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Aaron’s Story

This is for the Insley boys- Aaron and Richard- who were in an auto accident in the early hours of Nov. 25th, 2007, near their home in Lake Elmo. Richard, 23, did not survive. Aaron, now 29, was hospitalized in St. Paul and continued his recovery in Red Wing. He came home on Nov. 11th, 2008. Aaron is stable, healthy, and receives excellent care. He remains in a minimally conscious state with the effects of a severe traumatic brain injury.

Aaron and Richard were very close and shared many of the same interests and friends. They were both avid mountaineers, having climbed Granite Peak, the highest summit in Montana, with their dad on separate trips.

Richard was a recent graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, and was currently working as a bank teller. He was engaged to be married in April and was thinking of going to law school. We share in our grief with his fiancee, Jenn, and hold her in our prayers.

Aaron was a senior at Gustavus Adolphus as a geography major, and planned to go to MSU-Mankato fall 2007 for a graduate degree.

Aaron has made an amazing recovery in the first year and continues to heal from a head injury. Our hopes are very high for his continued progress at home. Thanks for your continued letters of encouragement and support, and for all the prayers for Aaron and our family.

Latest Journal Update


It’s been a long time since the last update—but no news with Aaron is always good news. He has been making the spring rounds of appointments, getting first a quick dental checkup and referral for a sedation dental exam and cleaning again this fall. We are always glad to hear that we as caregivers are doing a good job with his oral care, and that he can go two years between appointments. Aaron also just had a repeat outpatient surgery procedure to clear a stricture (obstruction) in his urinary tract. We can always tell when it is acting up, for he will hold back urinating for up to 8 hours and then look uncomfortable when he is successful. Lucky for us we have a home care nursing service that can come to the house, take a sample to the doctor, make recommendations and do many procedures without having to bring Aaron in. Our next task is to see the physical medicine doctor (physiatrist) and get an order for new Ankle/Foot Orthotics (“AFO’s”).  Aaron’s feet have changed and a mold of his feet will help get the exact size. We chose a camouflage style last time- we’ll see what is available when we order them again.

An update on Granite House—our new brochures are hot off the press, and several hundred have been mailed, handed out, or given to referral sources for distribution to interested families. We have no doubt that we will be able to find the families and residents we need. A visit to Red Wing Healthcare, where Aaron spent the last few months in 2008 before coming home, convinced us that just as HE passed through their doors, so will others, with their families looking for a better option than home care or long-term care.

I have been working on our Facebook page- a new experience for me. Luckily I have young caregivers here who understand how it works and can show me how to post text and photos. The Granite House page is a nonprofit business page, so we will not have “friends,” but everyone can “like” us and get the weekly feed. You can search “Granite House” on Facebook and go to the only site with our mountain logo and the phrase “nonprofit organization” next to it. Another option is to go to our website click on the Facebook icon at the bottom. We’d like to make our goal of 100 “Likes” by July 24, the one-year anniversary of the incorporation of our nonprofit. If you are on Facebook, help us make our goal! Thanks!


1 Comment

pat-jeri KEINZ
Hey guys, good to get the update. Sounds like things are going well. keep up the good work Aaron. Summer's almost here and we'll be able to spend some time out in the fresh air, huh.
Also sounds like Granite House in coming along pretty well too. Good job.
the college year winding down again. Finals this week. Graduation next week and then summer camps will begin. always busy up there,
You all take care and i'll be looking forward to the next update...pat k