Today my brother asked the doctor to just tell him very plainly what the best case and worst case scenarios would be.
Best case: Dad gets the tracheotomy tube out in two weeks. He starts talking. And they figure out if he has brain damage, and if so, the extent of it.
Worst case: His wind pipe is crushed. The tracheotomy tube never comes out. He eats through a tube for the rest of his life.
They have a specialist coming in tomorrow or the next day to assess. Tomorrow morning I am going to the hospital with a dear family friend who is going to talk to the doctors. He's a business guy, but has been involved in the medical field for ages. He knows what questions to ask, what information to expect.
He is, incidentally, part of the family we spent Christmas with. Who took care of me after my eggnog-and-rum-wine-with-dinner-more-eggnog-and-rum-then-gin-martinis to cap it all off! spree Christmas eve. These are capable hands.