You can see in the picture above that his left side is more damaged
Kate said he frowns a lot - especially when they move him - looks like it's in response to pain but no one can tell her 'yes' or 'no'

The brace on his arm is to keep it from contracting & curling up onto his chest


From Alison:     
Just got home from Quaker meeting in Brooklyn; while there, I saw a familiar face. Gigi Sperber came in, sat down and quietly took her seat. Gigi is a friend from Indiana, and a friend of Matt's-- I knew she lived in Brooklyn and we'd occasionally send Facebook messages but I haven't seen her in a few years. 

Someone stood up during meeting and talked about running into old friends in New York-- and all the while, I was trying to get Gigi's eye! A crazy coincidence to run into her there, on this particular Sunday-- I usually go to the Manhattan meeting when I go, and hadn't been to this meeting in about a year. Toward the end of the meeting Gigi stood up and thanked everyone (about 70 people or so! Lots of Quakers in Brooklyn) for thinking of Matt over the past few weeks-- I guess she'd stood after the accident and asked everyone to keep him in their thoughts. She told everyone that he's awakened and that it is the first stage in recovery. 

Right when she sat down I caught her eye! We both burst into tears and hugged each other when the meeting was over. So-- Matt-- the Brooklyn Friends Meeting is pulling for you!

Kate and Matt-- the flash made him close his eyes, but they're open usually!

Kate says he gave her another thumbs-up and has definitely been responding to her being there. The nurses are putting him in a wheelchair to get him breathing naturally on his own.

From Don, Nancy and Truman:

Hi Matt and Family,

I am so thrilled to hear that Matt is making progress. He is such a strong man and I know will continue to improve. I just discovered your blog site yesterday and boy what a day to check in.
Kate, Rich, Jack , Bo and Susi I think of you often. You know I am right down the street and would sure be happy to have Jack come over and hang with Truman. I will keep checking in.

All our good thoughts and prayers,

Don, Nancy and Truman

From Alison: 

Hi all,

So I thought it might be good to have a page for well 
wishes and encouragement, and also for ideas or thoughts on healing (Stef, I hope it's OK that I've posted some of your stuff below)! If you have stories to share or anecdotes or suggestions please put them here. 

Here's the address of the facility he's at, if you want to send cards or things: 

600 North Cecil 
Post Falls, Idaho 

From Stef:

Susi, I wanted to re-iterate what you said about too much stimulus... it is so important to keep that to a minimum at this critical stage. For Kate as well. This is NOT the time to visit Matt - it will be overwhelming for him to try to process all of that information at once - he may become agitated, irritable, and regress instead of progress. Kate, as well, needs to focus on what the doctor's are telling her and not be distracted by visitors. I would, at this point, keep visits to a minimum if at all. If you are going to be there, be there for Kate in Spokane - help with Jack, make some meals, do some laundry, and let her deal with Matt.

 I'm so relieved that he is awake. I went to some of my neurology notes/texts the other day and found something that made me realize that doctors are sometimes too guarded and/or completely wrong. In terms of patient outcome, one of my notes reads "most comas end with repetitive, frequent eye opening. This is the onset of regaining consciousness. More than 90% of patients who open their eyes regain consciousness." So his eye opening did mean something, regardless of what the doctor's said

Try to avoid the typical hospital visit scenario whereby well-meaning friends would show up to say hello for an hour a day etc. He probably won't be able to manage such visits for at least a few months, maybe more.  This also depends on his 1-8 scale of consciousness because that is an issue as well. They still need to determine whether his responses will be generalized, localized (requiring total assistance and intervention), or confused/agitated, appropriate/inappropriate etc. 

Frequent visits/stimulus may cause him such distress that he may try to pull tubes, move from a certain position and injure himself further, etc. Also, going to the NIACH and expecting the usual Matt will be more of a shock than anything. Displaying any kind of shock, sadness, or extreme emotion will not help him in any way. It is best to be very calm, talk very little, move very little, and to not challenge him to think/react in any way. Say "hi Matt. I'm ____. I'm your friend". Try to avoid asking questions like "How are you? How are you feeling? What are you doing today?" Because his mind will be triggered to respond but it will get muddled in the transfer. 
Imagine being asked a critical question in another language and knowing, inherently, that you should respond immediately but you don't speak the fact, you don't speak. You want so badly to convey something because, somehow, you know you have to, but you can't. You will become frustrated, angry, and perhaps aggressive trying to get the message out. That is how he will feel for these first few days/weeks. Don't ask him questions. Everything should be simple reassurances and cues from Kate - who he knows/trusts. If anyone does visit, keep it BRIEF and simple "Hi. I'm ___ . I'm your friend".

The basic, simple message (if I can beat this to death, please) is: "Things are good. I'm a friend. You're getting better." Reassurance and support are key.

I only know some of this through patients I have worked with at the Homewood (rehab / mental health facility) who have had psychotic breaks, medication induced comas (overdoses), or prolonged amnesia/stupor (due to drugs/alcohol). A lot of the literature on "awakening" and the state of the brain is the same.

Matt Hardie is also one of the strongest and now most miraculous people I know. He may be able to have visitors next week. However, I would watch here for your messages from Kate in that regard. The hospital will work with Kate on all of the protocol surrounding his rehabilitation including visitors.