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Thread: It's been a long, tough 7 months

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  1. #1

    It's been a long, tough 7 months

    My brother(24), his fiance, and their one yr old daughter were gunned down by an unstable neighbor on 9/7/2010. Thank goodness baby Deja and Terra were not hit with the 44, but my brother was at close range. At first there was shock...we live in a very small town, things like this do not happen. Cody was in ICU for 3 months, then rehab, until he needed flap surgery (300 stitches). He, his fiance, and daughter moved in with my family the week of Christmas, as the man who shot Cody is out on bail and lives right next door. Cody is no longer on vent or trach, he is complete T4. He still spends most of his time in his Clinitron. I love Cody so much, more like a son, considering our age difference. He was in the ICU 2 weeks ago due to a UTI, temp of 106. Going back to the doctor today, he has been having accidents again the past few days and has a really bad cough. He is always in severe pain, and the doctors don't seem to understand. I just want to learn as much as I can, so that I can help him. So any info and comments greatly appreciated! He has gotten so depressed, I am so worried.

  2. #2
    Moderator Obieone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Holy smokes brguthrie that is a terrible story -how on earth is this person out on bail !!

    Well however you happened to find us I'm awfully glad you did - you will find all the support you need here and we'll try and answer any question you care to ask. No question is considered too silly and if you need to just blow off some steam you can do that too ! It might be helpful to just do some reading and become familiar with the site - the Care forum is probably going to be most helpful to you right now and if your brother is having pain issues there is the Pain forum of course. Any chance he can make his way to us? The first few months can be so scary and overwhelming but we'll help guide you through it - you will find you will be educating doctors about this injury more than you probably can imagine right now - it's true!!

    I have to dash but I just wanted to welcome you here for now - I know you will get more responses ! You have found the number 1 site for support and everything you need or ever wanted to know about sci !!

    Stay strong .... visit us often
    ~ Be the change you wish to see in the world ~ Mahatma Gandi

    " calling all Angels ...... calling all Angels ....walk me through this one .. don't leave me alone .... calling all Angels .... calling all Angels .... we're tryin' and we're hopin' cause we're not sure how ....... this .... goes ..."
    Jane Siberry

  3. #3
    Thank you Obieone. I have been looking at the site for a couple of months, but this is the first time I have posted. I am so grateful I found this site through The Christopher Reeve Foundation. I will try to get Cody to check it out, he does spend time on-line, but things have seemed to gotten worse not better. I am scared about his health and terrified of his mental state. Saturday was the worse day yet. And while he is entitled to be very angry, often his fiance, myself and husband, and two teen sons don't know what we can do to help. BTW...the man that shot Cody has a history of aggression in our town, but no priors. And average bail in our county is 25,000. They reduced his from 100,000 to 50,000 and he made it after 3 weeks in jail.

  4. #4
    Tell your brother not to give up, I have lived 40 years as a paraplegic and worked full time a little over 30, I married a woman in a chair after my injury and we have lived completely independently except for lawn service and the last few years snow plowing. While I was working I accumulated more sick leave than all my other coworkers as I took fewer sick days. Things may look dim now but can get much better, since he is recently injured he may still get some return.

    Too bad that maniac was allowed bail.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Timaru's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Hampshire, England.
    Quote Originally Posted by ancientgimp View Post
    Too bad that maniac was allowed bail.
    Talk about rubbing it in, letting the b@stard out so he can move back home forcing your brother out of his!

    Welcome to CC.

  6. #6
    Welcome. Yes, what an awful set of circumstances. Glad you posted.

  7. #7
    Senior Member fishin'guy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Seattle area Wash state
    I do hope you have some sort of protection in the house, he shouldn't be allowed any guns, since he's out on bail, but I wouldn't trust him. gad, that would just burn my ass if they did that!!!your whole family is now in danger.

  8. #8
    Thanks for the support everyone! It does make it harder that the man who caused this has no remorse. When told Cody was in ICU again 2 weeks ago and that he will never walk again, the man laughed, took a bow, and pretended to play the violin to my brother's fiance father. Cody is in a better mood today and we dropped off a urine sample at the lab. Still worried about his bad cough. I have never felto so much anger before in my life. Cody is a writer and won a contest when he was 19, right after our mom died, and his play was put on in Pittsburgh. I hope when he feels better, since he has the use of his arms, writing will help him get through things.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    last house on the left
    Please tell him it does get better with time. The circumstances of his injury are just terrible, and I would personally want to put the guy who shot him in worse straits (only want to, wouldn't actually do!). If your brother is a writer that is a very good thing to be. When he feels up to it I hope he does go back to writing since his disability wouldn't interfere with that at all. He may eventually be inspired to share his story in a more public way, or a way that somehow prevents total scoundrels from making bail so easily. I have been SCI for 44 years and have had a pretty normal life despite the disability, so tell him it is really possible. Even if he doesn't hear it through the fog of anger and depression he needs to at least be told, maybe repeatedly. It would be great if he came on this site, but till then tell him there are a bunch of us here who are angry for him, and who sincerely want him to know he can have a meaningful life.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Chesapeake, VA
    I would encourage Cody to to start a journal of his experiences. This will be very helpful when the criminal goes to trial and enters the sentencing phase. I also agree that the journal should be sent to lawmakers in your locality.

    I can empathize with the small town deal. While we live in city limits, we are in a very rural area. The only delivery you get here is the mail, UPS and Fedex. There are no sidewalks so Ryan cannot go anywhere without being driven, though the nearest thing is more than 10 miles away (Walmart and 7-11 oh boy). It is harder when they do not have a real peer group locally. He can find peers here however and that may assist his depression. Also, there is such a thing as better living through pharmacology. He should be encouraged to see a therapist (if such exists in your area) who can recommend meds to his doc. These meds do not have to be permanent but can really help him make the transition to his new life.

    Additionally, I would consult an attorney. Your brother and his family are going to have financial needs in the future as a result of this crime. Civil charges may or may not be appropriate before the criminal charges are satisfied. If this criminal owns his house, the value should be but in a special needs trust as soon as possible so that your brother and his family have the resources to be as independent as possible. Eventually, as a T level injury, he should be able to be fairly independent and able to participate in raising his daughter.

    In closing I hope you got a good education at the rehab facility (you did not mention where) because the doctors locally have probably never seen anyone with his type of injury and the family is his best advocate until he is ready to be his own advocate.

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