Since it is impossible to communicate with everyone personally about Emily's progress we will update this blog whenever there is anything new to report.

The Flake children are being cared for by Curtis' mom, Emily's mom, and Curtis's three sisters. The Relief Society is bringing them meals. Their needs are being met very well and Curtis is so grateful for all of your kind offers to assist their family. More than anything else, at this time, they need your faith and prayers.

If you need to communicate with Curtis or the family you are welcome to contact me (Curtis' sister, Angela) via email and I will deliver your message asap -


Monday, October 13th

I know you are all anxious to understand in greater depth Emily’s status and how it all came about so I’ll try to provide a brief summary. I appologize for my complete lack of medical knowledge

Emily has always had easy pregnancies and this one was no different, she had no signs of problems the entire nine months (her actual due date is, October 17th). When Emily and Curtis arrived at the hospital early Sunday morning she was experiencing a terrible headache, she described it as feeling like someone had hit her in the back of the head with a baseball bat. Her doctor recognized this and other signs as symptoms of Preeclampsia and was tempted to perform a C-section immediately. However, knowing Emily’s history of short labor times, he decided to give her a chance to have the baby naturally, giving her Pitocin (induction drug) to speed things up even more. A short time and two pushes later she gave birth without any complications.

To counteract the Preeclampsia (very high blood pressure and very low platelet count) Emily was given various drugs which made her nauseated and very tired. Her condition elevated quickly to a more severe form of Preeclampsia called HELLP (Hemolysis (breakdown of red blood cells), Elevated Liver function, and Low Platelet count (contributes to poor blood clotting)). This led to her experiencing a serious seizure. The doctors were extremely concerned about the possibility of her having additional seizures and the damage they could cause (potentially leading to a stroke) so she was moved to ICU and placed under heavy sedation. It was necessary for Emily to have a CAT scan to try and determine any damage which may have been caused by the initial seizure. The results showed swelling and bleeding on both sides of the brain. This is serious enough, but in combination with a low platelet count (inability for her blood to clot) it is so much worse. She was given a platelet transfusion in hopes of jump-starting her body into creating platelets on its own. A second CAT scan was done early this morning and no additional swelling or bleeding was detected (a very good sign). However, her platelet count is still not increasing so she has been given an additional platelet transfusion. The nurses continually check her count for changes and it appears they will performing daily CAT scans to make sure the swelling and bleeding remain the same (the next one is scheduled for late tonight). My understanding is that her brain is not currently bleeding there is just the same amount present as they saw in the first CAT scan.

The doctors have been very forthright with Curtis about the severity of Emily’s condition and their inability to predict anything at this point. They have said that the goal now is to simply wait, to keep Emily sedated, giving her body a chance to heal. They have said we may have to wait 48 – 72 hours before knowing anything more. Last night Curtis asked Emily to squeeze his hand, which she did; the nurses say this is a good sign and Curtis has felt some reassurance from it. Curtis is doing exceptionally well, he’s been staying at the hospital in a room they set up for him near Emily. He’s able to spend most of his time with her in the ICU and also visit the baby in the nursery. Of course their children are not allowed in the ICU so they haven’t seen Emily since shortly after the baby was born. Curtis hasn’t told them much about the seriousness of the situation, choosing instead to give them age-appropriate information. Thankfully, Emily's mom and three of Curtis' sisters, Christy, Cathy, and Laurel have been able to manage caring for the 5 older kids and trading off going to the hospital to be with Curtis. His mother will be arriving tomorrow to help also.

As I’ve been writing this email to you I received a great phone call from Cathy sister, reporting the following: While Curtis, Christy, Cathy, and Laurel were in the ICU trying to communicate with Emily around 5:30pm she was able to squeeze their hands, tilt her head in the direction of the person speaking to her, and attempt to open her eyes. They then noticed that she was fidgeting with her left hand (Emily is left-handed), when asked if she wanted to write something she indicated “yes.” They gave her a pen and paper and she slowly scrawled out “I want to nurse.” This is such great news!!! Her cognitive skills appear to be intact and her mothering desires ridiculously unstoppable (the nurse told her she’ll have to wait until she’s not on so many drugs). We pray this is a sign that things are on the upswing as we are all exhausted from the down. It will be a relief when the medical news (CAT scans and platelet counts) fall in line with this amazing event. We will keep you updated as we learn more.

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