Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Pretty in purple

Hi everyone! John again. Kayla is working on getting her strength up in her hand so she can type!

The BEST news of the day is that Kayla has not had a seizure for 30 hours! This is the longest she has gone in some time and a great sign moving forward. 

Highlights from today include: 

- Her many visitors (mentioned below) making her smile and perk up immediately

- Her motor skills test is fun!

- Dr. Gilliam's reaction when Kayla told him that she will name her new puppy after him was great. Her name will be Gilly!

- A milkshake from Chocolate World courtesy of her Uncle Bill and cousin Olivia

- She ate two chicken fingers, some soup, and a Gatorade for lunch in addition to that milkshake. We are happy to see her appetite back!

Today was a little tougher than yesterday for Kayla because the local anesthesia in her head wore off overnight. As a result, she felt more pain than yesterday and has had trouble putting together sentences and thinking of words. This is probably caused by the swelling and is not uncommon. Kayla wants you all to know that she is doing great despite the uncertainty of what comes next with the biopsy results.

Kayla slept for most of the morning except for when she had visits from her neurosurgeon, Dr. Sather, and her neurologist, Dr. Gilliam. Those two echoed what her anesthesiologist said last night, which is that Kayla was amazing during surgery. Each spent over 30 minutes with us, leaving Kayla's parents and I with a number of words to Google when we get home but ultimately feeling informed and prepared. 

She also had two occupational therapists visit in the afternoon. They took her for a spin around the wing and she did great, even climbing up and down a flight of steps!

Kayla is in AMAZING hands here! From the staff and nurses to her team of doctors, there has been no shortage of communication, expertise, and genuine care for her. Thank you, Penn State Hershey!

Kayla's support system continues to amaze. Her visitors today included her Uncle Bill and cousin Olivia and her friends from Penn State, Rachel and Tommy. Just like when she danced in THON in February, Kayla lights up whenever she gets a new visitor. She also read at least a dozen messages and wants you all to know again how much she appreciates your support!

It looks like Kayla will be discharged tomorrow after a few more visits from family and friends. She will also have a speech therapist come by to work with her on word selection. More tomorrow evening!


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Chillin in the ICU

Hi everyone! It's John typing for Kayla. She wants you all to know that she really appreciates your prayers and best wishes and should be able to type on her own soon.

Kayla had surgery yesterday morning to remove the tumor in the left parietal lobe of her brain. She went in around 7:30am and the procedure was completed around 2pm. They removed the entire tumor and a small amount of surrounding tissue. The biopsy results on what it contains will come back next week.

Kayla was awake for the entire procedure so that the doctors could make sure her motor skills and language were not being affected. She talked to the doctors about her brother Peter and his girlfriend Lauren, what rides she rode during her day at Hershey Park, and Dunkin Donuts! After the procedure she was among the most "chipper" (in her words) patients they had seen, which is no surprise to anyone who knows Kayla. She is looking forward to learning more details about her procedure from her doctor - what else would you expect from a biology major?

Kayla had 15 visitors in Hershey yesterday! Luckily, the waiting room is large and she was able to see most of them while in the ICU. She cracked jokes, as always, and continued to spread her amazingly positive attitude!

Today, Kayla has been resting and was just moved to a different part of the ICU. She has regained a lot of strength in her right arm and hand. Unfortunately, the seizures have continued, though this is not uncommon as they can sometimes continue for a short time after surgery. Her medicine has helped though! She is looking at a return home by the end of the week.

I can't tell you how much everyone's support has meant. Kayla is looking forward to typing her next blog update soon.



Sunday, August 11, 2013


The big day is tomorrow! We have to be there at 5:30AM and then surgery can happen anytime after that! It'll be a hectic day. There will definitely be a big update on Tuesday, but we will try to figure out a plan for an update tomorrow also! Thank you for your prayers and kindness <3