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Friday, April 29, 2011

Amanda Franklin April 29 Update

Amanda's surgery yesterday went well. Doctors grafted skin from her foot and put it on her leg and replaced a lot of her older cadaver skin. She used a lot of blood and plasma.

Kyle felt that the doctor he is more positive about her condition. He believes she's getting to a spot where she could survive this. Amanda still has a long way to go but this shows how strong she is. Kyle reports that the doctor said that he has never seen someone get this far behind the eight ball and make this good of a come back. Her organs are still about the same, which is good, she still isn't digesting much but some is better then none. Tomorrow will be more bandage changes and wound care not much else.

Kyle reports on his progress:

My hand and arm are healing good. Only a few blisters. I got my new compression garments in a week or so ago. They're a custom made spandex glove and arm sleeve to help keep scarring down. I'd say I have about 80% of full motion back in my hand and fingers. A few more weeks and I should be back at 100%.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Amanda Franklin April 28 Update

Last night the doctors changed Amanda's bandages bedside. Her wounds and grafts are clean. She is scheduled for surgery today. Doctors plan to replace some of the older cadaver skin in places as well as take some good skin from her foot (again) to close up some of her wounds.

Kyle reported:

Both her kidneys and lungs are still suffering and now her digestive system is not processing much food. This has caused her to become very swollen and bloated. They tell me that most of this is normal for a person in her condition but it's hard for me to see it that way. To see her.........when I first saw her she looked like she was in a plane crash......now she looks like she's been through a plane crash and Hell and back.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Amanda Franklin April 27 Update

Amanda's surgery yesterday showed cleaner wounds than the day before. The present strategy is to continue the daily surgery cleaning the wounds to keep the risk of new infection down. Her kidney function was down but doctors report that is to be expected.

Kyle reported that he had been misspelling epy cells all this time. The correct spelling is epicells. These cells are grown in the lab from biopsies of Amanda's skin. They are very fragile and are prone to shearing. They will be placed on the open wounds to begin growing skin.

Please continue to keep both Amanda and Kyle in your prayers.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Amanda Franklin April 26 Update

Amanda's wounds looked good yesterday. Most of the grafted skin is sticking and the infection is under control right now. The doctors reported that they have stabilized her kidneys. She is having a problem digesting her food so adjustments are required.

Because she is sedated all the time for pain control, she is back on the ventilator. She is scheduled for surgery again today.

Kyle reported that the epy cells from two weeks ago are no longer good and they are re-growing them. They are projected to be ready by May 6. Until then, she will have open wounds.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Amanda Franklin April 24 Update

Amanda was scheduled for surgery again today to change her bandages. This is to help keep her wounds clear of infection.

Kyle reports:

This next week may be the turning point one way or the other. At this time she has no new infections. Her old ones are staying down for the most part, her wound beds are staying clean and her skin graphs are starting to take. All good news. Amanda's doctor has even order the epy cells to be sent to him. This was something that was suppose to happen two weeks ago before the infections blew up. I hope and pray that the infections stay away long enough for him to get the epy cells on her. If he does, I feel Amanda will be a thousand times better off. But if her infections come back strong before the epy cells, things could get really bad.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Amanda Franklin April 23 Update

In yesterday's surgery, doctors grafted Amanda's scalp skin onto her front shoulders and chest area. The facial doctor grafted some skin around her eyes.

She is scheduled for another surgery today and Kyle hopes to talk to the doctors before then.

Kyle wrote:

I wish I had some really up lifting news but at this point it's just day by day. This roller coaster ride of good news and bad news has fried my emotions so much, I don't know what else to say here, except I'll let you all know what happens tomorrow.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Amanda Franklin April 22 Update

Yesterday Amanda's surgery produced no new infections. Doctors changed her dressings. She was scheduled for surgery again this morning but I don't know the outcome. If everything looked all right, they planned to do some more skin grafts.

Amanda was heavily sedated most of the day.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Amanda Franklin April 21 Update

Yesterday Amanda's 5-hour surgery produced some new problems.

Kyle asked a friend to summarize the doctors' report:

During the bleaching of her wounds today, Amanda's doctors found that the pseudomonis infection had spread deeper into her skin. Previously, they had removed infected skin and fatty tissue with a "tangental" incision that removed the affected area in layers one or two millimeters thick. This incision was not stopping the spread of infection, so today they used a more aggressive "fascial" incision where they remove the infected skin all the way down to the underlying muscle. This is a very deep incision that removes a great deal of tissue, but it results in less bleeding and will hopefully halt the spread of infection.

Amanda's doctors also discovered today that her kidney functions were significantly diminished. She has not reached a stage where they are considering dialysis, but reduced kidney function is a critical development. Part of the reason for her kidney issue is the amount of blood and blood products she has received since the accident. Not only has the massive amount of transfusions put her kidneys under strain, but her body is also showing signs of not being able to tolerate her normal blood type. This will require more intense scrutiny and selection of blood for her - it is no longer enough to just use the same blood type, her doctors must now match a great many more chemical properties to be sure the blood she receives will be accepted by her body. In a normal patient, doctors can find compatibility in roughly 20 out of every 100 units of a given blood type. In Amanda's case, they can now only find compatibility in roughly four out of every 100 units of a given blood type.

The doctors did have some good news. They said Amanda's heart and lungs were the healthiest they had seen in a long time and that she was still in there fighting. They will also be doing dressing changes twice a day now to keep an eye on things. In short today was about 70% bad and 30% good. We will see if things get better or worse in her surgery tomorrow.



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Amanda Franklin April 20 Update

When doctors checked Amanda's wounds yesterday, they looked better. The biopsies from the spots on her arm did not show a problem. Today they planned to clean her wounds again. An issue that has arisen involves the use of the good scalp skin she has left. The doctors have to determine whether to use that skin on her face or her body. Her facial doctor has already used half of it to graft to her face. Her face will look better with that skin but she still has open wounds on her body.

Kyle wrote:

Her "Body" doctor did make the point if she doesn't survive her wounds it doesn't matter what her face looks like. Which is hard to argue with. We will see exactly how all this turns out. As we all have found things can change very quickly.

Amanda is less responsive than before. Kyle reports that "She's been through a lot this past week and I can see it's taking its toll on her."

She stills needs our prayers!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Amanda Franklin April 18 Update

Unfortunately Amanda's infections are back. Yesterday the doctors were positive; this morning they found she was back where she was last week. None of the cadaver skin has taken and they have serious concerns about some spots on her right arm. They plan to take her back to surgery for the next three to four days to try once again to kill the infection by bleaching her out.

Kyle wrote:

 I went in to see her briefly, I couldn't stay without losing it in front of everyone. Today was the worst I've seen her look, or maybe it's just getting harder and harder for me to believe that that's my beautiful girl in there. I don't know......she's a much stronger person then I am.....that's one reason I love her so much.



Sunday, April 17, 2011

Amanda Franklin April 17 Update

Kyle's latest report about Amanda.

She opened her eyes and smiled at me. I Love that girl!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Amanda Franklin April 16 - 2

Doctors are happy with Amanda's progress. At this point in time she looks clean of infections and the cadaver skin is beginning to take. If everything continues to go well, they plan to put her epy cell skin on sometime next week.

Monday they plan to finish working on her face and graft some more skin on her back.

Another Alligator Shot


Another shot of the alligator that lives in the resaca (lake) behind our home. This time he enjoyed the mid-morning sun,

I love the color and clarity of his skin.

Amanda Franklin April 16 Update

Amanda had her surgery yesterday. The extensive wound cleaning with a bleach-type chemical is very painful. She is currently on a lot of pain medications. They plan to do more cleaning today as well as checking on what they've already done. If all goes well today, the doctors will give her a day of rest tomorrow and take her into surgery again Monday.

It will take a few days to know if the infection is gone.

Kyle and the family truly appreciate all the prayers.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Amanda Franklin April 14 Update - 2

Amanda's surgery today went well but she is at a critical juncture in her recovery. The doctors took off all of the old cadaver skin and bleached out her open wounds. They did not completely clean her back side because they didn't want to hurt her facial grafts. They will work on that in tomorrow's surgery.

The crisis is the condition of her infections. They are getting bad - doctors are seeing signs of colonization. According to Kyle, the doctor frankly told him that if they don't get the infection under control, she might not make it.

Understandably it has been a hard day for the family. Please continue to pray for Amanda, Kyle and their family. She has already been through so much in the last month.

Kyle's post included the following:

Today was the first time since the day of the accident that I felt like I might actually lose her. Even as strong as she is, after all her body has already been through, I don't know if it can fight off this bad of an infection. I have always been a fix-it person, I can fix anything, but God help me I can't find a way to fix this. I would give my life in a heartbeat to get her out of this.

Amanda Franklin April 14 Update

Yesterday Amanda had a good day. However, today doctors are concerned about her infections. They have become a big concern and they need to get them under control. To do this they have scheduled surgeries today, tomorrow and Saturday where they will be 'bleaching' (Kyle's term) her wounds.

Yesterday Kyle reported that she has had ten surgeries thus far. She is still listed in critical condition and continues to be in need of your prayers!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Critters in Our Backyard

Our backyard borders a resaca (lake) that is home to many birds, ducks and other critters. We love to watch the seagulls and egrets but, like everyone else in the neighborhood we're particularly fascinated by our resident alligator. Ducks, birds and people wisely keep their distance but he provides fun photo ops.

Amanda Franklin April 12 Update

Amanda's surgery yesterday went well. The doctors grafted skin from her scalp to most of her face. They couldn't use her grown skin cells because she had infections and that would destroy the cells. Also, they didn't do her forehead because of infections.

Kyle reported that she has been off the ventilator for over a week now and she was resting after her surgery.

Another surgery is planned later in the week.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Police Writers Conference

Joyce and I will attend the Police Writers Conference in Las Vegas this July. We're new members and the conference is a first for both of us. Well-known mystery author Marilyn Meredith invited us and we're excited.

Conference topics include using forensics, police psychologists and undercover agents in our writing. It should make for some delicious plots.

Check it out at http://www.policewriter.com/.

Amanda Franklin April 10 Update

Yesterday Kyle saw Amanda's face for the first time since the accident when they changed the bandages. He said the doctors did a great job fixing her facial fractures. She is scheduled for surgery Monday to graft skin on her face.

Kyle's report on his visit:

What made today so special for me is that I know for sure she knew I was there. I came in to see her and started telling her about the day and she raised her right hand (the side I was on). I held her hand and she tried to talk a little and then opened those beautiful blue eyes. I haven't seen her beautiful eyes in almost a month. She was acting like she was ready to get up and walk out of there with me. She was very animated with me so much the nurses wanted me out of there so she could rest. (rest in a hospital, ya right)

I love my girl and she is going to make it threw this. Her strength and will is amazing.....she is amazing!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Luke takes a break from sniffing out criminals


Luke helps Hap Lynch solve a murder at an amusement park in Branson, Missouri.

Once in a while he needs a break. Find out why in Murder Takes a Ride, available on Kindle at Amazon. Print edition available for pre-order.

A dog's life can be hard!

Amanda Franklin April 9 Update

Kyle reported that the last two days have been good for Amanda. She's been working hard in physical therapy - when they sat her up in bed, she held herself up about ten minutes. When they put her on her feet, she stood on her own about fifteen seconds. Each of these are great advances for her.

Monday the doctors plan to graft skin from her scalp to her face. Later in the week, they plan to graft some of her cell-grown skin onto her arms, legs and stomach. It has taken this long to grow her skin. Since this skin is extremely fragile, she will be heavily sedated to keep her from moving.

Kyle said:

She is doing so well and being so strong. None of this is easy for her I can see the pain in her face but I can't tell you how proud I am of her.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Amanda Franklin April 7 Update

Kyle reported that doctors increased Amanda's medication yesterday because she was in a lot of pain. She is now on three different kinds of pain medication. Pain makes her restless and doctors try to keep her still so the skin grafts will take. They plan to change her bandages and check her progress today.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Amanda Franklin April 5 2nd Update

Amanda needed another surgery today. Doctors worked on the integgra (synthetic skin) on the right side of her face because of possible infection. They took all the integgra off and replaced it with cadaver skin.

Tomorrow's surgery was postponed and will probably take place next week. Today's surgery took 4 more pints of blood. She will spend the next few days recuperating from this week's surgeries.

Your continued prayers are appreciated.

Amanda Franklin April 5 Update

Amanda breathed on her own all day Sunday. She followed commands and answered questions. Kyle reports that she is beginning to realize where she is and what happened even though she's still under a lot of pain medication. This is just the beginning; her response and awareness are still extremely limited.

Her surgery yesterday produced mixed results. Working on her back, they found that 60% of her grafts (from her own skin) had taken; 40% had not. The doctors grafted some more skin to her back and thighs.

Kyle described the process:

They replace and put more cadaver skin in places that needed it to help prevent infection. (Cadaver skin will usually last about two weeks before the body rejects it.)

Doctors had to amputate all of her fingers on her right hand; she only has a little bit of her thumb left.

More from Kyle:

They removed the burnt skin from her neck and replaced it with cadaver skin. The neck is apparently a hard place to graph and doesn't heal very well. Amanda used 6 pints of blood in today's surgery. I can't describe to you how she looks, much less how she must feel. Knowing that's my beautiful girl under all those bloody bandages is absolutely tearing me apart.

Her next surgery is Wednesday, they are going in to work on her face. They plan on taking the skin from her scalp and putting it on her face. This is the best skin for her face and we were all thankful they didn't have to use it today on her back. That had been a possibility since they still don't have her cultured/grown skin yet. It takes 6 weeks to grow.

I will post more news as I receive it.

Please continue to pray for both of them. I can't begin to imagine the strength they will need to carry them through these difficult days. I know that the outpouring of prayers, love and support mean so much to Kyle and the family. God bless all of you!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Murder Takes a Ride characters

Home from the groomers
Meet my main characters!

For my characters Hap Lynch and his dog Luke, I chose someone close to home - my husband and his sidekick Luke. I found it easy to get in his head and create his dialogue. It's the old adage - write about something you know!

Luke hanging out with Hap
My husband Everett spent fifteen years working on the parking lot of a theme park in Branson, Missouri. While I chose an imaginary amusement park, I based the characters on people he worked with over the years. His co-workers may find traces of themselves in my characters. Terry Sanders, Randy Plummer and Barry Knudsen are real - all talented entertainers who perform in Branson.

Luke & Hap watch a movie
Luke - well, he's another story. He's a seven-month old Bichon - no, actually he's a seven-month-old terror who invaded our home and we will never be the same again. He's a combination of endless energy, orneriness and cuteness. We have an eight-year-old teacup poodle, Peanut, who he romps on whenever the opportunity arises.The half-howl, half-growl in the book is absolutely real.

Murder Takes a Ride is available on Kindle and will soon be available as a paperback. Either way, you can order your copy now.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Help save the IBOT Wheelchair


Eddie in his IBOT at Marine Ball
For the first time since 1967, Eddie Beesley can sit in his wheelchair and look you in the eye.

Eddie is a friend of mine. He's also a Marine and a Vietnam veteran who lost both legs when he stepped on a land mine in Vietnam in 1967. In 2010, Tony Orlando raised money to provide Eddie with a new IBOT wheelchair. The IBOT was designed by Dean Kamen, founder of Segway, for Johnson and Johnson. The innovative mobility device uses gyroscopic technology and enables the user to negotiate stairs, raise the chair to standing height and balances on two wheels.

Johnson and Johnson discontinued manufacturing the chair when Medicare refused funding. The following website is an appeal to vote for the continued manufacture of the IBOT. With enough signatures, the goal is to draw investment from corporations.

Eddie hugs IBOT creator
The picture from the Marine Ball is taken from Dispatches, the official MWSA - Military Writers Society of America - December 2010 magazine. See http://www.militarywriters.com/.

The other picture is when Eddie meets chair designer Dean Kamen - Dean has his back to camera - also at the 2010 Marine Birthday Ball in Branson, Missouri.

For more information on Eddie, read his book Lucky Enough (http://www.luckyenoughthebook/).

Please click on the logo below to vote.

Help save the iBOT - sign the petition

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Amanda Franklin April 2

I have no new news today but I didn't mention yesterday that the doctors changed her face bandages and said her face is looking good. Remember that she is scheduled for more surgery on Monday.

People's concern for Kyle and Amanda is heartwarming proof of the  kindness and care we have for one another. The continued prayers provide comfort and strength to Amanda and the family.

Like thousands from Brownsville and surrounding areas, I was there on March 12. As a volunteer for the air show, I spent the day with the pyro team, taking pictures and learning about their work. I think we all have taken Kyle and Amanda into our hearts and made their recovery part of our thoughts and prayers.

Thank you for continually checking on Amanda's progress.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Amanda Franklin April 1 Update

Kyle updated the Facebook page today. If you're on Facebook, check out Franklin's Flying Circus for more details. He posts his comments under Notes. His report included the following:

Amanda breathed for 8 hours on her own yesterday. They've been moving her, sitting her in a chair and performing physical therapy on her. They've lightened her pain medication so she will be more responsive during the therapy. Her next surgery has been postponed until Monday.

Quote from Kyle:

Amanda said her first words yesterday, sadly they were "Help Me."   Amanda has always had an extremely high pain tolerance so for her to say that really breaks my heart.