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Help support Jake's recovery

  • Another update from Jake     4 September 2020
    Posted by: Rebecca Holder

    Hey everyone, just giving a quick update on my progress. The second part of my surgery went great, as I have now re-gained enough movement in my neck to be able to drive! Sometime down the track I will need to have more contracture release work done on my neck, but my most recent one has given me the freedom of being able to get out of the house whenever I want and not have to rely on others to get around. my hands also healed up nicely after my most recent surgery, and I have since been able to begin doing the things I love again. I have been able to get out on the boat and go fishing, and my dad and I have been whitebaiting at the Tarawera rivermouth and managed to catch a decent feed. This was a lot of fun but on both occasions I ended up with blisters on my palms due to my skin being so delicate. To try and make my physiotherapy sessions a little more interesting, I have been doing one of the local bush walks with my physiotherapists. I have been progressing further and further, having to take less breaks along the and way doing it much faster each time. I am continuing with my daily scar therapy regime, which consists of scar therapy massage, pressure garments and lots of moisturiser. Dealing with scars is a long-term battle but as long as we keep this work up we will begin to see positive changes. I'm grateful to the team that are working with me and continuing to support me along my journey.

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  • 6 months     9 June 2020
    Posted by: Rebecca Holder
    Main image

    It’s been 6 months. What a crazy time it has been for everyone 😅 the last few months seem to have flown by but at the same time it feels like it has been a lifetime since my 19th birthday. I have just got home last week from an 8 day stay in hospital following my most recent surgery which involved multiple contracture releases. The surgery went great and the wounds are all healing up nicely. I will be going back in a couple of weeks for a second round of surgery, so fingers crossed that all goes well too. Since being home I’ve been doing what I can with my physiotherapists, mainly lower body and cardio exercises while my hands are out of action. Again a massive thank you to all of you who have continued to send messages of support, you have all helped to give me the motivation I need to keep working hard towards my goals!

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  • Extended      5 June 2020
    Posted by: Rebecca Holder

    Due to Jake's long road to recovery, we have extended the page. He will be receiving further operations and rehabilitation for quite sometime. We would like to thank everyone for there generous donations, and messages of support, these messages have been very comforting for Jake and his family.

    These funds will go along way to ensure Jake has the best possible care and resources needed to give him the best possible life moving forward. Thanks again for all of your amazing support.

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  • Life at home     24 May 2020
    Posted by: Rebecca Holder
    Main image

    Hi everyone, just a quick update about how life has been since being discharged from hospital. It was a little bit different coming home to lockdown but it gave us the opportunity to settle into a good routine with my physio, splints, garments etc. Now being in level 2 I’m finally able to have face to face appointments with my physiotherapists and occupational therapists that I really needed, as it is much more effective than a zoom call. Working with my physios has helped me to tick off a few of the goals I had, some of these were things as small as putting on my socks and shoes by myself. The move to level 2 also meant that we were able to get our dog back from Auckland. Because I transferred to Waikato hospital during level 4 of lockdown, we weren’t allowed to go back to get her when we came home to whakatane. It’s really nice to have her home and I also have enjoyed spending some time with my friends again. I have been out with my Dad fishing off the beach, and it was awesome to finally catch a feed of fresh fish after many months without a rod in my hand. I’m heading to Waikato Hospital tomorrow morning for surgery, where they will be releasing my neck and some other tight areas that are restricted by scarring and tight skin. I’m not exactly looking forward to it but I am excited to see the positive outcomes that these procedures will have on my future range of motion. I would like to thank everyone for the overwhelming support that I have received from all around the world, and especially from my home town of Whakatane. All of your kind messages inspire me every day to keep working hard on my road to recovery, again I wouldn’t be where I am today without all the love and support that I have received. I look forward to sharing my story with you as soon as I am able 😊

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  • Finally home!     3 April 2020
    Posted by: Rebecca Holder
    Main image

    116 long days ago, my life, along with many others was changed forever. During my time in hospital I managed to rack up a whopping 25 trips to the operating room, and I must say, my surgeons have done a remarkable job. I was told that when it came to possible infections, it wasn’t a matter of if, but rather when. I was fortunate enough to go this entire time without a single infection or setback, which is absolutely amazing. When I was first admitted to hospital my family were told that I could be in intensive care for at least 3 to 4 months, and that my stay in hospital could go on as long as six months or more. After almost 4 months of operations, physiotherapy, and loads of moisturisation, I’m happy to say that today, my stay in hospital is finally coming to an end! To be able to walk out of hospital in less than four months after sustaining 80% burns is almost unheard of, and I owe it all to my amazing team of doctors, nurses, Physios and occupational therapists for getting me out in what must be almost record time. But most of all I owe it to my family, who have been with me every step of the way, assisting me with my cares and my every need. I also have to thank my friends, for always visiting me and keeping me sane during this long, hard time. To everyone In New Zealand and all around the world who have been showing me their ongoing love and support, I cannot thank you enough. You have all given me the strength and encouragement I needed, to keep working hard, and striving for the best possible outcome. I still have a very long road ahead in terms of my rehabilitation and recovery, but with the help of my family and friends as well as worldwide support I know I will get there one day. It is a shame to be going out of almost 4 months isolation, straight back in to isolation, but it is just good to be home.

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  • Another update from Jake     11 March 2020
    Posted by: Rebecca Holder

    Hello everyone, once again I would like to give a big thank you to all of you that have continued to support and encourage me on my road to recovery.

    The last 94 days have been the most challenging days of my life but each and every one of them I have been getting stronger and stronger. To date I have had 23 trips to theatre, and more recently my nurses have began doing my dressing changes on the ward and as of last week I have started to have my dressings changed in my own room in the burns unit. On the 1st of March for the first time I was allowed to leave the hospital. I was able to see my dog for the first time in almost 3 months which was such an amazing feeling, and it was also my Aunty’s birthday so I got to spend the afternoon with my family to celebrate.

    I am now fully grafted which means my physio regime has been getting more and more intense as my skin grafts heal. From walking on the treadmill to pumping iron (a 1kg weight in each hand) we are seeing improvements every day. I am finally beginning to gain weight and have put on 3 kgs in the last 3 weeks.

    My friends have been so awesome driving almost an 8 hour round trip from Whakatane to see me nearly every weekend and I have also had quite a few visits from my colleagues at White Island Tours which has been great. Words can’t even express how amazing my family have been, they have been so supportive, keeping me company and bringing me home cooked meals, I can’t thank them enough.

    I am looking forward to spending more time out of the hospital and eventually being home with my friends and family but at this stage we are not quite sure when that might be, meaning that for now my main focus is getting in the gym with my rehab team. I am looking forward to sharing some more good news regarding my recovery with you all in the future!

    Jake 😊

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  • An Update from Jake     19 January 2020
    Posted by: Rebecca Holder

    To everybody who has been supporting me I would like to say a big Thank You. We are grateful for the kind donations received through the Givealittle page and I am enjoying reading the awesome messages and comments that have come, they’ve really helped me.

    A few days ago I moved out of ICU and into the National Burns Centre. This is a big step in my road to recovery. So far I have had 14 visits to theatre – sometimes the surgeons are grafting parts of my body and other times they are changing my dressings and checking out the progress of the work they have done.

    Now that my fingers are no longer bandaged I have been able to use my iPad to catch up with my friends.

    Thank you so much for your kindness – it means a lot to me.

    Jake Milbank

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  • Thank you     19 December 2019
    Posted by: Rebecca Holder

    Just to let you all know that the beautiful messages that are flowing through here are really helping the family. Thank you for your support. Xxx

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