Joel came out of surgery about 3 p.m. Thursday. The spinal surgeon said the surgery went very well. Doctors put two rods and 12 screws have been put into his body, and there was no leakage of spinal fluid or severe bleeding. He is recovering in the Intensive Care Unit, but still has a breathing tube into his body. The tube is not expected to removed until either late tonight or sometime Friday. Everyone here at the hospital let out of sigh of relief and are awaiting the next step of his recovery. We are hoping for the best. We hope you are too!
Just another couple of points from me, Bryan, Joel’s older brother. The surgeon had a smile on his face when he came in to talk to us. That was a first. He is a very matter-of-fact kind of guy. The smile meant good things happened in the surgery. He saw everything he expected and actually said it went very well.
“Better than expected,” were his words.
He said Joel’s spinal cord is in good alignment. Joel will be sitting up at a 20-degree angle tonight and he will continue to get better. The screws and rods will be in his back for good. The doctor was in real good spirits, and I took that as an excellent sign. As far as improvement and sensation: if he got some back right away, that would be great, but he doesn’t expect that at this point. I’m hoping we’ll be able to watch the Bronco game on Sunday and maybe he can start taking calls. Please keep up the good words and writing. I want Joel to have plenty to read when he can.