Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I am writing from a laptop in the hospital. here is an update on the past two days.

Yesterday morning we arrived at 5am and stayed with Dad until they took him for the surgery. He was in good spirits. I have a picture of him that I will cherish forever, smiling and giving us the thumbs up. We were all laughing and joking around and feeling positive.

 The surgery was supposed to last between 5 and 7 hours. They began at 8:30am. At 3pm we were getting restless and anxious, and asked for an update. At that point they told us it would be another 2 hours, but that everything was fine.

2 hours later, another update to check back in an hour because they had no idea how much longer it was going to be.

finally after a nervewracking 11.5 hours, we were informed that the surgery was over. A few minutes later, the doctor came to speak with all of us.

The doctor was very sober about the operation. The tumor had way more blood than they had anticipated. He went through 4 pints of blood during the surgery. It was nowhere near what they expected.  It was an extremely difficult operation.

 The biggest concern was that Dad had had a stroke during the surgery. As of last night, the dr's opinion was that there was a 50% chance that this had happened. 5 of the 6 quadrants of his brain had responded post-operation, so that was encouraging. 

 They then moved  him to ICU, where they decided to intubate and sedate him so that his brain could recover. We went home around midnight and were back at 5am this morning to meet the doctor.  At that point they had already done a catscan, and when the dr arrived he assessed that my Dad had indeed suffered a brain stem stroke.

 The good news was that the surgeon and nurses were able to get my dad to respond to their requests to squeeze their hand and move his legs, even though he was completely sedated. At the time he spoke to us, he was not moving his right leg at all, which indicated to the dr. that there had been some damage. However, the dr walked us over to Dad and asked us to talk to him. He responded to my voice by lifting his right arm over his head, and then again by finally moving his right leg. The dr, who has been very sober and cautious, turned to Dad's wife Tamera, grabbed her arm, and said "Oh my God, there is hope!" Was a huge relief.

 So today they kept him intubated and sedated all day, with the hope that his brain would rest and heal. We are currently waiting on the results of a second ctscan which will tell us if there has been any swelling in the brain. The goal is to extubate him and wake him up tomorrow.

 Obviously this was all completely unexpected, by myself, my family, and the surgeon. The surgeon indicated that Dad's tumor was something he had never seen before. We were completely shaken by the news of the stroke, and now expect some damage, however are hopeful that through physical therapy he will be able to make some recovery. The dr is saying that while there's little chance of FULL recovery, that he has a good chance for GOOD recovery. 

 All I care about is that my Daddy comes back to me mentally. I don't care if I have to cart him around in a wheelchair for the rest of his life or if he gets a cool "Dr. House" cane and has a limp...I just want him back to his old self. It is hard to be positive and hopeful at this point because with each step in this process, the unexpected has occurred. I will leave the positivity to all of you.

 If you are on facebook, I am updating as much as I can from my page (search for Deanna Devine-Silvestre and I will add you as soon as I can from my phone)

 I have had literally hundreds of emails, phone calls, and texts over the last 48 hours, and I truly truly appreciate everyone's support and prayers. It means everything to me. My Dad is so loved by many and I know that will get him through this.

 Please keep us in your prayers. Pray specifically that the dr will be able to extubate him tomorrow, that he will wake up and be himself, and for my brother, Dad's wife Tamera, and myself for strength so that we can get him through this.


YCM the blog... said...

I am so glad that he is responding! I am praying for you and your family. Please let me know if you need anything I believe I am close to you! I mean it, food, drinks anything!

snekcip said...

Praying for your day, I hope at this hour he is resting comfortably. I pray for his strength in the days ahead.

Anonymous said...

Deanna, lots of prayers!! Your dad is so very special to all of us and we too hope for a very good recovery! Take care anour love to all of you. Don and ginger

Anonymous said...

Hey Deanna, thanks for the updates. We are praying and please let us know if there's anything else you all need during this time. Much love,
Jon and Sue Abel