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Karina and Elias’s Story

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Welcome to our CaringBridge site for Karina and her son, Elias. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.

Dan & Karina's story begins in Boston, when Karina was visiting her sister who went to school with Dan. Karina, who spoke very little English, and Dan, who spoke very little Spanish, communicated fluently in the language of love. Their journey took them from Boston, to Chile, to Indiana and finally, Seattle, where Karina works at Seattle Children's Hospital. 

Baby Elias was born on March 15th, 2013 at Northwest Hospital. He weighed 8 lbs and 8 oz and was 19.75 inches long and perfect in every way. His parents were thrilled (tired, yes) and his grandparents were absolutely elated. The grandparents (Dan's parents) decided to move from Indiana to be close to their first grandchild and even moved blocks away so they would be able to help with anything Dan, Karina & Elias needed. They visited every day and beamed with pride and admiration at their young grandchild. 

On Monday, March 25th Karina, Elias and the doting grandparents set off on a walk. As they crossed the street near their home, a driver struck the foursome. The grandparents (Dan's parents) were killed instantly and Karina and Elias were rushed to the hospital. 
 
At the time of arrival, both Karina and baby Elias were in critical condition. Karina has been moved to stable. She has a fractured pelvis, hip and some torn ligaments in her knee. She has been kept sedated and will plan to have surgery in the next day or two.
 
Elias was wrapped in his mommy's arms when the accident occurred and was revived at the site. He has suffered some damage to his brain which the doctors are concerned about but he has shown signs of improvement since yesterday.
 
We will try and keep everyone updated on a daily basis. We appreciate the outpour of  love and support. Please keep Karina, baby Elias & Dan in your thoughts & prayers.


Latest Journal Update

Been slow to update here but here's one for those still following

It's been exactly 1.5 years since the tragedy hit our family.

I remember it nearly every waking hour. I remember the specific events of that day, the time and sights in the hospital, the shock of it all. I remember how happy my parents were the previous day. I'd never seen them so happy. I miss them dearly. I've grown to love and appreciate them even more since they passed.

All that said, I think those following us on CaringBridge might want an update. I know I haven't been on here much, but for those of you who only hear about us this way, I think you might like to read an update. My life has been, one might say, a bit busy.

I remember and am aware of have far we have come.

My wife and son have recovered so much since that day. Karina is walking longer and longer distances now only with a cane, using many more words than she could for most of the past 1.5 years, and understanding nearly everything that is said to her. She is helping more and more with caring for our son. And we are hopeful she is past any major surgeries. We certainly hope she doesn't need any more surgeries but even if she does we will get through it.

Elias has been right up there with his mama in terms of his recovery. He is delayed in terms of motor and other neurodevelopment, has limited vision due to cortical vision impairment, and will always have a VP shunt (drain) to deal with hydrocephalus (too much fluid in the brain). Yet, he continues to stay healthy, get stronger and exceed the expectations of many of his doctors. He's even starting to say "mama" and "papa!" Elias is so young and strong that I am optimistic he will grow up to be a smart, healthy and happy boy.

We will never forget 3/25/13 and the many months of survival mode that followed. We will never be the same. A tragedy like this leaves a deep wound that even time can't fully heal. We have to just focus on being in the present to take care of ourselves and each other and believe that things should continue to get better. I know that our love for each other seems to carry us on even through the worst of times and over the hills that often seem to only grow steeper. Even if we don't make it over all the hills (and we probably won't), what really matters is that we try and that we are together through it all. I don't believe this is some deep kind of wisdom. I think it's just what we all know already. Don't give up. Stay together. It won't all magically be perfect, but that's not what matters. What matters is that you "always care for others and let others care for you." Yes Bob!

This is where we are today, 1.5 years later. We are here and remain together today. Thank you again to all of our family, friends and the larger community for helping us in so many different ways since that day. We will also never forget your countless actions of compassion toward us. It has carried us through. Thank you all.

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Comments

28 Comments

Beth Kerr
By Beth Kerr
Thank you so much for your update. There are still so many in Kokomo, In who are praying for your family. I am so proud of your dear wife and your little one for working so hard to get better. I pray for you too Dan, for strength and hope as you all walk this journey.
Shirley Padgett
By Shirley Padgett — last edited
Dan, I know you don't know me, but I taught at Mary Castle with Marilyn. Your mom and dad helped in our classes so often and I loved them for who they were. True warriors for Christ and true warriors for children! (and mankind!) I have the morning prayer from the visitation at the high school in Kokomo on my mirror where I see it everyday. It has taught me to be thankful for every day and not take anything for granted, which we as humans do so often. Your personal tragedy his touched my life as well. I pray for you all everyday and love all pictures Marilyn posts of your adorable little hero(s)! Thank you for the update and continue your love for your family and your positive attitude! (we all know it is NOT easy) blessings to all...
sandy bulpin
By sandy bulpin
So good to have an update, thank you very much. I think of your family often and pray for you all. Hope to see you sometime I am over at my mothers house across the street often tending to the yard etc. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Gregg Svoma
By Gregg Svoma
You guys are still on my mind and in my prayers. You were probably three or four when I last saw you walking the halls of Western High School holding your dad's hand. Perhaps we could meet one day again my friend.
Melanie Granfors
By Melanie Granfors
Thank you so much for the update, and for acknowledging how many of us are out here still -- also thinking about 3/25/13 almost every day. We have never met, but I feel deeply bonded to your family through this tragedy. I hope it is comforting to know that so many people care about your family, and will never, EVER, stop working to end drunk driving.
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Terri Hilton
By Terri Hilton — last edited
God Bless you all! This past year and a half has been filled w/ despair, hope, fear, love, anger, excitement, let downs, regrets, guilt ..... a multitude of emotions at a very intense time in all of your lives. We are all pleased and grateful to hear that you're all improving and things look encouraging for even greater, faster change on the horizons ahead. I, for one, admire you (and your sister) for soldiering on. I've personally been in a similar scenario, and it's a long, lonely sometimes daunting journey. But hopefully, in time you will look back and see it as only a bad dream. This whole community's thoughts, prayers, and love will always be with you all. Thanks for the update! 😊❤
Mischelle Davis
By Mischelle Davis, Chairman, Advisory Board, Washington State, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
Thank you so much for posting an update. Your family is always top-of-mind for those of us who are fighting to eliminate drunk driving in Washington State.
Holly Jessop
By Holly Jessop
Thank you for the update! I still think of you all often. How wonderful to know how well everyone is doing.
Marilyn Schulte
By — last edited
I cannot say enough how much I love and respect you, Dan. You are amazing. I am so thankful to know you, Karina and Elias.
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Anne Zeijpveld
By Anne Zeijpveld
Thank you so much for the update. Every time I drive past the place where the tragic accident changed your lives forever, I think of you and hope you are still making progress in recovery. Living in the neighborhood and having a little girl just a little older than Elias, this had a big impact on me and still is on my mind a lot.
Love to you all
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