updates so everyone will have a better understanding of what is going on. We believe Kai would want you all to be with him on this journey wherever it goes.
The first piece of good news is Kai’s operations have finished; he now has a cool scar on his head which will be covered up as his hair grows back. We were lucky to have everything done before the Coronavirus put a halt on all non-essential surgery.
More exciting news Kai has finally left Canberra hospital after nearly 8 weeks and has moved to BIRU (Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit) in Liverpool. We have been told he can expect to be there for many months. The move is good for a number of reasons: 1. from a medical perspective he is well enough to leave the hospital; 2. he can start on the rehabilitation process; 3. he is closer to home; and, 4. BIRU is probably one of the safest places he can be during the Covid-19 virus pandemic.
Ten days ago when Kai arrived at BIRU he was able to respond to questions by pointing to ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ written on a piece of paper. Since then he has started to speak a little so does not need the paper anymore which is a great step. He can respond to simple questions but is still very confused. The crash has impacted the part of his brain responsible for speech, so the words are jumbled up and unclear – they just don’t come out how he wants which is frustrating for him. Sometimes he gets annoyed and sometimes he just puts on that patient Kai smile and we move on.
Kai has his phone and scrolls through social media every day, he ‘likes’ posts and tries to send text messages to friends but they are invariably scrambled. So, if you get a text from Kai don’t worry his account has not been hacked, he’s just trying to get in touch with people. Feel free to respond but don’t expect anything to make much sense at the moment.
So, Kai continues to ‘emerge’ from the state of unconsciousness, and we are super excited to start communicating with him. However, as time progresses it becomes more and more evident that this has been a truly serious injury. The doctors tell us Kai has a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) on the left side of his brain which is severely impacting his ability to move the right side of his body and also his ability to speak amongst other things. We have been told that Kai will have some permanent disability.
Rehabilitation has started, Kai has been undergoing a number of different types of therapy; Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy. He is making solid improvements. It is all extremely tiring; one hour of physiotherapy in the morning will make him tired for the rest of the day, as you can imagine he always puts in 100% so this is to be expected. Next Tuesday we (Yuki, Saya and Martin) have a meeting with the therapists to define goals for Kai for the next four weeks. It’s really good to finally start on a structured program and we’re really looking forward to being part of Kai’s rehabilitation.
The Covid-19 pandemic brings an extra layer of challenges around Kai’s situation. We have to be super careful he does not get the Coronavirus, luckily he is in a safe place in Liverpool BIRU. As a family, we are limited to one visitor at a time so we rotate our visits so one of us will be there with him every day. We’re usually there most of the day from 10am until he has finished dinner around 6:30pm. Ideally, Kai would have more interaction with other people and we’re trying to work out the best way to do this.
Please continue to follow Kai’s progress and keep him in your thoughts, this is going to be long and we really appreciate you all being with us through these challenges.
“One day at a time, one moment at a time. Let’s go.”
Martin, Yuki, Saya
KaiFight77: BSB 182-182 | Account No 3380821 | Swift Code (for international) MACQAU2SXXX
Road 2 Recovery (10% goes to the Road 2 Recovery foundation which is a good thing) road2recovery.com/cause-view/kai-sakakibara