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ruptured aneurism

Phil Lilley

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Friends & Family-

Just a quick update on Kevin.

For those who don't know, 3 nights ago, Kevin (my younger brother) suffered a ruptured aneurism. He is currently in Mercy Hospital ICU in OKC. The good news is that it has clotted itself for the time being and is currently not bleeding. He is heavily sedated and on a number of meds to keep his blood pressure down, but when he does wake up and talk there are no signs of neurological damage whatsoever. However, the doctors are very clear that surgery is needed.

What's complicating matters is a combination of the aneurism's size (it was categorized as "giant"), its location (right at the base of the brain...a "basal tip aneurism") and lastly the shape (instead of just encompassing 1 artery, it encompasses 2).

We have been in contact with just about every neurosurgeon in the state of Oklahoma over the past 2 days. Everyone locally readily admits that what we're dealing with is well beyond their level of expertise...not to say that it can't be operated on, just that it's going to take someone very specialized and experienced to handle Kevin's case. We have been given 3-4 names of world-renouned neurosurgeons from all across the country. Today will be spent bringing them all up to speed on Kevin's condition and seeing who is available to take his case.

We also have a new level of comfort in the fact that Dr. Stan Pelofsky, the neurosurgeon who performed my back surgeries, has agreed to step in as Kevin's attending physician until we can transfer him to his next destination. We are also grateful beyond words for Erin Holloman, a dear HS friend of mine who is now a Doctor in OKC. She was a God-send yesterday when she showed up at a time when all of our spirits were at rock bottom. Her involvement, among many other positive impacts, has helped clarify our next step in Kevin's treatment.

As for the time frame...apparently with aneurisms, there are 2 windows of opportunity for treatment...in other words, there is one window of "inopportunity" when Dr's do NOT want to treat the aneurism. We approaching the end of the first window for treatment (0-72 hours) and fully expect that any surgery will not be performed until the 2nd window presents itself...sometime after 12-14 days post episode. This is not without risk, as doctors have told us that his aneurism could rupture again at any time.

Once we do decide where to transfer Kevin, the next obstacle is the transportation itself. For obvious reasons due to changes in cabin pressure, many of the doctors are hesitant to recommend flying Kevin to his next destination. They've all agreed that it would not be impossible, just not the preferred route. However, the top doctor in the world for treating aneurisms is located in Pheonix, AZ, so please keep this decision making process and possible subsequent trip in your prayers as well.

The most important thing for the time being is to keep Kevin stable. As I mentioned earlier, he is receiving medication to keep his blood pressure down. This was difficult to accomplish in the beginning, but they seem to have found the right mixture of medication. However, we have decided as a family to strictly limit visitors to Kevin's room for fear of getting him too excited.

This is all some heavy, heavy information I've just dumped on everyone, but let me just say that Kevin is in good spirits. He's sleeping a lot (thanks to the morphine) but when he does wake up, he's his normal goofy self. That is a very good sign and a blessing we are not willing to overlook. Obviously, those of you who know Kevin realize that for him to sit still for more than 20 minutes is abnormal...let alone 2 weeks.

Those of you who know Kevin also know that he is without a doubt a man of enormous faith as well. It's very hard for me to have anything other than a short-sighted view of this event at the present time. However, when I force myself to look beyond the immediate panic, fear and bewilderment of what's just happened to our family, I cannot and will not deny the fact that God has had His hand in this from the beginning...and that is a comforting thought. One of my favorite passages from the Bible, and one that I have called on numerous times over the past 48 hours is I Peter 5:6-7...

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He might lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you."

I realize that many of you who are receiving this email are hurting right along with the rest of us, and I pray that you might find some peace in this passage.

I would simply ask for prayers of wisdom for the doctors, peace/patients for friends and family...especially myself, my parents and Kevin's wife (Amanda)...and most importantly, that Kevin might be healed to the glory of God. I know that so many of your are already praying for Kevin and we thank you for that. As soon as we have our next step figured out, we will let everyone know.


Jeff Johnson

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Update- On behalf of Jeff, I just wanted to send out another update on Kevin. Two neurosurgeons in the country agreed to take on Kevin's case: one in Chicago and one in San Francisco. Both have excellent reputations, and everyone felt blessed to have two options. After much prayer and discussion, the family has chosen the doctor in San Francisco. Kevin will be flying out with Amanda on a private mediflight jet sometime tomorrow. Jeff is flying out early tomorrow morning, hoping to beat Kevin and Amanda there. Karen and Gene will arrive to San Francisco later tomorrow, and Amy and Amanda's mom will fly out on Sunday. Kevin's employer, Stryker, has generously offered to cover the family's flight expenses.

As far as the surgery goes, they don't know a lot of details right now...how long it will take, how long recovery will be, etc. until they meet the neurosurgeon in San Francisco. However, if all goes as planned the procedure will take place on Monday.

Jeff plans on taking his computer and will do his best to keep everyone up-to-date. They appreciate so much everyone's prayers and just ask for continued spiritual support. Pray for a safe journey to San Francisco, for everyone, especially Kevin. Pray for surrender of the situation to the Lord and that He will work a miracle in Kevin. Pray for wisdom and skill for the doctors involved. Pray for peace for the family. And above all, pray that God will be glorified in the midst of Kevin's difficult journey.

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Quick update...

I've put a rough blog-type website together for posting updates to Kevin's condition. Please forward this to anyone you think might be interested as I obviously don't have a conclusive list of email addresses. The website is http://stickythis.com/kj

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