The Accident

On 4/16/2010 at approximately 10 to 10:15pm, my Lenny was involved in a serious boating accident. There were 6 occupants of the boat, all were injured. Both Lenny and his best friend Jakie sustained life threatening injuries and were airlifted to trauma centers, Jakie to Las Vegas, Lenny to Phoenix.

I received a call at 1:45am informing me of the accident. I then spent the next 2 hours trying to find him and find out what happened. After calling two hospitals I found Jakie, and then called his mom and she took it from there. I still couldn't find Lenny, so I called the Lake Havasu Police and they got back to me in about a half an hour telling me he was in Phoenix and that the social worker would be calling me soon. Next came the longest 20 minutes of my life. Waiting to hear....

Lenny sustained the following injuries - Completely fractured face from the upper jaw to above the eyes, broken neck, broken ribs, collapsed lungs, and severely broken legs. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I spent the next several minutes rallying friends and getting to YiYi (that is what Lenny calls his sister). We all headed to Phoenix and below I will update you on his condition, how we are holding up, and have a way to communicate with you to keep you updated and be able to answer your questions and be able to get the support we so desperately need from all the wonderful people that love him.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Week Three - Monday

Lenny is definitely in the fast lane towards recovery. When he decided he was ready, he meant it.

I arrived this morning and as usual he was really sleepy. He had done fantastic overnight with the vent trials which was great. I told the nurse the questions I had for rounds so when I visited in the afternoon we may find the answers. It has been two weeks since his facial reconstruction, so the jaws being wired shut should be done any day now. They removed the staples from his legs this morning and they are healing up nicely. He has learned to suction his own mouth, he has this long tube like you see at the dentist to suction inside his mouth. He is finally coughing things up on his own so he can now suction them to, it is pretty funny to see.

When I arrived at the afternoon visit I was so excited to learn that they removed his catheter! He hated the catheter so he was glad to have it removed. Another piece of exciting information, they are going to keep him off the ventilator as long as he can go. They were going to be putting him in the chair he loves so much and let him watch some TV to make it easier. The Case Worker from the other hospitals was there to review his case and see where they want to move him to, but I haven't heard anything from them yet. 

At the evening visit he was still going strong off of the ventilator. Now, when I say he is off the ventilator it means they have the machine on pause, he is still all hooked up and they have what is called "aerosol" on to help keep moisture at the trach and in his throat. They have allowed me to give him a small amount of ice water on a little sponge into his mouth, so that is what he wants the second I get there. Well they don't want him to have very much of course because items in his stomach can make him nauseous and we can't have him getting sick with his jaw wired shut. Everytime I give him a little I say that is enough and he gives me sad eyes and the just one more finger, I keep telling him that he is going to get me in trouble but I give him one more. I am a sucker.

At the night visit when I arrived he was sleeping and STILL OFF THE VENTILATOR! Woo hoo! He woke up after I was there about 10 minutes and can anyone guess what he wanted? Water. So I got him some fresh ice water and we proceeded to play "you have had enough" with the sponge. He was in good spirits and smiling at me. His right eye is starting to open a little, he says it is a little blurry but I think that is because it is still really swollen. All and all he is moving right along. I am hoping to get his jaw unwired tomorrow, so that is the goal.

I see the families coming in on day one of their tragedy and I remember our day one like it was yesterday. Here we are 17 days into Lenny's recovery and we are now in the positive. I see the families in the waiting room for the SICU upset and crying just as I was in the beginning. Today I stopped and talked to a large family of about 20 that was in the waiting room so upset that a male in their family had received substantial head trauma. He was on his way into the long surgery like Lenny had on his face. I told them I was sorry to interrupt them, but I wanted to let them know what miracles these Doctors and Nurses had performed for my Lenny, and they told me they appreciated it, and that it helped to hear the words. My heart poured out to them, as I totally can relate to what they are going through. This hospital from appearances is very run down, but the staff in this hospital are #1.

I again wanted to thank you all for helping me through these rough weeks that have passed and the months we have in front of us. This situation has changed me and made me realize that it is easy to take life for granted, and I hope that anyone reading this can think twice before EVER drinking and operating or getting into a car, boat, motorcycle, whatever it is. We were lucky, but there are many families out there that have not been so lucky, and trust me when I say, I never thought this would happen to us.

Love, Nancy


  1. Nancy,
    I am so glad to hear how well Lenny is doing. You are like a cheerleader, encouraging him and I am sure that that is why he is doing so well. Your love and devotion to him is what keeps him trying. You are truly a wonderful person and Lenny knows it. Keep going strong. I am sure it is hard, I really can't imagine what you are going thru. You are an inspiration to everyone.....

    Love Desiree

  2. I'm so so so excited to read this! I had Lenny on my mind and heart so so much today. I just knew he was doing awesome! I'm jumping u and down on the inside! I always knew he was a strong, tough guy. He is showing is all right now! Praise God for providing an amazing medical team to heal our Lenny. Praise God for giving Lenny a strong, compassionate, loving women to be by his side through everything. Nancy I feel your love through your words. You give me strength in challenges I am facing. I can't thank you enough for this blog, for just being you. Please give Lenny a hug and tell him "mom is so so proud of how hard he's working. I can't wait to see him.

  3. Marianne HerreraMay 4, 2010 at 7:43 AM

    Well another day of fabulous news. I can't express the gratitude I have that God heard everyones prayers and that he has kept you strong through this horrible ordeal. Everyday I can't wait to read your blog your love for Lenny and your strength is a blessing to us all. You are a special lady Nancy and I am so proud to call you my daughter. I believe any day now Lenny will be moved out of SICU so that you will be able to stay with him all day which will help him to heal that much faster. Before you know it you both will be homeward bound.

    I Love You,

  4. im soo happy to hear that about the vent.. u gooo lenny. your words seem soo much happeier now adays.. u are soooo strong nancy and i look up to you for that. amazing. we love u and lenny. we really want to come see u guys so let us know when.. when of course u guys are settled and ready.. keep staying strong.. u guys are almost home. love u.

  5. Such great news. Hopefully, it will be a fast paced recovery from this point forward. Being able to breath on his on is huge. And what a blessing you are to Lenny and to others. I think it is wonderful that you shared your positive thoughts with the other family. Also makes us realize that with all the injuries Lenny has had, it is a blessing that he didn't suffer brain trauma.
    Kudos to you again my dear Nancy for being such a loving and dedicated partner to Lenny and such a trooper for the rest of us. The updates mean so much to us.
    Thank you again and again.
    Aunt Sharon

  6. Hello Nancy,

    I know you do not know me, but I am a friend of Lenny's from many years ago and just recently found him again through Facebook. I am so glad he is getting better and I am glad he has a wonderful, strong woman like you that loves him and is taking such great care of him. Thank you for taking your time to keep us all up to date on how Lenny is doing. Stay strong. Because of you, the wonderful hospital staff, friends and family I know he will be better soon.


  7. That is such awesome news. i read your blog everyday. He is a fighter and has the best supporter ever. You rock Nancy.. He will be home soon..

  8. Well Nancy,everything is sounding so much better than even a few days ago. Both Jim Sr. and I feel like finally things are turning around. We watched the lAKER GAME in Lenny's honor and they are going to win in his honor! Thanks to Kobe!!! Lenny could never have a better friend,soul mate,caregiver,and positive partner than YOU! Love to you both, JoAnn and Jim

  9. Nancy this news brought tears to my eyes. This is so wonderful!!! I cant believe he is progressing at such a fast pace!!! Hopefully you will both be back to California. I had my doubts at times as I am sure you did, but my doubts are over. Im sure he has a long road ahead of him but he is going in the right direction!!! Love to you both!!!

  10. hey love i am so glad that he is doing so much better.. my heart is with you and him.. love you girl