Sunday afternoon, Day 5/Update

We had a tense morning with all Pat’s vital signs, but he is now stabilized!  His nurse is staying right on top of every single detail.  They needed to raise his blood pressure to keep his Cerebral Perfusion Pressure at an acceptable level.  I am now quite relieved.

More soon…


This is Mary, Nancy’s sister.  When I arrived at the hospital earlier today, around 11:30 or so, we found that there were a couple of concerning issues going on.   It was a little scary for a while, but Pat has an excellent nurse and the doctors are easily accessible and everyone is RIGHT on top of every new situation.   I can’t say enough how pleased we are with Pat’s medical care, and that means so much, to have that trust in the doctors and nurses – it gives us so much peace of mind.

Some of Pat’s vital signs were out of balance – and that is the best way to describe it, as it is truly a balancing act with his blood presure and intracranial pressure (ICP).   By taking the mean blood pressure and subtracting the ICP, you get a value called the cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP).   This is the pressure needed to make sure his brain is getting enough blood.    With an elevated ICP, you need a little higher blood pressure to overcome that pressure and deliver blood to the brain.

Since Pat is in such extraordinarily good physical condition, his blood pressure naturally runs low.  To a point, his body is used to delivering enough blood to his brain under the condition of a low blood pressure.   But with the elevated ICP, the doctors needed to order some medicine to increase his blood pressure.   Meanwhile, they are also ordering a couple medications to decrease the ICP, which unfortunately can have the side effect of lowering the blood pressure.   And around and around you go in that circle sometimes….   Right now the CPP is adequate.

The other issue was that Pat has a lung infection.  He is on antibiotics for this and hopefully this will start to improve soon.  Due to the infection, his oxygen levels were getting a little low, so the doctors gave an order to increase the oxygen delivered by the ventilator.   Pat is also getting a blood transfusion right now.  He is a little anemic, possiby from the surgery.

Overall right now, he is still very critical, but stable.  Today is the 4th day since his accident, and from information we have read, the brain pressure can continue to rise up to about the 4th or 5th day.  Hopefully we have reached the turning point, and we can now start to see the pressure decrease.   They cannot begin to try to wake him up until the pressure is much lower, so this may still take several days.

This Post Has 2,627 Comments

  1. pogren

    I don’t know you nor do you know me but thankfully the Lord hears us all….I am praying for Pat’s healing, the wisdom of his medical team and for comfort to all who do know and love him.

  2. Missy Richardson


    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Patrick was my SI and worked very hard with me as well as one of my running partners in running class at IUSB. Patrick is an amazing person and has given me the strength to continue on with Radiography even though I wanted to give up. Hes truly a been a blessing in my life. Thank you for all the updates and we will all continue to pray for him.

    Missy Richardson

  3. mary vogl

    Dear Nancy,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you, Pat and your beautiful children. Thank you for giving people who love you the opportunity to know what is going on and offer prayers for you at this critical time.
    Much love,
    Mary Vogl, Fort Collins, Colorado

  4. Christine Ajayi

    Nancy, we are all praying for Pat. Stay strong and know that we are thinking of you!

  5. David Schmokel

    Nancy and Entire Sawyer Family

    You don’t know me but this accident has had a strong impression on my heart. I continue to pray for Pat as well as all of you!! I am a firm believer that a good man will always prevail in adversity so I know this man will come out of this strong. I will continue to follow this site and Pray for you all hourly until he recovers. May the Good Lord Bless you all! thank you for setting up this site to allow us to know whats going on.

  6. Rob and Carole Clegg

    Hello Nancy
    We are so sad to hear this news about Patrick and are praying daily for you. Tonight in church we lit a candle for you and the family, have strength and comfort – God will provide. I have shared Patrick’s story with our homeschooling group in Mt Pleasant SC and wanted to share this response from one mom…

    Just wanted to let you and the family know that we are praying, too. The Lord really pressed on my heart to pray for Patrick’s complete healing and his family to be drawn so much closer to the Lord. God Bless Patrick and his family above all that they could ask or imagine ….. for Christ’s deserving Glory.
    Will continue to press and pray.

    (new to Legacy)

  7. joe shaw

    Hi Nancy
    Patrick has many friends and supporters who are all thinking and praying for him, you and your family. I am happy to hear he has stabilized. We are all just believing that he will recover quickly.

  8. Kathleen Lyon

    Dear Nancy and everyone in the Fink and Sawyer families,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. Fifteen years ago my brother-in-law, a construction worker, fell and suffered a serious brain injury and was in a coma for 10 days, struggling with many of the things I have seen described here, before he woke up. I remember how difficult and scary that time was, and how very long those 10 days seemed. As another writer here said, it’s a marathon. Nancy, please keep yourself as well as possible in the coming days and months — Pat and the kids will need your strength. I pray that Pat recovers fully and that some good can come from this, including changes in the bicycling environment in South Bend.

  9. Nick Sawyer

    Thanks for setting up the website. Once he is awake and has seen the PT can you let me know what his Brunstrom level is, and keep an update on his Rancho level as it changes? I may be in Phoenix right now, but please let me know if you have any questions about his therapy as I may be able to give some insight.

  10. Andrea Bikfalvy

    I am part of the Homeschool Hub and Michiania LIFE groups. I just wanted to let you know my thoughts and prayers are with Pat and Nancy and the whole family.

    God bless you and bring you peace.


  11. Angel Konkey

    Dear Sawyer and Fink Families,

    We are acquainted with “Uncle Pat” through our son’s dear friend, Ted Meck, Pat’s nephew. We have been following the story and praying for Pat and your families. Thank you for sharing your story with so many people who care about you. You will all continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. Mary, Ted, and Jimmy Meck, please know that you can call on us for help any time.

    The Konkey Family

  12. Julie Titone

    I was canoeing on the St. Joe River in Idaho today, thinking of all the people Pat introduced to the St. Joseph River in Indiana. I’m sure I’m one of many canoeists around the country wishing him a speedy recovery.


  13. SBortone

    My name is Sarah Bortone. I am in the accelerated nursing class behind Pat. I first met Pat at a Luncheon we had on the first day of class. He was so energetic, full of life and in love with his family. Though I do not know him well, anytime anyone in my class saw him, he would smile at us and ask how classes were going.

    I pray everyday for Pat, his family and his friends. God be with all of you.

  14. teresa granson

    I am a long time friend of Pats sister Theresa and have known Pat for a long time. I just wanted to say how sorry I was to hear of the news of Pats accedent. And his passing. My heart goes out to Pats family and friends, and also to Nancy and the kids.. My prayers are with you all..

    god bless
    teresa granson

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