Saturday, June 20, 2009

Update 51 - Information From Dr. Jutzy, Friend and Neurosurgeon

More good news from authoritative sources. Dr. Ron Jutzy, a family friend and a neurosurgeon here in Boise, stopped by to visit this afternoon. It was good to hear from a friend who knows what is going on, isn't worried about professional care procedures and malpractice and can explain it to us in terms we regular humans can understand. He is a treasure trove of useful information and experience on what's happening with Jeremy. What follows are my best recollections of some of the things he said.

The brain is a miraculous creation. There are some seven billion nerve connections, each specifically used and needed for a multitude of things. In a severe head trauma, many of those connections are damaged. Normally the brain burns around five hundred calories a day to function. Jeremy's brain is burning some 2500 calories a day now. His brain is testing each and every connection again, reconnecting the one's it wants and disconnecting the ones it doesn't want. And the brain knows exactly what it wants and needs and will work ceaselessly to restore the connections it needs, testing about 250,000 connections a day. Fearfully and wonderfully made, we are.

Ron also told us about research being done here in Boise at Boise State University. The professor in charge of the research (not a God follower, by the way) has been studying head trauma, coma and recovery, many of them Ron's patients as he worked with students. Their fifteen years of research has found three things that are the most prevalent indicators in those that recover. Here's the list, in the proper order of precedence:
  1. A belief in God prior to the accident.
  2. Family present in the room after the accident and with treatment.
  3. And a strong, self-starting personality (Which Ron said was evident with his ownership of a motorcycle)
In head trauma cases, Ron says we have little way of knowing through the CT scans and MRI's what kind of damage has been done. The best way to predict eventual outcome is the progress the patient makes. So what we perceived as baby steps over the past couple of weeks, are in actuality Jeremy's mind reconnecting vital functions and signs of his recovery, which all work in his favor. Jeremy is moving on his, spending some time with his eyes open and seems to be responding to voices when he hears them especially those of his family. Ron says these are all good things and signs that Jeremy will eventually recover. If he wasn't showing these signs as we approach the three week mark, the prognosis would be less hopeful.

He also told us that prayer was an effective and powerful tool in Jeremy's favor. He said in his experience (more than thirty years now), he has seen over and over the power of prayer in his patient's lives. He also said there are studies and papers at the NIH (National Institute of Health) that chronicle prayer and its effects on patients and their recovery. They don't talk about it much in public, but the proof is there to be seen. So keep praying.

But he also counseled us that we thought we knew all we needed to know about patience. This experience with Jeremy will give us all new lessons. This is likely to be a long and difficult process. There will be good days and there will be bad days as Jeremy's brain heals itself.

But, most importantly, there are reasons for hope and optimism in Jeremy's case. He is a strong young man with no other underlying health issues. He is home, surrounded by family, friends and loved ones. He is receiving the best care available. And most importantly of all, he has all of us praying for him. Thank you. We'll keep you updated.

Posted by Mike Agee, for Debi & Greg, cause they thought you would want to know.


  1. That's powerful. Isn't it amazing how God made us and even more amazing is how He created us to heal. PTL!

  2. Do you happen to have the name of this professor? Were these findings published?

  3. Jacob,

    I'll have to ask Dr. Jutzy when i see him again about the publishing. As I recall, the professor's name was Seifert.


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