Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mark's Celebration of Life Service

Mark's celebration of Life service will be held this Saturday, June 27, 2009 at North Cleveland Church of God. The church is located at 335 11th Street NE Cleveland, TN 37311. Family will greet visitors from 1:00-2:00, with services beginning at 2:00. Please come and help us celebrate Mark's life. Saturday is also Mark's birthday. How fitting for us to gather on this day and remember the wonderful man he was.

There will also be a separate gathering to honor Mark in Knoxville on Sunday, June 28, between 2:00-6:00pm. It will be a casual gathering at Preservation Pub, located at 28 Market Square in downtown Knoxville. A time to get together and share memories of Mark.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

June 23, 2009

This is a blog entry I hoped to never have to write. After 74 days of fighting, Mark let go of life today at 11:55 A.M. CST. He went peacefully, with his loved ones by his side. We all miss Mark already more than words can ever express, but take peace in knowing he is now free of pain. And we are grateful to have had those extra weeks with him.
To Dr Guy, the nurses, therapists, and medical staff, words cannot express how grateful we are for all that you've done for Mark. You are all very special people, and we will always have a special place in our hearts for you. Many of you became like family to us over the last 10 weeks. We will never forget any of you.
You fought hard Mark. Very hard. You're marathon is over now, and we are all so proud of you. We will see you again one day. We love you, Mark!

Monday, June 22, 2009

June 22nd-Day #73

Mark is going to be started on dialysis today. The high level of medications have caused his kidneys to stop functioning. Dialysis removes the toxins that we typically are rid of by passing urine. Many times dialysis is only a temporary means until the medication can be decreased or stopped. Mark's skin grafts on his arms have taken at 70% and all areas are looking as well as or better than expected. Mark's blood pressure is responding to medications and is now within acceptable limits, and he is no longer maxed out on them. The palliative care Dr and Dr Guy remind us all of scientific facts. However, they don't know our Mark. He does remains in critical hours and needs our prayers. Next Saturday is Mark's birthday and I would like to remind everyone that Kim and the whole family remain faithful and we are celebrating each day as a hurdle crossed. As Kim put it herself "It ain't over till the fat lady sings. And she AIN'T singing." Keep the faith and please continue praying.
Mark, keep fighting with all you've got. We are all behind you every step of the way through this marathon. Feel all our energy and love and may God continue to surround you with his angels.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Mark and Stewart

June 21, Part 2

Vitals/med levels are still the same. Right now he is maintaining. No better, no worse. They have been unable to step him down any more from the meds as they wished to. The reason this is important is that the meds at their current levels will be harmful to continue beyond a couple of days. His kidney output is down to nothing. The renal team will be coming in to consult tonight. Dialysis is likely to start soon.
C'mon Mark. We know what you're made of...let's see more of your fight!


Mark is unchanged from last night. He is still on max amounts all three meds for his blood pressure, and his vitals are the same. BP is still low (was 87/47 this morning) His heart rate is at 107. His kidney function is still minimal, but is to be expected with all of the meds he is on.
It's up to you now, Mark...keep up the fight! We know you can clear this hurdle!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

June 20th-Mark keep fighting...

The last 24 hours has been a roller coaster ride for Mark. His heart rate is high and his blood pressure has been low and he is on 3 medications to try and stabilize it as well as placed on steroids. Mark is right now fighting the fight of his life. Please join the family in praying at this critical hour. The Dr says he has done all he can do and now the rest is up to Mark to continue fighting. We know that God is the master Physician. Let's lift up this crisis to God. With God all things are possible.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

June 14, 2009

Mark's marathon continues, and all vitals are holding steady. The past several days have been uneventful. He has been unresponsive, but this is due to him being heavily sedated.
Dr Selby has been the doctor on staff this week, and says he is pleased with Mark's status. Kidneys and lungs are both functioning well. And the skin on his chest is looking "much better than he would have expected."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Mark, Janet, Stewart, Darlene, Amy, Shannon, Mom (9/2003)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

June 9, 2009

Mark is still holding steady, all vitals stable. He does have two new infections. One is bacterial, and one is fungal. So his antibiotics are being switched around to fight these.
Mark started physical therapy again today, and the report from the therapist is that his strength and range of motion are incredible. She said he is doing "amazing!" Of course he is...that's our Mark!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sunday, June 7, 2009

June 7, 2009

During this morning's visit, Mark was alert. They had just changed his line (IV) to a new location and were waiting for X-rays to confirm it's proper placement before they could resume any of his sedation or pain meds. So his blood pressure was elevated due to the pain. Otherwise his vitals have all been stable. His temperature was up a bit yesterday (38 C/100.4 F) but it is back to normal this morning.
The results of his echocardiogram were good. There is no damage to his heart from the infections.
One more step closer to the finish line!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Surgery Went Well

Today's surgery went well. There was actually more done in the surgery than we had originally thought. The same process Dr Guy used about a month ago to graft skin from Mark's scalp to cover his right leg was repeated using skin from the backs of his hands. Due to the process of "stretching" the donor skin, he was able to make it go a long way towards covering Mark's burns. He covered all of his right arm, about half of his left arm, his knees, and the small portions of his chest that needed repair. Mark tolerated the surgery well.
The cardiologist came later this evening to do an EKG to determine if Mark's heart has been affected by the still present infection. We are still awaiting the results of that.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Surgery Tomorrow

Mark is scheduled to go in for a "cleaning up" surgery tomorrow morning. Dr Guy will go in and look at the cadaver skin on his legs and replace any areas that need to be. He will also assess the grafts on his right leg. The new skin on his chest is still looking good.
He is back on one of the meds for his blood pressure, but there hasn't been any scares like last week. They also increased his pain meds tonight.
Surgery for tomorrow is tentatively scheduled for 8:00 AM, unless there is something that comes up with another patient. Just another leg of the marathon. Nothing to it, eh Mark?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New Skin Looking Good

They have removed the last of the gauze and backing from the cloned skin, and it is looking good! Now Mark is now able to be in a position other than flat on his back. (It's been two weeks today since the skin was placed.)
His blood pressure was going a little low earlier today, but they were able to level it out by giving him fluids rather than having to put him back on meds for it.
He is more alert and responsive than in recent days. Back to mouthing words again...time to brush up on our lip reading skills.
Let's keep it going in a positive direction day at a time!

Monday, June 1, 2009

June 1, 2009

The last few days have been uneventful for Mark. He is off of his blood pressure meds now, and vitals have been holding steady. As with previous posts, his infection is still of great concern. The antibiotics are still having no effect.
Otherwise, there have been no major events. One day at a time, holding steady, and waiting for improvement with his infections.