Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Latest

We are into slow and steady it seems for Dan. Today though there was a bright spot. The physical therapist had Dan sit on the edge of the bed! Dan was still partially sedated, but the medical staff was really pleased with how he did. They were on either side of him making sure he stayed balanced, but with help they sat him up so that is some good news. He is completely off of the ventilator, just taking some oxygen. His fever has been staying down around 99 degrees, so they still don't know what caused it to spike. The Dr. did remove some of the staples in his abdomen as it is pretty red and swollen so there may be some infection there that they will need to keep an eye on. His mom seems to be doing okay and it looks like Steve and his sister Katie will be back here Thursday. Jim Smith and I are going up to visit tomorrow morning early, so I should have some more news in the morning. Continue to pray for his healing he has a long way to go.

Don't forget, and tell your friends about the Dan Barker Medical fund. You can walk into any National Bank of Arizona and donate or send a check to me made out to Dan Barker Medical Fund.
Kris Mengarelli
1533 Paradise Valley Rd
Prescott, AZ 86303

The funeral for Kenny Bailey is going to be held on Friday at Hansens Mortuary 8314 . 7th St in Phoenix. There will be a 10 am visitation and an 11 am funeral. Polly seems to be holding up okay although she said she hasn't had her big cry yet. I can't imagine how hard it would be to lose my wife of 15 years, so I know losing your soul mate of 65 years must be extremely difficult. Please pray for Polly to be able to handle the decisions she faces and for her strength in the difficult time. If you have a story about Kenny send it to Jason Price at jason@prescottchristian.com. He is the pastor at Prescott Christian Church and wanted some for the service I believe. If you don't know Jason you are missing out. He is a good man and I appreciate how he has walked through this with Polly and Kenny. He ministers not because it is his job but because of who he is and Who he follows.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Dan Update and Financial Help

Papa Papa
I don't know if I mentioned this here, but the first 24 hrs Dan was known as Papa Papa. I kind of like his new nickname. The mediflight or EMS crews had given the name so ICU used it until his name and data got into the computer. The good news of the day is that Dan spent most of the day off of the ventilator breathing on his own. They still have him on some oxygen, but he is off the vent. He may go on tonight if he has trouble breathing tonight, but then tomorrow they would try to take him off. Earlier today they found 80 ml of fluid outside of his left lung between it and his ribs putting pressure on that lung making it hard to breathe. After removing that he was breathing better. They haven't found the cause of the fever he had yesterday, but CT scans of his head and abdomen didn't show any signs of infection and the spinal tap test for meningitis came back negative as well. He did respond to one command, but otherwise has not. He also has had his right eye open and tracks people across the room although his eye movement is somewhat jerky.

We have opened an account at National Bank of Arizona called the Dan Barker Medical Fund. As you can imagine the medical bill for this is going to be astronomical. Dan has insurance but is going to need to meet his deductible and I would guess his max out of pocket expense. To contribute all you need to do is walk into any National Bank and let them know you want to donate to the Dan Barker Medical Fund. They should be able to help you. Or you can send a check to me made out to Dan Barker Medical Fund. We have already had the missions committee from a church express interest in donating and an 8 year old girl gave $50 to the fund so if you have been wondering what more you can do besides pray here is your chance. If we raise more than the max out of pocket I am sure there will be some physical or occupational therapy that the money could go toward or if he is unable to work with his hands possibly training or education.

Kenny and Polly
As I mentioned in my facebook status Kenny went to be with Jesus early this morning at 2:50. He was resting peacefully at the time and Polly told us she had prayed that God would take him home as he really didn't have any kind of quality of life. I don't know whether Polly is going to stay here at camp, or move down with one of her children. I also don't have any info on when services will be held for Kenny. I do know we need to keep Polly in our prayers, 65 years together is a long time and I believe those two have truly become one so this is going to be difficult for Polly.

My family left for Missouri to visit Amy's family last Friday and I am going to go join them this Thursday evening I am going to fly out. I will then drive back with them around the 8th or 9th of July. I am looking forward to some down time. I will continue to check in with Dan's parents and post updates here. Things seem to be more stable and a little slower as far as Dan is concerned so keep praying for slow steady progress.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


So the spinal tap was negative so that is good news as far as having meningitis goes. Still looking for the infection though. They were to do a CT scan to look for infection in the area of his face where they did the surgery. They were also going to check his abdomen to see if there may be an infection there. Don't have a lot to report, just keep them in your prayers.

Ups and Downs

Dan had a good morning when I was there yesterday, his surgery went well etc, but in the afternoon he developed a very high fever and had tremors. They did a spinal tap to check for menengitis and haven't gotten the results back from that yet. Doesn't seem like this is "normal" for this type of serious injuries from what I am getting so we need to pray that the Dr. can figure out what is going on. This morning his fever was back down.

His dad has gone back to Colorado and will return with his sister this week, when will depend on Dan's condition. Please continue to pray for them, especially pray for his mom as it can be difficult being here by herself. I know that it is easier to stay positive when you have someone with you so you can lean on one another.

Kenny Bailey
No new news this morning on Kenny. Please pray for the family. At this point they are simply making him comfortable. It is very touching to watch Kenny and Polly interact with one another even in this time. Their faith is amazin.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Dan is out of surgery.  He has a trach and a feeding tube that goes in through his side into his stomach.  He looks better, has better color in his face and it is nice to see without the tubes taped to his nose and mouth.  He has pneumonia in his right lung (not the one that was bruised), but is still doing okay and has been initiating breaths on his own just using the vent for the O2.  Part of the purpose of the trach and feeding tube is to clear things off his face and hopefully reduce his agitation when they wake him.  The way I understand it removing the tubes from his nose and getting him a clear breathing passage should help know more about brain damage.  He looks more comfortable than ever.  Continue that there is no permanent brain damage.

His parents seem to be doing quite well.  His dad is going back home to take care of some business and will return with his sister Katie.



At the hospital in Flag this morning to see Dan.  He went to surgery around 8:30 am to put in a tracheotmy and loosening his jaw so they can put a feeding tube into his stomach.  I was told us he wouldn't be out for a couple of hours.  He does have pneumonia which due to the trauma to his lung probably isn't too surprising.  The trach should help him breathe on his own and help them suction out phlem as he coughs it up.  They need to put food in his stomach to keep his digestive system going.  Will send more updates after surgery.

Friday, June 26, 2009


There is some good news from yesterday that I have yet to blog about. Dan obeyed commands! It is tough because I want to be excited and then interpret what that means, but we need to be cautiously optimistic. I think it is very positive, but as his dad said there are going to be ups and downs we are encouraged and optimistic but know there will be some tough days ahead as well.

Today there hasn't been much of a change. He is breathing on his own so the ventilator is not breathing for him although he is still on oxygen. They have been trying to take out the vent tube, but he has been too agitated, thrashing around when they try. He needs to be calm so they can see that he is able to breathe without the vent tube in. They are trying every couple of hours. If they continue to have problems they will pull the tube and do a tracheotomy. So Dan will be breathing on his own through the trach if it comes to that. I know they are going to try and get nutrients to his stomach soon as well. Today he also obeyed some simple commands so that continues to be good news.

I spoke to Carlos - one of the paramedics that found and rescued Dan and have a little better timeline than before. The Rimrock FD got the 911 call at 4:08 pm from a good Samaritan from Prescott named Cory Speight. Cory heard the cry for help and something in it made him realize that someone was truly hurt (he credited God and has been praying with his family for Dan every night, he was grateful for the update). He hustled to the ranger station and reported it and helped them know where he heard it from. He chose to do this as he has no medical training and wasn't sure what he would do if he found someone. Carlos estimated that at 5:40 pm the TRT got to Dan. Dan was not up and moving but did know his name and age. By 7:01 pm the TRT got Dan onto the helicopter at the "Y" where the Weir and Bell trails split. Carlos was not sure when the helicopter took off, because they had some procedures they had to do before they could fly. Carlos was shocked by the fact that as they hiked in 80% of the people they talked to had heard Dan and done nothing. Thank God for Cory Speight. A DPS ranger is the one who flew Dan out.

Greg, David and Don went to the site of the fall yesterday. There is a cable with a cart from the trail side to the other side which is a pretty sheer cliff. The cable car was locked yesterday when they were there, but the paramedic said it was unlocked and on the trail side when they rescued Dan. We are just GUESSING, but we think maybe Dan saw the cart and decided to cross the creek. Once on the other side he climbed up and got to the cart, but the cart rolled to the trail side leaving him stranded. As he was trying to climb down he fell 30 to 40 feet. Again this is a guess and we may never find out for sure.

Please continue to pray for him and his family.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Good Morning Visit

Jim Kendrick and I had a great visit with Dan this morning.  The ICU RN allowed us in for about 30 minutes in spite of it being during the shift change.  His early morning wakeup went better than yesterday.  He is not obeying commands yet, but waking up and being agitated is still a good sign.  His head/brain injury is still the top concern.  The only way to know for sure takes time.  The next step is to wean him off the ventilator, remove the vent tube and remove the sedation medication .  They will then be able to get a better handle on the brain injury by communicating with him as he will be awake.  They also are going to need to get a feeding tube to his stomach soon.  They pinned his lower jaw and wired his jaws together so the vent tube goes down his right nostril.  His jaw will be like that for 6 - 8 weeks and his hands may be in casts for that long as well.  The RN said he will have an infection somewhere with this many injuries it is inevitable, hopefully the antibiotics and Dan's body will fight it off.  They have been taking cultures of his blood trying to figure out what bacteria they will be fighting.  Relatively good news overall, but these next 3 to 4 days will be critical as the wean him off the vent and sedation.  Pray that all goes well.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Right Hand Surgery

Dan just got out of a 3 1/2 hour surgery on his right hand. It went well, but it was pretty broken up. They used screws and wires to put everything in it's place and some of that will come out at a later date. The Dr. is very uncertain about how much use of his hand he will have. I am going to make an early morning run to Flagstaff tomorrow with Mr. Kendrick. So I will update his progress again tomorrow mid-morning. There is still a lot of concern about the trauma to his brain, as Matt the night ICU nurse said they know a lot about the brain, but there is so much they don't know that it is still uncertain. Please continue to pray for the family as I know this is very draining and can be very difficult times.

Trust Him

So much is going on it seems. If you have been following what is going on with Dan there isn't much that is new this morning. Scheduled for surgery late this afternoon on his right wrist.

I stopped to talk to Polly Bailey. Her husband Kenny has been in the hospital for some time now and they need our prayers as well. Kenny is doing okay, but has a long road in front of him and there is a lot of uncertainity on when he will come home, long term care facility etc. Polly is so grateful for prayers and how people have reached out to her. I noticed that while I admire her faith and trust she isn't that much different than the rest of us, it is still hard for her at times. She and Kenny have been married for 64 years (65 soon) and she said she can't leave his side and being at home is the hardest thing for her.

I did get a picture from Ky of their daughter Kally (Kali is how I spelled it before). She is the one we have been praying for that was born with only one chamber in her heart. She is a beautiful baby. Keep praying for her as she has some upcoming surgeries although she is doing really well right now.

So this is how the Body of Christ works, we reach out - we reach into others lives and try to do what Jesus would do.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dan's Out of Surgery

Dan went into surgery later than expected, and just now came out. They put titanium plates in his forhead and below his left eye. The reason his left hand was of such concern there was a bone that was pushing against the nerves that control his fingers and it was extremely important that they remove that pressure so that he would have use of his hand. Surgery went very well and both the Drs. were very positive and pleased with how things went. He will likely have surgery tomorrow late in the day on his right hand.

I have also been thinking about the body of Christ...the Church as God has in mind. No one is asking what denomination or junk like that people are just rising to the occasion. I think this is it. So many people have been praying and helping in so many ways. Someone connected with Young Life (Dan volunteers with them) has allowed the Barker's to stay in a vacation home they have there. Another couple is taking a car for them to borrow tomorrow. People reaching out to those in need now that looks like the Body.

Thanks for the prayers,

Dan's Surgery

Just called Dan's Dad to see how surgery went and he still isn't in. He is expected to go into surgery around 6:15 pm. I would guess this had to do with scheduling to get both surgeons there at the same time. At this point they are going to do surgery on his face and his left wrist. As I mentioned earlier his left wrist was found to be more in need of repair right now than his right. I will expect to hear from his Dad sometime after surgery is over. Also his sister had surgery today and is home resting doing well to my understanding. Please pray for these two surgeries, and look for an update later on how things went.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dan's Latest

Ahh a nice big keyboard, this typing will go much faster.

Basically not too much has changed regarding Dan since I last posted and that is probably how things are going to go for a while now. There may not be much big news to pass along but I will still use facebook, twitter and text to pass the word on Dan. I plan on checking in with ICU or Dan's dad twice a day, and they know to call me if anything significant happens. I will then post once or maybe twice what I know even if it is brief. Right now things seem to be progressing well, but he is still a critical patient. He has come a ways, but he probably has a much longer way to go at this point.

As far as visiting goes - Dan is sedated which does not mean he is asleep. The Dr. called it the 4th dimension. He said while it looks like he is sleeping he is not necessarily asleep and right now he needs 20 hrs of sleep a day. So when visitors come in talking and such will wake him up. He needs some of that type of interaction that is positive and upbeat, but it is more important for him to get some sleep for the most part. I know this is hard because there are literally a hundred people who would like to see him, but we need to be sensitive to the needs of his family and let them have most of the time in the room. This is going to be a bit of a haul so there will be opportunity to visit after he is out of ICU. I say all of this not to say don't go up, but just be very cognitive of family and Dan and don't be disappointed if you don't get in to see Dan. Right now he and his family need our prayers more than anything.

The latest:
They are planning facial reconstruction surgery for tomorrow afternoon. If possible they will also operate on the right wrist. That will depend upon the schedule of the ortho surgeon. My understanding with the right wrist at this point is that there is a short section of bone that is broken and free floating. While it is not out of where it should be, it is not getting blood flow through it and they want to fix it so he doesn't lose that bone and functionality of his hand. His lower jaw is broken in two places and the left eye socket is going to need some reconstruction which is what they will be working on tomorrow afternoon.
Dan is a fighter and he is fighting hard and doing well for what he has been through and the injuries he has sustained. There has been no change in his brain injury which at this point is good news - not getting worse is a really good thing. It is going to take time now for it to heal. His lungs seem strong, even the left lung is doing well and he takes extra breaths in spite of the ventilator, this is great. I would guess being in good shape really helped with this injury. As long as the antibiotics hold off any potential infection every other injury he has will heal. I think it is important for us to remain positive and upbeat for him and his family. If you do get to see him (which may be unlikely until he is out of ICU) be positive.

Some Positives

We saw Dan after his CT scan and there are some real postives:
brain didn't show any increase in swelling or damage so it was stable
lungs seem strong they are leaving him on the vent due to upcoming surgery on his right wrist and face.
His vitals have been steady since surgery which is really good.
He does have a broken lower jaw both sides all the way through.  His left eye socket has a lot of damage below his eye and fractures above his eyes and left temple plate.  
They are going to try to do surgery on his rt wrist and face.  Once surgeries are done maybe later this week or the beginning of next week, they will consider removing the vent.  He is progressing but not out of the woods yet.


I am getting tired of this little keyboad and long updates, but here we go.  Spent last night at a hotle in flag and got some good sleep.

Dan's parents made it in last night.  His mom stayed last night with him and his dad is staying here today.  I will come home today and his dad will continue to give me updates and I will spread any news.

Dan is doing okay.  Still sedated and progressing.  Amazingly he has broken vertebrae in his neck but it is the "spines" of bone that come off the vertebrae so there is no spine damage and they will heal.  He went in for a CT scan this morning at 8:30 and will be out around 10 am.  There is a lot of waiting at this point.  Head injury is still an unknown but he seems to be doing okay.  His lung is a big concern but he has been taking breaths on his own.  He vent is set for 14 breaths per min, he has been taking 16 breaths.  Infection from surgery is a big concern as well, but he is on some strong antibiotics.  They are looking at his face/head to see how to reconstruct the bones that are broken.  Flagstaff has a great trauma center and they will keep him here for a few weeks in ICU.  

Continue to pray for him and his family.  Let me kow if you have questions.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dan is out of surgery

Dan is out of surgery and the surgeon stopped by and gave us the update.  He did find two holes in his small intestine and was able to repair them.  They also removed 72 ounces of fluid.  He now needs rest and prayer.  Dr. said he is doing okay.  Dan's parents are on their way up from Phoenix pray for their emoional strength and safe travel.  Thanks and we will keep you updated.

Dan Update

Jim Smith and I just talked to the Dr.  Dan is responding to pain when touched in his lower abdomen.  This leads the Dr. to believe he may have an intestinal injury.  They are doing exploratory surgery if they find nothing they will sew him up and he will just have a scar.  If they find somethig they will fix it.  Keep praying for the Dr. to have wisdom and for Dan in surgery.

Dan Update

I know many of you are praying for Dan.  I will try to keep my blog updated and post the link to my blog in facebook.

The trauma Dr. is most concerned about the trauma to his brain and they don't want the swelling in his brain to increase so they are watching that closely.  The second most critical injury is the deep bruise to his left lung.  After that the other injuries will heal but it is a long road ahead.  The other injuries are a fractured pelvis, laceration to his head, facial fractures, broken jaw, fractured right wrist and other internal injuries may show up later.  The next 48 to 72 hours are critical as far as the head injury is concerned.  He will likely get worse before he gets better, the ICU nurse said that will be difficult for his family and friends to see.  It is a miracle that he is alive and that EMS could find him.  Please continue to pray.  I will try to keep this up to date and accurate.  His parents are on their way and should be here around 10 pm tonight.  I think his sister is also coming later this week.  Pray for their safe travel and strength through this time.  Thanks for your prayers and concern.  Let's stay as positive and upbeat as we can and keep praying.  Thanks again for your support.
In His Grace,