We want to update you all on what has been going on with our family and our plans for opening. Some of you know what happened to our daughter back in December, but many of you may not. We want to let you know what we have been dealing with on top of the coronavirus and late spring frosts. To us, it is the most important thing we have been dealing with by far, even though the other things impact our business, nothing impacts our lives as much as our family. And when something happens to family, everything else stops in its tracks. Our clocks, watches, and calendars all stopped on December 6, 2019.
On December 6, our daughter Kaylee was in a horrific car wreck. She was on a back road in Patrick County heading to the community college she attends. Her car flipped multiple times into the woods and landed upside down. Someone happened to see the car in the woods about 15 minutes after the wreck. Fire and Rescue had to cut her from the car. Her injuries were severe, so they intubated her and a Wake Forest Baptist Hospital helicopter flew her to Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
In the wreck, Kaylee had fractured her skull and cheekbone, broke her jaw in half, had dissections to both carotid arteries, and hemorrhages on both sides of the brain and her brain was swelling so much that it forced the surgeons to remove both sides of her skull to provide room for it to expand. They were not optimistic about her chances to survive, but the surgeons and doctors there were incredible. The doctors told us that it would be hour by hour, and then it became day by day, then it became week by week. Her doctors, surgeons, and nurses in the ICU were beyond awesome and I can’t imagine not having them during this.
She spent her 19th birthday in the ICU getting her mouth wired shut. On the Wednesday before that, she had a G-tube placed into her stomach through her abdomen for feeding and had a tracheotomy so she could be on a ventilator to allow access to her jaw to wire it shut to heal. We “celebrated” Christmas in the hospital, and we did celebrate her still being here with us and that Christmas seemed like the perfect timing for this miracle that was happening.
Kaylee spent a month in the hospital, with two weeks being in the Trauma ICU. She transferred to the Roanoke Community Hospital into Carilion’s inpatient rehab facility on January 2. She spent a month there with some amazing doctors, therapists, and nurses. Even though both carotid arteries were damaged, the left was more severe and had to have titanium coils put into two pseudoaneurysms and a stent placed to bypass them. She spent another month at the inpatient rehab facility in Roanoke. On April 3, she had the left side of her skull put back on and then on April 23, she had the right side of her skull put back. She was released from rehab on May 8, just in time for Mother’s Day weekend.
She has an appointment with her neurosurgeon on May 28 and her brain injury doctor, and then we may move back home. She will still have another surgery to remove the feeding tube from her stomach in early June. She has started outpatient rehab now and will continue to do that for the foreseeable future. This will be a long process, but she is doing really well now.
We have lived in Roanoke since December 6, in the hospital, rehab, and the Ronald McDonald House. We rented a house starting in the beginning of March near her doctor’s and neurosurgeon’s offices and the hospital. After schools were closed due to the virus, Conner, our son, has stayed here in Roanoke with us. I (David) have only driven back home and to the winery three times since early December, while Tabatha hasn’t left Roanoke yet. We have tried to manage the winery and our wine club from Roanoke, as well as shipments and orders from here and then have Dad ship them out or meet people. He has been managed the vineyard all spring while we have been up here and Mom has been helping us up here in Roanoke, and occasionally going home to help him.
If you would like to follow her recovery, we have a Caring Bridge website that documents every day since the day of her wreck. This post has been a really brief update on her journey, but her Caring Bridge site covers everything she has gone through, each day from surgeries to therapies to long term care. You can follow her progress at https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/kayleestanley
We have decided not to open the tasting room when the rest of Virginia begins Phase I of the reopening. Over half of our family is still in Roanoke, but we also want to be as safe as we can. We can not risk too much contact with anyone who may carry the coronavirus, because we just can not take chances and bring that home to Kaylee. We also value the health of all of our friends and visitors, so we will evaluate our opening as we go along. We are not sure when we may open to the public, but it will definitely be in June at the earliest.
We are still available for curbside pickup and shipping, and once we get back home, deliveries may become a possibility. We appreciate everyone’s love and prayers that have been sent her way. It has been an incredibly hard time for all of us, but all of our friends and family have been so wonderful through all of this. We can’t wait to see everyone again. We have truly missed you all.