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  1. Lisa continues to make progress. Her speech is improving and she is now reading again which puts her closer to getting back online. Her hand control is also coming back which hopefully means typing will be coming soon. She is practicing her writing and can sign her name with an x. She really does make imporvement everyday. She is walking without any problems or assitance although she has had a set back because she had to go into the hospital to have some dead toes removed. So sad but had to be done. So she is currently in a rehab facility for the next couple of days to get her strength back and get back to the speedy walking she was doing before the surgery. Go Lisa Go!
  2. Lisa returned home from Chicago on Tuesday! She is doing great, she is walking on her ownand is able to do a lot of things on her own like wash her hands, eat out at restaurants, put on her slippers. She can get in and out of the car with out any difficulty. It is very exciting. She still has her great sense of humor and her smile has fully returned. There is a lot of laughing going on. She is getting stronger everyday and her speech and ability to gather her thoughts continues to improve. Her past memories seem to all be in tack including knowing her way around the city. Her vision is still a bit blurry and she has some double vision but the eye doctor said her eyes are perfectly healthy and are working together with both close and far away vision so as her body gains strength her vision will improve. Lisa lungs are getting better and the doctor said walking and being active will continue to strengthen her lungs. Hopefully soon Lisa will be ready to get back online and read everyone's comments and contribute herself. Thanks for all your support, thoughts and well wishes they are really working!
  3. LISA IS GOING HOME! Update from Sara Lisa will be flying home to Arizona on Tuesday July 29th. She is very excited to be going home. She is doing better every day. Her energy is increasing allowing her to go out on outings and talk more on the phone. Her voice is really starting to come back along with her control of her body. She is walking with a walker farther and farther each day and increasing her strength and stamina. She will be flying home on a commercial airline with her mother in law. I will be arriving in Arizona the same day to welcome her home and help her out for about a week. The physical therapy will continue at home along with figuring out her vision problems. She is seeing double and has cloudy vision but this too will get better. She is so excited to go home and see her cat Ari and her husband and all her friends. Hopefully she will be posting updates herself soon!
  4. Two days ago Lisa moved into the Rehab Institute of Chicago for a a couple week stay until she can walk on to the airplane to come home. She gets three hours a day of intensive therapy and then is able to go out for outings. She is walking with a walker, taking showers sitting down, feeding herself, going to the bathroom. She is really getting stronger everyday. She is still confused and disoriented, her vision isn't so great and she is still very tired but all this will continue to improve. The doctor said within 6 months to a year no one will be able to tell Lisa had a stroke! She is expected to make a full recovery and her lungs are still getting stronger. They won't know if the Scleroderma is in recession or gone for at least a couple more months but it really looks like the transplant is working. This is great news and she will probably be going home to Arizona in two weeks. I am planning a trip to see her in about a week and half. I am assuming she will still be at the RIC but if not I will go to Arizona to see her. She will still need lots of help when she goes home but boy has she made progress in the last two weeks. I can't wait to see her. I am so excited to have a conversation with her in person and give her a big hug. Thanks for all your kind words of support! We sure do need it. Sara
  5. Lisa and I had our first real chat today! It made me tear up. I was so moved to hear her voice. She is starting to make sentences and say a lot more things. Mostly our conversation consisted of I miss you's and I love you's and Lisa very clearly said, " I miss you my friend." They say her voice will come back as she gains her strength right now it sounds a little like someone with a sore throat or cold. She is up and walking in the rehab gym. She has walked the length of the parallel bars several times. She is getting up into the wheel chair with some help. She is practicing making it to the bathroom. Every day she gains strength, endurance and relearns something new. She knows her address and phone number and can say the lyrics to nursery rhymes, songs and other route memory when prompted. In order for her to come home she needs to be able to walk on to a commercial airplane and sit in the seat. They are working on her endurance so that she can sit for 6 hours or more. They had been saying since last week that they would send her home this week but today the doctor came in and said he wants her to go to a rehab center in Chicago for a couple of weeks. So we will see what will happen. If she goes home she will need 24 hour care and hopefully by the time she goes home she will be feeding herself, going to the bathroom and able to easily get in and out of a car. The pain seems to be gone and Lisa hasn't had a fever in over a week. She has started finally sleeping through the night which is huge. The best news is they are still expecting her to get off of oxygen which would be fantastic. They keep lowering the level and hope to wean her off completely. This has to mean that Lisa's lungs are responding to the transplant and healing themselves. They won't know for another couple month if the disease is in remission or gone completely but boy will that be an exciting day. More great updates to come. I hope to go out again for another visit once they figure out the next plan of action. Yeah Lisa! Sara
  6. Just a quick and happy update. Lisa took 6 steps today! On her way to walking. She continues to get stronger everyday. She has started holding a spoon to feed herself with assistance and has started using her hands more to do things like touch her face, show you where she has an itch and pull up the covers. She recognized 50% of numbers shown to her and also recognized some spelled out words. She is talking more and today on the phone said" I love you", "Hi" "Bye Sara", "yum", "yes", "no", "mom". She says a lot more words and is making sentences but I have not heard them yet. She has the trec tube out and is doing well without having the oxygen through the hole in her throat. I need to remember to ask what her oxygen level is. She has a social worker who has come to see her and will be working with the hospital on the plan for her long term recovery. Right now they are saying 7-14 more days in the hospital with lots of therapy and then sending her back to Arizona. The doctor wants her to go home the social worker wants her to go into a rehab facility. We will see what happens but either way Lisa would have therapies during the day.More updates to come.
  7. LISA UPDATE FROM BEST FRIEND SARA JULY 2ND 2008 Lisa continues to make big improvements everyday. Her vocabulary is increasing and she can say the names of many of her friends and family she can also say " help nurse" and "shut up"! She can answer questions with both a verbal yes and no and shaking her head and has started making several word sentences. In speech therapy today she said everything the therapist asked her to say. She is gaining increased control of her body and strength. She can roll over, push her self up in the bed, cross her arms, lift her arms over her head and has been sitting in a chair and standing for increasing periods of time. She is still in the hospital but has been moved to the 15th floor. Tomorrows they will do another swallow test and then hopefully they can remove the trec if she passes. She is still on Oxygen but less then before the transplant and her lungs really seem to be making progress. She has started laughing and crying and is just as expressive as before the strokes. She is definitively our Lisa with a very positive attitude and hard work ethic. All the doctors have said she is truly remarkable and has made more progress then they see most people make in 6 months. Lisa's Mother will arrive for a visit on Thursday and she is very much looking forward to it. For those wondering who I am, Lisa and I have been best friends for going on 8 years. We met in community college when we were both in the honor society. I live in Washington State and used to live down the street from Lisa and her now husband who wasn't yet Lisa's friend or boyfriend at the time. I live in Seattle and hope for someday Lisa to return to Washington so we can be close in proximity to each other again. Lisa is not a very political person and I have always been one but politics have never gotten between us. I am the scheduler for a congressional campaigner. Everyone at the campaign have been so supportive in this very difficult time and Lisa has delighted in learning about how real people run for office and try to make a change for the better. Lisa has always said she would vote for me and that I will run for office someday. We'll see about running for office but it is good to know I will always have her support. I plan to read Lisa the comments from this forum tomorrow so please keep sending them. She really seems to enjoy hearing from people. I am no longer in Chicago but I talk with Lisa everyday and am hoping soon we will be able to have a two way conversation. But for now I get lots of yeses and nos head shakes and smiles. I jumped for joy when she said my name to me on the phone two days ago. She made me SO happy! More good news to come!
  8. LISA UPDATE PART 2 I was in the chat room and was asked to give everyone some more details so here goes. A week after Lisa's transplant she got a bad infection and had to be put into and induced coma and on a ventilator in the ICU. After several weeks they stopped giving her the medication to induce the coma but Lisa did not wake up. They discovered that she had several strokes that sprayed blood clots in her brain causing permenant damage to the right side movement and her speech areas of her brain. She also had blood clots in her legs that caused some wounds but are now healing. She was on a ventilator for over 4 weeks then started to get off of it. She has had some other smaller infections that have been treated but has had a fever pretty much nonstop since she got the transplant. About a week and half ago she was moved out of the ICU to Prentince Women's Hosptial where she was at the time of the transplant. She is now off the vent but still has a trec tube in. She is on less oxygen then before the transplant and they are slowly weaning her off oxygen altogehter. Her lungs are stronger now then before the transplant which is truly a miricle given that she spent 4 weeks having a machine breath for her. Her skin has softened and is beautiful. She is begining to grow her hair back and has eye lashes and eyebrows. She only started moving both sides of her body last week. It was very exciting. She can now move every part of her body when asked to do it. The last area she is working on is her mouth and tongue but this is coming together as well. She can now sit on the edge of her bed and in a chair and can stand up with assitance. She can lift both arms and squeeze both hands. She has a long way to go before she will be walking and moving like she used to but she is on her way. She understands everything and has no problem responding by nodding her head, smiling, frowning, smirking, rolling her eyes or lift her body. She is learning new words. Her very first words were HI and Hubby what she calls her husband. I asked her say Joey her husbands name and she said HUBBY! Lisa still has her wonderful personality and cheerful smile. She truly wants to get better and get back to her life. She is trying very hard to make big progress. I had the honnor of being with her when she started coming back to life last weekend. Now I am home in Seattle but I call everyday to get and update from her mother in law and talk with her on the phone( mostly I talk and she nods her head and smiles, frowns, smirks ect) I will post more as I get it. Sara
  9. LISA UPDATE FROM BEST FRIEND SARA Lisa continues to make big progress. She out of the ICU off the vent and should be out of the hospital in a week and in a rehab center in Chicago after that for another week. Then they will fly her home to Arizona where she will be in a rehab center for at least two months. She had several strokes but all the infections seem to be under control. She is doing speech therapy to relearn how to talk and is learning new words every day. She has begun eating soft foods and hopefully by the end of this week will be able to eat and drink normally. They have one more test to be done on Thursday and if she passes they will take out the trec tube and she will be able to talk, eat and drink normally. She is in physical therapy and occupational therapy and is regaining control of her body. She sits in a chair and stands everyday and is increasing her strength. Today she sat in a chair unaided for 45 minutes yesterday it was 25. She can also sit on the edge of her bed and can now go to the bathroom in a bed pan as all the tubes have been removed. Her mind is getting sharper everday. She understands everything and seems to have all her memories in tact. Her personality is just as sweet and playful as before the transplant and the best part is her lungs are stronger now then they were before she ended up in the ICU! The transplant really seems to be working! She is really on her way now! Please keep sending her your thoughts. Go Lisa Go!
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