The Nick Manzo Foundation
A Cooperation to Help Nick and his Family
Through his Rehabilitation & Recovery
Nick is up to 142 pounds and still has some vision issues. December he goes back to the orthopedist for his knee to remove a piece of overgrown bone that has broken off and possibly the plate in his right leg. He's feeling pretty good and looks good, too. His hair is growing back very nicely. He can't wait for his abdomen to completely heal and be able to swim at the beach or pool next year!
June 12, 2008
Nick is feeling better. He has been coming up to the shop at Rapid often to visit. Right now he is washing and waxing Uncle Lance's Harley. He has a doctor's appointment next week to check out the abdomen. After that he doesn't have another appointment until September! Nick has more motion in his right knee after a piece of extra bone broke off. He had excess bone growth in the leg when the bone healed. It is not uncommon for patients who suffered from TBI [traumatic brain injury] to have excessive bone growth upon healing. Now that the piece has broken off, Nick has a greater range of motion in the leg.
Nick has gained a few more pounds. Although the heat is tiring him easily, Nick is keeping busy. Nick says 'thank you' to all who visit the site. Keep the Dear Nick's coming!
June 3, 2008
Nick's vision is improving and he is feeling well. His therapies continue and he is enjoying time with friends and family.
May 9, 2008
Nick's doing great! There is not much to report other than just how well Nick is feeling. The abdomen is still on the mend - maybe another month before it's completely closed. He is becoming bored at home and would very much like to get back to work. Nick is looking into a rehabilitation driving school to get reacquainted with driving a car.
April 30, 2008
Nick is doing increasingly well. He continues his outpatient OT and PT - but no longer needs speech therapy. He has been steadily busy with friends and family - out visiting people and enjoying life! Even trips to 7-11 have a new meaning to Nick now. He is appreciating his ability to enjoy even the little things in life.
April 18, 2008
Nick is home for over 4 weeks already - time flies when you're having fun! He is doing just fantastic. All his home therapies have concluded and Nick will begin outpatient therapy at St. Charles next week. Nick knows he has a new lease on life and really is enjoying every day. Today Ashly and Nick went down to Port Jeff for lunch and a relaxing afternoon. They had pizza and walked a bit. Nick is sporting a new haircut and looks very handsome!
April 11, 2008
Nick went to the orthopedist yesterday to have the right femur looked at. The doctor said it's healing extremely well. In fact better than average. The doctor said after going to outpatient therapy, Nick should have full range motion of his right knee. He also said it is possible that in 1 to 1 1/2 years, it could be necessary to shave the bone if there is excess growth. There has been a connection shown in studies that people with TBI [Traumatic Brain Injury] who have suffered broken bones have experienced excess bone growth during healing. Today may be the last day for PT at home. Outpatient therapy will begin shortly. Nick has an appointment next week to have tests regarding the right vocal cord which has suffered damage and has remained paralyzed. This explains the hoarseness in Nick's voice. The abdominal wound is healing very well and will be assessed at the next appointment with the surgeon as to when it will be completely closed. Soon Nick will have an appointment with the orthopedist who repaired his arms and hand to evaluate whether or not Nick can bear weight on them. Up to this point, he has not been able to bear any weight on his arms or hand. Nick is eating very well and his spirits are wonderful [ except towards his nurses :) ]
April 4, 2008
Another great week for Nick! Every stage of Nick's rehabilitation is progressing wonderfully. All his therapists are very happy with all of Nick's continuing improvement. No word yet on when the out-patient therapy will start at St. Charles.
March 28, 2008
Nick had a great week. He has been wearing his new eyeglasses - they're helping correct his double vision. All his therapists have been in several times during the week to work with Nick. His PT walks Nick up and down the street, up and down stairs and works with his hands and arms. His ST says he is doing very well and is very impressed. All the nurses and therapists are very impressed with Nick's progress. Nick had a trip to the emergency room at St. Charles late Wednesday night complaining of lower abdominal pain - turned out to be a UTI. He is feeling much better since he's on the antibiotics. Nick's appetite is improving and he continues to gain weight. Nick enjoys calling his mom at work to put in orders for food, ie: beef and broccoli [hold the broccoli] and fried rice no vegies. It is so nice to hear Nick's voice once again! It is getting stronger all the time. Visitors have been plentiful filling Nick in on all that's been going on and keeping up with the present fun in town.
March 21, 2008 - Happy Spring and Happy Easter!
Nick is doing great - he was out visiting yesterday and is getting around very well. Everyone is ecstatic to see him up and about. He had therapies today at home and is looking forward to celebrating his first holiday since the accident with his family at home. This will be a very special weekend for the Manzo family.
March 19, 2008 - Day 89 - Nick has arrived HOME!
Nick is home!
March 18, 2008 - Day 88 [The Number 8 appears many times here today] The number 8 is infinite, represents strength and in many cultures considered a 'lucky' number.
Nick is definitely coming home some time tomorrow! Outpatient therapy will change - Nick will get therapy at home for the next two weeks and then he will resume therapies at St. Charles 2 - 3 days per week. The orthopedist is checking Nick's hands and arms today to see how they are healing. Nick no longer needs any assistance walking with walker. He is walking 100% on his own now. His strength is improving daily and has definitely put on at least 6 pounds. The need for pain medication and all his other medications are dwindling.
March 17, 2008 - Day 87 - Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Nick had a great weekend home with his family. He spent Saturday and Sunday relaxing and visiting with friends at the house. The bloodwork he had done came back negative for hyper thyroid. He will be home in two days and is scheduled to begin his outpatient therapies starting March 26. That gives Nick a little break from his routine. He will attend his therapies 2 days per week - Monday and Wednesdays to start.
Nick has been doing a lot of walking on his own - without his walker. He is visiting the patient's waiting room and getting his own drinks now. His spirits are going up and his therapists say Nick's attitude is very positive this week. He has an appointment with the orthopedist to check all his bones and make sure everything is healing properly. Most of his pain medications are being drastically reduced because the need for them is dwindling. He sometimes refuses receiving any pain medication at all. The date of March 19th still stands as the release date to come home. He will then begin out-patient therapy at St. Charles Rehabilitation Center three days per week. Nick is looking forward to his sleepover on Saturday with his family. It will be a nice time for all of them to relax and bond together as a family.
March 12, 2008 - Day 82
Nick is doing extremely well. His eyes were examined and he's getting eyeglasses to help with the double-vision. Nicks abdomen is healing very nicely. He is able to get himself out of bed and walk around his room without any assistance or a walker. His spirits are better - he had a very nice visit home spending time relaxing with family and friends. This weekend he will have a sleepover on Saturday night at home. Blood work is scheduled for today to check his hyperactive thyroid which was diagnosed before the accident.
March 7, 2008 - Day 77
Today Nick used the walker to go downstairs to the chapel with Kenny. He is getting plenty of exercise between his PT and Kenny walking him around the hospital. He has an appointment today with the eye doctor to evaluate his vision. He is having some trouble seeing clearly. Sunday Nick is allowed to come home for a day visit. He will spend a few hours out of the hospital and return later on in the day.
March 5, 2008 - Day 75
Nick had a doctor's appointment yesterday and made out very well. He has gained 2 pounds and his abdomen is healing very well the doctor said. It looks as though upon final closure it will not need a skin graft. All the therapies are going very well. In physical therapy Nick can walk on his own 10 - 12 feet. He has a special walker that he can use to walk around the hospital. He has been practicing climbing steps and other physical activities. His vision is slightly impaired right now - which special attention will be paid to. Since Nick's dental appointment it has been determined that all four of his wisdom teeth are coming in. One has already broken through the skin. The x-rays will be sent over to the specialist for evaluation on how to handle the extraction of the teeth. Going under anesthesia is not an option right now because it's too risky for Nick in his condition. They may be able to give him some relief by a procedure to cut the gums until the extraction can be done. There is no change with the release date of March 19th.
February 29, 2008 - Day 70 [Happy Leap Day!]
Nick went for a walk today with his Dad through the hospital and outside using the chair. He is scheduled for a 3 p.m. dentist appointment in the hospital for x-rays to check his teeth. There is some concern about Nick's weight loss. He has lost weight since he arrived at St. Charles and this issue will be addressed when he goes back to Stony Brook to be evaluated. One alternative for Nick to gain weight is to reinstall the food tube into his stomach. Nick feels that even with the weight loss, his strength is coming back to him. He has been practicing writing with the broken right hand and is manipulating his fingers and both hands extremely well. As one can imagine Nick is ready to come home. He is both frustrated and bored at this point. The objective remains to gain weight, build up strength and stay healthy.
February 28, 2008 - Day 69
All great news to report- Nick is off all antibiotics for the UTI and the abdominal dressing is being changed only one time per day. Nick will return to Stony Brook on or around Monday of next week for evaluation by the doctors who initially did the surgery on Nick's stomach. The surgeon at St. Charles says there should be no problem when it comes time to suture Nick's stomach - it's healing nicely. In approximately 4 - 6 weeks it will be healed and closed up enough for the plastic surgeon to operate and close it completely. The best news for last: There is a tentative date set of March 19th for Nick's release to come home! He will be in St. Charles' outpatient PT program. His spirits have been good although he's slightly impatient with some of the staff. He wasn't feeling well yesterday so PT was light. He had a headache but forged on with his therapy and got the job done. His determination is unmatched with a steady progression each and every day.
February 25, 2008 - Day 66
Kenny had Nick outside in the wheelchair today getting some fresh air. OT, PT and ST are all going very well. He is always thirsty - making up for all the days he couldn't drink anything. Everyone who visits brings up a blue PowerAde [at Nick's request]. This week he will go to Stony Brook to be evaluated. His stomach is healing up very well but it will still be weeks before it is completely closed up.
February 22, 2008 - Day 63
Nick will not go to Stony Brook to be evaluated today - it will be one more week. Nick is progressing very, very well. He is working diligently with his therapists daily - increasing his strength and enduring hours of therapy. Nick is motivated and continues to exert himself with vigorous efforts every day.
February 20, 2008 - Day 61
With some assistance from the Physical Therapist, Nick is now able to get out of bed with a special walker. His stomach is healing well. The doctors are reporting that the PT and OT is working very well for him and his strength is improving. The catheter has also been removed and no more finger pricking needs to be done to test his blood sugar.
February 19, 2008 - Day 60
Nick is progressing wonderfully with all the therapy - OT, PT and ST. His vocal cords are slightly damaged due to the ventilator tube that was in for so many weeks. They will heal but Nick has been instructed to turn his head to the right when drinking and swallowing to ease up on the side that is damaged. The trach has finally been removed. Friday Nick will go over to Stony Brook Hospital to be fully evaluated with his progress at St. Charles - it is important that Nick has gained weight during this past week so that the feeding tube does not have to be reinstalled.
February 18, 2008 - Day 59
Nick is doing very well at St. Charles - he's eating well and keeping busy with his therapy. There is speech, physical and occupational therapy everyday. Within the next week, Nick will return to Stony Brook Hospital to be evaluated. His weight will be checked to see if he is gaining enough weight to warrant not putting the feeding tube back in. His general progress will also be evaluated in all areas as well. The length of time he will spend at Stony Brook is unclear at this time.
February 15, 2008 - Day 56
Nick is being moved today to St. Charles. He should be settled in his room this afternoon. St. Charles Hospital Rehabilitation Center hosts the only inpatient pediatric traumatic brain injury unit on Long Island. Nick should receive excellent physical and occupational therapy here. He will receive much more intensive rehabilitation treatment here than at Stony Brook. We credit Stony Brook Hospital with saving Nick's life - along with the Rocky Point Fire Department and the Suffolk County Police. Now we put Nick into St. Charles 'hands' to build him back up.
February 14, 2008 - Day 55 - Valentine's Day
Nick was moved into a
different room today - he is still in ICU but does not need a room
with such extensive devices in it. His appetite is great - hungry
for everything. The feeding tube was removed. Nick has to consume at
least four to five thousand calories a day to put weight on. In the
event he does not gain enough weight eating by mouth, the feeding
tube will be re-installed.
February 13, 2008 - Day 54
Nick had another great
day yesterday. His trach has been reduced greatly in size and will
be closed up permanently very shortly. His appetite is improving
every day - the variety of foods he's been eating is growing, too.
He is now enjoying what they call a 'mechanical diet' which consists
of foods that are not too difficult to chew and swallow such as
steak. He can enjoy pasta, chicken and all drinks now. He has
already put on a few pounds which is such terrific news considering
the weight loss he has endured. This consistent weight gain will
increase his energy level and encourage great therapy sessions.
February 11, 2008 - Day 52
Today Nick is doing really great today - again he passed another fluid test so he can now drink fluids like water and juices very slowly. The occupational therapist stood Nick up today to put weight on the good leg. They sat him down and stood him back up and assisted him in turning around. Right now he's sitting up in a regular chair in his room waiting for lunch - macaroni & cheese and a cappuccino. There is some talk about possibly moving Nick to rehab on Wednesday at St. Charles Hospital and Rehabilitation Center. This is not yet confirmed.
February 8, 2008 - Day 49
Nick is doing well today recuperating from his surgery yesterday. He is now able to eat soft foods and have drinks by mouth. The device originally spoken about to close the abdomen was not used. Instead they're continuing to use a special type of mesh to aid the closing of the abdomen. His coloring is good, no fever and all his stats are good. Chris & Kenny have requested that visitors come next week and give Nick a chance to rest over the weekend. Thank you :)
February 7, 2008 - Day 48
We just received word that Nick's surgery went well and he is back up in his room.
February 6, 2008 - Day 47
Nick had occupational and physical therapy today and did very well. He has been given the 'OK' to put weight on his broken leg but that is on hold until after the stomach procedure. His Mom, Christine, brought him up a Slurpee [which he had a few sips of] and some Frostees. He fed himself some chocolate pudding. His operation to install a device to begin closing the muscles in the abdomen is scheduled for tomorrow. Once the procedure is done, the stomach will still be open, but will come together slowly until a plastic surgeon can finish closing it completely. This process will take a little time but two sides of the stomach cannot just be pulled together and closed. It has to be done slowly to give the skin and muscles time to stretch and come together.
February 5, 2008 - Day 46
Nick did very well with his swallowing test today. Very soon he will be able to take liquids and puddings, etc. by mouth. Until this point he hasn't been able to take anything by mouth because of the trach. This also means that the trach will be closed up shortly - the nurses have already decreased the size in an effort to eliminate it completely.
February 4, 2008 - Day 45
Nick is doing well again today. He's resting often and when he sleeps, he's very comfortable and serene. His physical therapy is going very well and Kenny is talking to the doctors today to find out when the trach will be closed up. Once that's closed, Nick will be able to drink fluids.
February 3, 2008 - Day 44
Nick has been moved to 18 North - non-surgical ICU. He's doing very well with his physical therapy and is improving each day. His brothers had him up late two nights ago so he was a little tired yesterday. He is being treated for a UTI with antibiotics so that should be cleared up in a few days.
February 1, 2008 - Day 42
Nick had a good day yesterday. He had been sitting up in the chair - it is obvious that Nick is getting his strength back. He is starting to use his muscles and strength to sit with his head off the back of the chair and he looks great. Visitors are plentiful and inspiration is mutual between Nick and his guests. Kenny spends all day with Nick not only keeping him company but interacting with all the doctors and nurses. After the physical therapist works with Nick, Kenny continues with the therapy several more times a day building Nick's muscles and working his joints.
The nurses have set Nick up so that he can be mobile and be walked through the hospital hallway in a special chair. They all walk him down the hallway and 'celebrity status' has been bestowed upon him. All the doctors and nurses are greeting him and giving him kudos, compliments and praises of his achievements.
January 31, 2008 - Day 41
January 29, 2008 - Day 39
Today Nick is sitting up by the window right now - talking with his mom and Zachary. He is actually talking - with a cover on his trach, he is having a conversation with his family. He asked for something to drink! This afternoon he will be moved into ICU 18 North - out of the surgical unit. This is such a positive step in the right direction!
January 28, 2008 - Day 38
Nick's doing great - his occupational therapist worked with him quite a bit today. He's moving his arms and legs and responding very well to the doctors. It is possible that within the next few days, the trach will be closed and that will give Nick the opportunity to talk when he's ready to. There was talk about the broken scapula - it doesn't seem to put a major concern - not a terrible break and it's on the mend.
January 27, 2008 - Day 37
Nick is resting well today - everything is status quo - but rest assured his body is busy healing and recuperating. The nurses are moving him occasionally to the chair so he can look outside the window. The movement is good for him and so is the change of scenery.
January 26, 2008 - Day 36
Nick is doing great again today. All his stats are good - BP, slightly elevated temperature, white cell count and O2 levels good. His ventilator tube has been reduced in size in an effort to wean him off during the next couple of days. The doctors said the success of the new stent will be known within the first week of placement. CT Scans will be done to confirm this during the next few days.
January 25, 2008 - Day 35
As of last night, Nick is doing very
well - responding to commands, lifting his arm and trying to
communicate with his parents, grandparents, family and friends. He had several
visitors - but they kept it short. Just a reminder if you visit -
please check in with Nick's parents in the waiting room to see if it
is a good time or not to visit. It is also a good idea if you're not
feeling well to wait that extra couple of days until it passes to
visit Nick and his family- cold and flu viruses are in full force
and Nick is extremely vulnerable right now.
January 24, 2008 - Day 34
Nick's brothers, Zachary and
Addison spent time with Nick yesterday as well as Nick's girlfriend
Ashly and her parents, Thea and Dan.
January 23, 2008 - [Steve Bielenda]
My grandson Nick Manzo is sitting up
in a chair by the window. My son Lance and the doctors were the
first to see this miracle of God and the strength of Nick's warrior
body. Lance, Chris, Kenny, Thea, Ashley, Addison and Zach also had
the pleasure of visiting Nick this morning and saw his progress.
Donít stop praying not only for Nick but offer prayers to a 'no
named person'. There are a lot of people who need prayers and God's
assistance. Thanks for praying - Godís palm is getting crowded but
he always find room for more.
Jan 23, 2008 - [Steve Bielenda]
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Nick is awaiting the ambulance to transport him back to Stony Brook Hospital. He is doing very well and should arrive sometime this evening.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - Day 32
Nick came through yesterday's procedure wonderfully. There is a little swelling of the face and neck from the hydration. The attending doctor last night told Chris & Kenny that the preliminary reports are great and they will speak with Nickís surgeon Alfio Carroccio, MD this morning and get the go ahead to have Nick moved back to Stony Brook later today.
Monday, January 21, 2008 - Day 31 - 10:46 A.M.
IT'S GOOD - WE JUST RECEIVED WORD THAT THE PROCEDURE WAS A SUCCESS! Nick may come back to Stony Brook Hospital as early as tomorrow.
Monday, January 21, 2008 - Day 31
Nick was successfully transported
to Mount Sinai Hospital very early this morning. His surgery to
install the new stent is scheduled for this morning before noon. The
doctor not only reviewed all the cat scans and MRI tests but also
knows every detail of what Nick's progress has been throughout his
stay at Stony Brook. He believes this procedure will solve Nick's
problem with the stent. This procedure with the new stent is still
in the testing stage and not FDA approved as yet.
Sunday, January 20, 2008 - Day 30 in the hospital
A correction about the stent - it was not determined that the stent made Nick's heart stop. The re-inflation of the stent was not successful. The doctors have determined that another stent has to be installed in the aorta. The doctors have recommended that this procedure take place in Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, NY. They will be using a newer and differently designed stent - one that will work much better in the curve of the aorta where Nick's dissection is. Although this newer device is not FDA approved, it has been approved for use at Mt. Sinai Hospital. Similar to Stony Brook Medical Center, Mount Sinai Medical Center includes a hospital and a learning facility where ground breaking medical procedures are accomplished. Nick is sedated and ready to be moved today. He is awaiting a room in their ICU. If the procedure fails, a bypass open heart surgery will have to be performed. One lung will have to be deflated to perform that surgery if necessary which posses a large risk to Nick.
Friday, January 18, 2008
The doctors have determined that the stent caused the heart to stop 2 nights ago. Nick is recuperating from the procedure last night and he is doing well today.
Friday, January 18, 2008 - Day 28 in the hospital
Yesterday the doctors discovered the stent that was installed in Nick's aorta was partially collapsed. After an almost 3 hour surgery last night that ended at midnight, we received the news that Nick was doing great. The stent was re-inflated and blood flow was good. The night before when Nick's heart had stopped it was restarted within 30 seconds but the reason is not clear of why it happened - they did a lot of testing and they believe it may have started from Nick aspirating food from his stomach into his lungs. They are testing the fluid and the tests have not come back yet. The doctors donít know why or how the stent collapsed - it may have been from the resuscitation or some other reason. More testing will explain what's going on.
Thursday, January 17, 2008 - Day 27 in the hospital
Nick had a rough night last night. His heart stopped beating and he needed to be resuscitated. Tests are being run today to try and find out the cause.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - Day 26 in the hospital
Nick did extremely well with his surgery yesterday - the stent was put in place and the bypass wasn't necessary.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Nick is in surgery this afternoon to fix the torn aorta that also has an aneurism - both will be fixed with the stent. A bypass will also be installed so blood flow to the arms will not be interrupted by the stent.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Nick is resting
easy today. A 2 - 4 hour surgery is scheduled for tomorrow at noon for a
stent to be placed in Nick's aorta. His leg is healing and the arms and
hand seem to be OK for now. He is still using the respirator when the
nurses believe Nick needs some rest and help to breath. He received two
pints of blood and this is to increase his red cells and helping O2 get
to all his damaged parts.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Nick did great through his surgery yesterday - it took over 6 hours to complete fixing the bones in both arms, one was a compound fracture, and to repair the right hand. The doctors reported Nick did fantastic and he will not need any more surgery on his arms and hand - it was a complete success. This is great news for Nick. Nicks leg surgery seems to be healing well. He was running a temperature last night of 102į.
The aorta surgery is now scheduled for
Friday, January 11, 2008 || Day 21 in the hospital
Nick is scheduled for surgery for his arms today - to fix the bones -
more info will be posted as it is received.
Thursday, January 10, 2008 || Day 20 in the hospital
Nick had a great night. He is still scheduled for surgery on Monday to install the stent and possibly Friday surgery to repair his fractured arm/hand. The doctor gave us a very positive outlook after seeing Nick last night - his response to commands are indicating his strength and willingness for recovery from his extensive injuries. His blood pressure is slightly high which they're trying to keep down. It is crucial to keep it low because of the damage to the aorta.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008 || Day 19 in the hospital