July 12, 2019
As I write this update, it has been nearly eleven days since the accident. I spend most nights at the hospital, sleeping in snatches in the ICU by Kristian’s bed. That’s where I am right now, watching my wife sleep and make slow, steady progress toward recovery. Some days I do struggle waking up, knowing that we have to be strong and meet the challenges that our family faces. But we don’t do it alone.
I want to thank the Creator for small miracles.
Thankfully, August has already been released from the pediatric ICU, and is now home, smiling, babbling, and pooping like his normal self again. I thank all of the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends that have warmed bottles, changed diapers, pushed strollers, installed car seats, and otherwise helped keep his world bright and constant. Whenever I see him, I see a bit more of Kristian, and it gives me that much more hope and purpose.
Kristian is still in the neurotrauma ICU, healing her body and her mind. While she is still in a coma, she has been meeting and passing all the benchmarks set out before someone in as deep of a coma as she is. She has been making deliberate motions with her left hand, grasping and reaching for objects and stimuli. She has responded to her neurological examinations with strength and intention. As Kristian always has in all things, she impresses me daily with her achievements. She aced her spontaneous breath trials, initiating her own breathing and leading to a successful tracheotomy, removing both the ventilator and feeding tubes from her mouth. Shortly after that surgery, she opened her eyes for the first time, and has done so on repeat occasions, which meets yet another expectation for recovery.
Recent results of a second MRI scan indicate that anoxia, a worst case scenario, did not occur. While this doesn’t change much in the way of prognosis, it helps us all feel relieved of the complications that can result from the brain experiencing even a brief anoxic moment. Additionally, the areas of the brain most affected by her accident, while extremely significant and delicate, are not the most crucial and critical processing regions, which yields a bit more optimism.
Kristian’s healing is ultimately in the hands of the Creator, the medical staff, and herself. It is for this reason that I can be confident that at the right time, she will come back to us, fully healed.
For me, any hour that I don’t cry is still a good hour. I’ve been able to string more of those hours together into better days, and for that much, I’m grateful.
There is so much further to go. I want to ask the Creator for healing, for wisdom, and for patience.
I continue to ask for support. A burden of this magnitude is only made lighter by the shoulders of many. Through her tangibly infectious spirit, Kristian’s village is a sprawling network of friends and family who I am learning to lean on in this difficult time.
People have already been generously giving their prayers, funds, and even their own breastmilk to our family. We ask for more of all three, and for people to continue to support BLK+GRN, Kristian’s amazing business.
Together, we will rise.
- Jason Edwards
July 3, 2019
I guess I should start at the beginning.
On July 1st, around 1 pm, Kristian, August, and I were involved in an auto accident. While I was driving in the left lane on I-95, a driver merged into our lane without looking, pushing us through the guardrail and into the median. While much of the events in those short seconds are a blur, I can remember a few things. I remember honking my horn as she moved into our lane. I remember hearing glass shatter and metal tear. I remember hearing August cry, reaching through his broken window and pulling him from his car seat. I remember screaming for anyone to help and call 911. I remember yelling Kristian's name at the top of my lungs. I remember the other driver approaching me, while I stood there holding August, saying that she didn't see our car. I remember waiting for Kristian to be pulled from her seat as others crowded around to save her life.
Our car was totaled. August and Kristian were both taken to separate hospitals, Kristian being airlifted via helicopter to a shock trauma center while I rode with August in an ambulance to a pediatric ICU. I can't begin to describe the feelings and thoughts that I had and have had since. This entire ordeal has felt like a nightmare I can't wake up from.
In the midst of this whirlwind of emotions, I called on our family, who notified our friends, gathering and springing into action, becoming more of a support than I could have ever anticipated, despite their own grief.
August suffered several broken ribs, along with a subdural hematoma, which is bleeding on the brain. Kristian also suffered fractures and lacerations, but the most severe of her injuries was also a subdural hematoma, which placed her in critical condition.
August has progressed very well. He's such a strong little guy, and I couldn't be prouder of him. As I write this a few days after the accident, he is to be moved out of the ICU, and will likely be discharged fully by the end of the week.
Kristian's journey is going to be much longer, but I'm no less proud of her progress already. Traumatic brain injuries are a difficult category of injury, with a long recovery process and unclear prognoses. However, everyone who knows my wife knows what kind of a persistent and persevering force of nature she is, and we're counting on this quality of hers to help her pull through the work she will have to do to make a full recovery. Although she is currently comatose, she has already made amazing strides in just these few days, responding to stimuli and moving her limbs.
I walked away from the crash with only cuts and bruises, which has led to a burden of guilt that I've been dealing with constantly. I am already grateful to those who I've been able to lean on to help me as a new father, in their watchful care of August. I spend each day and night with Kristian as a new husband, striving to be the partner that she needs as she recuperates. As a family, we covet your thoughts and prayers, and any support for our long road ahead that you would like to lend is greatly appreciated.
If you would like to share any encouraging words, you may do so through this site. If you would like to donate to our family or support Kristian's business, BLK+GRN, there are also links to direct you how to do so through this site.
For those who pray, please do so fervently and earnestly. Our Creator is a force that wields power that we as humans cannot begin to fathom. We ask for access to this healing power in its fullest bounty.
We are grateful to all those who have already reached out, with their words, actions, and resources.
Before the crash, we had much to celebrate. Amongst these were our new marriage, our new baby, my new job, and our new house, to be closed on just ten days after our accident. While this timing feels excruciatingly painful, we look forward to rejoicing again with you soon.
- Jason Edwards