Mark is making incremental improvements everyday. Last night's CT scan was good. No new swelling or bleeding in his brain. The neurosurgeon said that the swelling in his brain has reached it's peak and is starting on the downhill side. The cranial bleed on the right side has slowed significantly and the drain may be removed tomorrow. The cranial bleed on the left side has slowed, but not as much as the right. This is fabulous news as the bleed on the right side was the worst of the two.
The facial reconstructive surgeon said today that as soon as he get's the ok from the neurosurgeon and the trauma doctor that he can go in and fix his left cheek bone that has fractured in two places and is floating in his cheek. I told the doctor that I fully expected Mark to look different after the surgery. His response: "I don't." He thinks he can restore his face and skull to normal. Good news!
Every morning the doctors take him on a "sedation vacation", which means they stop the sedative drip for 2 hours. They test his cognitive skills by holding his hand and asking him to squeeze it. As of yet he has not responded to this test. They then poke him directly on his hands and feet and he has responded EVERY time! By "responding" I mean that he moves his arms and legs away from the stimulation. This is a good sign that his brain is recognizing an irritation and able to make his body respond. The nurse said that they won't want to fully remove him from sedation until he responds to commands.
The nurse practitioner told my mom today that he will be in ICU for weeks.
The officer that arrived on the scene and filed the police report has called every day to check on Mark's status. He was at the hospital late last night while my mom was on night duty. He told her that he is not LDS, but he put Mark's name on his church's prayer list. My brother that left for Afghanistan the morning of the assault is a First Seargent in the Army. He is over a company of 160 men. He said that all of his men will be praying for Mark. A friend who has a son on a mission in Hawaii said they would tell their son about Mark and I'm sure the missionaries there will be praying for him. I know that many of you are praying for us, and we greatly appreciate it. Every one counts. We can feel it's influence already.