Karina and Elias Schulte's Journal
Written Aug 15, 2013 12:25pmI know it has been a long time since anyone last posted but I wanted to share some big news.
Today is a HUGE day for our little family. Karina is finally having the surgery on her skull. It's been a long time comin'. We've been waiting for five months but the day has finally arrived. Please send good thoughts and vibes her way.
Also our little Elias Jose is turning 5 months old today. We will be celebrating big time tonight with his mama.
New DUI Law not enough -updated
Written Jun 28, 2013 11:09amI think I acted hastily with my last statement and have altered it to my current thinking. Truthfully, I have not had much time to sort it all out but definitely want to say something to help create positive change in any way I can. Please note this is a work in progress. I welcome any suggestions and comments.
Here is the updated statement:
I'm glad to know that recently the WA State Legislature worked on the DUI bill but I don't think they are doing enough to keep families safe.
My family was deeply afflicted by a repeat drunk driver in late March. Our state and other levels of government need to continue to work on the issue in the next session to create longer minimum jail sentences and convict drunk drivers as felons as soon as they pose a clear risk. It seems to me this is at the latest after the second offense when they have knowingly repeated their crime. (I also think anyone drinking and driving should be punished and monitored in a stiff manner, even if it's the first time.)
I want tougher laws because I know what can happen, My parents were killed and my wife and son were both critically injured at an intersection in NE Seattle in March of this year. In the middle of the afternoon on March 25, a drunk driver struck them while they were crossing the street at a commonly used by schoolchildren. This happened less than two blocks from Eckstein Middle School.
We are hurt deeply by this tragedy. My family will never be the same. My wife, a nurse at Seattle Children’s Hospital, will very likely never work again as an RN because of the stroke she suffered as a result of trauma. My son will never be able to participate in activities that many children enjoy because of his head injury. My parents are no longer with us and will not enjoy their golden years as grandparents.
We must have laws that protect our citizens from precarious offenders that abuse alcohol and drive our
city streets without concern for the safety of their fellow citizens. We must have laws that prevent these tragedies from occurring, and I know I’m not alone with this idea. Many families are suffering like mine. I believe this means more jail time for all offenders and felony charges after the second offense. It’s not clear why any repeat DUI offense is less than a felony. And to be completely clear, it only takes one time to change or end lives forever.
I understand it may be costly to keep offenders in jail and put them
through expensive rehabilitation programs. But it’s a worst cost on the victims of this crime. I deeply urge the Legislature to act again to stiffen penalties further so other families are not affected in such a terrible manner. Washington State can be a leader in this area, as many states do not have strict convictions. It's far too easy to start driving again and there is no clear method for deterring this dangerous action if the penalty does not scare people from doing it.
We must have laws that protect our citizens from drunk drivers. We need to discourage all of our citizens from driving while intoxicated and we must have more efficient measures to ensure repeat offenders are never on the road. They should be unable to access an automobile again. If thy pose a risk and cannot be controlled, they should be behind bars for lengthy sentences where they cannot do harm. They should be convicted as the felons they are. These are people well aware of what they are doing. Alcoholism is not an excuse. It is a disease that has serious and deadly consequences and must be controlled. If repeat offenders are released from prison there must be efficient enforcement mechanisms in place to guarantee there is no possible way they can drive while intoxicated again. The new law may help but I believe it is not enough.
I ask the governor, state senators, and congressmen and congresswomen to please take on this issue again and earnestly at the earliest available juncture. We must create the stiffest penalties possible. As my wife and son are healing and my family grieves the loss of my parents, I ask the legislature to not forget how easily tragedies caused by intoxicated drivers can occur.
Many more of these tragedies continue to happen and others are bound to happen if we do not discourage our citizens from drinking and driving. And we must find a way to keep the most dangerous alcoholics off of our city streets forever and in prison where they belong. Alcohol and automobiles do not mix and never will. This issue causes a great deal of incalculable suffering including the loss of life and livelihoods, and huge financial burdens on innocent families. We must strengthen our DUI laws to prevent these horrible events from occurring again.
I hope that our story will discourage some people from driving while intoxicated, but I know it is not enough. We need stiffer laws.
A month later, still going forward
Written Jun 18, 2013 12:09pmHello all,
I still ask for privacy but wanted to provide an update since it's been a month since the last one. Lots of individuals have reached out and I'm unable to respond to all, so wanted to write this today.
This past weekend, Elias celebrated his 3 month birthday like a champ. He's really a hero to us all. He is doing so well: eating, sleeping, playing and smiling like a normal baby boy. He's sleeping even better than most young babies. There are remaining concerns about his long term development but we won't know for years exactly how that will play out if at all. For now, I'm convinced he's a musical genius. He loves to hear singing and strumming.
Karina is also doing great, although the road in front of her is still long with lots of unknowns. She is eating very well and now in a normal state of consciousness. She continues to work hard on her speaking skills in addition to the occupational and physical therapy. Karina suffers from a difficult case of aphasia, which leaves a lot of room for improvement when it comes to language but she's speaking more all the time, and it seems with more accuracy as time goes by. Physically, she is able to get out of bed to a wheelchair and is starting to move more. Recently, she is more dedicated to her recovery and committed to getting well for Elias. I'm very proud of her and am still optimistic she will continue to make a huge recovery. Clearly, being with Elias is the best medicine. Overall, she's in very good spirits.
I want to say thanks again to you all for your support. We still have a long road and those of you that are watching out for us over the long haul will never be forgotten. We will give back to the communities that love us when we're healthy again.
My sister and sister-in-law in particular have been incredibly helpful, so let me make it public that we couldn't have come this far in he recovery without them!!
We will never be the same, but as I've said before, I do believe we will have a relatively normal family life someday. We will keep on keepin on.
Love to all,