I saw Melinda on Tuesday morning (1/16/18) and was happy to notice a jump of improvement since my last visit with her at UCLA intensive care on Christmas Eve. It was the first time since the accident that Melinda seemed to me to be fully awake and somewhat alert, clearly visually engaging her environment, though not talking.
She’s been moved to a private rehab hospital closer to her sister (who has the main responsibility for her now) making it easier for her to visit and to monitor Melinda’s care. In the new facility, she’s receiving medical attention in an environment where she can rest and slowly heal - which is what she needs right now.
When I came in and said, “Hi, Melinda, it’s Greg,” she looked right at me and smiled just a bit. It was the first time I had any sense I was connecting a little with my dear friend since she suffered her injury. She also cracked a tiny, momentary smirk when I told her my daughters were fine but still warring with each other over dumb things (as sisters do). Good sign.
Other than those slight smiles, she was incommunicado. I talked with her a while about newsy things, and she stared at me most of the time with no expression on her face. It was hard to know what was going on inside - if she was understanding everything yet unable to respond, understanding some but not all, or missing most of it. Clearly, though, there was alertness in her eyes that was not there before.
I suspect Melinda is somewhat aware of what’s going on but can’t reach through her brain injury yet to connect and engage - which would be really frustrating for her if her mind is working well, yet she can’t communicate through her broken body.
Many of you have sent cards, and when those come in we read them to her when we visit. Every bit helps, so please don’t stop. And keep praying. Melinda needs prayer. These first six months are really critical, and we want to see lots of progress.
Thank you for your kindness on Melinda’s behalf, and please keep praying for mercy for her healing.