We just got off the phone with Seth Wiggins for our daily update (8pm our time, 10am SA time). Here's a summary -- and it's a good one:
1. At the time of our call, physiotherapists were in the room with Seth helping him to move his arms and legs. His strength is returning and Seth W. said that today Seth S. squeezed his hand so hard it actually hurt Seth W. A really good sign, in fact, Seth W. said it was like a "climber's" grip.
2. He's in a new "Miami Brace" which is much more comfortable and allows him to eat more easily and to move more comfortably. He'd eaten a good breakfast and loved it, he's very hungry and is happier.
3. His sarcastic humor has returned. Seth W. said he has been very very funny.
4. Dr. Van Heerden and those assisting him have unitedly agreed that Seth does not need surgery at this time because the vertebrae are "stable". If they weren't they would be following a different course. In that regard, the Dr. did say that in the future he will most likely need surgery to repair disks in C-4, 5, 6 and probable fusion which would likely include a small loss of movement -- maybe 10 percent. Perhaps this would occur in the coming weeks when the swelling has subsided. He's midway in a 7-10 day regimen of steroids to reduce the swelling. There is no reason to expect that the surgery which may lay ahead will cause regression but only facilitate the upward climb.
5. A major highlight was the news that Katie's insurance was flying her to South Africa for further treatment and she will be in the same hospital as Seth. Caroline and kids will also be arriving within the day. This is the best news of all and the family will finally be back together again. Combine that with Matt's arrival on Friday and David Raynor's (Caroline's brother) pending arrival in the future, things are looking brighter.
6. In a time of reflection on the terrible situation and the many challenges ahead, Seth W. was helping Seth S. see just how incredible the progress has been. He said; "Sometimes you have to look backward to see progress -- there is such a large improvement!" For example, a few days ago when someone touched Seth's shoulders, he would cry out in pain (from nerve trauma), but now he just winces and says: "that hurts." He's talking, moving legs and arms, eating, joking, and all that in a matter of 5 days.
7. The local LDS Church organization has also been fully engaged and that will be increasingly important in the future as needs arise.
All in all, we feel so grateful for how things are going and for the blessings that have preserved the lives of our families. We are aware of the hundreds of prayers and well wishes and offers for help. Thanks so much to all.
Love - Annie & Tom