Because Scott’s story is so long I am going to attempt to give the highlights of the last 19 years. I’m sure that many of you do not believe God intervenes in our lives to direct a specific outcome, but I do. If you don’t, that is okay because everyone has free will to believe as they choose.
The first time Scott should have died was of course the accident and the events of the week following. He was hit head on by a drunk driver on March 8, 1993. When they finally got him to the Emergency Room he was given 8 pints of blood to stabilize him enough to get him to the Operating Room. The surgeon, Dr. Lee Thomas, spent 8 hours putting everything in his torso back in place. Everything in the lower part of his abdomen was pushed through his diaphragm into his chest. He coded and had to be brought back 3 times during the next 16 hours.
Approximately 24 hours after the accident he was stable enough for a routine cat scan where they found a massive head injury. They had to do emergency brain surgery. Five days later the bleeding was back in his brain and they had to perform a 2nd brain surgery. When they did, the Orthopedic Surgeon put a pin in his hip with a weigh attached to try to hold the broken bones in place. When he did this, a blood clot turned loose and went into his lung. Any one or all of these things could have and would have killed most people, but God chose to keep Scott alive. Why? I still do not know after 19 years and may never know during this lifetime.
The second time Scott could have died was 6 months later. He didn’t seem to be showing any improvement and I asked his doctor to have a cat scan done on his brain, which she did, but because she was not a neurosurgeon she could not make any decisions. The only neurosurgeon in Tuscaloosa just asked if we had noticed any changes in Scott, and if not, he was okay. Of course we had not noticed any change because you don’t see changes in someone who is basically a vegetable.
I was not satisfied with that response so I obtained the cat scans from the hospital and took them to a “real” neurosurgeon at University Hospital in Birmingham. He was upset that I didn’t bring Scott but after looking at the cat scan he only wanted to know how soon I could get Scott there because he needed a shunt placed in his head immediately to relieve pressure.
The third time Scott should have died was December 2004 after he was admitted to the hospital for pneumonia and a nurse put a large vial of saline down his trachea to suction him. You never use but a small amount of saline to suction. Because of the pneumonia, and the amount of saline put in his trachea, he was drowning. Had a respiratory specialist not been close by, Scott may not have survived.
The fourth time was 7 months later and Scott still had pneumonia and the Doctor gave Scott 30 to 60 days maximum to live. He had dropped from about 200 lbs down to 124.4 lbs. He was skin and bone. Being retired military I am accustomed to being in “charge”. There may come a time in your life where you may not be able to be in control, this was that time in my life. The doctors, nurses, respiratory specialists and hospital were doing everything they knew to rid Scott of the pneumonia without success.
Since nothing else could be done, after consulting with all family members including his mother and his sons, we decided to sign a “Do not resuscitate”. We felt that since his heart was in good condition, if God stopped his heart we didn’t want anyone to start it back. I believe that since I gave up control and turned it over to the Lord, He led me to a web site that talked about this supplement that built the immune system from the cellular level. It made a lot of sense and since we had nothing to lose, because Scott was going to die anyway, I ordered it. I began giving him the supplements and 3 weeks later his immune system had built up enough to help the antibiotics fight off the last of the pneumonia. I believe God used these supplements to keep Scott alive. He has not had pneumonia since and the medical people tell me this is very unusual for someone bedridden and on a ventilator.
The fifth time was 5 months later when Scott became less responsive and began to have seizures. I asked them to do a cat scan and they found fluid buildup on his brain. Scott had a shunt in his head that had been there 12 years. (See #2 above) The neurosurgeon said we had 2 options, we could leave the old shunt in and eventually he would die or he could take the shunt out and he would probably die of meningitis anyway. Of course we said to take the shunt out. When he removed the old shunt he did not realize that over the years that shunt had migrated into his bowels. When he pulled the shunt out it pulled feces through Scott’s body and out his head. As you can imagine, this set up a massive infection and the doctor did not think Scott could survive. But he did.
The sixth time Scott should not have lived was when his gallbladder had to be removed. For some reason, after removal of his gallbladder, his blood pressure dropped to 50/45. I was standing there watching him die and from the look in Scott’s eyes he knew it also. The surgeon ordered 2 pints of blood Stat which means they did not have time to type the blood for Scott but without that blood he would have died. Because it was not typed, the antigens in the blood were wrong for Scott. His body swelled to almost twice its normal size, all his internal organs went into shock and he went into a coma for 8 days. His white cell count went through the roof and no one thought he would live.
And now we have been home from the hospital for 4 years and Scott has only been hospitalized one time. He has a bedsore on his hip which he has had since 2005. It has healed over several times but has never truly healed because of a tunnel that no one found until about a year ago. I think, because of unsterilized packing of the wound, he got an infection in the bone of his hip. His white cell count went to 55,000 which is septic. Many people die with a white cell count that high but because of Scott’s immune system and antibiotics, his infection was gone in 4 days and we came home on the 5th day.
Currently I am in the process of weaning Scott off the ventilator. He has been on a ventilator continuously since December 2004. That is over 7 years now and the doctors do not think he can ever breathe on his own again because no one has ever come off a ventilator who has been on one for 3 or more years. Scott is only on 28% oxygen (room air is 21%) and his breath rate is at 11 which is down from 16. This has taken about 3 years to reach this point and may take another 3 years to get off the ventilator. No one knows how long but God willing we will get there. If you would like to read the story of Scott for the past 19 years in detail, click on the Scott’s Story tab on the homepage.