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Family reporting on Jacob Kieft's condition on Web

SPICER -- After more than a week in the hospital, the family of Jacob Kieft, 15, of Spicer continues posting updates on Kieft's condition on the CaringBridge Web site.

SPICER -- After more than a week in the hospital, the family of Jacob Kieft, 15, of Spicer continues posting updates on Kieft's condition on the CaringBridge Web site.

Family reports on the site say that progress is slowly being seen. Kieft has been at the Hennepin County Medical Center since he was involved in a golf cart accident on June 26.

As of Sunday, surgeons decided to turn off the paralytic medicine used to keep Kieft's brain activity to a minimum. On Monday doctors began testing reactions in Kieft's extremities by applying pressure. According to journal entries on the site, Kieft showed some mild response to the pressure. Kieft has also been battling a mild case of pneumonia, which is common among patients in Kieft's condition, according to updates on the site.

He has been spontaneously coughing, which his parents, Jay and Carla, noted on the Web site on Tuesday morning is a good sign. He is also beginning to assist the respirator as he is being weaned from the heavy sedatives. He is still unconscious but is having some "wakeful moments," according to the journal entry.

On Tuesday evening the journal entry reported that Jacob had opened his eyes briefly and as one of his parents held his hand and asked Jacob to squeeze -- he did. That squeeze felt like a "hug" wrote his parents.

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Despite the seriousness of the situation, Kieft's parents have remained optimistic in their daily journal entries and say they are following the theme of "patience ... powered by hope." Nearly every entry thanks people for their support and commends Kieft on his strength and resilience, ending each entry with, "Jake is strong ..."

The Kiefts have also been inundated with an outpouring of support from community members. Postings on the site topped 476 Tuesday in the "guestbook" section of the site. The site has been visited more than 8,100 times since it was created June 27.

Faith Lutheran Church in Spicer has set up a fund to receive donations to off-set costs not covered by insurance. Donations can be brought to the church, or sent to: Kieft Fund, Faith Lutheran Church, Box 396, Spicer, MN 56288.

Three other 15-year-old passengers were in the cart with Kieft during the accident. Kieft hit his head during the rollover and had to be flown to HCMC for medical treatment. Kieft was the only severely injured victim of the accident.

Criminal charges may still be filed against the 15-year-old female driver of the cart.

For more updates on Kieft's condition, log onto www.caringbridge.org/visit/jacobkieft .

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