I came in this morning and looked at the respiratory screen that tells how much work the ventilator is doing and lo and behold he had been breathing by himself for several hours. The ventilator assisted only at the end of each breath to reopen his lungs for the next breath coming in. He, however, was the one taking the breath. It is a huge step and truly a miracle! It is just the beginning of many baby steps he will need to live off the ventilator but the first bright spot we've had in many days!
Devan and I just help swab his tongue to quench his thirst or reposition him in his bed, but for the most part he sleeps. Between naps he requested we spell something. So we started with the letter A and he squeezes his eyes shut when we get to the letter he wants. It takes awhile, but we eventually get there. The challenge is to get the word before he gives up out of frustration. We started with W-A- L- L. He rolled his eyes as if to say "No you dummies." Then he lipped "start over" and I got it first try. So we started with W then we got W-A-L-K. He wanted to go for a walk. I said, "OK, I will ask, the worst they can say is no." So, I asked the nurse and she said, "OK." Hurray for Dad!
It was about that time that the respiratory therapist came in to proclaim dad was doing great without any assisted breaths provided by the ventilator. He wanted to do a breathing trial and take him off completely and try using just an oxygen mask. It was perfect timing for his walk/stroll. It is just a trial to see how he does. So at 2pm he will be moved to a wheelchair and taken for a stroll. This is so exciting! He was grinning from ear to ear! Talk about lifting his spirits! You really could see the joy in his face (and ours)!
Thanks again for all of your prayers. I will read him all of your comments so please send a note in the comment section! Just put in your email address and it will let you comment.
Will update later today on how the walk and breathing trial go!