Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Phoenix Children's Hospital's 30th Birthday

Ethan and I were recently interviewed at Phoenix Children's Hospital by Fox News. The interview aired Monday August 26th and although it was supposed to be in celebration of PCH's 30th Anniversary it turned out to be more of a follow up story. It was a special visit because we were able to visit with one of our favorite PICU nurses who had not seen Ethan in over a year.  As always the visit reminded us about how fortunate we are and how many people were involved in Ethan's recovery.  During the interview Ethan thanked all the great doctors, nurses and staff that helped him.The interview didn't include that part but I was very happy that they added my request to remind parents and all gun owners to keep their guns secure.  Prevention is possible - it just takes action!  Invest in a gun safe or gun lock. There are free gun locks available through Project Childsafe. It's a decision that you won't regret and could save you a lifetime of guilt and regret.  That's my advice which our family learned the hard way - believe me, no one will miss one more accidental shooting and I'm sure PCH would be happy not to get so many gunshot traumas through their doors. So happy 30th Birthday PCH, thank you for being here to help our family and our community, we are lucky to have you!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Catch up!

So since I'm new to blogging I didn't realize that posts I made to The Ethan Younger Foundation Facebook didn't attach themselves to this blog.  Much of the updating has been through Facebook so I wanted to take some time to add some pictures of Ethan since my last post. 

Ethan finished his freshman year of high school and will soon be starting as a Sophmore.  Here is a picture of his first day of school freshman year. 

Photo: First day of school Freshman year!

He also had a great visit with Andrew Cannon, pro-skater for World Indrustries and James Boyle supporter of the cause!

Photo: Ethan with pro skaterAndrew Cannon, one of the nicest and coolest guys ever!

Ethan also continues to fundraise whenever asked by Phoenix Children's Hospital.

Photo: Ethan at KTAR

Ethan turned 16 in April 2013 and is studying for his driver's license...adding a whole new list of reasons for me to worry. :)

Photo: 16 years today!  Happy Birthday Ethan xoxo

Shortly after his 16th birthday Ethan was hospitalized again for a bowel obstruction caused by the scar tissue in his abdomen.  He underwent another surgery which untwisted the bowel and he recovered nicely, adding a few more scars to his collection.

Photo: Awake and feeling better.  Showing off new scars.

As the final update, Ethan visited a vascular surgeon that was asked by his doctor to review his case.The vascular surgeon said that he has made great progress and that even though the blood flow in the left leg is reduced, with continued exercise and effort on his part he should continue to improve. With no limitations. As many of you know this is primarily due to Ethan's hard work and refusal to let his injury slow him down. So no surgery needed! This is a huge relief and wonderful news for us!

Monday, November 5, 2012

1 Year Ago Today

Right now it is 4:30pm on November 5th  2012.  A year ago today, in about 2 hours, Ethan will call and ask to spend the night at a friend's house.  I will feel like saying no (because we're having lava cakes for dessert) but will say yes instead so he can hang out with his friends.   I can save him a cake after all.  At about 7pm tonight we will get a call from the police.   And so begins the evening that changed our lives.  Changed it. In negative and positive ways.  For about 2 weeks now this day has been lingering, coming closer, and bringing back lots of memories both good and bad.  I'm glad it's almost over and I'm hoping the general anxiety we have been feeling will pass with it.  After all, things are going great.  Ethan is doing great in school; he has good friends and is really enjoying his freshman year.   I think all the questions about why he wears a brace and how he got his scars have passed.  He has settled into school and things are pretty normal.  He is still in physical therapy but he has made outstanding progress.  He ran the mile in PE at least 3 times, although lately his leg is bothering  him when he does.  Today we went to the doctor and discussed his next surgery which is tentatively planned for July 2013.  The surgery will give him an artificial artery and even out the wound site.  I think he has pushed his collateral veins as far as they can go; he needs a real artery to get the blood flow to his leg so that he will be unlimited.  Unlimited is a perfect word because Ethan truly will have no limits.  He is alive today and can do anything he sets his mind to do.  And for that we are profoundly grateful.  But it was a long road.  And it left us all a little scarred.  I think we were pretty paranoid to start with, total helicopter parents, and now we really struggle to just let him be a kid.  I'm nauseous every time he gets on his skateboard.  I worry every time my 11 year old rides his bike to school, every time my daughter gets in her car to drive.   But then I take a breath and move forward.  My husband will calm me down or if it's his turn to freak out I try to do the same.  Life must go on and none of us really know how long we have.  The best lesson we learned from this incident was to cherish each day you have with your loved ones.  Everything else doesn't matter...and I mean everything.  I remember sitting in the hospital thinking I wouldn't care if my whole house burnt down, if every material possession was gone, as long as I had my family.  Ethan was unconscious at the time and every time he did wake up he wasn't really coherent. I was desperate for him to wake up and recognize me, to know I was there.  It was the simplest thing...just wanting to spend some more time with the person you love.  And we did get more time, so now our goal is not to waste it!  And to fight the fear that will cripple us if we let it.  To enjoy our children and family and friends.  Ethan fought hard this year.  He fought to live, to stand, to walk, and to run.  And even though we fought to be normal again we also have to fight not to forget the lessons we have learned.  And isn't that what life is all about?  To love, be grateful, and to learn and be the best we can be. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Ethan, Madison, and Zack at Firestation 60

We had a great day today.  We got to visit the station who responded to Ethan's emergency call.  We had lunch, rode in the truck, sprayed the hose and got to try on the gear.  We all had a great time.  Thanks guys!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Recovery Continues

Ethan with his physical therapist Cori

This is my first post to the blog as both Lisa's have taken care of things up until now.  Ethan continues to make progress.  He is working hard in physical therapy and he is also doing volunteer fundraising for Phoenix Children's Hospital.  It's our way of giving back to the hospital who has done so much for our family.  There is going to be a telethon on April 11th on Channel 15.  I'll provide more information when I have it.

We recently learned that Ethan is going to need an artery replacement within 10 years.  This was somewhat expected.  I guess the vein that is in there now is just not getting a lot of blood flow and will eventually get calcified.  He will also need artery replacements about every 10 years which was kind of hard news.  We knew he would need a vascular surgeon all his life, but we were not expecting major tune ups every ten years.  However as time passes and medical technology advances who knows, right?  In the meantime we are trying to get back to normal.  Ethan is in school full time (with brief breaks to the nurse's office).  He was back on his board (no tricks yet) and rode a bike for the first time since the accident.  He is looking forward to graduating the 8th grade in May!!!  And then off to high school!  We are very excited for him.  I also wanted to thank everyone for their support and donations.  It has really helped us cover immediate medical expenses and we are starting to save for future surgeries.  I am also going to keep this blog going with future updates.  Ethan would really like it to focus on gun safety, as this accident was preventable.  Look for more to come on that in the future.  Thank you for being our friends.  Please feel free to post or send messages, we love getting them.  Be SAFE!


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Quick Update!

Just a quick note to let you all know that Ethan is out of the hospital after his colostomy reversal and is doing very well! We are so happy to have that taken care of! :) He continues to go to Physical Therapy and work hard at his rehab which is going as well as can be expected. Anyone who has ever been through a physical rehabilitation knows how HARD and painful it can be...we are just so proud of Ethan for being strong through this whole experience, it's more than any 14 year old should EVER have to go through.
Our next BIG GOAL is to get Ethan back to school, at least part time. He misses his friends and classes...fortunately, Ethan has always been a VERY good student and that has paid off for him, he is able to keep up with everything from home and he should still be on track for graduating and going on to high school next year. YAY!!!
Again, thank you for the well wishes, support and donations...the generosity of our friends, family and even the wonderful strangers out there is humbling and appreciated more than you will ever know.
Much love from all of us to all of you!