Kaleb is doing well! He is out of ICU and will be getting some tests for the next 2 weeks, then another 6 weeks of chemo. Amber will be staying there with him for now. John is back up in Oregon and plans to take a car down there to use. They are renting a place to stay for the two months they will have to stay down there. Some places, such as the Ronald McDonald house, have communal use areas and Kaleb can’t be exposed to multiple folks for some time. They all hope to be home in 8 weeks or so.
John and Amber and their families all thank every one of you for the prayers and thoughts you’ve sent their way.
We are all wishing the Christensen’s a memorable Thanksgiving and hope they and all their family keep their spirits up!
A quick check with several law enforcement agencies in Clackamas County seem to indicate that there are no folks currently in the Reserves or National Guard that are deployed overseas. If any of the police agencies in Clackamas County have people in that status, please contact Mark Koberstein, President, Clackamas County Peace Officers’ Benevolent Foundation at (503) 744-0712 or CCPOBF@CCPOBF.org. The deadline for Christmas Care Packages is getting close!
The Families of First Responders in Clackamas County is moving forward! The director is Amy Kyser and can be reached through the Benevolent Foundation contact information. Coming soon will be additional information about this great program, by clicking on Programs on the Home page.
The Families of First Responders is having a Christmas Event on December 9th in Oregon City. More information about this event will be posted soon.
If you would like to make a donation to Families of First Responders, you can mail a check to the CCPOBF, PO Box 426, Oregon City, OR 97045. Please make the check out to the CCPOBF and put First Responders on the memo line. All donations are tax deductible and a receipt will be sent to you promptly.
Yesterday marked 3 months since Alex was injured in Afghanistan. He was up in his wheelchair twice yesterday for over an hour each time and got to sit outside on both occasions. He’s getting better control of his head and is moving his arms and legs a little more each day, so awesome such a great hurdle for him. His extensive skin grafts are all healing well and the donor sites are also healing well. Every day is another inch forward. Again many thanks for your faithful prayers and support!!!
Alex is moving on his own a little bit each day. Unfortunately the coma is lingering a bit but is mostly a fog for him.
– And thank you all for the donations that have helped keep Alex’s family close! MEK.
We had a set back yesterday when we learned Kaleb’s body is rejecting the new liver and he is back in ICU. He started on some counter rejection medications last night and we will have more tests today. Amber and I want to thank everyone for your well wishes, prayers, and donations that have been made.
Alex is now in Palo Alto, California and they have completed skin grafts for both legs and his left forearm and right hand and there are no problems with them they are advancing well. My sister, Caree, and Alex’s fiance’, Kim, are working every day with Alex on his therapy and he is starting to be able to move a bit on his own, meaning his body is responding to the therapy and relearning. What a praise!
The doctors said since Alex has been responding but not able to completely come out of his coma they started him in a program called “Emerging Consciousness.” This is a 45 day program to slowing bring him completely out of the coma, as he has been unable to do himself. They have seen bits of alex behind his glazed eyes and are pretty positive he will come out of this. He’s a fighter that is for sure!
They have capped his trach and have been weening him off of it, being careful he doesn’t have too many secretions. Alex has had a strong cough and the doctors are glad Alex has been coughing up most of the gunk by himself, keeping him from developing pneumonia. He is doing well but its definitely slow moving, but as long as there is progression he will recovery fully. The doctors are hopeful and so is the whole family.
Please see earlier articles for information on how to make a donation. Alex’s recovery will be a long one, with family striving to be with him as much as possible. The costs for travel, food and lodging could use your help! Thank you!
Once again, thank you to everyone who has been helping Alex and his family during his recovery from his wounds. See the article below on the News Page for the previous story.
We apologize for not getting this information up on the website sooner. I hope to get more from Heidi soon.
Heidi Johnson, Alex’s aunt, reported on 9/19/12:
I wanted to let all you know that Alex is doing really awesome. The doctors have gotten the infections cleared up enough they are starting to close up the open the open wounds and working on the skin graphs on his knees and left hand. A lot of the minor wounds have healed and his face is not disfigured. The only tube that is left is the tracheotomy, so this prohibits him from talking. My sister is his Power of Attorney and will have to stay with Alex until he is able to make decisions on his own. Alex is now communicating with blinking his eyes and he is well aware of who is around him and conversations. Alex is getting stronger every day and he is drawing strength from all of the well wishes and prayers. Not bad for such a tragedy just over a month ago.
President Obama went and saw Alex yesterday and presented him with a Presidential Challenge coin and thanked him for his service to this country. Alex was presented with a purple heart a few weeks ago.
Thank you so much for your support it has meant everything to my family and most of all Alex.
And Heidi sent this note on 9/24/12:
Alex’s platoon has been visiting him this past week and he is mostly sleeping but is aware of his surroundings and the people who are there. The PIC line was replaced with a standard IV. The Wound Vacs are really not pulling any fluid, so they are removing those. They are working to weaning him off the Trach tube, and hope to have it removed soon.
He is able to rest peacefully which is what needs to happen. Alex is looking good and the starts his skin grafting on his legs Monday. The docs say if the grafting looks good then 5-10 days after he can be moved to a poly trauma center in California for further rehab, which will be awesome for our family. The doctors are optimistic about Alex’s recovery, he will have a long way to go, but has done amazing so far. He is going to make it through this just fine.
My sister and Alex’s fiance’ said he is looking better each day and getting stronger.
Donations to help off-set the families costs are needed and very welcome. Donations can be made by either mail or at any branch of the Clackamas Federal Credit Union. Please make your donations to the CCPOBF and put Alex Hussey Fund in the memo line; mail to PO Box 426, Oregon City, OR 97045. Your donation is tax deductible and a receipt will be sent to you promptly.
Thank you so much for your support it has meant everything to my family and most of all Alex.
On Monday, October 15th, around midnight, the Christensen’s got a phone call that Stanford University had a liver for Kaleb! According to his father, John, they went to up to OHSU in Portland. From there Kaleb, John and Amber were transported by ambulance and a Life Flight plane to California. By Tuesday evening the transplant was done. Kaleb is doing great and is already out of ICU and in a regular room.
Kaleb is doing well enough that he may be released from the hospital next week. Although the doctors have said his recovery is “text book”, they will need to stay in the Stanford area for a few weeks, possibly as long as two months. Kaleb will be getting daily checkups to insure that the new organ is ‘taking’.
Family members are taking care of Kaleb’s brother and sister here in the Portland area and he hopes to come back home to Oregon and give them a break around November 7th.
The Christensen’s appreciate all the donations that have been received. Over $2500 has been raised to date! The funds will help with airfare, food, housing, transportation, and other costs related to Kaleb’s transplant and recovery.
If you’d like to make a donation, you can do so by mailing a check to the CCPOBF with Kaleb Christensen in the memo line, to PO Box 426, Oregon City, OR 97045. Or you can drop off a donation at any branch of the Clackamas Federal Credit Union – be sure to say it’s a donation to the Clackamas County Peace Officers Benevolent Foundation – Kaleb Christensen Fund.
Kaleb Christensen is a 4 year old boy who needs a liver transplant. He is the son of Sergeant John Christensen, Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, and his wife, Amber, who also works part time at the Sheriff’s Office. Kaleb is on the transplant list at Stanford University and is going to numerous medical appointments until they get the call. Kaleb’s parents must also provide special care to him, which takes them away from work. The financial costs of this event are starting to take a toll on them and once they go down to Stanford with Kaleb, they will need to stay with him as much as they can. Travel and hotel costs are not normally covered by medical coverage.
Kaleb needs your help. Please read the letter below from his father, John, to the Benevolent Foundation.
If you’d like to make a tax deductible donation, you can go to any branch of the Clackamas Federal Credit Union and tell them that you want to make a donation to the Kaleb Chrstensen Fund, an account set up by the Clackamas County Peace Officers’ Benevolent Foundation. Branches can be found by clicking here: http://www.clackamasfcu.org/about-us/locations.html. You can also mail a check to the CCPOBF at PO Box 426, Oregon City, Oregon 97045. Make your checks payable to the CCPOBF and write Kalen Christensen Fund on the memo line. A receipt for mailed in donations will be sent to you promptly.
Dear Clackamas County Peace Officers’ Benevolent Foundation,
Kaleb Christensen was born in August, 2007 at the Silverton Hospital in Silverton, Oregon. Kaleb appeared to be a healthy child until he became sick in February of 2011 when he was three years old. His skin became very jaundiced in color and he was taken to the Silverton Hospital emergency room. While at the emergency room tests revealed Kaleb’s bile count levels were extremely high and were three to four times the normal level. Kaleb was transferred to Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) for emergency treatment the same day. We checked into OHSU and were told there was a blockage in Kaleb’s liver bile ducts. After several tests and four days in the hospital Kaleb was found to have a rare congenital liver disease and surgery would be required to remove a blockage in his outer bile duct.
Kaleb was diagnosed with type 4a Choledochal cysts which are characterized by multiple dilatations of the intrahepatic and extrahepatic biliary tree. This condition prevents bile from leaving the liver to the small intestine through the bile ducts and was causing Kaleb’s fever and jaundice symptoms. Basically Kaleb’s inner liver bile ducts did not form correctly before he was born. This disease is rare in the United States and is more common in Asian countries and occurs once in every two million live births in the United States. It is more often diagnosed in females which made it even rarer for Kaleb to contract. After the treatment in the hospital Kaleb was released with medications and a surgery date in March to remove a cyst which formed in his outer liver bile duct.
In March we returned to OSHU and Kaleb underwent a Roux-en-Y hepaticojejunostomy for the surgical treatment of the choledochal cyst. During this procedure Kaleb’s outer liver bile duct was removed and his liver was directly attached to his small intestine. His gall bladder was also removed during the surgery. We stayed in the hospital for eight days after the surgery. Kaleb was released to come home with medications and a drain tube attached to his side. The drain tube stayed in for about two months after returning home. Since the original surgery Kaleb has returned for three hospital stays to have additional drain tubes surgically inserted into his liver after stones have formed in his bile ducts preventing the flow of bile to his small intestine. The stones form in the bile ducts due to the constant dilation of Kaleb’s bile ducts due to his disease. After the last drain tube was removed OHSU staff told us they have done all they can for Kaleb and he needs a liver transplant. He has now been diagnosed with type 5 Choledochal cysts / Caroli’s disease which is not treatable without a liver transplant.
During the past eighteen months Kaleb has been admitted to OHSU Hospital five times for surgeries or infections for periods of one to two weeks at a time. We have gone to more than twenty follow-up doctor appointments to have exams and blood draws. As you can imagine Kaleb does not like the hospital or going to see the doctor. He is currently taking three medications twice a day along with vitamins. The disease has adversely affected Kaleb’s growth and he has weighed about thirty five to thirty seven pounds for the past year. We recently drove to Stanford Hospital for the initial assessment for a liver transplant. As of July 18th Kaleb is on the list for a transplant. We are now waiting for a liver to become available and the telephone call to fly to Stanford for the transplant.
Kaleb has a sixteen year old sister named Kea and a ten year old brother named Carson. They are both in good health and have been supportive of Kaleb during this process. We live in the Molalla area and travel to OHSU Hospital for all of Kaleb’s doctor appointments or to pick-up his medications at the pharmacy. During the past eighteen months Kaleb has needed extra care to monitor his conditions during the times he has not been in the hospital. Amber and I have taken time off from work and I have been approved for a second time to take FMLA to assist Amber with Kaleb’s care after his transplant. Due to this need for extra care Amber can only work temporary / part-time at her job and does not get benefits. The co-pays for doctor visits, medications, travel, out of pocket insurance deductibles, and other expenses have all been adding up for the past several months. Any assistance from the CCPO Benevolent Foundation which could be offered would be greatly appreciated.
US Army soldier Alex Hussey is the nephew of CCSO employee Heidi Johnson. Alex was seriously injured last week in Afghanistan from the blast from an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). Initial reports are that he had lost parts of both legs and a hand, as well as other injuries. He is currently in a US Army hospital in Germany and will be flown back to the US soon. It is unknow which major military facility he will be taken to. The family is going to try to be with Alex as much as they can during his hospitilization and will need some financial assistance with travel and lodging, as well as any other unforseen expenses.
The Clackamas County Peace Officers’ Benevolent Foundation has set up the Alex Hussey Fund at the Clackamas Federal Credit Union. You can take a donation to the CFCU branch closest to you and ask to have it deposited in the CCPOBF/Alex Hussey Fund. You can also mail a check to the CCPOBF at PO Box 426, Oregon City, OR 97045. Make out your checks to CCPOBF and write “Alex Hussey Fund” in the memo line.