Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dillon Duncan

Dillon Duncan, the 16 year old son of Holly and Todd Duncan and grandson of Bonnie Bricker-Smith, was seriously injured in an car accident. He was driving to meet his dad and brother in the Tanum Creek area, when he accidentally rolled his truck. He was ejected as the truck rolled and the truck rolled over him. While seriously injured, a small depression he fell into prevented the truck from completely crushing him.

He was found by his father and brother, taken to Kittitas Valley hospital, and from there flown to Harborview in Seattle, where he is receiving excellent care. (DILLON IS NOW AT CHILDREN'S SEATTLE)

Dillon’s pelvis was broken in several places. He is having surgery to repair this on Wednesday and he is expected to recover from these injuries with time and rehabilitation. Thankfully, there were no head injuries and Dillon is awake and alert.

Of greater concern is that he still does not have any feeling below his waist. It is far too early to assume that this is a permanent problem, or even that if it does not correct itself that there will not be an effective medical therapy that can treat it. However, this is serious and something that we ought be to praying for.

Whatever the short term results, Dillon faces months of rehab, probably at Children’s Hospital in Seattle and he, along with his family, will need our prayers and support – both immediately and for the months to come.

There is a web page for him at the website (enter "dillonduncan" on their main page). I will try to port their updates here also and keep it all in this same post. Information below will start to read with the latest information first.

Story in the Daily Record, 9-5-2010

The Ellensburg High School FFA member leading the 1,400-pound steer in the Junior Livestock Sale auction show ring on Friday was not fellow EHS FFAer Dillon Duncan.

Yet it was, indeed, Dillon’s steer according to the list of sellers. Showing it for Dillon in Bloom Pavilion was a friend, Ethan Johnson, 15.

Dillon, 16, couldn’t be there. On Friday he was at Children’s Hospital in Seattle undergoing extensive rehabilitation for serious injuries he received in a one-vehicle collision on Aug. 22.
When the bidding was over for the animal, the steer brought in a hefty $7.50 a pound.
Johnson, before leading the steer back into the fairgrounds barn, said everybody wants to help out Dillon at this hard time in his life, including families associated with 4-H and FFA.

Dillon’s brother, Dalton, 13, sold his steer just before his brother’s went to auction and said he and others have pitched in to help raise the steer and get it ready for showing since Dillon went to the hospital.

Dillon’s steer didn’t go far afield: It was purchased by Bonnie and Ian Smith of Ellensburg, Dillon’s grandparents.

On Saturday, Bonnie staffed a table in front of Bloom Pavilion to sell beef raffle tickets to help support the Kittitas County 4-H program.

In addition to a pile of raffle tickets, on the table was a sign that told about a Sept. 12 benefit spaghetti dinner and silent auction to help the Todd and Holly Duncan family pay for medical treatment and rehabilitation services for their son, Dillon.

“We want to get the word out about how people can help,” Bonnie said. “It seems everybody who’s found out about the situation wants to help in any way they can.

“I’ll tell you, the friends and families of these organizations (4-H and FFA) have been absolutely awesome in all their support of Dillon, in their love and all their care for Holly and Todd.”
Bonnie said Dillon, after the accident, was taken to Kittitas Valley Community Hospital and then was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

For those who want to give directly to help the family with medical costs, Bonnie said there is an account set up at Sterling Savings Bank in Ellensburg. Checks can be made payable to: FBO Dillon Duncan.

“There’s so many people who have helped in so many ways,” Bonnie said. “It would be so hard to thank them all. We appreciate everything.

“This community reaches out so much to those who need help.”

Bonnie said she did want to mention two who have especially helped: the Bland family and Ellensburg High School FFA adviser Steve Russell.

“I believe in prayer and I believe in asking God for healing,” Bonnie said. “One thing everyone can do is to pray for Dillon’s complete healing.”


I’ve had a few more notes filter in, so just a brief update.

Of course, the biggest concern is that Dillon has no feeling below his waist and the worry is that there is a spinal cord injury. They have done several MRIs and none have found any sign of such an injury, but there is a small chance that there is still one that cannot be detected.

One odd bit of good news is that when his feeling of numbness started to moved up his body a few days ago that was a sign that perhaps the lower body numbness was not from a spinal cord injury. Such injuries never seem to move up the torso. So, they have looked for another cause.

This could still be from swelling. It could also be from a very rare condition when marrow from a broken bone seeps into the spine, causing temporary paralysis. There is no way to test for this, but the good news is that this condition is almost always 100% reversible over time.

There will still need to be a long time of recovery and rehabilitation and we need to keep the family in our prayers. Such time are hard on families for all sorts of reasons and while things looking better, there is a long way to go.

Ported from CaringBridge
Okay this will be a short update...but Dillon got to move to Seattle Children's Hospital today! This is great news because this means he was well enough to move hospitals and can withstand a few hours of rehabilitation already. If any of you haven't visited Childrens it is an amazing hospital! I look forward to getting to visit him there. Although Harborview is an AMAZING hospital and no doubt they worked magic on Dillon...Children's has a more 'warm and fuzzy' feeling there. I will update you all more when I talk to the family! (P.S. Holly there is an amazing italian place within walking distance I want to walk you to that serves football sized calzones!)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010 2:33 PM, PDT

Okay so new update...they are thinking it is just pressure from it being swollen and with the swelling going down so will the pressure on his nerves! Medication and time are what will fix this. Talk about getting on Dillon's nerves! :) Hang in there Dillon...I will update more when I hear from the family!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010 2:18 PM, PDT
I am floored at the number of people that are checking the me chills to think all of these people are pulling for Dillon!

Today I got new from Holly that is kind of frustrating for Dillon and his family. Dillon was feeling more sensations around his stomach area and yesterday that feeling went away. The numbness feeling that he has been having started moving it way up into his chest area. This hasn't been explained this all of a sudden happened. There are several reasons this may be happening, one the pevic surgeon said can be fairly common. Sometimes when the nerves in the back are healing it can have a 'yo yo' type they thought it may be temporary.

Other reasons are beyond my medical knowledge so I won't attempt to try and explain what I "think" they may be. One step foward and two back...but doesn't mean that those sensations in his stomach will not come back. There may be more swelling on the spine putting pressure on the nerves along the spinal cord. He was put on a few steroids and other medications I can't recall and they are searching every MRI, CAT scan and I think they talked about doing an endoscopy as well. He has a team of people working on fixing this situation as soon as they are able.

Holly said Dillion is a trooper and is fighting along with everything that comes up!He has been sitting up a little more everyday and been doing every bit of therapy that he has been expected to do. Please continue to pray and send well wishes. Although this may seem like a huge set back lets pray this is just another step along his incredible road to recovery!

The donations and overwhelming amount of volunteers for the spaghetti feed and auction is awesome. Please let me know via email if you would like to do something to help, or have something to donate...thank you!

8-31-2010 Morning
We got word from Dillon's grandmother that he has had a few small set-backs. The biggest one is that he now doesn't seem to have feeling below his navel. That's a little higher than before. He's also experiencing some pain in his armpit.

A new MRI has been ordered and that has probably already been done. It's still way too early in the healing process to have a handle on this, but any new problems are a strain on everyone.

Please continue to keep Dillon in your prayers. Pray also for the family as they have to move from "sprint" to "marathon" mode to stand beside him during this time.

This is Melissa again, I got to talk to Holly today to get an update on Dillon. He is getting these messages and the ones emailed to the Harborview email keep them coming! The whole family appreciates all of the love and support being given to them during this stressful time.

Today was a HUGE today for Dillon! He was unhooked from all of the tubes and wires today...and was officially moved out of the Intensive Care Unit! Hooray! :) He is being moved form side to side to make sure the body doesn't get to stiff sitting in one position. Today he also got to sit up for the first time. This makes him very dizzy right now so he is only able to sit up for a minute or so at a time. The time will increase everyday as to help gain his mobility back. He is still coping with the pain and is on round the clock medicine for comfort. Dillon has been able to eat and drink little bits at a time too.

After the surgery the other day the surgeon himself came out to talk to Holly and Todd and explained everything about the surgery. He even drew a whole picture of the operation on a white pillow case! He explained what pins were put where, in what breaks, and where the plates were placed. It sounded like the surgeon took great care in explaining everything he did during surgery. This was the top pelvis surgeon in the country operating on Dillon too! What a blessing for that...and the surgeon seemed very hopeful that Dillon would be mobile again with therapy.

They are estimating Dillon being moved to Seattle Children's Hospital by the middle to end of next week. It will take about 6 weeks total for the pelvis to even heal. During this time Dillon will be doing lots of therapy teaching his body how to move again after the trauma. His stay at Children's has been estimated to be between 4-6 in one aspect he has a long journey...but at the same time this is faster than most adults are able to heal. Being 16 years old has its perks here! The body is able to heal and regenerate itself a lot faster at this age (as compared to mine!)

I will be updating this website as much as I can when I find out new information. The family will take over at a later date when things slow down a lot more in the hospital~ Planning for the Spaghetti feed on September 12th from 4-7 pm at the fair grounds is coming along! Thank you so much for continuing to offer help...all donations for the silent auction are appreciated! This will be a great and fun event in honor of Dillon.

Wednesday Night Update.....

I visited with the family today. You could say I visited with Dillon too, but after about 5 hours of surgery:

1. All he really wanted to do was sleep; and,

2. He will have no recollection I (or probably anyone else) was there.

Surgery went well. He was lucky to have a amazingly qualified surgeon do the surgery to repair his broken pelvis. 13 pins and two plates later it was done and the doctor felt good about how things went.

He told the family that the normal recovery time for this kind of surgery is six weeks of mostly bed rest, followed by six weeks for physical therapy. However, that doesn’t account the spinal injury, the extent of which is still unknown.

Eventually, Dillon will probably be moved to Seattle Children’s Hospital for the therapy portion.

Keep the prayers going. This is just the first step on a long road.