thanks, everyone for your positive vibes and prayers. i knew i could count on you! and the hub appreciated it as well - i just said "i've got all my buddies praying and thinking good thoughts for brother wan."
i got a better description of his condition from the hub: he has an overdeveloped brain stem, which restricts the flow of spinal fluid from his brain to his spinal cord. so after second and third and fourth (and so on) opinions, BW chose to undergo the only available procedure to possibly correct the problem. in a sense, the doctors removed a piece of the base of his skull to relieve the pressure on his brain stem, as well as removing the first cervical vertebrae. the very delicate surgery lasted about 6 hours, a few hours longer than first expected. there was also some bleeding from his brain, which was unexpected. yikes.
both the hub and i got to talk to him very briefly on the phone. we're both dying to be down there to be with him and show him how much we love and care for him, but the poor hub still hasn't managed to kick that nasty head cold he picked up. and the last thing he wants is to bring any kind of infection near BW, not to mention that i'm really not sure what the visitor policy is in regards to the bean. i'm pretty sure that the sight of her would cheer BW up a lot, though, so i'm going to call the hospital to find out if we can go.
the ILs are exhausted and relieved. their usual joyful demeanor had vanished over the last few days from worrying about BW. i can't even imagine how wonderful it was for them to see him after it was all over, and especially to get to talk to him and know that there was no paralysis whatsoever (which was a strong possibility).
now our fingers are crossed (and toes, and legs, and eyes, and whatever else that can be crossed) for him to fall in that 70% of patients who are actually cured. it would suck if he'd gone through all of this for nothing, yes?