Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Richard's parents, Mack's grandparents

Irene Lackey and Paul Manor on their wedding day. They lived in Patrick County, near Martinsville, Virginia and were married there. Later on, they moved to Hopewell, Virginia, purchased the house on 14th Avenue and raised four children there. The oldest is Gloria Kim Manor (Grubb), next is Richard McClellan Manor, then Thomas Henry Manor and Carol Susan Manor (Bennett) is the youngest. Paul Manor was Captain and also Chief of the Hopewell Fire Department. Irene Manor drove a school bus for Hopewell City Schools for several years.

Paul Manor passed away in the early 1980's and Irene Manor passed away in August 8, 2003.

It just so happened that Mack's accident was also on August 8, 2006.

The doctors discovered today and diagnosed that Mack has MRSA, which is an organism (Staphylococcus aureus) found in many individuals skin and seems to cause no major problems in most cases. Mack will be moved into an isolation room within Neuro Science ICU until this can be cleared up. They're giving him antibiotics for this infection and it may be why his temperature is still at 101 F. Mack is also getting medication to help clear up the congestion and excess secretions in his chest. Along with MRSA, Mack also has Thrush mouth, a kind of yeast infection which develops as a result of all the antibiotics he's received for the past 3 weeks.
Because of his fever, Mack has been less active than he was in the days before the fever started again.

Recently, the family was told that we can expect to be on a "roller-coaster" for a while, because Mack will have some good days and then, he will have set-backs. We're keeping the faith, hoping and praying that he will continue to make progress and that he will regain conciousness again soon.

Mawmaw's (my Mom's) birthday is tomorrow, August 31st. She'll be 74 years young. If you know her, please call her and wish her a Happy Birthday. That would mean a lot to her. She also has e-mail - her address is if you'd like to send her a birthday wish that way.

That's all for tonight!

Love to all,
Ruth & Richard

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Belinda and her brother, Steven, together at our house before he went to Iraq last September.

Steven is due to come home from Iraq around September 8th, which isn't too long from now.
We hope and pray that he comes home safe and sound again. This is Steven's third trip to the middle East. The first time he went to Afghanistan, the second and third time, he went to Iraq. We hope he gets to stay home on US soil for quite a while this time around.

Yesterday, the doctor removed the right chest tube from Mack. Then, last night Mack was moved to the 11th floor from ICU, but was moved back to Neuro Science ICU again this afternoon. He was running a fever of 103+ and coughing, which means that he still has some pneumonia symptoms and an infection in his right shoulder for ICU to take care of.

Richard said that Mack moved his LEFT hand and leg on his own late last night, which he hasn't done before. He also moved his head to the right, instead of the left on his own and his eyes were open and acting like they were looking around, trying to focus. Mack has started having spasms in his arms and legs at times, which the nurse called "Clonus". They're not sure what is causing them, but it could be a reflex action.

Today marks three weeks that Mack has been in a coma and in ICU. However, he has shown little signs of improvement each day since August 8, thanks to all of your good thoughts and prayers. God bless everyone who has been keeping him in your prayers each day. We couldn't do it alone without all this support. Thanks for being there for us and the rest of the family.

Much love,
Ruth & Richard

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Jason and Mack at the beach a couple of years ago.

Jason brought several of his pictures for me to scan into Mack's picture album so that he can see them when he wakes up and knows what's going on.

Here is the whole gang that went to the beach.

Jason, you're going to have to place a comment at the end of this blog to tell us where and when these pictures were taken.

Jason has been traveling from North Carolina, where he lives, up to Virginia to see Mack every weekend since Mack has been in the hospital. Mack and Jason have been best friends since their Junior High School days in Chester. Jason and his family lived a couple of blocks away from our house in Cameron Run. Richard and I "adopted" Jason since he was at our house a good bit of the time. After Jason graduated, he went on to become a professional soccer player, who played and lived in Iceland for a little while, until his knee was injured severely.

Today, Mack has been running a slight fever. He seemed a little tired this afternoon when Richard and I went to see him. Other than that, there wasn't much change today.

Mack did open his eyes a little when I talked to him and told him that I was going to make him an Elvis CD for him to listen to. Actually, Mack knows that Mawmaw likes Elvis a lot, so he really didn't mind listening to him, although he'd may not admit it 'cause it isn't kool. Mawmaw has in her living room, an Elvis plate collection in a plate rack that plays Elvis music, which Mack likes. This evening I burned an Elvis CD and I also made him a country music CD of songs that I know he likes. Richard is taking those up to the hospital to him tomorrow. I think those CDs should keep Mack's interest for a little while.

(copy and paste each of these to your web address if they don't automatically take you there. )

Please help us keep up the faith, hope and prayers,
Ruth & Richard

Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday, August 25, 2006

In the center is the silk flower arrangement and Get Well balloon that Julia and Steven Morales sent to Mack. They are on the table at the entrance into the Neuro-Science ICU so that everyone can enjoy them. Unfortunately, there is no place in Mack's ICU cube where flowers can be placed, but I promise that they will go with him when he gets moved into a regular hospital room - which should be soon.

Yesterday I went up to visit Mack around noon and he had just come out from surgery. They placed the trach into his throat and a feeding tube into his stomach, then took away the respiratory and feeding tubes from his mouth. You have no idea what a difference that made to how much better he looks now. While Jenny and I were there, Mack's team of trauma doctors came by to check on him - post surgery. When they stopped, Mack was still asleep from the anesthesia; then they started discussing Mack's situation over with his nurse, Jim. Jenny and I tried to listen to what was being said, but they talked so low we couldn't make it out. When the group moved on to the next patient, I asked Jim if he would share with me what they just discussed. He said that Mack's white blood cell count was a little high, but they thought that was a result of the surgery. He also said that the surgery went well and that the blood clot in his right leg had dissolved on its own. While this discussion took place as Jim was on my left, I looked over to my right where Jenny was standing to ask her a question and realized that Mack's eyes were WIDE OPEN. He had a blank stare, but his eyes hadn't been open that far before in my presence.

Today, on Friday, August 25th, Mack's Glasgow coma scale has been elevated to a 9; he was at a 3 when he was admitted on August 8th. The top of the Glasgow scale is 15, and the bottom is 3, so he's gone over half-way to where he needs to be! Please keep the prayers going for Mack so that he can continue to improve.

According to Jim the plan or next step is to take the right chest tube out within the next couple of days and monitor Mack's progress for a little longer before they move him from the Neuro-Science ICU to another floor and his own room. That may happen sometime next week. I'll keep everyone posted if he gets moved and where they move him to.

For our friends in Myrtle Beach (Terrie, Jeff, Kris and Stephanie), we want you to know that we love and miss you all. We will do our best to come down next spring, as long as everything has settled down by then.

Love to all,
Ruth & Richard

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Wednesday, August 23, 2006 - Surgery Tomorrow!

I was so surprised to see this beautiful water lilly blooming in our pond in the back yard last summer, I had to take a picture of it. It had pale yellow petals with bright yellow stamens inside. Here, in the picture, it almost looks like it's white or cream color. I've only seen one more bloom this year, but I didn't get a picture of it this time.

Mack is supposed to come off the respirator and go into surgery sometime tomorrow to have a tracheotomy done and have a feeding tube put directly into his stomach. We hope and pray that all goes well for him and that this means he is continuing to improve. Mack also has developed a blood clot in his right leg recently that the doctor may have to go in to retrieve since it hasn't dissolved with medication yet. For now, he is still under observation and medication for that problem.

We will continue to keep you all posted as we know more information.

God bless everyone!
Ruth & Richard

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Mack, at age 26, reading his birthday card from us on March 12, 2006 . He obviously got a kick out of it.

Today Mack got a radio/CD player from the hospital to listen to, and Brian and Belinda found Mack's favorite rap CD and put it on for him. Richard said, that when Mack heard it this afternoon, both of his eyes opened (more than usual) and his right hand was moving like he was trying to keep the beat to the music.

Mack's fever has been down near to where it should be for the past two days and is staying there without Advil or Tylenol's assistance. He's been moving his right hand, arm and leg more frequently, but he tires easily. We need to continue to find things to stimulate him regularly and keep his interest up. The CD did the trick today. Tell him stories about goofy stuff that happened in the past that involved him. I bet that there are at least a thousand stories among us all. If you remember a good little story, and you want to add it to the blog, please do - go ahead.

Again, we ask that you keep those prayers and positive thoughts going for Mack.
Till next time,
Ruth & Richard

August 22, 2006

The Manor Family - Christmas morning, at Irene's

Sitting - Mom, Irene

From left to right: Kim Grubb, Richard Manor, Carol Susan Bennett, and Henry Manor.

The doctors took the left chest tube out of Mack yesterday afternoon, however, the right chest tube is still in place. They also took a chest x-ray to ensure that Mack's lungs were okay afterward. The ventilator tube may be the next thing to go as long as he continues to improve.

Mack is still responding when asked to squeeze a hand if he hears them talking to him. That means he can hear most everything around him. He was a little groggy yesterday afternoon from the morphine, so his response to voices was not quite what it has been without it.

We appreciate all the prayers, phone calls, visits, cards, e-mails and flowers, as well as the help from our friends, neighbors and co-workers over the past two weeks. Without your support this would have been a much harder road for us to travel.

Love to all,

Ruth & Richard

Monday, August 21, 2006

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Richard, Mack, Belinda and I went on vacation to Myrtle Beach together in 2004. The second day, Mack went out on the beach really early in the morning and wrote I "heart" U Belinda in the sand. I had to take a picture of it from our balcony when I saw it.

Mawmaw went to the hospital to visit with Mack for the first time yesterday. Since Mom's health is fragile, I didn't think that it was a good idea to take her up there any sooner.

When she started talking to Mack, he opened his eyes a little. When she took his right hand, he held on tightly and raised his right arm up toward his face with her hand in his. It seemed that he was trying get her closer to him to hug her. I think that her visit made a big difference to him and made him happy.

Mack is still running a mild fever and is fighting infection in the right clavical wound. The MRI test that was done last week showed that the blood pools in his brain are dissolving and the MRI on his back showed that the swelling of his spinal cord has subsided. Those issues were a big concern of the doctor's last week. Everything seems to be getting better a little at a time. The next big thing we need is for Mack to come out of coma and back into the waking world. He needs your hope, faith and prayers for that to happen. We need to surround Mack with lots of positive vibes, especially when you visit him.

There are some RUMORS out there that "Mack was speeding on his bike, doing around 120 mph, when he crashed". That is NOT TRUE! According to the state police report and a witness behind him, he was doing between 50 and 60 miles per hour when he crashed. I just wanted to clear that up before the rumors got out of hand.

Thank you all for your constant prayers.

Ruth & Richard

Saturday, August 19, 2006

August 18, 2006

These are Mack and Belinda's dogs, Alex (white) and Cesar (brown). Both dogs are sweetie pies and love attention. They love to ride in the car whenever Belinda or Mack go anywhere. Alex has arthritis in his hip now, but he gets around fairly good most of the time. They're staying with us and are keeping Misty company while we're going back and forth to the hospital. All three love to romp and play in the big back yard we have and it wears them out - thank goodness. I wish I had their energy.

I apologize that I didn't write anything last night, but we had company and I was really tired after going to work early yesterday and working late. Mack is continually showing more signs that he hears us when we talk with him. He's got a really good grip in his right hand now and is showing signs of movement in his left hand as well. Remember, the brain injuries were to the right side of his head, which affects the left side of his body. He has Diffuse Axonal Injury, if you'd like to Google that to get more information.

Steven and Julia Morales, Belinda's brother and sister-in-law sent beautiful silk flowers to Mack earlier this week and I forgot to mention them in my blog - I truly apologize for the oversight.

There are several prayer groups going for Mack all over the country and we really appreciate it more than we can say. Thank You ALL from the bottom of our hearts.

Love to all,

Ruth & Richard

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Thursday, August 17, 2006

This is my Mom, Evelyn, or Maw-Maw to Mack. Mom is going to be 74 on August 31. Since Mom has been living alone since December, 1999, Mack has been going by to visit and checking on MawMaw frequently. He also does chores for her whenever she needs something done.

MawMaw wants Mack to know that she loves and misses him and wants him to heal and get better real soon. She sends her love, hugs and prayers.

Today has been interesting. Richard was talking with one of the Neuro-Surgeons at Mack's bedside this afternoon about what to expect from Mack as far as responses go. Richard mentioned to the doctor that we have seen Mack's eyes slightly open and his eyeballs move a little, and his right hand has moved, as well as his right leg. The Neuro-Surgeon thought that it might just be an automatic response and sort of dismissed these things as just something that babies do. After the doctor walked away, the nurse put her fingers near Mack's hand and Mack grabbed her fingers with his right hand. She then asked Mack to give her a thumbs up and he moved his thumb enough to indicate he heard her. The nurse thought enough of this to call the doctor back over to let him know what happened. They're now looking for repetition of Mack doing these things on command.

Wow, that's a huge step in the right direction! Keep the positive thought processes going - the vibes are reaching him!!!

Love to all,
Ruth & Richard

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

August 16, 2006

This is me and my dad, Bill - Pawpaw to Mack. Mack loved his Pawpaw from the moment they met and his Pawpaw loved him. They had a special bond between them. When his Pawpaw had the car accident in December of 1999, it was Mack who came to his rescue first and made sure that his Pawpaw was taken care of.

This morning's news is that Mack is breathing mostly on his own although he is still connected to the respirator. The respirator is acting more as a "C-Pap" machine to assist him in breathing when he needs it. That's really good news! The MRI was done this morning, but as of this evening, we haven't gotten any results. Mack's eyes still look like he's trying to open them when we talk to him. I'm pretty certain that he can hear when people talk to him. Unfortunately, the fever is still with him, but it's not getting any worse. Overall, Mack is improving a little each day - he's taking baby steps, but it's all good.

Thanks to everyone who has posted comments, prayed for Mack and his family, phoned us to check on Mack and to those of you who sent us cards. We want to thank Sherri, our next door neighbor who is taking care of our animals while we're at the hospital; Tom and Kay, our next door neighbors on the other side who cut our grass for us last Saturday; Richard's band, Southern Cross, who helps keep us sane by making us laugh a little. Thanks to everyone for your prayers, support, and words of encouragement to all of Mack's family members and friends through this difficult time!

A heavy load carried alone can be burdensome and nearly impossible, but the same heavy load carried by many seems lighter by far! Thank you for helping us carry this heavy load with your constant prayers and being there for us.

God Bless ALL Our Friends and Neighbors,
Ruth & Richard

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Richard M. Manor - or a.k.a. "Dad"

Message from Dad is:

The MRI wasn't done last night or today, however, 2 x-rays were done of Mack's chest checking the lungs for pneumonia. The doctor thought that Mack might be a candidate for a new drug to fight pneumonia, but since he is allergic to penicillin, he isn't eligible to take this new drug. So they have to try the old standard therapy of antibiotics. They want to do a CAT scan of his face by Thursday, along with the MRI they still need to do. Mack's fever has gone down a little - maybe because of the Tylenol or Advil the nurses have given him.

That's all for tonight. Please keep the prayer chain going. God hears all who call.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Monday, August 14th Update

Mack, about age 12 - with his dog, Gypsy. Her nickname was Gypsy Doodlebug. Mack and Gypsy couldn't be separated. Wherever he went, she went. Gypsy let Mack do almost anything to her that he wanted and it was okay with her. She loved listening to his music too. Unfortunately, Gypsy passed away about 4 years ago when she was 13 years old. When she died, it broke Mack's heart, and ours too, because she was the best dog ever.

This evening when we went to visit Mack, the drain tubes had been removed from his brain and it seemed that his fever was down a little bit. His nurse stated that he is supposed to have an MRI done sometime tonight, specifically on his head and back. The right foam boot was removed from his foot and it looks like he probably broke his right ankle in the accident. The good news is - it looks like he's trying to open his eyes! Both eyes were slightly open this evening. I didn't want to get my hopes up too high, but I asked him to blink if he heard me talking to him and he did blink a little bit.

The power of prayer works wonders, doesn't it? Keep it up - it's working!!!

Love to all,

Ruth & Richard

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sunday, August 13th, 2006

Mack & his best friend, Jason - age 14

Some folks asked why I named the blog "Richard Manor", although we call our son Mack. I know it gets a little confusing so I will try to explain. Richard M. Manor is Mack's dad. Mack's given name is also Richard M. Manor, but he is not a Junior, so he was never called Mack/Richard, Junior. His dad was called Mack by his Mom and siblings when I met him and his son was called Little Mack. As Little Mack grew up he chose to take on his given name of Richard with his friends, but the family dropped the "Little" and still call him Mack. I called his dad Richard from the day I met him and Little Mack has always been "Mack" to me. The middle initial of M in their names is for McClellan, which is both of their middle names, and I guess it was shortened to "Mack".

Today has been really hard for everyone. We had a conference with Mack's Neuro-Surgeon this afternoon. A CAT scan had been done recently and we wanted to know what it showed and we also had several related questions for his doctor. I took some notes, but the terminology was rather foreign to me, so I didn't get everything down exactly. Please, if anyone else in the family wants to add anything that I may have missed, please click on "comments" at the bottom of this blog and add them so that everyone will be able to read the additional comments made.

The accident caused Mack to have severe traumatic head injury, among other serious injuries. Severe traumatic head injury occurs when there is direct damage or the threat of damage to the brain. An example of direct damage to the brain would be a gunshot wound. A threat of damage would be a severe contusion which may result in a hemotoma or increased intracranial pressure. The right frontal lobe (sub-dural) of Mack's brain was injured causing hemotoma and increased intracranial pressure. This is why they placed drain tubes in his head at the onset. The most recent CAT scan shows that the brain swelling has gone down, which is an improvement. The doctor said that the drain tubes in his head will most likely be removed today since they have done their job. However, there are still scattered patches of blood and fluid in the brain. The doctor stated that there has been some cellular death of brain cells due to low blood pressure and the brain being without oxygen for a period of time right after the accident since his lungs collapsed. They don't know yet how this will affect his recovery process as time progresses. The CAT scan doesn't show any reason why Mack is still in a coma. The doctor said that there may be damage deeper than the x-rays show at this time. This week Mack has moved his right leg when the nurse is cleaning out the knee wound and has moved his arm and hand toward his mouth when they aspirate his lungs and mouth of fluid build-up. For the past two days he has been running a fever of approximately 101.8 from some type of infection. The doctors have taken a blood sample from Mack to test for the bacteria that may be causing the fever and should know the results tomorrow. At that point they will know which antibiotic to administer to fight it. Although he is in a coma, we've all seen some type of eye movement behind closed eyes, which can be a good sign. The doctors and nurses at MCV in the Neuro-Science ICU are doing all they can to take care of him. Toward the end of the conference we asked the doctor what we could do to help and she said simply, "PRAYER".

With that in mind, we ask that you please keep Mack in your prayers.

Ruth & Richard

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Pictures of Accident Site & Bike

This is Mack's bike after the accident on Tuesday, August 7th.

Here is the first brush against the Jersey wall with the blue bike at the beginning of I-295 ramp in Hopewell going north.

This is where Mack hit the Jersey wall the second time, just before he lost control of the bike completely. This was near the end of the sound barrier wall about 1/4 mile down the road from where he first hit the Jersey wall near the ramp.

This is the area where the bike landed.

This is about where the bike landed away from the sound barrier wall. Mack was lying nearer to the wall.

Richard's Accident on August 8, 2006

On Tuesday morning, August 8th, around 2:20 a.m., our son, Mack had a motorcycle accident on I-295. He was getting on the I-295 ramp in Hopewell going north. As he accellerated, his sprocket chain came off. I understand from a witness, who was behind him - and who called 911, that he held the wobbling bike on the road for a couple of minutes, then lost control, hitting the Jersey wall on his right side. The bike then went flying in one direction into a field and Mack flew into the air and hit the concrete sound barrier wall. He was going about 60 mph when this happened according to the witness. He was wearing a full-faced helmet, but no leathers for protection.

Mack was stabilized at the scene of the accident by helicopter EMTs on I -295. Once stablized, they med-flighted him to MCV in Richmond. He arrived at MCV around 4 am on Tuesday morning. Around 5 a.m. the police came to Belinda's (his girlfriend) house to tell her about the accident, then she called us to inform us of the accident.

When we arrived at MCV to see him, he was in a coma. His head has swollen to almost twice it's normal size. The main injuries the doctors are seriously concerned with right now are his brain and lung injuries. Mack also has a broken neck, broken vertebrae, multiple fractures in his right side and a broken collarbone. The road-rash is severe all over his body.

As of yesterday, Mack was slightly improving, but started running a low-grade fever, which the doctors warned us about. He is still in a coma. The doctors aren't comfortable in taking him into the OR to repair the broken bones just yet, but if he continues to improve, they will go in and repair everything at once. The doctors said the fact that he was still young (26), improves his chance of survival greatly.

The hospital will only give information of his condition to 2 immediate family members (Dad & Mom) by phone. We will do our best to keep everyone updated as much as possible, but would appreciate it if you could help us out with a phone-call chain. Whenever you get word of an update, please call and update our other friends whenever you can. Or, if you haven't had an update in a while, we apologize, but please call someone in our immediate family to get an update. If you can't reach us by phone at home, we are with him at Medical College of Virginia. We are usually up there from about 10 a.m. until 9 or 10 p.m. I know you will understand that we can't possibly make over 100 phone calls a day to update everyone we would like to update. My plan is to use this blog-site to update everyone on Mack's condition as we know it each day. I plan to update this blog each evening, if possible.

Mack has survived the first critical 72 hours, thank God; however, it will be a long road to recovery - whatever that will be. We ask that you please keep him in your daily prayers!

Love to all,
Ruth & Richard