Dear Friends - First, thank you so much for your prayers. We have felt the love and prayers of people from all over. Thanks also for remembering all the families who were effected by the wreck--especially the family who lost their precious 6th grade son. (The funeral, I understand, is tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.) Second, I want to provide an update on Chris. For now, I want to be brief and to the point. There's more I'll share later, but I know some have probably been checking here for info. We've just been too caught up with everything happening in ICU to be able to break away. Apparently, Chris is no longer in critical condition. The dangers we feared seem to be past. Yesterday (the day after the accident) he began communicating through hand signals. He became quite clever at a simple game of charades. His first major question to me was, I finally figured out, "What time is it?" A funny question for a kid who, because of the trauma, doesn't even know what month it is yet. Last night after his lungs had improved so much, they exubated him, and he's been breathing on his own quite well. It isn't pleasant mind you, with two or three broken ribs and bruised lungs, but he's doing well nevertheless. This morning he became very verbal. He's very responsive, and can have pieces of ice. This afternoon the tube in his side (that went into his pleural cavity--I only know this because my med school son is standing beside me while I type) was taken out. Can you say, "BIG OUCH"? He's close to being ready to leave ICU. We've been told his neck brace can't come off yet because of all the swelling in his neck, but nothing about that seems to alarm anyone. Chris has a broken L4 vertebrae. They measured him for a mold that will be made for him that he'll have to wear for a while (couple months?). They (I keep using the infamous "they" to refer to a slew of wonderful docs, nurses, and therapists) aren't concerned about this break; he just has to be very careful for a while. Translation: his basketball season is over. He and Austin Lemmons have been friends from the womb. Their mothers were pregnant at the same time, and they've been big buddies ever since. They're together for covenant group most Sunday nights. They've been side-by-side up in PICU, intubated together, and now breathing on their own together. They keep asking about each other. Austin has been about a day ahead of Chris in all the areas of getting better (plus he doesn't have the back thing to deal with), so we've been able to watch him and know what is hopefully ahead. I don't want to say more publicly about Austin or the other Highland boy here, their buddy Jon Weston Bennett. That's up to their families. But suffice it to say that the Highland report from Cook's Children's Hospital today is very good. More later. This was just for some who might check in. Diane and I appreciate you so much. It's been one of the hardest 48 hours of our life. As you know, we've been down some of this road before--we flew Megan here and were in ICU so many years ago. I'm fighting back tears as I tell you that my son appears to be all right. Thanks, Mike.