The Very First Updates On Michael...

The Very First Updates On Michael...

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Subject: Michael

Date: 7/26/2003

From: Kim Perry

 

Hi everyone. Yesterday was Michael's birthday and it turned out to be a very nice day. Michael had a TON of

visitors. Actually, there were 16 people there to help him celebrate. He was nice and awake most of the day.

All of us were out on the lovely deck they have there, and Michael had a happy look on his face the entire time.

He definitely knew it was a special day. He did a lot of tracking with his eyes. That's something that he is doing

more and more of, on a consistent basis.

 

He got some great sensory stimulation gifts. His Aunt Rebecca bought him some musical instruments. When she blew

the Kazoo he turned towards her a bit and lifted his eyebrows really high. Michael gets all kinds of expressions on his

face. You can always tell whether he is enjoying something or NOT, (he scowls really well, too).

 

Don Warrick, another patient there, came outside and joined us for a little while, too. Don is an absolutely incredible

guy. Last August he fell 3 stories. He had a severe head injury and broke his neck. He is paralyzed from mid-chest

down but does have some feeling in his legs so everyone is hopeful that he'll walk again some day. Don is such a

positive guy. He really likes Michael and says that he knows Michael is going to be just fine. He gets to go home to

Phoenix next week and we are going to miss him terribly. We're really happy for him, though.

 

It was a really great day. Michael was surrounded by people who love him and I know he could feel it. That love, and

his strong will, are what's going to bring Michael back all the way. We know it.

 

Thanks to everyone who sent cards and gifts- And to everyone who continually prays and sends Michael their positive energy

 

Bye 4 now

Aunt Kim

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Subject: Michael's Birthday

Date: 7/26/2003

From: Chrissy

 

Hi Everyone

I had a great afternoon and evening at CareMeridian celebrating Michael's 29th Birthday. It was an AWESOME

day for Michael, and a very busy one, he had a ton of visitors! He was very awake and aware we were all there

and I KNOW he knew it was his Birthday! His room was filled with colorful balloons and gifts when I got there.

CareMeridian let us bake some pizzas in their kitchen for all of Michael's guests and then later we had icecream

and Birthday cake that the staff had baked and decorated in honor of Michael's Birthday! Several of the staff and

other patients joined our Birthday celebration for Michael too. This is exactly the sort of thing I was talking about

when I said in one of my previous updates about that place being so much like one big family in a huge beautiful

house, it does not have a "hospital atmosphere" at all. They make us feel so welcome and at home there AND

Michael gets such excellent care! I am absolutely amazed at how much hands on care he gets from them and all

the extra things they do to keep him comfortable, you'd have to see it for yourselves to completely understand it.

I can already see he has made a noticeable amount of improvement, specifically with how he interacts and responds

since he moved there and it's been only a little over a week! I am so glad Michael was able to celebrate his Birthday

there in such beautiful and comfortable surroundings. We took him outside on the deck in his wheelchair for fresh air

and sunshine while we opened his Birthday presents in front of him for him to see and read all his birthday cards to him.

He seemed to really enjoy it and looked very intently at the gifts and cards as we showed them all to him. We were

able to watch his expression change as we showed him the different things, it was very obvious he knew what was

going on. Thank You so much to everyone for sending all the great gifts and cards!! And Thank You to CareMeridian

and the staff there for enabling us to make Michael's Birthday the best it could be under the circumstances! I left after

he was settled into bed for the night, and I could tell all the excitement had worn him out by then. I am sure the

Birthday Boy slept like a LOG after his big day :)

 

Thanks again to EVERYONE, for EVERYTHING!

That's all for now

 

~Chrissy~

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Subject: Michael

Date: 7/24/2003

From: Kim Perry

 

Hi everybody,

A quick update...I spent most of yesterday and today at CareMeridian with

Michael and my sisters. Michael's Aunt Sue is here from Louisianna. So

Michael had to put up with 3 Aunts and his Mom for the past two days. Let

me tell you, Michael was fussed over by us like you wouldn't believe!!

Actually, I don't know who fussed more, us or the WONDERFUL nurses at

CareMeridian.

 

Today His Aunt Sue and I were doing some sensory stimulation with Michael.

One of the things we did was let Michael taste some cinnamon licorice. At

first he didn't seem to like it, but very soon he stuck out his tongue and

licked it and then sucked onto it. He was looking at me very intently the

whole time.

 

Also, Michael is tracking with his eyes a whole lot better since arriving at

CareMeridian. We hold a mirror in front of him and not only does he follow

it with his eyes, he is starting to turn his head a bit to follow it. This

is really AWESOME!! Today was a really good day!!

 

Michael's buddy Shawn MacDonald stopped by today, too. What a nice surprise

that was for Michael. Shawn said that Michael looked great and he could

definitely see improvements.

 

Tomorrow, (Friday the 25th) is Michael's 29th Birthday. CareMeridian and

Michael's family will throw him a party with cake and goodies. I know lots

of family and friends will be there. It'll be a hard day for all of us but,

we certainly have reason to be thankful and to celebrate. Michael is still

with us and he is improving every day. Yes, we would rather be celebrating

his birthday in a much different situation, but we will make the best of it

because we know next year will be better. Next year we will all be in Tahoe

celebrating it with him! Yes, we will :)

 

I'll write you about Michael's 29th birthday event as soon as I can.

Remember to send Michael all of your positive energy!

 

Bye 4 now- Aunt Kim

p.s Anyone know where we can get a Lance Armstrong poster??? Email me if

you do. :)

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Subject: Visit with Michael

Date: 7/23/2003

From: Jason Van Note

 

On Sunday I had a chance to visit with Michael at his new pad in Fairfax, Ca. Wow what a place, it looks like a

nice big ski lodge in the mountains. It is a place that has a very comfortable feel. As for Michael he looks very good.

Every visit I see him there are many changes that show he is continuing to lick this injury. That dude is a strong strong

man and he has come along way. I brought my family down this time and when I told Michael that my four year old

daughter "Adrie scoop" (nickname Michael gave Ardyn) came, his eyes got as big as saucers and he moved his mouth

to say something. Same thing when my Mom asked Michael if he was going to be a Vet(30) on Friday, he got mad!

One more year good buddy. I just want to say thank you to Michael's family for the non-stop support you are giving

him. We all feel for you and you have raised a great person. Michael has touched so many people and is loved by us all.

 

God Bless!

Jason Van Note 

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Subject: My first visit with Michael At CareMeridian

Date: 7/21/2003

From: Chrissy

 

This will be a short update, as my Aunt Kim's update let everyone know Michael's in a great place and doing well

as of this weekend :)

 

I am happy to say that Michael did seem very comfortable and relaxed in his new room. He's getting exceptional

care and attention there, the staff that I have met so far are all great. They all adore Michael and it is very obvious

that they are well motivated and want to see him progress while he's there. It's an entirely different atmosphere there

at CareMeridian, it's more like one big family in a huge beautiful house. They even have a special bathtub for the

patients and Michael finally got to have a nice warm soak in a bubble bath, Mom said he loved it. Poor guy, he has

had nothing but sponge baths over the last 4 months! Several of the other patients (and their families) have talked to

us about how great this place is and how being at CareMeridian has helped them along in their recovery. It's a

comfort to me that Michael is in such a great place.

 

Michael did 2 new things while I was there this time...

 

He lifted his arm up and over towards me a little while I was leaning on the bed talking to him. It was as if he was

reaching for something, me possibly, I'm not sure, but he lifted it, not just moved it... I know that's not a huge miracle

or anything but I have not seen him do that before. I put my hand in his and he held onto it and we maintained eye

contact the whole time. It was a very touching and emotional moment for me.

 

The other thing he did a few times while I was there was move his lips, like he was mouthing words. I could not make

anything out of what I saw, but it made me not want to take my eyes off of him. I did not want to miss any of it, in case

I could read his lips and possibly understand what he was trying to say. I have no idea if those were voluntary actions

on his part or not, but they were both something I had not witnessed before and had a huge impact on me.

 

Looking back on when I first saw him laying lifeless in a hospital bed in ICU after his injury makes little things like

that so HUGE to me. I know his brain is still healing the injuries on the inside, but these couple of things I saw this

weekend are progress that I can actually SEE on the outside :)

 

I also wanted to let everyone know that Michael's birthday is Friday the 25th, he will be 29 :) I posted the

CareMeridian address last time for everyone to send cards, flowers and gifts to...

 

That's all for now

'Til next time...

~Chrissy~

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Subject: Michael

Date: 7/21/2003

From: Kim Perry

 

Hi everyone. I got to spend a lot of time with Michael this weekend. I

went to CareMeridian on Saturday afternoon and stayed until Sunday. Let me

tell you...Michael is in an EXCELLENT place. The level of care he is

receiving there is unbelievable. Now don't get me wrong, Kentfield was a

great place, too, but CareMeridian is amazing. There are 5 patients there

right now, and 3 nurses on duty at all times. The staff there have already

made Michael and all of us feel like their family. There is a CNA there

named Laura who has made a very strong connection with Michael already.

Seeing her work with him just absolutely touches my heart. Her motto is

that everyone was put on this earth for a reason and her's is to work with

patients like Michael. Everyone I have met there seem to LOVE their jobs.

Anyway, I just wanted everyone to know that Michael is getting just the most

wonderful care.

 

On Saturday, Michael was in his wheelchair for quite awhile sitting in

front of a BIG screen TV watching the Tour de France, with two of the other

patients there. Other than getting him into his wheelchair for some nice

strolls around the ouside the building. he got to take it pretty easy over

the weekend. He doesn't have any therapy on the weekends besides range of

motion exercises. Everybody needs a break, right?

 

On Sunday he had a lot of visitors. Chrissy and Dan drove down

for a visit. Then his Aunt Nancy came. Then just as I was getting

ready to leave, Michael's good buddy Jason came with his wife, daughter,

mother, and mother's friend. It was so good to see Jason. I know how much

Jason means to Michael. He always blinks a big slow blink when we tell him

that Jason is taking care of Foothills Landscaping for him. It's obviously

a blink of relief. Jason, you're the greatest!

 

When I left around 3:00, Michael was surrounded by his family and

friends. As I drove away from CareMeridian, I thought about how many people

truly love and care about Michael. I believe with all of my heart that

Michael will work his way back to GOOD because he has the WILL and he has so

many people pulling for him. Please keep your prayers and positive thoughts

flowing :)

 

Bye 4 now- Aunt Kim

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Subject: Michael has been moved to CareMeridian

Date: 7/17/2003

From: Chrissy

 

Hi Everyone,

Just a quick note to let everyone know that Michael has been moved to the CareMeridian facility in Fairfax, Ca.

The move went well, Michael's all settled in and resting very comfortably. It's a beautiful place, very quiet and

peaceful. CareMeridian is just about 4 miles from where he was at in Kentfield, on the same Blvd even... and

it's easy to find. Here is the address so everyone knows where to send the cards, flowers, gifts etc etc...

 

CareMeridian <---- as of July 17th

Attn: Michael Stanton

2390 Sir Francis Drake Blvd

Fairfax, CA 94930

Telephone: 415-256-8007

 

There isn't a phone number directly to Michael's room yet, but I will post the phone number as soon as we

know it. In the mean time, those of you who have my Mom's cell phone number can still use it, but you will

have to leave her a voice mail, her phone has no service in that spot. She said she will check her voice messages

often though, just be patient. For those of you who'd like to talk to her but don't have her number, send me a

number she can reach you at and I will pass it along to her so she can call you.

 

I'll be going back down for another visit this weekend and I will update you all as soon as I get home. I might

even possibly get a chance to get an update to you right from Michael's room :)

 

Bye for now...

~Chrissy~

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Subject: Michael

Date: 7/17/2003

From: Kim Perry

 

Hi everybody. This is Michael's Aunt Kim with a little update. Michael got

moved to a new facility today. It is a very beautiful place called

CareMeridian. It's just a few minutes away from where he has been, at

Kentfield.

 

I got to Kentfield pretty early this morning and began gathering up all of

the wonderful room decorations that Michael has. He's got signed T-shirts,

posters, photographs, cards, you name it. I packed it all up for the move

to CareMeridian and it filled up my whole backseat and my trunk!

When I got to CareMeridian, he and his Mom where already there and getting

him settled into his new room. He seemed to realize that he was in a new

place. He did great.

 

Later on his Mom and our other sister, Rebecca, did some range of motion

exercises with him. It's really important to keep Michael limber while he

isn't moving around on his own. He does get physical therapy everyday but

it is recommended that he gets range of motion exercises 5 or 6 times a day.

It keeps all of us, especially his Mom, very busy. But it's really nice to

get to be "Hands On" with Michael. It let's us feel like we're an active

part of his recovery.

 

When I left this evening he was resting pretty well. It was a big day for

all of us, but a good one.

 

I'll be going back down on Saturday, so I'll write more after that visit.

 

Bye 4 now - Kim (Michael's Aunt)

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Subject: Michael

Date: 7/15/2003

From: Kim Perry

 

I had a nice visit with Michael last night. When I arrived Michael was

awake and his mom had the Tour de France on TV for him. We propped him up

in bed so the TV was in his line of vision. It appeared that he was

watching it for a while. We all know how much he admires Lance Armstrong!

While we watched the race, his mom and I did range of motion exercises

with him. With her on one side of the bed and me on the other, we work his

legs like he's peddling a bicycle. We do a lot of stretching and lifting.

too. We also pulled him into the sitting position and rocked him back and

forth, side to side. All of these exercises help to work off any stress

that is building up in Michael's muscles and help to keep him more relaxed.

Theresa and I worked up quite a sweat last night. We tell Michael that he

is helping to get us in top shape, too!

We always tell Michael that very soon he will be able to do all of these

exercises on his own, without our help, because we know he will. It's very

easy to be encouraging to him because we know what a phenominal person he

is.

 

After our great workout with Michael he was very tired so we readied him

for bed and I left him resting comfortably. I will be visiting him again

very soon and I will write again after that visit. For everyone who reads

this, please remember to think positive for Michael and to say a prayer for

a speedy recovery.

 

Bye for now-

Kim (Michael's Aunt)

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Subject: Latest Update..... a very thorough one

Date: 7/15/2003

From: Chrissy

 

Hi Everyone :)

 

Went down for another visit with Michael and my Mom on Sunday. Michael has gained even MORE weight back

and mannnnn he looks SOOOO much better!! He's got some "meat back on his bones" and is somewhere around

140 lbs now, it fluctuates up and down a of couple pounds, but it has finally stabilized. I think my Mom said he's gained

back 17 lbs of what he had lost. She is keeping a close eye on it and having him weighed frequently. She does not want

him to lose anymore but his Drs do not want him gaining it back too fast either. It was so hard and frustrating watching

him continually lose weight for all of those weeks, then he went through a cycle where he gained and then lost it, so it's a

major relief to all of us that he's putting it back on and finally keeping it on. He even has a little bit of a pudgy belly :)

 

When I walked in and said hi to Michael this time, I could see he was focused and looking at me and I watched his

expression change while I talked to him, he was sort of smiling at me, sort of making a funny face, but he definitely

acknowledged I was there. Mom says he has been localizing quite a bit lately, which means when he is asked to swallow

when his throat is touched or raise his eyebrows when someone touches his forehead, he responds by doing what was

asked. It's more and more frequent that he's able to do the small things that we ask him to do. He did the localizing several

times while I was there and it was great to see it. I also saw his eyes tracking my Mom when she'd change position to his

right and talk to him, that is becoming more and more consistent every time I visit. I also watched his gaze stay glued to the

TV while we moved his bed to a different position, he was watching bicycle racing this time. It bring tears to my eyes to see

recognition in his eyes and see a reaction to things that go on around him, even if it is only a small one. He's more and more

"there" every time I go see him, he's trying so hard!! :) Oh I keep forgetting to mention that if anyone has any racing tapes

of any of the W4SN races... we would LOVE to have copies of them for Michael to watch!!

 

They have switched his coma stimulation drugs again, one of them wasn't helping much and another one was effecting his

liver and they were starting to worry about the problems it could cause so they changed him to something safer. It's actually

Ritalin that they have him on now, a very low dose that they will gradually increase while they monitor him. It's the same

drug they give hyper children, but from what I understand it also works as a stimulant in coma patients. I noticed a lot more

body movement this time too, such as moving his arms or legs to different positions. Not sure if the Ritalin is responsible for

that or if he's just progressing on his own, but it's still a good sign of improvement. We are hoping that it is what it's going

to take to wake this kid up out of the coma that he just can't seem to break out of on his own. Everyone keep your fingers

crossed!!

 

They are still testing him weekly to see if he is ready to be weaned off his trake and have it removed. Sometimes he passes

the swallowing tests, sometimes he doesn't. But at least he IS passing some. Before he never passed, so he is making

progress, even if it is slow going. They don't always test him at the best times, so my Mom has been working on getting

these tests scheduled at his best times of the day. And they will not remove the trake until they know he will not choke or

get fluid in his lungs because he's not swallowing properly.

 

His Dr decided to do a temporary nerve block in his left arm because he was to the point of where he was at risk of losing

the use of it, from him posturing/contracting it so much (posturing/contracting is normal for a brain injury patient).They also

did the nerve blocks in his legs, and now he is not fighting his casts/splints, so they should be more helpful and less

uncomfortable for him. (They cast and splint him to prevent so much of the muscle change from the contracting that will

make it difficult for him to learn to walk again and retrain to use his arms and hands once he's completely out of the coma).

I was told the nerve block procedure is very risky, but his Dr did a great job and there were no complications. Michael

seems a lot more comfortable since he's had the procedures done.

 

They've also discovered he's now got a "neurological caused" calcium deposit starting to build up in his right elbow that

they may have to do surgery to remove. It could eventually prevent him from bending it, but they are trying to deal with it

with more aggressive physical therapy/range of motion first before they do any surgery. Supposedly they can "work it out

of him" and reverse it if the staff and my family all consistently work that elbow's range by bending it and holding it there

for 5 seconds several times in a row every hour during the day. It's a little uncomfortable for him the first couple times the

elbow is bent and held but after the 3rd time or so it loosens up and he doesn't make a face or act like it bothers him. We

talk to him while we bend and hold it and he lets out a big breath after we release it. Everything is explained to him as we

do it, so he understands what is going on and why. They also have him on medication to prevent more calcium from

depositing there. I realize these are not the most positive things or improvements to be posting, but... these things are being

taken care of and monitored by his Drs, and I wanted everyone to know what is going on. I have heard a lot of rumors are

going around, maybe this will prevent a few.

 

It is possible we will be moving him to another facility close to where he is now at Kentfield, but we are not sure when as

of yet. His insurance says he's not progressing fast enough or meeting their recovery criteria to be in such an expensive

REHAB hospital. There's another place suggested by his Dr that is just 4 miles or so from where he's at now. It's a new

ranch house style facility and it only has 11 beds. We went there to check the place out Sunday and we are very

comfortable with the move if/when it happens. It's more like a home for brain injury patients than a rehab hospital, and

they will be doing everything that Kentfield does for him and they will also rent him the same kind of special bed like he is

using at Kentfield. It is very beautiful inside and out and in a very pretty location. Very "homey", with nice furniture and

décor, and beautiful decks and walkways, not at all like a hospital atmosphere. He will also be able to have his room

decorated with all of his motocross things just like he does now. There are nurses there around the clock and Michael

will get to keep his same Dr and some of his therapists, (which is VERY VERY IMPORTANT to us) they just won't be

on staff there all day long like they are at Kentfield and his insurance does not have to pay as much. It is all up in the air

still, we want him to stay where he is for as long as possible, and so do his Drs. It's just a day by day thing, all depending

on how well his evaluations go. If we do move him and he starts improving while he is there, he may get to go back to

Kentfield. I will let everyone know as soon as I know anything definite. Until then, anyone that plans on going to visit

should touch base with my Mom before you make the trip.

 

We have some benefits in the works and plan to have a private auction of Michael's truck soon, in hopes of raising a

substantial amount of donations for The Michael Stanton Fund. I will send information on these things as soon as

everything is set up.

 

I think I covered just about all of the bases in this update...

Thanks again to everyone for everything you have all done, his posters my Mom's friend Jane had made for Michael's

guests to sign have soooo many signatures there's not much room left, his stack of cards is growing every day and his

walls are covered with things you all have sent for him. And Thank You Don for posting all of my updates on the

W4SN site, I know you asnd Jenn have a lot going on! I will never be able to fully express my family's Thanks to

everyone!! (Michael can do that once he's well enough!)

 

Keep him in your prayers and keep sending your positive healing thoughts his way! We are really hoping for some

major improvements and progress soon :)

 

Bye for now,

~Chrissy~

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Subject: Michael's updates

Date: 7/14/2003

From: Kim Perry

 

I talked to Chrissy and Theresa yesterday and they asked me if I would be

willing to drop you a line or two every couple of days to give you a brief

update on Michael's condition. My sister Rebecca and I are usually at the

rehab hospital 4 to 5 times a week. We both said that we could keep you

updated a little better. I know there are a lot of people who'd like more

frequent updates.                                       

 

I will be going down there this afternoon and will try to update you tonight.

 

Thanks,

Kim Perry

(Michael's Aunt) (Theresa's sister)

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Subject: Update / Progress Report on Michael

Date: 6/23/2003

From: Chrissy

 

Hi Everybody :)

I wanted to post an update, I finally got to go down and see Michael again, I have been sick with the flu so I had to

stay home 'til I was better. I know everyone checks the page often, and I am sorry the updates are not more frequent

... some times there's not a lot of changes to report.

 

Michael's doing good, he's gained a more few pounds since I last got to see him, and it was really noticeable to me

this time, so it looks like they finally got on top of his weight loss. He also seemed to have more energy, what a

difference having the right nutrition in him makes.

 

I actually got to watch his physical and occupational therapists working with him this time too. They had him sitting up

on the edge of his bed and they were helping him use his own upper body strength to hold himself up and to lift his head

up when they asked him to. It felt good to see him trying to do what they asked, and even better knowing he wanted to

and has the drive to try. Sure, he has us all cheering him on and I am sure that helps, but he himself has the choice to try

or not to try. I have said this before and I'll say it again, he's chosen to fight and he's not a quitter, and he keeps proving

that every day.

 

They will continue to do things like that with him during his therapy sessions, besides the stretching and maintaining his

range of motion and they will work on building his strength back and to teaching him to use those muscles again. They

were pressing on some tight/tense muscles in his shoulder and back while they had him sitting up and he very clearly

expressed he was not liking that. Even though they were causing him a little aggravation and discomfort it was good to

see him get a little mad about it, and show us he's definitely in there and aware of what they were doing to him.

 

I also saw his eyes tracking my Mom, following her when she moved to his right and was asking him to look at her, so

he is making an effort to move his eyes to look at her. His eyes usually move to his left a lot on their own, so once again,

this is him trying to do what we ask him to. He didn't do it every time she asked him to, but I watched him do it several

times. Sometimes he was sleepy or just too distracted. Obviously his brain is slowly but surely re-establishing all the

pathways that were damaged. Long slow process, but it IS happening.

 

His private room is decorated from floor to ceiling with pictures, posters, his signed Michael Stanton shirt, the huge card

all the riders signed, his checkered flag, even a dirty jersey right off the back of one of his buddies from after a race.

There's a HUGE stack of cards that everyone has sent too, and it's getting bigger every time I go see him. Mom set the

tv/vcr up for him and played some motocross tapes for him, I could see him studying the screen.

 

All in all it was a good visit, seeing more noticeable progress allowed me finally to let out a deep breath and relax a little.

He's had so many small ups and downs, which has been very difficult for all of his family to deal with, but to me it finally

feels like it's starting to level out and move ahead. YAY!

 

That's all for this update

Bye for now

~Chrissy~

 

Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers and keep sending your positive healing thoughts his way, every bit has

helped and continues to help!

 

PS... one last thing...

I also wanted to address a question a lot of people have been asking... and that is... "Why isn't Michael in a facility

closer to home where more of his friends can come see him?

 

The answer to that is plain and simple.... Michael has an EXCELLENT doctor at Kentfield, Dr Dougherty

(look her up online) and he's in the BEST POSSIBLE place right now at THIS stage of his recovery. He also has

very good occupational and physical therapists and nurses that he is familiar with and that are familiar with him, that

know what works with him and what doesn't and we want to keep it that way so he does not have the extra stress

and stimulation of getting used to new people or a new doctor. Where he is right now is not exactly convenient for

any of us, especially my Mother... (I'd like to point out that she has been at Michael's side almost non-stop since he

was injured and has only been home ONE TIME, for only a day and a half) and even I have to drive 3 hours to see

go him, so it's no bowl of cherries for anyone. She, as well as the rest of my family all want him to get the BEST care

that he needs, period, no matter what. Everyone in his family and involved in his care are all on the same page about this.

When he has progressed enough to be moved closer to home, then that will happen. But for now, he is where

HE NEEDS TO BE :)

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Subject: An update---

Date: 6/12/2003

From: Michael's MOM

 

This update is direct from Michael's MOM and WARNING! I am long winded, so here goes!

 

Hello from Michael in his new room! I want everyone to know that Michael is now in room 404B---a private room

with a big window and most of all, IT'S QUIET !!!! I requested a move for that reason a while back, and didn't give

up til I got the answer I wanted! The room that Michael was in prior to his new "suite" was a 3 bed unit, with glass

windows all across the front for easy viewing from the nurses station---- aptly nick-named "the fishbowl". And for

those of you who know Michael, he likes his alone time and his quiet time, so that room was the most inappropriate

room in that way. Also, since Michael is doing so good, he doesn't even need the constant supervision that the

windows afforded the nurses. So his new room is a perfect fit, with only one bed, a half bath and he actually gets a

big screen TV!! (19" LOL)

 

Michael and his Aunt Rebecca made the move Saturday morning, as I actually made the trip home for the 1st time in

the 11 weeks, and Aunt Kim joined in the redecorating and relocation, which involved all of Michael's stuff, mostly

related to motocross, of course! I'm glad with the move, as the constant comotion of the old room was often

over-stimulating, which he doesn't need.

 

I want to thank my sisters and daughters and other family members for their constant devotion to Michael and for

being such a wonderful support group for me. Either one of my sisters (or both), are either here every day and

Chrissy on many of the past weekends, assisting me in Michael's care, giving me a break, or doing the extra therapies

with him. They are all irreplaceable, as they all are the ones that have their fingers on the pulse of Michael's program

here along side me. My husband has also been incredibly helpful with Michael's care and concerns and supportive for

me through these last 11 weeks, being here as often as he can. Michael's Dad drives over on regular schedule, also

giving me a break and chance to go and relax at my sister's, as well as his sister Nancy who is just a phone call away

at moments notice if I need her to come stay with Michael for a while. We've all been working together to try to make

sure there is at least one of us here to talk to Michael and keep him comfortable during his wakeful periods throughout

the days and have someone here to get him settled in for the nights. Continuity of care and having Michael's main

caregivers all on the same page is of utmost importance. I'm so thankful for their devotion and am eternally greatful.

 

Just a few more tidbits----Michael's nutrition has been changed recently to a higher calorie version and we are seeing

the much anticipated weight gain finally! He is receiving about 4400 calories a day now and his tube feeding is working

properly. He has also passed a swallowing test, which means we finally can move forward on getting him weaned off the

trachea tube that has been moisturizing his breathing. They have been deflating the balloon that holds the tube in place in

his windpipe so he can get used to swallowing for a couple hours a day and will be working towards leaving it deflated

overnight and then eventually removing it. On Monday, 6/16, Michael has the accupunturist returning to start his regularly

scheduled treatments, which will be 2-3 times a week in addition to theraputic massage 2-3 times a week. We try to

incorporate as many alternative therapies as we can, including a visit with Capone, Beau's dog! I play his motocross

tapes for him in short increments, his favorite CD's, read to him.......Right now Michael and I are going out for a stroll,

as part of his physical therapy is chair time and we usually go out for a walk or just to sit looking at the landscape. A

nice change of scenery!

 

So I will close for now, and I have good intentions to write more often, but the days are busy and fly by and before I

know it, another week and I haven't written. I know lots of you check the site everyday and I am going to try to send

you more updates direct from me--I really will try. Please keep those positive thoughts coming Michael's way! Thank

you to all!

 

Theresa

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Subject: Sorry for lack of updates on Michael...

Date: 6/10/2003

From: Chrissy

 

Hi everyone...

 

Just letting everyone know real quick that my Michael has been moved to a private room finally, room #404 B.

My Mom is working a long update to catch everyone up with, I keep bugging her to hurry up. Michael is still

doing fine, he's still in a "coma", but he is hanging in there and getting a little better every day. My Mom's

update will fill everyone in on all that has been going on...

 

If anyone wants to send cards or flowers, etc the address is now:

 

Michael Stanton, Room #404 B

c/o Kentfield Rehabilitation Hospital

1125 Sir Francis Drake Blvd

Kentfield, CA

94904

 

Bye for now,

~Chrissy~

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Subject: My Latest visit to Kentfield

Date: 5/25/2003

From: Chrissy

 

Hi everyone

I'm down in Kentfield and thought I'd post a close update on Michael... I'm

on my Mom's laptop in Michael's room!

 

I have some pretty good news... after 63 days of losing weight, Michael has

now adjusted to his stomach tube feeding and he finally gained back a couple

lbs! YAY!!! This is really great progress, as his weight loss was starting

to be a concern. The Drs were hoping for him to gain a pound back a week, so

2 lbs is even better :) It’s a big relief for us all that his digestive system is back

on track.

 

Kentfield ordered a special bed for him, it rotates his weight and shift his

position to relieve pressure and improves his circulation to keep him more

comfortable. It even has built in percussion and vibration massage! (Which I

accidentally turned on…oops sorry Michael!)

 

The staff has been getting Michael dressed so my Mom can take him outside in

his wheelchair to enjoy some sun and fresh air a couple hours almost every day.

His color looks really good.

 

Starting next week they are going to schedule some therapeutic massage

sessions to help with his muscle relaxation and also some acupuncture

treatments to help reestablish electrical pathways in his central nervous

system. They will work these in with his existing physical and occupational

therapies, keeping his daily schedule pretty full.

 

He’s now on the second level of coma stimulation drugs, and even though they

have raised his heart rate some, they are allowing him to be more wakeful

for longer periods during the days and he’s sleeping better through the

nights. He’s also now doing more random movements, especially in his arms.

 

That’s it for this update…

See ya next time

~Chrissy~

 

My Mom wanted me to tell everyone Thank You again for all your calls,

cards, thoughts, prayers and contributions!

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Subject: Update on Michael... Day 56

Date: 5/17/2003

From: Chrissy

 

Just wanted to post another update on Michael...

 

8 weeks! Michael's doing good, and they are keeping him very busy with his physical and occupational therapy

schedule. His stomach feeding tube procedure did not cause any problems so he's now getting continuous food

through the tube except during certain therapy activities and procedures where they move him a lot. They have him

on a pretty high calorie diet and we should start to see some weight gain soon. He has lost quite a bit, both body fat

and muscle, but the Drs tell us this is normal and that he will gain it all back as his recovery progresses. The Kentfield

staff did another swallowing test with him yesterday, to see if he was ready to have the trachea tube removed, but

unfortunately he did not pass the test this time :( They used a small amount of blue dye in his mouth for the test, and

he coughed up some of it, but he also swallowed some, and that's a good sign. My Mom said he did better this time

than last time, and they will try again next week. If he fails again they will keep testing him weekly. As soon as he

passes the swallowing tests a few consecutive times they will remove the trachea tube and start working on getting him

to swallow food (we all know he's craving an "Animal" burger from In&Out!). My Mom also told me that they have

started giving him a coma stimulation drug recently, to help bring him around more. They start off with very small doses

and gradually increase it, watching how well he responds to it. He seems more aware of what is going on around him

now and he's looking around a lot. He's also been lifting his eyebrows a lot... usually in response to seeing one of his

many visitors that come to see him, or in response to something humorous or amusing that we say to him, we all talk to

him a lot. Hopefully soon the coma will lift completely and he will start making a speedier recovery and be cracking his

own jokes:)

 

Don tells me this web page has tons of hits weekly and I can't Thank him enough for posting my updates so quickly!!

Thanks Don!!! I also want to Thank everyone who's been to this page to check on Michael!! Hopefully soon he will

be able to tell me in his own words what he'd like posted about him!!

 

'Til next time...

~Chrissy~

 

I also wanted to let everyone know that has gone to see Michael... if you want anything posted about your visit(s)

with him, please send it to me CHLNGHER@msn.com and I will make sure it gets posted on the page.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Subject: Trip to see Michael on Mother's Day

Date: 5/12/2003

From: Chrissy

 

Hello Everyone :)

 

I went to see Michael and my Mom on Mother's Day. He was moved back to Kentfield Rehabilitation Hospital on

Friday after he had recovered a few days from the stomach tube replacement. Everything went fine with the procedure

and they have him back on his regular stomach feeding schedule, pumping the calories and nutrition into him steadily

again. My family had a big Mother's Day brunch outside in the sun yesterday, Kentfield has a beautiful outside area

for families to use... a nice deck with picnic tables, pretty trees and flowers all around and a small creek below... it's

a very relaxing atmosphere, not at all "hospital like". The nurses dressed Michael and put him in his Stanton 17 sticker

adorned wheel chair for us my Aunts wheeled him out to sit in the fresh air and sunshine with us. He had on cool shades

again and a hat.... and of course a Michael Stanton shirt too :) He was very relaxed and Mom gave him a quick haircut...

the hair dresser at Kentfield was off that day I guess :)

 

We decorated Michael's room with the posters, the first Michael Stanton shirt off the press that all the racer's signed

for him, and the huge get well card that Don, Jenn, Brian, Mitch and all the racers signed for him... Don and Jenn,

Thank You so much for sending those!! :) We showed it all to him and his heart rate elevated a little! He has lots of race

pictures hanging up on the wall too, and 2 huge laminated posters that my Mom's best friend had made of a couple racing

pics that Don sent to me and everyone who comes to visit Michael has been signing them. He even has a checkered flag

hanging up that his buddy Tack brought him!! Michael has the best decorated room at Kentfield now, and now there's no

doubt in anyone's mind that walks into that room that Michael is a W4SN Racer!! My Mom even puts Michael's racing tapes

in the VCR so he can watch and hear them :)

 

I looked at Michael's schedule the nurses have posted on his bulletin board, and it looks like the staff will be jumping

right back into a steady schedule of physical and occupational therapies with him, starting today. They also plan on

doing the swallowing tests again and work on getting him weaned off the trachea tube. Michael's color and vitals are

still looking great. My Mom has a very effective way of getting him comfortable and relaxed when his heart rate is up

from not being comfortable. She has figured out what position he likes to be in and which stretches and movements he

likes best that get him settled down. She's doing a great job, so are my Aunt Rebecca and Kim, they spend a lot of

time there too! My Aunt Kim made Michael a special pillow to keep him extra comfortable... regular pillows just don't

cut the mustard! The Drs tell us that we should see lots of noticeable improvements now that he's eating well and has

the energy he needs to benefit from all the work they do with him. I will keep you all posted :)

 

If anyone wants to send Michael cards or anything the address is:

 

Michael Stanton, Room #134 B

c/o Kentfield Rehabilitation Hospital

1125 Sir Francis Drake Blvd

Kentfield, CA  94904

 

And of course if anyone wants to make a contribution...

 

Contributions checks with the account #04465-01222 on them, made out to The Michael Stanton Fund

can be mailed to:

 

The Michael Stanton Fund

201 Commercial St

Nevada City, CA 95959

Account # 04465-01222

 

Thanks SO much once again, to everyone for all the love, hope and support you have sent Michael's way. So many

of you have done so much, and every bit of it is greatly appreciated!! Hopefully soon Michael will be able to Thank

You all personally!

 

Until next time...

~Chrissy~

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Subject: Update on Michael... 5/7

Date: 5/7/2003

From: Chrissy Stanton

Hello everyone

 

Sorry it's been a week since the last update, I have been out of town and it is hard to post updates when I am not

home.I wanted to let everyone know that Michael is doing fine, although he still has not completely come out of his

coma. He has been moved to Marin General Hospital for a few days to have a 2 part procedure done to replace his

stomach feeding tube with a different kind, which will be a more effective way of getting nutrition into him. Michael's

Drs tell us that 25 lbs weight loss in the first month is normal for coma patients, but Michael's stomach has not been

too happy with the tube feeding and they want to be sure he does not lose any more weight. The original tube had

recently moved out of position, they are not sure why, but it could have possibly been from stomach spasms. They

temporarily have a feeding tube going in thru his nose to his stomach and are also supplementing him with IV fluids

and additional nutrition until the procedure can be completed.

 

I went to see him on Saturday and I could tell the poor guy was a bit uncomfortable and tense and drained of energy,

but I when saw him again on Tuesday and he was resting comfortably and he looked much better. His color was great

and his expression was relaxed and I could tell he just felt better and had more energy. They have been weighing him

every day monitoring his weight. Through all of this his vitals have all remained stable and they assure us he should not

have any set backs from this. The Drs tell us we should see much more noticeable improvements in his condition and

see better responses to his therapies now. He will be moved back to Kentfield Rehabilitation to resume his Physical,

Occupational and Coma Stimulation Therapies soon, possibly by the end of this week. I will let you all know as soon

as I get new information.

 

A couple other things I wanted to mention... even tho Michael is still unable to verbally respond to us so far, he is getting

really good about relaxing certain muscles when we ask him to and also that I noticed his eyes following my Mom to his

right a couple times as she walked through his line of vision. Last time I saw him, most of his eye movement had been to

his left. So even though things have temporarily slowed down for him, his brain has kept on healing it's injuries and he

continues to improve.

 

I want to again say Thank You to everyone for EVERYTHING you have all done for Michael and the Family... your

love, hope, support, efforts, cards, gifts, calls, emails, contributions, positive healing thoughts and prayers are all

GREATLY APPRECIATED and we are all so very touched at how caring everyone is. Michael will be overwhelmed

by all of this once he's well enough to take it all in :)

 

Bye for now...

~Chrissy~

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Subject: Michael's First Weekend At Kentfield

Date: 4/28/2003

From: Chrissy

 

Hi Guys

I went to see Michael again this weekend :) He had a very busy weekend with lots of family and friends there to

see him. He's doing great getting settled into the routine there at Kentfield. They have him on a very busy schedule

with all of his physical and occupational therapies, his feeding, his baths, changing his positions throughout the day,

etc. They should be doing some tests with him tomorrow. If he passes those tests, they work with him on his swallowing.

And later on, after that is all going well they will slowly start working on getting him to start swallowing food. So day

by day he's progressing one step further in his rehabilitation and as his brain works on healing the injuries, he'll be

"coming around" more and more. Michael is sharing a room with a really great guy named Kevin who was in a really

bad car accident and suffered a head serious injury very similar to Michael's. He has been there only 2 months and he

is doing GREAT, it is a HUGE inspiration for all of us to see how well Kentfield has "brought him back". It is really great

and comforting to be able to talk with his family about how his condition was when he first came there and what he went

through during each of his steps as he has progressed. He's a funny, outgoing and happy guy and he likes to come talk

to Michael, and I am sure they will be great friends as Michael progresses :) The weather was really nice on Sunday

afternoon and after his weekend physical and occupational therapists had worked with him, they dressed him and we

were able to take him outside in the sun in his wheelchair, (decorated with yellow and black STANTON 17 stickers of

course! -- We have those stuck on everything in his room!!). We put a pair of cool shades on him and wheeled him

around the grounds for some fresh air and warm sun :)

 

I want to GRATEFULLY THANK EVERYONE again for all their love, support, hope, prayers and positive thoughts

and energy they have sent Michael's way. I was overwhelmed and very touched when I read all the cards everyone has

sent. And to those who have been able to come see him... I just can't tell you what that means to my family, AND to

Michael. Even though he can't really respond to any of us yet, we all know he can hear us and that he is very aware of

his visitors :)

 

Bye for now

~Chrissy~

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Subject: YaY!! Michael's all settled in :)

Date: 4/23/2003

From: Chrissy

 

Hello Everyone

I can't tell you what a HUGE RELIEF it is to have Michael up here in Northern California! We are lucky to

have found such a highly recommended facility that is so close to so much of my family, we will be able to see

Michael very frequently and participate as much as possible with his rehabilitation. My family and I are very

comfortable with Kentfield's facility and we all feel he is in great hands. They have a kind, caring and compassionate

staff, and they are very professional. His Physiatrist that I met today is absolutely wonderful, and very concerned

that ALL of Michael's needs are met immediately. She was very thorough with her exam and evaluation of Michael

and she was really great about explaining everything to my parents and I. When I arrived, my Mom of course rushed

me in to see Michael right away. Luckily for me, he was in a "wakeful state" and his eyes were open, open more than

I have seen them since he was injured. When I put myself in his line of vision and locked eyes with him and spoke to him,

I could tell he was actually seeing me this time, I wasn't just standing in his gaze. He is still not able to respond yet, but

he seems sooooo close to the surface now, I know it will only be a matter of time before he can.

 

It felt really good to finally see that my brother was still "in there" after seeing him completely unconscious on my last trip

down to Arrowhead!He has made an incredible amount of progress, and I bet he will really kick it into gear now that he's

at a facility that specializes in care and recovery for coma patients! Michael did not seem to have any negative effects

from the flight or ambulance rides and after they got him all settled in and things quieted down, he was resting comfortably.

And my family finally all breathed a big sigh of relief too :)

 

Michael's shown us he's staying strong, ready to tackle his recovery and he's not about to give up!

And now more than ever he needs those positive healing thoughts and prayers for a full recovery!

 

Here is the address where Michael's cards can now be sent:

(He may be moved to a different room soon, but I will keep the room #'s updated)

 

Michael Stanton, Room #134 B

c/o Kentfield Rehabilitation Hospital

1125 Sir Francis Drake Blvd

Kentfield, CA

94904

 

Thanks again to everyone for your all support, concern and hope for Michael :)

Until the next update...

~Chrissy~

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Subject: Michael's here in N Cali now!

Date: 4/22/2003

From: Chrissy

 

Hello Everyone!

Just wanted to let everyone know my Mom called this morning and told me that her and Michael have already

landed in Santa Rosa, up here in Northern California, and they are being transported to Kentfield Rehabilitation

Hospital in an ambulance as I type this. She said the flight went well and Michael is doing fine. I am heading down

there this afternoon to see him. I will send the address, room and phone number, as well as a short update to post,

tonight when I get home. My whole family is excited and relieved that Michael is closer to home and FINALLY in

a facility that will be aggressively working to wake him up and get started on his rehabilitation and coma stimulation

therapies right away :) We are all anxious to see how his progress goes now that he's where he needs to be!

 

Bye for now...

~Chrissy~

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Subject: Day 28

Date: 4/19/2003

From: Chrissy

 

Hello Everyone

Today is the 28th day since Michael sustained his head injury. His condition continues to improve, making the one

day at a time steps towards recovery. He is responding very well and fully benefiting from his physical and occupational

therapies. My Mom talks to him slowly as she works with him and assures him he's doing great and that he is going to

be ok, it's just going to take time to heal. She tries to reassure there's nothing to worry about and slowly explains

everything to him as it happens. He responds to her requests to relax certain parts of his body while she works with

him now and seems to finally be looking AT her when she is in his line of vision. This is all GREAT progress and he

seems to be "closer to the surface" every day :) We are hoping soon that the fog of his coma lifts completely! His Drs

tell us that Michael is A WHOLE MONTH AHEAD of other patients that have sustained this type of injury. We are

so thankful he is as healthy and strong willed as he is. We will never lose hope that he will beat this!!

 

Michael had the necessary CT Scan yesterday, in preparation to be moved to a wonderful Rehabilitation Hospital that

has accepted him, close to the Bay Area. If he remains stable he will be flown by fixed wing aircraft at the beginning of

next week and my Mom will be flying with him. He may not be able to have visitors right away after his arrival, as they

will need to get him comfortable and started on his Coma Stimulation Therapies. I will let everyone know as soon as he's

been moved and I'll post the mailing address and telephone number as soon as I can.

 

Thank You once again to EVERYONE for their positive healing thoughts, love, hope, prayers, support and contributions :)

 

Bye for now..

~Chrissy~

 

May the Higher Power's healing energy keep Michael comfortable and enlighten, uplift and completely heal him!!

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Subject: Progress report

Date: 4/14/2003

From: Chrissy

 

Just wanted to post a progress report ...

 

Michael's still in a coma as of today 4/14/03, but his condition is continuing to improve every day. He was

recently moved from ICU to a private room on the next floor up, room #3309. He is off all sedatives and

monitors now, as his Drs all say he's stable and doesn't need them. In fact, his Drs are very impressed with

him and say that he is responding well :) He has his eyes open now when he is in his "wakeful state" and seems

to be starting to come out of the coma. They have him sitting up for periods every day and they have even started

sessions of physical and occupational therapies in preparation for a Coma Stimulation Program. My Mom is able

to assist with the therapies and is allowed to stay with him as much as she likes through the days now. The case

workers are still working on getting him placed in the most well rounded rehab/recovery facility as possible.

Our choices have narrowed down and they may let us know as soon as Tuesday as to when and where he will

be moved to.

 

I want to again say Thank You to everyone who has made the trip down to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center

to see Michael and be supportive of the family, and to everyone that has helped and supported us in other ways

through all of these hard days. It means a lot to us and it will also mean a lot to Michael when wakes up :)

 

I know I don't have to ask, but everyone please keep on praying for his full recovery and sending all your

positive healing thoughts to Michael. He's taking it one day at a time and making steady progress :)

 

~Chrissy~

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Subject: Day 17

Date: 4/8/2003

From: Chrissy

 

You have NO idea how much it touched me and how hard I cried when I read the saw the pics of

all the riders lined up giving Michael a THUMBS UP!!! It TOTALLY blew me away that you guys had

done that for him and he responded to his Dr's command to move his thumb the next day!! Maybe I'm

reading too much into it, but I would have to say that maybe Michael has some sort of "connection" to

all you guys and that little thumb wiggle he gave his Dr has a hell of a lot more significance than we all

know! I think he was giving a big THUMBS UP right back atcha!! :))

 

It was soooo great to see all of the pics of the riders that all signed the first shirt for Michael!!! I

loved the pic of Spud Walters holding the shirt up too, what a couple of CAMERA HAMS!! Michael will

LOVE to see that :)) The shirts look absolutely AWESOME and I can't wait until he wakes up and gets to see the

one everyone signed for him. And the big 4 foot HUGE card is going to make him smile HUGE too!! Thank

You to ALL of you guys that did that for him!!! A simple Thank You typed out can't even come close to

expressing our Thanks, but I want to let you guys know that my whole family and I are incredibly grateful to

EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU!!

 

Michael is still doing good today, and his Drs have moved him from a 4 on the Glasgow Coma Scale up to a

7!!! My Mom and Melanie both tell me that he seems to be in a "lesser sate" of a coma now, and despite the

occasional minor setbacks, he's progressing more and more every day :) Everyone please continue to keep

him in your thoughts and prayers, I know it's helping him! Send him ALL your positive healing energy, and

wish him a SPEEDY and FULL recovery!

 

He's showing us he's fighting hard to win this and there's no yellow flag stopping the race this time!!!

Thank You all SOOOOOOOOOO Much!!!

Hugs to you all,

Michael's Sister Chrissy

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Subject: Good News Update on Michael 4/7... day 16

Date: 4/7/2003

From: Chrissy

 

Hi guys :) - Just got off the phone with my Mom... she had GREAT NEWS!!

 

Michael is still in a coma today, 4/7... but while he was in a "wakeful state" today... (not in a "sleeping state") his

Dr came in and started talking to him and asked him to give her 2 fingers. He responded by moving his right arm

a little. (My Mom said she told her to tell him to give it some throttle, she cracks me up :)). Then his Dr asked him

to move just his thumb and HE DID!! She let him rest and then held his hand to make sure it was an isolated

movement and asked him to do it again... and HE DID IT AGAIN ON COMMAND!!!! :)) YAYYYYYYY!!!!

Moving his thumb on command is a very complex response and a very positive thing!! It shows us that he's on his

way back :))

 

They are still researching facilities to move him to, but we should know something soon. I'll let everyone know as

soon as they decided where he's going.

Everyone keep those postive healing thoughts and prayers headed his way, those combined with his own amazing

strength are bringing him back to us!!

 

May the Higher Power's healing energy keep Michael comfortable and enlighten, uplift and completely heal him

 

Till next time...

~Chrissy~

(Michael's Sister)

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Subject: News

Date: 4/2/2003

From: Chrissy

 

Just got off the phone with my Mom... and my Dad is on his way down there now in his motorhome...

 

My Mom just gave me the daily update and she said Michael is still doing great. His temp is still good and they

put him on a muscle relaxer so he is resting comfortably. They also have him on aggressive antibiotics to fight an

infection that they cannot pinpoint that they say might also be the culprit for raising his temp, but it's near normal

now. They still need to do an MRI .. she was going to meet with his doctors and had to cut the call short, but she

said she will update me more later this afternoon. Anyway.... all of this is GOOD news because he is that much

closer to being stable enough to move back to Northern Cali, possibly before I planned on going back down

there YAY:)) They also have a case worker researching facilities to move him to, for each step of his recovery :)

 

I keep forgetting to mention this... Shawn MacDonald had some red and yellow stickers made of the #17.... and

he when he came to visit Michael he stuck one on the front of Michael's head/neck support collar AND one on

each side of the arm rails of his hospital bed (his side plates) :)) Shawn rocks :))

 

Things are lookin' up :)

I'll be in touch with more news when I get it.

 

~Chrissy~

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Subject: Stanton #17

Date: 4/2/2003

From: Travis MacDonald

 

It's Wed. April 2, and last night I was at the hospital visiting Michael. If you don't already know, I was at

the track when Michael crashed, and I was the first person to meet Michael at the hospital. Since that day,

I have spent almost everyday (for at least an hour) at the hospital visiting my good friend Michael. And the only

thing I can say about this guy is Wow!!! He is an animal. To the visual naked eye, he looks healthier and stronger

everyday. As everyone knows he had that screw pulled out of his head, which was a huge goal!He has amazed

everyone so much already, I just can't wait to see what he's going to do next. But, it seems like time will only tell

So the best thing to do right now is pray for him to have a speedy recovery. In the mean time I will be in and out

of the hospital as much as I possibly can. If anyone has any questions, I would be happy to answer them to the

best of MY knowledge.

 

Travis MacDonald

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Subject: Update From Michael's Mother

Date: 4/1/2003

From: Theresa

 

:-) GOAL!!!!!!! :-)

 

Day 10 - This update is coming directly from Michael's Mom, Theresa Casterson and today Michael reached a

major goal!!! On day one Michael had a procedure called a ventriculostomy, a bolt installed in his head to allow

monitoring of his inner cranial pressure as well as a drain to eliminate excess cerebral fluids accumulating due to

swelling. This morning the ventriculostomy was removed from Michael's head, since his healing has progressed

enough to get all those things under control to a normal level!! This is tremendous progress, and has been one of

the major stepping stones since we got past the first 72 hours. Needless to say we are thankful beyond description!

We have faith that this comes from his own inner strength, will and determination, that of the higher power, along

with everyone's prayers and positive thoughts coming his way.

 

It's hard to find the words how grateful all of us are for this....Just keep those positive healing thoughts coming

and that we will have our Michael back better than ever.

 

I have faith, I give Michael only positive thoughts, encouragement and love, communicating with him in a way

only his mother can. I have composed a prayer, chant, mantra, whatever you want to label it that I'd like to share

and would appreciate everyone doing this at least once a day:

 

May the Higher Power's healing energy keep Michael comfortable and enlighten, uplift and completely heal

Michael. Thank you -- It is done.

 

We will continue to update with all the positive steps, big ones or baby steps!

And again, thank you to everyone. Michael is just now showing us the phenomenal being that he is!!!

 

Theresa

(Michael's Mother)

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Subject: Michael

Date: 3/31/2003

From: Chrissy

 

I just have a minute.... but I wanted to personally post a THANK YOU to all of Michael's friends that have

come all the way down to see him at the Trauma Center and be supportive of the family. It's very touching

to know you all care so much, you have made my Mom and the rest of us feel so much better.You have no idea

of the power of just a hug and your comforting words :) Michael will be grateful to you all for being such

great friends not just to him, but to all of us :)

 

As his sister, I felt I just really needed to say Thanks to you all for caring...

~Chrissy~

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Subject: Something to post...

Date: 3/31/2003 

From: Chrissy

 

There's still really no huge changes for Michael, and definitely nothing bad or negative. He is still in a coma but

letting us know he is very much alive. His heart is still strong, and he's not showing any signs of giving up. His

numbers and vitals are all still good. His nurse finally shaved his face and sponge bathed him, so he looks and

smells much better :) She told me the shaving made him a little grumpy and he pulled away a little bit, so that

shows he is responsive to pain, which is a positive sign. He is also having some slight movements that the Dr's

and nurses believe are actually him really moving and not just muscular spasms or reflexes. It is still all basically

a waiting game, taking one day at a time, assessing each day, doing more tests and hoping for more improvements

the next day, no matter how minor...

 

My family and I have not given up hope once, even on our hardest days while we've been here. We all believe

in Michael's strength, he is in top physical shape with a damn strong heart and he has no other injuries to battle

at the same time. So we know his body is focusing all it's energy on healing the brain injury. I really feel if he did

not want to be here... he would have let this beat him already. He's been racing since he was 10 yrs old and has

never been a quitter in his life, and I know HE WILL WIN THIS RACE. He's making some sort of positive

progress every day, maybe only minor things, but it's still progress...

 

One day at a time plus everyone's love, thoughts and prayers are what will get him to the checkered flag

Thanks again to everyone for all their love and support

 

I am sorry updates are so infrequent, it is difficult to find the time to get online, but look at it this way....

NO NEWS is GOOD NEWS and NO BAD NEWS is even BETTER :)

 

~Chrissy~

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Subject: News About Michael

Date: 3/29/2003

From: phone convo w/ Theresa Stanton Casterson (Mother)

 

"This was a calm day today for Michael. His fever is down and I swear he squeezed my hand today. As a mother I

am sure I felt that, I understand that his hand felt different. His color is good, his vitals are good, he is a fighter. It's

not a feeling or denial, it's my gut feeling, he is going to be just fine. It's all positive energy. He will be just fine. His

fighting strength is there.

 

Chrissy and I spoke today and want to thank Don and Jennifer for all you have done so far. The photos were

simply overwhelming, the heart warming feeling that came across my mind when we saw his smiling face with those

photos were awesome. I heard about the Poster you are doing for Michael and will be sure to place it where he

will see it when he wakes up.

 

He is our Lance Armstrong - That guy did miracles, and he is like my son for sure. Right now Michael is rallying -

he is working it out! The neurologist is happy too, stating that he is making progress..

Spud Walters is Awesome - thank him so much for the Motorhome. Chrissy is back down here with us again and

really pulling for her brother. She is as special as he is. I am so thankful she is here with us and looking out for her

brother.

 

Michael's father Steve is here too, and he is worried. As a father would be. But, it's all positive - his being here helps

Michael and him both.

 

Donavan Mitchell came today and Melanie talked to him at length. What a wonderful guy. He is welcome anytime -

no permission needed.

 

Beau Judge, as soon as we can give you a big hug for Michael we will, as we found out you have a hematoma and

not a broken collar bone. Cheer up because Michael would want you to - he will need you to be the strong one in

his fight for recovery. Keep racing, never quit!"

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Subject: A Thank You update...

Date: 3/27/2003

From: Chrissy

 

The Stanton Family would like to GRATEFULLY THANK Michael's buddy Travis MacDonald,

(brother of Shawn MacDonald #39) for being there with Michael at the track after the crash, for

being there at the hospital trauma center with him almost nonstop until family arrived and for being

SO supportive and helpful to our family! He is TRULY an angel for all that he is doing to help us out!

 

We also want to shout out a big loud HAPPY BIRTHDAY TRAVIS!!!! :)

 

The family also wants to express our Thanks and Appreciation to that great guy Mitch Kirkpatrick

for also being with there with Michael at his side the whole time after the crash until he was flown out!!

You guys do not know how much it means to the family that Michael had you guys with him when we

couldn't be!!

 

I need to take this opportunity to Thank You to EVERYONE involved for ALL they have done to

help Michael and the Stanton family during this horrific time. It is difficult to keep up with who we

owe thanks to right now and we do not want to leave anyone out... so please know that we send a

huge THANK YOU to each and every one of you, we are VERY grateful!!!

 

 

Thanks you so much for all you have done and all your concern

~Chrissy~

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Subject: First Update

Date: 3/27/2003

From: Chrissy

 

Hello Everyone

There are no significant changes in either direction today for Michael's condition today, he is still in a

coma, in ICU, will possibly stay in ICU for 2 weeks minimum. They are taking him off the sedative soon

to see if he will start waking up. They are running continual tests and will soon do a CT scan and an MRI.

The Dr. tell us he is doing well considering the injury, all his numbers and vitals are good, but it is still

too soon to know anything more. We are planning to move him to a facility closer to home as soon as

his condition is determined completely stable and it is safe to do so... but that could possibly be 4 weeks

away.

 

The amount of support from everyone is so overwhelming and wonderful, and we need to continue to network

with everyone we can and get the word out about the fund account, as his medical coverage will only cover so

much of the medical costs... I have heard there's quite a bit coming in already :)

 

Since Michael is in ICU he won't be able to have any flowers or balloons etc until he is moved to a private

room... but cards may still be sent to Michael at the trauma center...

 and he will get to see those when he wakes up!

 

My family wishes to somehow relay just how tremendously grateful we are for all the help and support

from everyone. It is very overwhelming and comforting at the same time. I'd like to again express a

very special HUGE Thank You from all of my family members and friends down with Michael right

now to Spud Walters and his family. Spud went above and beyond and brought his brand new travel

trailer for my family to park on the hospital premises, so we can all stay close to Michael, but still get

a little rest as we all wait our turn to go in and see him. The hospital waiting rooms were really difficult

for us to deal with and the hotels are not close for showers and sleeping, so shuttling back and forth was

horrible. We are extremely grateful for Spud Walters' and his family's generosity and we cannot express

enough Thanks to them!!

 

Carmichael Honda has also offered to provide a us with a hotel room close by, and it will help

tremendously to have an extra bed to rest in and shower to use. Many many thanks to them also

for all they are doing for Michael and the family!!

 

Thanks SO much everyone,

Chrissy Stanton

(Michael's Sister)

___________________________________________________________________________________________

From the day of the accident until the first update…

 

I got the call the morning of Sunday March 23rd. When I picked up the phone it was my Mother, she was

frantic and crying saying she was on her way to the airport because Michael had wrecked bad while racing

and that he was knocked unconscious from a head injury and airlifted to a trauma center. No one was sure

he would survive the injury and that was all she knew at that point. They were flying down to San Bernardino

to go see him as soon as they could get to the airport. She wanted me to get down there as soon as I could.

I could not fly down tho, I never have, so we started driving down. I was numb and in shock the whole 11

hours it took me to get there. I don’t even remember the drive.

 

When I arrived a lot of my family was already there, they were all very worried and concerned. By then

Michael had been stabilized in ICU but the Drs and staff did not know how extensive the injury was, but at

least he was still alive. His brain was still swelling and they had no idea how much brain damage there was or

how much more could be caused by the swelling. The first 72 hours would be crucial and if he survived them

they would be able to tell us more. They had put a drain in his head to alleviate extra pressure from the

swelling and they had chilled his body to way below normal temperature to slow both the body and brain down

so it could begin healing.

 

I had not seen my brother in quite some time, and it absolutely shook me to the core to see him laying there so

lifeless with tubes and wires sticking out of him and hooked up to a ton of machines. For the next few days my

family and I were numb with worry and fear of the worst case scenario. We got 15 minutes of visiting every hour

to go see him, one or 2 people at a time, that was all that ICU would allow, but at least we got to see him and I

can only hope that he somehow knew we were all there. Luckily we had each other all there to support one another.

Several of Michael’s friends were also there. It took several days for the shock to wear off enough so that I was

able to send out emails about Michael’s condition. The posts above are all about his recovery progress since then up

to the present…

 

As you can see from the posts my Mother has been by Michael’s side since day 1 making sure he gets the care he

needs and always having what is best for Michael as her focal point. I honestly believe had she not been there

Michael would not have progressed as far as he has so far. She is truly an amazing woman and Mother, she’s been

inspirational and comforting to him this whole time. And even tho he can not speak the words yet Michael has many

times over shown her his appreciation and his love or her, I have seen it. So many of my friends are amazed at what

she’s sacrificed for her son’s well being and tell me we are lucky to have such a wonderful, caring Mother. And they

are absolutely right.

 

I hope that maybe someone who is going through the exact same sort of thing right now can somehow get a little bit

of comfort, hope or inspiration from reading this web page. In a way… posting the updates helped me at times, but

they were also a very hard look at the reality of the whole situation at times too. Even tho this situation for the most

part has brought Michael’s family and friends a lot closer together, I would not wish this kind of crisis on anyone’s

family

 

I have not ever doubted Michael or his ability to overcome this head injury, tho a lot of people have. My family and

I believe in who Michael was before the accident - strong, disciplined, competitive, driven, focused and intelligent…

And we believe in who Michael is now…

 

 

___________________________________________________________________________________________




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