Praying for Alex Stscherban

07 August 2012

As many of you know, Alex Stscherban is quite the amazing guy, and it is so heart warming to see such an awesome sailing community come together and send some love to our good friend, who suffered a massive heart attack last week. We are praying for you buddy and hope to see you back out on the water soon. Hang in there! Send him some Facebook love if you get the chance!

The latest via Dr. Ben & Alex’s family as of 8/11/12:

Good morning. Here’s is the latest update…

It was a tough night for Alex last night in the sense that he is getting stronger and, without being awake, he nearly bit through his breathing tube. They have him sedated again and are planning to place a tracheostomy. (a breathing tube through his neck into his windpipe so that the breathing tube doesn’t have to be in his mouth). That will definitely make it easier for him and might reduce the risk of developing another aspiration pneumonia. I suspect once the ‘trach’ is in, the sedation will be turned off for another try. Again, while he is not responsive, it is certainly a good thing that he has had no major setbacks. Fight on brother!!!

The latest via Dr. Ben & Alex’s family as of 8/15/12:

Hi folks. Here’s the latest from Alex’s dad: It’s been over 24 hours since Alex has been off of sedatives. He only recieves occasional pain kilers now as needed. His lungs look good and he is showing more activity and movements. He still does not respond to voices or commands. Physically, he appears to be out of the woods and is medically stable. It’s really just waiting for his brain function to return to normal.

For those of you that have inquired, the family has decided to allow LIMITED visitation between 4:30 and 6:00 pm daily…
From my perspective, I know that Alex’s mom and dad have felt a very strong showing of support and love. I’m worried that they have been extended by having to deal with this emotionally while trying to be good hosts to those that come to visit. I don’t get the sense that this is a great time for everyone to go to see Alex yet so I would encourage each of you to use your best discretion.

We are all thinking of you Alex!! If anyone can overcome this it is you!

Update from Alex’s dad 8/19 via Dr.Ben:

Alex still sleeps. During times he is aware of things he opens his eyes for typically 10 minutes At a time. When he is like this he is tracking movements in the room along with voices. Yesterday he had his eyes open for fifty minutes of which a half hour he had them wide open. When I walked into his room this a.m. His eyes were open (and he is somewhat aware) and I said “good morning son”, he shot me a smile.
He made my day. Still stable and he’s getting better with baby steps.

Update from 8/20 from Dr. Ben:

Here’s more information on Alex’s situation. He has been taken off of isolation as his cultures are now clear. Medically speaking it sounds like he is doing just fine and can certainly be classified as stable. His dad mentioned tonight that the family is starting to consider transferring him to a Neurological center as he continues to recover neurologically.

Here’s the latest from Dr. Ben 8/22/12:

Alex is still asleep. He is taking baby steps in his recovery and we are anxiously waiting for the next big step which is that he responds to us. We don’t know where he will end up at yet as (rehab facility ) since there is an acceptance process. Our best guess is that they will move him this Friday. The one thing we do know is that it will be out of town and kathy will be with him. Visiting hours tonight are 4:30 to 7. If those hours don’t work, let us know since someone is with him most of the day.

So glad to hear things are getting better, Alex you can do this!! What an amazingly supportive community of friends and family you have. Looking forward to these posts getting better and better!

The latest from his Dr. Ben via Alex’s  dad on 8/31/12…

I sat through one of Alex’s physical therapy sessions this a.m. This is an amazing place with patiences w different degrees of need. He is now technically in a minimal conscience state, meaning he is responding to some commands and he is aware for moments at a time. The goal is to get the moments to extend in length. This is no longer considered a coma. He’s napping now and kathy is taking a much needed break from the facility running some errands.

Alex is now in a routine of 3 sessions a day of therapy. The entire facility is set up for neurological rehabilitation and kathy says its an amazing place. He is still in a coma and continues to have moments of awareness.We have been told that they will become more frequent and are signs that he is getting better. Kathy signed a lease for a furnished 2 bedroom apartment and we are expecting that they will be in Indy for two months.Kathy is closing her store this weekend for the season and i plan on spending 1/2 of my time there as well.9/7/12 News from Alex’s Dad via Dr. Ben:Alex is moving to an uncomfortable stage of muscle spasms and the beginning of trying to figuire out what is wrong. He has yet to speak another word but he is becoming more vocal (unfortunately when he hurts). We have learned that he is still technically in a coma but it is called the minimally conscience state. He is diffinitely moving more and he pulled himself away from the back of his wheelchair today and he is holding his head up while he does it.
When sitting on the edge of the bedwhile they put him in the chair he sits up with less assistance . The Trach will probably come out in the next couple of days. Keep praying for a recovery.

9/11/12 Update from Alex’s mom Kathy:

Alex Update….Monday August 10th. We have now been at the Rehab Hospital in Indy for 2 weeks and things are moving along with Alex’s recovery. He has finished his last dose of antibiotics and had his IV taken out today. He will be getting his trach out tomorrow and what a relief that will be. He continues to have 3 hours of therapy each day and is able to follow more commands. We have learned a great deal about brain injury and recovery from the education classes we have attended at the Rehab Hospital. The journey back from an injury like Alex has can be very long…. many months to a year or two. The brain makes up 2% of the total body but requires 20% of the oxygen supply. That number goes up to 50% when you’re doing a difficult cognitive task like studying for an exam. When you have a cardiac arrest your blood pressure goes to 0 and your brain gets no blood or oxygen, within 20 seconds you’re unconscious and within 4 minutes you can have moderate to severe brain damage. Unlike a tramatic brain injury like you would have in a car accident where part of the brain is damaged but never robbed of oxygen an anoxic brain injury like Alex has affects the entire brain and is much more difficult to recover from. It’s still unclear how damaged Alex’s brain is because he has not completely come out of the coma. This process can take weeks and each day we take baby steps toward that goal. We continue to stay very positive and Alex continues to fight. Thanks again for all of your support. Kathy

9/19/12: Alex Update…..We have now been at the Rehab Hospital in Indy 3 weeks. The time has flown by and it’s hard to believe it’s really been that long. Alex continues to improve daily and able to do more and more physically. He’s getting stronger and stronger and very determined. His brain is still healing and he is still not totally awake. He is fully aware of all of his surroundings and understands everything you say to him. He can’t talk yet but does moan and tries to form words but not much comes out. He is very close to breaking through and waking up. The nursing staff thinks it could be within the next week. We’re keeping our fingers crossed. Our projected date of discharge is Oct 2nd but that could change. Thanks to everyone for all the continued support. As soon as Alex crosses that finish line and wakes up I’ll let everyone know. Kathy

Fantastic news!!!

From alex’s dad: Alex will be home on Saturday and we are looking forward to it. He is now saying several easy words like hi, bye, no and mom! He waved back at a therapist after they waved at him yesterday. He is also a lot more alert and observant and gave kathy a 1/2 hug.
Our goal will be to keep him home until he fully emerges and then we will transfer him to Chicago. keep up the prayers, they are being answered.

2 Responses

  • Ryan McCallAugust 09, 2012 at 1:09 pm 

    You got this and so does God. You will get through this buddy!
    Thinking about you big guy!

  • Marsha RansomNovember 12, 2012 at 8:08 pm 

    I don’t know you Alex, but do know your Mom, and she has been a huge influence on our daughter, who worked for her in her store in South Haven. I am sure you are getting the best of care and love from rehab and your family and so glad to see you are improving. Having a nephew who was in a coma for a long time, I can imagine very clearly what you are going through, and what your family is going through! Keep on working hard; it is worth it in the long run!

    You are having many prayers said on your behalf and I wish you all the best in your recovery. Give your Mom a hug for me!



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