Another Update Regarding My Daughter Shannon’s Medical Status

Shannon has now been in the hospital (neurological intensive care) for eight days after a devastating fall and resulting head injury. I flew to Florida to be with her and her family and I’m still here. Her original prognosis in the ER was “zero chance of survival” so my first bit of good news was finding that she was still alive when I arrived in Florida.

Since then the road has been rocky but yesterday we were finally told by one of her doctors that she “will survive” and that was a huge milestone.

For the last four days we’ve been battling a demon in our effort to get Shannon off the ventilator. There are many interweaving complications in that effort due to her injuries and surgical interventions, including but not limited to a subdural hematoma, a craniotomy, and a broken cervical vertebrae.

But late this afternoon Shannon finally got a break (of the good kind)Β and was successfully weaned off the respirator. It was a dicey situation that could have resulted in a tracheotomy or worse but thankfully it did not. When I left her a couple of hours ago she was breathing unassisted, speaking a raspy few words and telling her family that she loved us.

She’s come a long way from her original prognosis but she still has far to go and it’s going to take a while, perhaps a long while. Obviously at this point I still don’t know when I’ll get back home or get back to my regular blogging routine and at this point that’s the least of my concerns.

But I will admit that it feels really strange to be making a blog post that doesn’t include an image.


71 comments to Another Update Regarding My Daughter Shannon’s Medical Status

  • Your post was full of images.

  • Pam Skaar

    Thanks for the update. Don’t worry about the photos. Your words create pictures in my mind that fill my eyes with tears and my heart with gratitude. I think of y’all daily and send energy that way for continued hope and comfort.

  • Great news that she is off the ventilator and it is wonderful that she was able to talk to the family. Thanks for keeping your followers up to date.

  • Ginny Unanue

    I’ve been praying for her , as well as the rest of the family . So glad to read this good news!

  • Wendy Dederick


    Just catching up on the whole situation with Shannon. How wonderful that she is off the vent and speaking of her love to all of you! Such a HUGE step from a week ago! I send all good thoughts, wishes, and prayers that Shannon recovers quickly and all fears are allayed. You have great support from your followers – hang in there!

  • April Olson

    Wishing continued recovery to Shannon. Your large birding community is cheering for her.

  • 48dodger

    I’m so glad you have a place like this blog to vent your concerns and hopes. The good news you just shared warms my heart Ron.
    I’ve worked in as a Radiologic Technologist in ER for 31 years now…..I do trauma head scans on a regular basis. I understand how the waiting can be difficult. Thank you for sharing what must be a very difficult time. You have my continued prayers.


  • Nancy Hill

    Oh Ron, so great to hear she’s moving in such a positive direction! Sending many thoughts and prayers your way, and Shannon’s.

  • Chris Sanborn

    This post brings tears to my eyes — so happy to hear that Shannon’s progress continues — and so glad for the relief her raspy voice has brought to all of you! As much as I miss your daily photos and blog entries, your job now is your family, not your readers (although we do appreciate these updates). The birds will be waiting for you when you are finally able to return to your work, and in the meantime, I shall spend more time perusing your archives, lots of images there I’ve not had the chance to look at before! Take care, Ron.

  • Sharon Constant

    Dear Ron, I’ve been painting my house in preparation for El Nino and thus, I have not kept up with your blog for the last couple of weeks. I am so, so, sorry to read about Shannon’s accident. I am grateful that she is showing such improvement and that you have been able to wean her off the ventilator–that’s hugely positive. I will be thinking of Shannon, you and your family and will keep you in my prayers.

  • deborah donelson

    It is so wonderful to hear that things are turning around for Shannon. I can’t imagine your distress. Once again, we are reminded to be present for every moment in our lives, with those we care for – it can all fall apart in a heartbeat. Life is precarious and an unearned gift, may we treasure it each day.

  • Poppy Davis (@PoppyDavis)

    My prayers are with you and your family – and the doctors and nurses helping your daughter.

  • Thanks you for your updates. We are so happy Shannon is doing better and pray for her complete recovery. You will get back to bird photos when the time is right and we will be here with you now and all the way.

  • Tiffany Battad

    Ron, thank you for posting the information about Shannon. It helps so much being so far away to know what’s going on with her. I know she is so happy that you’re there. Please give her a kiss from me.

  • Deborah Rehnstrom

    Great news, Ron. Thinking of you. Take care of yourself and stay faithful and full of hope. Sending thoughts for a complete and speedy recovery. Supporting you 100%. Miss your photos but know you are on a far more important mission. Every Best Wish, Ron.

  • Ann Lewis

    I’m keeping you both in my thoughts. Glad the news is better and hope recovery is fast from this point. Take care of her and yourself.

  • Judy

    GREAT news! πŸ™‚ Progress, even if slow. Shannon speaking is awesome. πŸ™‚ I’m sure it is strange to blog without photographs. πŸ™‚

  • Chris Wyatt

    Great news. Remember to take care of yourself during these tough days. Thanks for the update.

  • Hearing those words must have been amazing, Ron. I’m grateful to the Powers That Be for her continued progress.

  • Ken S from CA

    Ron; it has to mean a ton to your daughter that you’re their with her and comforting for both of you being close by… God bless your family and may she continue to improve each and every day. Prayers for all from the west coast.

  • Tana hunter

    Some good news at last. My heart goes out to you and your family, and I hope her recovery is faster than expected.

  • Humming bird lover

    Hi Ron and family!

    So glad to hear the good news about Shannon and how she is doing! Our prayers and concerns here in Va. and Ga. are still being thought of for you all! Hope her full recovery will be real soon. Love ,prayers and healing are sent to you’s all. Sybill

  • Linda

    Thank God!

  • anil

    Ron, She is going to recover very fast … May God Bless her…

  • The outpouring of support from everyone here is much appreciated – by me and by the rest of Shannon’s family. Thank you all!

  • Diana

    Ron, remember progress is slow with this type of injury. Her getting off the vent is HUGE. My continued prayers are with you. Bet all of us here could send you some images to critique…..

  • David Redman

    Take as long as you need. Remember Family First. Best wishes to you and your family.

  • Ron, so glad for the improved news. It may be strange blogging to people you have never met face to face, but, taking the liberty of speaking for all, we really are glad to get the updates, and offer best wishes, best thoughts, and prayers for you and Shannon.

  • Jean

    Wonderful news Ron. The good news put a smile on my face. πŸ™‚

  • wendy chapman

    Terrific news. I can only imagine all of the emotions you have been experiencing the last several days. It is wonderful she will live and can talk and be a part of her family again. A gift. I hope she recovers and that this traumatic experience will soon be a memory. Take care of yourself and know the respect and admiration you have from all of your followers.

  • Jorge H. Oliveira

    My thoughts are with you and your daughter.
    Thanks for the update.

  • So glad to hear better news. Stay strong! I know what you are going through and God does perform miracles. Will keep you all in prayer as long as needed. You have so many followers who truly care and are praying too.

  • Larry Muench

    I echo what Kris so eloquently said. Prayers for Shannon and her family and kudos to you for being such a faithful and loving father. That’s all that matters now.

  • Kris Eberhard

    You should know , Ron , that while all of your blog audience started following you because of your technical and teaching skills–they then became your fans because of the
    integrity and heart with which you meet the natural world and its problems, as well as its beauty ……I think it just follows that all of these people think of you as a friend
    and have come to care about you and your family in just that way——birds and blogs just aren’t important right now. We’re all encouraged and heartened by your updates
    and hoping for the very best for Shannon and you.

  • Ed MacKerrow

    I am happy to hear that Shannon is breathing on her own Ron, and that she was able to express her love to her family. I have confidence that Shannon will pull through this challenge Ron!

  • Laura Culley

    Outstanding news that she’s making steady progress! That’s splendid! And do what’s most important–care for your daughter. We’ll be here when you get back!

  • Brett Evans

    That is great news, Ron. Happy to here of Shannon is making progress. Getting off the ventilator is a very good sign. It is really good you are able to be there with her.

  • Betsy Livingstone

    Thank you so much for keeping us posted, Ron. You have a whole lot of friends out here rooting for Shannon.

  • Dee Renee Ericks

    So glad there is good news! Family comes first, always. Glad to hear the updates!

  • Marge Tarr

    What great news from no hope to telling her family she loves them. Wonderful, God contain to heal Shannon. Marge from CB

  • Julia

    Yes, You are where you need to be!!! God speed and the best to you all!

  • David Sorokwasz

    Ron, perhaps that respirator could be considered a hurdle as opposed to a demon. Whoever invented that dread medical device, subsequently, saved thousands of lives. Hang in there Shannon. Yes, you CAN get it ALL back!
    David Sorokwasz, DVM
    Minden, NV

  • Hi Ron. Thanks for continuing to keep us posted. I can only imagine how challenging it is to not be able to trace a clear trajectory, when you care so deeply and Shannon is working so hard for full recovery. I wish you strength to stay in each moment and celebrate every step forward for the milestone it is. Do take good care.

  • Charlotte Norton

    That’s really good news! I’m sure because of her injuries, the road to recovery might be rocky, so hang there!


  • Happy tears here.
    I am so very glad.
    Thank you for the update.
    We will all continue to hold you, Shannon and the rest of the family in our hearts.

  • Johanna van de Woestijne

    I’m glad you can be there for her. That is what I would want too.

  • That is excellent news. My daughter was on a ventilator for almost two weeks last year. I know what you’re feeling ~ it’s such a milestone to breathe on your own. I think it took me a day or so to exhale and know we were passed that point and truly starting down the road to recovery. Keep the faith. She sounds like a strong person and the human spirit is remarkable. All the best and wonderful you can be there for her.

  • Mary Hanson

    Lots of heartfelt good vibes are heading your way. As you care for your daughter remember to care for yourself, too. You’ll need to be healthy and strong for her…

  • Jane Shipp

    Dear Ron and family,
    These are encouraging words and hopeful signs that Shannon is on the road to recovery – perhaps slow, but that’s okay. We’ll take it! As far as photos are concerned: I haven’t even thought about it. The image I have now is of Shannon recovering and of you being with her and smiling and talking. That is the photo that I will keep in my mind as I continue to pray for you and Shannon and all family members. Thank you so much for the thoughtful updates.


  • Ellen Wascou

    So glad to hear this good news. I hope your daughter’s recovery continues with great speed.

  • Melissa Groo

    I am so relieved for you and for Shannon, Ron. Thanks so much for keeping us updated.

  • Christine Bogdanowicz

    You and your family are in my thoughts Ron–I awoke this AM hoping to hear some positive news about Shannon–I sure hope a trend of good news follows in the wake of each new day.

  • Patty Chadwick

    Mia’s blog is…On the wing photography

  • Patty Chadwick

    Ron’s half-side, Mia Mcpherson, has some wonderful bird and wildlife photos to tide folks over while Ron is busy taking care of Wonder Woman….she’s kind of a Wonder Woman, too…he’s blessed with two of them!!!…..

  • Thanks for the update, Ron. This is a huge step! Just to let you know you and Shannon are in my prayers and I hope that good news will keep coming.

  • Dick Harlow

    Our love, prayers and thoughts are with you and your family!!

  • karen olch

    Bless your Heart…..don’t worry about us…take care of you and your family and
    be there for your dear daughter. THAT is the most important thing.

  • Steven E Hunnicutt

    Family is what we live for and what matters most. She will make it.

  • Patty Chadwick

    Sooo very, very relieved…for all of you, but most of all for Wonder Woman!!! Way to go, Shannon!!! Big journey ahead, but as they say,” Every journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step”. This was a HUGE step! I am very, very happy for all….Wopila, Tunkasila! Mtakuye oyasin….

  • April Campbell

    Wonderful! This is a very good sign indeed.

  • Susan Stone

    I am so glad to know that Shannon is off the ventilator and able to talk. Hopefully she will continue to progress to full recovery. I miss seeing your images every day, but what you are doing is far more important. I’ll continue to keep Shannon and all the rest of the family in my prayers.

  • Louise Shimmel

    Please don’t worry about us, Ron. We’ll miss your photos but it’s far more important that you are there for Shannon and her family. Thinking of you all!

  • Nancy Collins

    Glad to hear Shannon is making progress! You are all in my thoughts and prayers!

  • Ron darling boy … I’m so glad to be reading your wonderful news … celebrate each tiny step as if it were a milestone … because it is!!! Bless you all. She’s got a lot of you in her, that’s clear … a fighter!!! Don’t worry about the blog, we’ll still be here when things have returned to normal!!!!

  • Kelli Frame

    Thanks for the update. All best.

  • Carole Meredith

    My thoughts are with you and Shannon.

  • Zaphir Shamma

    You are EXACTLY where you need to be…God bless you all.

  • Gary Goelitz

    I am glad that your daughter is recovering. My prayers for a full and speedy recovery.