Friday, October 14, 2011

Good Morning,

Time seems to fly by and we apologize for taking so long to update. Clay underwent surgery on Thursday September 29th. This was the procedure that was canceled earlier in the month. The doctor worked on his hand , mouth, neck, and head. At this point he is back in school and seems to be doing fine. The second graders have a competition for UIL story telling. Clay is trying out for the team. I bet if he could tell about his life experiences he has more than the average second grader to draw from. He is excited about this opportunity. He will go back to Dallas on the 17th of this month for his first injection into the scalp expander. The doctor plans to put 400 to 450 cc of fluid in between now and Christmas. The next surgical procedure will be to move the existing hair around on his head. I hope this short note finds everyone well. We are thankful to all who pray for and encourage Clay and our family. Take Care

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hello to all. It has been sometime since I posted on the blog but I wanted to update everyone on Clay's non procedure yesterday. As some of you know Clay was scheduled for his first surgery of the new school year on Monday the 12th. The doctor planned to place a tissue expander under his scalp to start the process of covering his head with hair, work on his left hand to open up the webbing and increase the use of his fingers, and work in and around the mouth and chin to release some scar bands that continually pull his lower lip down and prevent him from opening his mouth very wide. To sum it up quickly, it did not happen. We arrived at Children's hospital in Dallas at 7:00 a.m. Clay was quickly checked in and we went to the pre-op room to wait our turn. Clay loves the hospital because it offers some amenities he is not accustomed to at home (Cartoons) Clay watched and waited patiently and contentedly for over three hours until his doctor came in to prep and analyze him for surgery. When the doctor entered the room Clay's demeanor changed instantly and he realized the fun was over. As the doctor left and the nurse prepared to wheel him to the O.R. Clay told Deidra and I that he felt sick. We assured him it was just nerves and he would be fine. We told him it was just like all the other times and he would go to sleep and we would be at his bed when he awoke. The older he gets the more he dreads the procedures. They wheeled him of to the OR and Deidra and I went down stairs for a cup of coffee. We no more ordered our drinks and were seated when I received a call saying the physician needed to see us. We rushed back up and the surgeon met us and said there was nothing to worry about but Clay had become sick at his stomach upon the onset of anesthesia. He was of the opinion it was nerves and wanted to proceed but the anesthesiologist would not proceed with the surgery for fear of aspiration if Clay was ill again. Procedure canceled. We were told they wanted to observe Clay for a few hours to make sure he was OK. When we went in the recovery room he was more than OK. He was sitting up ready to eat Jello, Popsicles, Apple Juice, Etc. and asked when we could go eat and go home. We asked him if he was nervous about surgery and he said yes and he thought if they put the expander in his scalp he might not be able to swim at spring break. Mom told him if we did not have this done now he may miss an entire summer of swimming. We are waiting on a new schedule, apparently O.R. time stays pretty booked. We are going to try a different approach and premedicate in the pre-op room to see if we can ease his mind a little until they get him asleep. All things happen for a reason and apparently yesterday was not the day for Clay to have his surgery. I hope all is well in your part of the world. We will add more details and a date for round two when we learn more. Take Care.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday, August 26

At our friend's ranch in SE Colorado

Cody with his frogs

Clay with his frogs


Hello to all! Once again, we haven't posted an update for quite awhile. Now that school has started, we may have more time to post. The boys had an nice summer. Clay's favorite activity was swimming. We are in a severe drought along with temperatures in the triple digits; so, Clay did most of his swimming in the late afternoon/evening hours. We spent some time on the coast in South Texas at Pappy & Grandma's. We enjoyed our church convention in July. The boys also enjoyed the show/musical "Texas" (Palo Duro Canyon State Park) with family and friends. They thought it was really cool that one of their cousins was part of the show this summer. We escaped the heat, for a little while, with a trip to Colorado; and, enjoyed our time with my sister & her family.

Carson is in the 7th grade this year, Cody 4th grade, and Clay 2nd grade. They have enjoyed their first week of school; although, Cody is our little "homebody" and would rather be at home than at school. Clay came home the first day of school and said "I love school"! Clay's next surgery is scheduled for Sept 12. Dr. Trussler will place a tissue expander under the little bit of hair on Clay's scalp. As we begin to fill this expander and it gets larger, we are thinking of different types of hats that he might be able to wear during this time. Dr. Trussler will also perform surgery on Clay's left hand and do some work around his mouth/lips.

Clay's attitude towards life continues to teach us so much. We were at a 4-H event a few weeks ago, and a family sat down across the table from us. The minute their child saw Clay, this child wanted to leave the table. With what ensued after that, I was on the verge of tears. I told Chance that I needed to go sit in the car until I stopped crying. I cried harder when Clay patted my arm and said "It'll be ok, mom". When Carson asked why mom was crying, Clay answered "She's crying because a kid thought that I was scary". Here's Clay who has been through so much and who's appearance is changed forever; yet, he was the one comforting us. We have prayed earnestly that God would "keep" him through all that he will face in future days. This strength that he has, only comes from God. So thankful for God's presence.
Clay was swinging with his cousin this summer, and a girl jumped off the swing beside them and said "I can't swing with burned kids". Clay walked away with his head down; but, a few minutes later he was playing again. Our cousin told us about this incident days later. So thankful for Clay's resilience and kindness. I pray that any unkind words, comments, stares, or unkindness from others would never squelch his spirit. We are thankful for the many who see Clay for the person he is, along with his big heart.

I am posting a picture of Clay with some frogs he shot. There was a silent auction at one of our recent 4-H fundraisers. Clay saw a rifle in the auction he thought he had to have. He was pulling on Chance's arm saying "Please (bid)write my name down, dad". Chance's response was "Son, I'm not going to pay that for the rifle". When Clay heard the announcement that the silent auction was over, he put his head down and cried. Three men from Graham, TX purchased the rifle for Clay. They noticed how much Clay wanted the rifle and made sure they secured the bid. They brought the rifle to our table and sat it in front of Clay. Clay raised his head and quickly dried his tears. All the way home we heard from the boys in the back seats; "Dad, can we shoot the rifle when we get home? Dad, can we look at it again before you put it up? Dad, can we shoot a deer? Dad, can we go rabbit hunting? Dad, will you take us hunting tomorrow? Dad...Dad....Dad....". Chance took Cody & Clay (Carson was busy) to the tank (pond) in the back pasture and the picture shows the frogs they got with dad's help. They were able to sneak upon a rabbit too. No, we did not have frog legs for supper. :)

Children's Medical Center's Plastic Surgery Department has asked if Clay would be one of their co-captains for Children's Red Balloon Run & Relay in October. The name of the team is "Fantastico Plastico". If any in the Dallas area are interested in the run/relay, we'd love for you to be a part of our team. 100% of the proceeds raised by the team will benefit Children's Medical Center's Plastic Surgery Department.

I did not intend for this to be so long. Hope all is well with each one of you. Thanks again for your care. ~The Fite Family (Chance, Deidra, Carson, Cody, & Clay)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cody playing golf in the Tower Extrusions Golf Tournament.

Clay playing golf.

Boys fishing

Clay's baseball glove


Hello to all. Once again, it has taken us awhile to update the blog (2+ months). Clay is away at burn camp this week. Chance & I were hesitant to send him, but Clay was very excited about going. It does ease our minds knowing that nurses & therapists from the burn unit will also be at camp. Clay had his most recent surgery 2 wks ago (May 25th). His Plastic Surgeon pulled up his lower eyelids by attaching the skin (tissue) to the bone on outer edges of eye-socket. He also released scars below Clay's nostrils, between eyes, one side of mouth and small area on neck. Needless to say, Clay had stitches all over his face & his eyes were swollen for days.

Clay has been wanting to play baseball all year; so, Chance coached his baseball team this past Spring. Clay was named the best "one-handed batter" on the team. We had a special glove made for him at the Nokona glove factory in Nocona, Texas. It has a special sleeve that he wraps around his forearm to keep the glove on. Carson & Cody played baseball too & enjoyed it. I'll post some pictures of the baseball trio.

It has already turned out to be a really hot summer with temps in the triple digits. Our two chickens and rooster are big now, and the rooster crows all day! Choco (our Jack Russell) & the rooster do not care for one another. The rooster chases Choco & shows him who's boss. Choco keeps his distance. ~Hope you all are having a wonderful week~The Fite Family

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Carson & Cody with Carson's steer at Houston Stock Show.
Carson is behind his steer and Cody is holding his ribbon.

Good morning! Just thought I would give a quick update. I have posted a picture of Clay's neck. As you recall, this was his most extensive surgery (Dec.). The contracting burn scars had caused his chin to contract to his chest. Looking at the picture, you will be able to see how much his neck released. This skin flap was taken from his right thigh and and surgically attached to blood vessels in his neck. It has healed really well.

The boys had their Spring Break last week & we went South (to the coast) so they could see their grandparents & go to the beach. Chance, Carson, & Cody were at the Houston stock show the week before Spring Break (this was the last stock show for us this year). Carson's steer made the sale. Cody was in tears when he realized that he would not be able to bring his steer back home, but would have to say goodbye to him. Chance brought some calves from the back pasture to the barn; the boys will start working with these calves to get them gentle for next year.
Clay has another appointment next week with his doctor. At this time, we will plan his next surgery & he will be fitted with a mouth splint. It will be necessary for him to wear this splint to prevent the corners of his mouth from contracting again.
In our last blog entry, we mentioned that Clay bought 2 baby chicks. Well, those baby chicks are not so tiny anymore and outgrew their box really fast. Chance may be forced to build a chicken coop soon. :) No more "cute, fuzzy, soft" it is "scratch, peck, & run" when the boys try to pick them up. We hope you all have a wonderful day! Thanks again for your care! Love from the Fite Family (Chance, Deidra, Carson, Cody, & Clay)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hello to all! As most of you already know, this past Valentine's day was the two year mark since Clay's accident and he also had his most recent surgery on the 14th. His trach tube is out and he is doing great! Last Monday, the ENT doctors examined Clay's airway under anesthesia and removed his trach tube Tuesday morning. They monitored him Tuesday night and we came home Wed. afternoon. Clay's plastic surgeon (Dr. Trussler) released the scars on the corners of Clay's mouth - made incisions on both sides. The procedure was called a "commisuroplasty". Before the procedure, Clay was not able to open his mouth wide enough for us to see his teeth; and now we can see his teeth. At our follow-up appt. in a few weeks, they will make him a mouth splint to wear at night. I was a little nervous about how Clay would do without his trach tube; but, he has had no problems physically or mentally and the stoma (opening in his neck where the trach tube was) has already closed. We will be making plans for his next surgery when we see his doctor again in a few weeks.

Carson & Cody did not make the sale at the Ft. Worth or San Antonio stock shows with their steers. Looks like they will be taking their steers to the Houston stock show(in March). We also have 2 new additions to our 'animal farm'. Clay bought 2 baby chicks at the feed store a few days ago. The boys named them but I forgot the names-I'll have to ask again when they get home from school. The chicks were the last thing we needed, but they are really cute.
Cody will turn 9 yrs. old this Wednesday (23rd).
Thanks again for all! Love from the Fites (Chance, Deidra, Carson, Cody, & Clay)

Friday, January 21, 2011

January 21, 2011

Hello to all & thank you again for your care. Clay's neck & donor sites are healing well from his recent surgery (Dec.). He did have some sutures that were supposed to dissolve but did not. His body had a reaction to them instead, and several areas on his leg (donor site) were inflamed. After a trip to see our doctor, this past Monday, our minds are now at ease.

Clay will have a documented sleep study within the next month or so. His next surgery is tentatively scheduled for mid to late February. The ENT doctors want to take Clay to O.R. & scope his airway (under anesthesia). If all looks good in the O.R., they will take Clay's tracheostomy tube out & then keep him in the hospital for a few days to monitor him. Clay's doctor (Dr. Trussler) will release scars at the edges of Clay's mouth during this same time. To prevent Clay from having to go under anesthesia more than is necessary, Clay's doctor & ENT doctor will perform his next surgery/procedure simultaneously.

Our county livestock show is this week. Cody is old enough this year to show animals and is very excited about it. Carson & Cody will show their pigs this afternoon and their steers tomorrow. I will post some pictures of Clay's "new" neck when I get a chance to. Thanks again for all & Take Care!