Monthly Archives: September 2009

New Record!

Every Wednesday in group therepy at 11:00 a.m.  they set goals for the coming week.  Today Aaron set his goal of being off of the vent for 1 hour & 30 minutes by next Wednesday. By 4:30 he shattered his goal.  Aaron did 2 hours and 4 minutes off the vent today, AND he didn’t sleep afterward! Woo-hoo! Go Aaron! 🙂 Oh yeah, and that was 2 hours straight, not broken up into  20 minutes here and there!

The Power Wheelchair

Today was a busy day for Aaron.  Sam and I got to Magee a little before 10:00 this morning and Aaron had something going on from that time until around 6:00 this evening.  No wonder he’s tired!   He had his first “test drive” on his power wheelchair today.  He navigates the wheelchair by tapping on his headrest (left or right or back) with his head and this sends a command to the chair to move.  The hard part for Aaron was the sensitivity of the headset. You only need to tap it lightly and it reacts.    The Physical Therapist had him riding through the halls and he’d get the chair going round in circles (not on purpose), which we all found to be quite humorus.  It was great to see him laugh at himself.  Of course, he was a bit disappointed when he was told he could not yet take the wheelchair because he needed a little more practice with it.  It was very entertaining for him!!    

Luke Songer stopped in to see Aaron today, which was a surprise.  Thanks for your visit, Luke.    Aaron also had another visitor, a former patient of Magee, who was in a severe accident and suffered a paralyzing injury about  5 years ago.  He walked into Aaron’s room and shared his story with Aaron today,  providing some helpful insight.   That was very encouraging for Aaron. 

Aaron was having a good bit of pain in his neck today (and no, I don’t mean me).  True pain which his medication wasn’t helping.  He tried to do the trach collar, but it’s difficult WITHOUT neck pain, so that didn’t go as well as we would have liked.  But Aaron’s going to go back at it tomorrow, as long as the pain eases up.  

So, stay tuned for the next update!  And in the mean time, please continue to pray and/or send good thoughts Aaron’s way!   Thanks!

Are you ready for some football?!

Jermaine, Woody, Aaron, Jaime, Tory

Jermaine, Woody, Aaron, Jaime, Tory

It was a so/so weekend for football. Friday night Middletown & Elizabethtown High School’s won their games. However on Saturday Penn State laid an egg. Today we watched football at Magee. Chiefs vs. Eagles, and although our Chiefs never really showed up, lots of friends and family did, and we enjoyed watching the game together. Unfortunately the Steelers (Aaron’s 2nd favorite team) lost as well. The day did end on a positive note however as Aaron’s fantasy football team locked up another win to go to 3-0.

Aaron spent 25 & 30 minutes off his vent today, which although he didn’t increase his total time, the time off was less stressful, his stats remained at an excellent level, and he didn’t get wiped out and take a nap afterward like he usually does. His stamina & confidence while off of the vent continues to build.

Jermaine is a resident of Magee that we have had the pleasure of getting to know. He always has words of encouragement for Aaron and us. He is moving on to a facility closer to his home in Easton tomorrow. We wish you the best; you’re in our prayers Jermaine.


Well, we were originally going to do this post together, but Aaron is just a lil wiped out to say the least. He had a great day! In therapy he did a stimulation bike that sent electical signals through electrodes that were attached to his triceps and biceps. He tolerated it better than Gina (his amazing occupational therapist) had expected! He ate lunch well and we ordered food from across the street and watched movies in bed. Love Fridays.  I get to stay over with him, and after he passes out (usually around 9ish) I hang with Rachel the RN. Her and I have become pretty close and I’m pretty sure she’ll be invited to the wedding lol. But anyways, his electrical stimulation bike only consisted of his upper body muscles, but he has an order for the lower body, which has to be done by physical therapy. Therefore, that will be taking place in the near future. This thing is fantastic. All the equipment, staff, other patients, etc. have made Aaron feel as loved as you all make him  feel. He also did another hour off the ventilator today : ) Considering where Aaron is in the situation, he’s having wonderful progress. And that’s words out of medical staff!

Pizza & A Tilt Table

Aaron passed the “pizza test” today! He just had to eat a few bites of pizza successfully, which he did easily in order to get “free reign” over his diet. It was about a week ago that he was allowed to begin eating food. He started with it pureed (lovely experience; he had to read the menu to figure out what exactly he was eating :)). He graduated to ground food a few days later. A little better. Today… no restrictions!
As you can see Aaron finally got the long awaited shave (yesterday). Did all of you have as much fun voting and watching the results as we did? I love the pic Jaime; thanks for sending it. 🙂
He no longer has an IV as of yesterday which allows more freedom of movement in physical therapy.
Aaron also spent time on the tilt table today with good results. What happens is he gets strapped to a table and they slowly move him into a more vertical position. The purpose is to increase his tolerance to being in the standing position which helps to normalize his blood pressure and circulation. It’s good for his bones and may stimulate nerves. It’s also good to help expand and strengthen his lungs which brings me to “the vent”. Aaron spent a total of 1 hour off the vent today. That’s great Aaron. Keep moving forward. 🙂
Whew! Well, I hope I covered it all!

Aaron, Jaime, & Tory

Aaron, Jaime, & Tory

Funday Sunday!

Well we just adjusted our fantasy football rosters for the games.. go Drew! ; )  Anyways!!! Aaron had a great day yesterday. 3 hours of therapy on the weekend, that’s hard to get on the weekends! They are finally starting to increase his therapy to more productive exercises, and we’re all pleased by that. He went off his vent for almost 18 minutes! Boo-yah! So today we’re shooting for 30 minutes, so start the cheering guys. Woke up with a bit of a fever, but it seems to be coming down with the ice packs. Beard still there as of now. But its scheduled to get shaved Monday. He wants to know, should he keep it? Start the comments.


What should I do with my beard?

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Awake & fever free

Sorry for the lack of blogs lately. I am happy to report that Thursday was a good day. Aaron was more alert and fever free. He was able to participate in his therepy which included playing pinball using his shoulders to activate the flippers. I know that some of you will be disappointed because you like his new mountain man look, but he got a haircut yesterday and will be getting a shave on Monday (pictures to come). Don’t worry, in my unbiased opinion he is still a handsome fellow. He was able to eat solid (pureed) food for the first time. The feast included chicken, mashed potatoes, & zucchini. Aaron was not a big fan of the zucchini but did manage to eat a few bites of the others. The goal is to gradually move his sorce of nutrition from the bag food to real food.
We also had a meeting with his care management team. Among the many things that we discussed was his after Magee care and the vast expenses that are not covered by insurance. On that note please watch for info on this website concerning upcoming fundraisers on October 17th & 24th. It will be posted in the very near future. Thanks again for all of your support & keep the prayers coming.

We love you Aaron!

Trip Across Town

Hello fellow Aaron supporters. 🙂
It was a full day at Magee today. Aaron had his 1 month follow up visit with the doctor who performed surgery on his neck the day of his accident. That was in Atlantic City; amazingly the doc’s office is less than a mile from Magee. Aaron made the trip via ambulance with Jaime (somebody pulled some strings for her!). The doctor said his neck seems to be healing fine so Aaron won’t need any additional surgery at this point. Aaron was hoping he would be able to “lose” his cervical collar today, but it just wasn’t meant to be; the doctor wants him to wear it for another month.
Please continue to pray for Aaron as he has developed another fever. The Magee staff are in the process of doing various tests to find the cause; we’ll know more in a couple of days. Aaron is very tired from his therapy, traveling today, and his fever. Hope to have him back making his own posts soon.

New Sensations!!

Hi, this is Aaron’s mom.  Just wanted to let you know that on Thursday, Aaron had a new sensation that he had not had after the accident up to that point.  Without getting into a lot of detail, it had to do with his bowels.  It happened again later that same day.  The physical therapist was very excited about Aaron having this sensation.  On Friday morning, Aaron’s doctor did some more testing of sensations regarding Aarn’s bowels and Aaron’s body responded in a very positive way!   Thank you God for hearing our prayers!   We know this will be a slow process, but we are so grateful for these positive signs!   Everybody, please keep the prayers coming!!!

Prayers prayers everywhere!

Hello Everyone,

This is Aaron’s sister, Alexis.  I was talking to Jackie (my boyfriend, Bret’s mom) on Facebook the other night.  She has been keeping updated on Aaron’s progress through this blog and she said she was amazed at how far reaching all this prayer and support for Aaron is.  It got me thinking that it might be fun to give folks a visual picture so here’s what I came up with…

This is a link to a pin point map that I created where you guys can go and create a pin point for your location with a message to let Aaron know that you’re praying for him.  All you have to do is copy and paste the link into your web browser and an interactive map will appear.  You can zoom in or out and use your mouse to drag the map to find your specific location.  Then go down to the bottom right of the map, just underneath there is a link that says, “add extra pin to this map”.  Once you click on that you should be able to go back to the map and click on your location which will add a pin and bring up a balloon for you to type a message.  It will ask you for a password to preview the pin.  The password is 1234.

I know we have a lot of people and their churches all over this country and beyond praying for Aaron.  Let’s cover this map in pins and show Aaron just how many people are pulling for him and how awesome our God is.

Love you so much Ern!

***Update***  For those of you who attempted to add a pin but were unable, please try again.  The problem should be corrected.

It takes a thief…

Ok….before I confess let me set up the scenario.
I stayed with Aaron over night last night and anyone that has done so can tell you that you don’t get a lot of sleep. Lights on…lights off…. bells and whistles going off….nurses in and out. So I get up this morning at 5:20 to drive straight to work getting dressed in the dark. I get the news from Diane around noon that Aaron’s sneakers have gone missing. After a long day at work I drive home and pop open the tailgate to my Jeep Cherokee and guess what I found…………you got it. Aaron’s sneakers. I WAS SET UP! I THINK THAT IT WAS AN INSIDE JOB! THE EVIDENCE WAS PLANTED! I plan to turn my self into the authorities at Magee on Saturday. I will probably be placed under house arrest! Anyone who knows me is not surprised by this wild tale.
In all seriousness I am sorry for any undeserved suspicion that was cast towards anyone at Magee as they have been nothing less than wonderful.
Jaime & Aaron are having an NFL kick-off party at Magee tonight for the Steelers vs. Titans game. I took Aaron’s terrible towel down to him on Wednesday so that he would have it tonight. Enjoy yourselves tonight guys!

We love you!


Sticky Fingers Wood (my criminal name)


Hi, this is Aaron’s mom.  I am not with Aaron today, but I received a call from my husband, Sam, who IS with Aaron today.  He told me that somebody stole Aaron’s new sneakers.  Aaron was a little bummed out, but not as much as I was!  At first, I was extremely upset that someone was heartless enough to do this.  Then, I started to think about all of the very generous things so many of you have done for Aaron and/or his family, and that helped me get over the anger.   Aaron, apparently whomever stole your sneakers, needed them more than you do, so we’ll just consider it a donation, OK?

I got you another pair of sneakers today and we are going to do something to them (not sure what yet) that identifies them as yours, so nobody else would want them!  

Just want you to know, Aaron, there are people out there who will take advantage of others and their situations, but for the most part, people are good and kind and so many of those people are behind you and are praying for you!  Those prayers will protect you  from  the bad apples you meet along the way!   Can’t wait to see you tomorrow!   I love you !


New Pics

Hello all. Got a few pics of Aaron today. Aaron and his dad Greg (aka Woody) on the roof at Magee. You can’t tell from this pic, but on the roof level, there’s a library, pc’s, ping pong tables, picnic area, garden area and a car. I have no idea why there’s a car on the roof! Anyway, Aaron did his 2nd therapy outside on the roof today. 🙂
The 2nd pic is of Aaron with his friends Brian Sullivan and Greg Rittenberry who visited with Aaron today.
The 3rd pic is of Dave the respiratory therapist (I confess I don’t know Dave’s last name!) and Aaron. Dave has been working with Aaron to get rid of his ventilator. Dave said Aaron really worked hard on that today and made good progress. 🙂Woody and AaronAaron with Greg and BrianAaron and Dave

Thank You

We have been amazed by the outpouring of love and support by friends, family, co-workers, classmates, church members, and people that we don’t even know. Your kind and comforting words, emails, cards, calls, and most importantly prayers have been uplifting for Aaron as well as his family. We continue to hear of people and churches from all around the country that are praying for Aaron. Please continue to pray daily as we trust God for strength and healing.
Aaron continued with his therapy today at Magee. The skill and commitment of the staff as they work with Aaron to help him meet his goals is very apparent. We look forward to each new day and the hope and progress that it brings.

Post from Aaron through Jaime.

Even though I can’t respond to cards, facebook, posts, emails, etc..please know Jaime or someone reads them all to me. Words can’t describe what they mean to me. I’m saving them all, and will respond when I’m physically able to.  All your love, support, and prayers is what will get me through this. Its cliche, but please don’t take life for granted. I was guilty of complaining so many times and now it all means nothing. Be thankful for what god gave you, I know I am already. Special thanks to the greatest family, friends, and girlfriend I could ever dream of. I love you all.

Labor Day!

A scrapbook is going to be in the making during Aaron’s long “journey”, therefore we have began taking pictures. With Aaron’s approval of course, we thought we would put up some pictures to show just how tough this journey is and how he still keeps his contagious smile through it all. Aaron had a great day today! Worn out because Magee is amazing and works these people to recovery ; ). They are in the process of weaning him off the ventilator. Not sure how long that will actually take, but sooner than later because he tolerated it like a champ today! The respiratory therapists are amazing, the sneak up behind him and turn down the settings without him knowing. It’s great. Mind over matter as Aaron would say…And let me sum up the pictures..he has to wear a neck brace due to his spinal fusion surgery(that took place the day of the accident) for 4-6 weeks..and the tracheostomy is the tube from his neck that the ventilator is hooked to. Once he gets off the ventilator for several days that WILL be removed. The tubes to his chest are a form of chest physical therpay..the tubes hook to a vest and a machine that shake, rattle, and rolls him to get the fluid out of his chest (pneumonia). That picture was taken in the ICU at Hahnemann. He only gets his “vest” treatment a few times a day, about 20 minutes long. It’s funny, but annoys him(however very productive!!). And I put the shower cap on him to be silly.
Aaron smilingAaron

Fantasy Draft

Hello All!

We’re here in Aaron’s room at Magee getting multiple laptops setup for the Fantasy Football Draft tonight at 6:00. Aaron & Woody are coaching a team; Jaime & Marie (Jaime’s roommate) are coaching a team, and Brian Sullivan is here and will be drafting his team tonight with us. Aaron has a loose schedule today as far as “Magee stuff”. Yesterday, he had physical therapy in the gym. They completely re-evaluated him since he was away for a week. His therapist said he had really good flexibility and she was able to feel muscle activity in his right leg and deep muscle activity in his right arm. She was touching his left side fingers too and he could feel that as well. He will be back into a routine again tomorrow. Bret, Lexie, and Kat-lyn just arrived. It’s a full house! Aaron’s smiling and laughing. 🙂