Fourth accident update

Written by: Bobbye Jean Manzari

We are two days post op from Matt’s sternum surgery on Friday and blessings continue! Matt was riddled with anxiety about this surgery and the possibilities of what they were going to do. They were preparing to scrape most of his bone away, or even remove it entirely, then add a flap. The flap was yet another piece of deep tissue they were going to have to remove from Matt’s leg and reconnect all the blood vessels to the new location over his sternum. They were preparing for a long 5-6 hour surgery… Matt was out in an hour and a half! The doctors came out smiling and said that the bone had healed itself almost completely and all the damage was superficial. They began to scrape the black away and right under the surface was living bone. This great result meant that they did not have to do a flap, but instead, they put a very small layer of Integra on the bone. The Integra (The same synthetic dermis they put on his chest and arms) will heal over the bone so they can do a small skin graft over it in a few weeks. We were overjoyed that there was no more removal from Matt’s legs and the bone was healthy! The doctors were blown away and couldn’t believe the healing that had taken place… Once again prayers have been answered! It was the best news for Matt to wake up to after all his concern! They are also planning on doing surgery to the burns on his ears when they graft over his sternum in a few weeks. 

The skin grafts on his chest and arms have been healing well for the last three weeks. He has been working hard on gaining function again in his arms. His legs, where they harvested the skin for the grafts, continue to be the most painful part of his recovery. He can barely walk without wanting to collapse from the pain, but he makes himself push through.

I am at the halfway point in my pregnancy (20 weeks) and it brings much excitement! The baby has been making full kicks that I can feel on the outside of my belly!

We have been in the hospital for two months now and it can take a toll on a person. Matt made a comment that he doesn’t remember what it is like to just be outside with the wind, so his nurses devised a plan to take him outside. Often times, burn patients are at too high a risk for infection and are not allowed outside of their floor. Despite this, they knew it would be good for him to be outside for a minute. He was very happy to have the adventure. Matt has dreams of being able to use his arms normally and simply get out of bed without pain, and when he wakes, he realizes he is still a ways from that reality. There are moments of sadness for him, but the blessings still pull him through. He continually talks about the things we take for granted in life. I think we will walk away from this with a great appreciation for little pleasures. Thank you for all your continued prayers and for joining together on our behalf.

Matt Manzari