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Witness family hit by drunk driver in Illinois

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I wanted to give our sister an award for speaking up at the site regarding her refusal of blood. But the rest of it was gut wrenching. Prayers for all of you, my brother, and our family at this difficult time...

I want to age without sharp corners, and have an obedient heart!

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Monday Morning 

Journal entry by Kass Ball  4 hours ago

Everyone had a good night! Trace is in the process of being discharged and will hopefully see his mom and sister early this afternoon. 

Cynthia and Gillian are both sitting up in chairs this morning! Cynthia has an epidural pain block due to the multiple rib fractures to make breathing deeply easier, and avoid respiratory complications. The epidural has been removed, at least temporarily, while she moves around a little. All patients are allowed to eat regular food now, which is a pleasant improvement.

Gillian has been assessed by both occupational and physical therapy this morning. She was chatty and active and safe to say quickly a favorite of the therapists. You will not be surprised to find out that she has lots of therapy goals for herself already:) As she is wearing a neck collar (6 weeks on the neck collar) for the damaged vertebrae, she is not allowed to nod, shake, or turn her head. Damage to the left leg means that it is currently non weight-bearing, so she has to learn to get in and out of bed and otherwise motivate, without any weight at all on that leg, and while keeping neck immobile. Weight-bearing is allowed through the elbow (though not the forearm) on her broken left arm. Physical therapy started her using a platform walker and she took a few good steps, therapists were pleased, and therapy is done for today and Gillian is resting. The doctors have said that clinically speaking, Gillian is safe to go home. Her discharge will be a rehab waiting game as she learns how to take care of herself daily with current physical limitations. Gillian is looking forward to writing to you all herself, but for now sends her love and thanks!
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They are from Caringbridge.org  


They host an online journal.


Journal entry by Gillian Butdorf  7 hours ago

Dear Everyone,
I have been wanting to express my deepest love and gratitude to all of you and each time I read through the site my love only deepens. This is such an attestation to the truth that time and unexpected events happen to each and every one of us. While I certainly would prefer to not be in this current situation, I would never give up the blessings of the loving friends and family that I hold so dear. Being able to read through your words of encouragement has helped me to continue to endure, as each expression strengthens my faith in Jehovah as our loving Father and Creator. I miss all of you so very much and can not wait to see you soon. 
All my love,

Journal entry by Kass Ball  5 hours ago

No setbacks, just reality. Healing hurts, it really does. Pain and suffering in a hotel room. Cynthia and Trace are dealing with pain and pain management outside the hospital setting, and it’s been a difficult 20 or so hours. Chris didn’t get much sleep between the alarms set for pain meds. Trace’s ribs are broken in the back, and Cynthia’s ribs are broken in the front. It makes a difference. Trace is more comfortable lying down, and Cynthia is more comfortable sitting up. Obviously, these facts will impact both when and how Cynthia and Trace travel home. They are weighing the pros and cons of a road trip vs. a flight. And, of course, when is still a question mark.
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Journal entry by Chris Butdorf  1 hour ago

Good morning to all of our dear friends and family. It is 7:15 am here in St. Louis and Cynthia and Trace are sleeping peacefully here in the hotel room. They do a lot of that. And by the way, the staff here at the hotel knows our situation and have been so accommodating. Just super, really.

Obviously, last Friday was the low point for all of us. At 2:30 am, as I was lying helpless in an ER bed, I was told that my daughter might not live much longer without a blood transfusion. I cannot begin to tell you how difficult it was to hear that and come to grips with that possibility. A few hours later, Cynthia and I were given the same prognosis before she went in for surgery. One mistake in that sensitive area at the base of her skull could be catastrophic. That was a day of anxiety.

And now look at them! Trace and Cynthia are indeed wounded and beat up, but healing. Gillian has a long way to go, but she makes improvements every day. Praise be to our God and Father, Jehovah. And may he bless the spirit that all of you have shown towards our family. We have been and continue to be moved to tears from all of the love expressed to us. We are looking so forward to seeing all of you.

A special note to Wayne and Dillene; we are so happy to hear that things were not as bad as we had feared for Ethan. We were so looking forward to having Ethan with us for the week. I hope you will let us include him in future vacation plans. He is an excellent young man and we love having him around. I want to believe that this accident was like one-in-a-billion?

Journal entry by Kass Ball  18 hours ago

Ethan’s mom, Dillene, shared an Ethan update in a comment that everyone should get to see:

 Ethan has no broken bones! Because of all the swelling it’s been hard to get a clear view but today we found out it’s a lot of soft tissue injuries that will just take time to heal so we are happy about that. 

When Ethan left St. Louis, we knew that his foot and back were giving him a lot of pain. We’re sorry it took so long for doctors to know for sure nothing is broken, but glad to have good news today!

Journal entry by Kass Ball  2/23/2018

Such better news today than we woke up to last Friday! Our people are safe, and healing. It is highly likely that Cynthia and Trace will return with friends (road trip!) to Wooster over the weekend. All decisions are made day-by-day, but that is the intention right now. On their return to Wooster, for the time being, they will stay with friends who have a nice one-floor setup. How long Cynthia and Trace will stay, and where the family will be once Chris and Gillian are back home, remains to be decided. There are too many moving parts in this situation to make decisions in advance.

Cynthia and Trace continue to spend the majority of each day resting in the hotel, but they do get to go visit Gillian at the hospital. The location of Trace’s broken ribs make doing anything requiring an upright position much harder for him than for his mom. Walking is quite difficult. Yesterday, he tried to walk with his dad to the parking garage across the street from the hospital. It did not go well. He did make it, though. Determination!

Cynthia, on the other hand, is much more comfortable in an upright position. They have worked out a setup on the couch in the hotel room with pillows and an ottoman which keeps her relatively comfortable, both for her days and nights. Chris will arrange to have a recliner for her at their Wooster lodgings.

Gillian had an immensely uncomfortable day yesterday. Quite possibly the worst so far, and it wasn’t the broken bits. Instead, it was something we rather take for granted on a daily basis. Her bladder wasn’t waking up after that long surgery a week ago. So, using the restroom became more difficult than you might imagine. With nursing assistance however, the painful hurdle was overcome, and all systems seem go now. Gillian’s Hgb continues to move in the right direction, incrementally. Chris has been advised that this is to be expected. The trauma her body endured, and then a seven hour surgery, realistically means that even with the best red cell production support therapies, this is gonna take awhile. All of her other vital systems are working, Hgb will be the last number to tick up. What amazing healing processes were included in the human design! Fatigue will continue to be an issue until Gillian’s Hgb rebounds, so they are not attempting much therapy for the time being. Pain management is difficult for Gillian also, and not yet where doctors want it to be. Day by day. The glass abrasions on Gillian’s face look better daily. Gillian was able to tie in by phone and listen to her Wooster meeting last night!

Local St.Louis friends have lovingly filled in the couple-day gap between Ohio visitors. They have provided food, errands, laundry service, and company, so that everyone is taken care of and Chris has gotten a little rest. Thank you from Ohio!

Your offers of help are so very much appreciated, and needed! To avoid a big, messy game of telephone, please send an email to caringforbutdorfs@gmail.com with what you would like to do, a general schedule of your availability, and a mobile number for contact.

Click the link for the Butdorf GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/Butdorfcaraccident
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Journal entry by Kass Ball  2/25/2018

The eagle has landed! Cynthia and Trace were safely delivered back to Wooster by the Hillbrunner family this evening. The trip went smoothly and was not as uncomfortable for Cynthia and Trace as we feared. They are staying with friends for now and getting settled in. A convenient meal planning website is being used to schedule meals now that the first set of Butdorfs have returned. You can sign yourself up for a particular date or dates on the website, and even order a meal and have it delivered if cooking is not an option for you. You will receive reminder emails, and all necessary information is available on the site. If you have already emailed your desire to help to caringforbutdorfs@gmail.com, you will shortly receive login information for the site takethemameal.com. If you are interested in providing a meal, please email caringforbutdorfs@gmail.com and login information will be provided.

Gillian’s hemoglobin continues to rise at an encouraging rate. She had both physical and occupational therapy today, and it went well. Gillian’s release to rehab is still being evaluated day by day.

We never mentioned the incredible support for Butdorfs last week. About 30 friends from Ohio drove to St. Louis over the weekend, along with Atlanta and Florida Butdorf family. Chris’s aunt Rhonda took Ethan under her wing when he was released from ER without much more than his hospital gown. Trace’s cousin Skylar sat with him all that Friday, when much was still uncertain. Chris’s cousin Jamie made a couple trips to retrieve all of their belongings from the authorities. By last Tuesday, all out-of-town visitors had left St. Louis and St. Louis friends took over the support. More Ohio friends were in St. Louis at the end of this past week and weekend. 

While everyone is happy Cynthia and Trace are home, we have no doubt that the separation is very difficult for all. We continue to keep Chris, Cynthia, Gillian and Trace in our prayers in this new phase of their healing process.

All offers for help are being coordinated through the email caringforbutdorfs@gmail.com. Please continue to use the email to communicate your generous offers so they can be matched with needs as they arise.

Journal entry by Kass Ball  2/27/2018

Gillian has been released to a St. Louis-area rehab facility! Woo-hoo! The last hgb test came back at 5.8 the other day. Exciting progress! At this time it seems hemoglobin will be tested only once a week. Chris and Gillian just a little while ago arrived at her new place, so they don’t have any details from doctors about the therapy plan. Rehab facilities specialize in one thing, though, so Gillian is expecting the work to start tomorrow. Look at that girl, out of a hospital gown and in real clothes, even! Several have asked what can be done for Chris and Gillian while they are in St. Louis. Chris says nothing for now; they are being well-cared for.
Don’t forget to send offers of help to caringforbutdorfs@gmail.com
Many have asked to help. Click for the Butdorf GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/Butdorfcaraccident 
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