Kai’s blood pressure has started to stabilize and with this improvement his doctors have moved him from the cumbersome hospital wheelchair he has been using to a normal everyday sport wheelchair. This is huge progress for Kai.
Monday in occupational therapy they where teaching Kai the art of transferring from the wheelchair and in this case into the shower chair. Kai shredded! This is a super hard task to do this early in with any of these types of injurys. Normally it’s mandatory to use a slide board made of wood, but he did it without. This is huge! He is going to continue to push the the hospital staff as he is very motivated to learn what is needed; anything they put in front of him he accomplishes.
Kai is still being patient with his body as he hasn’t gotten any movement in the lower extremities. The spinal cord is still quite swollen and anything can happen as the spinal cord swelling will take sometime to reside. It’s still very early in his recovery to full understanding the extent of his injury. But Kai and his family still remain positive and keep pushing everyday.
Kai Mukai’s Injury Details-
On the afternoon of September 7th, privateer and Fasthouse team rider, Kai Mukai was severely injured while participating in the 450 Shootout at Glen Helen raceway in San Bernardino, California. Kai was going through a turn when his back tire hit a dirt pile and ejected him off his bike. He was thrown about 30 feet, landing on his back causing critical damage to his spine. The force of the impact fractured his T-4 and T-5 vertebrae, imploding bone fragments into his spinal cord, luckily not severing the cord.
Kai was rushed to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center where he underwent surgery to try to repairs some of the damage to his spinal cord. His surgeons performed a T-4 and T-5 reconstruction, bone graph, and inserted rods from his T-3 to T-10 to help stabilize his spine. He is currently without sensation or movement from his waist and below but was recently given an update diagnoses as an “Incomplete SCI (Spinal Cord Injury)”. This updated diagnoses from a “Complete SCI” to an “Incomplete SCI” is great news. The determining factor between the two diagnoses is with an Incomplete the ability of the spinal cord to send messages to or form the brain is not completely lost and some sensation and movement might be possible below the injury level. This gives Kai and his family a lot of hope.
Kai being the overachiever that he is, has already mastered some major milestones. On September 12th just five days after his injury, Kia was able to sit up with assistance on the side of his bed for a little over thirteen minutes. He is still in a lot of pain from the surgery but he feels better everyday. He has kept his positive and determined sprit throughout this process and is determined to be optimistic.
The main focus now is getting Kia’s blood pressure stabilized and the pain from surgery under control so he can transferred to Casa Colina in Pomona, California by the end of the week. Once Kia is admitted into the in-patient rehabilitation therapy program at Casa Colina, he along with a team of highly qualified physicians will start working on long-term therapy goals. This program usually lasts about two months for his type of injury. The first phase of therapy will be centered on teaching him to master new ways to carry out daily living activities. The second phase is specific to Kia rehabilitation needs and goals. He and his rehab team will strive to get back as much movement and muscle strength as possible. To achieve these goals, Kia will have access to hyperbaric chambers to accelerate healing, specialized gym equipment, aquatic pool and other outdoor therapy options all geared to his needs.
Even with the great insurance coverage Kai and his family have, there will be some medical expenses that won’t be covered for severe spinal cord injury such as the one Kai suffered. This will be a long road to recovery and any support helps. So far the support and donations to Kai’s fund has been very inspiring and has really helped him stay positive. Unfortunately this is a very scary and uncertain time for him and his family. Any positive thoughts and prayers are welcome and you can post them here.
*Photo Credit to @falconphotoart- Alex Falcon