The Kirks Car Accident Blog Notes
Amanda visited the hospital today for a check up with the surgeon. He is very pleased with the movement she has in her fingers. He will remove the stitches from her hand next Monday. He told us he was fearful of the movement of her joints because the cartilage was messed up but having seen it last week he was very pleased and surprised with how well it had mended – We know its been through the prayers of God’s people and by the grace of God that she was healed in this way. The physio is equally pleased with the progress; especially the movement of her ring finger. However she wants a few more sessions on her little finger to bring it up to the level of the others. So she will do some more sessions until Monday or Tuesday morning at the latest then we will fly back to Ndola on Tuesday on the 11:20 flight. We should be back in Ndola at around 13:35. We now wait for the insurance people to confirm these arrangements and then we will get back to you all. Please pass this info onto anyone who wishes to know and continue to praise God for his healing hand upon Amanda’s life. Every blessing and much love Andrew & Amanda
Hello to all the folk following our next little journey.
We have seen the specialists for Amanda’s head, back and hand. They are very happy with her progress and her bones in her hand have healed well enough for her to have the plates & pins in her fingers removed.
So the operation is on Wednesday; probably in the morning after which she may or may not stay in overnight. She will need a check up after 10 days. As yet we are not sure at the moment whether we will need to stay in Jo’burg/Randburg for physio or we can go back to Chingola.
In the mean time we have been fondly welcomed by the folk at Ferndale Bible Chapel, which is a local Brethren assembly.
It is great to feel part of another extended family here in Jo’burg/Randburg.
More updates after Wednesday
Lots of love
Andrew & Amanda
News from Andrew Kirk 12/08/10
Went to see the neuro bloke first today – he’s very happy with Amanda’s progress. No signs of MS either, but wants to do another cat scan this time next year. Happy with her back and her movement, just thinks stiffness is muscle related and will ease with time. Gave her some exercises to do when back home. Plastic surgeon was also pleased with how head has healed. He suggested that to cover the graft he can do a treatment that would involve weekly injections to inflate a small balloon in head to stretch the skin over the course of about 2-3 months. This would then allow the skin to enlarge slowly and then be big enough to cut again and then pull together and close the gap!!! But nothing to do for at least a year, so plenty of time to think about it all. He will remove the pleat of skin from side of head this time next year. Praise God all seems fine so far and we go to see the hand surgeon tomorrow, think operation will be needed here but will wait to see when. Church friends here have already contacted us and we are off to bible study tonight and meal out tomorrow; God’s people are great! Thank you to you all for your prayers and love Andrew & Amanda
Amanda is progressing well - well i think so - she thinks its not quick enough! Fingers are bending more and her head wound is drying up and the skin seems to be forming nicely without any infection. She has strapping on her back to help her push her chest out and lift her shoulders as she must not slouch. School is busy but good, everyone still pulling together, we have had a sponsored swim which the boys took part in and they have a science fayre this week. All good fun. We continue to praise God for his faithfulness and love. Thank you all for your continued support. Every blessing. Andrew & Amanda
Amanda came home on Wednesday with Muriel and has settled back in the house comfortably. Her head is almost fully healed in that there are hardly any bare/sore patches on it. Thre are just a few small sore patches that should finally heal in a few days/week. There is a bald patch on her upper head where the graft is but the hole is covered nicely. However this bald area will not grow any hair. So for now scarves and hats are the new head wear.
Her left hand has a mechanism on it that helps stretch her 2 broken fingers and she has exercises to do to get mobility back in that hand. However in August we are going back to South Africa to have tht noght she has a support to wear on her hand. Now she is moving about she has stiffness in her back as that gets used to being moved around again. The physio gave her strapping and exercises too for that and she is allowed to sit, stand or lay down whenever she likes. She does have to walk with her chest stuck out and shoulders up though to get her posture back into the correct shape. She is so glad to be back and around familiar surroundings again. Once again people are being great with help for all sorts of circumstances and we know people continue to pray for us - thank you. She is now looking through the cards and messages that people have sent here and will try to write back to folk one way or another soon.
All of us boys are absolutely delighted that mummy is home and look forward to running around after her meeting all of her needs whenever we can!!! One more item to add to your prayer lists if I may and that is the issue of a new vehicle - we have the use of the mini-van again that we had before our car came but we need guidance and help in finding another permanent one. Please pray that we can sort something out that will be the right vehicle for our circumstances. Once again we continue to praise our loving God for all his blessings and the wonderful people he has brought into our lives - Andrew, Amanda, Samuel & Joseph
All the staples and bandages from the head wound were taken out this morning - BIG OUCH!!!! and it has left her with a large headache. BUT the doctor is happy with the result and is happy for her to come home. PRAISE GOD. The patch of hair less skin is perhaps a little larger than was envisaged but she is philosophical about the quality of her hair line - she has bought hats and a few scarves. The back pain she has been getting recently is probably some muscular issues that has arisen since she has been walking and using her back again. So she has a physio appointment tomorrow to see a back specialist. She has movement in two of her fingers in her left hand but must continue to work on the others which could take several weeks before the reach normality. However around August she will have the pins taken out so this will reduce mobility again and she will have to almost start from scratch. It is likely that it wont really sort itself out fully until about October time. So work opportunities etc will have to be carefully managed and there will be no driving until she can fully use her hand. On the whole it is good news so far and we continue to pray that healing, patience and perseverance will be in full bloom in her life.
Every blessing - Andrew
Amanda has a 'contraption' on her hand that she uses for phsyio. Not sure what it looks like. She is getting around a little more and feeling less sick. Still has back pain but says she just needs a rub down! Hoping the doctor will give her the all clear on Monday and then fly home shortly after that. A sounded very bouyant today, if thats possible with texting! She is receiving physio on her hand daily and has to wear a device on it during the day to help get her borken finger mobile and her whole hand back to being used again. At night she wears a splint. She also has been given a warm pack that she can put on it and also put on her back to help mobile that. Her back does get stiff but she is hoping doctor kirks masssage parlour will be open on Wednesday! She can move around perfectly well, doesnt suffer from dizzines or sickness now and is actually feeling hungry so her appetite seems to be coming back to normal too. The hand man has told her to come back in august when he will remove the pins in her hand and then have rehab for another 2 weeks so it looks like we will behaving a family holiday in South Africa then! So all in all it sound positive at the moment and we hope and pray that on Monday the head man will allow her to come home - keep praying and God bless you all. Andrew
Amanda visited the head and hand doctors today. They removed most of the bandages around her head and a few of the staples that were holding everything down. He is happy with the progress the wounds are making and has asked her to go again next Monday for a further check and hopefully then the rest of the bandages etc will be removed. She was able to wash her hair for the first time in ages!! The hand is now out of its cast and looks a bit of a mess from its surgery but once again the doctor is happy with progress. She will now have to have intensive physio to get the fingers and hand muscles working properly again, so that will be arranged in the next few days. She will probably continue this back in Chingola too. Should everything go to plan she hopes to be flying back to Chingola on Wednesday 12th May. they have not said at what point she can return to work, but knowing my wife she will be itching to start!! She has been a little nausious over the last few days so they have changed her pain relief pills and given her new tablets for nausia so that wil hopefully come back under control. Please continue to pray for good healing and wisdom for the docs and patience for Amanda and Muriel to carry on down there in the guest house. Once again many thanks for all those prayers and good wishes we continue to receive and know are being said all around the world - God bless you - Andrew & Amanda, Samuel & Joseph
New Video 03/05/10 (by Pam Clarke) Here
Also 5 new pics on slideshow below
Amanda is sleeping better than the last few days. Although during the day she is a little dizzy and sick. Possibly because her head is aching so much and her leg is stinging. But on a positive note this might be because her nerve endings are working again and may suggest the grafts have taken. Monday is the big day at the hospital when the bandages will be taken off and everything will be looked at. Please pray that Dr Phipson will be happy with how it is progressing and that it will just be a matter of time before she is allowed to leave. We continue to receive messages from people and we still praise God at how concerned his people are and even those who are not Christians have said they would pray for us! Every blessing to all who read this and are taking an interest in our journey; it certainly has an element of boldly going........
Update 28/04/10 Via Skype
Amanda is now out of hospital and back at the guest house. All the tubes and drains have been taken away and she can move freely. Apart from a bit of giddiness when she moves her hea quickly she is feeling OK with the ineviatable pain of the her head from the operation on monday. She has outpatient appointments with the hand and head doctors on Monday next week and they will reassess everyhting then. It is likely she will be allowed to fly after another week or so but we wait until the head man is happy - no point having to come back if something goes wrong if we leave too early.
Muriel is staying with her as of Thursday as I will be back to Zambia to be with the boys and start preparations for school. We continue to praise God for his goodness and even though it seems a long time to be away we thank him it is only a short time in the grand scheme of things and it will be about a month from when the accident happened to when Amanda is finally let back home.
Our love and prayers to you all - Andrew
Update 27/04/10 Via Skype
Another decent day - although Amanda didn't get a lot of sleep last night the pain is slightly easing in her head but she is only taking pain relief every 6 hours. Doctor says she can come to the guest house tomorrow and then probably only needs to go to the hospital next monday. She currently has a brain fluid drain and a drip but hopefully they will also come out tomorrow as they will have done their job. However the big bandage on her head is rather uncomfortable so its a little awkward to get in a comfy position to sleep. So please continue to pray for that. Her leg wound will be dressed again tomorrow and hopefully enough pain relief given to us for the 5 days before another hospital visit. Phil and Deborah Cole are still here so for a few days at least Muriel, Deborah and Amanda can natter the day through and Phil wont feel guilty about going shopping for car parts or items for school or the orphange! So please praise God for another day where things seem to be going well and an end seems in sight - well at least chapter 2 of this new adventure!
Update 26/04/10 Via Skype
Amanda began the day quite well having had a decent sleep. Stopped drinking about 8am in preparation for the operation. We had a visit from a local methodist lady who was hospital visiting and left a lovely booklet of bible verses and poems. She prayed with us. Shortly after we were told that she was next , they started moving the bed and then got told no - they've changed the list and you're next but one! So that gave Corne sister time to drop by and deliver some new pj's and nighties which were very welcome indeed.
The operation lasted about 2.5 hours. For those of a squeamish disposition skip the next bit.......they have cut a large flap of hairy skin from the left side of her head near her ear and turned it to move it over the hole that was right down to the bone. This flap is about2 inches square. The have sewn that in and then taken skin from her left inner thigh and placed that over the space left by the flap.So hopefully new hair will grow near the front of her head and when it all grows again she can hide the bare patch or have implants later on when it all settles down...............
After the operation she was obviously groggy but lucid - lots of pain in her head but given lots of pain relief and it seems that if she can sleep it will be a bonus. So we wait to see what tomorrow brings and how the doctor feels about the stitches and then she might be allowed to come to the guest house and relax there.
Thank you again for your prayers and may God bless you too.
Update 24/04/10 Via Skype
Back doctor came today and told Amanda she would have to do some swimming as part of her rehab - but it had to be front crawl so she didn't arch her neck and could rotate her shoulders - she cant do that stroke so we will learn that one. Head doc came to clean her wound and was very happy with its progress. He took a good look at it and decided where he would take the skin from to cover the hole. She should be operated on early on monday morning - we will find out for sure tomorrow. We went to coffee shop for a drink today so she finally got out of the ward, tomorrow we are going for Sunday lunch in the restaurant! But the biggest smile of the day came when we heard the news that Norwich City were champions of Div1 - on the ball city!!!!! Arm pain receeds a litte day by day and Andrew continues to massage her left shoulder to relieve some of the tension and muscle ache there too, so gradually things improve, praise God.
New Pics 23/04/2010 (Members Only)
Update 22/04/10 Via Skype
Hello again all
Here is the latest news;
The clean-up of the head went well and they have re-fixed her fingers to make them aligned properly.
They believe she may have some form of MS and will do a lumber puncture some time soon to confirm it all.
The plastic surgeon will operate again on her head next Wednesday. This will involve taking a flap of scalp with hair on it and turning it around and laying it over the area that is missing tissue and hair. This should hopefully then graft and take and the hair will grow nearer the front of her head. He will then take skin from leg or bum and put that in the place where they took the hair so she will have a patch on her neck area that will be bare but hopefully coverable in time.
This will have to be monitored for 2 weeks so they will not let her go until about 12th May. She may be allowed to leave the hospital in between times but we haven’t heard yet.
Andrew will stay at least until after the operation next week.
It may be that we ask if Muriel can stay instead of me so that he can come back to school and the boys. If not then I will stay until the end and Muriel will come back to Chingola.
So until we speak with the insurance folk I cannot give a definite answer about when I am coming home.
Amanda and I also want to thank all of you who are following this recent adventure for your kind words, emails, cards and most importantly your prayers. To know that God has moved so many of you to pray has encouraged us no end and also that you have lifted up our families in prayer too and rallied round them gives us great joy. So whether you are a friend in the UK, a church goer, someone in a prayer chain or just someone who has taken an interest - we thank you and praise our mighty and loving God for you. May you be blessed in all you do as much as we have been blessed by all of your kindess. One day we hope we can do something for you that is equally as special.
All our love - Andrew & Amanda
update Via Skype 20/04/10
Had more xrays and mri scan today
Tomorrow will have her head cleaned thoroughly and then assessed by the plastic surgeon. at same time the broken fingers will be pinned into a better position and then placed in a half-cast for a few days. the pins may stay in but could be taken out at a later date. the plastic surgeon was a bit brusk and put the frighteners on her but she does realise it is all necessary but probably means we are here for more days than she thought and we might be getting close to missing Samuels birthday?
More News Via Skype 19/04/10
Amanda admitted straight away and had xrays of chest/back and ct scan of head - extra small fracture of c7 found which is giving some arm pain but they think they most of pain in arm is probably soft tissue damage. plastic surgeon will look at head tomorrow and may operate with a view to plastic surgery , will also do more hand xrays and a MRI scan on her head to check everything is ok.
The place is called Sandton in Joburg.
Update 17/04/10 (From Andrew via Skype)
Just to say that we have the go ahead to go to south africa for the scan Amanda needs on her back etc. Flying on Monday at 1pm from Ndola to Joburg. We will be at the Milpark Hospital - it looks good - and staying in hotel/guest house near by. Insurance paying for that. Muriel is coming too. Boys will stay in Chingola with friends - maybe even Pam still here if her flights back to Uk are delayed for the volcano!! Please pass the word round and let folk know. Apparently Thorasic fractures give chest pain normally not arm pain so we are not sure why arm pain exists? Hopefully all will be revealed soon.
Love to all Andrew
Amanda is still at Muriel and Steve’s. She has a possible stress fracture of the 3rd Thoracic verterbra which is painful. They are planning to go to S Africa for a scan – waiting for OK from Insurance but Andrew thinks they will still go whatever. So pray!!
Just to say Amanda is coming out of hospital today. However she is still in pain with her arm but this is probably residual pain from neck muscle injuries. Please continue to pray for this injury and also for Muriel has she now has 2 patients ay her cottage hospital at Kabundi Road, although Mark is very much better and has had all stitches removed today. He is moving around well, if a little gingerly at times.
Amanda will have all her stitches out and a visit from the physio too before she leaves.
We want to thank you all for your continued prayers and spreading of the word to others and please keep it going – we will do our best to keep folk up to date –
We now have new mobile phone numbers as our phones were lost in the crash, Zambia is +26. (Numbers on members page)
We continue to praise God for protection and healing – it is only a week since it all happened, we think its longer, but it is amazing how far they have both come in such a short space of time Amanda is determined to be back in school when it starts it 3 weeks time and it would be good for Mark to see something positive about this beautiful country before he travels back to UK, so please pray that there will be time for both things to happen.
Every blessing to you all
Love A & A
Hello to everyone. I am writing this note to you all from the side of Amanda’s bed whilst she sleeps.
Firstly we all want to thank you so much for the prayer and kind thoughts that are being said and sent to us here. There are so many that we cannot answer them all directly and so I felt it appropriate to write in this way. It is truly amazing to know the blessing of living in part of God’s global family.
People here; Christians, parents from school and even a local restaurant owner, have been so helpful, kind and selfless in the way they have supported us in this difficult time. We cannot thank you all enough and we only hope in your time of need we will be able to respond in a similar way.
Steven & Muriel have been an outstanding rock, watching over Mark and Amanda, ferrying me around and giving me the space and time just to sit with either of them.
Pam, George and Grace have kept the boys occupied and Kabundi Road functioning as the call centre for family and insurance companies!
Our new found friends from the parents of the boys classmates have also been fantastic by offering to have the boys round to play and also bringing in copious amounts of delicious food.
As for the patients – Mark was discharged today (8th April) lunchtime, but will come back for the next few mornings to have his dressings changed but he is generally fine. Amanda will remain for at least one more day whilst the pain within her arm dies down (please pray for it). She is still unable to walk around because of the pain she gets when she has to support her arm. Although not broken there maybe be soft tissue damage which is causing this so it may take a while for her to be able to get out of bed. If this goes away she will be able to leave the hospital just like Mark has.
Once they have the stitches in their heads removed they will be monitored for the next week and then should be fully discharged.
For those of you who haven’t heard the full story of the accident I will give brief details. We were travelling along in convoy towards Solwezi, we had just overtaken a very slow vehicle on a part of the road that was full of deep (foot deep at least) potholes.
I started to move forward doing about 50-80 kmh when we hit a deep hole, swerved to the right then the left hitting more holes along the way. Then we hit a final hole sideways on and probably burst a tyre and broken something at the back that caused the car to roll, 3 times so we’re told.
I was able to apply first-aid to the injured and then Steve came to take them back to Chingola. We were only 30 minutes away.
So after surgery, shaven heads and plenty of rest and pain killers, we are here. So thank you for all the prayer you have said.
We PRAISE GOD for so many blessings, we may not like what has happened but within all that has gone on He has watched over and protected us in many wonderful ways. May HIS name be glorified in all of this.
Do keep praying for complete recovery and no further complications – as with all head injuries, and these were bad, there may be ongoing issues but the signs now are that everything is NORMAL. We will try to keep you updated so watch this space for more news, but in the meantime please keep praying.
All our love and prayers