Rockland boy recovers after second surgery, Keene family expresses gratitude
Noah Keene, the 5-year-old boy who suffered a traumatic injury that severed his hand in a vehicle accident June 26, is recovering and "doing OK" in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, said his mother Monday morning, July 2.
"He's holding up well under extraordinary circumstances," said his mother, Cassidy Keene.
There is no word yet on when he will return home to Maine.
There were minor complications during the first surgery on June 27 to reattach the hand, but the second surgery on June 30 to close up the hand, pin the humerus bone and do skin grafting went well, said Keene.
The surgeons used pig skin for the grafting. Keene said she's been making football jokes in the hope that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady would visit. She added they are not out of the woods yet and Noah has a long road ahead.
"The hand is alive and still viable, but we're not sure about movement," said Keene. Noah has been ventilated and sedated to keep his hand steady. "He's 5 and vivacious," she added.
Doctors will decide July 2 when Noah can be extubated, or have the tubes removed that help him breathe while sedated.
Keene is a registered nurse. She said it's been a strange situation, understanding the clinical aspect and the patient being her child.
Keene said she has a strong support system and added, "We're a family of humor." The family has spent a lot of quiet time together, reading to Noah, laughing and keeping the atmosphere positive. "I didn't want things to change for Noah," she said.
Keene said her family is grateful for the prayers from across the country and said they have been blown away by the uplifting and powerful support.
"The positive has outweighed the tragedy," she said. "The level of humanity, caring and passion has blown us away. We feel so blessed."
"We're a talking family, and he keeps popping right through, wanting to sit up and run the show," she said.
Keene said the care her son has received has been phenomenal at all levels and wants to thank those involved in Noah's recovery including Rockland first responders, Pen Bay Medical Center ER staff, especially RN Julie and Dr. Leather, the ambulance crew of North East Mobile Health, especially Craig Fuller, hand surgeons Dr. Sang-Gil Lee and Dr. Dimitrios Christoforou, and the PICU doctors, Sarah Murphy and Jennifer Munoz Pareja and nursing staff, Danielle, Ashley, Lindsay and Laura.
Gratitude is also extended to Kelly Woods, Tiffany Monroe, Stephanie Williams, Fletcher Hall, Jessica Whitamore, Laurie Smith and Sarah McLean for organizing a fundraiser at Trackside Station. The fundraiser will be held Monday, July 9 from 5 to 8 p.m.
Courier Publications reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 118 or at JLaaka@courierpublicationsllc.com.