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It's been a long, tough 7 months

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    It's been a long, tough 7 months

    My brother(24), his fiance, and their one yr old daughter were gunned down by an unstable neighbor on 9/7/2010. Thank goodness baby Deja and Terra were not hit with the 44, but my brother was at close range. At first there was shock...we live in a very small town, things like this do not happen. Cody was in ICU for 3 months, then rehab, until he needed flap surgery (300 stitches). He, his fiance, and daughter moved in with my family the week of Christmas, as the man who shot Cody is out on bail and lives right next door. Cody is no longer on vent or trach, he is complete T4. He still spends most of his time in his Clinitron. I love Cody so much, more like a son, considering our age difference. He was in the ICU 2 weeks ago due to a UTI, temp of 106. Going back to the doctor today, he has been having accidents again the past few days and has a really bad cough. He is always in severe pain, and the doctors don't seem to understand. I just want to learn as much as I can, so that I can help him. So any info and comments greatly appreciated! He has gotten so depressed, I am so worried.

    #2
    Holy smokes brguthrie that is a terrible story -how on earth is this person out on bail !!

    Well however you happened to find us I'm awfully glad you did - you will find all the support you need here and we'll try and answer any question you care to ask. No question is considered too silly and if you need to just blow off some steam you can do that too ! It might be helpful to just do some reading and become familiar with the site - the Care forum is probably going to be most helpful to you right now and if your brother is having pain issues there is the Pain forum of course. Any chance he can make his way to us? The first few months can be so scary and overwhelming but we'll help guide you through it - you will find you will be educating doctors about this injury more than you probably can imagine right now - it's true!!

    I have to dash but I just wanted to welcome you here for now - I know you will get more responses ! You have found the number 1 site for support and everything you need or ever wanted to know about sci !!

    Stay strong .... visit us often
    Obieone
    ~ Be the change you wish to see in the world ~ Mahatma Gandi


    " calling all Angels ...... calling all Angels ....walk me through this one .. don't leave me alone .... calling all Angels .... calling all Angels .... we're tryin' and we're hopin' cause we're not sure how ....... this .... goes ..."
    Jane Siberry

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      #3
      Thank you Obieone. I have been looking at the site for a couple of months, but this is the first time I have posted. I am so grateful I found this site through The Christopher Reeve Foundation. I will try to get Cody to check it out, he does spend time on-line, but things have seemed to gotten worse not better. I am scared about his health and terrified of his mental state. Saturday was the worse day yet. And while he is entitled to be very angry, often his fiance, myself and husband, and two teen sons don't know what we can do to help. BTW...the man that shot Cody has a history of aggression in our town, but no priors. And average bail in our county is 25,000. They reduced his from 100,000 to 50,000 and he made it after 3 weeks in jail.

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        #4
        Tell your brother not to give up, I have lived 40 years as a paraplegic and worked full time a little over 30, I married a woman in a chair after my injury and we have lived completely independently except for lawn service and the last few years snow plowing. While I was working I accumulated more sick leave than all my other coworkers as I took fewer sick days. Things may look dim now but can get much better, since he is recently injured he may still get some return.

        Too bad that maniac was allowed bail.

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          #5
          Originally posted by ancientgimp View Post
          Too bad that maniac was allowed bail.
          Talk about rubbing it in, letting the b@stard out so he can move back home forcing your brother out of his!

          Welcome to CC.

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            #6
            Welcome. Yes, what an awful set of circumstances. Glad you posted.

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              #7
              I do hope you have some sort of protection in the house, he shouldn't be allowed any guns, since he's out on bail, but I wouldn't trust him. gad, that would just burn my ass if they did that!!!your whole family is now in danger.

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                #8
                Thanks for the support everyone! It does make it harder that the man who caused this has no remorse. When told Cody was in ICU again 2 weeks ago and that he will never walk again, the man laughed, took a bow, and pretended to play the violin to my brother's fiance father. Cody is in a better mood today and we dropped off a urine sample at the lab. Still worried about his bad cough. I have never felto so much anger before in my life. Cody is a writer and won a contest when he was 19, right after our mom died, and his play was put on in Pittsburgh. I hope when he feels better, since he has the use of his arms, writing will help him get through things.

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                  #9
                  Please tell him it does get better with time. The circumstances of his injury are just terrible, and I would personally want to put the guy who shot him in worse straits (only want to, wouldn't actually do!). If your brother is a writer that is a very good thing to be. When he feels up to it I hope he does go back to writing since his disability wouldn't interfere with that at all. He may eventually be inspired to share his story in a more public way, or a way that somehow prevents total scoundrels from making bail so easily. I have been SCI for 44 years and have had a pretty normal life despite the disability, so tell him it is really possible. Even if he doesn't hear it through the fog of anger and depression he needs to at least be told, maybe repeatedly. It would be great if he came on this site, but till then tell him there are a bunch of us here who are angry for him, and who sincerely want him to know he can have a meaningful life.

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                    #10
                    I would encourage Cody to to start a journal of his experiences. This will be very helpful when the criminal goes to trial and enters the sentencing phase. I also agree that the journal should be sent to lawmakers in your locality.

                    I can empathize with the small town deal. While we live in city limits, we are in a very rural area. The only delivery you get here is the mail, UPS and Fedex. There are no sidewalks so Ryan cannot go anywhere without being driven, though the nearest thing is more than 10 miles away (Walmart and 7-11 oh boy). It is harder when they do not have a real peer group locally. He can find peers here however and that may assist his depression. Also, there is such a thing as better living through pharmacology. He should be encouraged to see a therapist (if such exists in your area) who can recommend meds to his doc. These meds do not have to be permanent but can really help him make the transition to his new life.

                    Additionally, I would consult an attorney. Your brother and his family are going to have financial needs in the future as a result of this crime. Civil charges may or may not be appropriate before the criminal charges are satisfied. If this criminal owns his house, the value should be but in a special needs trust as soon as possible so that your brother and his family have the resources to be as independent as possible. Eventually, as a T level injury, he should be able to be fairly independent and able to participate in raising his daughter.

                    In closing I hope you got a good education at the rehab facility (you did not mention where) because the doctors locally have probably never seen anyone with his type of injury and the family is his best advocate until he is ready to be his own advocate.
                    Elizabeth A. Kephart, PHR
                    mom/caregiver to Ryan-age 21
                    Incomplete C-2 with TBI since 3/09

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                      #11
                      Cody was at UPMC Presby ICU in Pittsburgh for 2 months, then Rehab at UPMC Mercy, but the Rehab was ended due to his flap surgery. He needed discharged from the hospital due to insurance, so he was then transported to a nursing home closer to home after his surgery. When we got the Clinitron, he came home...flat out refused to go back to a hospital for rehab. I did find him a good civil law firm, however, we are told that since the act was intentional and not an accident, there can be no compensation from home or car insurance. This mans house has been paid off for twenty years and the family seems well off, but we are also told that we are not entitled to anything that also has the wifes name on it. So the best we can probably hope for is to get a lien against his home. Cody worked on their property, they sell organic foods to restaurants in Pittsburgh. Now he can't do that, and Terra, in the past babysat at home, but she has her hands full with being Cody's caretaker and a toddler. They have no income right now, I hope disability happens for him soon.

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                        #12
                        So sad. So sorry. BUT do not get discouraged because the most important thing you can do for your brother is just be there. Listen and tell him everyday that you LOVE him. Tears are coming to my eyes as I write this. Dont be afraid...doors open every day...they also close...it is life...just a bit different ( slight laugh, cause humor can and will see you through eventually) I am a T4 level and am very independent...I take care of my elderly parents and give dinner parties! I was hosp. for almost 6 months until my return. It is not easy at first, but it DOES get better...trust me, please.

                        I admire and automatically LOVE you for being there for him and his family. treasure it. My brother blames me for my injury although it was an accident, but because I was "drinking" he sees fit to pass judgement upon me- I fell out of a 2nd story window while at my parents helping them. The worst thing is, his kids and I were getting very close (Triplets) I had quit my job in Washington DC to come back to OH to care for my parents since I was single and had some savings I could use to help and set them up and return back at some point in time (My Dad has progressive dementia and they said about 3 years he would need long term care. I was able, willing and wanting to help them because they gave me a foundation that I have lived a very full life at not even 40. SO with This being said, I would say two things..well 3, cause they seem to come that way anyways... Be strong...Be There and Be grateful that he is still with you...hope his health improves. Writing has been my salvation, although I have not shared with others as of yet...it is still too real for me...even after almost four years post injury. Please feel free to PM me...I am pretty new to the site, but hae found my salvation, relief and answers here...you will too darlin!!

                        Wanted to add my Dad still lives at home...even after what the Docs told us...And for My brother, he lives 2.5 hrs away from my parents and still really would rather my Parents drive up to see them cause it is easier ( and, I think he will not see me) We were never close. Sad, but no big deal...but it is for my Parents that I am here. I have faith...surprising, cause everyone that knew me before my accident was SHOCKED that I dealt with this eventually. I was sad about leaving a very good DC job and my own friends who were my family for over ten years (I still see them twice a year on vacations at the beach) I guess I say all of this to say that eventually life...whatever it might be, gets back to normal, whatever that might be. I have a saying that an old boss gave me years ago in my early working career...I have lived by this and it truly does and will help you and your family... And I would consult another lawyer, cause that does not sound right...second opinions are VALUED in our community...same goes for medical. ASK questions and read up on stuff so you can educate your Doctors. I have seen some GREAT Docs at OSU in Columbus and they say that most Docs will not know what is goin on. Rehab is a great experience and you might want to see the Job and family services Dept in your City about benefits. My cobra lapsed two weeks prior to injury, but since I was a temp residency in OH, medicaid and then medicare stepped up. Sad, but COBRA was for me for more time was not on option and I was just "buying time" till I got bact to DC...which BTW was the week AFTER my injury. Guess God wanted me sto stay in Ohio with my folks...

                        Good Luck. Here is my MANTRA...please share with your brothr and his family...

                        "The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company...a church...a home. the remarkable thing is that we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will have for that day. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude...I am convinced that life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you...we are in charge of our attitudes" (Swindoll, Charles date unknown).
                        Last edited by diddlindoug; 21 Mar 2011, 10:36 PM. Reason: Addition...

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                          #13
                          Brgutherie, Talk him into rehab again. He really needs to go to a model SCi rehab center. There are four in PA. Harass the case manager at the insurance company. What the spend not on his rehab will greatly reduce what they will spend in the future when he has issues. We got lucky when Ryan got hurt in that his case manager at BCBS got this. He actually went to GA for rehab and it was the best thing we could have done. Was it wasy on us, no. he was a minor at the time and was battling bowel obstructions that came close to requiring surgery. It was he and I for months with visits from his dad and a few friends and his brother when my husband could get a long week end to make the 10 hour drive each way. Ryan went from a room full of friends at the trauma hospital to just his mom. We made it though and they not only taught me how to properly take care of him, when and where to make our own way, but most importantly they help Ryan realize what is possible and how to make the most of what he can do. He went from moving his left middle finger and legs at the hips to feeding himself, using his computer, talking (no more trac), and much more while he was there. It also helped his acceptance of his new life to see an increase in what he could do. Granted he is very incomplete but I saw the work they did with complete injuries and how the helped people maximize their abilities and return to a productive life.--eak
                          Elizabeth A. Kephart, PHR
                          mom/caregiver to Ryan-age 21
                          Incomplete C-2 with TBI since 3/09

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                            #14
                            the book from the Reeve center helps alot!!

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                              #15
                              Good point ddoug......the book from the Reeve center is a great resource to have on hand. Read it in small batches......I took in too much of it at one sitting and it is just too much to take in. Like most of us here, prior to the injury, I had no idea how complicated SCI is. I received my book in the ICU after my daughter's injury.
                              Link to Christopher Reeve site:
                              http://www.christopherreeve.org/site..._Paralyzed.htm

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