Friday, October 16, 2009

Another Introduction --- Meet Michael Segal

From:  Ruthie

He is an absolutely amazing individual who has overcome HUGE odds to be the person he is today. (see Michael's website for his full story )
When he was in college he walked in on a convenience store robbery. Forced into the cooler, he was shot in the back of the head execution style. Not expecting Michael to survive the night, the neurosurgeon went home. The next day he had surgery, but it was still believed that he would never be able to return to college or meet his goals. With sheer determination he moved forward and did return to UT and graduated in the top of his class. We do so admire Mike, although we try not to give him a big head. We constantly tease each other because he makes very light of his injury. We remind him that when he makes a mistake and blames it on being "shot in the head" that we are having none of it." “No way--You recovered from that! However, graduating from UT? You NEVER recover from that".  :) 

Today, he and Louie were speaking of something and both had the same thought. Michael said, “You mean a UT GUY and an Aggie Dad had the same idea??? Amazing."  (There might be hope for him yet.).

Seriously though, I first met him in one of the first days we were in Hermann Memorial. He leads a support group on Wednesdays in STICU and he is so very understanding. Beginning with introductions of each family member and his own story, Michael ends every session with a prayer. In that waiting room we all needed that kind of support. Smart man that he is, he lures us there with great cookies, Starbucks coffee, and ice cold drinks; then we experience his kindness and we are hooked. He continues to visit us each day on the 4 days he is working at the hospital. Often on Wednesdays, he arrives with cookies but ALWAYS he comes with a smile and a request to "tell me something good". He's positive and he gives us HOPE. I am inclined to believe that God saved Michael to help others through their fears and near tragedies. If that is the case, he is fulfilling his destiny.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


From Ruthie --

Denise is a Physician Assistant on our floor, Jones 6. She worked with Dr. Duke and the other trauma doctors until recently when she moved to the Orthopedic Service. What a loss for trauma!!! Denise's brother was very very ill in the hospital some years ago, and it was after that event that she decided to become a Physician Assistant. She has been on both sides of the medical fence so let me tell you a little secret about her. DENISE CARES! Denise cares if you understand, and she cares how you feel . It is not enough for a patient to just be able to live , rather she wants you to be able to control pain, to be able to hear what is going on around you , and to not be afraid. You can ask Denise a question one day and if you forget the answer you can ask her again, and maybe even again. She knows we walk in unfamiliar territory because she too, felt the need to understand during her brother's illness. She was a great connection to Dr. Duke because she worked so closely with him. We called her "the wound vac queen" because she could not only hear a wound vac beeping from anywhere on the floor (with some sort of inner radar she possesses) but she could find the problem, whether it came from the machine itself or more likely from its connections to the wound. I learned so very much from her--I credit passing Wound Vac 101 to my very patient tutor, Denise. Her capabilities for getting things done are amazing. Even though we are not officially on her patient rounds, she comes by to see us and I can call her at ANYTIME. If I could pick the one person who has helped me keep my sanity in the past few months, it would have to be Denise. You can question, you can cry, you can rejoice. Denise is not above you or beyond you. She is right beside you, and I admire her more than I can ever say.

Joy Times Ten

From Ruthie --

We have had some wonderful concerts here at Hermann Hospital but it would be difficult to top the beautiful blended voices of 10 friends on Friday night. Shane came back for a visit from Michigan. He volunteered here previously, and we came to love seeing him. His twin brother Sheldon traveled with him this time. Sheldon will be here in January to start his volunteer stay. We do not have plans to see him here on Jones 6, but they have promised to come see us in El Campo. You may recognize some of the faces as our local EC talent. They sang song after song and made our usual Friday night, something special. On Monday, Shane and some of the others dropped by before going to the airport. Louie so enjoys talking to them, sharing farming and hunting stories. He would love to visit them in Michigan at some point, --Shane said he would be warmly welcomed.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Daily Report

Dad had a busy afternoon. He went to have a line changed, had quite a bit of fluid drained from his lungs, and had an x-ray.  I would say that the removal of fluid would make him feel better, but the fluid had not made him feel bad to begin with.  Having had the small chest tube placed (something Dr. Duke calls a "pigtail"), he actually feels WORSE than before.  The soreness should wear off and hopefully he'll feel better soon.  He's had some fever off and on, but he does not have any fever right now and has been treated with antibiotics. 

Monday, October 12, 2009

God's Plan

By: Marilyn Goerig

God, You brought Louie this far;
There is a Divine Plan.
We continue to place our trust
In Your powerful, healing hand.

From that near-fatal night
When you saved him from certain death;
And held him close to your heart;
We knew Louie’s path had been set.

Only prayer and a miracle
Could keep him here.
In the ambulance and Life Flight;
His injuries were so severe.

One miracle and then another
As his heart stopped in the E.R.;
So many prayers stormed the gates of heaven;
God turned him away from death’s door.

An extremely difficult procedure;
God guided surgery’s best.
Dr. Duke told us afterwards;
His skills were put to the test.

He worked for over six hours
On what seemed a hopeless case.
And he was the first to admit
He is only alive by God’s grace.

Louie fought for his life
Remaining critical day after day.
He overcame each complication,
As so many continued to pray.

Though he struggled with tubes and grafts and pain;
His strength continued to improve.
We wondered as the tubes were slowly removed;
Could he be going home soon?

God does have a plan for Louie;
Though we know not what it might be;
We stand in awe of God’s power
And prayerfully wait and see.