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meeting with Carl C. Kao

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    #76 ****pictures of Ed's operation at the end of the page click on the next button and the 2cnd set of pictures will pop up. ***pictures of the inside of the clinic


      if dr.kao is going to get so much attention,i wonder if he is planning teaching and showing other docters his procedure?it seems like he is swamped


        overtheline3- I think because of the technology today it would seem that Dr. Kao is busier than ever. Search engines are better, the internet, and now the digital cameras make it possible to spread the word quicker. Dr. Kao taught for several years and has done this for quite some time. The media is getting word thanks to the technology as I said before. We will have to see if Dr. Kao allows them to come to Ecuador. [img]/forum/images/smilies/confused.gif[/img]


          Picture of Ed the day after the procedure...hyperbaric chamber too



            are you still going to undergo the procedure? I thought I remember you saying the 24th, but I was not sure? I will not mind at all if you come walking back and say " told you so ". You have definitely done your homework and the updates are appreciated.


              carlR...Tuesday is when we leave and Friday the 24th is the operation. Would love to be able to walk back (as you said), will have to take one day at a time though! [img]/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif[/img]


                questions and the answers ....***FEEL FREE TO ASK YOUR OWN????

                Q:> How is Ed feeling?

                A:> He sleeps a lot...medications are partly the cause. Important, but so
                is eating.

                Q:> Is there any pain? If so, what kind and how much,
                is the pain?

                A:> Ed is in NO pain....they have him on some low dose pain medication. I
                imagine the incision site would be painful otherwise...

                Q:> Any noticable improvements (i.e. like the others can
                fingers, legs?)

                A:> He can feel about an inch lower on his chest and his neck mobility is
                almost completely back as well as the weakness in his right arm is
                almost gone.

                Q:> Any new patients?

                A:> Two more arrive tonight.....

                Q:> Why can't Ed sit up, you
                mentioned that another patient had sat up in bed after his operation.

                A:> Sitting up will cause spinal headaches. A slight incline is OK after a
                day. With no headaches, I imagine he can sit up and eat tomorrow or the
                next day.

                Q:> What
                if anything has Dr. Kao said about the operation...any surprises he
                ran into,
                good surprises, bad surprises?

                A:> The operation revealed good ones for Ed..... Although his compression
                was severe, it was limited to 1.5 centimeters. His cord was tethered
                and Dr. Kao took care of that, too (that's what gave him back his neck

                Q:> How did the hyperbaric chamber go?

                A:> No problems. Barbara gave Ed muscle relaxers and valium the first day.
                Today, Ed is in the chamber with NO valium.

                Q:> How are
                the others doing?

                A:> Greg had some urine in his blood today. I suppose it was from changing
                the catheter. Linda, his mother, immediately got Barbara who
                immediately had it taken care of... John is able to move his fingers a

                Q:> Explain if you are able, how do you mean that he
                was able
                to move his leg(s) (Greg)?

                A:> I do not know all the details of Greg's injury, but I do know it was not
                as severe as John's or Ed's. Movement is VERY limited at this point,
                but it is there....

                Q:> Did the person who moved fingers have a
                transfer, was he a quad and unable to do so before the operation?

                A:> John did not have a tendon transfer that I am aware of. He was a

                Q:> Are
                all men there having the operations? No woman?

                A:> No women yet, so far just the three men.... I understand one or two
                women will be here with us...

                Q:> Has Ed (or anyone)
                any new sensations or feelings?

                A:> So far. I think John has shown the most improvement....

                Q:> how is the weather?

                A:> The weather is WONDERFUL, but VERY windy.....

                Q:>v What kinds of clothes should we bring? A:> You won;t be cold or hot....VERY nice. I put a comforter over me at night and that is all....

                Q:> I saw in the pictures that there was a
                nook, can you email out on that?

                A:> Yes, everyone can use the computer to e-mail anywhere, no charge...

                Teddy Lancaster

                In Ecuador until September 4th....

                [This message was edited by Birde on August 19, 2001 at 08:35 PM.]


                  report from Ecuador***Aug.19,2001

                  Now that the surgery is over, it seems like it is all downhill, but it
                  is not. There are all sorts of little things that have to be done, have
                  to be watched, and have to be remembered.

                  Ed must lie on his back for ten days. After a couple, he will be
                  allowed to partially sit up to eat. In the meantime, I have to feed
                  him. He can drink juices, water and soups through a straw, but the rest
                  is up to me handing him a fork or spoonful of whatever.

                  We are both getting sick of the same old food. I still have not made it
                  to a store. I want to get brown rice, wheat bread, canned pasta (or ANY
                  pasta), tofu, bean curd, yogurt, oatmeal, cereal, milk and whatever
                  other food I think Ed may like and eat, especially food with protein.

                  Dr. Kao sees him every day. Today, Ed was told that he urine sample
                  showed a particularly tough bacterial infection, common in patients who
                  have been in hospitals and facilities of the like. He is on a special
                  anti-biotic for it. Dr. Kao is insisting that Ed's catheter be clamped
                  off 6 hours at a time to "train" his bladder. Neither the hospital or
                  rehab center had made any sincere effort in this matter.

                  Ed complained of a "hard bump" on his is the site of the
                  surgery where extra gauze padding has been secured to the area to keep
                  pressure on the incision site. He has a drain in his back to collect
                  the excess spinal fluid being produced. This will probably be removed
                  in a day or so.

                  Dr. Kao also insists on an "abdominal" binder. Helps circulation by
                  holding in the gut (Ed has no control here yet). The one we brought
                  with us from the rehab center was not good enough for Dr. Kao, so he
                  supplied another.

                  Everyone in recovery so far has had daily bouts of hiccups. All are
                  briefly put on a stomach medication. Spasms will be relieved as
                  sensation slowly comes back, but the abdominal binder seems to
                  exacerbate them.

                  A physical therapist visits Ed twice daily for an hour of leg message
                  each time. His legs are wrapped in ace bandages to prevent phlebitis
                  and are removed for the hyberbaric chamber an for massage.

                  Dr. Alaracon, the owner of the clinic (or a relative) has dozens of
                  paintings everywhere. They are beautifully unique so I took photos of
                  many of them and am posting them on the website for your enjoyment. I
                  have not yet asked, but I sure would like to bring one or more home.....

                  More tomorrow.....

                  Teddy Lancaster


                    the countdown begins...

                    well guys, the countdown begins. We leave tomorrow at 5Am to Chicago, chicago to Miami, Miami to Quito. We are schedualed to get to Quito around 8:30pm. The actual operation is schedualed for Friday, Aug. 24 at 7AM. Pre-op tests and x-rays, and MRIs need to be taken care of before, as well as some exploring Ecuador on our part! We are excited, and really nervous too! We have NEVER been away from our children this far or this long in our lives, that alone is very hard! They (2 boys) start school the day after we leave, and we will not be there for that! [img]/forum/images/smilies/frown.gif[/img] We never have been out of the country either! We must live "sheltered lives"?!!! I DON"T "DO" planes well at all, that is going to be pure hell for me! I have had a couple hundred nightmares about that jumbo jet crashing to the ground!!! [img]/forum/images/smilies/eek.gif[/img] As I said in past posts, we will try and keep you posted as much as we can, if the "freekin' plane doesn't crash! I bought out the local drug stores supply of dramamine, and perhaps a steady supply of on board cocktails will calm the nerves a bit! I really have been "lucky" to have found all of you, your support through this has been a "God send"! If I have time I will check in tonight, as I know I will be unable to sleep a wink! Thanks! ADIOS AMIGOS! (trying to brush up on the 'ole Spanish) [img]/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif[/img] B.T.W. You should be able to keep up to date either here, or at:, or at:

                    [This message was edited by Birde on August 20, 2001 at 11:16 AM.]


                      It sounds like a very interesting trip Birde

                      Keep us up to date with things, and best of luck to you. You are in good hands with Dr. Kao, hopefully you will regain some function.
                      [img]/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img] Curtis
                      "Life is about how you
                      respond to not only the
                      challenges you're dealt but
                      the challenges you seek...If
                      you have no goals, no
                      mountains to climb, your
                      soul dies".~Liz Fordred



                        Our hearts and prayers go with you.




                          I wanted to thank you for your bravery.You have restored my hope in that some day I'll will get out of this chair.I'm to where I can't wait to read your latest post.It is no longer someday,now it's someday soon.
                          THANK'S AGAIN Steve


                            Good luck down there Birde! You won't crash. And remember, if you or the wife feel tired it's the altitude. You'll adjust. Oh, and while you're exploring keep the valuables'll need them to check out. [img]/forum/images/smilies/tongue.gif[/img]

                            Sue<-----pulling for both Birde and Ed
                            Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

                            Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.


                              pictures and the latest report from Ed & Ecuador...



                                my son Jake

                                Dear Friends:

                                Please say some prayers also for my 15 year old son, Jake. He is 9 months post C-4,5. We will have the same surgery as Birde's husband next week. We are rushing things a bit faster then we want, because of the complications of syringomeglia. We would have prefered to wait another year post injury, but he is losing not gaining function and sensation. He needs surgery to correct the cavity in his spinal cord, so we prefer to have it all done at one time. Keep up with this progress at or hear at spine wire.


                                Jake's Pop