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My Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge website.  We cannot thank everyone enough for the love, support, and the prayers you have all given our family.


Dan, Amy, Joe, and Jamie

3618 Poe Ave

Racine Wi, 53405

Heres a link to a video from the benefit.

New link to Benefit Videos



The Scene of the Accident:
On Monday late afternoon, Dan was riding over to his mother's house to cut her grass. He often rides his bike without a shirt on and had the shirt wrapped around the handlebars. The shirt must have loosened and found it's way between the tire and the brakes of his bike, causing the front tire to lock up.  He remembers hearing a "pop" and thought he had blown a tire, and the next thing he remembers is waking up on the ground in a fetal position. Thankfully there were people in the area who immediately rushed to his aid. He informed the people around that he could not move or feel his arms and legs, and they were able to stabilize his neck until paramedics arrived. The paramedics (who he obviously knew) transported him to All Saints where he underwent a CAT Scan and MRI. The CAT Scan came back with positive results, showing no damage to his brain or skull. However, the MRI found issues with his spine and All Saints felt they were not equiped to safely treat him. So, late Monday night, Dan was transfered to Froedtert Memorial Hospital in Milwaukee.

Life at Froedtert:
Once we received the news that he would be transported to Froedtert, Amy called her sister Meg who has worked there for many years. Meg contacted people in the neurosurgical department to make sure that he would get the best of care. On Monday night Froedtert determined that Dan suffered a central spinal cord injury and would require surgery. They took him into surgery Tuesday around 2:30 p.m. Surgery went as well as the neurosurgeon had hoped for- no complications and no surprises. It was a very long surgery, finishing around 11 pm, and it involved extensive work to the back and front of his C3, C4, and C5 vertebrae. To make a long story a little shorter- he has a lot of hardware (screws, metal rods, titanium plates, and cadaver bone) in place now that will give his spinal cord the space it needs and will keep it protected.

On to Rehab:
For the next 10-12 weeks, he will be in a neck brace to protect the area as it heals. As many of you can imagine, all he has wanted to do since the accident, is start whatever therapies or rehab will help him get back to his active self. Yesterday (8/13/09) he had his first therapy session. They got him out of bed for the first time and into his wheelchair. They wheeled him down to the great rehab facility where he was able to show some strength and coordination while peddling a stationary wheel. After that, with a lot of help, he was able to bear weight on his legs, and showed great core muscle and good trunk control, all positive signs.

As of 8/16/09 Dad's room number in "5 SE 19" ( 5th Floor SouthEast Wing Room 19)  He should be here for the next 4 - 8 weeks.

Feed

Jamie DeMatthew posted a new journal entry.

Hey,I am back and apologize for not posting since Dan got home from RIC. I know everyone has been worried about us and I want you to know we are doing ok. It was a very ... Read more

Jamie DeMatthew posted a new journal entry.

Hey,I am back and apologize for not posting since Dan got home from RIC. I know everyone has been worried about us and I want you to know we are doing ok. It was a very ... Read more

Jamie DeMatthew posted a new journal entry.

Hey,Well the big day is here we bring Dan home Wed. The time at RIC really flew bye fast. We feel very lucky to have had this 2nd chance for him. The progress Dan made was ... Read more

Jamie DeMatthew posted a new journal entry.

Hey,Just checking in with the latest update on Dan.Heading down to RIC shortly to spend two days with him as we prepare to bring him home. His stay has been extended until ... Read more

Jamie DeMatthew posted a new journal entry.

Hey,Just a quick Dan update. After a team conference on Fri they decided to keep him until Fri May 18th. He still has lots of hard work ahead of him to get him stronger ... Read more

Jamie DeMatthew posted a new journal entry.

Good Morning,Just got off the phone with Dan and he sounded good and ready to face the day.Spent the day with him yesterday watching him work hard in all his therapies. He ... Read more

Jamie DeMatthew posted a new journal entry.

Hey,Thanks for all the encouragement sent our way through cards,phone calls and prayers. It gives all of strength to fight through Dan's latest challenges.Can't believe he ... Read more

Jamie DeMatthew posted a new journal entry.

Hey,Quick Dan update.RIC is amazing. Everything  is going well so far. Lots of changes for Dan coming from our home routine. They do bowel programs and showers at night ... Read more

Jamie DeMatthew posted a new journal entry.

Hey,Sorry for the lack of updates but sometimes I feel like a broken record always reporting that Dan doesn't feel good . Well, I finally have something to write about.For ... Read more

Jamie DeMatthew posted a new journal entry.

Hey,Instead of needing more hours in the day I could use an extra day in the week. I only have a few minutes to write but wanted you to know life for Dan has been a ... Read more

Jamie DeMatthew posted a new journal entry.

Hey,I'm back!!! When I checked the the date of my last posting I couldn't believe how much time has past and how much has gone on in our lives these past months. I ... Read more

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