Updates on Vancouver Division Chaplain Jim Turner

Photograph of RCMP Chaplain Jim Turner at Burnaby Detachment's memorial service (Source of photo - Sheldon Boles).

Updates on Chaplain Jim Turner

July 25, 2020

The following information is the latest update sent to Robert Underhill, President, from Jim’s daughter, Anita:

“Dear friends,
1. Today my dad got to use a walking platform that takes the weight off of your spine so that you can lift your feet and step. Dad did
great and is also still doing well with his weight bearing stands. He is making great progress and the next phase will be to walk
down the hall with the walking platform.
2. Heʼs had a few rough mornings of throwing up.
3. Dadʼs red blood cells are holding after a slight improvement. Thereʼs no major concern over this at present.
4. Dadʼs shoulder is in a lot of pain. The doctor is arranging for cortisone shots for dad in his shoulder.
5. Dadʼs drains are still producing so no word on discharge from the hospital and likely, when discharge does happen, it will be to an
intensive physiotherapy facility, such as Laurel place – or whichever place has availability. They are taking one more drain out today.”

With gratitude,
Anita
(On behalf of my mom, my dad and the whole family)


July 21,  2020

The following information is the latest update sent to Robert Underhill, President, from Jim’s daughter, Anita:

“Dear friends,
Here is the latest update:
1. Dad can now lift off from the bed on his own and transfer to a wheelchair via a contraption they call ʼSara Steady.” This is great progress but also hard work and leaves him feeling exhausted.
2. The drains are slowing down which is a good sign but the doctor isnʼt prepared to remove them quite yet.
3. The fistula is currently in healing mode which is great.
4. Dad is still on antibiotics (two more days left) and they have ordered new blood work today to check on his red blood cell count.
5. The next aspect they will focus on in physio is the drop foot (left foot), which is common for someone who has been laid up in hospital for as long as dad has. The drop foot has to be under control before he will be ready to take a few steps you!
As we have continued to take this journey with dad, something that has been on my heart has been his spiritual legacy.
With deep and heartfelt thanks,
Anita
(On behalf of my mom, my dad and our whole family)”


July 17, 2020

The following information is the latest update sent to Robert Underhill, President, from Jim’s daughter, Anita:

“Dear friends,

Today I woke up to news from my mom that my dad had his first weight bearing stand today in physio!

To say that this is a miracle is an understatement.

In addition to this weight bearing stand, the Doctor also seems pleased with the change in the functioning of the drains, and for the time being they are continuing to allow him to eat.

They are continuing to monitor his red blood cell count, which is still lower.

Thank you so much, friends.

Anita”


July 14, 2020

The following information is the latest update sent to Robert Underhill, President, from Jim’s wife, Shelley and daughter, Anita:

“Dear friends,
1. Jim has experienced a great improvement in his motivation and outlook over the past few days, even though there have not been any improvements physically.
2. Jimʼs drains are still not working optimally and there are some questions about whether or not he will need another surgery. We are really hoping that this isnʼt necessary. The doctor is trying to come up with a game plan if the output does not decrease in the coming days.
3. They are a bit concerned with his red blood cell count. Hopefully with the new medication this will improve.
4. We are still waiting to hear whether or not they will take him off of food and put him back on receiving his nutrition via a central line. They have been trying a new medication in the meantime and doing everything they can to get things working properly so that hopefully he does not take this step in the wrong direction.
While waiting this week, Anita took some time to sift through the many emails and messages from friends, that she has received since mid May. She compile some of these words and all of the photos received into a short video of encouragement. She included any video messages received into a separate video and sent that along for further encouragement. He watched the video tonight and was moved to tears of joy. Thank you for being there for him in this way. During a time when we cannot be there for him physically it means the world that there are others who are as invested in his recovery as we are. And, if you would still like to, please keep sending your emails, your photos of you with my dad and your video messages to me at anita_mccarthy@sil.org.”


July 2, 2020

The following information is the latest update sent to Robert Underhill, President, from Jim’s wife, Shelley:

“We are now approaching 7 weeks since my dad first went into the hospital and, to say that we’re ready to have him come home is an understatement.

I don’t have any new medical updates except for the fact that the drain that was going to be removed last week was actually not removed due to something they saw in the drain so he still has all four drains in at the moment.

We still don’t have a timeline for when dad can leave the hospital and we are still fairly certain that, whenever that time comes, he will have to transition to Laurel Place prior to coming home but we are really hoping that he will be able to leave the hospital soon. We really appreciate the physiotherapists working at the hospital and all of the doctors and nurses but he is getting so tired of that hospital room.

We would ask you to join with us in praying for his encouragement at this time.

This journey is challenging, humiliating, humbling and overwhelming but we know that we serve One who is far greater than or circumstances and, more than that, One who goes before us and walks with us.

Thank you for praying with us. Please continue to send photos of you with my dad or just photos of my dad to my email (Anita_mccarthy@sil.org). I am also looking for people to send, either recorded voice messages and/or videos of them sharing an encouraging word with my dad in lieu of visitation which is not possible in this strange time of Covid. Once I receive enough, I will compile these photos and video notes into a little video of encouragement for him.

Thank you for standing with us. We are so very grateful.”


June 19, 2020

The following information is the latest update sent to Robert Underhill, President, from Jim’s wife, Shelley:

“Jim had a red letter day today.  Catheter out.  Central line out.  Passed the swallow test.  Feeding tube out.  Lots of tears of joy.  Lastly a meal tray of delicious hospital food.  Bits of chicken, pears and a ginger ale.  He’s in heaven”


June 17, 2020

The following information is the latest update sent to Robert Underhill, President, from Jim’s daughter, Anita and wife, Shelley:

1. Late last week, dad had a nuclear scan which was intended to locate the infection that was causing his intermittent fevers. The scan results came back as inconclusive but it does mean that the infection is not in his abdomen which is definitely a praise item!

2. In order to rule out another potential source of infection, they have scheduled dad for a TEE (transesophageal echocardiogram) in order to take a closer look at the heart. They want to rule out the heart or heart valves as a potential location for infection as dad was having some irregular rhythms last week. This was supposed to happen on Friday but got cancelled and the doctors will call on Monday to reschedule. Please pray for some helpful information.

3. The doctors have also ordered another CT and that will happen sometime this week.

4. Dad hasn’t had a fever for the past three days so that is huge. It is also quite possible that the infection could just be healed so your prayers are being answered one at a time.

5. Due to the need for the bed in the CCU and dad’s positive progression in so many other areas, they made the decision to move dad today to the surgical ward. To top off this good news we found out today that mom will still be able to visit once a day. Praise God! Dad needs all of the encouragement and support that he can get as he comes to terms with the upcoming journey of recovery and we are so glad that my mom gets to be with him at least once a day. Thank you for praying!

6. The next steps are: 1) get results back from these tests, 2) If all is clear, work on getting stitches removed 3) remove the central line and attempt to give dad some food for which he would be forever grateful.

I couldn’t have said any of this any better.  It has been a busy weekend and we are feeling so blessed.  Without your prayers I do not know where we would be. God has heard and His mercies truly do endure forever.  Stay tuned for further updates on the journey.”


June 13, 2020

The following information is the latest update sent to Robert Underhill, President, from Jim’s wife, Shelley.

“Today was a good day for Jim despite scheduling changes.  Turned out that his TEE was cancelled at the last minute but it worked out that the PT was able to take him through the rounds.  He did great sitting up on his own.  No weight bearing yet though. Then off to the nuclear scan and didn’t get back till 5:00.  He was exhausted but managed to stay awake for a bit so we could visit . TEE that was cancelled should be rescheduled for next week, dr Cowie wants to do another CT scan next week too.  Results of nuclear scan may not be back till Monday but no fever for the last 48 hours and talk about some real food next week.  All in all a good day.  Thank you for your continued prayers”


June 10, 2020

The following information is the latest update sent to Robert Underhill, President, from Jim’s wife, Shelley.

“Jim had another couple of rough days.  A little more delirious and running a fever intermittently.  Fluid around lungs is holding for now.  And blood transfusion seems to have improved his numbers.  He sat up today on the side of his bed for a bit but even that exhausted him.  Surgeon is sending him for a white blood cell indium scan tomorrow.  It is a nuclear imaging test that looks for infection.  They will transport him to White Rock where they will withdraw white blood cells, radiate them and put them back by intervenes.  On Thursday he will go back and he will have a nuclear scan – looking for the location of the infection.  Sounds very science fiction like and hopefully will give us some answers.  He is weary and weak but hasn’t given up.  He is stronger than I know I would be if I was in his situation.  Will keep you posted when we hopefully get the results on Saturday”


June 6, 2020

The following information was sent last evening to Robert Underhill, President, from Jim’s wife, Shelley.

“Usually it’s my daughter who is long and verbose but it’s my turn I guess

So the last few days have been difficult to say the least. Little positive to share but it seemed like we were watching Jim slip away from us a little more each hour.  He was so weak and confused and tired. It felt like he was giving up or just had nothing else to give.  Fever sprung up again and the picc line was removed and as they were putting in a new central line his blood pressure tanked. They were able to stabilize him with meds for which we are forever thankful.

When I called this morning they informed us that a CT scan of his belly had been ordered for this afternoon.   I found myself dreading going up to the hospital just to see him helplessly lying there again.  When I arrived after work he was being transferred back into his bed after a busy day apparently.  He asked to get up in his chair and he sat for 3 hours and then he travelled down to radiology and back.  Yesterday that would not have happened.  When he was settled he opened his eyes wide and started speaking to me in mostly coherent sentences.  He knew where he was but was unaware of what had really transpired in the last 3 weeks.  Bouts of paranoia found him questioning the actions of the doctors and nurses and what kind of a job they were doing. It made me laugh and somewhat frustrated him.

His very unique personality was breaking through with bits of sarcasm and sad sad humour. Never thought I’d be so thankful to hear those old adages.  As his energy faded slightly I left with a sincere appreciation for the answer to my simple prayer. “Lord I could really use a good day with just one positive outcome.”

Why do we limit our God?

As I was about to leave when the surgeon walked in and said the ct images had just come up
We sat down together to look at them.  Though he reminded me that he was not a radiologist he could share that the results appeared to be better than expected. I have to admit I gave his arm a very happy squeeze and declared another miracle before our very eyes.

I know that we have a long battle ahead of us and that there will be ups and downs – good days and bad but for today I can rejoice and be thankful for answered prayer beyond what my finite mind can even imagine.

I know many of you are praying for Jim as you read this. Please continue to bring him before the throne whenever you think of him. It is the prayers of His people who are making the difference.”


June 3, 2020

The following information was sent today from Jim’s wife, Shirley, to Robert Underhill, President.

“Today is day 19 and it feels like an eternity in some ways.  There is much to be thankful for.  First and foremost Jim is still here with us.  A miracle in itself.  The recent ECG came back normal which is good news.  The surgeon says that the massive incision looks good but the drains he placed in his abdomen are not as clear as he had hoped.  An ultrasound of his tummy will tell us more in the days to come.  He is trying so hard to speak clearly but the muscles in his jaw need to strengthen and his tongue swelling must decrease before he can produce good clear sounds. This is frustrating for him.  Jim’s sense of humour is still very much in tact and he reminded me today that I had already shared a piece of news with him yesterday and that I didn’t need to repeat myself.  He was right though.  I reminded him that he was not in the University Hospital in Wisconsin which was his response to the nurse’s question this afternoon.  Wherever that came from I don’t know.  Still nothing by mouth and when he heard that from the doctor he actually pouted.  Today they replaced the central line in his chest for a picc line in his arm.  This should make him more comfortable but there is no more fentanyl/ just Tylenol /for pain so maybe not.  Two other positives are that his white blood count is normal and the surgeon believes that he should remain in CCU for a bit longer.  This means that my visiting rights should remain for now.  For this I am truly thankful.  Moving to a surgical ward could have curtailed all visiting,

As Anita says – Thank you so much for continuing to pray with and for us.  We know that it’s a long road ahead but we also know who goes before us and we are trying to fix our eyes on Him at all times. Thank you friends!  Hopefully more good news to follow!”


May 30, 2020

The following information was sent from Jim’s wife last evening to Robert Underhill, President.

” I have been up at the hospital since early this morning.  Got to sit in on the team rounds which was very Interesting.  The decision was to extubate and watch him carefully for the next 3 hours to make sure his lungs are producing enough oxygen.  If blood work comes back negative, the will do a tracheotomy.  He is more awake today, throat still pretty raw, and running a bit of a fever but we are praying that he can work past this hurdle too.

Surgeon will be coming in later today so we wait again.

Update: Jim is doing well off the ventilator.
O2 levels are within expected range and he is even trying to talk.
Praying for a good night with no fever.”


May 27, 2020

The following information was sent from Jim’s wife today to Robert Underhill, President.

“Haven’t heard from dr Cowie, the surgeon, but CCU informed us that Jim was back around 2:00 am this morning.  At this point all I know is that he was able to close the wound and no tracheotomy and no stoma.  This is the miracle we prayed for and I am thankful beyond words.
The next few days will include vigilant monitoring of the wound, watching for sepsis, reducing the adema and also working towards getting him off the vent.  The prayers of the many have been heard and answered and all glory goes to our merciful God  Let the healing begin!!  If you can continue to pray for healing and strength we would be most appreciative.  In turn, we will continue to keep you updated.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for the blessing you have been in our lives”


May 26, 2020

The following information was sent from Jim’s wife late yesterday to Robert Underhill, President.

“So after a couple of days rest it looks like we are a go again for surgery tomorrow evening – sometime after 6:00 pm.  Jim’s temp is good and the surgeon is hoping to find no signs of any leaks or infection so that he can complete what he has planned to do and close Jim up finally.  This is the miracle we need prayer for over the next 24 hours.  Please continue to hold Jim up as he prepares for another round.  He is tired.  Anita has shared this on Facebook so hopefully we are not overwhelming you with these requests but we so appreciate each and every one of you and how you have stood by our family in so many ways.  We are resting in the knowledge that the God we serve is in full control and we will be sure to keep you updated as soon as we have any news”


May 18, 2020

Update received today from Jim’s daughter:

I just heard from my mom and I have amazing news. After a mere 3 hours, rather than 5-6, my dad is out of surgery and in post-op!

This is truly a miracle and we are so incredibly thankful.

There were no complications, everything went smoothly and we are beyond thankful for the skilled surgeon, doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists and every medical professional who is surrounding my dad with love and care.

The next steps are still intense and complicated and he has yet to wake up despite reduced sedation but we keep seeing miracle after miracle and we will keep holding on to faith for this amazing, joyful man!

Here are the next steps in summary:

1) Dad got through this surgery (surgery #2) in record time!
2) The surgeon said that he will now wait about 2-3 days to determine the next steps for my dad.
3) Dad will still need at least one more surgery, possibly two.
4) He will need to also have his hernia fixed and his stomach mostly reconstructed from extensive damage and then he will need to be closed up (we don’t know if this will be one surgery or two).”


Further update received this evening, May 17, 2020, from Shelley Turner:

“Jim’s Platelet count has come up enough and the kidneys are back and they need to get the surgery done.  He is now back in surgery for a five hour operation to resect the bowel.  It will be a tricky surgery.”


The following update on Jim Turner was sent to President, Robert Underhill, Sunday, May 17, 2020, from Jim’s wife, Shelley:

Jim had a better night and on a positive note they were able to withdraw all the blood pressure med’s and he is holding his own.

On the other hand his blood work came back and his platelet’s are extremely low so there will be no chance that he will get the further surgery he needs today.  They are also concerned with his kidney function but will take the day to work on both of those. 

They are lowering the sedation levels in the hope that he will wake up but nothing has happened yet.  Shelley is headed to the Hospital to give him a pinch and some serious chatting in his ear to get him to wake up.  Shelley was able to get a good night sleep last night.  She will continue to keep me posted.

 

 

 

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