Update from David • Radioactive Eggs!

Eggs

For about 6 months I have been in hibernation mode – other than staying warm and trying not to think about skiing, my mom and I have been going to Massachusetts General Hospital to get my stomach problems figured out. I’ve gotta say they have been doing a great job. Since I have a high level injury my insides don’t move too well and this makes me feel extremely full even when I have not eaten in a while. So, I constantly have stomach pain but now I’m on a new med that will help my insides work better. Yesterday I finished the last test that they needed which involved eating radioactive eggs and taking pictures of my stomach every two hours.👌🏻

Congrats to my mom for not falling asleep while driving since we got up at 3am for this and got home at 7pm!

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It’s More Than Not Being Able To Walk – Part One

Spinal Cord Injury Basics
Part one of our series for National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month.

“When I first heard the devastating news about David’s accident back in September of 2011, I thought I knew what it meant to have a spinal cord injury.  It meant that you couldn’t walk.  When my neighbor (who is a physical therapist) asked me what level of injury David had, I told her it was a C4-C5 injury.  She made an “Ohhhhh” sound indicating that was really, really bad. I realized at that moment that I didn’t actually know what it meant to have a spinal cord injury.  Since then I’ve learned that it’s more than not being able to walk.”
– David’s Aunt Kristen

A spinal cord injury occurs when someone suffers a traumatic injury to their neck or back that causes so much damage to the spinal cord that some nerves can no longer send messages to the brain.

The higher the level of injury on the spinal cord, the more dysfunction can occur.  David is a quadriplegic with a C4-C5 injury level.

People often confuse paraplegia with quadriplegia.
• Paraplegia is the loss of sensation and movement in the legs, and in part or all of the trunk, usually resulting from an injury to the spinal cord below the neck.
• Quadriplegia is total or partial paralysis in all four limbs, including the trunk, resulting from injury to the neck.

We all link spinal cord injury to loss of movement, but did you know that there are many other other serious medical issues associated with SCI?  Secondary conditions from spinal cord injury include pressure sores, respiratory complications, spasticity, and autonomic dysreflexia.

Many quadriplegics die as a direct result of complications related to pressure sores.  Christopher Reeve, the star who portrayed Superman, died of complications from an infection caused by a bedsore.

Spasticity is a side effect of paralysis that varies from mild muscle stiffness to severe, uncontrollable leg movements.  Although it’s embarrassing, spasticity is not always a bad thing because it acts as a warning mechanism to identify pain or problems in areas with no sensation.

Autonomic dysreflexia (Hyperreflexia) causes the blood pressure to rise to potentially dangerous levels and can develop suddenly.  Autonomic dysreflexia is usually caused when a painful stimulus occurs below the level of spinal cord injury.  Anything that would have been painful, uncomfortable, or physically irritating before the injury may cause autonomic dysreflexia after the injury. If not treated promptly and correctly, it may lead to seizures, strokes and even death.

What is it like living with a spinal cord injury?  In our next installment we’ll share stories from people living with SCI.

This is the first part of our series for National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month. The series is designed to help us all understand what living with a spinal cord injury is like for David and millions of other people around the world.

Please visit the SCI Awareness page at David’s Journey to Recovery to learn more.

www.DavidsJourneyToRecovery.com

 

Save the Date. Don’t Miss This Year’s Fun Run August 30th!

 

NewFunRunLogo

August 30th, SAVE THE DATE! You can start promoting this year’s Fun Run right now. We need everyone’s help! All the tools you need (printable flyers, pledge sheets, Share buttons) are available at the Fun Run web page.

And it’s not too early to start asking your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers to sponsor you. The individual who raises the most funds will be presented with a trophy! You can download your pledge sheet today at the Fun Run web page.

David wants (and needs) to learn to drive, but he can’t just hop in a car and go. Let’s do our best to raise the funds needed for a van conversion. Visit the Fun Run web page right now and use the buttons there to share with your friends. Register online right now and you’ll be guarunteed a free tee shirt!

SEE YOU THERE!

Thank You Fuller Elementary School!

StudentCouncilEarly Friday morning David attended a school assembly at The Fuller Elementary School here in Keene where the student council presented him with a check for $724. With other donations from the staff the total for the day came to $800.

WOW! Thank you Fuller School!

The student council took David on as a fund raising cause for the year. With the help of the staff, students and parents they raised a record amount of funds for David.

As a family we know Fuller School very well. David, his brother Jason and his sister Emily all graduated from Fuller School.

Fuller is not just about learning how to read & write. It is not just about science, art, music and languages. Fuller is much more than that. Fuller is also about respect, responsibility, compassion, caring and kindness. Fuller is about family and being part of a larger family, the community.

It all adds up to one four letter word which I don’t think gets used enough in this world, LOVE.

On behalf of David and the rest of my family I would like to thank our Fuller School family for their kindness and most importantly love.

At the end of the presentation the staff and students sang the following song to David:

YOU’RE A HERO!

Verse

You press through every hardship.
With strength and courage strive
To meet each challenge that you face
You keep our dreams alive
You’re always there to help us
And try to be a friend.

Chorus

You’re a hero, a hero
An example to the world
For everyone to see.
You’re a hero, a hero!
You’re the type of person I would like to be.

and it goes on from there…

It was a very emotional presentation.
The presentation touched us deeply.
The picture above is of the Fuller School Student Council. They spoke on behalf of the school and presented David with a big check.

You can see more pictures at David’s website. Click here.

Thank you FULLER!
David’s Dad Paul

Prom Night in Keene!

Prom

Prom night was a bigger event than I ever imagined.

A few weeks back David asked his friend Mikayla to the prom in a very surprising and special way. During morning announcements at Keene High David got on the morning video broadcast and asked Mikayla to the prom. It was seen in all of the class rooms before classes started. I think she said yes.

The evening of the prom Mikayla’s family and ours all went out to dinner at the Olive Garden. While we were in the Olive Garden, unknown to everyone, Mikayla’s brother and fiancee where out in the parking lot decorating David’s van for the occasion. A little later on David’s brother Jason did up the inside of the van with mini lights on the roof so it looked like the inside of a limo.

After that it seems that everyone that is going to the prom goes to Ashuelot Park to take pictures. It is kind of like a reception before the main event. Lots and lots of kids and their families were there.

Mikayla looked like a princes. David’s four year old niece thought she really was.

David looked very dapper, a man of intrigue.

They both had a great time!

Click here to see David’s Prom photos.

Sorry for not posting more often in the last few weeks. Things have been really busy. I will be posting more often in the near future.

Thank you for your support. It is making a difference. David is moving forward.

David’s Dad Paul

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David Back on the Ski Slopes!

CMARS3web

YES! On Tuesday, February the 25th, with the help of the good people at Crotched Mountain Accessible Recreation and Sports program (CMARS), David was back doing one of his most favorite things, skiing on snow.

While David was getting ready to ski I went out to get a couple of runs in to get my legs warmed up. On my second run down I stopped to rest near the bottom of the main lift. Above me I heard, “DAD, DAD, DAD”. I looked up to see David going up the ski lift. He had a HUGE Smile on his face. He was in his element, on a mountain, on skis, lots of snow, with friends and looking forward to his first run.

David enjoyed skiing the mountain, skiing the jumps in the terrain park and hanging out with friends. It was very hard for me to even stay close to him. He is still a much better skier than me.

A big THANK YOU goes out to the people at CMARS Adaptive Snowsports Program for making this day happen. To learn more about CMARS click here. Check out their Skiing and Boarding program, and a picture of  David Skiing the mountain with Dan, by clicking here.

Overall David is doing well. He has had issues with a sore back and very dry skin on his elbows. He uses his elbows to help lift himself while sitting in his chair. As always he is moving forward and working his way through these issues.

His goal is still to get out and thank as many people as possible for their support. However, weather, schooling and other physical issues have been holding him back. He is still working out and is getting stronger. Ideally he would like to get out in his new manual wheelchair so people can see how their support is impacting him.

This afternoon David’s friend Sam is taking him up to Granite Gorge to see some of the Snowmobile Hill Climb that is taking place there today.

That is all for now.

David & family are all very grateful for all of the positive support David has been receiving.

Thank you for your prayers, love and support.

We have been very blessed.

David’s Dad Paul

Click her for more photos.

CMARS4web

Update From The Hudgiks • January 25th

David with his new video game controller

Well, I guess David’s back sores have healed. He has been quite active over the past few weeks.

Christmas Eve he was able to travel, with his family, 45 minutes out to Francestown for Christmas Eve service with our church family at the Community Church of Francestown. We made it. David held up well and it was great seeing a lot of friends that we had not seen in a long time. We are hoping to get back out there again soon.

The weekend after that he travel 70 miles down to Massachusetts for a holiday gathering with his extended family.

About a week after that he traveled to Boston and back with his brother Jason to see the Nitro Circus. He had a great time. He really enjoyed seeing the show live.

His Uppertone workout system is fully assembled and David is now using it on a regular basis. The first time he used it he had HUGE smile on his face. Thank you all for helping to make this happen.

Just recently he got a giant Xbox controller. The box is large enough for him to use and comes with a control knob on a pole that he can use with his chin to work games. This evening he was gaming with his friend Sam. It was kinda nice to hear the sound of racing cars in the house again.

Now that his back is better David’s goal over the next month is to get out and thank as many people as possible in person for their support and help.

Tomorrow his goal is to try snow tubing with friends here in his back yard. We live on the side of a hill. We will keep you all posted on how it goes.

David is very lucky to have the support that he has received. It helps to keep him motivated. It gives him and us hope, and for that we are very grateful.

THANK YOU!

David’s Dad Paul

David and Sam Gaming

David and Sam Gaming

 

 

 

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