Past Updates On Michael 2…

Past Updates On Michael 2…

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Subject: Awesome Dedication

Date: 4/6/2004

From: Don Schneider at W4SN

 

Good afternoon Chrissy,

 

Where or where does the time fly off to? The days, the minutes and hours turn into months and now, over a

year since Michael's accident. On behalf of myself and all the people involved with the W4SN, I wish you,

your family, friends of Michael and above all Michael himself all the wishes for a full recovery. I hope that

in these times you have all grown closer to each other. I was told a few words before I left to go to another

Western 4-Stroke National event in Texas last weekend that struck a nerve in my heart and mind, a couple

spots that should be readily available, but at times I must have blocked those area's out. For that is true to

a degree, most can attest to that.

However,  I am alive to say these words whom my dearest Jennifer Madsen told to me, "Don, you should treat

people like you may never see or hear from them again. Do it with a smile, for your smile can melt people's

hearts."  I happen to tell those words to a few people while out at the Cycle Ranch last weekend in Floresville,

Texas. You know,  I am completely overwhelmed with emotions sometimes when I think of the last time I saw

and talked with your brother. It was all good, and I can always see his smile, knowing that a that given time,

he was having the best time of his life racing motocross. I wish Michael all the best and may you all find

comfort in the words that Jennifer told to me that I have now shared with you.

 

I am cordially asking that you all offer your prayers to a 4-Stroke Pro rider (Todd Knight) whom was injured on

Sunday, April 4th during the event. I have updated my Home Page at www.4StrokeNationals.com with your

request to link to the NEW Michael Stanton web page and have started a NEW web page for Todd now. I so

much encourage everyone support in this time of need and devotion.

 

Kind regards to all, Respectfully, Yours "4" Better Racing,

Don Schneider

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Subject: Back at CareMeridian

Date: 4/5/2004

From: Chrissy

 

I just talked to my Mom a little while ago and she told me Michael moved back to CareMeridian as of this evening.

She was not at all happy with the UCSF staff’s quality of care over the last day and a half nor is she comfortable

with the changes they recently made in Michael’s care and medications, despite her expressed concerns. Due to

their changes, Michael had a rather difficult and unrestful night last night. The head of CareMeridian, their

head of PT and their head RN all came by UCSF to see Michael today. They evaluated Michael and assured my

Mom that he would get better post-op care being back at CareMeridian. So any of you that would like to go see

him or send get well card, gifts, flowers, etc can once again send them to CareMeridian. The address is listed

above.

 

I’ll post another update once Michael is settled back in at the place he’s called home since July.

 

Bye for now

~Chrissy~

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Subject: Starting to respond better

Date: 4/5/2004

From: Chrissy

 

Hi Everyone

 

I went down to UCSF yesterday to visit Michael. He’s still there, in room #L1207 and it looks like he will be for a

few more days at least. He was not real focused when I first got there, kind of zoned out, but he looked pretty

comfortable and his heart rate wasn’t high, so I knew he wasn’t in any pain. He raised his eyebrows and changed

his facial expression as I talked to him and showed him the huge handful of stickers that my boss had given me for

decorating Michael’s new wheelchair. We stuck them everywhere we could on there, I’ll have to take a picture next

time I go down for a visit. We had the staff get him out of bed and into his chair, then we took him for a “push”

around his hospital floor so my Mom could take a little nap. She’s been by his side the whole time of course, barely

sleeping a wink. She’s bound and determined to see that he get the best care he needs, he’s kept comfortable and

nothing gets overlooked and no mistakes are made this time, as they have been in the past. As she puts it, she is

Michael’s care advocate since he can’t be his own right now. She’s doing a damn good job of it too.

 

He has a huge heavy cast on both legs from his toes up to right below his knees. A few of his guests had singed them

already in red, blue and black ink. I wrote a bunch of stuff on there for him to read when he can finally look down

there to the end of the bed and focus on his feet, I even put a smiley face on his big toenail, haha. The ends of his

toes were a good color and temperature, not too puffy considering the extensive surgery he’s had done on his feet and

ankles. And he looked good even though he’s still so fogged out from all that anesthesia. He will have to wear those

casts for 6 weeks, and he can’t bear weight on his legs that whole time.

 

They have him on IV antibiotics to prevent any infection from setting in, and they are also treating him for pneumonia

just as a precaution. I guess he vomited as he was starting to come out of anesthesia in recovery, he aspirated some of

it and he’d gotten some of fluid in his lungs. After that he’d been coughing up some not so healthy looking stuff and they

did not want it to turn into full blown pneumonia, so that is why they are treating him. Like I said, his temp is pretty much

normal, so he doesn’t actually have pneumonia, and I am really glad they are on top of it and preventing it. Pneumonia is not

at all good for trache patients, it’s very dangerous actually.

 

They have cut his pain meds back some, to maybe help him come around a little faster.  Mom has been trying to get him

to communicate when he’s having pain and not feeling so good by using thumbs up for yes, point his finger for no.  When

he says yes they get him an injection right away, so they are keeping him comfortable, but trying not to keep him drugged

24/7, just when he needs it. As the day went on he got a little more responsive. He was raising his eyebrows more, even

smiled a couple times when we were joking with him (he sort of even laughed a little once when he passed some gas and ran

us all out of there, we were cracking up). He was also able to squeeze my hand pretty hard when I told him to squeeze my

hand and try to hurt me. He gave me several good squeezes… guess he really wants to hurt his sister, haha.

 

When I left I waved goodbye and Michael reached up to shake hands and he gave me another squeeze. So like I said, as the

day went on, more of Michael was starting to come out of the fog. It’s hard to see him in practically the same state he was a

few months back, but I know in a few days Michael will be back to where he was (back to baseline) and we can laugh and joke,

blow more bubbles by blowing air out out of his trache thru the bubble wand, work with his flashcards some more, and get back

to working on getting himself around in his new wheelchair etc etc…

 

I’ll post some more news when I hear anything new

Bye for now

~Chrissy

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Subject: Some more recent news

Date: 4/2/2004

From: Chrissy

 

I just talked to my Mom and she told me that as of late this afternoon/early evening Michael finally DID start

responding to some commands, he gave her a kiss on the cheek and also gave her husband Paul a thumbs up on

command and was starting to mouth some words, not understandable yet, but at least it's a start. The nurses have

lowered his pain meds a little bit, so that might be why he's finally coming around more. They will see how he does

on the lowered amount, if he needs more they will bump it back up. But at least we finally see some signs of him

coming out of the anesthesia fog. He had some physical therapy today, they moved him around, did range of

motion exercises with him and got the blood flowing. Michael also had a couple visitors today, my (our) Dad and

his buddy Jason showed up, but Michael wasn't real responsive or awake while they were there at that point. No

news yet on how much longer he will be staying at UCSF, but in the meantime, he's still in room #L1207.

 

More tomorrow when I hear more

~Chrissy~

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Subject: Groggy Michael

Date: 4/2/2004

From: Chrissy

 

Just wanted to let everyone know that Michael is still pretty out of it, but doing fine. His temp and heart rate are near

normal and the rest of his vitals are normal. There was nothing alarming in the CT scan, just as we'd hoped. He's really

taking his time coming out of the anesthesia tho, it's a little frustrating and unnerving for us. I guess we have to also

remember that they do have him on some really strong pain meds, which might be adding to the slow recovery time.

He's not just going to jump up refreshed like he just had a nap or something. He's been opening his eyes a lot more today

and looking around some but he's not responding to any commands yet. They are still assuring us that this much recovery

time is normal for such an extensive/lengthy surgery, especially for anyone who's suffered a brain injury.

 

Everyone keep sending your positive thoughts his way

I'll post more when there's any changes.

~Chrissy~

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Subject: Room change and a brief update

Date: 3/31/2004

From: Chrissy

 

Michael was moved to the 12th floor this afternoon, to room #L1207, (in the same building at UCSF

Medical Center at Parnassus, in San Francisco, CA). If any of you are going to send get well gifts, please

note the room change...

 

My Mom wanted me to Thank everyone for the get well gifts you sent Michael! I sent him some big shiny

balloons  and several others have sent things as well, he has a very colorful room to wake up to! The poor lady

at the gift shop said every time she got ready to bring Michael's things up to him someone else called in to send

him a get well gift, she had an armload when she finally made it up there! Thanks Everyone!!!

 

Not a lot of change in his condition today, he still has not woke up completely from the anesthesia yet. He

opened his eyes when I called to check on the both of them, Mom put the phone to his ear and I wished him

well, told him I was glad everything with his surgery went ok and told him to just lay there kickin' back 'til

the anesthesia wore off. Not sure if he recognized my voice or just hearing his name made his eyes open,

but I'd like to think he recognized that it was his sister. The Drs say his slow recovery from the surgery is

still normal for a TBI patient and they are not worried. They are still monitoring him closely of course,

keeping him comfortable and on non-drowsy pain medication, some IV antibiotics to fight off any infection

and a few other necessary medications. My Mom is staying there in his room with him again, she's been

talking to him all day so he knows she's there and has been doing some gentle range of motion since he's

not getting his normal rehab therapies while he's there at UCSF. Looks like he will be there at least a

couple more days, if not longer. It all depends on how long it takes him to get the anesthesia completely

out of his system and how sore he is from the surgery.

 

I will keep you guys up to date of any major changes with Michael and if for some reason he gets moved

again, I'll let you all know ASAP.

 

Thanks again for everyone's gifts, prayers and positive thoughts!!!

Bye for now,

~Chrissy~

 

Here’s Michael’s room info for the time being:

Room #L1207, UCSF Medical Center at Parnassus, San Francisco, CA

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Subject: Michael’s Surgery

Date: 3/31/2004

From: Chrissy

 

Hi Everyone

Just a quickie update until later when I know more...

 

Michael's surgery yesterday at UCSF took a really really REALLY long time... he went in at 11am, did

not get moved to recovery until 7:30pm.... besides lengthening both of his Achilles tendons, they had to

work on EVERY tendon in both of his feet, except the one that works for pointing his toes... it was a much

bigger surgery than anyone expected, including his surgeon... ugggggh, poor guy. He's really groggy and

most likely in a lot of pain. My Mom said this morning around 10am that he was taking a long time to come

out from under the fog of the anesthesia, and not responsive at this point yet, but his vitals are normal and

nobody is worried (except us of course) and the medical staff are all telling her that it is normal for a person

who suffered a TBI to take a while to get back to where they were or "get back to baseline" is the medical

term. They are monitoring him closely and even going to do a CT scan sometime today just to make sure

everything neurological is ok. As I was typing this out I talked to her again and Michael had just started

opening his eyes and looking around a little bit, but not responding to anything she was saying yet. Hopefully

he'll give her a thumbs up or something soon. After getting so much of Michael back over the last several

months it has to be hard on her seeing him in such a non-responsive state again. It's hard on me, and I'm not

even there. I'll post more this evening after I know more...

 

He is in room #1135 at UCSF Medical Center at Parnassus, in

San Francisco, CA probably for the next 2 days...


Positive thoughts everyone, positive thoughts, please...

Bye for now

~Chrissy~

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Subject: Changes with Michael

Date: 3/29/2004

From: Chrissy

 

Hi Everyone

Just wanted to post an update on The Michael Man... he's been doing some great things lately!

 

As my Aunt Kim mentioned in her last update, he is going to have surgery to lengthen his tendons in his calves

tomorrow, March 30th. This is a common surgery for coma/brain injury patients... the tendons have contracted so

much that his range of motion has been reduced to the point that his feet can not touch the ground flat when they

stand him. It would be impossible for him to walk/stand on his own without having them lengthened. I guess they are

going to do some sort of special cutting in the tendons... (from what I understand it is similar to the cuts in the plastic

wrap that is around lettuce, the kind that stretches when you pull on it). Because of the way they will cut the tendons

it will allow them to be stretched back to normal and then he will have to wear casts for 6 weeks until the tendons

heal up. They have been working on preventing/correcting the tendon contractions from the get-go, but since his

progress has been so slow at times, his range of motion has deteriorated too far... and now he HAS to have it done.

They want to get him up and using his legs soon, and then move on to walking, so the surgery needs to be done now.

My Mom will be there with him for the surgery and when he is waking up out of the anesthesia. She will also be

sleeping in his room the 2 nights he's there after the surgery too. I'm sure the surgery will go fine, but everyone please

keep him in your thoughts and generate lots of positive energy for him for that day, more than usual.

 

He finally got approved for his OWN wheelchair a whole year later and he just got it today. It is a tilt in space one,

which means his position can be tilted to different angles, and it reclines so he doesn't have to sit in the same position

all day while he's in it. It is built to HIS specs, and has padding in all the right places, the seat and back rest are the

right width and nothing will irritate and bruise him any more like the others have that he's been borrowing all year. It

will be way more easier to keep him comfortable. I watched some video tape yesterday from last week of him slowly

moving himself around in one of his borrowed wheel chairs... very slowly, but he was doing it. He uses his right hand

to move the wheel and uses his right leg to help himself go the right direction. He actually set a goal of where he

wanted to go, one of the other patient's room, and he made it. Got a little hung up on a door jam, got really mad and

was cussing it, but he eventually made it. He's quite cranky when he struggles with something and gets frustrated...they

say that is normal too and a good sign of recovery progress... but it's hard to watch sometimes. Mom said he'd already

moved himself a little bit in the new chair today, but the wheel is not as big so he had to work a little bit harder to get

himself moving. They may change the wheel size if he can't get used to it.

 

I was there Saturday all day and in the evening before I left Michael and I were working with some flash cards that

I bought him. There's 3 decks of them, a deck of simple addition math problems that my Mom's been working on

with him, a deck of the alphabet with pictures on the back that correspond with the letters on the front and a deck

of words, called first sight words. I have worked with the alphabet/pictures on the past few visits and he's done

pretty well, but this time I decided to see if he'd read the words and tell me what they said. He was able to tell me

(I read his lips) almost EVERY word... and there are 52 cards with a simple word on each side! A couple times he'd

get stumped or distracted so I'd take a break and ask him if he wanted to stop or do more and he kept telling me

more and even made a motion with is hand that he wanted to do more! I was really impressed, no one has worked

with him on those word cards yet and he did really good. I could tell it felt good to him to be able to read them and

communicate what they said back to me, he was smiling every time I cheered and told him how awesome he was

doing and that he "rocked". It was a good way to end the visit, when I left he was still smiling and obviously proud

of himself.

 

He is finally starting to get some really noticeable movement/control in his left side happening. He is able to relax his

hand and arm on command for us and he even gave me a thumbs up with the left hand... which I was not expecting.

Now that I think back, this is how his right side started coming back, slowly... he did things like giving a small thumbs

up, relaxing his hand, making a fist all on command. So I can't even tell you how good it is to see the left side starting

to come around! He was also giving one of the therapy balls some pretty good kicks when we had him outside in the

sun earlier that day. He differentiates between left and right leg kicks really well on command now too. All of this is

so great to see, and very encouraging. His left side hinders his therapies quite often and I know it's frustrating to him

not to be able to get his left side to do what he wants it to. He had a hard time with his therapist while I was there...

the task was to work on putting his shirt on by himself. Since his left arm is not up to par his therapist explained that

he has to put the left arm in the shirt first and get the shirt pushed up over the elbow then the right arm then up over

his head... well stubborn ol' Michael must have always put his shirt on right arm first because that is how HE wanted

to do it that day. There was a power struggle and a little angry tantrum about it but Michael ended up getting his way.

He tried really really hard, got his right arm in and he even bent his head down and worked on getting the neck of the

shirt up over his head, but just as the therapist explained it needed to be done left arm first. Eventually, after a while he

gave in and let the therapist assist him on doing it the way it needed to be done, but Michael wasn't very willing. I'm

sure they will work on that a lot more and he will learn to do it the way he needs to do it for now and he can do it HIS

way when he's well enough. It was great to see him so determined to get that shirt on tho, even if it wasn't the way he

NEEDED to do it, at least he was still trying!

 

So much of Michael is back on track, sometimes it seems the only thing holding him back in his recovery is that his

body needs to catch up to his brain. He will be evaluated after his tendon surgery to see if he is ready for the next

level of Rehab, it's called Acute Rehab. If he is, he will be moving back to the Kentfield Rehabilitation Hospital. If he

is not ready for Acute Rehab yet, he will be going down to Southern California to another CareMeridian facility for

a really great pilot program geared on getting patients ready for Acute Rehab. It will once again be a self-pay situation

for his care. This is the only facility with this kind of program in California. And they offered my Mom a really good

deal for the level of care he will be getting and the amount of therapy included, which is actually 5 more hours a week

than he gets now. We are not that thrilled with going back to Southern California again, but this is the kind of program

and care Michael needs to reach HIS short term ultimate goal of getting well enough to go HOME, that is where he

tells us he wants to be. We just keep telling him he has to get well enough to be home, then that is where he can be.

Unfortunately the funds in his donation account will not even come close to covering the costs of his care and the

program, as there has not been much coming in lately. So there will eventually be some fund raisers to help cover

the costs needed for his care while he's down there. He can stay for 60 days if needed, and possibly 90 if they feel

he's almost ready and the additional 30 days will be to his best benefit. We are hoping his evaluation concludes he

is ready for Acute rehab, but if it isn't I will let you guys know when the move will happen and post a new address.

And of course my Mom will be making the move with him and staying down there with him just as she has been with

him since the injury happened. It's possible if he does end up down there he will be ready to come back to Northern

Cali in a shorter time than the 60 days. But either way, Michael is going to get the care he needs at this point in his

recovery.

 

One last thing before I close up this update mail... after working the flash cards I was talking about how he used to...

(this is gross, but it's SOOOOO Michael, haha) ...chase me around with his eyelids turned inside out and making

farting noises with his hand in his armpit (see what I grew up putting up with!!!). He started grinning as I told him the

story and then he reached up with his right hand and tried to turn his eyelid inside out, grinning the whole time!! I

hollered at him not to do it cuz it was gross, but he kept trying anyway. Luckily I mentioned the armpit farting sounds

again, which he also tried to do and that distracted him from turning his eyelid inside out or I would have had to look

at that. Ewwww, he was such a bratty little brother I swear. It's great to see he remembers so much tho, and that he's

still a bratty little brother. It's also great to see that he has such a good sense of humor, considering the circumstances.

Every time I go visit, there is so much more progress in the amount of interaction and communication with him, even

if it does gross me out! When I left I told him he was doing so many more great things every time I see him and he's

getting so much better... he smiled back at me with an "I know" look in his eyes. It really is a good time for everyone

to go see him if you have the chance. He's so far progressed from just laying there, which was so hard to see and

deal with. The visits are SOOO much more enjoyable (for everyone) now.

 

Oh and Mom says Michael gets to decorate HIS wheelchair with stickers now, so if anyone wants to hurry and send

him some motocross stickers right away in the next week you can use the CareMeridian address listed at the top of

this update page, after that I will let you know where to send them. CareMeridian will Fwd any that come in after he

moves tho I'm sure.

 

Let me say Thanks again to everyone for all they have done, and to keep the positive thoughts heading

Michael's way. I will let you guys know how the surgery goes.

 

Bye for now

~Chrissy~

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Subject: Visit

Date: 3/21/2004

From: Betty Van Note

 

As you know, today has been one year (because it happend on a Sunday). Jason, Ardyn and I went to

visit Michael last Tuesday March 16. We came unannounced, like usual. When we got there, Theresa

said he just went down for a rest. We were visiting quietly. As soon as he heard Jason's whisper, he opened

his eyes. He loves it when his friends visit. I want to encourage everyone who has not had a chance to see

Michael in a while to visit ASAP. Then Theresa said who is this, about Jason and he quickly mouthed Jason.

She did the same with Ardyn and myself, he knew who we were. Michael was visiting the entire time. It was

so awesome. We had him totally laughing. I also strolled down memory lane with him about our daughter

Ardyn. He remembered calling me at my babyshower to let me know that "Jas ate Sh.., broke at least one

leg, maybe two." Those were his exact words. Jason was riding a 2-stroke at Riverfront. And he remembered

the nick name he gave our daughter who is 5 today, the first time he met her "Ardy scoop" So many good

things has came Michael's way in the healing process. Way more happend...Go see for yourself everyone!

 

Sincerely,

Betty Van Note

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Subject: Update from my Mom....

Date: 3/8/2004

From: Chrissy (for my Mom)

 

Today has been a HUGE day of progress for Michael, following a jam-packed Saturday and Sunday. Today MICHAEL

GOT TO EAT ICE CREAM!!!!!!! He had passed his 3rd required blue-dye test last week, (where a few drops of blue

food coloring is put in his mouth and he has to successfully swallow it without aspirating any of it) and so his next test was

ice cream, as it is a solid that turns to a liquid. He worked hard at keeping it where it needed to be and had three large

spoonfuls! He is well on his way to having the tracheostomy removed by the doctor!!

 

Then, during physical therapy with his "personal trainer" Hans, Michael was able rock both bent legs from left to right and

back, as well as lift his bottom off the bed ( in bridge position) a couple inches and then really high! Those are major firsts

for him showing his functional gains are coming in leaps and bounds. He is becoming determined and focused on what he

is doing and doesn't want help so when Hans had him working on the mat and Michael wasn't co-operating as Hans was

trying to help him into a position, I told Hans that Michael has been wanting to do things by himself, like putting on his

sunglasses without help, his hat, etc.) and so we just let him try however he could to move himself from his back to his side

with little assist into upright sitting. He is working SO hard you guys! He is initiating things on his own too, and really using

pointing and hand motions to get his points across as well as mouthing words! (We are all becoming good lip-readers.)

 

But for me to see his sense of humor is most precious to me....not only in response to funny things we say, but to things he

does, like burping while he is trying to say something and then breaking into a huge grin, and best yet, doing things funny to

make me laugh!! YES, tonight as I was putting on gloves to do his trache care, I put on one and he put his hand up as if to

put on the second one, together we did, and of course he got 2 fingers in one hole and I started laughing so he started

grinning and wiggling his fingers all weird, and I am just cracking up. Then we get it on straight, and he starts like "modeling"

the gloves, doing funny hand movements and rubbing his thumb and fingers together to feel and hear them and just kept

smiling and twisting his wrist all around being funny. It was hilarious and him grinning the whole time, rubbing the glove on

his face like, oooh, feels smooth! Ya had to be there, I tell ya. Then I blew up one and it poofed back in my face because

I was laughing at the look on his face and he was damn near laughing out loud. So I finished blowing it up and he could

barely wait til I got a knot in it to start playing with it--we were smashing it between my hand and his and he was squeezing

it! This must have gone on for 10 minutes solid!!

 

I went on to getting him quiet for the night by reading aloud some from Lance Armstrong's first book, "It's Not About The

Bike" (so we can go on to the next one that is waiting on his nightstand). Some time ago I had started reading it to him and

he was not interested, but Paul (my husband) read to him for about an hour and a half on Sat. night and Michael loved it!

They would review every couple of paragraphs and Michael would comment with nods, grins, shrugs and big eyes! So I

have been doing it too and he really enjoys it. So after I had read a while and he was yawning, I stopped and was telling

him how great he is doing and how proud I am (we all are!) and that I love him, he reaches up and gives my arm a few

squeezes and so I comment on his Mom's got a pretty good muscle for a girl from doing physical therapy with him and he

listens and then, I couldn't believe it, he makes a fist and does like pumping arm movements and then makes his biceps

contract for me to feel and he keeps doing it until I feel his!!! It's so awesome to see him do these kinds of things without

us even asking, he is interacting and initiating all kinds of stuff!!

 

I have much more to write but it's late and we have another big day with Michael tomorrow so I will close til next time.

Thanks to all of you who care so much and I apologize for not writing more...I don't always have a computer around.

Take care and we will catch up again soon!

Love,

Theresa and Michael

 

A week later, Monday, March 15

 

Wow, time flies when you are having fun! This past week has been phenomenal for Michael. He ROCKS!!!! He has done

SO many new things this week I don't even know where to start. Last Thursday Michael ate his second solid food,

applesauce, about 6 small bites and handled it very well. I don't think he even coughed. I bought him his favorite, sorbet,

(I got him strawberry) and also custard and he will have one or the other tomorrow! Something new and volitional that

Michael will do is cough for us. When he needs to clear his trache, we can ask him to cough or try to clear his airway and

now he will do it. He is well aware that he has a trache in his throat and even held a mirror today to look at it as he is told

not to touch it, and he is curious. He seems to understand that only the doctor can remove it and that only me or the nurses

can touch it with gloves on but still he reaches for it occasionally, tho he has not ever messed with it. He has been tolerating

the cuff down on his trache for several hours at time and soon we will leave it down overnight, I think that will be after

3 food trials...and you can bet I will be sleeping in his room that night. It won't be long and Michael's trache will be removed

and the opening allowed to grow closed. My guess is that by the end of next week at the latest, it will be removed.

 

The other day I took him for a "push" as we call it, over to the 7 - 11 and I let him pick out a magazine and he truly did

choose the one he wanted!! The first one that we came to on the rack that I figured he'd be interested in was Maxim, and

he held it and checked out the cover as I went further down the rack and found a motorcycle magazine, and said how

about this one? He handed back the girlie magazine and grabbed the motorcycle magazine and I hadn't noticed it was street

bikes, just saw the word motorcycle on it, then I came across Racer-X and he immediately traded me for it, then I offered

him Dirt Bike magazine and he clearly chose Racer X by repeatedly tapping the cover and began turning pages! We will

continue going thru it looking at pictures, and reading the articles. He is able to identify and mouth the different ads, even

pictures brands of gear and of certain riders, right then he told me it was Ricky Carmichael, and another of James Stewart

...Now remember, he is mouthing the words so I am really having to look at his lips and if I'm not sure, I ask if that was

what he said and he can NOD his head, (or shake it too) with very small but noticible movements!! to let me know.

 

We are still reading and re-reading Lance Armstrong's book and he is totally absorbed in it whenever we read. He even

points to it when I ask him where it is! This book made a very big impact on him when he first read it a few years ago

and you all know how much he idolizes that man. I think this book is more meaningful to him now more than ever, as from

day one I have told him, "You are our Lance Armstrong" and I know he is. He is proving to me every day lately.

 

A bunch of other things he has done, I'll write briefly, as I could go on and on..

He gives me a good trapezoid massage when I ask him.

Oh, I bonked my hand really hard today on a part of his chair trying to adjust it and he reached for my arm and rubbed it

soothingly for me!

He gave me directions back to his room from the parking lot, pointing which way to turn!

He will brush his teeth with his toothbrush and even held it out for toothpaste after he put it in his mouth and realized I hadn't

put any on!

He shrugs his shoulders in response to questions he doesn't know the answer to.

He can put on his chapstick and rub his lips together after.

He is helping dress/undress himself AND chosing the clothes he wants to wear!!

He is moving his left arm and leg minimally and even uses his right hand to grab under his left knee to pull it up higher and

uses his right hand to do his physical therapy on his left arm, pulling it down and straightening his wrist!!

HE CAN PROPELL HIS TRANSPORT WHEELCHAIR WITH HIS RIGHT FOOT AND RIGHT ARM, EVEN

BACKING UP TO CORRECT HIS PATH AND USE HIS FOOT TO HELP STEER!! He tires, rests and tries again.

He uses a 2 pound dumb bell hand weight to do curls and can almost lift it over his head for a few reps each!! He did that

the first time we even handed it to him and you will see the pictures to prove it!!

He is pointing and gesturing in so many ways, and for the most part, very patient at repeating it over and over when I just

can't figure it out.

He did tell me, angrily, "This is B.S.!! B.S.!!!" when his chair's tire kept getting hung up on a part that didn't work right.

( You all know he doesn't like "piecers" and that's what he was in, a piecer. We are now renting a chair that helps him

have some mobility on his own....)

 

He is really beginning to shun help in many things we need him to do or do for him, and he is also initiating communication:

Yesterday, I was showing him all his cool jerseys that have been given to him and I moved one to an area on his wall where

he can see it better and when I turned around from rehanging it, he was giving me a thumbs up!! He is doing so well, we

see him in acute rehab before too long, and home after that! I tell him everyday what it is going to take for him to come

home, and we help him set goals to reach that. He tells us he wants to go home and I tell him YOU ARE RECOVERING

AND WILL BE COMING HOME SOON!!! I need to close as it is Michael's bedtime and I will read more of "It's Not

About The Bike" if he is not ready for sleep.

 

I will try to write again soon, but I am so very busy with Michael right now and as I said before, I don't have a computer

access often enough when I feel like writing.

 

Thank you again to all for all the positive thoughts you are sending Michael!! He gets them all!!

 

Love from Michael and Theresa

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Subject Michael the Magnificent!!

Date: 3/12/2004

From: Kim Perry               

 

Well, it's official...Michael is amazing. There has been way too much progress in the last couple of weeks to post

everything. I will hit on a few really great things that have happened lately. Let's see, a week ago today Michael

passed his third blue dye test, which is a huge milestone. That means that after a few weeks of him continuing to do

well with his swallowing his trache may be able to be removed. This past Monday he was given some ice cream to

eat!!!! He got to have three large bites of vanilla. He was able to handle it really well. Since then, he's had applesauce

a couple of times and has done equally well.

 

Yesterday, when I arrived at CareMeridian, I walked up to him and said "Hey Michael, look what I brought you" He

looked and saw I was holding two hand weights and he reached up and took one in his right hand and started "Pumping

iron!!" When you ask to see his muscle he almost grunts and tightens up his biceps in his right arm.

 

On March 30th he is going to be having corrective surgery to repair the tendons that have shortened in his calves since his

accident. This will give him back his range of motion in his ankles. Once he has the surgery and is out of the casts his

therapist predicts that he will be ready for a walker!!

 

Michael is so much more aware of everything around him and now and is initiating all kinds of contact and interaction with

people. He initiates the "Home Boy" hand shake his nurse Fred taught him. His initiated thumb wresting with me yesterday

and he kicked my butt!! I'm serious.

 

I will try hard to write more very soon. If there is anyone out there that is not in contact with Theresa or Chrissy and wants

more frequent updates please feel free to email me: kimperry@sonic.net

 

Bye for now

Aunt Kim

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Subject: Latest Update on Michael

Date: 2/25/2004

From: Chrissy

 

Hi Everyone...

I spent the last 2 Sundays with Michael, so here's an update on how he's doing...

 

Mom went to Hawaii last week for a vacation (FINALLY), so we had a sort of rotation visiting schedule between me

and several of my aunts, so Michael had some company as often as possible and he didn't get bored or lonely in between

his therapies. Plus we wanted to be able to reassure him that he's still doing great and Mom will be back soon, etc.

The first visit I didn't get much one on one time with him because 2 of my aunts and my cousin stopped by for a visit and

brought him a huge Valentine's Day card. He seemed happy to have some more company and raised his eyebrows a

bunch when he recognized them and smiled big at the huge poster sized card. Later on after they left I did get to spend

some time with him with his trache cuff lowered and I got to hear him talk some. When the nurse asked him if he was

doing ok he said Yeah and when she asked him if he was having any pain he said No. he answered quick and strong. It's

so great to see and hear him communicating how he's doing and feeling! It takes a lot of the worry off all of his family who

fuss over him and worry about him being comfortable! I bought some flash cards with pictures of all kinds of different

things on them and he was able to tell me almost everything I showed him, we went through the whole deck. I also bought

him a little book with a bunch of pictures of different foods in it and he was able to name them out loud, he even said

watermelon (that's a big word!). He's never seen the flash cards or the book of foods before so I was pretty impressed

he was naming everything :)

 

The second visit was good too. Right off the bat he did a few simple things for me when I got there - raised his eye brows,

gave me a thumbs up and a high five. No hesitation or confusion when I asked him to do them... and Mom was not there

to coach him, so it was good to see him do these things on his own for me this time. Later on in his room we watched some

motocross, one of the W4SN tapes Don had sent and Michael was really focused on it, and seemed like he recognized Don's

voice. We also did some random counting by squeaking a horn and he got the correct amount of squeaks each time I told

him a number. It's a task in itself to have the coordination to just squeak the horn... but to squeak it a specified amount of

times when asked to... is pretty damn awesome! Shows he is using his brain!

 

I was smelling a few of the essential oils that my Mom puts on him when she does a foot or muscle massage - some

promote healing, others stimulate or calm him. I held a couple under his nose, I told him to smell them and he right away

took a big whiff! I had never seen him do that yet, so it was pretty cool. He even crinkled up his nose at one of the stronger

ones, (peeee-eeew!). A while after that I was blowing some bubbles in front of him, he was following them with his eyes

and reaching up for them, trying to pop them. I said here, you blow some... and he took a breath and tried to blow but his

cuff wasn't deflated so no air came out of his mouth... so I held the bubble wand kind of in front of his trache tube and said

ok blow now... and he blew some bubbles! He did that a few times with a grin on his face. I reminded him how when we

were little kids I always had to hide my bubbles from him because he'd use mine all up. That made him crack another grin.

 

One of the nurses there also does haircuts and she gave him a really good and much needed haircut the week before. He

was getting quite the head of thick curly hair, he was looking a little rough and it was making him too warm at times. So

she trimmed it pretty short, but it looks soooo much better. Before I left I trimmed up his goatee and moustache for him. He

needed it done as bad as the haircut. He did not like his sister fussing over him like that very much at all. He got a little

mad at me,(pissed off and cussing as a mater of fact) but eventually I won and got him all groomed up, but only after I told

him the cuter he looks the sweeter the nurses will be, ha-ha :) After that I handed him his hair brush and told him to brush

his hair. He reached right up there and started brushing his hair, I told him brush the other side so he did that side too. I

gave him his favorite hat after he was done with the hairbrush. He put tried putting it on but it kind of bunched up as he

was putting on his head so he took it off, shook it out, put it on right, and then snugged it down on his head, just like he'd

done it a million times. Pretty cool he's able to do all this stuff :)

 

He's doing a lot more things now, with a lot less effort/struggle on his part, but man can that guy be stubborn when he

does not want to cooperate with the therapists and all of us who work with him. Some days he just wants to be left alone

and does not want to do anything he needs to do during his therapy sessions. He even says leave me alone, not sure if he

is frustrated or angry or just doesn’t want to do it. But he won't get any better if we leave him alone, so his therapists, my

Mom and aunts, and the rest of us, as well as the staff all push and encourage him as much as we can. They tell him this is

all the stuff he needs to do to get well enough to go home... some times that helps, sometimes it doesn't. I'm thinking he

could use a little more encouragement from his friends right now tho... The therapists and Drs tell us this is a common

stage in brain injury recovery... and not an easy one to deal with I might add.

 

Michael was happy to see my Mom when she got back late Sunday night, he raised up off the bed a little and gave her

hugs and pats on the shoulder, even did a little shoulder massage on her. She told me one of his therapists was doing

another blue dye test on him yesterday when I talked to her... that's one of the procedures in the process for getting him

weaned off the trache. They deflate his cuff and put some blue dye in his mouth to swallow, then they leave his cuff down

a while and see if he coughs up any, which would mean he is not swallowing correctly. Mom said he'd had it down a while

already and no sign of blue dye getting into his lungs. We got off the phone before the test period was over so I did not

know if he passed it or not. I just talked to her a while ago and she said he DID pass it, yayyyy! He still needs to pass

2 more of those in row though. She told me they are doing the next one tomorrow. She is getting really aggressive about

getting him off the trache, it's frustrating for all of us, and not exactly comfortable for Michael. One day while Mom was

in Hawaii and his cuff was down my aunt Kim asked him if he could have anything to eat, what would he want... he said a

hamburger... (His favorite used to be an Animal from In and Out Burger).

 

I handed him a cup last Sunday and said put this to your lips and take a drink... and he took the cup put it up there and

tried to take a drink! I felt guilty though, he gave me such a look when he realized it was empty... I was elated he could

so easily get the cup up there to his mouth, but man it made me feel bad, because, damn you know he really really wants

a drink of something, it's been 11 months!! So I won't do that anymore, I know he can do it, and I won't frustrate him

with an empty cup any more. I know once he gets that trache out and can eat, drink and talk his progress will really

speed up! They are doing a minimum of 2 hrs a day now practicing with his trache cuff down. They will work up to

having it deflated for 6 hours at a time. Mom says after passing 2 more the blue dye tests (he needs to pass 3 in a row)

they will mix the dye with apple sauce and after he passes those they will work on getting that trache out. This could all

happen in soon as 2 weeks if all goes well. Mom always makes sure she talks to him about what is going on and why, and

reminds him to concentrate on swallowing correctly, and that usually helps the situation along. But like I said she IS getting

aggressive about working to get that trache out... it’s long over due to come out in our opinion.

 

So that's it for this update. I might make it down again next weekend, but if not I'll go down the following weekend and

post another update after that visit.

 

Thanks again to all of you for everything you have done over the 11 long months he has been recovering.

Bye for now,

~Chrissy~

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Subject: Visit to see Michael:

Date: 2/9/2004

From: Lisa Thinger

 

  I just wanted to let you know Steve, the kids and I saw Michael Stanton on Sunday 

afternoon – we were in the bay area for the SF Supercross and decided on Sunday to go by and visit. It

was a GREAT visit. He was there by himself so it gave us quality time with him. We told him all about the                  

races on saturday night and he was very interested in what Steve was saying. The kids both talked to him

about being able to do their first track walk and he seemed interested in Mikala as the last he held her was

when she was 6 months old and now she is 18 months old. He seemed to be mouthing words to Steve but we

could not understand what it was -- he was really trying to say something. Steve was telling him about all the

4 stroke races coming up and he was really responsive and interested. He and Steve spent time together and

he was shaking Steve's hand and Steve was having him do a few other moments and he was doing everything

Steve wanted him to. He even grinned when Steve asked him to give him the middle finger. It felt so good to

see how much he has improved. He was holding Steve's hand and seemed like he did not want to let go. He

looks great and it was a great visit with him. For all of you who havent had a chance to see him -- you would

be amazed at how much he has changed. Steve and I go every couple of months and the last time we were there

was November and he just seems a ton better to me.

 

Talk to you later

Lisa Thinger (Steve Thingers wife)

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Subject: What a difference this time!

Date: 2/3/2004

From: Chrissy

 

Hi Everyone, here's a recent update on Michael...

My last 2 trips down to see him were a little discouraging, and I will admit, there wasn't much to write about. Michael

was not really back sliding, but his huge steps of improvement he'd been making had definitely sloped off. I did not

want to try to sugarcoat the plateau in his progress, so I just didn't post anything. It was hard to say if being off the

Ritalin was the culprit, or if Michael was just getting burned out from all the hard work, or if his brain just wanted a

break to do some more healing, but as you can see from my last few updates, things had slowed down...

This visit was different though... Michael ('skuze my language in this update) seems to be back in gear and kickin' some

ass again! They put him back on a low dose of the Ritalin and changed some of the other medications he was taking

and I'm not really sure if this is the reason why but his drive to push himself and willingness to try hard again to do things

we ask him to has returned. He's showing even more improvement of his left side and he did quite a few things I have

not seen him do before. Judging by my Mom's reaction to them he hadn't done them for her or for his therapists either,

or at least not enough for them to write about in his progress charts.

 

My exciting part of the day started off with him kickin' back on the mat covered table in the physical therapy room

(the PT room). Mom said "Hey Michael can you touch your right ear?". And he immediately reached up and touched

his right ear, then she asked him to touch his left ear, and he did, then his nose and then his forehead and he did it all,

no sweat! There was no hesitation to doing any of that, no confusion about what she was asking of him. After that she

asked him to touch HER nose... it was a little bit of a reach but he got his arm and hand up there and was acting like he

was going to grab her nose and at the last second he gave her a quick flick on the nose, and cracked a grin after he did

it HAHA!! It was so good to see him understand what was being said to him and for him to be able to follow thru and

respond correctly!

 

A little while later we had him sitting up on the edge of the table, we were helping him sit up, it's really good for him to

sit up for periods every day, to work on his trunk strength and balance. While he was sitting on the edge leaning against

my Mom, he was kicking one of the huge therapy balls pretty hard with his left leg, harder than last time by a long shot

and look out when he kicked it with his right! This time when we let go of him he was able to balance himself for quite

a while longer and correct his posture a little quicker when he started leaning than I have seen him do so far. It takes a

lot of muscle strength and trunk control to do that, we all take that for granted. Michael can't, it's extremely difficult for

him to do, it's working muscles that don't get used much laying in a bed, I am sure he really feels the burn in the muscles

and it hurts and then it's time to quit. Not to mention when he tries hard and can't pull himself back up it's got to make

him mad a bit and he just doesn't want to try again.

 

He wanted to give up at one point, and actually got mad at me and my Mom for not letting him lay back. She asked him

if he wanted us to leave him alone and when he said yes, she gave him a pretty serious lecture about how she will NOT

leave him alone until he is better and that we all know this is the hardest thing he's ever had to do in his life but we ALL

know he can do it and that if he wants to go home he HAS to do the work it's going to take. I could tell by his expression

he was a little surprised he did not get his way this time but at the same time I could see what she was saying had sunk in.

Needless to say after that little pep talk he did not throw in the towel while we were in the PT room with him.

 

While we had him in the sitting position we wheeled over a piece of exercise equipment in front of him, it's sort of like a

stationery bike but instead of pedals it has grips, and it is for working the arms and upper body. Well he grabbed right

onto the right grip and started working that thing like it was nothing! We even helped him get his left hand up there and

he did 6 or 7 good turns with both hands on it before he tired himself out. We were really cheering him on, and Mom

was pretty enthused. I think she really needed to see him want to push himself again, and so did I.

 

My Aunt Kim is right, he does need the extra support and encouragement from his friends and family more than ever

right now and he is very aware of what is going on around him. And I am sure he misses a lot of you, more than you

know. He's communicating his emotions pretty well and really smiles big when you joke and get silly with him now. The

yep and no answers are quick too when you talk to him and ask him questions. I know it's hard for a lot of you to see

Michael still struggling with recovery, but you have to think of how far he's come. He still has a long way to go, but like

I have been saying all along of anyone can do it Michael can! Some days he just needs the extra pick me up and his

own cheering section, besides my Mom, my Aunts, his nurses and therapists that he sees every day.

(Hint Hint you guys, so go see Michael!)

 

I showed him some digital pictures on my laptop of familiar things and a few silly internet things this time too

(ahemmm, one just happened to be a silly interactive webpage with some naked girls on it haha) and I showed him

how to move the cursor on the touch pad and he really seemed to enjoy it. I will start a collection of things to show

him when I go down for my visits now. Maybe soon he will be reading the 4Stroke page!

 

That's all for this update, I'm glad I had a lot of positive stuff to report. I'm hoping for even bigger and better news the

next time I write in!

 

Thanks to everyone for the cards and calls that have come in lately, they have definitely helped brighten Michael’s days!

 

Bye for now

~Chrissy~

 

PS... I also want to say THANK YOU THANK YOU to MXVM for sending Michael the signed poster!!! We

showed it to him while I was there, asked him who it was and he told us without hesitation, our jaws dropped when

we read his lips!! :) Mom is going to have it framed this week and hang it in his room for him. Thanks Guys!!!

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Subject: Michael

Date: 1/23/2004

From: Kim Perry

 

Hi Everyone. This is a WAY overdue update. I apologize for not writing for

so long. Michael is still doing well. He has, however slowed down a bit on

his progress in the last few weeks. This is probably just a phase in his

recovery. We know that brain injury patients often go through different

phases. His sleeping pattern has been way off, too. Sleepy during the day,

awake a lot at night. This could account for us not seeing as much

progress, since he's half asleep during his therapies. His doctor has

adjusted his meds and we're hoping that will help him stay awake more during

the day. We're very confident that he'll be making gains again soon. He

does seem more and more aware off what's going on around him.

The sad part is, he seems a little discouraged. We can't let that happen!

Now, more than ever, he needs encouragement from his friends and family. We

all know Michael is not a quitter, it's time to rally around him and push

him a little bit harder so he knows we all still believe in him.

Michael is a very healthy 171 lbs these days. He looks really good. We had

to cut back on the amount of food he was getting because he was up to

178 lbs!

 

This morning when I went to visit, his Dad and Jason were there. Michael

was glad to see them. Steve told a funny fishing story that had Michael

smiling a big smile. At one point Michael was reaching up with his left

hand to try and scratch his nose. He did it a couple of times and so I

asked him if I could wash is face. He turned toward me and I gave his whole

face a nice big swipe with the wash cloth. I asked him if he wanted me to

do it again and he mouthed the word "No" real obviously. It is SO exciting

to have him communicating with us.

 

He was wide awake for the whole morning. The change of medications seem to

be helping already :)

 

I will try to write again very soon. Keep Michael in your thoughts! For

those of you who can, Michael could use some extra visitors to help keep his

spirits up.

 

Bye 4 Now,

Aunt Kim

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Subject: Starting off the New Year with a current update...

Date: 1/5/2004

From: Chrissy

 

Hi guys

I went down to Fairfax for my first visit of the New Year with Michael, and I realized it's wayyy past time for an update.

I thought I'd sent in an update about Thanksgiving, but I guess I didn't, or maybe it got lost in the shuffle. I don't see any

new updates from any of my family... So I better get busy and type this one out! As you read from my Aunt Kim's

Turkey Day update, it was a great holiday for us. Everything went great and it was nice to get Michael into a different

environment for the day. When I got there Michael gave a few of us a BIG wave and a grin. It was just a wave of his

hand off his lap at first then he actually lifted his arm up and gave us a great wave. We all cheered for him and some of

us cried too :) It was the best Thanksgiving I'd had in a long time, with PLENTY to be thankful for!

 

I also went down for Christmas, but it wasn't a very eventful visit, so I slacked on writing an update that time. He was still

improving, but seems to have slowed down a little bit. And sleeping a lot during the day. They tell us this is normal during

traumatic brain injury recovery, but let me tell you it can be very discouraging at times. Especially when we all want so

badly to see him up and around. Christmas was a very sleepy day for him, not very much excitement on that visit, for any

of us, but at least he got to spend it with family. He mostly just napped. His Dr had recently taken him off one of the

stimulant medications they use on brain injury patients (Ritalin in fact), he had been getting a couple doses during the day to

help him be more awake for his therapies, and since he was off of it he was really drowsy. He wasn't resting well enough

at night, so they decided to try taking him off of it and see if he rested more peacefully... yah sure, he did rest better at night,

but he was also still really drowsy during the days... and during a lot of his therapy sessions. Not good, not productive.

So now they are trying to find the right combination of medications to use so he rests better at night and is also responsive

during his therapy sessions. I'm sure they will get it figured out soon, and in the meantime he's getting some extra rest to

do some more healing and rebuild more pathways in his brain.

 

This time tho he was pretty awake and interacting quite a bit with us. He's starting to answer most of the questions we ask

him, we can actually read his lips when he answers us. We didn't have his trake cuff down this time, but I see more of an

effort from him as far as communicating. He also shook his head no a few times and shrugged his shoulders... so we are

getting to see some body language too finally. Every form of communication/interaction I get to see in person usually brings

tears to my eyes, it's great to see so much of Michael there!

 

He did some great stuff this time that I hadn't been there to witness yet. He's learned to shake his finger at me

(and give me hell!) when I tease him too much... I even poke him in the nose to make him smile sometimes when he's

being grumpy, I know he hates it but it makes him grin, hehe... it's my own version of stimulation therapy... big

sister aggravation therapy, haha. I usually get a good response too! I'll eventually have to give it a rest when he

gets enough strength back to knock me upside the head, but for now I am gonna work it :))

 

I noticed this time that he's finally got enough coordination and strength to reach his hand up and not just try to kinda

scratch an itch but he can actually rub his nose real good and scratch his forehead too all on his own, and he gets the job

done really well! He doesn't need help anymore and doesn't give up 'til that itch is scratched. Now ya know after about

9 1/2 months of needing help to scratch an itch, that has to make him feel good! I know it's silly how we get so excited

about the little things, but any forward progress is just that much more of Michael we have back!

 

He's getting better at tossing a ball to me too and when I'd toss it back on the bed he would reach for it, find it, throw it

back to me. His aim is still not exactly up to par tho, so I was teasing him about it and he started tossing it a little harder

at me... I'm tellin' ya, I'm in for it down the road when he can finally beat up his big sister again. I keep telling him to

BRING IT and he just grins at me :) I know I'll probably regret each and every time I've said that...ugh!

 

I got a kick out of seeing Mom push play on his answering machine then tell Michael he had some messages and hand him

the phone... he grabbed the phone and worked it up to his ear, he even bent his head down so he could hear better and

then he listened to all of his messages. His facial expressions changed as he listened and recognized the voices, it was great

to see his face light up. If the phone slipped he'd try to get it back up there so he could hear the rest and when Mom asked

him if he wanted to listen to them again he said (mouthed) "yep". Mom says quite a few friends and family call or leave

messages pretty often and she will give Michael the phone so they can talk to him or hear his messages and he really seems

to enjoy it. Messages are great because she saves them and he can listen to them more than once. So come on you guys,

time to call and leave Michael a message every now and then! If you need the number to his room,

email me - CHLNGHER@msn.com

 

I'd have to say this is the best part of my visit tho... Mom had a dry erase board and she wrote "Raise your eyebrows" on

it and held it in front of him and... she said read this and do what it says Michael... he looked at it and raised his eyebrows

right away! We didn't say it out loud, so we knew he read it :) I think I startled him cuz I screamed Yayyy Michael so loud,

he must think I am a total weirdo, but I was excited! Then she erased it and wrote "Touch your nose" it took him a second

but after we said come on, read this and do what the board says he started reaching for his nose, woo hoo! So we said

we'd try one more and then we'd let him rest...and we hadn't asked him to do this last thing all day or even mentioned it...

she wrote Thumbs Up and showed it to him, I saw him focus on it and he IMMEDIATELY gave us a quick thumbs up! She

also handed him the pen and helped him get his hand to the board then told him to draw a circle.... and he damn near drew a

whole circle! Not bad for a first try, Yayy! Mom says she will practice with him some more when he's not so worn out like he

was at the end of the day this time.

 

So anyway, even tho his progress has slowed down some, I still see improvement every time I visit. He has his off days,

but hey we all do. Almost 9 1/2 months later and Michael is still no quitter!

 

My Mom wanted me to say Thanks to everyone for the Christmas cards, donations and gifts that you've sent to Michael.

And Thanks again to all of you for all of the hope, support and prayers! We just keep pluggin' along one day at a time

and so does Michael!

 

Annnnnnnd Thanks so much again to all of you out there that keep checkin' for updates faithfully :) And anyone that goes

to visit Michael is welcome to send in your own update too ya know!

 

Happy New Year

 

Bye for now

~Chrissy~

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Subject: Michael Stanton/Please post

Date: 1/2/2004

From: Daniel Henning

 

Today myself and one of Michael's long time friend's Jason, took a drive down to see Michael. He was pretty

sleepy at first, we arrived about 11:30 a.m. on Friday morning. He soon started opening his eye's and looking

around. I asked Michael if he could hear us? I then told him to squeeze my hand if he could, and he squeezed it

good!!! He has great hand strength. We then were showing him picture's from some of the recent moto mag's.I

had brought my MP3 player so that Michael could listen to some music. I don't think he liked some of the song's.

He would get a mad face so we skipped those one's. For the people that have not had a chance to go and see

Michael. Someone has taken a set of motorcycle bars, and attached them to a piece of wood that slide's over his

table.It's the coolest thing. So it's right in front of him, and he can hold on to them just like he is ridding!!! I saw it

the last time I went to visit Michael, and thought that it would be even better if it had a throttle on it. I found one

with the hole throttle body so we could mount it to his bars just like his real CRF 450. It will hopefully bring some

good thoughts to him, when he rips the throttle open! Michael then went into his therapy and got stretched by his

therapist. We then rolled a big ball to Michael and he kicked it back to us, he even tried to catch a few with the help

of his therapist. He is doing great and fighting to win the race he is in. Well that's about it.

 

Daniel Henning

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