Kevin PHWAP Boudreau continues his long recovery from his AVM brain incident on June 14th at a WSOP event. Kevin returned home to Colorado and spent about a month in a long term acute care hospital to prepare him for the long journey of rehabilitation. After transferring into Penrose Rehab, his progress continued rapidly until his second brain surgery. Although the surgery went well, setbacks in rehab occurred and Kevin once again is progressing at a much faster pace relative to a journey that may take two years or more.
Kevin works very hard 5-6 days each week. His typical day starts at 7:30 getting dressed and ready for therapy. He has started helping himself to get dressed on his left side. He begins with physical therapy at 8:00 a.m. and is working to help himself get out of bed. He is participating with about 10% of the effort required. After working hard for about an hour with stretching and a little standing, and passively walking, he's able to rest for only 30 minutes and then he takes on speech therapy. He still is no closer to speaking but he works on communication through writing, iPad, buttons, pointing, and just starting head movement to say no. He is swallowing better so he's starting to get thick fluids. That leads to another rest period before occupational therapy begins. With OT the goals are for Kevin to work towards performing basic functions like getting dressed washing his face, brushing his teeth and more. His brain limits his abilities especially on his right side. The late afternoon is the most intensive part of his day. He's back to physical therapy and is pushed extremely hard. He is walking on a tread mill more than 15 minutes straight being held from a harness from above. Although he doesn't initiate the walking motion on his own, the expectation is that at some point he can. He does a lot of work from a hard surface working with balance, arm and feet movements stretching and much more.
Kevin has regained about 10 lbs from his low of 116lbs but is still a long way from his normal weight of 145lbs. He still gets all of his nutrition from a feeding tube. He clearing understands his surrounding and the conversations around him. It fun to watch him smile and laugh in his very unique way when something really strikes him. He participates more in deciding what to watch on T.V.
So where does Kevin go from here? The rehab hospital has requested an extension of care until the day before Thanksgiving. We are not sure of the insurance company's cooperation yet. The hope is that Kevin's next move will be home with his family. It's very likely he will need help with every aspect of his daily living but he will also be active in helping. Going back to when this all began, there was talk that he may not ever open his eyes. He works so hard every day and endures so make pain and discomfort but he's determined to succeed.
The obvious support comes from his parents and his girlfriend Samantha that has someone by his bedside from the time he wakes up to the time he goes to sleep at night. Kevin is fighting this battle with God's helping hands and the love, support and prayers of thousands of friends, family, acquaintances and poker players from around the world. pleas feel free to send an inspirational email to Kevin at PHWAPmessages@gmail.com
Kevin Boudreau update. The days and weeks have gone by very fast. It's been more than two months and its very easy to say that Kevin's progress has far exceeded the prognosis of many doctors early on. For all of us that spend time him every day, we continue to tell everyone he's getting better every day. His therapy has gone very well. In addition to the progress with his left leg, arm and hand, h...e's also making lots of progress with his neck, shoulders, back, trunk, and pelvis. His mind is being challenged and he's talking through touch with an IPad. He even pointed to the location of pain today. He tasted some ice cream for his birthday and can swallow ice chips and pudding in very small amounts. A month ago we understood that Kevin would need to make significant progress to be able to transition into an intense rehab hospital. We thought it would take a lot more time for him to get there but he's already there. Things are in motion for him to move to Penrose Rehab next Wednesday. We are very excited about what they are capable of doing for him. It obvious that your prayers have been heard and answered but still there's a long journey ahead. Kevin works so hard every time he's asked and I'm sure that surprises no one. We thank all of you for your continued thoughts prayers and support!
Kevin Boudreau update: He's been here for 3 weeks now and has come so far but it's still a short part of his very long journey. His tongue that was very swollen is now normal and he looks just like the old Kevin. He is breathing on his own with no monitoring. The hole from his trachea is closing very quickly. Just yesterday, his meds were changed because of less risk of seizures and several other ...drugs were added to increase his alertness. Kevin spends part of each day sitting up in a wheelchair and makes an occasional appearance outside in the fresh air. He might blow away in the wind if he was able to stand up because he's down about 30 lbs from his normal weight. We all enjoy coming to his therapy sessions because just about every day, we see him able to do something new. He works very hard for us, the therapists and doctors to carry out our commands. We look forward to him starting to use his voice. We have already started to look into his next stop towards rehab that will hopefully be a rehab hospital. We get the sense that the staff here feels its a possibility but still too early to know. It's likely that Kevin still has at least a couple more weeks here at this place. We know that Kevin likes visitors so everyone here and from miles away are welcomed to come and visit anytime and as often as you'd like. Your continued prayers will be answered and we all appreciate your love, caring and support!
Kevin returned to Colorado and this is his 7th day in Select Long Term Acute Care Hospital. His progress under the circumstances has been amazing and remarkable. The trip home was uneventful and he remained very stable. Saturday, his first full day here, the doctors felt he was ready to come off the ventilator to see how he would handle it. He did great and hasn't been on it since. He is breathing through a trachcollar and a small amount of oxygen is being fed to him to provide moisture and temperature control but he's very capable to breathe on his own. We would classify his care in Las Vegas as stabilization and maintenance. Here in Colorado, it's all about rehabilitation. By Monday, Kevin was going through intensive rehab with Physical, Occupations and Speech Therapy. On Tuesday, they had Kevin sitting up in a cardiac chair for over an hour and by Wednesday Kevin did a couple things for the first time. On command, he did squeeze his left hand and he also picked up his left foot to put it back up on the cardiac chair foot rest. He continues to spend a little more time awake each day. The staff was able to determine that he is seeing double right now so they are using an eye patch to help. He now tracks left and right even better. His pneumonia, fevers, seizures and stokes don't seem to be an issue any more.
We feel Kevin has an army of highly experienced experts helping in his recovery and it's far from over. I was asked an interesting question yesterday that I though I would share. Early after the event, we were told a couple of things. One doctor told us that Kevin had a setback of about a mile. What we saw after 2 days was a recovery of an inch. That particular doctor suggested that we may not see recovery of a foot. I believe already, his recovery is more like 100 feet. Another doctor in the first week put it another way. He said the chances of a positive outcome might be 10%. To me, that was Kevin's odds to make it into the money on every tournament Kevin ever entered and he took those odds all the time. I already believe that he has surpassed 10% chance of a positive outcome and things will continue to improve. We will make it a point to update the website weekly (probably every Saturday starting next Saturday). We very much appreciate the love, supports, prayers and donations. Everyone is welcomed to come by and see Kevin.
Written by Jim Boudreau
Kevin PHWAP Boudreau update Sunday July 7.
Kevin's condition from his AVM happened over 3 weeks ago. We've been told progress would be slow and we wanted to recap what's been happening. From early on, Kevin was able to breathe for short periods of the day (4hrs) without the help of a ventilator. That continues to go well every day. This past Tuesday on his first attempt to travel home to Colorado, Kevin spiked a high fever and the trip was delayed. He developed a superbug pneumonia that the doctors were able to address early. That has been his biggest setback. All of his MRIs and Cat Scans continue to show slow improvement. For the most part, Kevin opens his eyes on and off throughout the day but beyond that he was very unresponsive. He has not reacted to verbal commands and from our standpoint, it doesn't seem that his mind has any control over his body beyond body functions like breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, temperature and all of his organs.
GOOD NEWS!!! We've seen some change in the past 24 hours. His tongue swelling seems to be going down a little. For the first time yesterday and today we can watch him yawn. His fever has stayed under control without medication since Tuesday. For the first time today, we've seen his arms and legs react to pain stimulus which is a very big first step. A special Cat Scan was done yesterday to rule out something related to blood going back into blood vessels and arteries and the results were good. We believe it's just a matter of time before he reacts to verbal commands and his recovery begins to move at a more rapid pace.
The accepting hospital in Colorado Springs will decide on Monday if they can accept him in his current condition and we are hopeful to get good news to travel on Tuesday. All the positive support and prayers Kevin and our family has received from thousands of people from family, friends, co workers,poker players, poker supporters, prayer groups, Twitter followers, Facebook followers and people in our community as well as around the world has been overwhelming and a true blessing. Early on, Kevin's prognosis was not very good as we were told from multiple doctors on multiple occasions. We believe the odds are changing and we thank each and every one of you.
Written by Jim Boudreau