Saturday, February 05, 2005

First post

Hello everyone. This website will be the clearing house for information on my mom, Pam Schneller.

Just to bring everyone up to speed, Mom flew out to LA on Tuesday for the ACDA conference. She was very excited about all the concerts and looking forward to catching up with old friends.

Unfortunately, Pam was hit by a van while out jogging on Wednesday. Very little information is currently available about the accident itself. Currently, all we know is that she was hit, flew about 10 feet, and received immediate medical attention. She was conscious at the scene and was rushed to Los Angeles City USC Medical Center (

The trauma specialists here are very good (it is LA- home of trauma after all!) and a CT was performed upon admission as Pam was incoherent although conscious. The CT scan showed small hemorrhages on her brain. She was hospitalized and further tests were ordered. Over the next hour, however, her neurologic status rapidly deteriorated and she slipped into a coma. Repeat CT scan showed a SEVERE bleed on her brain that was severely compressing the occipital lobe on the left. She was rushed to surgery and the compression was relieved-less than 30 minutes between CT and decompression!

CT of Pam's chest had shown some broken ribs and free air in the chest (pneumothorax) so a chest tube was placed while she was under. CT of her belly was okay. At this time, they also placed an external fixator (stabilizing bar device) on Pam's left leg to stabilize an ankle fracture.

Pam was recovered from anesthesia but did not regain consciousness as the neurosurgeons had hoped. Repeat CT of her brain had complete evacuation of the clot (amazingly good!) and so the neurosurgeons are hopeful that Pam just needs more time to recover from the severe brain compression.

At this point, Pam remains in a coma but at a 'lighter level' than before (a good thing) and is still on the ventilator. Today, provided there are no signs of needing to go back to surgery right away, they will start feeding Pam through a tube that enters in her nose. Otherwise, we are currently focused on just being there for Mom and talking with her and supporting each other. There is no ability to evaluate her long-term prognosis until she wakes up. We are probably looking at at least two weeks here.

Important information: Mom cannot have flowers in the ICU as the pollen can mess up people's breathing. She can, however, have cards, balloons, stuffed animals etc. The more color, the better!

We will be checking this site regularly and updating it. Your prayers are very welcome. Please let anyone know of Mom's condition that you feel should and encourage them to follow-up by visiting this site.

With love- jacqui


Blogger Al Ramp said...

Jacqui, Brian, and Roland, our thoughts and prayers are with you - praying very hard for a full and speedy recovery. Stay strong.
Love, Al & Jeri

2:55 PM  
Blogger Beth Smith said...

My daughter Lisa came to visit and called with the information. I have sent the news to Hazel Summerville and she will get it out to our listserv. Also contacted Gay Welch, the Vandebrilt chaplain, to see what she can do to get some help from the USC people.
Also found online that the USC Hospital has a Concierge Service that will help find you the houseing you need. I have found a few other places nearby also, but that should be your first stop.

4:04 PM  
Blogger rostitchery said...

thank you for taking the time to keep pam and roland's friends updated on her condition. that is a very thoughtful thing to do during such a difficult time. your whole family remains in our prayers. rowena, rudi, ella aldridge

4:08 PM  
Blogger Al Ramp said...

We are praying for your mom and your family as you go through this difficult time. Please let us know if there is anything we can do. God bless, Alette, Heath, Valerie, and Rebecca

4:10 PM  
Blogger David R. Linn said...

Jacqui, your mom is important to a lot of people. That includes me and at least three other members of my family. In this trying time, you, Brian, Roland and Mickie will all be in my prayers along with Pam. - David

4:26 PM  
Blogger Kathryn Plummer said...

Thank you so much for setting up this site, Jacqui. Countless friends and colleagues have Pam and the whole family in their thoughts and prayers. Having your reports of the expert care she is receiving and of Pam's response and progress to that care is so wonderfully comforting for us so many miles away. Our love to all of you...Kathryn, Andrew and Clara

5:38 PM  
Blogger Moe Whittemore said...

Hey, Pam!!
Should've thought of this before.... Are you a Mezzo?? If so, as soon as you're back in voice, you might want to check out my ONLY religious offering -"Prayer Before a Crucifix" - recently completed as my "art song" class project. (And I'm sure Roland's got the chops to do the piano part justice!!)
It's my only vocal piece, to date - and fairly atonal, kinda like 'Arnold Schoenberg meets Anita O'Day'. Guaranteed to clear out a church!
It's a reflective communion prayer, not quite a part of the Catholic liturgy, but highly universal....
If you guys would like to read thru it, I'll get you some scores!
Hey! Get better!
Moe Whittemore

5:31 PM  
Blogger Dori said...

Our thoughts and prayers are being offered for you and your family, Pam, as your name has been placed on The Prayer List of The Cathedral of the Incarnation in Nashville, TN. Your many friends at Vanderbilt and Nashville Symphony Chorus also wish you well. With each new day, may you continue to see improvement! God bless.
Love, Marty, Dori and Jenna

8:41 AM  
Blogger Carolyn Naumann said...

Dear Pam,
You and your family are in our prayers and in our hearts every waking moment of the day. We are anxiously awaiting the day that you will come home to us, ready to resume your life in all the ways you have been so dear to us...mentor, fan, sensitive and gifted director, energetic lover of all things exciting, and most of all, a treasured and precious friend. May the Lord give you strength for the battle, comfort in adversity, and a healthy dose of love from family and friends to carry you back to us.

Mark, Carolyn & Nicole Naumann

10:21 AM  
Blogger kl;adfkjas;ldkfj said...

Thinking of you and your family during this difficult time. You and your mom are in the thoughts and prayers of so many here at the VTH. Please let us know if there's anything we can do on this end.

Take care,
Christie Anderson

6:24 PM  
Blogger Al Ramp said...

Dear Jacqui, Roland,Brian
I want you all to know that we are praying for you. This is a tragic event but there is a new day dawning fun of sunshine. Your LOVE and bonding is giving PAM the courage to fight her way back to you- she will come back. I was trying to think is Pam 53yrs?? she still looks GREAT. Just to let you know that I feel your pain, I went thru much of the same with my brother who was hit by a speeding Jeep just 2 years ago this January....After 2 weeks in a como, physical therapy & surgeries he is doing very well. We all, Diana, Cynthia & Family, Jay & Family send our love & prayers.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Al Ramp said...

Pam & family,
I just spoke with Justin and he wants you to know that he is praying for you and sends his LOVE,
Diana & Family,

3:56 PM  
Blogger Jeff R said...

To Pam's Family,

My name is Jeff Reynolds, Chair of the Music Department at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. I was present at the time of Pam's accident in LA and just learned this morning of who she was through one of our faculty members who knew her when he lived in Tennessee. I was one of the first people to Pam in the moments after her accident and stayed with her until the EMT's arrived. Not knowing who she was or her name, I tried for the next two days to find out her condidtion by calling a number of LA hospitals - but without a name was unable to find her or her condition. There were others who came to her aid but they remain nameless to me. A friend of mine, a medical doctor, was with me too, and came to comfort and aid as we awaited help. Our prayers began immediately and did not stop all day. My 16 year-old daughter was with me and we spoke of it with great sympathy and distress, both of us praying for "the lady" in the accident. I had spoken of the experience to many people since coming back to Birmingham but had resolved that I might never know who she was. Now that I know that Pam is a member of our choral family, I am both relieved and again heartbroken. I am a runner and had seen her in the tourist information office, quite literally, seconds before the accident. I remember her huge smile and my friend and I, talking about fitness and running, commnented on her great calf muscles - "she must be an avid runner", I said. She came out again in front of us and turned right to continue her run. I went to the Y that day for my daily run on the treadmill and ran as long as I could, thinking of her the entire time. I ran for her. She is in my thoughts and prayers as she has been from the moment I first saw her. Please let me know if there is anything I can do. I will continue to monitor her progress from here. Thank you for keeping us all updated.


5:10 PM  
Blogger Philip L. Copeland said...

Dear Pam's family,

I am Leigh Copeland and am the friend Jeff refers to in his comment. We were among the first people to reach Pam after the accident and I could tell she was seriously injured. I felt completely helpless.

I could only keep reassuring her that she was doing fine and was going to be OK. She probably will not remember those moments.

I think that, somehow, God placed the right people in place to aid Pam at her time of need. She has been in my thoughts constantly since that terrible incident and I am glad to know she survived the accident. It sounds as though she is making great progress. My thoughts and prayers, as well as those of my husband, will be with her as she begins her recovery.

Leigh Copeland, M.D.
Birmingham, AL

8:37 PM  
Blogger Al Ramp said...

Dear Jacqui, Brian & Roland,
As you know by now that I am logging on because of Alvon's generosity to let me us their username..I couldn't get in...Anyway, Pam's dear mother is also in my thoughts(she was in one of your pictures-so I take it she is doing OK) But the pain a mother must feel is overwhelming along with the spouse and children. On a lighter note, I remember so very well, when your mother & dad traveled with Justin & I (before there were Jacqui & Brian) to Minnesota to visit 'Agency Bay Lodge' - we traveled in our pick-up with a mini-camper...I got to know Pam on a one to one basis. I have always loved & admired her.
We are promised that our prayers will be answered if we ask them in Jesus name. I pray that Pam will be relieved from pain and that she will be returned to normal so she can continue with her life. She is a child of God and we deliver Pam up to him for healing. Prayer changes things and I truly believe that our Lord is in control. I also pray for strength & guidance for all of Pam's caregivers and loved ones. We ask all these things in Jesus Holy Name. Again, our Love, Aunt Diana, Uncle Justin, Cousins: Cynthia, Jay & Families.

1:22 PM  
Blogger pollen-family said...

Dear Pam dear Roland and
dear family Schneller

From Inge we just got to know about PamĀ“s accident and are very very sadly.

We are hoping and praying for pam to get well soon, so that she can return home as soon as possible.

Our very thoughts are with you at these hard times,

best recovery-wishes

Fridolin, Julius and

Monika and Detlef from Hannover in Germany

11:50 AM  
Blogger Jan said...

Dear Schnellers, "Shelleners," various friends, extended family, and most of all Pam and Jacqui: I am one of the many stunned friends who cannot believe what has happened. Jacqui, your gripping prose accounts of recent events have become a daily fixation for me. My initial meltdown after the news has been tempered by your detailed accounts, your humor, and the incredible strength thatshines through your daily messages. Thank you for keeping us informed when I know you would rather sleep, or try to sleep, in order to face the challenges of the next day. Roland, keep singing to your sweetheart this Valentine's week-end and vow to do something extraordinary next year, like go to Paris, as in France. Erika, you were a terrific student at HFA, and I know your skills will be very important as the family works through the nitty-gritty that comes with accidents, police reports, possible litigation, etc. I wish that none of this madness had happened, but reading the blog messages lets me know that the whole world has become your support via long distance. Dear Pam, your energy, musicianship, sense of humor, engaging smile, twinkling eyes, and Puckish spirit reign in the rehearsal hall at Blair and in our hearts! Your little band of troubadors in the VCC will never take your indomitable spirit for granted. We never really know how important we all are to one another until one of us meets a challenge such as yours. Your challenge is now ours, and we will not rest easily until you at "up and at 'em" again!
Here are some words from Mary Kay
Stanley: "When you least expect it, a common thread -- golden, at that-- begins to weave together the fabric of friendship." For us in the VCC and in so many people whose lives you have touched, that thread has been and will continue to be...MUSIC. May its healing powers bring you through and back to us soon. Love, Jan (Noble)

11:16 PM  
Blogger jennie smith said...

Ro, Jacqui and Brian,
James and I think of you ALL the time, and are sending strong thoughts your way. Tell Pam that we are looking forward to bidding 3 no-trump w/ her and Ro soon.
Thanks so much for the daily updates and pix - it makes all of us feel we are there w/ you. The last one was so good w/ her smile!
Jennie Smith and James Gooch

10:27 AM  

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