Stewart Update

19 Aug

I know a lot of people are worried about my dad, so I wanted to create
a space I could update, instead of updating everyone individually, as
I just don’t have time for that now. Stewart was paragliding on Lady
Macdonald near canmore when something went wrong with his right wing,
and he crashed into the side of the mountain. Within minutes of
hitting the ground, two hiker, one a nurse, rushed over to help him.
They were able to call 911, and stay with him until they arrived. It
took 2 hours for the helicopter to arrive, and they airlifted him to
the canmore hospital. From there he was flown to the foothills
hospital in calgary. They determined his injury as being between his
C4 and C5 vertebrae. They said the C5 had shifted over half way,
pinching the spinal cord. They waited over night to see if it would go
back on it’s own, and when it didn’t they went into surgery sunday
morning. They went in from the back and the front of his neck, and
fused the 2 vertebrae together. They also inserted metal rods and
screws to keep it steady and prevent further damage. Because of the
surgery, and also because of the area the cord was damage, he was put
on a ventilator and wasn’t breathing on his own. They initially told
us it could be 6-12 weeks before he breathes on his own, if ever. Only
about 80% of C5 spinal injury patients breath on their own ever again.
The very next day, my dad was breathing on his own, and they removed
the breathing tube.
Now comes the long waiting period. Because of the swelling in the
spine due to the surgery, they are not sure how much damage has been
done. Right now he only has feeling and movement in his neck and
shoulders. Before the surgery, he was able to move his arms as the
elbow level, and they are hoping that will come back. As for his legs,
they are saying there is a 1-2% chance that he’ll walk again. That
being said, my dad has already made amazing progress. He was also
incredibly fit and healthy before the accident, and he definitly
doesn’t have a lack of will and determination.
They have him on medications to increase his blood pressure, in hopes
to increase blood flow to his spine, and increase healing. This is the
reason he is still in ICU.
I know that a lot of people would like to visit him, and I know he
would love to see everyone. The doctors have said that the more rest
he gets, the better he will be able to heal himself. For that reason,
I believe it would be in his best interest to refrain from having
visitors at this point. Soon he will be out of ICU and will have more
energy for visitors. They are estimating he will be in another unit as
of next week. I would greatly appreciate anyone who wishes to visit to
send me and email or text. My email is cearamidwinter (at) and
phone 403-874-2561. Thanks!
My brother and I are also reading emails and facebook posts to him so
feel free to send those as well!
I will post more updates when I have them.

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