Yesterday was a great day in the Baber camp. There was a marked relief on the faces of everyone as Caleb left exploritory surgery where they made sure that his internal organs were funtioning properly. We could see that a shift had taken place and the issues of recovery had been reframed; we were looking at an entirely new set obstacles, a much more hopeful horizon than when he entered ICU on Saturday. After hearing about how well he was doing we spent the early afternoon just updating people and just taking in the joy of the news.
Then several of us: Allison, Sarah, Levi, Grandpa Baber, Charlie, and I headed south to Cleveland to visit Lee University for several reasons. Primarily, we went because Danielle Metcalf had arranged a prayer vigil on the campus, so we joined them and were blessed to see a group of 50-60 students gather together in prayer and worship over Caleb. A very genuine and meaningful time for all of us. It has bee a little bit chaotic as you can imagine, so the opportunity to stop and take in all that has happened and realize how for things have come already was very refreshing. Also, we were able to speak to several of Caleb's close friends, including his EMT roommate who truly saved his life from loss of blood in the waiting hours after the accident on the trail. It was a privilege to enter part of Caleb's world of which most of us have never been a part. We were welcomed arms open and I realized that Caleb always tended to gravitate to people that would make him better and vice-versa. This was certainly the case, and even though we only spent a few moments with them, we instantly connected and look forward to more chances this weekend to be with them. After eating the best plate of Mac'n'cheese ever produced (largely because of how under utilized our digestive track had been:) that Allison's roommates had prepared we all headed back "home" to Nashville.
Well, as has seemingly been the case in every circumstance so far, God provided a great place for us to stay last night. Charlie, Levi, and I camped out at a fellow Norfolk'ns house here in Nashville. Grant Gadeken was a terrific host and let us camp in his living room for the night even though we didn't arrive till well after 1:00 am. We slept hard and fast, roused ourselves, and trudged to the hospital in time for Levi to make the family visitation hours from 9:00 to 9:30. Which brings us to the most important part, how the boy is doing.
Through the night docotrs slowly reduced the sedating medications. This has allowed him to become more responsive than he has been since he entered the hospital. When the nurse entered this morning she said asked Caleb to squeeze her hand if he could hear her, which he promptly did. As different family members spoke to him he would acknowledge them with his eyes, even though he can't see them because of the moisturizing medication. He would move his head in the direction of the voice, which is great sign not only of good brain activity but little spinal damage. He should slowly become even more responsive over the next hours and they expect him to be able to see clearly even later today as he will be more awake and able to look around and nuturally clean out his eyes.
For Caleb today is about being able to rest on his own, which if it is not too painful, will be better than having to be medicated. There are no surgeries until Tomorrow morning around 7:30 or so. So the next initiatives for prayer are that Caleb would remain well hydrated and God would protect him from infection which is always a potential danger with burns of this nature. They are also in the process of extubating him, but it really depends on how he responds as they decrease his oxygen levels, if he picks them up himself or not, will determine how far they go. So those are more or less the facts for him right now, pray as you're lead.
For the family, just continue to hold them up especially as they are away from home and are spending long hours in the waiting rooms. I know that some of us are going to a park or something nearby just to get out and get some fresh air. But there has been real grace and humility with each other . Pray for us non-family members to serve in very tangible ways that shoulder the load for the Babers and don't add any strain.
Thanks again everyone and let's keep up the good work from all ends.