November 29, 2010 - 10 am
Last night after our family Thanksgiving, April (my cousin) and her family were in a car accident. They hit black ice, went off the road, rolled and ended up hitting a tree. April and Travis (her husband) were able to get out of the vehicle but they were unable to get their children out.
The fire department got there quickly and had to rip open the car to get to Elias (2) and Leah (5). Both kids were responsive at the scene. Both kids were medi-lifted to UC Davis hospital in Sacramento. Travis and April's dad drove down a little later. This was around 10-11 pm last night.
They believed Elias had a broken arm but now think he’s just bruised up as there is no sign of break. He should be going home today. Mostly he was just scared of all the people and what happened.
Leah is in intensive care. She has a skull fracture and eye socket fracture. Of course, there is swelling to her brain so it is still very serious. Because of the head injury they have to keep waking her up. The poor thing is in pain and terrified.
April and Travis haven’t been checked out. They both have some pain but nothing appears too serious.
Elias & Leah
November 29, 2010 - 2:30pm
Leah apparently has 3 fractures in her skull (one being the eye socket) and she has a blood clot. They were contemplating surgery but are waiting to see if it improves as they have been able to get some swelling to abate.
Locals have stepped up with transportation for the family (a big blessing) as the hospital is hours from home.
November 30, 2010 - 11:25am
Elias is doing great. He's been discharged from the hospital and is now staying with Grandma and Grandpa. He's very quiet (we think he throat hurts from all the screaming he did) but he's in good spirits. He just gets startled if someone walks away from him.
April and Travis were put up in a Ronald McDonald House type thing. I don't think it is McDonald's but it something like that. It is a house that they can sleep, shower, and eat at (it is stocked with food). It keeps them close to the hospital. It had been such a blessing. I don't know how long they can take advantage of that but they also have been offered room and board at people's homes and hotel vouchers from friends of the family.
Leah was moved from ICU to Pediatrics last night. This is great and means while she's still serious they believe that her life is no longer in danger. Some of the facial injuries swelling has gone down but she's still got a struggle. Her actual eye appears okay but doctors are worried about her forehead though we need to wait and see once swelling has abated.
Right now the problem most of the family is worried about is the funds. The helicopter rides alone are around $100,000 (which I find ridiculous). Insurance will only pay for so much and has a cap on it. So at some point it will run out. Thankfully the hospital will do all they can until Leah is healed and then the bills will be a worry.
April's brother, a firefighter, became concerned about the cost and started a fund for the family to help. We've already had some response and are very thankful for that. Travis's father was very well known in the community as is April's family. So many people have stepped forward with a little money, offers of transportation, time off from work, and cell phones to keep in touch with hospital and family.
If you are interested in helping the fund for Leah you can send money to The Lauterbach Fund at:
Angels Camp Branch
P.O. Box 607
Altaville, CA 95221-0607
If you are interested in helping by sending them a little that would be highly appreciated. If you can't don't feel bad. Prayers are just as welcome. April was overwhelmed to learn about all the prayers for her family and most especially her daughter.
December 1, 2010 - 11:18am
Leah's condition hasn't changed much. She in Peds. A lot of the brain swelling and bleeding has gone down which is just wonderful. I'm told her facial bruising looks much worse but that it is normal for the injury and actually a good sign. She's talking, mostly asking for her mommy. She hasn't eaten at all but then she's also had an IV doing that for her. Last night, she knocked it out and they are leaving it out today in hopes that she'll want food. If not she'll go back on the IV. Of course, the doctors say this is normal with a head injury as it makes the patient too nauseated to eat. Either way, Leah has come really far in a very short time. Now we are just praying she has no lasting damage.
December 2, 2010 - 12:02pm
Just thought I would catch everyone up a little on Leah. My cousin Melissa spoke with April this morning and she said that Leah was having a better morning. She was waking up and asked to use the bathroom on her own with the help of her mom and a nurse. And was able to do so. It's amazing how the smallest things right now really matter. :-)
Leah also asked for some apple juice and had a little along with some apple sauce, and then proceeded to ask her mom to hold her. :-) April said it was amazing cuddle time. She also mentioned how encouraging all this is! Leah is starting to be more responsive, this is great news, my other cousin, Marie (Leah's Auntie), also posted tonight (on Facebook) that Leah was up more and had something to eat tried to watch a movie and had a little chocolate, this is the Leah we know!
Her actual condition as of last night, after having a CT scan, was that the bleeding and swelling on her brain had slowed down but moved to the outside of the brain. The doctors explained that this was not to much of a concern at this point. Praise the Lord!!
Leah is on her way to healing and many prayers have been answered, God is soooo good! Please continue to pray, as mom and dad are dealing with so much right now! Oh and Elias is doing GREAT, he was running around out side today with BIG smiles, he even let Auntie Melissa tease him a little! Again thank you for everones support love concern and continuous prayers!
December 3, 2010 - 11am
According to April, Leah is going home today. I know you are thinking the same thing I am. It has to be too soon. April feels the same but the doctors said that kids often heal better when they can sleep in there own bed.
My concern is that they are hour drive from a hospital and that Leah could fall and hit her head or something. I really don't like this. Part of me wonders if it is because April and Travis can't afford it? Maybe I'm being paranoid. It just scares me.
Anyways, Leah is coming home. She's going to have a ton of doctor visits but she's coming home. Please continue to pray.
UPDATE: I might have misheard this update. Leah might come home over the weekend. I'll keep everyone updated.
December 6, 2010 - 11:14am
Leah is officially home. She came home Friday night (guess I did hear right). She basically has to stay home except for going to the doctor. She can't blow her nose for 6 weeks and she can't have contact with any of us for a while. I'm not sure how long that is but I really hope it isn't the full 6 weeks because then she won't get to be with us all for Christmas. Still I would rather her be home, getting better than with us. I might want to see her but her health and healing are far more important.
Last night a bunch of us got together to go Christmas Caroling. It poured so we went back to my Aunt's (Leah's Grandma). We called The Lauterbach's and Christmas Caroled over the phone for Leah. She loved it. So sweet to hear her little, "Thank you" and "Merry Christmas" which I'm sure was a little couched from her mom, she is only 5, but still very sweet.
December 20, 2010
Leah is doing VERY well. Her condition has changed a little and she's been told she can go out as long as she doesn't run or jump. She also can't blow her nose, blow anything or drink from straws for a while. BUT she's healing really well and we got to spend Sunday with her at Melissa's making Gingerbread houses.
Leah's eyes are a little askew. You can tell by looking at her. She has a plastic surgery appointment this week though her mom is hoping this will right itself on it's own. As for Leah's eyesight. She's been to an eye doctor as recently as last week and was told her vision was perfect.
It amazes me how far Leah has come in such a short time. Of course, her little brother doesn't seem to realize sissy is still fragile as he hauled off and smacked her in the head yesterday. Poor thing wailed. Elias is 2 but seems so much younger than that. I think he was just being a little brother and doesn't quite understand that Leah is still hurt and they need to be careful. Of course, mommy had something to say about his behavior but Leah is fine and giggled most of yesterday.