After fighting an infection that set him back last week, Kai is now feeling much stronger and is back to his normal routine. He is currently going to therapy twice a week at Perfect Step near his home and loves it. They just received a brand new piece of machinery called the Geo. This machine stands the user up and allows them walk with the aid of the machine. The benefits from the Geo are endless; for Kai’s case, it will help regulate his blood pressure and aid in circulation. Kai is able to use it for an hour each session and is excited to be pushing the boundaries at Perfect Step. Therapy has been great for Kai, he is able to get a complete body workout each session making him both physically and mentally stronger each week.
At home Kai has been using his new easy stand standing frame everyday that Road 2 Recovery was able to grant him. He really enjoys standing and being at the same height as his family and friends. Earlier this month Kai’s girlfriend made the move from Hawaii to be with him. He says it’s so nice to have her here and she has been such a great help and supporter. They just recently added a new member to the Mukai family, a beautiful dog named Koa. This pup is keeping them on their toes for sure.
One major accomplishment this month is that Kai is now 100% medication free. This is huge progress! He is in a very positive place now and can’t wait for summer. At the moment he is taking life one day at a time and is starting to focus on getting back to work.
Thankful for everyone’s support and prayers!
I took a trip back home to Hawaii for a little R&R for a few weeks. Getting a chance to hang out with family and friends has been really great. I have been keeping up on my rehab by going to the pool to swimming some laps and just working out at home with weights. Pops made a temporary stand frame so I have been standing in it. I have been laying low as I was a little sick for a few days. Nothing really new here, my spasms are still pretty bad. I cant wait to get back to California and get to therapy as that helps the spasms. Since things are still so new I take each day at a time getting around and figuring things out so everything’s been getting easier. I’m looking forward to starting Project Walk and out patient therapy when I get back and it should be good.
Kai’s progress is really showing after one week in Casa Colina’s Out-Patient program TLC. He has become more independent and getting stronger in everything from car transfers to getting comfortable on his chair and has found ways that make life easier for him. Kai is pumped to start driving classes next week to get him certified with hand controls. As of now, his plans are to do as much of therapy as possible even after he gets released from TLC. Long-term goals are to stay and live in California where it’s close to his dreams as possible!
In typically Kai fashion he has surpasses all expectations his therapist team has set. In doing so, he was given great news earlier this week. Kai is being released from his current In-Patient status at Casa Colina and has been accepted into their Out-Patient program in the Transitional Living Center (TLC). This is huge for him as he will be released from the hospital and accepted at into Casa Colina on property housing. This will give him the ability to start adapting to what life back at home will be link. Kai and his parents are expecting to stay in the temporary home for two months while Kia works on his rehabilitation and learns the news skills that he will need to become more independent.
With the acceptance into Casa Colina’s TLC program Kai will have five hour a day therapy sessions. He and his family are so overjoyed to start this next phase in Kai’s recovery. Right now their first priority and focus now is getting the best therapy and rehabilitation for Kai, and that is here in California. Kai will also start seeing one of the best Spinal Cord injury doctor here, Dr Patterson; which he is excited to be working with.
As for Kais level of sensation; he still has no feelings from his belly button down and continues to have leg spasms. Kai’s and his parents still have hope that one day Kai will walk again, we will never give up hope.
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