The Damage: Serious head trauma has caused a brain injury called DAI (Diffuse Axonal Injury). Doctors have used the words "very serious" and "bad" when they talk about Neil's brain.
Bolt Monitor: To measure the pressure in his brain (ICP), doctors have inserted one of these into his upper forehead on his right side. (I'd include a link to some drawings of what's involved here, but it's a little gruesome. Feel free to search the internet for yourselves if you're so inclined.) Studies vary, but most say the monitor loses its integrity after 3 to 5 days. Neil is on day 7 now because his neuro team believes it's still working. It is registering numbers, but we're not certain if they're accurate now or not. It will surely be removed in a couple of days and then perhaps, we can try to wake him up.
Coma: Although the doctors haven't used the word coma, that's probably what we're dealing with here. And it's not like in the movies. Coma patients don't just wake up and start talking to you. It could be quite a while before Neil shows any signs of alertness--and by quite a while, I mean weeks or longer.
Pneumonia: It's very common in patients with a breathing tube. Neil hasn't had any pneumonia. Yay!
Tracheostomy: Neil's breathing tube will probably be removed within a few days and replaced with a tracheostomy. It involves an incision in his throat to attach his ventilator to. It's routine to do this as it is actually a safer way to help him breathe.
Feeding Tube: Right now Neil is being fed a mustard-colored puree through a tube that goes in his mouth and down his throat. That will most likely be changed in the next little while to a tube that goes directly through his side and into his stomach. This is supposed to be more comfortable for the patient. If there is any way to make Neil more comfortable, I'm for it. Let's pamper this boy!
This is probably all Too Much Information, but I think it helps to be prepared for what we're looking forward too. And looking forward, we are!