Welcome friends and family of Alex and Dane!

This Blog has been created by friends and family of Alex and Dane as they make their way down the road to recovery, after being struck by lightning 10/5/2010. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as this road will likely be a long one. Feel free to check back often for status updates on both Alex and Dane, and be sure and leave your well-wishes when you visit. The boys will be shown this blog when they are awake.

We sincerely Thank You for your concern and friendship. Alex and Dane will always remember the support of friends and family like you.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

What is that??!!??

Alex's hands and fingers still aren't working - however he has learned to adapt and is becoming quite self reliant. His amazing OT gave him a few gadgets to help with things while we wait for him to heal (we still believe that his nerves are healing and growing and he will soon be "back to the old grind").  Above is a picture of a metal brace that he wears on occasion - when he wears it he can pick things up.  He can move his wrists backwards - not forwards.  So when the brace is on and he moves his wrist backwards, it makes his thumb and index finger pinch together - its Great for picking up fries!!!  The other item in the picture is a cast that fits on his fingers (like rings)- when he wears that he can "write".  The pen is molded into the cast.  Pretty Cool!  Pretty Lucky!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

On the brighter side~

Well, we all made it through this past weekend.
After the service Dane went on his "day date" for SCHS Jr Prom. They went hiking and had a picnic out on the trail. Later that night a group of them went to prom together. Dane's step dad Tim was able to get them a stretch limo, from where he works, to drive them around for the night (I felt better about that).
Kendle, Dane's twin, headed back to the DSC campus where she was performing for the Utah Theater Association in a musical (that kept her very busy).
And Wyatt, the youngest went to hang out with his (hero) cousin Jake, who kept him entertained and took him golfing for the first time; Wyatt loved it!

Physically Dane is doing fantastic; his pancreas levels are normal, he is gaining weight, his legs don't ache as much (obviously...he went hiking :)) Now we just need to get a handle on the emotional side of things.

Life has been hard lately, not just for our families, but for a lot of people. All we can do is keep on moving forward, and appreciate love from the people around us. Things do get better with time :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

An eventful day!

Balloon Launch at Chris's Memorial

We attended Dane's dad's Memorial Service this morning.  We said our goodbyes and hope for a brighter future for all those that have been touched by Chris's life.

Tonight was a big night for the students of SCHS - Its Jr. Prom and Alex took an amazing family friend, McKenna.  Her mom and I have been friends since we were in the 8th grade back in Ohio.  She and I were roommates during college and both of us wound up in St. George to raise our families.  It's here that McKenna and Alex struck up their friendship again while attending the same HS and running on the Cross Country team.  The theme for Prom was a Masquerade and the masks matched her beautiful dress perfectly.

Alex did great at PT this week.  He actually ran.  Yes Ran!!!!!!! He wore a secure belt around his waist and his PT and Grandpa each held onto him and they ran up and down the hall. Wahoo!!!   He also was able to play Kinect on his Xbos for the first time.  His movements are still real jerky but he's doing it, he's moving and working hard everyday to gain back his mobility.  If we could just get his hands and fingers to work!!!!!!!!!!! I'm sure that will come, until then he is learning to adapt and is becoming very self reliant. Grateful for everyone that has and continues to help us out. Kaleen aka Alex's mom

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Saying Goodbye to Dane's Dad

We received the horrible news on Friday, January 14th, that Dane's dad, Chris Zdunich, had passed away. It was a difficult time at our house this past weekend. Thank you to all of our friends that helped ease the pain with your love, prayers and presence.
He and his partner Rockie played a huge role in Dane's recovery and I'm sure Dane will always remember him for his loving care these last few months.
I have included his obituary for those of you that might like to participate in the services.

Christopher Thomas Zdunich died January 14, 2011 at his home in St. George, Utah. He was born December 13, 1960 to Frank and Linda Zdunich in Murray, Utah.
Chris was raised in the Midvale/Sandy area of the Salt Lake Valley. He attended Hillcrest High School. Chris joined the United States Army in 1981 and was honorably discharged in 1987. On July 20, 1985, Chris married Leslie Jacobs. They were later divorced. During his military career Chris served in the 82nd Airborne, as a Sergeant in the 1st Special Forces Group and was in combat in Grenada.
Chris worked in many different roles throughout his life. After his army discharge, he worked in the restaurant industry in Salt Lake City. In 1992, he moved to Kelso, Washington and worked as a truck driver for his Father, and then as a dispatcher for Puget Sound Truck Lines, at the Longview Terminal. He was then transferred to the Portland Terminal as a Manager. Chris was an honored reserve officer for the Kelso Police Department. During this time he and Leslie had 3 children; boy and girl twins, and a son. In 2000 they moved to St. George and Chris again worked in the restaurant industry. In 2005 he began sharing his life with Rockie Bennett. Together they traveled and worked in Manhattan, New York, Salt Lake City, Utah and Portland, Oregon. At the time of his death he was employed by Outback Steakhouse and attending Dixie State College.

Chris embraced his passions wholeheartedly. He enjoyed hiking, biking, scuba diving, traveling and cooking. His most recent passion was his motorcycles. Chris was never more at peace than when he was riding one of his bikes. He was an avid reader and would spend countless hours researching his personal interests. Nothing, however, compared to the love that he had for each of his children; daughter Kendle, 16, and sons Dane, 16 and Wyatt, 15. They were his world.

Chris is survived by his life partner Rockie Bennett, her two children Lacey (Chris), Ivins, UT and Quinn (Melanie), Huntsville, AL, and her three grandchildren, Asher, Aspyn and Stella; his three beautiful children; Kendle, Dane and Wyatt; his parents, Frank and Linda Zdunich, of Kelso, WA; brothers Mark (Kyle) Jamul, CA, Darren, Kauai, HI, Kelly (Mica Anne) Longview, WA, Micah, Kelso, WA and Nate (Tabby) Vancouver, WA.; Sisters; Darcie, Vancouver, WA, and Amy, Longview, WA, several nieces and nephews.

Chris’ life, and the peace that he now finds in his heart, will be celebrated with a graveside service and a balloon release on Saturday, January 22nd 10:00 a.m. at the Tonaquint Cemetery , 1777 South Dixie Drive, St. George. Anyone wanting to participate in the balloon release may do so by writing a message to/for Chris and his loved ones at a designated area at Outback Steakhouse, by sending an email to www.serenicare.com or czdunich@yahoo.com, or at the graveside service. Unless requested otherwise, messages will be shared with those attending the balloon release.
A funeral mass will be held in Longview, Washington on Friday, February 4th, 2011 at St. Rose Catholic Church. Interment will take place at a later date at Tonaquint Cemetery.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Living Well Publication

Last Christmas Alex Lambson visited the Jubilee of Trees with his family. They enjoyed the decorations, sat in the Life Flight helicopter that was on display, took pictures, and even helped with cleanup when the Jubilee was over.
“We never dreamed that a year later we’d need Life Flight,” says Alex’s mom, Kaleen Talley.
Last Christmas Alex Lambson visited the Jubilee of Trees with his family. They enjoyed the decora- tions, sat in the Life Flight helicopter that was on display, took pictures, and even helped with cleanup when the Jubilee was over.
“We never dreamed that a year later we’d need Life Flight,” says Alex’s mom, Kaleen Talley.
Parents, grandparents, and others are invited to celebrate the arrival of Intermountain’s Life Flight helicopter service as grand landings are scheduled next month en route to its permanent base at Dixie Regional Medical Center.
The celebrations begin January 5 at Garfield Memorial Hospital (Panguitch) and Valley View Medical Center (Cedar City) and continue to Kane County Hospital (Kanab) January 6, and Beaver Valley Hospital January 10. Everything culminates in St. George January 11-12, with a series of events at Dixie Regional Medical Center and the new St. George airport.
On October 5 of this year, Alex and his friend Dane Zdunich were waiting for a ride home from Snow Canyon High School. A storm had blown in that afternoon, and the boys were struck by lightning, setting off a chain of events that Dane’s mom Leslie Broderick describes as “horrific.”
At the same time, she acknowledges a multitude of heroes and blessings that got the boys — and their families — through an inconceivable day. Students and school staff immediately jumped into action. An ambulance crew just happened to be nearby, and arrived at the scene within three minutes. Other students who could have easily been hit weren’t, freeing the personnel at Dixie Regional’s emergency department to focus their efforts on Dane and Alex.
Both of the boys were in bad shape. Alex wasn’t breathing and suffered from significant burns and neuro- logical damage; Dane was in cardiac arrest for 38 minutes after the direct strike that entered the top of his head and traveled through his body and out the bottom of his feet.
Doctors called in the Life Flight fixed-wing plane, which remained on stand-by waiting for the weather to clear enough to take Alex to a burn unit in Las Vegas. When Dane was finally revived, doctors decided to send him out on the same Life Flight plane as well.
In the midst of all the uncertainty and turmoil of those first couple of hours, “The Life Flight nurses Jana and Angie gave me such a sense of peace,” says Leslie. “They knew exactly what they were doing. One of them told me they’d call when they landed in Las Vegas. I felt so much better just knowing they were taking care of them.”
After nearly two months of surgeries and recovery, Alex and Dane were recently reunited for the first time outside of a hospital setting when Alex was finally released from Dixie Regional’s acute rehabilitation unit. And while it will be awhile before things are back to the way they were before the lightning, both moms agree that miracles have happened all along the way.
“Everything just fell into place,” says Kaleen. “It has all been for a purpose.
“It was just a year ago that the kids sat in that Life Flight helicopter,” she continues, noting that “you just never know when something will hit close to home. If it weren’t for Life Flight, they would not have lived. I know that.”
“I’m Life Flight’s biggest fan!” agrees Leslie with the enthusiasm of a mom who has seen a child come back from the edge of death.  Story By: Kristy Ann Pike

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Progress in St. George

Progress is being made everywhere in St. George.  Yesterday was the dedication of the new airport, jets are flying in and out of here now.  Alex went to the dedication and saw his Life Flight nurse (it was a great reunion), then he listened to President Uchtdorf.  What a great afternoon.  We are so glad that Grandpa is back in town, he and Alex are having a great time.

Today at PT they measured Alex's progress.
Balance Test:   A Good Score is 28  - December 2,2010 = 15
Today = 23
Sit, Stand Up, Walk 10 Feet, Turn Around, Walk Back, Sit Back Down Test - A Good Score is 8sec's,  1st test = 41sec's 2nd 20.8sec's
Today = 8.25sec's
50 Foot Walk Test - Today = 10.8sec's
Lifting a Foot Test -  1st time = 2sec's Right Foot (couldn't lift Left Foot) 2nd Time  = 11sec's with Right Foot, 8sec's with Left Foot
Today = 18sec's Right Foot 10sec's Left Foot

Progress is Awesome!

Thanks SOOO much for all your comments, I treasure them.  Thanks for your support, we couldn't survive without it.  Kaleen

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday January 9, 2011

January 9th

October 9th

Alex Has Come A Long Way!!!

Alex had a great week. Starting with today, Alex wore "real" clothes for the first time.  Since the Strike he has only worn gauze, hospital gowns and gym shorts, but today he got dressed and went to church. Friday night was amazing - He slept ALL night long!! It was the first night since we brought Alex home that Dave and I haven't gotten up with Alex.  (I know why people have babies when they are young, getting up every 1-2 hours all night long is NOT fun).  Friday during the day he spent time with a State Employee that helps with Special Needs and a local School District person training him on Dragon.  Its a program that allows Alex to speak into the computer and it types for Alex.  They also showed Alex some other tools that he can use once he's able to go back to school.  I think it gave him hope - since he cant use his fingers, the thought of school was a little unnerving.  Thursday night Alex got to meet 2 of the Santa Clara Firefighters that were on the scene October 5th.  Why you ask? Where you ask?  Lets go back a little bit.  Alex had 2 friends over and we were eating a wonderful spaghetti meal one of our neighbors brought us.  I was finally putting our Christmas decorations up and we were waiting for Kiels Scout leaders to come over.  Kiel is working on his Eagle, and his Leaders were coming over to make sure he was still on track.  They knocked on the door and when I answered it, they said "it smells like gas out here".  Dave and I went outside and sure enough it did smell like gas and we could hear a "phssssssss" sound.  We had a leak at our gas meter.  I called Questar Gas and they sent a technician out who checked our gas levels in the house and announced "you need to evacuate your home right now, I've already called the Fire Dept, they are on their way."  REALLY??>!!!!  So we did as we were told, I luckily grabbed Alex's meds and our tooth brushes (not sure why I did that, but was glad the next day at noon when we still weren't back in our home). With all the rain we have had here, our home settled a bit and busted the pipe from our home to the meter.  Questar said we needed to have a Contractor come fix the problem, a larger hole needed to be cut in the house and the pipe replaced.  Dave went to our neighbors home, who just happens to be a Contractor and specializes in Heating & AC (what are the odds!!?!).  The 2 of them worked on that Friday and by 8pm we had a warm home again.  But back to the Fire Fighters..... 2 of them that helped us Thursday night were also one of the first ones on the scene at the High School.  They asked me if it was ok if they met Alex.  They both come into the home we slept at and shook Alex's hand and talked to him, it was so touching to see.  Alex wasn't very talkative because he was freaking out about the gas leak (he dosent feel safe anymore - lots of PTS going on). But has since said that it was "cool" to meet them.  Once again we are grateful for those that Serve.  We are just laughing about it now... What are the odds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????????!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Three Months

I use to look forward to the 5th of the month (Pay Day) but now it represents the day that our worlds changed forever.  But for every bad thing that has happened there are 5 good things too. I'm a little freaked out every Monday night thinking "13 weeks ago....." and every time I do car pool in the mornings and drive by the High School, I think "this is where Alex and Dane lost their lives".  Then I think "this is where Alex and Dane got their lives back".  There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of all the people involved in saving the boys lives.  Thank you again.  Yesterday was an AMAZING day for Alex and us.  Alex went in for a check up at the hospital and visited all the staff in the Acute Rehab unit.  Those caring people gave Alex his Quality of Life back.  They taught him all his life skills and we are forever grateful to them.  Alex was SOOO happy to see everyone.  One of his favorite nurses was there yesterday, the whole time Alex "lived" there she wanted him to smile for her but he wouldn't (typical Teenage boy).  BUT yesterday she got to see him smile.  It was so fun to see him WALK into the Rehab Unit.  He said the halls looked a lot smaller now that he could walk and didn't have to use his wheel chair. :)  Alex has gotten treatments from Spero Therapy everyday this week and has had a great week.  He's feeling a lot better (but better to him is still about a 5 on the pain scale).  I'm proud of him and all that he has overcome.  Don't worry Dane, he's close on your heels of recovery.  Before we know it Alex will be "back to the grind".  Hugs - Kaleen aka Alex's mom

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

..."Back to the old grind"...

Well, here it is January of the new year and I have not posted anything on this blog since November…I have no excuses, if Kaleen can post during the Holidays & with her and Alex’s hectic schedule…anyone can, am I right?!?!

But really, Dane IS still alive and doing very well :)!!! He went back to SCHS today, somehow all of his classes were dropped for the third quarter and the lines for the counselors were out the door (as you can imagine), so Dane just went to his B.S. classes and we hope to resolve this tomorrow (in case any of you didn’t get the memo, B.S. is lingo for “before strike”).

As we were getting the teenagers geared up for going back to school after the Holidays and Dane’s long sabbatical, Dane actually said …“back to the old grind”… I said, “Do you have any idea how lucky you are and how blessed we are that you are able to get back to the old grind”? He has always tried to downplay his injuries but I couldn’t believe he said that!!! He then agreed and he is very thankful (and amazed) that he is still with us.

So the update for Dane;
Weight - He has gained about 12 pounds, at least 20 more & I’ll be happy…
Pancreas – His levels were still high in the beginning of December and we are still waiting for labs to come back from last week (what is it with doctors & holidays...?).
Strength – He is still week, it is hard for him to stand for long periods of time, and his Physical Therapy sessions kicked his butt, but he actually graduated from P.T. on Thursday, December 30th (Yeah!!!) He will start Weight Training at school this semester so that will help (his therapist said not to overdo it, but the timing is perfect).
Concern for Alex – This is Dane’s biggest challenge…it’s almost like he can’t move on completely until Alex is ready also :( . I have been following the blog with the rest of you getting the highs (and lows) of Alex’s progress. Dane has been getting the updates first hand by spending time with Alex (like B.S.).

This is the main reason we haven’t posted on the blog lately. It is difficult to report on how well Dane is doing when we hear of the struggles & the pain that Alex still endures. We can empathize with Alex and his family and we are sending prayers their way EVERYDAY!!!
We have faith that Alex will soon be back to his old self and “back to the old grind” again too! We love you guys!

Happy New Year everyone, may it be the best one yet!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year

Alex, Dane and several friends ended 2010 at our house, then at 12:30am rang in the New Year at Denny's.  It was great to see Alex go out.  He actually went out twice this week, Thursday night the same group of friends went to see Tron.  The movie started at 9:15pm (Alex takes his meds at 9) they were in the movie and about 9:30 Alex started hurting, he hadn't taken his meds before he left.  His awesome friend left the movies, drove to our house, got his meds, drove back and gave them to Alex.  Its awesome to see teenagers caring and serving.  Today Alex's church group came to the house and held their meeting here, Alex enjoyed having everyone over.  When Alex feels good, he's pretty cheery and talkative almost as lively as before the strike, but when he doesn't feel good.......
Last night Alex woke up about every hour saying it felt like there were needles in the tips of his fingers.  Dave and I took turns going into his room rubbing his hands, but never turned on the lights.  This morning as he was crying in pain we looked at his fingers and he has bumps on the tips of each finger (weird).  They weren't there yesterday.  One of Alex's doctors lives by us, he came over and looked at them to make sure there wasn't an immediate need for medical treatment (blood clots etc.).  He's not sure what they are, so we will keep watch on them the next few days.  I've always thought Alex was one of a kind, now Doctors are thinking the same thing. lol....  I hope that a lot of good will come from the things we are learning.  I hope that this never happens to anyone else but if it does, I hope that through things we and doctors are learning it will help them.
Oh and 2 weeks ago Alex went back to his Ear Nose & Throat Doctor, his Eustachian tube is getting better, it wont require surgery, its healing on its own.  He thinks Alex should be able to fly in about 4-6 weeks.  Jim from Good Morning America called me last week and is still interested in having Alex and Dane on the show, hopefully we will be able to fly to New York soon.  Alex's week is busy but not as busy as weeks in the past.  He will go to PT and OT, Spero Therapy, have a check up with the Acute Rehab Unit (which we are excited about, Alex can't wait to see everyone, we've missed them) then Friday someone from the School District will come to the house and help Alex with his Dragon program and some of his school work.  If he continues to progress as well as he has, he will get to go back to school 4th quarter.  He's still on track to graduate in May.  Have a great day!!!! Kaleen

Alex on Wednesday, Oct.6

Alex on Wednesday, Oct.6

Dane Thursday Oct 7th

Dane Thursday Oct 7th
Before Life Support was removed

Alex's Room

Alex's Room
Thanks for all the love