November 2, 2010
It is with heavy heart that I write that Gina, my wife of 24 years, mother to my 3 children passed away last night. The kids and I were with her as well as our family.
Gina's time on this earth was short but filled with joy. She has a special relationship with all those she touched. A relationship that is filled with memories and could never be taken away.
October 6, 2010
22 months. You don't know how strong you are until you have to be strong!
August 20, 2010
Summer 2010 is over! Kids are getting back to school and starting their new adventures. August also holds a couple of important dates. It marks the 24th anniversary of our wedding as well as the 12th anniversary of Gina making Sergeant.
There is little else to report, thank you for keeping us all in your thoughts and prayers.
May 15, 2010
Gina continues to fight the infection and it's side effects. She is back at he nursing home, being treated bedside and is resting comfortably.
Thank you or your continued thoughts and prayers. I am still amazed at the friends, who I have lost touch with over the years, contacting me to offer support...Thank You!
April 10, 2010
Gina was taken back to the hospital yesterday afternoon. A new infection has cropped up. She is resting comfortably.
Again, Gina is in a weakened state and I ask that you please respect my wishes for no visitors in the hospital at this time.
March 6, 2010
Fifteen months today! Time crawls by at a fast pace. Gina remains in the extended care facility where she does not appear to be in any pain or discomfort.
Thank you for the continued thoughts and prayers.
February 18, 2010
We are well past the one year mark. Gina appears to be resting comfortably and does not appear to be in any pain. We were fortunate enough to be able to bring Gina home for a few hours to celebrate Christmas day. The kids and I enjoyed some private time with her and were later joined by the rest of our family for our first Christmas together since 2007.
You never know where inspiration will come from. This fall I was one of the chaperones for our churches mission trip to Biloxi. There is still a lot of work to be done in the area as a result of hurricane Katrina. Our oldest and youngest made the trip and us very proud. (We are also proud of the middle guy; he passed his test on staying home alone for an extended period) Several members of team Bob-O returned and we added some new ones. This year we worked on the house of an elderly couple. They are both deeply devout in their religion and wanted to introduce their ‘Family from Chicago’ to their church members. On Thursday morning we attended mass with the wife and were introduced to the other parishioners as well as the pastor. The church was a simple room, brightly painted with chairs lined up in an assembly hall fashion. She carefully told us the stories of the numerous artifacts and prized processions that survived hurricane Katrina. During our group’s final reflection on Saturday night, one of our team related the story about the church. She had expected marble, beautiful woods and statues as found in our church. She commented that she came to realize that the church was not about the building but the people inside. She went on to tell the group how our host introduced us to each member in her parish and beamed with each introduction. I have carried that sentiment to Gina’s room. It is decorated with photos of friends and family, our nieces and nephews contributed art work to adorn the walls. At Christmas time, Gina's sister Mary brought in a Christmas tree and I brought in a St Nicholas figure to stand guard on her windowsill. My gift to Gina this Christmas is a simple plaque with the words…God Bless this Home.
October 28, 2009
Gina was taken back to the hospital Thursday evening. Some of the infections have returned and the possibility of a new one cropped up. She is resting comfortably in a room with isolation precautions.
Gina is in a weakened state and I ask that you please respect my wishes for no visitors in the hospital at this time.
September 7, 2009
On Saturday night, Gina was taken to a local hospital because of a spike in her temperature. She responded to Tylenol and her temperature dropped to an elevated but controllable level. One infection has returned and she is being tested for a second.
She is resting comfortably and appears to be in minimal discomfort.
July 16, 2009
The turnout at the benefit was unbelievable. Over 1600 people attended and many more contributed. It is apparent that Gina and our family have touched the lives of many. The outpouring of support was something I will not soon forget and it was an important life lesson that we will carry with us.
Thank you again to those who were with us that day in body, mind or spirit. Also continued thanks to those, too numerous to mention, who made the day possible.
June 15, 2009
Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers. We have been blessed to have so many people share their concern for Gina and our family. Gina is currently in an extended care facility where she remains in a minimally conscious state, we pray every day for her full recovery. It is evident that she will require long term care for an indefinite period of time.
April 18, 2009
Gina has responded to respiratory therapy to the point that the doctor has removed her tracheotomy. She should be breathing on her own by early next week. She also continues to show progress in the other therapies.
Continued thanks to the steady flow of flowers, food and support. A special “thank you” to Bernie and Mike for holding the pilgrimage, and for those who attended. It was truly a fulfilling and moving week. Thanks also to Carl and the group from 005.
Bob & the kids
March 24, 2009
Gina was discharged from the hospital to a local nursing facility early last week. She will be on antibiotics for about ten days until a lingering infection clears. The current challenge is to keep her healthy and out of the hospital which will give her brain a chance to rest and heal.
March 6, 2009
On Monday, Gina was taken to a local hospital because of a spike in her pulse and temperature. One infection has returned and a new one has cropped up. She responded to antibiotics and within a few hours her vitals returned to normal. She is resting comfortably.
February 15, 2009
Gina is now at an extended care facility closer to home. She is in an isolation room because she is vulnerable to infection.
In order for Gina to remain on the acute care floor she is required to receive a minimum of 3 hours therapy a day with notable improvement. I will be meeting with the doctors and therapists on Monday to chart her course.
In spite of her recent setback, I believe she can reach this goal within a short time.
February 12, 2009
Gina remains in the hospital partly because she requires an isolation room at the rehab facility. She has what the doctor’s have referred to as an “opportunistic infection". She is in an isolation room to protect both her and other patients.
Gina also continues to battle a fever. The reoccurrence and unknown source of the fever are an ongoing concern. Doctors are monitoring the fever and keeping it under control with Tylenol.
I have discussed with her doctors what Gina’s options are for therapy. When she was at the rehab facility she received 3 - 4.5 hours of therapy each day. Since her recent hospitalization she only receives about 30 minutes of therapy a day. We understand the decrease in therapy time because they are focused on getting her healthy. However, it is a significant difference and we want Gina to continue making progress at any opportunity when her fever is down and she is alert and responsive.
We ask God to give Gina the strength she needs to overcome this recent setback so that she may continue making progress.
Thank you for your prayers.
February 1, 2009
Gina had a small set back on Thursday night when she was admitted to the hospital’s infectious disease ward. Because the signs of her condition are confusing, her doctors are still not absolutely certain what she has. However, they have determined that she is not contagious and she was moved to a regular floor yesterday.
Outside of this recent event, Gina’s speech therapy is going well.
January 24, 2009
Gina has been back in rehab for one week now. There are still some remnants of pneumonia, however, her health is improving daily. Her therapy sessions were increased throughout the week and by Friday she was up to 4.5 hours.
Her therapists have been pleased with her progress and her doctors are monitoring her sleep patterns to make sure that she receives therapy when she is most alert. This will ensure that she gets the maximum benefit from her daily exercises.
Visitors are still limited to her immediate family only until her doctors say that she is clear of the pneumonia and other respiratory infections.
Thank you for your prayers and understanding.
January 20, 2009
A recent test found that Gina's pneumonia is not completely gone. She is still on antibiotics and does not appear to be in any pain. Because of her precarious health, visitors are limited to immediate family only.
Thank you for your understanding. Please keep Gina in your prayers.
January 19, 2009
Gina continues to be treated and is making progress fending off the pneumonia and other infections. She has been transferred back to the rehab facility. We are anxious to see her response to the physical therapies.
January 14, 2009
Gina is still in the hospital. She is battling pneumonia and other infections causing her to run a fever. She will remain at Northwestern until doctors are confident that she can be moved; hopefully back to the rehab facility.
While Gina is in the hospital, we ask that visitors hold off until we are able to get her well and back to a rehab facility.
Thank you for your prayers and understanding.
January 12, 2009
Last night Gina was taken to the emergency room. She has pneumonia and possibly a secondary infection. She is currently in their intensive care unit and is in critical but stable condition.
She had been making progress last week, as you can read in our updates below. We think that the fatigue we saw over the weekend was a signal that she was starting to fight off these infections.
We pray that this is a temporary set back and we ask you to please pray for her to fight this infection so that she may return to rehab and continue on her path to recovery.
January 11, 2009
Things have returned to some sense of normalcy now that everyone is back at school and I am back to work. Trips to the rehab facility have become part of our daily routine. During these visits and in her therapy sessions, Gina’s sisters and I are learning how to care for her once she is ready to return home.
Gina has a busy day. She works with 3 – 4 therapists per day on speech, physical and occupational therapies. Her favorite seems to be physical therapy; she’s getting back to the gym, one of her favorite places. We see her getting a little bit stronger every day but by the end of the day you can tell that she is tired.
Gina’s therapy sessions are vital to her recovery and it is very important for us to be able to learn how to care for her until she is up and about. Please be mindful that the therapists discourage Gina from having visitors during these daily sessions. This allows Gina to get the maximum benefit of therapy and allows us to learn the tools needed to assist her. The sessions are typically over and she is back in her room by 4:00 PM.
The support from all of our friends and families continues to be overwhelming. We want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers.
Bob & Family
Week of January 5, 2009
Gina started out with 2 hours of therapy this week and is working her way up to 4 hours a day. Going forward, her family will begin a rotating schedule to be there for her various therapy sessions. These therapy sessions are important because these are the skills the family will need to care for her when she returns home. Gina’s parents were also in to visit and work with her on Friday. She worked very hard and it showed. By the end of the day on Friday, she looked very tired.
On at least two occasions, we observed what appeared to be some real attempts at verbal communication. Unfortunately, these attempts have not been consistent. Also, she seems to recognize the familiar voices of her family. We are constantly working with her to get her to communicate more consistently.
Prayers are still needed for Gina’s recovery. Specifically, in getting her to communicate more regularly with us. Thank you for keeping her in your prayers.
January 2, 2009
Life is starting to return to normal. I am back at work today, our daughter leaves for college Sunday and the boys start back at high school Monday.
Gina is described as minimally conscience. At points she is just leaving the coma then slips back in. The doctor has her on an aggressive drug therapy to get her out of the coma. She could be moving to an aggressive rehab facility where she will continue the drugs and get more intense physical therapy. The physical part will be3 – 8 hours per day. Their mission is to get her home in 2 – 4 weeks.
The other night she recognized my voice then moved her eyes and slightly turned her head to look at my Mom. I had the family on the speakerphone to keep her moving. When I got our kids on the phone her eyesdarted around as if to look for them.
December 27, 2008
Earlier this week, Gina was moved to an acute care facility where she is receiving excellent care and aggressive therapy. She is being evaluated on a daily basis by a team of neurologists and we expect to have a report on the status of her condition in early January 2009.October 26, 2009