Toby Wimberley Update Page

Toby Wimberley, a dear friend and long time member of The Heights Fellowship, was in a serious motorcycle accident with an 18-wheeler Monday afternoon. He was immediately rushed to University Medical Center with several broken ribs, a broken patella, a perforated intestine, and a severed artery, severely bleeding internally. He was immediately rushed into emergency surgery to stop the bleeding and begin repairing his injured organs, but was bleeding so severely he began to become unstable. They stopped the surgery after repairing the severed artery and he slowly began to stabilize.

Tuesday 9-22-09

Over night, his heart rate and fever were both elevated enough prevent the surgeons from continuing the surgery on Tuesday morning. To better understand the enzyme levels and performance of his heart they implanted a monitor into his heart so they could better evaluate the next procedure. As the day continued his fever and his heart rate slowly began dropping and the surgeons took him back into surgery just after 2:00 P.M.

4:30 p.m.
Toby came out of surgery at 4:30 P.M. with a great report from his doctor. They finished up the surgery they started yesterday, checked his colon, and repaired minor damage to his spleen. Now we wait until Friday when they plan to close him up and repair his pelvis.

8:00 p.m.
Just got to see Toby. The nurse said he is in Critical but stable condition. His blood pressure is good. He has an elevated heart rate, but it has been consistent all day, so they are pleased with it. Toby is still intubated and sedated, but his color is back and he’s doing well. The way the nurse put it is He’s not out of the woods yet, but we can see the edge of the trees. Keep praying. Later I will recount the story we heard from a nurse on all of the divine appointments that happened to keep Toby with us!

11:59 p.m.
At midnight, the nurse said Toby’s heart rate has dropped back down to a better level and his vitals are still looking good. Recovery from his first surgery is going well and they plan to go into surgery to repair his pelvis on Friday. I gave him a 5 minute pep talk and prayed over him, as I know many of you are praying too. Keep it up!

Wednesday 09-23-09

8:00 a.m.
After checking on Toby several times by phone last night, we found out his heart rate is good and vitals are stable. He’s still listed as critical, but he’s been stable for 15 hours! We are almost through the 1st 48 hours, which the docs had said would be the most critical time frame.

8:00 p.m.
They were able to take Toby off of his ventilator this morning and he is breathing on his own. His vitals are still at very good levels and he is very responsive. Surgery is still planned for Friday to work on his pelvis and close his abdomen

9:30 p.m.
Toby has had a myriad of visitors this evening. He’s looking a lot better. In addition to his stats being well, his color is good, and he is responding to people coming in to see him. They are putting him back on the ventilator for the night since he is so tired. We’ll update again in the morning. Thanks for all the prayers. Keep it up

Thursday 09-24-09

2:30 a.m.
Just checked in on Toby, and his nurse said they have his blood pressure down and his heart rate under 120! That’s great news. In the words of his nurse, “Toby keeps trucking along!” I know his family is very grateful for all that has been done for them, and all the support shown during this tough time. Thank you.

8:45 a.m.
They just came out and let us know that they have moved Toby’s pelvic surgery and the closing of his abdomen to RIGHT NOW! The surgeon has already come out and they are ready to roll him back. This is the next big step that Toby’s taking early. Seems like he does everything early! I’ll post back here when they let us know how it went.

3:45 p.m.
Toby came out of surgery well. They fixed his pelvis, and seem hopeful to fix his knee cap. They also performed an appendectomy while they were in there. Everything seems to be healing quite nicely. The other news is that the skin and muscles over his stomach are not going to be able to be closed at this time. They are going to keep him “vacuum packed” for the next 2 weeks while they try to skin graft and mesh wire his outside closed. They will be doing skin grafts over the mesh to try and eventually get him “closed” back up. He will be here at least 2 more weeks, and he is still listed in critical condition. KEEP PRAYING!

Friday 09-25-09

8:00 a.m.
Toby had a steady night last night. No real news or changes. The plan for today is to begin to wake him up from the pain meds and take his breathing tube out. His blood pressure is a little elevated, but his pulse is good.

11:30 a.m.
The staff decided to try to move Toby around and get him ready to be extubated. He didn’t like that too much, so he’s back on the ventilator. They have decided his “fussy” reaction to their work was because he isn’t awake enough to not fight them. So, they are working him off of his meds to try to get him awake and they will try again. Keep praying.

9:00 p.m.
Toby is semi-alert/semi-awake. I was able to talk to him a little bit. They decided to re-sedate him for the night since they won’t extubate him until tomorrow. Good news is that they are planning to take the tube out. The bad news is that it’s pretty painful for him. In typical Toby fashion, I walked in to find him “fighting” with the nurse. The nurse was trying to get him to relax his arm and Toby didn’t want him messing with it. I walk in and hear, “I know you’re awake, Toby. I know you can hear me and are just being ornery!” I had to laugh! Since we’re not expecting any changes, this will be the last update for today. Keep praying and keep sending those letters of encouragement. Shelby’s reading them.

Saturday 09-26-09

8:30 a.m.
Toby has passed all the respiratory tests, so they have extubated him. He is greatly agitated right now, so we haven’t been back to see him yet this morning. It was an up and down night with his heart rate and blood pressure. Usually the morning visitation comes along with a briefing from his overnight activity, so I should have more to post soon.

10:15 a.m.
They had to reintubate Toby. Apparently he started fighting pain and being aware of where he is and became agitated. His blood pressure and heart rate became too high so they put him back on the tube and back on the vent/CPAP. Almost immediately, after they put the tube back in, all of his vitals came back to the good range, so they are going to try again tomorrow.

8:30 p.m.
Toby has spent most of the day sedated again. He’s had a rough day. Nothing life threatening, but tough nonetheless. They have been feeding him through a tube, and his body seems to be processing the way that it should. So, we will pray for a restful night for him so that his procedure goes well tomorrow. He will have his abdomen repacked and evaluated for closing tomorrow. Monday’s schedule includes his knee rebuild, so we’re praying for strength and healing for him.

Sunday 9-27-09

7:00 p.m.
Toby has had a very restful day. He underwent a procedure this morning to repack and reevaluate his abdomen for closing now that his organs have had a few days for the swelling to decrease. The procedure went very well, however, they still were not able to close him up because his muscles have retracted some. After their evaluation, they still plan to do a skin graft over the next few weeks. He has been very relaxed and has rested peacefully for the day with good vital signs. They plan to work on his knee tomorrow.

Monday 09-28-09

8:00 a.m.
Toby had some fever last night. The good news is his heart rate and blood pressure are really good. He’s been fighting fever for a while, but that’s nothing new. The fever has been a recurring thing. They have not yet taken him back for knee surgery, but that’s on the schedule for today. I’ll update when he comes out of surgery.

11:30 a.m.
Toby came out of surgery a few minutes ago. The surgeon was pleased with the operation, and says the knee is rebuilt. They had to do some drilling so that it would stimulate blood flow. At some point today we should hear what is coming up next.

The Fragile Nature of Life

I got a text yesterday during staff meeting from Shelby saying Toby had been in a motorcycle accident. Toby is one of my closest friends. You may have seen him in our “Wild Hogs” pictures. Toby’s that guy that can fix anything, and is always the first to show up and help with something.
The text said Toby had been in an accident, and has some broken ribs and a broken knee. So, we bailed on staff meeting and headed that way, expecting to find a bruised and sore Toby.

Got to the ER, and Shelby hadn’t been able to see Toby yet, so we camped in the ER waiting room eagerly awaiting a report on my surely road-rashed friend. That’s when we found out that they had to rush Toby into emergency surgery upon discovering a building amount of fluid in his stomach. Turns out he had severed an artery in his abdomen, and nearly bled to death internally. Upon further examination, his knee cap is shattered, pelvis broken, internal organs (intestines, possibly colon) had perforated, and multiple ribs broken. His status went from banged up to critical in a matter of minutes. After 5 hours of surgery, they had to close him up because his vital signs became unstable. They still have work to do on his organs, pelvis, and knee cap.

The thing about Toby is that he is, by nature, a fighter. He doesn’t accept the fact that an obstacle can block your path. This man doesn’t take “No” for an answer. I’m honestly surprised that he doesn’t have a clause in his files stating that he gets to assist on any repairs done to himself. We were joking with him last night about having his hands restrained in order to keep him from fixing himself.

It’s been a rough night but Toby is fighting. The SICU doctor told Shelby that the next 24 – 48 hours would be crucial, so we’re almost halfway done with that. Please be praying. I know Toby would tell us to go on with the stuff that needs to get done and not to worry about him. But I am asking you to spend a significant amount of time in prayer for him today. Toby is that guy that literally is there for anyone and everyone. The most generous man I know, he embodies the Christian spirit of service and sacrifice. Join me in praying Toby out of danger and onto recovery.