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Friday, January 25

Another MRH dream

Another Matt Hardie dream last night....involving that red VW jetta shitbox, me driving, and Matt telling me to 'chill out, Stef. Stop stressing.' from the passenger seat. I awoke at the exact moment I was about to give him shit.

I never know exactly how to take these dreams (I have them every few weeks) and I'm not quite certain if I'm reliving a true memory of something that really happened or if these are fictitious actual "dreams". What I do know is that, after a few seconds of 'huh wtf?', I remember he's gone. And that part does feel real. On that alone, if you believe in such things, then he controls the dreams and they are his way of showing that he is still punching away at a darkness he did not ask for.
==========
Kate, if you see this, can you get in touch with me via email: clarke.stef@gmail.com 
I changed phones and mobile providers. I don't have your contact info and, at last, I think I am 'unsad' enough to talk. xx - stef 

Monday, December 26

NEVER FORGOTTEN

Thanks to all who remember and still do.......................................

Wednesday, October 5

October 4th - 1 year later

It's still hard to think about the accident and all it took from us. The intersection where Matt's accident occurred became the focal point of Spokane's new bike loop reconstruction program. The bike loop construction included bike lanes and better visibility for motorists and cyclists alike. It was completed this August. A ghost bike remains at the intersection. I have new friends in Spokane who send me updates and pictures. I'm grateful to them (Thanks Tomas) for keeping me "in the loop". RIP Matt Hardie. This doesn't get any easier. damn.

Monday, August 1

July 28, 2011 - Matt's Birthday and Kiwago Reunion

On Matt's 33rd birthday, we gathered at Kiwago to remember him. There is more to say on this but for now I want to leave you with a picture of our Kiwago memorial for him.

I miss you like you were here yesterday and now gone. When the grief hits hard, as it does often, I wonder if I will ever really make it through. I wish you knew how bright a light you were to so many people, beloved friend.


~ Stef

Saturday, March 19

These last 3 months...

It is already March of 2011. Hard to believe that Matt left us three months ago. I think of him often. The times when he is apparent in my consciousness along with the times when he hovers in my sub-conscious are numerous. I often have a case of the 'what ifs?' even though I understand that torturing myself by contemplating 'destiny' is kind of pointless now.

I have renewed energy with the thawing of the snow and have tuned my bike in anticipation of the clearing roads. He is in each part of that machinery. Matt and the art of bicycle maintenance. When I ride now I ride for him.

Be well, everyone.

Stef

Saturday, January 8

Spectacle and Spectacular

My dear friend, Matt Hardie, abhorred spectacle, drama, or anything to do with preoccupation with artifice. He believed in living authentically and spectacularly while also humbling himself in the face of humanity.

I think of you every day, Matt. I think of the joy and the insight you brought to my life. And I miss you.

Beyond spectacle, you are spectacular.

I love you. I miss you more.

Stef

Monday, December 27

I posted a photo and some thoughts here:  http://bikegrrrl.blogspot.com

I'm sorry I can not be there today. My thoughts are with all of you as we continue to celebrate our marvelous friend, brother, human being. love, stef

Friday, December 24

Matt's Obituary in the Herald Times

Here is Matt's Obituary. Chris Hosler worked with Matt's family to write it. It is beautiful. I have added it here, for those who are not able to log into the Hoosier Times website.

Matthew Robert Hardie, 32

JULY 28, 1978 — DEC. 14, 2010

SPOKANE, Wash. — Matthew Robert Hardie passed away on Tuesday, December 14, 2010, at Hospice in Spokane, Washington, after a heroic effort to overcome his injuries. He was the son of Michael and Anne (Bobbitt) Hardie, born on July 28, 1978, in Wausau, Wisconsin.

Matt attended elementary and middle school in Columbia, Missouri, and moved to Bloomington, Indiana, where he attended Bloomington High School South, graduating in 1996. He attended the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.

Traveling and experiencing life in new places was one of Matt’s favorite activities. Matt moved from Bloomington to Spokane, Washington, in 1998, and from there called places such as Portland, Oregon; and Scottsdale and Prescott, Arizona home. He visited countless cities across the country as far flung as New Orleans and Fairbanks, Alaska. Matt spent several happy summers at Homes for the Homeless’ Camp Kiwago in upstate New York, working with homeless children from New York City. He returned to Spokane earlier in 2010.

Matt touched many, many lives in his travels, delighting his friends with his infectious sense of humor and setting an example of active social consciousness. Matt had a lifelong love of reading, and was always one of the most knowledgeable and well-spoken participants in a debate. He was also a paramount example of fortitude in the face of adversity, having overcome non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was an avid music fan, and part of the music scene wherever he happened to be. He loved cycling, was a member of the Beanpole collective, and enjoyed acting in high school in Theatre South and in Monroe County Civic Theater, as well as in sketch comedy television. Some of his friends knew him for decades and others for only a few weeks, but all were touched by his warmth, upheld by his support, and brightened by his sweet smile.

Matt is survived by his fiercely loving sister, Katherine Hardie and her partner Bo Baker, both of Spokane, WA; his nephew, Jack Baker of Spokane, WA; his adoptive stepfather, Rich Waltrip of Spokane, WA; his aunt Susi Schumaker of Overland Park, KS; and numerous other aunts and uncles.

Matt is preceded in death by his parents.

A memorial pitch-in will be held at The Bishop, 123 S. Walnut St., Bloomington IN, Monday December 27, 2010, from 7-10 p.m. for friends and family.

At the family’s request in lieu of flowers, condolences and monetary gifts for future donations to causes dear to Matt can be given at Matt’s blog, http://matthardie.blogspot.com.

Thursday, December 23

Memorial / wake for Matt, 12.27, 7 p.m.

Hello everyone.


There will be a memorial service and / or wake for Matt Hardie on Monday, December 27th, at 7 p.m.  It will be at The Bishop, at 123 South Walnut in Bloomington, Indiana.

Please join us if you'd like to remember Matt. We hope that this will be an event of comfort and celebration for those who were part of Matt's life, and who would like to share their experiences and stories with others.

Thanks,

Alison

Tuesday, December 21

I had to correct some info

I've edited this post several times now, which is why I stopped posting....I get too over protective of Kate & Matt, info changes day to day & I have messed up on quite a few details (LIKE DONATIONS)

Kate's been doing an excellent job. I haven't posted much lately because it's so emotionally heartbreaking and I hardly know what to write. Not sure if I've even helped Kate...
and/or got much accomplished (please don't write to me about whether or not I'm 'doing a good job'. I don't really care what people think of me....I just want to get a message across. I'm also feeling very mad & sad after Matt's death and probably will not (should not-smile) post anything after this.

Like Kate will discover...and all the many friends Matt had...Time will help ease the pain. But, right now, I just want to write this one thing.

I can't imagine anyone doing ALL that Kate did for Matt while he was in various hospitals, the nursing home..and finally the hospice. No matter how tired she was (and let me tell you she had been running full speed since Oct 4) she would, at the hospice, gown up, put on the mask, gloves, booties and I noticed that she shrugged off all her worries, tiredness and stress to become this sister/nurse for Matt. She always spoke so cheerfully to him no matter what she really felt like. I am not sure I know anyone who could do what Kate did - not only learn some of the basic nursing skills & how to take care of Matt but also keep going when she was running on empty. On top of that, she has tried so hard to focus on Jack and keep doing all the 'mom stuff' - which, at the end of the day, leaves her with hardly any time to rest. I can only do so much since I don't live in Spokane and I think that maybe writing this will be helpful as she is STILL busy, busy, busy. I have NO IDEA how Kate is keeping on going, getting things done, going from meetings to buy groceries to pick up Jack, etc.

As I understand it, the event in Bloomington will be mostly in the tradition of a wake (and I'm paraphrasing Kate) where Matt's friends gather together and celebrate his life. He did not like many of the things associated with a typical funeral. It sounds like whomever is helping Kate plan things is doing a good job - thank you SO much.

The main thing I wanted to point out is that in order to actually get there Kate, Bo need to have funds or everyone will be there except Kate, Bo & Jack. Due to various family circumstances (when it rains, it pours) our family is not in a position to help Kate financially. I wish we were but I feel I need to mention this because I want to make it clear that Kate is scrambling to make things work financially. I shouldn't have written that "Kate's aunts & uncles are helping out financially" but I was writing really fast and actually hadn't had confirmation from them; I was hoping that we (family) could pull enough money together to take care of all the expenses - but I jumped the gun on that one.

The various expenses are so numerous to list that I can't even begin to do that. But, for example, buying gas was a huge expense. We ended up using $30 in gas in one day and all we were doing was going back and forth to the hospice to a grocery store on the way home - nothing major - but the vehicle she was using ate up a lot of gas. That surprised me but also made me realize how costly just the gas expenses were. Another example: Eugene, Matt's dog who is allergic to wheat, needs special high priced dog food; I think he's due for shots, too.

I will say that Kate's aunts and uncles are really being supportive; I've been talking to them more...mainly to be the Info Person, partly because Kate's phone keeps dying but mainly because she's busy trying to coordinate Matt's wake/funeral in Bloomington.

I do want to say that Matt & Kate's dad, Rich, has been awesome throughout this whole time. He's been a rock through all of this and is there for support, etc. except when his job or family emergencies call him out of town. He's been the one that has been there whenever Kate calls.
I mention this because I think I inadvertently didn't write about him. He's always ready to help with Jack and opened his house to Matt's friends while working and taking phone calls & emails left and right. I think Kate is very lucky to have someone like him for support. He's been a rock for me, too.

I know that there are several companies, such as television, newspaper and individuals following this blog. I hope that they might feel the need to donate since they are following this blog (and using that information which somehow is able to be accessed through the internet. I had thought that the only people that could read/follow this blog we those who were sent 'invitations' - but I guess not.
To me, knowing that 'non-invited' people are following the blog feels much the same as knowing uninvited strangers are going through your house, looking at all your personal things. It is stressful and traumatic enough to deal with Matt's death that that kind of thing is very upsetting.
I do hope they want to "put something back in the blog", even though they have no responsibility to do so.

But, like all of us, no one person can pull together enough money (which so many decisions are based on) to totally set things up for Kate so she can do for her brother what he deserved and wanted.
I'm hoping that.....together....we can donate enough to help her do this for Matt.

Monday, December 20

Music for the service

Everyone who knew Matt knew how much he loved music. I am collecting song ideas for the memorial. Could be songs that you knew he liked, songs that remind you of him, or songs that you think he would have liked. Anything, really. Please suggest songs in the comments below. Thank you.

Sunday, December 19

PLEASE READ: Request for donations for Matt's memorial service(s)

Hello everyone,

We are putting together a small memorial service in Indiana, where many of Matt's friends live. The service in Indiana will be on the 27th (more info to come). There will also be something in Spokane.

 Thank you so much who have donated in the past and since Matt's passing. 

If you haven't yet contributed, please consider donating now to help with plane tickets, an obituary, food, the rented space, flowers, etc. We are starting from scratch and so every little bit counts.

We need donations as soon as possible to coordinate the memorial and also the service in Spokane. Please spread the word-- forward this as an email (don't forget to link to the blog), put it on your FB page, etc.


Thanks to everyone for all your condolences-- I know it means a lot to Matt's family.


Alison

P.S. Also: please, please send pictures of Matt to Kate at katherine_hardie@yahoo.com ASAP, for a slide show for the service.

Photos and Song for Matt & Kate

I didn't want to post here because Kate's message needs to be read. My thoughts and love are with her.

I just posted links to a few photo albums of Matt here: http://bikegrrrl.blogspot.com/p/song-for-matt.html

It has helped me to write about him, to laugh, to cry, and to talk to him still. And so I post this here in the hopes that it will help all of you who loved him as well.

~stef

Thursday, December 16

12/16/2010 NO WORDS CAN EVER TRULY DUE MATT JUSTICE.

On December 14Th 2010 Matthew Robert Hardie passed away at Hospice, after a heroic effort to overcome his injuries and become the man he once was. Matt fought very hard these lasts months BUT in the end his WILL could not over come the damage done to his body.

The instant one leaves the body is no more than a change of clothes, worn out clothes, bearing the marks of age or bearing the marks of youth and a well lived life. We leave it, trade it in for another, and our spiritual evolution and adventure goes on.

I wish I could say more.........but there is nothing I could write or any words that would ever really truly capture the Magic that was Matt

Our family is grieving the loss of an irreplaceable person, so I would like to thank all of you for your understanding during this difficult time. You have all been supportive, strong, kind, generous, and human. Matt would have been touched to see how many of you came to our aid during the time of his accident and now at this time of great sorrow.


We all knew Matt in different ways, different years, different zip codes, and sometimes it seemed in different lifetimes but what we all have in common are the wonderful memories Matt has left us with. We have memories of his ravenous appetite for reading and information, his large heart (which he often wore on his sleeve), his love of political discussions/arguments, his passion for people and making the world a better place but most of he left us with the wonderful memory that is just HIM.

Sometimes sorrow can be all consuming, and at this moments it is. I will try to post again as my grief permits. BUT.......


.......I have to remind myself that some birds are not meant to be caged. Their feathers are just to BRIGHT. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up DOES rejoice. STILL, the place you live in is just that much more drab and empty now that they're gone.
I guess in the end, I just miss my friend and Brother

Sunday, December 5

Next steps for Matt

-------
This is on Kate's behalf:  Hi everyone,  Thanks so much for taking the time to think about Matt.  There is no one in the world like him, and that is as evident in the great group of people who care about him as it was in his gap smile, his laugh, his unmatched sense of humor, giant heart, and his marvelous intellect.  We just wanted to update you on possible next steps for him in the coming week.  We have spent this week consulting with the doctors again, spending a lot of time with Matt, and thinking a lot about his needs, his prognosis, and what he would want.  We have consulted with some really wonderful people at Hospice, and Matt is now on the waiting list for care there.  They have a really wonderful house-like space where Eugene can come see him and family and friends can visit in a peaceful and comfortable environment for him.  As I said before, Hospice might be a place where we monitor Matt's status, but for Matt it may likely be a place to find peace and to begin a new adventure while surrounded with friends and family who love him very much.  Matt's friends were really important to him, and it means so much that he is important to so many of you, too.  Matt is not yet at Hospice, and it is difficult to think about that new phase, but we wanted to let you know with as much time as possible to make plans to visit.  We want to invite you to come visit Matt in the coming couple of weeks if you would like.  This should be a calm and peaceful time for him, and we know you will respect that, as well as the fact that this is very hard transition for us to make.  Please let me know if you would like to visit, and thank you for your thoughts and love for our sweet Matt.
-------
 
Best,
 
Alli Fetter-Harrott

Saturday, December 4

Dec 4th

I am going to make this brief as I am still FULLY CONCENTRATING ON MATT and JACK.

Matt is still in ICU and ventilator. He has Two great nurses that would like to stay with him while he is here. They usually get shifted around but are so touched by Matt, that they want to help in Anway. Matt seems to touch everyone he comes in contact with.

I had the consult with a group of 8 people who ave looked over Matt's entire case. It will take awhile to get a post up that explains the situation well but a
close friend will be posting something tomorrow that will generalize it. She has been amazing and a huge support. She even came out to be with Matt, ME and Jack awhile ago.
Please he patient as things are changing on a day to day basis not to mention are family is going through a horrible ordeal during a time of year where many people are with family, and we might be losing ours.



I wish I has more time to add (but am with Matt) However, I will add more after tomorrow.

A few quick notes: Again I lost all My contacts ( phone jumped in a puddle) There are many people I need to call: Martha and Karl, Jenn Brewer, Laurie, and more people than I have time to mention. PLEASE SEND YOUR INFO!!

I am very concerned that there are still people in Matt's life that do not know.If anyone knows how I can contact Matt's fb friends ( without adding adding that one by one to BO's account) please let me know. I am also going through his phone again to leave messages. I would ask that if you could please text me your information that would be helpful. There are may people that I would like to call but don't have there info. You have all been amazing and I feel that my words do not convey the impact you all have made. Please feel free to call or email anyone you think many need to know about Matt's situation. He lived so many places and touched so many people, i would hate for someone to miss out seeing or sending a message to him. That reminds me anyone who wants to record there voice I urge you to do so!!!!!!!!!!! it could be a message, story, poem, reading a book, joke, political discussion, memory etc... I can assure you I will play them for him. I have cd player and an ipod.

The nurses said his status were threw the roof, then when I came in and they lowered then raised again when I left. I believe this was not a coincidence, so as I said I urge you to send your voices for Matt to hear. I think is someway he knows you are there, and his stats prove it.

Well
Each time I start to write I fall short..............................
All I can say is Jack is starting to realize the seriousness of what is going on and it is more than
heartbreaking. He lost my mom and still cannot fly kites, listen to classical music, and a bunch of other things. he was just starting to come out of his shell when he Matt came out. Please keep him in your thoughts as he has been amazing with all the Chaos. I will add more about jack tomorrow or Monday. Although this is about Matt, all of you close to him know that jack meant the world to him and was his favorite person. I can barely understand fathom what he is going through. I WOULD LIKE TO THANK WHITNEY STEWART FOR HER AMAZING GIFT. IT CAME AL THE PERFECT TIME AND ALMOST FELT LIKE SOMETHING MY MOM WOULD HAVE GIVEN TO US. IT IS HELPING JACK AND I IMMENSELY
I would encourage Whitney to call me and not hesitate about giving me my space. I believe nothing but goodness will come from us talking. Again Thank you so much.

That leads me to all of you. Your endurance and attention to this had been amazing. Know that Matt would be touched that he is not being forgotten. He believed in community and yo have all shown that is possible. Thank you are going against the grain and having attention spans lol
I am working on a book of his drawings, words, pictures, etc... I know he was meant for greatness and still believe it is just around the corner. He was meant for big things and they will come to happen as time passes. Things have a way of happening as they should even if your heart is pulled out in the process

I guess this post had no use full info ( sorry) I will update more and more often as things are changing so quickly. Thank yo for understanding that my time is spent with Matt and being there for jack. I cannot imagine being eleven and losing two of the closes people in your life within a year and a half. He is a real hero. Thank you hero's as well

TO EVERYONE MY PHONE IS OPEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
AND I ENCOURAGE YOU TO VISIT OR SEND YOUR VOICE OR ETC...

I am exhausted as usual and apologize for the non informative post. i am having a meeting Wednesday that will BE VERY VERY BIG!!!!!!!!!!!!!! plus Rich will be back.
Thank you all for your patience and understanding


on a end note if anyone (Caleum or Kyle) has copies of Matt's TV show. I will pay for them to be copied as they are very special to me. If anyone has video, pictures, DRAWINGS, or etc... I will pay to have them copied and sent to me. It would mean the world to collect these things as Matt moved around so much and was also so giving. i plan on putting them to good use. it is just right NOW i am focusing on Matt, who i think would like to see those shows:)

take care, be well, eat good food, help someone you don't know, open your heart and love in a way you never have before, and live. If it seems as though I am distant, it is only because I have no time to focus on me there are many technical things to do and Matt has many needs. i just want you all to know that I am trying to take care of myself. Thank you and from now on if I cnno tupdate teh blog, i will have someone else do it, because things are changign so fast.

Again call, visit, yell, scream, laugh, cry, or just be. Whatever you so just know you are welcome to call or visit

Friday, December 3

post from Dec 2nd (Old Post)might be helpful might not alot has changed

Matt is still in the ICU at Providence. He is under isolation. That means the he is VERY SUSSEPTIBLE TO GERMS AND VERY SICK!!!!

When you visit you must 1. Wear a robe

2.Gloves

3.Mask

4.Then disrobe in room and sanatize

5. Your really not suppossed to bring things in BUT I explained

Matt's love of music and books and they conceded. (who could say

no to that face)



As I said Matt still has pneumonia. It is asperated Pneumoina and very heavy in the left lung. This could be for numerous reasons: tramua from teh accident, more nerological damage, or my guess THE NURSING HOME. He is being treated with antibiotics and just received a new one today.

To give you an idea of how sick Matt is: A normal/healthy person can get over pneumonia in about ten days as they can cough to help expell mucus and etc... A normal/heathy person also can take about 6 full weeks to fully heal from start to finsh (the ten days is the brunt of it).

Matt's pneumonia could go on and on and on............



HE is off the ventilator and breathign on his own. HOWEVER, BREATHING IS A STRUGGLE!!!! EVERY BREATH TAKES INCREDIBLE EFFORT!!!! IT IS EXTREMELY HARD TO WATCH HIM TRY SO HARD TO SOMETHING WE ALL TAKE FOR GRANTED. HE IS INCREDIBLY STRONG AND I AM INCREDIBLY PROUD OF HIM!!!!!



HE is suctioned about twice an hour (but could be suctioned more) The respitory nurses are great but you have to give him a break between suctions> Suctioning entails a tube that goes down his trach and into both lungs and suctions out the mucus. Even though Providence ICU has the best suction machine I have seen, this is still a HIGHLY UNPLEASANT THING TO HAVE DONE.



I am meeting with a new team of doctors to asses Matt care tomorrow, because as you can guess a new hospital (Providence)means a hole new team of doctors and therapists. In some ways his moving has been extremely frustrating but on the other hand has been extremely positive. His moving has allowed him not only a chance to be seen by many doctors and therapist (most who are at the top of their fields) but has also allowed us to get a fresh perspective every time he is seen



I would like to take a moment to thank all the people who have helped Matt up until now. Many of these people have given him there own personal time as well as going above and beyond in his care. I feel very blessed that Matt has been in good hands ( minus the 2 days at Nursing Home) as his journey continues.



I would also again like to say it is three am so I am sorry if none of this made sense. I will post tomorrow after the consult.



On a few quick end notes: I would AGAIN like to thank you all for your support both financial and emotional. As I said before Matt would be very touched to see he'd friends making such an enormous impact on his and our lives. Each of you has carried an enormous weight

since the accident happened and i would like to thank you each of you for carrying that weight

for making my load a little lighter.



As I said Matt is sick but I encourage ANYONE who wants to visit to come. Both Rich and My house are open. I figure with the holidays people might have time off ,so I just wanted to put it out there. If anyone has questions or is trying to figure out when to come please don"t hesitate to come. Also if you cannot afford it but would like to come, call me



I know this was a small update and I will get something up after are consult but I just wanted to take a moment to discuss Matt's nephew Jack. As you all know Matt was unbelievably close to my son. In fact this is the second time he has moved to Spokane to be with him/us. Jack was just adjusting to the lose of out Matriarch ( my mom his grand mom) When Matt moved to be with us. Matt was just settling into his role as favorite uncle riding bikes, reading jack to sleep, filling his Head with liberal propaganda and making him question authoirty, all the thing uncles do and then the accident. I cannot continue to right as the lump in throat is no longer a lump but a stream of tears. I would like to thank all the people who have emailed about Jack's Christmas and realize that this is the second xmas without my mom and the first with Matt farther away than he has been ever.

I will post somethings that could help me concerning jack's Christmas Sunday Dec 5th or 6th

Tuesday, November 30

Update on Matt after second trip 11/29

I just got back from the ICU and it is two am so I am going to make this brief, but will put something up tomorrow. I might have found a piggy back, YEAH ( I think Matt would be proud if he knew I was posting all my blog's without buying Internet, as they are a monopoly here Lol )

I am hoping to catch the doctor tomorrow and get to meet with Providence's Neuro people, cross your fingers.

The good new is they have him on a cocktail of antibiotics. They got his labs back and have isolated the type of pneumonia. The antibiotics seem to be working but will take a few days.
THE BAD NEWS IS: Matt is again on a ventilator. That means he is breathing somewhat on his own but with the help of a machine. The ventilator helps control the volume, among other things. Regardless of its job or if it is a set back, Matt seems much more comfortable. It was very hard to see him struggling to breath. Now that he is on the ventilator he is more at ease and it is much easier for him to breathe. I met with Respiratory {therapist} about 1 am and she said he seems to being doing a lot better. SHE is a suction master and that is always a plus in a respiratory therapist.
He's breathing was very troublesome early today (almost to hard to watch and very scary) but now with the ventilator, he seems much more comfortable. I am not sure how long he will be on the vent. In someway I would like him to get off but that means back to nursing home. If he stays on vent it is back to IDAHO ( YEAH!!) THOSE ARE ME AND MATT'S PEEPS. They love him their and always give him extra attention and care. Plus it is a hospital.

In addition to his breathing, his arm is more relaxed. I have been working with it so I am happy to see that he may be more comfortable - even if he still cannot use his right or left hand. I also worked with the staff about how to position his head. He is definitely more comfortable now that I have shown them what the Hardie Method is. Please don't get me wrong: they also take a lot of initiative and try to make him comfortable as well. As I said it is terrible for him to be in an ICU and may show what I feared ( decline in his all around health, or just a bad nursing home) but the care in the hospital is far superior and that makes me feel a little better. I just want to reiterate that he is stable. Pneumonia is serious and we will be taking this day by day. I just want you to know that he is in a place that has the tools and professional to take care of him at the standard I prefer or at least close (nothing has ever been good enough for Matt in my eyes, wait was that a bad girlfriend joke lol.) To be honest, there is one girlfriend in particular that has been stellar. I will leave her nameless for now but she knows who she is and how much she has helped. To her I say, "I found my blackberry PIN, talk to you soon."

That is not to say that all of you have not been amazing. Each of you is part of Matt's journey. You have each brought yourselves to the table and with that - your special gifts. I am thankful Matt has such caring and devoted friends. Thank You

Sorry to make this so brief but I am up at 4 tomorrow. I also talked to Rich and we will be meeting with Hospice of Spokane. They have come highly recommended from my doctor ( who is a friend and someone I hold in high regard) If things were to line up as they should, it would be great to move him from the ICU to hospice. I am not sure if Hospice is a long shot but whatever happens will happen as it should. I am, however, leaning on making whatever happens be what I want to happen :-)

NOW BEFORE YOU ALL PANIC: HOSPICE does not mean we are ending care but it is for people with less than 6 months. It would and could be a place for Matt to recover ( after which he would then move on to a rehab facility) or it could be a place for him to be at his most comfortable as he goes on another adventure.

We are only looking into this so please hold all questions, until I have further information. On a personal note I would be honored to work with Hospice as we know some of the nurses and Matt always agreed with their philosophies.

Again.... Thanks you all for your support.

Monday, November 29

Up date on Matt 11/29

To everyone,

First off I would like to again thank everyone for their support! You have all provided such wonderful emotional and financial support. When I have time I will personally send each of you who donated a card, showing just how your donation helped Matt (but no fighting over who got to buy him his foo foo shampoo). You all have been incredibly selfless during this time of economic hardship. I know many of you are students or just getting into the job market. I also figure some of you are much like Bo and I and are just starting to carve out a niche for yourselves or yourselves and your families, I am grateful for your sacrifice.
My guess to is that there are a lot of you like Matt who were so passionate is took them awhile to find there way, to those I say MATT would take passion over a paycheck any day, HIZZA!!!!

(f anyone is interested I would be happy to type up something filling you in on Matt's life, he has many adventures. He has always loved and been loved along the way. I know many of you were in and out of touch. To these people I say:

"They say everlasting friends can go long periods of time without ever speaking and never question the friendship. These types of friends can pick up like they just spoke yesterday, regardless of how long it has been or how faraway they live. They don't judge or hold grudges. They just accept. They understand that life is..........
They will always be friends, they will always be there for each other, they will always love each other, and most important they WILL ALWAYS BE FRIENDS."
( super cheesy but true, plus I am too tired to catalog my brain for something better)

I also want to thank yo for your understanding about me having NO TIME to update the blog. I am working on getting Internet ( Matt was helping when he moved out to Spokane and was with us. He was so amazing as an older brother!) When we moved we lost sharing with the library. I should have it up and running within the week ( if things permit). I need wireless for the whole house at a pretty high speed ( you can watch nursing video's at home, instead of at the school if you have a high enough speed). If any of you tech savvy people can tell me the best route to go that would be great. Me and Matt were going to pick up a router from craigslist and now I can't remember what kind on Internet he said to get after. If anyone has a few good ideas, it would make updating SO much easier. I have so much to share and am also glad to hear that all of you have not faded away. I would like to start updating more as things are now changing on a very fast basis, sometimes daily. I repeat Matt is stable and alive and nobody needs to panic! So again thank you and I will try to sit down every night or two from now on even if to just type a few sentences. You have all been so great by following the Blog, I feel I should better to inform you on Matt's condition.

UPDATE ON MATT

Matt moved to the nursing home on Monday afternoon. ( If anyone needs he address, please ask and I will post it) . I was there for transport, and as things go it is as far away as it could be. It is about the same distance as Post Falls only harder to get to because, you can't jump on the freeway. He seemed uncomfortable at first and very agitated. After they moved him I gave him a massage and changed his linens. We then listen to some Jazz and read two books ( I try to change it up) He seemed much more relaxed after we got settled.

He is very sensitive and now that he has a roommate (who watches TV, screams, and etc..) it is difficult. I am trying to get him moved into a room with someone a little more at his level.

The Nursing Home has four stars out of five but that is there score. I give them a big finger ( guess which one, sorry to offend anyone). They are a typical nursing home. I would even say under average, as I have worked at nursing homes here in Spokane. The Doctor is in twice a week, but has over 60 patients. He specializes in geriatrics, so I would not count on a lot of Nero help for new treatments ( although I am working on it and there are still some ideas) Doctor G ( who is way cool, and they only one who gave Matt a chance) is still consulting with us. She has been amazing and given a lot of extra attention to us. She once told me on a phone call "you can't help but fall in love with Matt" Amazing even in a coma, Matt gets a women to fall in love with him Lol.

He does have a nurse everyday but she also had many patients, so the care is at a level way less than in Idaho. He will still get respiratory therapy, Physical therapy, and Occupational therapy.

I am working closely with all of these people. I will be able to update you more as he is there longer.

THE BIG NEWS IS: that he contracted pneumonia on Thanksgiving and has now been moved to the ICU at Providence in Spokane. He is stable! He has all the things that go along with having Pneumonia: fever, trouble breathing, lowered immune system, longer trach but not bigger in diameter, etc...

He is stable and is not in danger of dying! However, pneumonia is never good for someone in his condition. They are starting him on antibiotics. They still start will a general like Leviquin and then after his sputum sample comes back they will be able to isolate what kind of pnemonia it is and treat it with more specialized antibiotics, an antibiotic that is just for that strain he has.

The good news in he is in ICU. HUH you ask, well the care is better there and he is monitored all the time. The people who take care of him are at a higher caliber. THE BIGGEST THING IS I AM WORKING ON GETTING ANOTHER NEURO DOC TO LOOK AT HIM. I am guessing with my persistence and maybe a call from Doctor G , we can make it happen :) She works within that hospitals group, so I am very hopeful. However, I do not want to raise any hopes. Everyone up till now has said there will not be a good outcome, except Dr. G and she said that as the most optimistic. She also said that we are fighting MAJOR ODDS and that realistically there is a little chance he will wake up. Everyday that he does not wake up is MAJOR. If he doesn't wake in around 3 months for the accident, she can almost tell us 100 percent that he will not. Then you have to take into consideration in what state he will wake up in? if at all. I am sorry to be so harsh but that is the reality of this situation and I want everyone to feel we are being upfront. Although it seems things we are going bad, I think HOPE IS ALWAYS AMONG US AND MATT HAS ALWAYS BEEN A FIGHTER

I would like to assure you we are doing ALL we can!!!!!!!! We are doing everything we feel Matt would want us to. I am even having a medicine man and Shaman come in ( can you even imagine the look on Matt's face if he knew I was trying this)

I am home for a moment and will be back up to hospital shortly. I will then update the blog.

Since it has been awhile, here are a few random updates:

We still have seen no movement out of Matt's left hand but I am still working on it.
I have some time to research things, but Steph has been a great help!!! If you have any information that you think helpful you can email me directly at katherine_hardie@yahooo.com it will be easier for me to get it and put it into action if it is something that can help. However, please remember that every brain injury and person's physiology is different. Matt has shearing which is very severe. You may see people walking 2 months after waking up ( in-fact we had a friend in a coma 3 months, who can, with impairment,walk and talk now. This only took him two months to do in rehab. So please understand every brain injury is not the same. If it would be helpful and is ok with Rich, I could post the MRI and some doctors reports. I am not sure if that would be helpful or not, please let me know.

He is opening his eyes less and less often, but it is common for him to be exhausted easily.

INFO FROM WHEN HE WAS IN IDAHO

In Idaho he could move his right hand, HE EVEN DID A THUMBS UP!!!! and looked at me. There was some conflicting reports but some people though the was tracking for about 30 seconds.

He could wiggle his toes. In fact Ally made a CD of camp K songs that really got his toes moving. Who knew that Matt was a closet hip hop/gangster rap lover lol. He cannot some his left leg and he can slightly pull up his right.

He only sweats through the right half of his face ( not through armpits, feet, etc..) this shows extensive damage to his left side. He also mostly likely has damage to his right as well.

In Idaho has right hand started to posture, which is different from contracting. From what the physical therapist said, range of motion cannot fix this problem ( I do continue to do range of motion, along with salves and massage.) The posturing is directly related to the Neurological damage. We tried a splint, but it would only cause him to not be able to use his right hand. It lame terms it was not correcting the posturing. It was only keeping his arm down from raising to his chin, not correcting his hand.This is problematic because if Matt's hand postures in this way, he will hav no use of it.

This leads me to the next issue. His head has started posturing to the right in Idaho and has gotten so bad that it cannot move. It is basically stuck looking to the right. Again, they think this is neurological. I am trying my best to keep working on it and at least get it centered, but it may never happen. I can assure you that I am keeping him as comfortable as possible, even though he is in this position. I got an a great gel pillow from Idaho ( shhh the nurses and pt gave it to me) and have found a way to place the pillows so he is the most comfortable.

Matt is still in a clam-shell brace when up in a wheel chair. He does not have to wear it in bed. Although this makes me worry about spine alignment, it is much more comfprtable for him.
He still has many fractures in his back (none paralyzing) .
They have assured us that he does not need surgery and that if we continue the clam-shell and alignment in bed, they will heal on there own.
I am still not convinced that his back does not need surgery, but at this point it is not an option. However, I do continuly bring it up to everyone:)


Matt has been listening to music, Although, I cannot play all music he likes yet ( might be to much stimulation) I am slowly playing more of his favorites. You can only listen to so much classical and etc.. for Nero help. He still is an avid reader, yet he prefers for me to read to him. This is great way for me to feel superior for all those years back when we were little and I wanted to play Yahtzee and he wanted to play trivial pursuit.
We have been reading a range of books, but are up for suggestions.

I have also been working with cards. Since he can no longer communicate with his right hand, I have been trying to get him to communicate with his eyes. I feel that this is easiest way for him. I am working on getting him to track right now, which is difficult BUT I THINK HE DID IT FOR THE FIRST TIME ON THANKSGIVING!
I think he looked down at the cards. He then looked up and down at another card.
Again, please do not get overly excited. They say that family is often delusional about reactions. However, I think we are more prone to understand his non verbal cues and that is why I am continuly working on having him be able to communicate anyway he can.

I am going to wrap this up as I am heading back up to hospital. As a said I will try to update teh blog after I have been up there tonight ( it might be very late or early morning)
Right now I while he is in ICU, i am just working on his comfort level and beating that pneumonia.
When he is healthy enough and back at teh nursing home, we will continue to work on his physical, and occupational therapy ( theirs and mine) .

I wish I had more time, as their is so much I would like to say..............

You all have been incredible and I think Matt would be very happy and proud to see a group of people band together for a cause. He often talked about many of you to me. To those I know and those I don't.......Matt held his friends very close to his heart. He may not have always been teh first to call or the first to call back ever lol, but know that all of you had a special place in his heart.

To his new and old friends of Matt's and anyone in between: know that I am doing my best to take care of Matt as I think he would want and as I know he would do for me. The only thing that sucks, is Matt would have already had this figured out ( man I loved that brain, in fact I loved everything from his often cheese smelling feet to his curls.

I wish I could post some quote to leave you all with, that would leave you with some sense of peace but I think right now the best advice I can give is to: take care of yourselves, live life, appreciate the day, think of Matt when it is good for you, have a fearless compassionate attitude toward your own pain and that of others, and most importantly love and be loved as Matt is and did.

Know that anyone of you are welcome anytime at my home.

On a side note: I am looking into Hospice of Spokane. I know that we would all want Matt to have ANY options available as we continue this journey.

Sorry if this post is out of order, little time and very tired.

Wednesday, November 24

Thankgiving Update

Hi all,

I just spoke with Kate and she wanted me to put up a little update. Matt has been moved to a nursing home in Spokane, about 40 minutes away from where Kate, Bo and Jack live. He was a little agitated during the move, I guess, but has settled in and has a roommate (a Buddhist). The team and doctor at the home are re-assessing where Matt is physically and cognitively and what treatments to consider.  

Because of Kate's nursing certification, they're letting her help with him more than they would most family members so she's able to be there a lot. She learned some new massage and pressure point techniques to help with some issues like Matt was grinding his teeth a lot and he's not doing that nearly as much. She's reading a science fiction book to Matt (and an anti-corporation book is next on the list-- he'll like that, I'm sure!). Eugene is doing well. 

She said thank you to everyone for the donations which are allowing her to pay for the gas to get back and forth from the (still quite far) nursing home. She goes there every day and will be there tomorrow to spend Thanksgiving with her brother. I know all have said this but I just have to say it is incredibly moving to see how hard she is working for her brother. We'd all be lucky to have someone like Kate in our lives during difficult times.

Alison

Thursday, November 18

The Odds to Beat

I haven't talked to Kate yet today but we've exchanged texts back and forth regarding the meeting at the hospital yesterday. She indicated that what I had predicted the doctors/administrators would talk about today was indeed correct. I'll call it the 'odds game' for lack of a better term though, in Matt's case, I'd rather call it "the Odds to Beat" because I know Matt would want to beat these odds as well. He's already beat the coma odds. Why stop there?

There is nothing 'light-hearted' in these odds, however. I don't mean to be glib. From the recently posted pictures (all of which tore at my heart just a little bit further) and from brief discussions on the extent of Matt's brain injury (see post on diffuse axonal injury - DAI), I am assuming that Matt's DAI is moderate to severe. In cases of severe DAI, the chance of recovering from/coming out of a coma are less than 10%. The numbers are less clear for moderate DAI but are somewhere in the 20 percentile range. For those who do come out of their coma, most are moderately to severely impaired. The severity of impairment relates directly back to the severity of the axonal damage (DAI) which relates directly to the force of the impact (how hard the brain hit the skull as it was forced to decelerate from a higher speed). Since Matt was on a bike (not in a car) he was traveling at a moderate speed (not a high speed like 60+ mph) and, therefore, the force of his deceleration would not be as great as the forces at work during a car crash. I hope that makes sense. It is still serious but there may be less damage to axons (moderate damage vs severe).

In any case, the doctors would weigh all of this information along with his MRIs and progress to date. Knowing that his chances of full recovery are slim and that the likelihood of him being moderately to severely impaired is around 80-90% (based on previous clinical cases), they would make the decision to transfer him to a facility that deals with the moderately/severely impaired in order to open up a bed for someone whose probability of recovery is, perhaps, 50/50. None of it seems fair nor does it seem to take into account the patient's best interest or the proper time necessary for recovery. However, to doctors/administrators, clinical case evidence is what they have to go on; and with administrators/insurance companies pushing for a free bed (for whatever reason but I suspect they do not view Matt as a primary candidate for their comprehensive resources) this is their only alternative. I'm not defending there decisions. Bouncing critical care patients around is nasty busy for both patients and families.

This is, however, just my interpretation. As I said, Kate and I bounce text messages back and forth like lightning some times. I'm sure much gets muddled in the translation.

Right now, we all have time - time to re-evaluate and reflect upon the situation that has brought us all together. There is no longer the urgency of 'life and death' but now the more painstaking process of 'watch and wait'. I often wonder which I loath more. I also often wonder what Matt would do faced with the news of, and with seeing, me in the same state. I know he would be profoundly moved; utter a classic "damn"; offer his help/support; perhaps reach for a cigarette. I know he would find much injustice in the accident and in the state of my semi-conscious life.

Regardless of how this progresses and how long it takes, I know his biggest concern would be for Kate and for Jack. He would not want them to worry nor to be hurt further by this incident. He would want to protect them, to help them, to care for them. I feel that is now my primary responsibility / our primary responsibility in this situation. If we do one thing for him, it should be to support and love his family the way he would want to. I intend to do just that. for him.

Stef

Tuesday, November 16

Day 16 / update on Matt

2nd call from Kate tonight:
  • Matt's eyes are tracking more often
  • he is breathing more on his own but they can't reverse tracheotomy (sp?) until he's actually aware that he needs to keep his tongue back so he doesn't gag on it
  • Kate is checking on this but it seems that NIACH is planning on moving Matt to basically what we would call a nursing home
  • she's planning on meeting with the head doc at NIACH tomorrow morning to find out what' going on, what he thinks of Matt's progress, etc.
  • He's doing his 'thumbs-up" for response still
The nursing home he would be going to is NOT the one that they'd talked about in their meeting; from what I understand, it would be a place - not where people go for rehab - but a place that takes care of people in Matt's condition, as it is now, for long long term.

I find it odd the way they/the hospital decides to move Matt...and then...we find out from a nurse - strange.

Waiting for Kate AND Rich to call me back - a lot going on. It's just breaks my heart to hear the anguish in Kate's voice, the tiredness, and not be able to be there in person. I will tell you one thing, she is made of steel. That's the reason she has to call me back. It's 5pm there, I guess, and she's bound and determined to get one of the docs on the phone - NOW!

Here's what I'm trying to work on...

It's really hard being the 'main' person in a situation like this. I know what it's like & probably many of you do also. (The reason I'm having a hard time getting the specific answers is because she doesn't feel comfortable asking for help....also, because she doesn't have any other family out there, besides Bo, Jack & Rich...or her mom, and she feels so alone, I just try to listen and encourage her and talk through things that are bothering her...so, point being...I don't get to the part where I ask what kind of dog food Eugene eats or what size exactly does Jack wear. Even if I do, she may want to talk about Matt, what he was like at the hospital that day, what doctors she was able to talk to, what do we think think will happen in the next month, etc.
I do know that, altho she is really good at saving & budgeting (no clothes for herself for 3 years; she'd rather that Jack have decent clothes -that fit!) she can't handle the financial onslaught coming at her.

To help Kate be able to help Matt, this is what I'm going to try to do
  • get name of gas station she uses (so someone can donate a gas card)
  • Eugene's (Matt's dog) food costs $45 - just don't know the brand
  • Jack's clothes sizes (he outgrew 3 -yes 3!- new pairs of jeans that she bought him a month ago; he is at that size where he doesn't fit in the large boys or the mens small....that's a tough phase
  • name of her grocery store (for a grocery card)
  • types of foods that Kate, Bo & Jack like to eat (she buys healthy food, when she was talking on the phone to me while at the grocery store, she commented, "What kind of grocery store doesn't have organic carrots?"
  • find out what the heck the problem is with the Sprint service in Spokane
  • snacks that Kate likes since she is in the car a lot now
  • car panel (for repair) - cost of that
  • Xmas for Jack (she's worried that, on top of her being gone now when he's home from school, she is not going to be able to make a really good Xmas for Jack - since Matt won't be there - and Jack has been really helpful while his mom is trying to do what she can for Matt
  • Haircuts - I"m sure that's coming up
  • Wrapping paper, etc.

A month & a half after Matt's Oct 4 accident

Kate & I were talking as she drove to visit Matt; she puts me on speakerphone, it's a little rough for conversation but it's one of the few times we can talk 'alone' - smile. When she got to his room, he was in his wheelchair so she told me she'd call back. Her voice sounds so much younger & carefree & excited when she sees Matt doing something - it's kind of bittersweet.
I titled this post 'A month & a half' for a reason. The reason we have this blog to post on, courtesy of Alison, is to keep tabs on Matt's progress. But, it strikes me that....in this godawful month & a half....how much this has not only affected Kate, Bo & Jack's and Rich's life but has really pushed them to their limits - in many ways. Obviously, we all care about Matt & want him to get better. But, I am realizing that there are secondary casulties from Matt's accident. I know that Kate is gone a lot from home now and that's an abrupt change for Jack. When she gets home, she's tired. She's worried about everything she's not able to do right now & what will the future hold for Matt?
Before Matt's accident, they were talking about how this will be the 2nd Xmas without Anne ...and that was a pretty big deal. Now, as Kate said, "We have one LESS person at Christmastime. Matt was so bonded with Jack." Then, she goes on to say that she's 'ok, just having a little pity party....things will be fine, etc." - she worries that I'll get upset and sad when she talks about the hard parts.
I know this blog is about Matt, but since Kate is the one actually checking on Matt...it's sort of about her, too. I think there will be another month & a half of this, at least.
I'm going to get a list together, with specifics, and see if maybe, together we can help Kate so she doesn't get worn out not only taking care of her own family, of herself
but also doing everything she can to help Matt.













ok so these aren't best thst best but the best are coming.......................
Was with man again today and tonight.
Wish I had more time but it is one a.m. and I am up at four thirty.
I am calling Alison tomorrow with a plan that I think could really get things going so get ready.......
YOu have all been wonderful and I wish I had more time to express my graditude for your support and donations. Know that every hour extra I am with Matt is because of one of you.

Monday, November 15

Traumatic Brain Injury / Diffuse Axonal Injury

Hi everyone. Stef here. Many thanks to Alison for giving me 'post' permissions. If I can help explain some of the medical intricacies involving Matt's condition, I will try. Kate and I are going to try to connect this evening to go over some of the questions/concerns she has regarding his condition.

Matt's TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) is due to Diffuse Axonal Injury, or DAI (due to shearing of the axons). Axons are the long, slender highways of nerve cells. Bunches of axons coming from the brain's 'gray matter' are usually termed 'white matter'. Axons are key in sending signals within/to/from the brain. They transmit the impulse from one nerve cell to the next - from gray matter to gray matter. Signaling is key in brain activity. When the brain is injured during major trauma (usually from deceleration), brain activity is impaired due to inflammation but also due to stretching and/or 'snapping' of axons. The prognosis for someone with DAI is dependent upon the severity of the shearing. Usually, lesions formed of axonal debris are visible in an MRI.

I wanted to explain all of this because Matt's brain injury is due to axonal shearing. I'm not certain if the doctor's have determined the extent of that just yet. As I said, outcome is variable though, from the literature, more severe cases of DAI remain severely impaired indefinitely. I am hopeful that Matt is not one of these cases. One of the videos I posted on my blog was of Cody. His father let me know, in an email, that Cody hit a tree while skiing out of control on a snowboard. His speed was estimated at over 30 mph. He sustained major TBI / DAI and is now attending college. He spent 2 years in hospital and doesn't remember the first 14 months of it.

I hope this is helpful in some way to those of you who want to know what is going on. It is heartbreaking because progress, at this stage, is very slow.

We love you, Matt Hardie. Hang in there.  - Stef

Thursday, November 11

Matt's back

I forgot that, during the meeting on Tuesday, we asked them about Matt's back. What he has are transverse fractures, which heal on their own. So, that is not an issue now.

Costs are adding up left & right - the donations are really helping

Kate is doing a great job figuring out how to pay for everything that is coming up. She is really very careful with the donations and really doesn't feel comfortable using the donated money -even though that's what it's for. But, I KNOW that she is getting pelted with extra costs due to Matt's accident.
For instance, he has so much stuff that we can't do anything with it but keep it in storage - big payment there. A wonderful woman is taking care of Matt's dog, Eugene and Kate just told me (which I didn't even think about) that she has to pay for dog food - another added financial burden. The woman taking care of Eugene is doing it out of the goodness of her heart.
To get her car fixed is an additional cost -even with the kind offer of Tim to repair it for free - she has to pay for a part & is worried about not having enough money for gas to be able to drive and see Matt. On top of that, their other car that died recently, cost a whopping amount of money to fix!! Gas costs her $7 for each trip - we're looking at at the least another 3 weeks of the 1 1/2 drive - which really adds up. I know there are more expenses, and as we all know, the little things add up. She's got a lot of new financial responsibilities and she has no choice whether or not to pay for them. So, all the donated money is a godsend and highly appreciated I don't know what she would do without your help! She does not like having to ask for money. Just know that every dollar is really helping!

Day 11 - Nancy brought a meal!!! Matt - same / Car & SPRINT serviced phone still problematic

Kate was so thrilled when she called me to tell me that Nancy had brought over a complete meal for her and her family!!! It turned out that Kate's day had been particularly hectic, more than her regular busy hectic days, so it was kind of a miracle when Nancy showed up with a meal. Even if you can't get Kate by phone (her phone service is totally messed up - I think it's Sprint), I say, go ahead & take a meal over. If she doesn't answer the door, she may be catching up on sleep. I know she talks with her neighbors and I'm sure that you could drop a meal off with them - they're good people. :-)
As far as Matt's condition goes, there's not anything new that I know of. One of the staff's goals is to wean him off the ventilator and Kate says Matt is doing really well breathing on his own. His awareness level (my term) seems to be the same.
Last night, when Kate & I talked, her phone lost the connection 'only' twice, I think...when she walked out of the ONE room where the phone works - it was pure garble. Did I say SPRINT was her carrier? She was starting to tell me about her car issues when her SPRINT service dropped the call...I think what she started to explain was that the battery got zapped, broken...don't know the term.
One of our things we do to try to keep positive when we're talking about all these things that keep breaking or not working, or, for example, when she was telling me how the owner of the house near which she had to park her car when it died starting berating Kate for leaving her car there..that it almost makes you want to laugh because it's so ridiculous......" that it's not bad enough that Matt has had this accident, been in a coma for a month, what she really needs is MORE stress."
So, like Nancy, I want everyone that has been helping to know that their help has made a HUGE difference to Kate. Now, if she could just get her SPRINT serviced phone to not drop calls, have the ability to get internet at her house...she could tell you that herself. Hopefully, we'll get that issue resolved. But, for now, especially the next 3 weeks, Kate will be busy visiting Matt and wants everyone to know that Matt & her family are her priorities right now.
P.S. Elizabeth wrote a very interesting & informative comment on my Day 10 posting - about hospital options, etc.

Wednesday, November 10

Day 10 / Meeting with case manager, therapists,etc.

Yesterday, Rich & Kate met with a whole slew of people who are on Matt's 'team'. Basically, it's still a waiting game with Matt as no one can predict what progress he will make or how fast it will go. They did clear up one question we had as we kept getting conflicting answers on whether or not he was considered to be still in a coma. They explained that they use the Rancho Scale that goes from 1-8, not a 'coma scale'. From what I understood, it's based on his ability to respond/progress. Right now, he's 'hovering', I think they said, between a 1 and a 2. Their goal for rehab, they explained, is to move Matt up the scale - and, of course, they can't predict what he will be able to do. They're hoping in the next 3 weeks to make progress as whether or not he is able to stay at NIACH depends on his progress. (I was on speakerphone & everybody was talking at once - hah!). I believe the protocol is that the case manager, Sherri (sp?) monitors his progress and by the end of November will send in a form to ...who, didn't get that part...Medicaid possibly...or Social Security...with his current status/progress; kind of like re-applying for Matt to stay at NIACH. Apparently, the amount of time granted can vary. We're hoping that, one, he makes some progress in the next 3 weeks, and, two, if the case manager feels that Matt needs to stay at NIACH, that he is able to stay there & continue to receive rehab & a high level of care. So, to reiterate, we don't know how long he'll stay where he is; it depends on what kind of progress he makes, when and where he will go next depends on many factors.

Tuesday, November 9


Think I must've just gotten home from school and Anne was probably trying to get stuff done...I'm sure I got him out of the playpen & played with him since that was one of my main activities - love babies! And, he was a very happy baby.

This is probably in the afternoon, after I got home from school, Anne was probably making dinner. By the way, all these baby pics of Matt are from when we lived in Wausau, Wisconsin

I used to get up early to go to morning swim practice & a lot of times, when I peeked in on Matthew (as we used to call him) he was wide awake - just being content in his crib. So, I'd put him in his little car seat while I was eating cereal and would give him sips of my milk. I learned later, from my own kids, that I was lucky that Matt was content to sit in the car seat & watch me the whole time - a sweet baby!

Don't know how to add pictures to Picture Page


This is Matt, I think around age 2, victim of my love of dressing him up in silly outfits - LOL. He is wearing my college swimming cap & goggles and one of my shirts. I don't know why I did this -hah!

Monday, November 8

Apple Store in Spokane offering to help!!!!

Am still waiting to hear from Kate but am so excited!! The manager emailed me & asked what their group of 75 people could do!!! I couldn't give her a definite answer but am so excited that I keep making typos because I'm typing so fast!! :-D

Day 8/ no Matt news yet/ excited about car repair offer!

Actually, I did get to text w/Kate but then we both fell asleep after Jack fell asleep - LOL - did that 2 nights in a row. All I know is that Matt is looking to Kate like he's in pain, we figure that is is surely from his back as he had several fractured vertebrae and 1 that was crushed. Kate is checking out the situation w/docs at NIACH. Seems odd to us that they're waiting/not fixing his back but, on the other hand, I know less than Kate does...and I haven't been able to talk to Kate or reach her yet today (around lunchtime).
I just checked the blog comments & was SO EXCITED to see that 2 people who have been following the blog, a couple driving by the accident, Aunt Kathy & Tim, offered to help repair Kate & Bo's car!! Whoo - hah!!!
Am still trying to get Kate's Phone Issue worked out....she has Sprint service and we figure she needs a land line & probably a different phone service. The problem is, ironically, I can't actually get her on the phone to see what's up.
We're both actually keeping a sense of humor with all this going on...we figure that it's not enough 'just' to have Matt to take care of....that we're so tough that we need more challenges, like: both of her cars breaking down, her phone losing the connection at least once during every phone call (even locally), and then all sorts of things that have come up 'in our regularly scheduled lives" that need to be done yesterday - LOL. We'll manage ...but with your help it's made it bearable and workable - thanks everybody!
P.S. Does anyone know why the 'posting time' is so different from the real time? It says I posted this at 10:42 and it's almost 1pm!!!

Sunday, November 7

Thanks, get well

Hi all- just wanted to say thank you to those of you who have donated so far and also encourage everyone to write something on the "Get well" wall-- just had a crazy experience with running into an old Indiana friend (of mine and of Matt's) in Brooklyn, and I put that story there (Gigi!!)-- I'm sure soon enough the messages can be read to Matt and they'll cheer him and Kate up during this difficult rehab process.

Friday, November 5

Day 4 / Here's Matt & Kate at the hospital - the flash made him close his eyes

Food, gas, etc.!

Re: Susi's request for Kate and family-- they need some help! We have raised $650 from about 20 people which is great, but it would be great to send more, to help Kate get to and from Idaho (with gas and the car breaking down -- anyone know a mechanic willing to donate time in Spokane?), and help her take care of her son and herself, too. 


I know way more than 20 folks check the blog: can you make meals and bring them if you're in the area? Or fix a car? Or donate (even just $5)? 

Or-- someone put this up as a comment, but I wanted to have it in a post, since it's such a good idea!--   people could donate an Amazon fresh gift card (http://fresh.amazon.com/), that could help with getting groceries... or some sort of grocery delivery service (does Safeway have delivery there?) I also found this: http://www.freshabundance.com/
http://www.thedeliveryboy.com/

Real younger days



Here is a picture of Matt, Me, and my MOM. ( I like how he appears to be hugging me but then waving at my mom behind my back. ( what can I say? except it appears Matt has always been good at juggling two women at the same time)

Thursday, November 4

Day 4/Thurs Nov 4 - we're all starting to start to get in a routine :-)

Kate is learning Matt's routine, Kate & I are learning what is the best way to get info on the blog; she's going to call me w/updates (like the way reporters used to do in the old days) and then I'll rush the 'news to the presses, we're still learning & trying to get more medical info from the docs. Here it is (Kate's words):
  • Matt was in a wheel chair when Kate arrived; when he heard Kate's voice, he opened eyes, then started blinking (but not tracking/focusing)
  • When Kate held his hand, he kept squeezing HER hand a lot - didn't squeeze the washcloth after so possibly he meant to squeeze her hand
  • Matt's eyes didn't stay open the whole time during her visit - too tired, she thinks
  • When Kate held his hand, he did a thumbs up repeatedly; when she let go of his hand, she noticed he was still doing a thumbs-up's... so she said, "Matt, you're doing a thumbs-up for a whole minute." And, he immediately quit doing thumbs-up!!!
  • Kate thinks that Matt sort of understands that she is someone with whom he is really familiar with but she thinks he can't really comprehend/realize that it is her, his sister (memory stuff)
  • Major News Flash - Whoa! She just texted me that he moved his eyes & she thinks he was actually seeing/looking at her - she is so excited!!!!!! This was about 8 pm just now!!!! Notes/What's on Tap
  • It takes 6 people to get Matt into a wheelchair
  • The staff tries to simulate a night/day routine to help PTs retrain their brain
  • Thus, they have him in a wheelchair just as one would not be in bed all day
  • Big Huge Fact: Matt is making slow but steady progress - yeah Matt!!!!
  • re tests, etc: dearth of info on that; Kate is trying to rectify that
Please, please, please.... Is there anybody in Spokane that knows Kate & Bo (and Jack and Rich) and is following this who can/will help Kate and her family out?

Don't wait for her to ask you for help - she won't! TELL her that you're going to set up a kind of a Team Kate with other moms/dads & you just need to know:
  • what's on her grocery list
  • what do Bo, Kate & Jack like to eat for dinner
  • when & where does Jack need to go after school for activities
Do not let her say, "No", refer any financial concerns to me, please. I'll figure out something to take care of it. It might be good to sort of make a schedule so she knows who is dropping off a meal & when ((Rich's work did that for him when Anne died, engineers & surveyors) It was awesome! They made a schedule & it made things SO much easier & less stressful! They even had a 'Snack Detail" - that's a good idea especially since Kate & Rich have to drive so long back and forth to NIACH ). Does anyone know someone who knows how to fix cars inexpensively?
I'm her aunt & like I said, I'm really protective and get along really well with both Matt & Kate (unless they make me mad - smile). I knew them since before they were born because I lived w/Anne at the time (went to college at UW- Eau Claire). In fact, Matt was 3 weeks overdue and it was SO hard to wait for him to be born - I was so excited! I was around for their pre-K years. I was one of those girls that (and still do ) loves babies and little kids and I loved to play with them for hours whenever I was home. I'm sure she could do everything herself, and Rich, too - and I'm also pretty darn sure she's getting worn out. She's been doing a lot, been under a lot of stress (car issues, etc.) and I think that not just her phone batteries are running low but HER energy is running low. I'm worried that she'll just keep going until she wears herself out...and there is no reason for her to do it all just because she can & will force herself to go to the store at midnight or whenever she gets some free time. She needs to take care of herself too.

Ever since Anne passed away, I didn't want them to ever ever ever feel like like they didn't have a mom-type person in their lives. This last year or more has been kind of tough all the way 'round in that regard. Anyway, I love 'em to pieces even tho they can drive me crazy sometimes - just like my own kids! My email is snl@everestkc.net

Wednesday, November 3

More Random Thoughts but it gave me an idea...

....Kate was telling me that because Matt is left-handed and even though his spinal cord is not damaged or severed, i.e., he's not going to be paralyzed, it seems like he might have more physical problems on his left side & (this is getting way ahead of things but I have a point - LOL) if he isn't able to use his left hand very well, it would be very problematic.

But, she was excited because she'd looked at Apple products and they make a computer that resolves those kinds of problems for people who like to use the computer. It started me thinking about how, at some point, when we have a better idea where Matt is physically & mentally, it would be helpful to the family to get ideas along that line.

Tuesday, November 2

In the famous words of Mary Shelly and Samuel Jackson "He's Alive! and is the one with the wallet that reads bad mother fuc@er on it.

TO EVERYONE ( I am at hospital beside Matt),

First off I would like to take a moment for us all to REALLY STOP and THANK ALSION. I would like to thank her for not only having the idea (shout out to Kate H) and follow through but the energy and time to facilitate this blog. She has taken a large burden off are family and allowed us to focus our efforts on Matt. She has not only given are family a place to update you, but has given us a outlet to share stories, pictures, well wishes, and whatever else we might want during this emotional time. Alison has done something most people only talk about.......... what you asked did she do? She made a difference! Her selfless act allowed me to spend time talking to doctors, nurses, therapist, and most importantly Matt, all the while still allowing everyone to get updated. She not only thought about how this effects her but had the maturity, empathy and humanity to wonder how this was really effecting us. She raised funds (I will get to those thanks you shortly) that allow me to travel to Idaho twice daily and cover any bills that Matt may need taken care of while he is recovery. Since the acccident Allison has not only taken away stress but been a wonderful confidant, friend, and ally as we fight to get Matt back. She has given her time, energy and compassion to are family during a difficult time and we can never thank her enough. She is an asset to the world and I am happy to call her a friend. I am even more touched to know that Jack (The love of Matt's life, sorry ladies) is being raised in a world with people like Alison who have never and will never give up on making this a better world .I cannot thank her enough for the wonderful place she has created for all of us. Matt and her have always been close and shared a special friendship. I cannot began to tell you how touched he would be and how moved he would be to see what she had done. She not only honored Matt by making a difference but honored us by caring enough to share Matt's memory and now his recovery with all of you. Matt is a wonderful person, who encountered many wonderful people along his journey,(and now will continue to do so) Alison Powell was one of those people and we all owe her a debt of gratitude for the Blog that she had so graciously created and continues to facilitate. I am so thankful for the friendship that she and my brother shared and still share. I wish I has some awesome quote or something spectacular to end with but I am exhausted and so I will say a quite thank you and ask that as you spend time on this blog you take a moment to thank the creator and facilitator ( THE AWESOME ALISON P.)

I would like to continue my thanks to the many people that have donated, contributed pictures, well wishes, thoughts or just read the blog....... but I am truly exhausted. I have been journaling Matt's recovery and informing my Aunt by phone. I am hoping in the next few days as Matt's therapies (physical, occupational, speech, respiratory, etc..) take on a more regular basis, that i will be able to post daily on his progress. I have refrained from posting pictures of his recovery as they are very hard to see. I am considering posting them but need some time to way the ramifications of them being up. I am however hoping in the near future to figure this out and have something in the photo realm to go with the daily reports. I also am still processing this whole event and appreciate your understanding and compassion. I often wonder how Matt would want me to handle this and can only say to myself "hey Matt, I am your sister what did you expect".

To reiterate Matt is awake and off the coma scale YEAH! I am usually with him the whole day and then from 10pm to 2am (as we know he could be a night owl). I cannot believe the out pour of support we have received and only hope I can repay it by making good on my idea for taking my daily recovery journal and using it to update the blog.

I also have not forgotten the wonderful people who have donated their money to help Matt and I will address my appreciation to them tomorrow when my eyes are not just half open. I would also like to thank you all for being a major support system through this devastating time. Everyone has been amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well it is 2am and I am up at 4 (excuse the grammer and format all you english majors) so
I will end with the simple but wonderful news that Matt does what Matt does best and kicked this accidents Ass!!!!!!!!!!!!!!