Thursday, December 24, 2009

Reading Aloud

I would like to start this post by saying how overwhelmed I feel by all of the support everyone has given. My family and I are seeing so many blessings in the midst of such tragedy. Your prayers and thoughts and energy are moving us in positive directions each day. I don't know how to thank everyone for their donations as well. I feel like "thank you" sounds so empty and is not able to capture the true nature of my gratitude. Thanks to everyone's support, my family is able to stay nearby the hospital and the burden of financial stress is one thing we don't have to think about right now. It is quite a relief and as my mom added, "a miracle." Again, we are grateful beyond words.

Matthew was more alert today for a period of time. When I arrived, I told him I was there and I also told him James was there. At that point, he smiled. I gave him a choice of four different books. He started to become agitated, as if he wanted to say something, so I quickly chose a book for him (A Man Without A Country). I know before the accident, he had just finished another Kurt Vonnegut book and enjoyed it. I asked him if he wanted me to read to him and he nodded. He seemed to calm down immediately. I asked him after every chapter if he wanted me to continue and he nodded. A couple of times he seemed to fall asleep. I read to him for probably an hour. He was definitely more aware of the large breathing tube. Several times, he lifted his arms in attempt to pull it out. I felt so good today, though, being able to bring him some peace, some calm, some serenity.

Matthew went into surgery today after I left. The surgeons decided that they needed to clean his wound and possibly do skin grafting. They do not want to put any screws or hardware in his pelvis until his wound is completely healed to avoid infection. The wound may take two to four weeks to heal. The doctors are also thinking that his pelvis may heal on its own. This would obviously be much better anyway than having to intervene with artificial hardware. The doctor who spoke to us today was very optimistic. He said that the mortality rate for this kind of injury is 60% and that the fact the Matthew has come through it to this point is a very good sign. He said "we're moving towards being out of the woods." He encouraged us to stay positive and to see the blessings. He wished my mom and I a Merry Christmas and he followed it with, "Seriously, Merry Christmas, you have your son."

I never completely understood the impact the medical team has on a family in need until now. I have never been in this dire a situation. I am so grateful for the competent, caring, positive, compassionate team at this hospital.

I called the hospital tonight for a final update before bed, and they said that Matthew will probably come off of the ventilator tomorrow. This is good news, although he is agitated tonight because they are reducing his sedation and he can feel more. Tomorrow is Christmas and my original plan was to be up in the Bay Area with my parents. It was going to be the first year Matthew was not going to be with us for Christmas. I was feeling really sad about it and thinking last week how much I wished he would be with us. Life is so we are...all together. I don't know that I have ever felt so happy as an adult on Christmas Eve as I do tonight. I have my brother and I could not ask for more.


  1. Oh man, I really would like to visit Matt.
    I could read to him, or something.
    I could find time maybe in the next week
    if visiting hours are less strict.

    Hang in there, I hope your holidays are still nice
    but also that Matt doesn't miss out on TOO much!


  2. Blessings and prayers to you and your family! Stay strong!

  3. Our family sends love and wishes for a Merry Christmas to all of you. You are constantly in our thoughts and hearts and I am so glad that I got to see you the other day and look forward to seeing you again soon, in January, 2010. Thank you for the good news about Matthew. We are all so thankful he is making his way out of the woods, with the help of his dear family, close friends and the medical staff attending to him. You are all a blessing in our lives and I am heartened to hear that Matthew and all of you feel love and support from others who care deeply about you. Love, Roberta, Bob, Alex, Gillian and Marissa

  4. Praying that the Lord will bring joy in the midst of this chaos in your family's life.
    I know Matt from San Diego and wishing you guys the best. I pray that this time brings you all together.
    Merry Christmas and peace to you and yours.
    Good vibes all your ways!

  5. Beautiful post Erin. Glad to hear the doctor was optimistic and that you have confidence in the medical team treating Mathew.

  6. Dearest Erin,

    Thank you for the daily posts. I can tell by the way that you write that you and Matthew are very close. Where can we send donations? (I have known your mom since we were 18 years old.) Matthew, you and your parents are in my prayers. Maria

  7. If you would like to donate please click the following link: