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Lost and Found - Chapter 3

            Paul and Denise were in the room with Ashley when she started moving her hand later on that night.  Denise was sitting by Ashley’s bed praying when all of a sudden, she saw Ashley’s hand move.  “Paul, she moved,” Denise said as Paul came over to look at his little angel who was now still again.  Then all of a sudden, she shook her left hand, almost like she had a cramp in her hand and was trying to get rid of it.

            Paul ran out of the room to the nurse’s station, “hi my daughter is in room 367 and she just moved,” Paul said out of breath.  As soon as the nurse came in the room, Ashley fluttered her eyes open.  “Ashley,” Denise said as she watched her only daughter open her eyes and then close them again.  “She is coming too; she might do that a couple of times though.  The lights may be too bright for her, most patients have problems coming out of unconsciousness if there are too bright of lights,” the nurse said as she went and turned off some of the lights to make it dimmer for her.

            Ashley opened her eyes when she realized that it wasn’t bright, she finally kept them open.  “Hey, do you know who we are?  Blink once for yes and twice for no,” Paul asked Ashley.  The nurses and doctors warned them that she might not be able to talk, so they were supposed to use the blink once, blink twice method to communicate with her.  She could only answer yes and no questions, but the Jonas family saw it as an improvement from nothing at all.  So, when Ashley just blinked once Paul and Denise were both in tears, so happy that she remembered them.  “Can you go out and get the boys please,” Denise said as she looked up at Paul.  Paul nodded his head and left. 

It was nearing midnight when Paul walked into the waiting room to wake up his sons.  “Boys your sister woke up,” Paul said as he stepped into the waiting room where he found Nick awake.  All that was left at this late hour was Big Rob, Kevin, Joe, Nick, and Dani.  Phil and Johnny had taken Frankie with them.  Kevin, Joe, and Nick had decided that it was probably best to keep Frankie in a routine and that meant a good sleep schedule at home in his own bed.  It was a tearful and hard goodbye for him, but it was really best for him.

            “Wake up your brothers, I am going to head back to the room, the doctor will be in shortly and I don’t want to miss it,” Paul said.  As soon as Ashley had woken up the nurse came in and paged the doctor and he didn’t want to miss what the doctor said.  As soon as his Dad left, Nick went over and woke up his brothers.

            Ashley was scared and didn’t know what was going on.  All she wanted was Nick, but she got these people with things hanging around their necks that she had no clue who they were or what they were doing to her and they were shinning bright lights into her eyes that were making them hurt.  “Nick,” Ashley mind talked, hoping that he could hear her.

            Nick heard a little voice in his head that wasn’t his, and he knew it had to be Ashley’s.  He smiled right then and there.  He was glad that she could at least mind talk and that she remembered him.

            When the doctors were done, Paul came out and got the boys.  “Boys, the doctor wants to talk to us,” Paul said as he held open the door for his three eldest to enter the room.  The first thing all of them did was they went over and kissed her on the forehead, before all finding a seat across the room.  Nick stayed by Ashley’s bed and held her hand, to which she did nothing, she didn’t even try to grip it, and this freaked Nick out a little bit.

            “Ashley is not doing as well as I had hoped she would, when coming out of the coma.  She is responding to voices right now, which is very poor.  Normally when someone is in this situation, they are typically able to wiggle their toes and make fists with their hands and they would close their eyes from the bright lights and be able to talk.  She is not doing any of those things right now.  We are going to take her down for a brain scan in the morning, to try to find out what is wrong with her.  We will just let her rest tonight, and I suggest you all do that too,” the doctor said.  “Do you have any questions for me?”

            “What does the prognoses look like right now?” Paul asked.  They were all worried about what was going on with her.

“Not good, but I won’t know until morning when we look at the test results,” the doctor said as he looked at the worried family and excused himself from the room.

The next morning around ten, the nurses came in and wheeled Ashley off to get some tests on her brain done.  “Ashley,” the nurse said as she came in with a very loud and noisy cart that scared Ashley.  Ashley started crying and got really scared when they were moving her over to the cart.

“We are going to take her down to radiology to have a CAT scan, she should be up in about two hours,” one of the nurses snottily said as Ashley was wailing with fear.  She had no clue what was going on and she was really scared.

“Can I go with her?” Denise asked.  She was worried about her.  She was just worried about how Ashley would react towards the machine they were going to put her in, and they wanted her in there.

“Sure, come on” the other nurse answered.  She was much more cheerful than the one who didn’t even talk to Ashley like she wasn’t even there or a person.

After Ashley and Denise left, Paul made the decision that he was going to go home and get some clean clothes and check on Frankie who had not been up to the hospital yet today.  “I think I am going to go home, get a nap and take a shower,” Paul said.  Everyone else agreed to do that also.

Paparazzi had luckily not realized that Kevin, Joe, and Nick were at the hospital, so it was a quick and easy out.  Once in the car, Paul texted Denise and told her that they were all heading home to get cleaned up and would be back soon.

            Meanwhile, Denise and Ashley were downstairs in radiology.  When they rolled into radiology Ashley started crying and screaming in fear.  She didn’t know what was going on or what anyone was doing and was scared.

            “Shhh, Ash, shhh,” Denise soothed her as she combed her hand through her hair to get her to calm down.  Denise figured that Ashley would be scared, but it was taking so long to get her calmed down and they hadn’t even started the tests or done anything.

            Ashley didn’t understand anything that was going on.  Sure, she could understand what people were saying to her and she knew who everyone was and where she was but that didn’t mean that she wasn’t scared.

Ashley also couldn’t speak so she didn’t know how to communicate that she was scared and confused other than to scream and cry like a baby.  She wasn’t a baby, but she couldn’t speak, so she really had no other way of communicating.

            The radiologist came in and started talking to Ashley and Denise about what was going to happen and how it was going to happen.  “We are going to transfer you over to this table, she said as she tapped the table, and then we are going to put you in this cool machine,” the radiologist said, she could tell that Ashley was scared so she tried to make it sound more fun.

            Ashley of course started freaking out when this was mentioned.  She was scared and was crying and didn’t know what was going on or what was going to happen to her in that machine.

            “Come on honey, let’s get you over there,” Denise said as she gently took down the sheet that was on her.  When she did this, she realized that the diaper they had put on her was soaking wet.  Denise didn’t know how long the scan was supposed to take and she didn’t want her to be sitting in a soaking wet diaper the whole time.

            “Do you have another diaper and some wipes that I could change her quickly before we do this,” Denise asked the radiologist.  After Denise changed Ashley which took some work to get her changed, they transferred her over to the table that would put Ashley into the machine that would take a scan of Ashley’s brain.  She was so scared and had no clue what was going on.

            They put headphones on Ashley before they put her in the scan that Denise would be able to talk to her through.  The whole experience was scary, but Denise kept talking to her and kept her calm.

            “They are almost done honey, they just have to take one more picture,” Denise said when they were almost done with the scan.  She could see that Ashley was freaking out and really worried.  “Okay, one more click and then you are done,” Denise said as the nurse pressed the button on the board to have it take the picture.

            “Okay, all done Ash, you did great,” Denise said as the nurses came out and started moving the bed out of the CAT scan.  Ashley was so relieved to get out of that machine.  It was too loud and scary, and the bed was hard.

            Meanwhile the rest of the Jonas family was headed home for a quick shower, some food, and a nap.  The nurses at the desk told them it would probably be around four hours before the doctor would keep up with the news.  Paul wanted to be there by the time the doctor came in to give them the news.

They wanted to talk to Denise, and they were going to see if she would take a shower and get cleaned up before the doctor came in.  Denise noticed they all looked a lot more rested when they came in.  “Shhh,” Denise put her hand up to her mouth, “she just fell asleep,” she then motioned them out into the hall with her hand.

            “Well, the scan went okay, she freaked out once we got in the room and she saw the CAT scan machine.  I finally got her calmed down after about ten minutes and the scan went great from there on.  She did perfect and was a little scared, but I think it really helped that I was able to talk to her through the headphones that they put on her.”

            “That is good,” Paul said as he went to hug her, “we brought you some clothes for you to get cleaned up.  There are community showers right down the hall and to the right.  Go get cleaned up honey,” Paul said as he handed her the bag that he had brought.

            After Denise reluctantly went down to the showers, Paul went and sat with Ashley in the ICU room.  She started to wake up shortly after he got in the room with Ashley.  “Ash,” Paul said as he got up and went over to his daughter when she started moving.

            “Hey how are you feeling,” Paul asked Ashley, who just blinked at him twice before she started gagging and threw up all over her gown.  Paul ran and got the bucket and held it under her mouth while she vomited again.  She then started choking on her vomit.  Paul pressed the nurse’s button; a team of nurses came in and was yelling things that Paul couldn’t understand as he got pushed out by a nurse.  A couple minutes later a team of doctors rushed in the room to help his daughter.

The Jonas family was sitting in the conference room later on that night when the doctor knocked on the door and came in.  Ashley was sleeping in her room.

“The coma did a lot of brain damage,” the doctor said as Denise burst into tears.  “What kind of damage,” Denise asked as she wiped her eyes.

            “The parts of the brain that helps us be able to speak and walk, is permanently damaged from the coma and seizures.  She will never be able to speak or walk again.  I am sorry,” the doctor said.

            “So, you are telling me that my sister will be unable to talk, but she and I are able to mind talk and have a conversation.  How do you explain that doctor,” Nick yelled at the doctor, he was mad?  It hit him a couple seconds later because he then started crying.  He would never hear his sister’s voice again she wouldn’t be able to walk or do anything.

            They had only known Ashley for a little over 48-hours, but a lot happened in those 48-hours.  Ashley started having seizures and then she went into a coma, and now this doctor was telling them that she has permanent brain damage and will never be able to speak or walk again.

            “Since she threw up earlier this afternoon she has been choking on her spit every time she swallows,” Paul asked the doctor concerned.

            “It could be a lot of different things.  It could be that she just hasn’t gotten everything that she needs to up, or it could be as easy as she has some phlegm.  It could also be that she will have permanent swallowing damage also.  I want to be safe so in the morning I was to take her down for a swallowing test.

            “Do you have any more questions for me,” Dr. Smith said as he stood up and gathered up his papers.

            “No, I think that is it,” Paul said as him and the family stood up and shook his hand.

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