speech, comprehension, physical endurance, problem solving and awareness. It seems that the biggest hindrance to her progress right now is blurry vision which makes it difficult for her to read, write and focus on details in some of the therapy exercises that she is involved in. After she goes through her surgery on Monday, the eye doctors want her to make a trip to their clinic so they can really check out her eyes and see what is going on. They have come by her room periodically, but have some limitations of what they can examine with the equipment at her bedside. After her therapies, she was ready for a nap. At about 1pm Kate and I got to take Shannon on a field trip away from the hospital. After a month here, she was ready for the adventure. We went cruising around Salt Lake for a bit and Shannon expressed a desire for a treat--a Krispy Kreme donut. So we found a store that had some and took her in where she could see what kinds were there and make a selection. We then went over to the drinks and she decided that some strawberry milk sounded like a good companion to her donut. She was rather conspicuous with her helmet on and a disconnected feeding tube, but she engaged the people in conversation and even posed for a picture so that the trip could be documented. We then drove over to Sugarhouse Park to enjoy the treat. It was cold enough that we just ate in the car, and Shannon joked that she was dropping icing chunks in the back of her daddy's car. After about an hour or hour and a half, we made our way back to the hospital. Shannon thought the outing was pretty cool and really enjoyed the break. I left her with Kate and the two of them "hung out" together for the rest of the day, until Pheobe headed back to the hospital this evening to begin the Sunday shift.
A lot has happened in the past month. We are amazed and grateful for the progress Shannon has made during that time--from being on the verge of death to pursuing a quest for Krispy Kreme donuts. Our hearts are filled with gratitude for the many blessings that we and she have received. We pray that her surgery will go well on Monday, that her eyes will continue to improve and that her overall recovery will maintain an onward course. Thank you for taking this journey with us, for extending your love and faith and joying in the success. We look forward to the blessings and progress this next month will bring. Udell


  1. Shannon,
    It was so fabulous to hear that you are definitely recovering when you headed out in pursuit of a Krispy Kreme donut :) I will be praying with you and your family today that all goes well with your surgery and that you get your skull back in and NO MORE HELMET. That probably makes you very happy. I am constantly amazed what doctors and nurses can do and I'll keep praying for your gorgeous eyes to fully recover, as well. When you are ready, I'd love to take you on in a basketball shootout, now that I know what a great player you are! Just let me know when you are ready and we'll play for. . .Krispy Kreme donuts!

    I'm here in Kansas City at the NFL National debate tournament and I will be thinking of you everyday. I'm going to go looking for a postcard to send you this week. The streets are crazy here! Yesterday, when we were driving around looking for a Walmart, the roads would turn from nice, "around the city" roads to freeways that we got stuck on and had to find our way around. I certainly could have used your common sense and brilliantness to help us out!

    Keep up your great work! I have loved reading about your miracle. It has really strengthened my testimony this past month as I have prayed and fasted for you to recover. You are an incredible miracle and I love your beautiful, happy spirit. Love you lots, Cindy

  2. What a fighter you are like your dad said, being in such a terrible accident to being your happy loving self on an out-of-the hospital outing. Just know that your spirit of strength is helping me and my family to step up our desire to be more then we are every day and be grateful for those days. Thank you.