This is St.Annes Hospital in Toulon where Russ is in Intensive Care. St Annes is a military training hospital and specializes in the injuries that Russ sustained during his cycling accident. We are led to believe by those in the know that he is in the best possible hands.
Russ has a sunny corner room and has a view!
The hospital is up on the hill about a mile from the centre of Toulon town. Russ was helicoptered here last Friday from the Charente mountains where he was cycling with friends.
He is surrounded by a myriad of wires, pipes, tubes and computers feeding him intravenuos drugs, fluids and nutrients. His bed is in the middle of the room and he has little more than a sheet covering him as it is warm and sunny there. He looks like a sleeping action man. The bed is an amazing device that changes the position of his legs and back by an degree every minute or so to avoid bed sores.
He has a small wound on his forehead with 3 stitches and a lot of scratches and scabs on his body. He his swollen all over and has an awful lot of bruising on his ribs and flanks. His pallor is quite pale and grey but it is improving each day.
Yesterday Russ was still on a ventilator as his broken ribs and bruised lungs need some help. The ventilated breathing has unfortunately given Russ pneumonia which apparently is virtually inevitable in this situation but it is being fought with antibiotics. It is anticipated that the antibiotics will have their full effect on day 3 of the course which is tomorrow. His heart rate and blood pressure was good yesterday which was a relieve as he had suffered from Tachycardia with his heart racing at 140bpm for the whole day on Saturday. The Tachycardia was due to dehydration. The doctors reduced his fluid intake to stop fluid leaking into the ruptured thoracic region.
The pneumonia has set Russ back a few days again as it is felt that whilst he is recovering from this he should stay in his induced coma for a little longer as he requires a ventilator down his Bronchial and this tube can not be tolerated by someone who is conscious.
He is also on dialysis to assist his kidney function.
I shall send you an update later today when I hear from those remaining in France.
Update from France 24th June pm:
Today Russ had the drain on his right lung removed. They have stopped giving him muscle blockers and we noticed he was moving his head from side to side. He is still sedated and the doctors expect the antibiotics to kick in tomorrow or the next day. He is a good colour too!
Dan and Saskia brought Amber out today and it is wonderful to see mother and daughter reunited. I am sure it is a great comfort to both. They are having a swim as I speak. We are having supper with Bob and Di and Dan and Saskia.
We aren't expecting any great changes for a while but will keep you updated.
25th June 2013
Please excuse the non chronological order of this blog but I though you may wish to see the map of the route the chaps were taking on their cycling trip:
This is the scene of the accident after Russ was removed:
Message from my mum at lunchtime 25th June:
The news today is that Russ has had the last chest drain removed and his eyes are open properly. Yesterday Amber really wanted to see Russ and so she did. She was very brave and seemed to cope very well. She made a beautiful picture to put on the wall of Russ'room and with Dani's help, has put up some lovely family photos alongside the painting. It all looks very colourful. Amber was also chatting away to Russ this morning and smoothing his arm. Now she and Dani are looking for a fishing net so she can fish off the quay.
So it's been a day of another little improvement again.
Love to you all
PS thank you for your lovely e mails. They mean a lot.
This evening Dani has called to say that there seems to have been a step forward in Russ's recovery; The sedatives and muscle controlling drugs have been stopped and the first sign is that his eyes have opened. He doesn't yet have the energy to talk but his eyes were open for a long period of this evenings visiting and he seemed to be able to follow sounds with his eyes.....Fingers crossed that he will keep moving forwards. xxx :) (Apparently he looked exhausted after having followed his mums, my mums, Dani's and Ambers voices for an hour!)
26th June 2013
Not much news today other than more of the same eye movements. Russ has been able to acknowledge questions by blinking his eyes.
The lessons we are all learning from this is 'patience'.
I like to think that whilst Russ has been in a coma he has returned to speak to his maker on the planet Krypton where he has been recharged, refreshed and sent back ready for his next challenge.
Thanks again for all your lovely emails and comments below. xxx