***Note on 8/28/08: Barbara passed away on Tuesday, August 26, 2008. I have those updates here and here. May she rest in peace.***
This was on the Slowtwitch Forum, so I thought I would post it here, as the woman who posted it said the family was glad she was sending out an update. Given that a lot of people have been looking for info on Barbara and been finding my blog, I thought I would put an update here, too.
This is from Peggy on Slowtwitch:
i've just now returned from seeing barbara and others in santa barbara. .
the situation with barbara is this: she is paralyzed from the neck down, and now has pneumonia. if she should survive the latter, she'll have a tracheotomy (she's already indicated that she wants that), and if that goes well, then a feeding tube lower than her neck, thereby freeing her face.
she was woozy/sleepy while i was there, but is apparently alert now when she's fully awake. she can't talk or move. her twin, angelika, and her husband preston drake were there, but barbara's husband tom was out during my visit. barbara may well not survive the pneumonia. if she does, there are no firm guesses as to what life will look like. right now nobody knows. i guess the neurosurgeon described the best case as being akin to christopher reeve's life, post-accident, pre death.
the accident happened saturday, and it was just yesterday that angelika and preston told barbara what had happened, and the surgeon told her the awful truth of her condition. when she was brought in her heart stopped temporarily, so they put in an emergency pacemaker. sunday they operated--3-4 hours, i think--and put a screw in her vertebra to hold it in place and stabilize her head so they could put a halo on. then monday/yesterday, they did the short, but intricate procedure of putting in a permanent pacemaker. yesterday, also, they discovered that she had pneumonia.
barbara's two girls are up there, and some san diego friends came while i was there.
nobody knows exactly why barbara went over. not a bike failure---bike's fine. she went over on a downhill on a bad road...bike went to the right, her body to the left. massive injuries all over.
that's it. i'm sort of wiped out....a big emotional toll, and then a crazy trip. i'd taken running clothes, so ran for an hour at the SB beach before i felt ready to tackle the 100 miles back home.
the family was glad that this was on slowtwitch, and asked me to post this update. they're undersatandably pretty overwhelmed.
So...that's that. I really am so sad about this. I don't really have anything else to say.