News & Updates

Entries for February 2012

Feb
12
Today is Bryan's 43rd birthday!! For the past two weeks we have been planning and preparing for a surprise birthday party for him. We invited all of our family and Bryan's close friends to the hospital. Bry came into the cafeteria to about 35 people yelling "surprise!!" The look on Bry's face was priceless!! So was the moment right after when he swiveled his wheelchair around, as if to compose himself! He spent the next couple of hours eating, visiting, smiling, and blowing out his candles. We could tell he was getting tired (he starts nodding or shaking his head to answer as opposed to talking).

It was truly a blessing to celebrate his day with him and our family and friends. His happiness today was more then we could ever ask for and the day was a complete success. We will remind him about it tomorrow, in the event he doesn't remember. Back in April and May we couldn't even think about today, not knowing if he would have another birthday to celebrate. We thank God everyday that he does and his smiles today meant the world to us.

We have mentioned a few times about the group the Bryan's Brigade, who have come together to support us and Bryan. They sent ornaments for his tree, birthday cards and together they made a beautiful, very personal quilt for Bry's birthday (we posted a picture here on this site). We have included a video that was made, with love, for Bryan, that include only some of the group. There are many more, but these beautiful faces represent loyalty and love, even if we have never met them. We are so thankful for the Bryan’s Brigade, as well as all of you, who have been there for Bryan and our family every step of the way.

Happy Birthday Bryan!!! You are SO loved by SO many.

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Feb
05
Hi everyone!

Today is Super Bowl Sunday and no, we would not let a Super Bowl pass for Bryan and not have a Super Bowl "party". We are bringing food and snacks to him at the hospital, where we will hang out in the day room and eat and watch the game. Because Bryan has finally been able to take all of his many medications orally, he had his G-tube removed on Friday, so he gets to eat what we bring him today! Yet another step in a very positive direction. His therapies seem to be wearing him out lately. It could be because they are trying to be more aggressive, but they are also trying to see just how independent he can be: feeding himself, testing his cognitive memory, helping them move him from his wheelchair to his bed. Sometimes he can feed himself but it takes a LONG time. They plan on raising one of his medications that make him more alert since he tends to chew his food for a long time, making them concerned about his alertness and swallowing. He is now totally off one of his 3 seizure medications so that should only help. It's always nerve-wracking as they lower the seizure medicines, since something has happened pretty much every time. But, so far so good. It's become more obvious to us every day that Bry's short term memory was hugely affected and doesn't seem to be getting better. He can't tell us who was visiting the day before or even sometimes that same day. Its really hard but we try and think of all the positives.
Bryan had a great week for visitors. Thursday, Tim Flannery and his wife came and met Bry. Tim and his band the Lunatic Fringe, along with Bob Weir from the Grateful Dead, participated in a fundraiser in Napa, which was so much fun. We were able to attend and the turn out was unbelievable. The amount of support never fails to amaze us. Friday Jeremy Affeldt visited. Jeremy hadn't seen him since August or September and was so happy with Bryan's progress. He sat and talked with us and Bryan for about an hour, which is pretty amazing considering how busy he is.
Dave's birthday was on the 2nd. He was home watching Erin's son Logan but got the best birthday present. A call from Bryan! Ann helped Bry call and wish Dave a happy birthday.

We picked this song because its so beautiful and the message of it being a brand new day and making the past the past is basically our lives now, and Bryan is our hero.

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Stow Family Album

Bryan, Johnny, Rene, Michael
Erin, Bonnie, Libby and Lisa