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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 28, 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

Remembering Richard

Today would have been Richard’s 31st birthday. A candle burns all day today in his favorite mug from the Science Museum. It’s almost half full of wax now, after seven previous burnings. We had a large group last night for the annual Stargazing. Aaron’s caregivers and their families, plus our new board members from Granite House were a good mix of regulars, newcomers, adults and children, parents, and friends.

It was one of those rare clear nights (and the warmest day all week). We looked through Richard’s telescope at Jupiter, and saw the moons and the features. The crescent moon looked bright and we were able to see all the craters. The “celestial hug” of Venus and Mars was visible- and we noticed how over the course of just an hour, they were moving closer together within our view. The children had constellation pictures to color and stuck glow-in-the-dark stars on black paper to make constellations to take home. What a wonderful way to honor Richard. We think about him all the time but it’s so important to devote this occasion to his memory. We love to imagine him being the one doing the instruction instead of us. He knew so much more about the night sky than we'll ever be able to.

Aaron joined us in the living room after most of the activity had settled down, and Eva had her first large-group experience. She did pretty well- although she did take someone’s BBQ sandwich and felt no remorse. Casey stayed upstairs and barked all evening. We’ll have another Granite House update in a few weeks.Lots of progress being made!