A fourth-grade Sommer Elementary student, Nick Maxwell, remains in intensive care at Riley Hospital for Children as a result of brain hemorrhage.

Nick, son of Nicole and Rob Maxwell, became ill last week and went to a local doctor. He was then sent to St. Clare Medical Center and then lifelined to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis where he underwent surgery to put a shunt in his brain to relieve pressure caused by blood at the base of his brain.

"He was fine and he had a little bit of a headache and he was scheduled to go the doctor Thursday," Nicole said Sunday afternoon from the hospital. "His brother, Gus, had a headache and I stayed home with him on Tuesday and we all thought Nick just had the same thing."

On the way home from school Thursday, Nick slipped on some ice and fell, but did not hit his head. However, it is believed the fall jarred the blood such that it cut off normal flow through the vessels in his brain. That eventually led to swelling to his brain. The shunt was put in place to try to drain some of the fluids. The shunt does not drain much, if any of the blood, according to Nicole.

"Right now the doctors tell us that the best way to get rid of the blood is for the body to absorb it itself," she said.

The doctors need the blood to disappear so they can get a better look at that portion of the brain and try to figure out what caused the original problem.

"Until they can get in there and see what is going on we don't have a lot of answers," Nicole said. "Right now they are thinking it is probably a problem he has had since birth where maybe the vessels were a little thinner than normal. All they are calling it right now is a vascular abnormality."

Another CAT scan was scheduled today to see if the area of blood has decreased. Until those results come back it's a waiting game for the entire family.

"The good thing is Nick is awake and alert," his mom said. "He recognizes everyone and has been able to get out of bed to go to the bathroom by himself. We are reading and looking at all the cards and letters the students from Sommer sent him. He knows who everyone is. We are also doing a lot of humming and singing. He is starting to talk back to me so I know he is getting better. Mr. (Richard) Merriman (Nick's teacher) was here yesterday (Saturday) and he was really wonderful and it meant a lot to Nick."

Despite his progress, Nicole said the doctors told her it would likely be at least two weeks before he would be able to leave the Heart floor. He is on that floor so he can be monitored 24 hours a day. They are monitoring the External Ventricle Drain he has.

While the recovery will be long, Maxwell said the outpouring of support from friends, family and others has been great.

"We just can't say thank you enough for everyone who has been praying for Nick, who has put him on prayer lists and prayer chains," she said. "The letters and cards really make a difference and they are greatly appreciated. North Montgomery (where Nicole is a biology teacher) has been awesome and so has Rob's work (INDOT at Lizton). We just ask that you keep praying for him."

Nicole said visitors are being discouraged at this point as Nick is extremely tired and requires a considerable amount of rest.