Sunday, May 31, 2009
Spoke with the supervising nurse about
Daniel's elevated heart rate. She stayed in the
room to observe the fluctuations and concurred
that it was a little outside previous elevations.
She was not alarmed about this and tried to assure
me that staff on this floor were aware of the situation.
They can follow this at each room and also at a remote
location called the telemetry room in the hospital.
The room has banks of monitors with staff members
observing several rooms at once.The telemetry room
is on the 3rd floor. We're waiting to hear from
the supervising nurse for this floor.
Cathy, Olivia, Danielito, and Nayeli Vega
Victor y Carmen Vega and family ~ Armando Vega
Alfredo Vega ~ Oscar y Nacha Vega ~ Violeta Parra
Amelia y Leo Pulido ~ Mario Duran ~ Rudy & Ruben
Aguilar ~ Tȟašúŋke Witkó ~ Jess y Irene Lopez and family,
Big Fern y Sarah and family ~ David (Michelle's friend),
Alejandrina Vera ~ Cristina Alvarado ~ Consuelo Rodriguez
Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible
and achieves the impossible. ~ Unknown
Daniels had another restful night. He is in
his new room (406), larger and with a better
view. The last room looked out on the
walls of the old hospital.
Daniel's temperature is normal. His heart rate
fluctuates from 90 up to 120, and occasionally
spiking at 140! I asked his nurse about this and
she attributed the variations as symptomatic
of brain trauma. She did say Daniel's doctor is
due to arrive and will be appraised of the situation.
This has occurred before and his heart rate returns
to normal after a short time. I don't know if they get
his heart rate back to normal with medications or not.
Daniel has his eyes wide open, looking normal, and as
I related to Victor (bro), Daniel looks 'Calm, dark, and
Will report back in an hour or so.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Saturday May 30, 2009
With 'Nando Vega at the helm, all able
hands were called on deck to weigh anchor
and move Daniel to another dock. Happy crew
on board: Oscar, Jessica, Yvonne, 'lil Oscar,
Tia Chita, 3 nurses and yours truly.
He is now in Room 406. Larger, better view, maybe
even an ocean view (marine layer still blocking
Yvonne and 'lil Oscar are busy putting up all
'lil Oscar reports that his team, Fallbrook Warriors,
lost to the "4-s Ranch" 13 to 6. Bummer! Wait'll
Also, Olivia is making her Confirmation tonight.
Parents, abuelos, tios, primos, amigos, maybe 25
family members all in attendance for this traditional
rite of receiving the holy spirit. Yea Olivia!
Dinner to follow at the 'Olivia Garden'.
Daniel is relaxing now in his new room over looking
Kearny Villa High school and Mesa Community
College. Lots of trees and sky! View of the horizon
rather than an old building.
Nestor Aguilar just walked in and Big Fernando is
here with Sarah, their kids, Bonnie, Grandpa
Fernando, and 4 other friends.
Good golly miss molly! Four Fernandos in one
Big Fernando brought in Marley decals for
Daniel's helmet. Jammin!
'Keep on doing what you have always done,
You will keep on being what you have always been'
More to follow...........stay tuned.
'Nando Vega ~ Oscar Vega aka Pilon, Jessica, 'lil Oscar, Yvonne
Big Fern ~ Sarah ~ Alissa ~ Julianna ~ Fern Dog ~ Grandpa Fern
George Perez ~ Vero ~ Valeria ~ 'Gordo'~ Nestor ~ Bob Marley
Bonnie Vega ~ Armando Vega ~Paulo Freire ~ Andrew Santos
(Andrew is one of Daniel's students) ~ Rosa Santos (Andrew's mom)
3 members of the Fallbrook Warriors
Superman's not brave.
You can't be brave if you're indestructible.
It's every day people, like you and me,
that are brave knowing we could easily
be defeated but still continue forward.
Daniel had an uneventful night, tranquil in
his new room on the 4th floor. His vital signs
have been in the normal range. His blood
pressure is stable, some minor fluctuations
in his heart rate, and his breathing has become
easier- decrease in the coughing. He still coughs
to clear out the chest secretions.
Margarita was allowed to sleep on the sofa bed
in Daniel's room last night. She kept a vigilant
eye on him throughout the night. The nursing
staff in this unit are very attentive and caring.
They don't have to deal with the stress inherent
in the SICU. Here in the Progressive Care Unit
you can feel the difference, it is a different level
Although Daniel is still in critical condition, he is
more stable, now that he has recovered from
the trauma of surgery, the installation of the shunt,
bouts of pneumonia, high fevers, adjusting
to the trache, the decrease in the need for
suctioning.....irritating and annoying for Daniel.
I mentioned in a previous post that it is certain
that Daniel will be transferred to Villa Pomerado
Acute Care Facility, next to Pomerado Hospital in
Poway. When? No definitive word yet. No official
decision yet, but we surmised that it depends on
Daniel's condition. If no further complications arise,
the transfer may occur early next week.
Daniel and his family have received numerous cards
of support, prayers, and expressions of love. These
have been a part of the wave of concern for what
Daniel and family are enduring. Mil gracias!
Cathy, Michelle, and Nayeli - Victor and Margarita Vega
Armando Vega - Bonnie Vega - Grandpa Vega
Elena Dunn - Esperanza and Jerry -'Nando Vega
Pablo Neruda - Chuy Miranda - Adrian Gonzalez -
Steven Biko - Roberto and Olga Chavez -
George & Vero Perez - 'Gordo' Perez -
Valerie Perez - Big Fern - 'lil Fern (Fern Dog)
Julianna Vega - 3 members of Warriors Team
Andrew Santos -student from RCC
Rosa Santos (Andrew's mom)
Day 32 9:00 AM
Brief update: Daniel had a restful night, no
complications. Slight irritation with the trach,
common problem with patients that have
had this procedure.
Daniel was first moved to the MICU, room 310,
then last night he was moved again to the
Progressive Care Unit on the 4th floor. He is in
room 430. I want to post this info early in
the event you plan to visit today.
Friday, May 29, 2009
True hope dwells on the possible, even when life
seems to be a plot written by someone who wants
to see how much adversity we can overcome.
True hope responds to the real world, to real life;
it is an active effort. ~ Walter Anderson
This morning Daniel appears rested and his nurse,
Tracy, reports that he had a restful night. He appears
relaxed and the fever is subsiding.
Daniel's vital signs are good. He did have a fever
yesterday afternoon and they have taken samples
of saliva and chest secretions to culture, in a
preventative effort to stop pneumonia or other
maladies. This will take 3 days to assess any
abnormalities. He is on specific antibodies this morning
for other minor issues. Blood was drawn for a blood
panel to look at vital parameters. His blood sugar is
monitored several times a day to determine insulin
levels. This morning he required a very small
amount of insulin.
Update: the blood panel proved negative and the
cultures are clear as of 5:00PM Friday.
At this moment, we don't know if the physical
therapists will work with him today. Physical therapy
has been postponed today.
The physical therapy, the fever, and the antibiotics
have slowed down Daniel's responses today. He has
had his eyes closed most of the morning. Today
the doctors have Daniel scheduled for another CT or
Cat scan. The result will probably be known tomorrow.
Update: Daniel is having the CT scan at this moment.
Yesterday, Daniel was transferred form the SICU to
the MICU- Medical Intensive Care Unit. After his
first surgery on May 1, he was allowed 30 days in the
SICU. Being in a more stable condition, the decision was
made to place him in the MICU. Tracy offered that when
a room is available in the Progressive Care Unit, he will
be moved to the 4th floor. It might be today.
The next move is to Villa Pomerado Acute Care Facility
next to the Pomerado Hospital in Poway. This would
probably occur as early as next week.
You might be asking yourself if these changes are the
result of rapid progress in Daniel's health. In my opinion,
the answer would be a negative. Cathy, Margarita, and
Victor feel Daniel would benefit from more time in the
MICU. As you all know, there are other forces at work.
Health benefit plans, specifically hospitalization benefits,
are determined by health insurance companies.
This blog is about Daniel's health and welfare. There are
other blogs that deal with the inequities and inadequacies
of the health care delivery system in the United States,
we will question and advocate on Daniel's behalf to insure
decisions contribute to his health, welfare, and recovery.
This is a long journey and we remain optimistic. The blog
is titled Hope for Daniel, we will not abandon hope.
Family, friends, acquaintances, even complete strangers
that have heard of Daniel, have all come together as a
support group, in unity, in solidarity with the one goal,
of seeing Daniel regain his health!
Family and friends have shared many anecdotes and
case studies of acquaintances or celebrities who have
emerged from weeks or months of being unconscious.
The case cited the most is that of Bob Woodruff, the ABC
news correspondent that suffered traumatic brain injuries
while on assignment in Iraq. He was comatose for five weeks.
Do a search on the Internet for a summary of his journey.
There is a tremendous amount of research being conducted
on the intricacies of the human brain and it's resiliance. The
duality of the brain and the mind has been studied for
centuries, there are new revelations everyday. Medical
science continues to be amazed by results that go counter
to the best prognosis of even the best neurosurgons,
neurologists, and brain injury specialists. The human spirit
is the intangible.
Take care of one another........
Victor and Margaret Vega
Chuy Morga and Katie
Lorenzo and Laura Torres
Nina and Danny Alvarado
Keep hope alive, keep hope alive, keep hope alive.
Rev. Jesse Jackson, 1988
Just checking in with a brief note that I just arrived
at the hospital. A lot occured yesterday and I haven't
had time to post. It is 8:30, Daniel is stable. With your
permission I will come back in an hour and give you
a more in depth account of Daniel's health. Thank you.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Your hopes, dreams and aspirations
are legitimate. They are trying to take you
airborne, above the clouds, above the storms,
if you only let them. ~William James
The evening shift nurse, Maureen, reports that
Daniel had a restful night and another small but
important step has occured. ICU nurses
have had to frequently clear the trach tubes of
chest secretions, through suction. Daniel's
coughing is independent of conscious control,
nevertheless, the coughing action clears the
secretions. Since Wednesday the frequency
of their intervention is less and less.
When he is able to clear the secretions completely
on his own, he will not need to be in ICU and
will be transferred to a regular room of the hospital.
Dr. Sacks reports that the pneumonia has been
resolved, however, patients with a trach tube
are suscepable to occasional bouts of pneumonia.
He added that having a trach tube is somewhat
irritating to all patients.
The tracheostomy tube will remain in place until
Daniel's level of consciousness increases to the
point that he is awake and able to swallow. Until
then, the tube will remain and he will continue to
be fed with the feeding tube in his lower intestine.
Cathy, Victor and Margarita, wish to express their
sincere gratitude and appreciation to Danny and
Carolyn Ashcraft for their generous donation to the
Daniel Vega FamilyFund.
This morning is Daniel's third session of sitting up
and physical therapy- keeping the muscles, joints,
and tone active. The need for flexibility is also
important. It is a rigorous 'workout' and Daniel is
not taking it too lightly, but he'll be thankful for this
'torture' later. Besides the two female therapists,
Cathy, Margarita, and Maria are there flexing
Daniel's legs and arms, mercy, mercy, mercy!
Take care of one another...........
Juan de la Barrera
Fernando Montes de Oca
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Yesterday I dared to struggle. Today I dare to win.
~ Bernadette Devlin
Once again, Daniel had a good, restful night. He went
through the night without assistance from the ventilator.
Cardiovascular conditioning prior to April 29 has
contributed greatly to his ability to now breath on his
At 10:45 AM this morning the nursing staff will see
how Daniel does with a new challenge....sitting up.
His helmet is here and he is ready. Will give you an
Daniel is in physical therapy at this moment.
Daniel sat up this morning for one hour. He was wearing
the protective helmet. The physical therapists will
put him in the sitting position for one hour, twice a day.
Daniel's doctor saw him this morning and remarked that he
is making progress, albeit very slowly. He reassessed
Daniel's score on the Glasgow Coma Scale, at this particular
time it appeared that Daniel is an 8 on the scale. Not yet
at the moderate level.
Cathy stated that Daniel's movements may be spontaneous,
but not consistant.
Daniel still has a very persistant cough and perhaps a touch of
pneumonia. The pulmonary doctor is closely monitoring this
and categorizes pulmonary as critical. He is still receiving
The doctor has ordered that the insulin drip be discontinued.
Daniel will receive insulin only if he needs it.
Chuy Miranda was here at 8:00, visited and talked to
Daniel about the big futbol game today in Estadio Olimpico,
Rome, Italy. It is the final of the UEFA Champions League,
between Barcelona and Manchester United. I shared with
Chuy that Daniel and Danielito were talking about the
match-up between Messi and Ronaldo with me during
spring break when they visited us in San Felipe.
We all hoped Barcelona would prevail....................
Well, the game started this morning at 11:45, just as
Daniel was seated and facing the tv.
Barcelona was victorious! 2 - 0 Messi and E'to scoring.
Take care of one another.............
Cathy and Michelle
Oscar and Jessica Vega
Raul y Chela Vega
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
If you lose hope, somehow you lose
the vitality that keeps life moving,
you lose that courage to be, that quality
that helps you go on in spite of it all.
And so today I still have a dream.
~ Martin Luther King Jr.
***Please check this post several times
today, as it will be updated.***********
9:00 AM - Daniel had another restful night, no
complications. His breathing has improved
to the point that he won't need the ventilator,
except in case of an emergency!!
Does this kid have heart or what?!! We are
witnessing a courageous display of the
'human spirit' , tenacity, an inspiring
'will to survive'!
Dawn informs us this morning that Daniel
moved his left arm, from a position at his side,
up and over, so that it rested on his chest!!
He did this on his own! There was no pressure
stimuli applied to provoke this movement.
Daniel is fighting, he is showing a desire to
overcome, to come back, to shake off all the
effects of the trauma, surgery, and sedation.
This is new and encouraging, as it changes the
early assessment made of his level of
consciousness. Approximately 25 days ago, the
estimate for Daniel was very low, given a number
just above 3 on the Glasgow Coma Scale. This is a
standarized system that has a range of zero to 15.
The score of 15 indicates no impairment.
The degree of consciousness is assessed numerically
by the best response using three factors:
amount of eye opening, verbal responsiveness,
and motor responsiveness.
The results may be plotted on a graph to provide
a visual representation of the improvement, stability,
or deterioration of a patient's level of consciousness,
which is crucial to predicting the eventual outcome.
Daniels new assessment is 9 !!!
Go Daniel! Go Daniel! Go Daniel!
The progress is ever so slow. Very slow progress
each day with no signs of regression.
11:30 AM Dawn reports that Daniel will be
fitted for a protective helmet today as the
plan is to get him seated in a chair for an hour
at a time. This will probably be tomorrow.
Daniel is also scheduled for physical therapy,
time to get his muscle tone and flexibility back.
This will start tomorrow! Another positive
step that energizes our hopes.
The following letter is from Margarita Vega to the Vega Family
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
From: Tia Mago
Thank you for your support and prayers through this
We have been dealing with some stressful issues and your
consideration and assistance has enabled us to carry on
I know Alfredito, Ariana, Adan, lil' Fern, Julianna, Yvonne
and other nephews/nieces love their Tio Daniel very much
and want to see him. Until it is possible, I ask you to pray
at night for God to send his angels in the form of his
nurses and doctors and others who take care of him and
in the morning give thanks to God for another day full of
We have to contend with a hospital visiting regulation that
prohibits visitors under16 yrs. An exception has
been made for Daniel's children.
Fern's daughter Alissa was also allowed to visit because
she is part of a youth prayer group in oceanside that has
been praying for Daniel. Thank you Alissa for keeping them
informed. Please thank everyone on my behalf.
All I ask of you is that you love each other, and be
not just cousins, but best friends like your parents
are to Tio Daniel.
Oscar and Jessica Vega
Oscar Vega (Chula Vista)
Big Fern Vega
Ricardo Flores Magon
Enrique Flores Magon
Monday, May 25, 2009
There is no hope unmingled with fear,
and no fear unmingled with hope. ~Spinoza
Daniel had another restful night. According to Matt,
his 'numbers' (vital signs) are good and the medication
levels are still within norms. He is receiving antibiotics
to head off any risk of infections and they monitor his
respiration to keep him free from pneumonia.
Daniel is opening his eyes more often.
His responsiveness to pressure stimuli continues
to be good. At times it appears that he is about to wake
up. This will take time. We will be patient.
This seems like an appropriate time to repeat a quote
used in this blog a week ago or so:
"All human wisdom is summed up in two words:
wait and hope" Alexander Dumas
Regarding the 24/7 medical care Daniel has received-
Daniel has had two outstanding ICU nurses assigned
to his care in the last 4 days, they are Dawn and Matt.
Can't say enough about their attentiveness, empathy,
professionalism, and rapport with visitors.
Yesterday, Sunday, Daniel cleared a challenging hurdle
when the respiratory therapist allowed him to breath
on his own, unassisted. First, for two hours. Then another
hour, ...then another. Concerned that he might tire,
the therapist and Dawn were impressed that
he was strong enough to go for 9 hours!! ¡Andale Daniel!
Once again, attribute this to his physical condition prior
to April 29. Small steps in the right direction.
To allow recovery time from the 'work out', he was
placed back on the ventilator for the evening.
He will remain in ICU until he can breath on his own
unassisted. Once patients are free of 'ventilator'
assistance, they are moved out of ICU.
Reminder: visiting hours are from
8:30 AM to 7:00 PM and 8:30 PM to 7:00 AM
Daniel is in room 220.
Thanks for the many compliments regarding
this blog. Understandably, many of you have
demanding work and family schedules and your
only contact with Daniel has been through this
blog. The family appreciates your comments
and support. Gracias
More 'Breaking News' *******
Sunday, Danielito's futbol team, Temecula Hawks,
advanced to the Championship game with the
FC Heat from Escondido.
The tournament was the Poway Country Shootout,
Boys Under 11 Division. Game summary:
Regulation time score was: 0 -0
First extra time score: 0 - 0 .
Second extra time score: 0 - 0.....
So, it was on to penalty kicks. Is this exciting, or what?
Danielito and the Hawks win the game 3 -0 !!!!!!
Green Gold Champions for 2009!!
Danielito's team mates allowed him to bring the
Championship Trophy to show his dad. The trophy
will be in Daniel's room for the next few days.
Can you imagine Daniel's pride when he sees this!
Congratulations Danielito! We're so proud of you!
Susanna and Samantha Galvez
John John Gonzalez
Luis and Socorro Vega
Enrique Flores Sr.
Fernando and Sarah Vega
Alissa, Lil' Fern, and Julianna Vega
Jose Maria Morelos
Ron & Sandra Van Damme
Olivia, Reyna, and Natalia Van Damme*
*Olivia & Olivia Vega best friends since
3rd grade at UC Riverside elementary
Fernando Vega (Grandpa Fern)
Roberto and Olga Chavez
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Believe in the magic of tomorrow
and your spirits will be lifted
on wings of hope. ~Kobi Yamada
Another restful night for Daniel. I think he needed
more rest what with all the visitors on Saturday.
The sedative level was decreased from 4 to 3 on
Saturday afternoon. This morning, Sunday, at 8:30
it was lowered from 3 to 2. Then at 10:15 it was
decreased again to one! Daniel has handled the
decrease with no signs of withdrawal or pain.
Dawn, Daniel's nurse, corrected my use of
terms related to Daniel's medications.
First, the pain medication (Fentanyl) is at level 2,
the actual sedative (Ativan) is now at level one!
My apologies for any confusion in previous posts.
Another change: the Ativan is now at 0.5 !!!!
and the Fentanyl is at one!!!
Another change: It is Sunday 12:30 PM
Both the Ativan and the Fentanyl have been
turned down to 'zero'. Daniel is no longer
on sedatives or pain medication!!
Dawn and Maria are watching him closely and
talking to him to see if the reductions will move
him closer to the threshold of consciousness.
This will take some time. He is being
hydrated and this will rid his body of traces of
those meds. From Dawn's experience, she has
offered that it will take a couple of days to get
his body free of Ativan & Fentanyl.
If it appears that Daniel is experiencing
discomfort or pain, Dawn will use Tylenol.
It is a given that Daniel's good
physical condition prior to the April 29 has
enabled him to withstand the various treatments.
Daniel is breathing more on his own today! They
take him off the ventilator for an hour at a time and
he seems to be showing he can do it on his own!
He has been off the ventilator for two hours!
Go Daniel - Go Daniel - Go Daniel!!!!
Breaking News: Saturday, Danielito scored a 'gol'
to help his team, the Temecula Hawks, as they
crushed the hapless Poway Vaqueros... 5 to 0 !!!!
Go Danielito!!! Daniel is proud of you!
Saturday and this morning he has opened his eyes
for greater lengths of time. He is still not 'tracking', or
looking from side to side. Cathy reports that Daniel's
neurosurgeon was here last night and conducted a
test for responsiveness and was surprised at Daniel's
reaction. Something positive that the doctor wasn't
ready for. One step at a time.
Hope is independent of the apparatus of logic. ~Norman Cousins
Take care of one another.......
Fernando & Sarah Vega
Fernandito & Sarah Vega
Nestor and Sara Aguilar
Susana & Samantha Galvez
Tairou and Marisha
Rudy & Ruben Aguilar
Saturday, May 23, 2009
We must accept finite disappointment,
but we must never lose infinite hope.
~Martin Luther King Jr.
Daniel had another restful night. His condition
is still critical and he has remained stable. His vital
signs are normal and there has been no regression
in many of his other functions.
As reported yesterday, the sedation decrease
from 5 to 4 is a 10% drop. In the last week this
represents a 70% decrease in the sedative.
Obviously, he is not as heavily sedated. Perhaps
in the next few days the level might be decreased
again. Hopes are running high that once Daniel is
completelly off sedation he will be on the threshold of
Daniel's ability to breath on his own has been
checked daily with mixed results. The pulmonary
specialist and the ICU nurse monitor this activity
Cathy, the kids, Cathy's sisters, and Elena and Bob,
are deeply grateful and appreciative for the generosity
of family and friends. Cathy, Olivia, Danielito, and
Nayeli have received many gift cards for gasoline, food,
and other necessities. Mil Gracias!
When we consider all that Daniel has endured, it causes
us to reflect on the intangible- the will to live, something
embedded in the heart and the conscious and even the
unconscious mind that says 'keep fighting', don't surrender.
It is the human spirit, of which many stories of survival
have found their way into books and film. Daniel is writing
another chapter to those existing acts that have served
to lift our spirits.
"The human spirit is your specifically human dimension
and contains abilities other creatures do not have.
Every human is spiritual; in fact, spirit is the essence
of being human. You have a body that may become ill;
you have a psyche that may become disturbed.
But the spirit is what you are. It is your healthy core.
"Aqui, no se rinde nadie!"
A call exhorting insurgents to dig in and to incite or
even warn the opposing military of the dictator.
Sandinista Revolution 1979
Alfredo and Diana Vega
Oscar (Pilon) and Jessica Vega
Cathy and Michelle
Olivia, Danielito, & Nayeli
Zumbi dos Palmares
Tairou & Marisha (Daniel's CBB colleagues)
Friday, May 22, 2009
Never let go of hope.
One day you will see that it has finally come together,
what you have wished for has finally come to be.
You will look back and laugh at what has passed,
and you will ask yourself...
"How did I get through all of that?" ~anonymous
Daniel had another calm night. You're on a roll Daniel!
Si se puede!! No new medical challenges.
Daniel is experiencing greater stability as each day passes.
The sedation level, which originally was at 10, was reduced
by 50% to number 5 on the metering device, today it was
reduced again to the number 4!
Daniels physiological condition and other factors influence
the decision to slowly bring him out of sedation.
Three weeks ago Daniel had a craniotomy. A craniotomy is
a surgical operation in which part of the skull, called a
bone flap, is removed in order to access the brain.
Craniotomies are often a critical operation performed
on patients suffering from a traumatic brain injury (TBI),
like a cerebral aneurysm. Having access to the aneurysm
allowed Daniel's surgeon to attach a clip to stop the
hemorrhaging. The bone flap has not been replaced yet.
The shunt continues to perform well. It has drained a
significant amount of cerebro spinal fluid , reducing pressure
and swelling on the brain. With the reduced fluid, a depressed
area forms on that side of the head.
This is common with all patients that have had a craniotomy.
Healing is occuring each second, each minute, hour and day.
Daniel's physical condition and his innate, tenacious
determination give him the endurance to persevere.
This is going to be a very long and arduous journey.
More surgery is a given. And certainly months of
“All human wisdom is summed up in two words -
wait and hope" ~ Alexandre Dumas
Fernando & Sara Vega
Elena and Bob
Oscar Vega aka Pilon
Oscar Vega Sr. and Nacha
Oscar Vega (Chula Vista)
Adrian Gonzalez and squeeze
Chuy and Angela Miranda
Michelle and Jennifer
Jerry and Esperanza
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Most certainly your life has been enriched by knowing Daniel, so if you have a short story or anecdote to share please comment and let us hear it. We know how crazy Daniel is about life and we all miss those moments of love and laughter...choose something from the posts that resonates with you and go with it.
Many have donated generously to The Daniel Vega Family Fund. On behalf of Cathy and all of the Vega Family I would like to express our deepest gratitude. Thank you.
When the world says, "Give up,"
Hope whispers, "Try it one more time." ~Author Unknown
As we stand watch, we see small signs that our course is true
and the storm will pass, landfall is out there over the horizon.
Daniel had a good night. There are no orders for an angiogram
today. The shunt is still performing as expected, if this continues
the first temporary catheter will be removed.
This morning, Dawn, Daniel's ICU nurse, indicated that the last
Doppler test showed that the vasospasms had decreased. This may
only be temporary, but it is a step toward eliminating the spasms. It
appears the medication is taking effect. This test is conducted daily.
Another sign. Daniel is given a pressure test to each hand and foot to
assess reflexive responses. His arm and leg responses have been positive.
That is, he tends to 'pull' or react to the stimulus.
Margarita and Victor want to express their appreciation to the many
business clients that have voiced, or through cards, their heartfelt concern and
support for Daniel and his family. Daniel is now in their prayers.
Victor has been trying to iron out the glitches that people have experienced in
trying to 'post' a comment.
Fernando Vega (Lola's dad) received his Social Science Teaching Credential
today!!! Felicidades Nando! Daniel will certainly be very proud
of Nando's achievement.
Many have shared their belief that Daniel's heart is the source of his
strength and courage. Solid faith that these characteristics will prevail.
Experiencing his zest for life and infectious enthusiasm has left us
living vicariously through his adventures. We look forward
to the next opportunity to 'hang out' with him, Cathy, and his kids.
I'll close today's post with a quote from Eduardo Galeano that describes
persons that 'blaze with life'........persons like Daniel.
"Each person shines with his or her own light. No two flames are alike.
There are big flames and little flames, flames of every color.
Some people’s flames are so still they don’t even flicker in the wind,
while others have wild flames that fill the air with sparks.
Some foolish flames neither burn nor shed light,
but others blaze with life so fiercely that you can’t look at them without blinking,
and if you approach you shine in the fire." Eduardo Galeano
Keep the prayers comin'
Take care of one another
Irene and Jesse Lopez
Esperanza and Jerry
Roberto and Olga Chavez
Oscar Vega (Chula Vista)
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
You've taken Hope for Daniel to whole new level; I love the long-term perspective and quotes. Thanks so much.
I just got back from the hospital and Daniel was opening his eyes and he now withdraws from pain tests in a more purposeful way. The nurses are careful to note that these are reflexive responses, but they are improvements nonetheless. There are lots of tests and documentation to monitor and maintain Daniel's condition. Daniel has a nurse all to himself all of the time. The SICU has more than a dozen patients, and the normal ratio is 1 nurse for every 2 patients.
This evening, Doctor Tantuwaya removed the ventricular drain (the ventriculostomy was Daniels first operation) from the top of Daniels head; it is no longer needed as the shunt now drains the cerebral spinal fluid to keep the pressure in Daniels head consistent. Daniel has a PICC line--a catheter that goes all the way to his heart--that delivers fluids and meds. He has another "J" tube that goes to his small intestine where nutrition is absorbed. These are both long-term solutions as opposed the I.V. that needs to be changed every four days.
I apologize if some of this information seems redundant, but sometimes we hear the info in new ways and our knowledge seems to be spiraling. The nurse tonight was using google images to explain some of the ideas...it was very useful. Also, you may want to visit http://www.biausa.org/ to learn more about the consequences of brain injury.
Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible.~ author unknown
The 'shunt' was put in place yesterday successfully. Tests and x-rays confirm that it is performing well in draining the cerebrospinal fluid into the abdomen and relieving pressure on the brain.
Daniel looks very good, he is one handsome dude! He has a much healthier complexion and any facial swelling has deminished, his natural facial features are back.
He has displayed several automatic reflexes over the last week, like opening his eyes and yawning. Keep in mind that an auto reflex is like breathing.....you don't think about it, you just do it.
A word about the ICU nurses that are with him 24/7. There is Dawn, Bridgette, Michael, Matt, Denise, and Robyn. They are very compassionate and empathetic. They talk to Daniel when making adjustments on IV's, they apologize to him when applying pressure to test his reflexes.....very caring professionals. Cathy, Margarita, & Tia Chita are ever present, in and out, conversing with Daniel and the nurses, rotating visitors in to see Daniel throughout the day, reading all the monitors and electronic metering devices and making endless inquiries. Three guardian angels with a mission!
Within the last two days there seems to be an aire of acceptance and comfort with the reality of this being a very long recovery period. A long journey with many travelers heading toward a common goal somewhere off in the distance. I know Daniel would remind us of a saying by Mao:
'The longest journey begins with a single step'. One day at a time, one step at a time.
A test of endurance which our collective experiences has prepared us for. We are in for the duration and endurance is our forte! "Don't pray for lighter burdens, but for stronger backs" ~ author unknown
'Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes'. ~Buddha
I know Daniel will enjoy this quote by Bruce Lee: "A fight is not won by one punch or one kick. Either learn to endure or hire a bodyguard"!
Rite of Passage:
Alfredito turned 12 yesterday and had the good fortune to have a beautiful celebration with family- parents, cousins, uncles, aunts, Padrinos and a cast of thousands.....enjoying hot dogs and hamburgers. Irene Lopez gave an insightful commentary on the gathering........."....it was so comforting being around family during this difficult time.....whether at this party or at the hospital.....it gives me strength"! Cathy was moved by Alfredito's cell phone that had a photo image of Daniel with a caption reading "I love you Tio"
In closing, I have an addendum to this post which hopefully will clarify some medical terms and questions:
Fluid in the skull?
Hydrocephalus, in which the excessive buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the skull dilates fluid pathways called ventricles that can swell and press on the brain tissue. The shunt corrects this condition.
Another delayed postrupture complication is vasospasm, in which other blood vessels in the brain contract and limit blood flow to vital areas of the brain. This reduced blood flow can cause stroke or tissue damage.
Vasospasms are very common after cerebral aneurysm surgery. Daniel is still experiencing this condition. His surgeon is monitoring this very closely and using medications to stop the spasms and increase blood flow.
What causes a cerebral aneurysm?
Most cerebral aneurysms are congenital, resulting from an inborn abnormality in an artery wall.
Cerebral aneurysms are also more common in people with certain genetic diseases, such as connective tissue disorders.
Other causes include trauma or injury to the head, high blood pressure, infection, tumors, atherosclerosis (a blood vessel disease in which fats build up on the inside of artery walls) and other diseases of the vascular system, and cigarette smoking.
Who is at risk?
Brain aneurysms can occur in anyone, at any age. They are more common in adults than in children and slightly more common in women than in men. People with certain inherited disorders are also at higher risk.
The incidence of reported ruptured aneurysm is about 10 in every 100,000 persons per year (about 27,000 patients per year in the U.S. ), most commonly in people between ages 30 and 60 years.
Take care of one another.
Oscar Vega aka Pilon
Nestor and Sara Aguilar
Luis and Socorro Vega
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
It provides human beings with a sense of destination and the energy to get started.
Today is Tuesday, Daniel arrived here 21 days ago. Daniel is still in critical condition.
Daniel's surgeon is concerned about the build up of fluid (cerebralspinal fluid-CSF) in
the brain area. The doctor is placing a 'shunt' in the area today at 5:00pm.
The 'shunt' is a device which drains the extra fluid (CSF) in the
brain into other parts of the body where the fluid can be absorbed.
The 'shunt' has a micro valve that controls the rate of flow.
The actual procedure takes 30 to 45 min.
There was fear of a recurrence of pneumonia yesterday, but test (bronclascopy & blood work)
results indicate his lungs are clear, no pneumonia.
Daniel's neurosurgeon wants Daniel's body temperature below normal
to promote optimum conditions for healing. If you have seen Daniel shivering
the ICU nurses are controlling that with a paralytic, a medication which
induces a safe , low level of paralysis. The slow progress toward healing has
enabled the medical staff to discontinue this drug and now raise Daniel's body
temperture back to 98.6.
LATE BREAKING NEWS: Nayeli scored her first 'GOL' at the Oceanside Beach
tournament last Saturday!!!! Daniel would be soooooo proud of her!!!
Also on Saturday, family members gathered at Alfredo and Diana's home for a brief
R & R to recharge batteries and lend mutual support. Olivia (Daniel & Cathy's oldest daughter)
wanted ice cream so bad, like her Dad's craving habits- the apple doesn't fall far
from the hereditary tree.
The feeling is unanimous that Sharp Memorial is first class and 'state of the art'
in all aspects of care and application of medical science. This is reassuring and we
know that there is a united effort to restore Daniel's health and give him a fighting
chance. Daniel's will to live, love for life, and joy of living is still in his heart.....we know
these characteristics will see him through this trial.
Elena & Bob
Monday, May 18, 2009
Daniels condition was somewhat stable this Sunday. Daniel's fortitude and spirit have seen him through the last 19 days. His surgeon, specialists, and ICU staff have employed all their skills, medical science and technology to the process of healing. Daniels family and friends have stood fast in support of his courageous struggle. Cathy, Margarita, Victor, and Daniel's brothers appreciate all the outpouring of love and support.
The heart warming demonstation of kinship and concern has been present since April 29 in so many ways. Friends traveling from great distances, offering solace, bringing food, cards, running errands, helping with child care, praying with the family, asking prayer groups to remember Daniel, visiting and talking to Daniel, and offering assistance.
Many names have been mentioned in earlier posts. The Hope for Daniel Team is growing. Among those 'presente' this last Sunday were:
Chuy and Angela Miranda
Olga and Roberto Chavez
Oscar Vega, aka 'Pilon'
Luis and Socorro Vega
Jim Hill Daniel's co worker
Laura and Lorenzo
Raquel Vega and Jessica
Nestor, Sara, and Alessia Aguilar
Jesse and Irene Lopez
Ernesto 'Che' Guevara
Sue and Sara Wolf brought prayer quilt
Angie and Amanda Aguilar, and Frank
Sylvia and Suzanna
'Jim' A baseball camarada
Phil and Claudia Prayer group leaders
David Erwin and Jessica
Saturday, May 16, 2009
17 day’s in Daniel is still resting, now we are able to see his face without all those tubes which is really nice. I was able to clean him up as best as I could. Next week he will be facing a shunt surgery. Excess spinal fluid needs to be diverted into his stomach. Dr. said this is a routine surgery and necessary as far as Daniels condition. This shunt is long-term and will need to be checked every so often. Doppler tests show Mild vasospasm is still present on Daniel’s left side and severe on his right side. But, there are no new areas that are dead which is good news. Current condition as of today still critical.
Many thanks to Jerry and Esperanza for donating to the cause. Thanks to all the soccer mom’s on Nayeli’s and Daniel’s Hawks teams for all the many different gift cards that Cathy has received. Very much appreciated. Thanks to Irene for the Sees candies that I ate in a day with a few helpers! Ken Gonzalez, once again thanks for the movie passes! If only I could tell Daniel the amount of love he has received through this difficult time he would probably say “What no way, really!”
Sal highly reccomends this website from Wake Forest University. The link has an animation of the shunt procedure.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Dear Friends & Family,
For those of you who do not know, on April 29th, my 34 year-old brother-in-law Daniel Vega suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm that resulted in severe hemorrhaging. Daniel has had three brain surgeries, is in critical care and has not yet regained consciousness. Daniel is my brother-in-law through his marriage to my sister Cathy -- technically we are stepsisters as her father is married to my mother, but we have been a family since we were 2 years old; she & I are only 5 months apart in age.
Cathy & Daniel have been together since they were teenagers and have three beautiful children: my niece Olivia will be 16 in June, Daniel Jr. is 10 and Nayeli is 7. There is no way to comprehend what my sister is experiencing right now -- nothing in life could ever prepare us for such a tragedy and we are trying to do everything we can to support her. While prayer for Daniel's recovery is the most important thing we can ask for, unfortunately Cathy & Daniel are facing financial challenges as well.
Daniel's contract as a college counselor & teacher is up for renewal in June, making his employment status uncertain. While the Director of Human Resources is working carefully with Cathy to assist in lengthening his compensation as long as possible, the future is unknown. For those of you that know Daniel, you are aware of what an an honorable father, husband, brother, uncle, cousin & friend he is. He has a huge heart, is truly committed to his family & friends, and even extends this care & concern to strangers. Last year Daniel risked his own life to donate bone marrow to a teenage girl he did not know; she needed the life-saving transplant to treat her leukemia.
Let's learn from Daniel's example and help his family during this most difficult time. It is our goal to help lessen the financial burden as much as possible so Cathy can focus on his recovery and caring for their children. For this reason we have started a fund to help provide financial support while Daniel is recovering. We realize that things are difficult for many people these days, but ask if you have the ability to help, that you would consider sending a donation. There is no amount too small and every dollar will be so greatly appreciated. Please pass this request on to your friends & family as you see fit.
If you are able, please write your check to the "Daniel Vega Family Fund" and mail it to the following:
c/o KPT, LLC
2275 W. 190th Street, Suite 201
Torrance, CA 90504
Your generosity is so greatly appreciated in advance. Feel free to contact me with any questions. May God bless you & your families.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
If you haven't already done so please check the message from Jennifer in the previous post Fund for Cathy and Daniel.
Monday, May 11, 2009
As of 7pm, Cathy was waiting for word on some tests to check for ulcers. Apparently, he has had some acid build-up due to not eating...in other words, he gets his nutrition though an I.V.
Nayeli (Daniel and Cathy's youngest, 7yrs.) is a little sick, but other than that the kids are great.
Thanks for checking in...I will try to be more timely with my updates. VV
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Present for Mom's day were Olivia, Danielito, and Nayeli. Michelle (Cathy's sister) gets the Honorary Mom Award for helping Cathy with the kids. It is such a pleasure to be with them watching them laugh and play with their cousins. Daniel's former Dean--Ken?--brought the kids some toys so thank you very much. Some of us went to watch Danielito play soccer at San Juan Capistrano for the Spring Cup on Saturday. Danielito plays for the 11 and under Hawks--a travel club out of Temecula. It was their first time on a full-sized regulation field and they held their own against more experienced teams. It was awesome to watch the Hawks and Danielito play. And the parents on the team, especially Jonathon and Stacey, have been there to support Cathy and Daniel.
Thank you so much to everyone that has helped in so many small and large ways...it would be impossible for me to know of the good work that everyone is doing but we feel your support. Please continue to pray for Daniel as the next few days will be critical.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Please continue hoping and praying for Daniel.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
I'd also like to thank Oscar (a.k.a. pilon) he's always good for excellent sandwiches and other good stuff like homemade salsa from homegrown ingredients. And, Tia Chela and Chelita that brought in the most excellent burritos de carne y frijoles, and some hot coffee. Somehow this food also feeds our collective soul.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
We have our own ways of measuring Daniel's progress, and when we touch Daniel or speak to him we know in our hearts that he is listening. Daniel lives and has lived! When I think of how much this man, my brother, has accomplished in such a short time I feel proud and happy. He is a father, a counseler, a dog breeder, a martial-arts competitor, a traveler (he has lived in Mexico, traveled to Cuba...). He is most happy when he is able to share his success with others...witness all the friends and family that have come to show support for Daniel. Above all else, he values the love of friends and family--the love of humanity. He has managed to keep us all connected through thick or thin. Throughout his life, Daniel has persuaded people to come out of their shells, to reach beyond themselves, he has challenged us to reach our fullest potential. Please continue to share your wonderful memories and thoughts, we need them now more than ever and please remember to thank the nurses for treating my brother with the dignity and respect he wishes for every human being on this planet!
Monday, May 4, 2009
Dear Friends and Family of Daniel Vega,
I would like to invite you to share your feelings of support, your stories and memories or any pictures you may have of your time spent with Daniel.
We will be continually updating this blog so remember to check here first for any news regarding Daniel.
Thank you to all for your love and support during this difficult time. Here is a summary of the events so far.
Wednesday evening, April29: Around 7:30pm, Daniel suffers a ruptured brain aneurysm. Taken to Fallbrook Hospital. Catscans confirm that there is bleeding in the brain. Transfered to Escondido Palomar Hospital.
Thursday Morning, April 30: A second catscan reveals the severity of his injury. At about 6:00am Daniel undergoes procedure to draw blood and relieve pressure from his brain. Procedure is successful. Before noon, he is transfered to Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego. Daniel survives a second procedure to alleviate pressure in his head. Doctor cannot operate on aneurysm until swelling in his brain goes down. Surgery for aneurysm is scheduled for Saturday morning.
Friday, May 1: Daniel rests and hears from friends and family. Doctor says Daniel's swelling has gone down or that there is less pressure so surgery will continue as planned. Otherwise, Daniel would have to wait for swelling to go down naturally. However, Doctor warns that if brain is too swollen, he might have to abort during surgery.
Saturday, May 2: Daniel goes in for surgery at 7:30 am. This kind of procedure takes 6 hours or more. Anuerysm is clipped. Surgery is successful. Daniel rests all day.
Sunday, May 3: Cathy speaks with Doctor. Of course, Doctor reiterates the severity of his injuries and that Daniel's recovery is going to take time.
Monday, May 4: Continue to hope and pray for Daniel, Cathy, Olivia, Danielito and Nayeli.