Thursday, July 31, 2008

Close to Home

Belly of the Beast

First walk!

Wennie has been recovering drastically. She had another MRI yesterday and we were told that the doctors are still puzzled as to her diagnosis, they are not leaning towards one or the other. She passed another swallow test today and was able to eat (she had a slice of apple pie!). Wennie is still not able to drink water but hopefully by next week. A few days ago, doctors said that she can begin rehab in two weeks. She was insistent that she can begin earlier so she asked us to put her on a wheel chair and wheel her around as well as practice walking. Yesterday, she even tried to play basketball in her wheelchair! This afternoon, we were told that she will begin rehab on Monday! Here is a clip of her walking this morning with mom and her physical therapist. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Positive Attitude

Wennie has gotten a lot better since her first admittance into the Valley Medical Center. Today, she was excited for everything that was going on. Proud of regained ability to eat real food, she quickly scarfed down meatloaf, mashed potatoes, pureed corn and ice cream. I think she started with the ice cream. =)

The physical therapist came in and tested the strength of her limbs and commented on her fast recovery. However, the left side is still lacking enough strength for physical therapy. She can adjust the bed by herself and overall movement was much better. She seems eager to go home but understands that patience is needed. So she makes the most of her time.

Using a force expiration exercising device, she gave her lungs a thorough work out. It seems to be helping as her breathing continues to improve.

A thanks to all of you for your prayers and kind words. Wennie's improvement is a direct result of all the support everyone has given her.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Wennie is able to eat real food!

She was able to eat solid food today, however, it is limited to only soft foods, and no liquids. We will be getting her some dutch apple pie as soon as it is possible. Tomorrow is another big day for Wennie, she will be trying to walk for the first time in 3 weeks. Hopefully she is physically strong enough to do it. Keep your fingers crossed!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ventilator is Out!

Hey everybody. Sorry for the delay in posts, I had a family event I had to attend on Saturday and thought someone else would have updated the blog. We actually had really good news for you all yesterday. Wennie was able to get the breathing tube out and has been off the ventilator since mid-Saturday. She still can't eat as of yet because her doctors want to see how well her ability to swallow currently is. Occupational will be in tomorrow to check on her conditions by issuing a test to see which types of foods, ranging in different viscosity, she will be able to fully swallow without having leaks into her airway. If Wennie does well, she'll be able to eat finally!

She still only asks for immediate family to visit her for the time being, so if you're a friend and would like to visit her please check with the blog to see when her mood changes. Thank you all for your patience.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Eye Care

At about 2:35 pm today, Wennie had her eyes checked by two optometrists. The older of the two gentlemen seemed to be teaching the younger one. There was concern that residual pressure would be evident from the pressure within her brain stem. However, everything checks out. They said that Wennie's vision is perfect. She has full movement and, aside from her eye twitch and strength, she is at 100% capacity.

In other news, the family has decided to host a benefit car wash . For those interested in coming, we have set up a way to purchase vouchers for car washes. This blog has been set up with a button on the right side, just above the donate button, for anybody to purchase a voucher. "Walk-ins" are welcomed also! We are still in need of volunteers so if you'd like to help us, please contact Huy. Thanks guys!

On a side note, Wennie has been flustered by all the visitors she's had recently. So as of now she has asked for a little bit of alone time and will only see family. A heartfelt thank you for all who have came to visit her so far.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Car Wash Benefit

Hey all, we have decided to host a car wash at the Hong resident, another location in Shoreline and Bellevue as well. The event should be hosted on August 2nd. We'll have a vouchers available for purchase if you want to buy your spot in advance. A buy now button is posted above the donate button. It will be $10.00 per car. If you have questions or comments please email Huy. We also still need volunteers, so if you're available on that day please take a little time out of your day to help. Thanks everybody.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Coughing (Thursday July 24th)

Today Tim and I got to Children's at about 2:00 pm. We got into her room and Wennie was wheezing and huffing profusely. There has been a lot of mucus lately and she felt like there was a really large piece caught near the end of the ventilator tube. They had to use the suction device a total of five times while Tim and I were there. The nurse asked us to leave as they continued to try and clear her airway. She is still doing good, however Wennie is really tired today so we tried to let her just have some time to rest and recuperate. Coughing is hard work for her, with the breathing tube down her throat.

We now have a donate button added to the sidebar for those who would like to contribute that way. It is located right underneath the 'about me' section. Again we'd like to take time out and say thank you to everybody for their support throughout this. It is really amazing to see the network of friends, family, and loved ones reaching out and helping in anyway they can.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wednesday July 23rd

Good news as Huy and I got in this morning. Wennie has regained a large amount of her strength. She was able to prop both of her legs up and she was missing the leg cuffs that kept her blood circulating in her legs. They helped prevent blood clots and with her moving around, I guess they had no need for it. She also doesn't need the leg brace that prevents her ankle from hyper extending. We also got a report of the results from the panel of doctors. Although the brain tumor isn't ruled out yet, we've got two more possibilities for what is affecting Wennie. Her doctors are now considering multiple sclerosis or myelitis. We're still in the process of investigating these two different possibilities.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mixed Results (Tuesday July 22nd)

Wennie is doing very well today. The MRI results came in this morning. We expected it to be a definitive explanation for some questions we've had, however doctors told us that it was all the same. They're still not 100% certain enough to make an official diagnosis. We're still hovering on whether or not it is a brain stem glioma or a encephalitis infection. If it was the former, doctors said that she would not have gotten better at the rate that Wennie has been and the location isn't normal. If the latter, the steroids would have had a bigger impact on her status and once again the location isn't typical of an infection. We have to wait a few more days to get more details on the MRI. A panel of doctors are scheduled to discuss this case tomorrow at 12:00 pm. She was really energetic in the morning and as the day went by her energy seemed to drain like normal.

Unfortunately at about 6:00 pm today, they had to turn up some more functions of the ventilator. And Wennie is still complaining of how hot she is.

Again please email some of the bands in this post so we could possibly do a benefit concert for Wennie. Again thanks for the support of all the visitors we've had so far, people here providing family with food, and the hopes and prayers of everybody.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Doing Better (Monday July 21st)

I got into the hospital with Tim today at about noon and good news was here to greet us. Wennie is doing a lot better and the breathing machine is set to help her a lot less! Hopefully they can get the machine out soon. I really want to see her able to eat by herself. I think her airway is starting to clear up because they extend the time in between using the cough assisting machine. We've also gotten news that she is scheduled for an MRI at 3:30 pm today! I'm really excited to see how this day turns out. Thank you all for your hope.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday July 20th

Around midnight this morning, Wennie had a little scare. Her heart rate was jumping at around 200 and would not go back down until her doctors administered some medicine. This morning it happened again. At about 10:00 am she had two episodes. One lasted for 8 minutes, the other for three. I'm not too clear on the details because I wasn't here for it, but I saw her this morning at around 11:00 am and she seems a lot tired than when I saw her on Friday. Also Wennie is now hooked up to a machine that helps her expelled the phlegm that is building up in her lungs and throat every four hours. Which is unfortunate because she gets woken up at 4 in the morning as well as midnight. The machine isn't hooked up all the time though. She had a lot of energy midday today.

If you haven't already, please help us by emailing some of the bands posted here to try and get a benefit concert going for Wennie. Thanks!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Faith (Friday July 18th)

They were able to get a feeding tube into Wennie last night and today I saw some food dripping down it. We're pretty relived to see her get something in her stomach. Though my wish would be for her to be able to eat real, tangible food that she can taste, this is better than nothing. This morning, she told me that some blood was in mucus when they cleared her breathing tube. Everything is now fine though. They routinely clear out secretions from her lungs and when I was in there they only had to go in with the tube twice; a lot less than this morning. Nikki, her sister, Nikki her friend, and I read her inspirational stories from Chicken Soup for the Cancer Survivor's Soul this morning and that seemed to help strengthen her resolve. It really helps her to have people around, even if they aren't conversing with her every single second. Wennie just likes to have family and friends nearby. She seems a little more tired today, but not as bad as a couple of days before. Please, please email some of the bands in the post below. As always thanks for your support, love, and prayers.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

About Her

Hey all. Just wanted to post some links to Wennie's things.

Her deviantART account shows her artwork, mostly photography. Wennie's facebook and group we've created. Please add her and leave a comment if you can. Her current blog and myspace. Please show her some love and leave messages of hope and prayer to her.

We're looking to contact a list of her favorite bands and if possible have them come visit her. It'd be a great help if you guys were able to help us by contacting the PR for these bands. I believe having a great number of people emailing and contacting the bands will yield some results. Thanks.

Daphne Loves Derby - Manager

Tegan and Sara (MySpace) :
Brendan Bourke (Booking for World Wide)
Rick Gershon (Publicity)
Bruce Solar (US Agent for Bookings)

Boys Like Girls (MySpace) :
Cat DeFelice (Publicity)
Matt Galle (Booking)
Management

City and Color (Myspace) :
Joel Carriere (Management & Label)
Tricia Ricciuto (Management Assistant)

Built to Spill :
Rick Gershon (Publicity)

Deer and the Headlight :
Manager

The Spill Canvas (Myspace) :
Keren Poznansky (National Contact)
Individual Members :
Nick
Joe
Landon
Dan

The Next Door Neighbors

This Providence (Myspace) :
Christina (Publicity)

Thursday July 17th

Even with the ventilator tube in Wennie is even more lively than ever today. I visited her around late noon and she was moving around and requesting songs for us to sing. Wennie was moving her hands to the songs. She was also fighting with Nikki, so her energy level is a lot better. She's is absolutely glowing and looks way better than yesterday.

One thing I'm worried about is her complaining about getting food. Although I know that the doctors and nurses have her health in their best interests I still think that she should get something in her stomach. Last time she really ate was Saturday. She had a couple of bites of apple sauce the next day on the 13th.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Difficult

It has been really hard to see the metamorphosis she's undergone through this ordeal. It pains me to see her go from her jubilant, cheery personality to her current state now. Today we made some leeway but still had some setbacks. After being admitted to Children's on Monday, Wennie was being sustained on a full ventilator. Today she actually got the tube out, and although she had to have an oxygen mask over her nose, I was overjoyed in the fact that she was okay enough to get that tube out. However, at about 6:00 pm tonight they had to get her back on the ventilator. A lot of saliva was making its way down into her lungs and they were afraid she could possibly stop breathing again.

On another note, Wennie still has her sense of humor. Some hospital clowns came in and when asked who her boyfriend was she pointed to me instead of Tim (: She can communicate to us a lot better than before. Wennie, was able to ask a doctor some questions personally as she was allowed to remove the oxygen mask for a bit. We're always encouraging her and trying to keep her spirits up so she can fight this thing.

Current Situation

This blog is produced and dedicated to Wennie Hong, who, through a series of events and changes, is currently enrolled in Children's Hospital and Medical Center in Seattle. Throughout her life, she has been dedicated to the well being of others, with an emphasis on those less fortunate and now it is our turn to show that we care through support, however minute it may be.

For about 4 months now, she has been through a lot of physical ailments, including having her appendix removed, having her wisdom teeth pulled out, and food poisoning. Recently she was complaining of dizziness and nausea. Originally misdiagnosed as Vertigo, Wennie went through several accounts of visits to different doctors finally being admitted in Valley Medical Center in Renton, WA. It was Friday July 11th that I got news that it was quite possible a tumor was evident in her case. Since then her condition changed drastically, everyday she became more immobile. We eventually got her admittance into Children's Hospital where she is located currently Monday, July 14th, after she had stopped breathing on her own. Though not officially diagnosed, her doctors are 95% sure that Wennie has brainstem glioma. We're very fortunate to have a helpful panel of doctors on her case and are very happy to have had her transfer to Children's, however we still need your support and good wishes towards Wennie.