6/11/15 (Elijah)

An Update from Brenna:

Greetings from LTAC at 3:00 a.m.: a great time to write a quick update. I am not a diplomat by intuition or gifting but spending a few years at the legislature, in committee meetings and judging debate rounds taught me some skills that have come in handy here and in the ICU. In fact, there were more politics in the ICU than I ever encountered during the legislative session!! (okay, maybe equivalent?)


Elijah seems more tired and on Wednesday he had a setback with a fever. The fevers most often are central fevers or brain fevers. The injury to the hypothalamus affects his ability to regulate body temp. The fevers are dangerous for Elijah because of secondary brain injury. Not all nurses see it our way, however. Therefore, on days like this I am immersed in the diplomatic role of playing Elijah’s mom/advocate/nurse (hence why I am wide awake at 3:00a.m.). For a few days we have been managing very well at 98/99. Yesterday, we had an up and down day between 100-102. I will spare you the politics. We bought a fan and use ice packs to help him regulate and of course some of his medicines function in that capacity.


We collect inch stones every day. Elijah loves therapy. Who wouldn’t when you compare it to laying in a hospital bed? He has won over his therapists and they are all so kind and always cheering him on, amazed at his progress.  Today he sat at the edge of the bed for exercises in OT. Speech is working toward helping him get the trach out. He spent three hours with a passy muir (oneway speaking valve) attached to his trach, so for the first time in 33 days or so he has felt air come through his mouth and nose. With a passy muir the air comes in through his trach and out through his mouth. It is a bit of hard work and adjustment for him. He is strong. One day soon he will be using one all day and then they will be able to cap, and Lord willing, remove the trach!! I studied all of this in grad school but never imagined I would see it hitting so close to home.


Just like life before the accidentmornings are not his thing.  This is evidenced by less alertness and more frequent meds.  But hello afternoons!  Since Monday he has been very active and alert.  Yesterday he went four hours without narcotics and today five and a half hours!  He also went four and a half this nighttime. Those are encouraging inchstones. 


Wednesday he was really trying to get some fine motor coordination in his left hand and I practiced having him “grab” something and then let go. The grabbing is a reflex but the letting go a motor skill and he is getting it.  I couldn’t find anything very interesting in this hospital room to entice him to grab, but settled on my cell phone.  Picture the very beginnings of this skill and that is where he is at.  He doesn’t have very much arm movement at his command yet but is moving them more and more.  He is turning his head often, tracking with his eyes and able to follow simple commands with some delay.  The doctor on Tuesday was so excited to see all of his eye tracking and explained to me that neurologically there are so many layers of neural connections and cognition to make that work.  He is very encouraged and called Craig to come for a bedside evaluation.  There is an optimal time for him to go to rehab and only a limited amount of money per our insurance (60 days) so pray for God’s hand in the doors opening at just the right time.  He needs to not waste recovery time here but be strong/alert enough to get the most out of their therapeutic regimen.


As his brain wakes up and begins to lay new pathways it seems that it is harder for him to sleep.  So when he is awake he also seems more tired.   He has all kinds of facial expressions but his lips have only puckered or pursed.  I am waiting for him to smile.  Waiting with patience, I might add.


Today (Thursday) we change shifts. Randy will come at 4 and I will be the mom at home. I am homesick for the kids and my other life but miss being here when I am gone.  We both agree that when we are home we deal with more grief.  We haven’t spent any time together in 33(?) days so that is different as well.  We are so thankful for Evan and Heather (our oldest son and his wife) taking the time to come and be with us.  We are used to a big family and so when they come it fills the empty – plus they are a real help!


As I walk the halls to get ice or see what the real weather is like (it is like the arctic in Elijah’s room), I am reminded of all of the people with struggles. Some of the folks here seem to have no one.  I met one couple where the husband drives back and forth to Cheyenne everyday so he can spend the day with his beloved wife. He is doing alone at an older age what Randy and I tag team to do.  So touching. Maybe the Lord will bring an opportunity for us to help some of these people. Surely there are people here who have not experienced the love of Jesus.


Thanks for all of the encouraging personal conversations, notes and texts about the blog posts.  I am gifted to embrace creativity and have found writing as the Lord inspires to be very cathartic – so thanks for playing along with me. A writer needs a reader.

Thanks for reading, caring and laboring in prayer-


Brenna for all


25 thoughts on “6/11/15 (Elijah)

  1. I stumbled upon this blog on the internet, not knowing Autumn or Elijah but their incredible story is such a blessing to me – to see what God is doing in such a desperate situation. Thanks for sharing. Will be praying.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Hannah. How you phrased that was so on target –“what God is doing in a desperate situation.” This truly is *His* story; His grace, His mercy to us, and His healing power. Thank you for praying!
      || Haley


  2. My husband and I have followed your story from day 1 and have prayed faithfully for your family and Autumn’s. We helped a little financially, what we could. But we still wish there was more we could do….You inspire us daily to strengthen and renew our faith and remind us (without saying a word) to be grateful to our Father for all He does for us. My husband asks how Elijah and Autumn are doing as though they were our own children……your story IS touching SO many people!! Thank you for your posts …your openness, vulnerability, faith, inspiration and strength…..I feel like you are all amazing people. I’m so sorry your family is going through this and I continue to pray for healing, strength, peace and that you will continually feel the love of all the people you all are inspiring through this difficult time!!

    Cathy in Cheyenne

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for sharing, Brenna. We rejoice with you at all the progress! We love you all and continue to pray.

    Please pray for the Weisenfelds. Andy (dad) had a massive stroke and is not expected to live. Thank you.

    Knowing He is Able,
    Katie Johnson

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Brenna & Randy and Cinnamon & Scott,

    My family and I have been following your posts and praying for Elijah, Autumn and your families everyday, sometimes several times per day since the accident. I want to thank you so, so much for continuing to write. I feel incredibly blessed to have this “window” into your lives and hearts and continually watch for the updates to come.

    As a mom of kids that have walked very similar paths to Elijah and Autumn, I feel I am walking this path with you… mourning with you, rejoicing with you, waiting, pleading, hoping and trusting with you. Because your faith is strong and your testimony to God’s love & faithfulness is clear, I am certain that every bit of this trial is bringing glory to God – not one bit of it will be in vain.

    “My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure. I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign LORD; I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone.” (Psalm 71:15-16)

    Continuing the journey of faith, hope and love with you,
    Linda for the Densmore Family

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh Brenna, what joy, what blessing to hear all this. God has been so good! I don’t understand all His ways, but know that they are GOOD! Thank you again for your beautiful expressions of faith! Rejoicing with you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We pray for your stamina and health and your hearts to be healed as your son’s body mends…also for your sweet kids at home to be in peace and safety and comforted by God’s grace and presence.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Keep it up Kid, we are praying for you every day and as I write this to you although I have never met you, I tear up. GOD IS ON YOUR SIDE. Luann & Dean Stone Scotts ex boss

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We are lifting you up with great prayer and love, Mrs. Lowry. Thank you for sharing this incredible news as it unfolds.. Nothing can stop the love of our Jesus, and His healing power.. I’m looking forward to seeing you all again in person someday. We are with you in prayer and spirit.

    “God is Spirit, and we must worship Him in spirit and in truth..”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow Brenna! Sounds like many many inch stones in this update. Seems the fevers aren’t slowing him down!! Thankful for what I’m hearing 🙂 Continuing in prayer everyday for him, and also in thanksgiving for what the Lord has done! He is the Healer ♡ God bless you all and may he continue to supply you with renewed strength and encouragement each day. Thanks for this awesome update!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Your story has affected me since the day of the accident. I was coming home from Ft. Collins when I came upon the accident that had happened just seconds before. After pulling over I ran to the accident and I remember praying that God would help me use my skills as an RN to help in any way I possibly could. I spent most of my time with Autumn as there were several men already assisting your son. I remember helping Autumn and praying with all my might that they would be o.k. I also prayed for their families as I knew you were going to get the call that every parent fears receiving.

    I know I didn’t do much for Autumn and Elijah that day. I wish I could have done more. I do feel selfish for what that day did for me though. I have been a christian for a long time now but my faith and relationship with God has suffered from my own personal tragedies. Since the accident I have prayed more than I have in a very long time. I thank both families from the bottom of my heart for reaching out to the community to share your stories and to share God’s love. It’s beautiful!

    Lately my prayers are being answered in a simple statement…”Be Still”… Be still in His…well in everything that He is… It’s comforting to know that He can whisper to me “Be still, rest…I’ve got this”

    I pray for all of you daily. And I will continue to do so.

    After your post today I will be praying for both marriages. I pray that you develop an even greater bond through this.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Brenna and I read this together, and we both had tears in our eyes. All that we can say is, praise Jesus. Thank you so much for your prayer, and for doing what we couldn’t for Elijah and Autumn at the scene.
      Just as the accident itself was not outside of our Father’s knowledge, your presence there was part of His plan, too; we’re so thankful! Praying today that He draws you moment by moment nearer to Himself, and gives you eyes to see His hand clearly.
      || Haley

      Liked by 1 person

    • Take comfort to know that you are not the only Christian affected by the stories of Elijah & Autumn and their families. I have shared the website with many people and I am often stopped and asked how the “kids” are doing and told how the testimony of the families has changed someone’s “religious” walk with God to a complete dependence on Him by faith. In fact, I could never explain the extent of the affect Brenna’s “Jesus Goggles” post had on my own life. We serve a God who loves us so much and everything that happens in our lives is His desire for us to more fully “give up” and surrender to Him. I was so very blessed by your story. Keep walking with Jesus!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hello this is Scott, Autumn’s father. If you would feel comfortable, I would like to speak with you for just a few minutes regarding the accident. If you are willing, you can reach out to Haley who has her information posted in the right column of this blog and she can connect you to me. I want to thank you for coming to the aid of my precious daughter that night. There is no doubt God has used you and you are a part of this story.


  11. Brenna, I know you don’t feel it right now, but you are very strong. Do you, Randy, and Cinnamon and her husband have copies of all these blog writings? I was reading this most recent one, and it came to me what a great story it would be for those not reading the blog. Very encouraging, as well. God bless you all, and God speed Elijah and Autumn in their recovery.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Brenna, I would like the name of the bank for people to donate to, for some friends of mine that are on a biking tour for MLS and I want to let them know about the banks and where they could send anything that would help including info on Transplant for Scott. If you could, I would appreciate it. Send it to this email. Thanks Luann Stone.


    • Hello Luann,
      While we are in the process of setting up an account for each family with a bank, currently, there are two ways to donate money:

      1. Using the gofundme links provided on the blog

      2. Mailing a check made out to “Scott Schwinn” (for Autumn) or “Randy Lowry” (for Elijah) and mailing it to:
      412 Weatherby Dr.
      Cheyenne WY 82007

      Thanks so much!


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