Update on James

Thanks to all the kind words of support and blessings and prayers in regard to my nephew, James.

The PICU is not a great place to visit. The parents of patients there wander in and out as if lost, staring first one way, then the other, as though they have totally lost their bearings. They have. I’ve seen some awful things in the past few days, and not just the one affecting my own family.

First off, may I just give a HUGE SHOUT OUT to Primary Children’s Medical Center? The level of care there is so excellent.

Guess what James did today? Watched Spaceballs and had a Sunrise Smoothie. What, you might ask? What is this? Yeah, we are pretty amazed, too.

We went from dire predictions of brain damage and possible death to excellent prognosis for recovery.

There is no doubt that his father and brother saved his life, performing CPR for ten minutes while they waited for paramedics to arrive. Those paramedics took over, did an excellent job, and he was then Lifeflighted to Primary. They were brutally honest with us, and his chances for survival and recovery looked slim. But they did everything they could, and it was enough to bring him out of that dark touch with death and back into our light.

Day two was awful, but he began to respond and fight, and try to answer questions. I spent a long night with him, holding him down whenever he tried to pull out his vent tube, or central line, or even worse, FOLEY (think catheter). And fight he did. He did not enjoy those tubes and bells and whistles, and he kept mouthing the words “help me,” to me. That was my first inkling he might just be okay.

He says he remembers me being with him, and he is still speaking to me, so I guess he understands I was trying to help him. Yes, he is speaking. Hoarsely, and with great effort, but he IS SPEAKING.

His breathing is still labored, but not as bad. He is still on some monitors, but no catheter, no central line and best of all, NO BREATHING tube.

Even better, he is now out of PICU and has a room on a trauma floor.

James is one of the lucky ones.

Thanks for all your prayers and good wishes, and voodoo dances, and whatever else you did. It is GREATLY appreciated.

But don’t stop there. On the PICU ward, there is still a little girl named Josie, who cannot breath well right now, because she has severe pneumonia.

Also in the PICU, is Bridger Hunt, whose story many of you are familiar with. I am not going to share any of the details I learned speaking with his family, because I believe that would be a violation of trust, but I WILL ask that you pray for him and his recovery. He needs it.

It’s funny how whenever you think YOUR life is bad, you get reminded just how good you have it.

Today is a good day. Enjoy the smoothie, James.


About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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14 Responses to Update on James

  1. Renee says:

    Natalie, that is awesome!! I am so glad for you, your sister and James, and will pray for those other sweet kids – nobody should have to be in PICU. Kids should be kids.


  2. azteclady says:

    My prayers are with all those children and their parents–and with so many others.

    Thank you for letting us know, Natalie. Will keep wishing James a full and prompt recovery.

    You and your daughters are always in my thoughts.


  3. Steve Mayfield says:

    Natalie..glad to hear the good news and update..will probably call your folks..yes like is wonderfull after all…God Bless


  4. aerin says:

    Just wanted to say, so glad to hear that he is doing better. Good thoughts sent his way and your family’s way. If I believed in miracles, it sounds like this might have been one. I’m sure many people would consider it one.


  5. Mimi says:

    I have tears! Thanks be to God! Prayers continue and I lit a candle for him on Sunday.


  6. Yaaaaaayyyy!!! I’m so, so glad!


  7. Sheyedaisy says:

    Oh Natalie,

    I am so glad that James is ok. No child or parent, for that matter, should ever have to go through anything like that. I will definitely remember to send good thoughts and love to those suffering through tragedy at primary children’s and any PICU.


  8. Tracy says:

    Good news about James.

    Will pray for the other children.


  9. Cele says:

    Natalie my dear, happiness and joy to James, his family, and to you. The pain was hard, but like you said in different words, “but for the grace of God go I.” You’re right, your own dilemas are bad…until you look around you.


  10. Kathie says:



  11. Justme says:

    I’m so glad to hear James is well. What a horrible, scary ordeal. Yay! I’m so happy for the good news!


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