Libby Lehman Hospitalized – Updated 5-15-13

Libby Lehman(Photo from libbylehman.us)

I just heard that Libby Lehman has been hospitalized with a ruptured aneurysm. Emily Thiessen, the founder of The Quilt Shop Navigator, and I became acquainted with Libby at the Ricky Tims Super Quilt Seminar that was held in Seattle a few years ago. We loved her wise-cracking Texas humor and marveled at her amazing thread techniques and gorgeous quilts.

God bless, Libby. May you recover safely and completely.


Libby’s Facebook page has an update:

From Libby’s family: Libby is still recovering in hospital. We so appreciate all the caring support. Get well cards can be sent to Attn: Libby Lehman / 617 Caroline / Houston, TX 77002. We will try to post updates but will not be able to reply to everyone’s FB messages & emails. Thank you all for understanding as we focus on Libby’s healing. Sincere & grateful regards.

Update II:

From Ricky Tims on Facebook:

Libby update please read regarding what you can do.

No change to report. She is in a sedated state. They have not allowed her to wake up since the surgery. She has been stable the last 24 hours. It is not certain when the will reduce sedation and allow her to wake. That process can be dangerous too. I know we all want to do something. Some quilters are organizing blocks for quilts. I know that Libby will appreciate a quilt. She will appreciate the thoughtfulness even more.

I have spoken with the family. They do not need to be overwhelmed at this time.

Currently it is a situation of just keeping her alive. She is in very critical condition. She is the most critical patient in that huge hospital. Or was yesterday.

I personally feel that right now your thoughts and prayers are the most urgent participation needed. The doctors are not offering the same optimistic outlook for her future as they did prior to the massive stroke.

Might I suggest that we table the projects until she is awake and we see that there is a light on the horizon. All in all I know we all want to do something. As of today I think the cards are the easiest for the family and they can easily read those to her when she is awake. It may not feel as if that is “enough” but right now I believe it is. This recovery will be very very very long. It would be awesome to present Libby a fantastic quilt at one year anniversary when she can better understand and take it in.

Justin just made the best suggestion… A quilted card would be the very best. Individual expressions that don’t have to be a certain size or color. At least for now. That’s what I will do. Her sister agreed that cards and quilted cards are best at the moment.

I’m trying to be a voice of reason. Having said that, proceed as you feel led.


Send your cards and quilted cards to:

Libby Lehman
617 Caroline
Houston, TX 77002.

Thanks to Ricky for this update. I think quilted cards are a wonderful idea, don’t you?

Update III:

More from Ricky Tims:

Libby was slowly removed from sedatives but not awake. During rounds this morning her left leg and her left arm were responsive. The doctor was elated at this. However. She is losing blood. Perhaps from a stress ulcer. So they are putting her back in a full sedated state. They are not concerned about her not waking up yet. She will heal better in sedation not using her brain for any waking tasks. She continues to have vascular brain spasms which could lead to more complications. So she remains in critical condition and will mostly likely not be allowed to wake until at least this weekend. They will explore the blood loss

The left side movement is great news

Thanks again to Ricky. Let’s keep those prayers a’coming!

Update IV:

From Ricky Tims on Facebook:

Libby Lehman Update for Tuesday.

Libby is about the same, not much change and still in critical condition. She is in sedated sleep and has not been allowed to wake up. This allows her body to heal, but more importantly it should help with the vascular spasms that continue to occur in her brain at the location of the stroke. It still may be a while before the attempt to slowly wake her.
The best news is that this morning there was significant response from her left leg and arm. The doctor was elated. There are other minor issues but the family has been assured there is no worry for those and that the main focus is still on letting her heal so she can eventually wake up. She is breathing on her own for the most part (still on a breathing machine at low setting) and her vital signs are all good.

I know many quilters want to DO SOMETHING. The family has asked for cards or quilted cards. It is important that any organized efforts to make quilts or blocks be less urgent. I am aware of several efforts in place to make Libby a quilt. Please consider the ramifications of this effort. Libby does not generally use quilts – so they will most likely be stored. Libby makes art quilts, not functional quilts. She doesn’t have display space for wall quilts. She will not want to give them away to charity because they will be very meaningful, but storing these items will be challenging.

I know Libby well enough to know that being inundated with quilts, regardless of how thoughtful it is meant to be, will be challenging for her. She will find a graceful way to deal with it, but just having to deal with it is not necessarily the best thing for her during a recovery period of what could be one to two years.

I maintain that doing something significant down the road is the better option. I’m not trying to be squelch a desire to help – I’m thinking from a different perspective. Sometimes pulling back on the reigns is the most helpful thing to do.

Send your cards and quilted cards to:

Libby Lehman
617 Caroline
Houston, TX 77002.

Thanks again, Ricky. I really appreciate your keeping us informed, and your thoughtful perspective on how we can best help Libby and her family.

Update V: (5-8-13)

More from Ricky Tims:

Libby Lehman Upate for Wednesday

I just spoke with Lester (husband). Libby remains in critical but stable condition. The vascular spasms are now beginning to taper off. These will taper off on a bell curve, so they will begin slowing quicker and quicker. We pray that this continues. The doctors say if she can make it to the weekend without another stroke, the chances of a future stroke are very small. So, that’s the primary concern at the moment. They are slowly stopping the sedatives and are expecting her to slowly begin to awake. It may take a day or two – or even three for her to wake up.

Because she has been on the breathing tube for such a long time, they will remove it today and do a tracheotomy. It’s a common next step for patients who have been on the ventilator for this long.

A new CTscan was performed and the doctor believes there is less damage than originally thought. However, nothing can be determined until she is fully awake. She will eventually be undergoing weeks of therapy.

All in all the report is much the same – slow recovery, but moving forward, not backward.

Do not send flowers.

Send cards or quilted cards to:
Libby Lehman
617 Caroline
Houston, TX 77002.

Ricky is such a busy fellow, I’m really impressed by the way he makes time to bring us these updates on his Facebook page. Thanks so much, Ricky!::

Update VI: (5-9-13)

On Alex Anderson’s Facebook this afternoon:

Typically Ricky calls Lester – but today I got the privilege to talk to him first hand. Libby is about the same. The infections are under control. The hospital isn’t overly concerned about them because they are common for anyone who is in a hospital for an extended amount of time.

Silver lining: She doesn’t have a staff infection.

The doctors will soon (probably this afternoon) be removing the tube down her throat and insert a trach. A food tube has also been inserted directly into her stomach.

Silver Lining: Occasionally she twitches and moves on her left hand side – even when not prompted by the Doctor

The doctors thought that she might start waking u n her own this weekend – but now it may be a little longer than that. She is still in serious critical condition, but things seem to be stable.

SUPER SILVER LINING: Perhaps the BEST thing Lester said is that when it is time for rehab, she will be in the same facility that Gabrielle Giffords went to – three buildings away.

In addition to praying for Libby – please keep the entire family in your hearts. As for all of us, shock doesn’t begin to describe…………..

Thanks, Alex. You and Ricky have been performing a great service for Libby’s family by taking on the task of these updates. And the quilters around the world who love Libby appreciate them, too.

Update VII: (5-10-13)

Ricky Tims posted good news about Libby on Facebook today:

Libby Update – Great News!

Great news will be measured in baby steps. And a significant baby step happened today.

Libby is waking up! Lester was with her twice this morning. She was awake for 20 minutes the first time and about 30 minutes the second time. She responded to his voice by blinking and raising an eyebrow. As you can imagine, this was a great relief since it is the first signs of returning to continuousness since the surgery last Wednesday.

She is still in critical but stable condition. This status is predicted to remain until Tuesday or even later. But we can all celebrate this change of events.

Pelase send cards (humorous or otherwise), and quilted cards to:

Libby Lehman
617 Caroline
Houston, TX 77002.

Even baby steps are progress! Thanks again to Ricky Tims for taking time to keep us all informed.

Update VIII: (5-12-13)

Ricky Tims posted a brief update about Libby on his Facebook yesterday. It’s more good news.

Libby Update for Saturday –
During Lester’s visit this morning Libby was awake and a bit more responsive than yesterday. She is unable to speak right now, but she communicated by blinking her eyes in order to answer questions. She also smiled at Lester a few times. She is moving her head left to right a bit and she squeezed Lester’s hand several times – once was a strong squeeze. She remains in critical condition, but we can celebrate another baby step in the right direction this morning.

Thanks to Ricky Tims for these updates.

Update IX: (5/15/13)

Because this post is now so long for people who are looking for updates to scroll through, we are continuing our series of updates on a newer blog post. An Update and Well Wishes for Libby Lehman

We are gratified that so many quilters have come to our blog to check on Libby’s progress and hope to be able to share their good wishes with Libby and her family. Please take a moment to click on the link above and leave a get well message for Libby. Thanks so much!


3 thoughts on “Libby Lehman Hospitalized – Updated 5-15-13

  1. Positive energy for healing and emotional support for Libby’s family being sent out into the universe. Wishing for the best outcome for all.

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