Now that we have had more time to digest all of the information given to us yesterday, I wanted to share a little more about the actual surgery. Dr. Cahill will be fusing 4 or 5 more vertebrae, this time going into her cervical spine. She will have a total of 8 or 9 vertebrae fused now. If this doesn't work, he will have to fuse her entire neck, which would cause her very limited neck rotation. We are hoping this works!!!
During the surgery, she will be placed in traction using a halo-like device on her skull. This is to get her in the best position possible for the fusion and will be removed before she leaves the OR.
While she is in her halo in the coming months during her recovery, she won't be able to move her head or neck at all. This will make walking challenging because she can only look straight ahead. This is similar to the brace last time, but she had some ability to move her head. There will be absolutely no movement with this. Any change in terrain, any toys on the floor, any rough, wet, or icy patches could all be potential hazards that could make her fall. For this reason, she will need someone devoted strictly to her at all times--usually me, Matt, or her one-on-one at school, Cheryl. This will make going to church or any social events virtually impossible. She will also be in her wheelchair much more when out in public to minimize Fall risk.
It's still a lot to take in, but we will deal with it and try to make the best of the situation. Knowing how much she is loved by so many warms our hearts! Thank you for your love and prayers!