I haven’t posted about Zach in a few days. The last two weeks have been crazy for his family. They have been on an emotional roller coaster and their strength and love for their son could not have been more evident. His mother hasn’t left his side and everyday she sends out an email letting everyone know about how he is doing. Her emails go from being extremely positive and uplifting to depressed and sorrowful. Every time he seemed to make a turn for the better, he would fall back a step. I know this was hard for his parents to witness.
On Monday, when he was weaned off of the paralytic and woke up for the first time in nine days, I got to see him with his eyes open and to talk to him and let him know just how much he was loved by everyone. I don’t know how aware he was of what was going on at that point, but I knew he could understand me, and the pure joy in his mom’s face was an expression I will never forget. Unfortunately, with him waking up, he was also now in pain and Marnie’s email the next day was heartbreaking. She wrote,
We wished and wished for Zach to wake up – well, be careful what you wish for. He was awake on and off in a sleepy, dazed kind of way. He tried to communicate, but we could not possibly understand him. He can’t make any sound and it is hard to read his lips with the tube in his mouth. He is too drugged and weak to write. We were able to understand a few things though. He was hungry, thirsty, cold and in pain. As we could not give him food, drink, covers or control his pain – we felt painfully helpless. Zach was frustrated and we were frustrated. Now that Zach was awake, all I wanted the nurses to do was to put him back to sleep. He seemed so much more peaceful sleeping.
After such a happy Monday night, to read that email, my heart ached for him. My heart ached for all of them. The emails since that day have been mixed with highs and lows. His lung infection is improving and he is no longer on a ventilator but now, he needs to go through painful respiratory treatments which are torture for his parents to watch. There are still a few surgeries for him to face, one of them is today and I have been praying that it goes smoothly and that Zach is resting comfortably after it.
He is such a compassionate kid and his mom wrote that even while he is as sick as he is, he is actually that same old sensitive boy, thanking the nurses and trying to smile through his pain when visitors come to see him. I know that he still has a very long way to go in his recovery, and I hope as each day passes the pain lessens for him.
Someone wrote on his mother’s Facebook page that the love for him could fill a stadium, so perfect for a boy that loves sports so much. It is so evident. His mother’s email are going out to hundreds of people. His parent’s Facebook pages are filled with messages of love and support. I know I am not alone when I say I have people emailing me asking about him on a daily basis. Even strangers have reached out after reading his story on my blog. I figured giving an update would be a good thing and continue the prayers and love for him and for his family as he continues on his long and difficult recovery. We all love you Zach!