Ah-ho My Relations,
I wanted to write this update about Ahmbaska just before what we hope is his final operation. Since the last update I wrote Linda and I have stayed here in the hospital with Ahmby. It has been a long five weeks but the reward has been watching my son overcome in his fight for life and grow stronger every day. For the first couple of weeks it was touch and go, he could have died from his injuries then and I didn't want to leave his side for a moment. His head and brain were swollen and he was kept under sedation in a drug induced coma until the swelling could go down and he could heal somewhat. It worked and after two weeks they began to bring him up to consciousness every day to test his reactions and progress. Slowly but surly he improved until one by one they could take him off the various machines they were using to keep him alive. Tubes were removed and the biggie, his "ventilator" was finally taken off and he began to breath on his own. After that he was moved from the surgical ICU up to the intermediate care unit.
That was a big step for him (and us) and then we finally knew he was going to recover from his wounds. Then we had a setback, the surgery to replace his skull-piece failed because his brain re swelled when he was under sedation and it couldn't be done. Now it was back to the S-ICU and we began our journey all over again. This time wasn't as life threatening and after a few days he was moved up to the IMU again and began his recovery and healing. His head healed just fine again and he began therapy once again.
Here's the good news... Ahmbaska has regained all his mental faculties and has regained the full use of his arms and legs even though they are weak from being in bed for so long! I'm very happy to report that to all of you because I know everyone has been worried about how he would be post-surgery. Except for the accident itself, which remains fuzzy to him, his memory seems fine and he talks and thinks just fine also.
You guys know me and that I'm a believer in prayer so I truly believe that all of you, your prayers, thoughts and best wishes had a big effect on Ahmby's recovery. So many of you called and wrote about the ceremonies and prayers you were having on our behalf, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for each and every one. Some of the local skins here in Wichita fixed up a sweat lodge for me and allowed me to have some Inipi for him. This was a big thing to Linda and I as it gave us a place to pray too. I'm eternally grateful to everyone for all these efforts on our behalf, I hope one day I'll be able to shake each and every one of your hands and tell you personally how much you helped us get through this hard time.
On the more mundane side some of you have seen fit to help us out with money so we could stay here in a town where we have no support system or place to stay. You know, even though we had a cot in Ahmby's room we still had to eat a big mac every once in awhile:) and we had to buy the necessities of living for this past five or six weeks. Like everyone I hate to ask anyone for money or make a big deal of my needs, with good friends and family like you all I didn't have to, you took it upon yourselves to help and I truly appreciate your thoughtfulness. Without that and the support from our families Linda and I would have had a very hard time of it. We still have those needs and I'll put our address at the bottom of this update in case you care to help once more.
Today, this evening, Ahmbaska is going into surgery for another try at replacing his skull part which should finish his surgery and clear the way for him to be released from the hospital soon. He may have to go to a rehab place for awhile but we look forward to that part of the recovery. So I'm asking you all once more for your prayers and kind thoughts for my son. Shortly after sundown we'll be praying together as he is taken in for the operation and I know if you'll join me it will all come out ok and he'll begin his final road to good health.
Weebla-ha means thank you in my Ponca language, Wopila in Lakota. So I say WEEBLA-HA to all of you who have helped us through our trying time. Wopila for your powerful prayers and kind feelings for my son. On behalf of Linda and our whole family...
I remain your friend and relative, Carter Camp.
The address here is... Ahmbaska Camp, c/o Carter Camp, Room 1018, Wesley Medical Center, 550 N. Hillside, Wichita, Kansas 67214-4976.
--- First Message, on Fri, 10/3/08, Carter Camp