About two weeks ago, Tyler started having weird flu-like symptoms and suddenly got very clumsy. His parents took him to the ER, the ER sent him to Children's Hospital, and Children's diagnosed a tumor on the brainstem and referred him to a pediatric neurosurgeon at Vanderbilt.
Tyler's surgery was last week; the surgeon was only able to remove about 30% of the tumor. The doctors kept him in an induced coma for a day to reduce swelling of the brain; however, when they tried to take him off the ventilator, he did not start breathing on his own, so of course they put him back on, and he is still on the ventilator.
Currently, there is a lot of fluid accumulating around the surgery site, but the doctors can't put in a shunt to drain it because there's a systemic infection, possibly pneumonia. Also, the doctors want to put in a tracheotomy, but again -- systemic infection.
Most current information is that further tests indicate the tumor is malignant
As if that weren't enough, last night the Daugherty house was hit by lightning and burned to the ground.
I cannot begin to express how horrified I am that this is happening to the family.
ETA: Update, 6/5/09, 4:00 p.m. The surgeons were able to put a stent in what was already draining the fluid. Tyler's getting an MRI next week, and at that time the surgeons will decide on whether to put in a trach. He's still on the ventilator. Hospital options at this point appear to be limited to St. Jude's in Memphis, and an unspecified hospital up north; nothing else closer says they have the facilities.
There are at least three other kids in the family; they'll be staying with relatives for now. Van and his wife are mostly staying at the hospital, and otherwise with relatives.
Also destroyed in the fire was the oldest boy's truck.
Kroger has taken up a collection; don't know yet if there's anything for outsiders, but they'll be needing help for a while yet, so if anyone wants to contribute, send it to me and I'll pass it along.