Time and faith are his friends for an Utah athlete recovering from a life-threatening injury

The last time he checked in to Roman Ruiz, a Utah track and field athlete who collapsed during track training, he was in a hospital bed in Ogden and was present with minimal consciousness. That was eight months ago. He currently lives with his parents in Pasco, Washington and is undergoing intense rehabilitation therapy.

His progress is on a roller coaster.

Lewis, who suffered cardiac arrest on March 7, was progressing in the spring, but his father Javier said: “The situation retreated in July and August. I had less intuition in conversation and a low level of consciousness. I was disappointed. After incorporating all that work into my treatment, I took a step back, but also a few steps. After stepping on … I was scared. “

The Lewis family wanted to try another treatment, especially hyperbaric oxygen therapy, but that was a problem. Family insurance companies didn’t cover it, and it was expensive and not available in their area. The only place where they could find such a cure was two hours away in Spokane, but it didn’t work because the Romans needed 40 days of continuous treatment.

Javier considered moving to Spokane, which was also exorbitant when combined with treatment costs. He also considered buying a high-pressure chamber, but “if I did that, I wouldn’t be able to afford all the other treatments he needed.”

A local newspaper article explained the family dilemma in early September. After reading the article, one of his former high school classmates in Rome contacted Javier and said that her employer, the Pacific Clinic, provided the treatment they were looking for. Pacific Clinic, which has just opened in the Tri-Cities area, claims to be “a recovery zone for clients at risk of cognitive problems such as traumatic brain injury, PTSD, and post-concussion syndrome.”

Lewis recently completed his 40th high-pressure treatment and will continue to use it. The high pressure chamber injects the body with increased levels of oxygen at the cellular level. This is believed to help healing.

“The first week turned around,” Javier said a few weeks ago. “We are beginning to notice the change …. He is back on track. He is a little over two months ago.”

Javier told Deseret News last week: “(The Romans) are now continuing to improve physically rather than mentally, but he will soon begin occupational and speech therapy, and I hope that part will recover as well.”

In addition to the high pressure chamber, Roman receives other alternative treatments — Vibrasonic systemic vibration therapy, red light therapy, and mirror therapy. Ultimately, he may also receive oxygen contrast therapy, pulsed electromagnetic therapy, and sensory / deprivation therapy, among other treatments.

Roman’s treatment in Pacific is overseen by former Canadian Football League quarterback Steve White.

More than eight months ago, Roman Lewis, a decathlon, was exercising on a USU track when he fell. That morning, only one other was on the truck, and he happened to be a retired doctor named John Bailey. He was walking around when he found Lewis unconscious. He called 911 and conducted CPR until the EMT arrived.

Ruiz was technically dead for 30-35 minutes, as first reported in Deseret News. He was resuscitated after a long CPR procedure, three defibrillation attempts, and an injection of epinephrine. The risk of oxygen deficiency is brain damage. Lewis was taken to Logan Regional Hospital and then died at McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden. He was placed in a medically induced coma for several days. He spent nine days in the ICU.

“He’s making gradual improvements,” Javier said recently. “Time is our friend,” says the doctor.

Javier says that shortly after starting high-pressure treatment, Roman gained new awareness and began asking questions he had never asked — what month is this month? Why am i not in school? Why am i here? He asks the same question on a regular basis. “He’s trying to get things into context,” says Javier. Romans rarely answer his father’s explanations. From time to time, I raise my eyebrows to say, “Really?”

Javier noticed that his son’s endurance was improving. A few months ago, Roman was encouraged to go jogging as part of his rehab. He jogged just a few steps before walking slowly. The farthest he jogged was 55 yards. Now he can jog up to 100 yards at a time without stopping and complete a mile on the treadmill in about 16 minutes. “It’s a completely different level than when he was two months ago,” says Javier.

A devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Roman (and a former Roman missionary) attends a young single adult ward with his father (Romans cannot drive). “I will go, but I will come back,” says Javier. “He knows some people. It’s his hometown. People know that they have to encourage him to speak. They start (conversation) and he responds. , When you ask a yes-no question, that’s all you get. It’s nice to see him regain his social life. “

Utah State University track and field athlete Roman Lewis runs and jumps to clear the bar. After suffering cardiac arrest eight months ago, Lewis is recovering.
Wade Deniston

Some of his former USU teammates are in contact by phone and text. Roman has become more communicative and responsive in recent weeks, but most of his reactions are short. His teammates know they have to be responsible for most of the conversation and ask him for a reply. But when one of his teammates said she was having a bad day, he asked why. It was progress.

Aspen Drexel, a close friend and teammate, said: He is a very different Roman. From time to time he will say something like old Rome. It’s difficult — it’s surreal. “

Is Javier asked what is the best thing a family can want? “We always want it,” he says. “That’s a good question.”

He took Roman to a physiatrist. Doctors treat a variety of other parts of the body that are associated with the brain and spinal cord. She said she was impressed by Javier when she conducted a series of tests to evaluate Rome. She then told him, “Given the situation, this guy is in good shape.” Javier said. “Given that (cardiac arrest) happened only seven months ago, he has a good foundation for working together. Time is your best friend. When he reaches a certain degree of independence I don’t know. Brain injuries are unique. But what I’ve seen is good. Thanks to his perception, I have a lot to work with here. “

Javier believes that something less specific than science is carrying his son and his family. “We must be patient and trust in Heavenly Father’s plan,” he says. “The biggest difference was prayer and Rome’s personal testimony of Jesus Christ.”

Time and faith are his friends for an Utah athlete recovering from a life-threatening injury

Source link Time and faith are his friends for an Utah athlete recovering from a life-threatening injury

Related Articles

Back to top button