Loren Morlock is the owner of Dakota Cyclery, one of my closest friends, and a mentor who helped open up the world of bicycles to me, while growing up in Bismarck. I owe a lot of knowledge, experience, and wisdom to Loren and his friendship. But mostly respect and gratitude. Please keep him in your thoughts. -Hurl
Dear Family and Friends of Loren,
For those of you who have not yet heard, Loren took a fall while riding his bike last friday night and severely injured himself as a result. He's currently in serious but stable condition in Boulder Community Hospital in Boulder, CO. I'm writing to all of you upon request of Loren's doctors and medical attendants, and on behalf of Jennifer and her children. I was with Loren when he was hurt and have witnessed firsthand his progress since entering the ER. I've assembled a list of names from from Jennifer and Nancy in order to pass on news regarding Loren's status to all who love or call him a friend. In addition, his doctor's have a recommendation they want passed on to everyone who would like to help Jennifer help Loren get better.
I've personally never written anything like this before and don't really know where to start, so I'll begin with what's known about Loren's current state and how he's gotten here. Loren suffered injuries from a terrible fall where the brunt of the impact was directed to the very top of his head. He underwent four hours of emergency neurosurgery immediately after the accident. He emerged from the OR shortly after midnight early Saturday morning. Since then he's been in BCH's Neurosurgery Intensive Care Unit, a small separate ward to help people heal from head injuries. His care has been exceptional and I believe his progress reflects it. Sadly, he has taken but a few steps on his road of recovery.
Loren's injuries were extensive despite being contained to his head and upper neck. His surgery and x-rays revealed severe fractures to the top of his skull, the result of a single compression fracture where he impacted on the top of his head, just behind his right brow. He also has broken bones in the lower part of his skull, upper neck, and behind his nasal cavities. His neurosurgeon repaired the damage to the top of his skull friday night, and subsequently feels confident the other bones will heal properly given their current placement. Loren has been in a drug induced coma to monitor and control the swelling in his brain, which has been minimal thus far. In general, people in Loren's state are at the greatest risk of complications from swelling within the first five days; he's now half way through that window. Earlier today he was exhibiting only slightly elevated cranial pressures that are still within the upper limits of a healthy human. His catscans also look good showing only the normal damage associated with a concussion and the expected residual effects of his surgery. He was able to give the emergency staff Jennifer's name and number the night of the accident; in combination with his catscans, a good sign that he may have suffered only minimal brain damage. He has also done very well with cognitive tests such as moving fingers and toes when the medical staff drops his sedation level and challenges him. He certainly recognizes Jennifer, Nancy, Tom, and James in his more awake states. It appears that his single greatest immediate threat is that of an infection in his cranial cavity or spinal cord really taking hold. The tears to the membrane surrounding his brain have surely exposed him to bacteria from his sinus cavity, in addition to bacteria that likely entered from the outside world through his head wound. An infectious diseases specialist is treating him with a wide range of antibiotics as if he's already sick. His body temperature has dropped from a high of 102 degrees following surgery to a normal 98 degree reading - it seems his immune system is combatting infection well thus far. He runs at the highest risk to infectious disease in the next couple of weeks and is being monitored very closely for any rising threats.
Due to the seriousness of Loren's injuries and the stress it's put on Jenn and their kids, Loren's doctors have advised Jenn to limit the number of phone calls she receives until Loren is better. We all know how loving Jennifer is, and how she would give all of you a hug and kiss if she could, but right now she needs to devote all of her energy to helping Loren heal. Unfortunately every phone call she takes stirs deep emotions no matter how well intentioned the exchange. Jenn needs to look after her own well-being in order to help Loren improve. Unfortunately she can't do that if she's riding an emotional roller-coaster all day long. If you feel that you must call, please don't be offended if you're forced to leave a message and are not called back for a while.
Jennifer and her family are staying here in Boulder at a friend's house until Loren can be moved from the hospital. This will likely be no sooner than two weeks time. If you want to drop a card or note in the mail, the address at the house is: 2085 Alpine Drive, Boulder, CO 80304. Please forward this email on to anyone you like, and send me their address as well so I can include them in future correspondences. I hope to send everyone who received this a daily update on Loren's prognosis until he's in the clear.
Thus far he's doing as well as anyone can hope for. Please continue to keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.