Eric got out of surgery late last night. He is doing fine and the surgery went well. The surgery took 14 hours. They removed all the dead and radiation damaged bones and tissues and were able to remove about 90% of the cancer. They took muscle and skin from his thigh to close the holes in his sinuses, mouth, and face. He can already speak better and open his mouth wider. He will be in the hospital for several days and then will need to stay in Miami for a month to monitor the surgical site. The doctors are very happy with how the graft was looking this morning. During the surgery the facial nerve crumbled away due to radiation damage. They did a nerve graft and told us that he would have a droopy eye, but his eye seems to be functioning completely normally- which is great news. They have sent off samples of all the cancer tissues to Baylor for evaluation to determine how well the clinical trial has been working and if they should continue with it or switch him to a different clinical trial.
Talking is difficult for him right now, but he wanted to tell everyone thank you for all of the prayers on his behalf. As his family, we are also extremely grateful for all the prayers and faith on behalf of our dad. We feel strengthened and uplifted by them.
love, The Vogels