News & Updates


Update on Bryan's Condition

 

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Feb
07

Bryan is still in the hospital. The trouble is trying to find the right balance and levels between his blood thinner and anti-seizure medications. Due to this problem, new blood clots have formed. One of us is with him every day and it is really hard to see him back in the hospital especially for so long. This is a huge step backwards for him physically. Even with two people helping him, he can stand for only seconds. We are trying to keep his and our spirits up and are now hoping to have him back at his rehab facility apartment by his birthday next Tuesday. If not, then we celebrated at a hospital last year, so we will celebrate at another one this year.

 
Thank you so much for all the prayers!!

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Jan
25

Hi everyone. A lot has happened since we last wrote. Right now Bry is in the hospital with a large blood clot that reached from his thigh to his pelvis. He was first admitted last week and was immediately put on several blood thinners and then was released. The swelling didn’t go down and he was in a lot of pain. He was sent via ambulance to the ER and was again admitted Wednesday. He had a procedure done to have a filter put in his abdomen to catch any clots from breaking off and going into his lungs. They also did an injection in his vein to help dissolve the clot and prevent any others.  He’s expected to be in the hospital at least through the weekend. Needless to say, we are scared and worried. We thought we were past the point of being afraid of Bryan even surviving. The doctor told Bonnie last night that due to the size and hardness of the clot, he is surprised it didn’t kill him. Really tough words to hear and now that Bryan is more aware of what’s going on, he’s scared too. We have always tried to shield him from knowing too many of these hard details, but now we just have to deal with it with him and try to stay positive.

So we are asking for some prayers right now. Bry has a huge support system (you!) and knowing that along with his strength and perseverance, he will get through this.
XOXOXO
Dave, Ann, Erin & Bonnie

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Jan
08

 

Happy New Year! As usual, here we are apologizing for the late update. Time seems to get away from us more quickly now. When we think back to when Bryan was first injured and the road to recovery he’s been on, at times it feels like it’s been years- this has been our life for as long as we can remember. We will continue to be by his side every step of the way-through the good and the bad.
We are happy to say that we were all able to spend Christmas together and it was wonderful.
Bry is still recovering from his hip surgery and is in constant pain. We figured the surgery would set back his recovery, and it did. The pain keeps him up at night, making him sleepy and, dare we say, moody in the morning. The pain has also slowed his physical therapy down. But as usual, he’s not a quitter and pushes himself to his limits. The facility he is at just opened a brand new clinic and we are excited to see the benefits of the new equipment and programs.
We are still so humbled by the fact that, even though it’s almost been two years, people have not forgotten and still want to support Bryan and his family. The support includes, but is obviously not limited to, ongoing fundraisers.  Santa Cruz, our hometown, has had a few recently and one coming up. We would like to thank Mission Hill Creamery for donating a portion of the proceeds of your grand opening to Bryan and Jerry’s Sports, who were donating the proceeds weekly from Thursday batting cages. Their ongoing fundraising supported Bry. Also, the amazing Tim Flannery (3rd base coach for the San Francisco Giants ) and his band The Lunatic Fringe are doing THREE benefit shows for Bryan this month, including one here in Santa Cruz!
On a side note, we read all of the comments and just love them! We show them to Bryan and he can’t believe that’s it’s all because of him. Sometimes there are questions in the comments that we either can’t answer in an update or forget to answer. If anyone has any questions, you can email us at any time at admin@support4bryanstow.com
We want to thank everyone for all the continued support, and would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year.

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Nov
26

Hi everyone,

 

Sorry we haven’t been able to update in awhile. We would love to be able to update more often, but focusing on Bryan as well as our personal lives makes it more challenging. 

 

A few weeks ago, in what seemed to be a spur of the moment decision, we got the OK from Bryan’s facility to bring him home with a caretaker for his first visit. Bryan was also invited by the Giants to attend Game 2 of the World Series! We knew going to the game in itself would be overwhelming for Bryan, let alone the drive up to San Francisco, so we had asked if they could not announce that he was there. The Giants were so amazing that they planned everything so that we could have as much privacy as possible. We were so honored to be there, and we can’t even begin to explain how it felt to be there with Bryan.

 

It’s a huge step that Bry could make the trip home but the day after the game he was exhausted. His being home gave us all a chance to get to know what it would be like when he does get to come home for good. It also helped us realize that he isn’t ready, and neither are we, as he still requires assistance with most things. These are things that we will learn together and eventually we will all feel comfortable when that transition happens, but we are preparing ourselves for the reality that a homecoming won’t be anytime soon.  But, we were so happy to have him home even if for just one day.  As you can imagine, saying goodbye was hard. 

 

We’ve mentioned quite a few times that due to his extensive injuries, Bryan has extra bone growth in all his joints, which causes him pain and limits his movement. This is actually common with TBI’s.  Bryan had surgery this past week to help with the bone growth in his hips. Of course, he will need more surgery, since it’s in all his joints, but they have to spread it out. As you can imagine, surgery for Bryan means a big step back. It will limit his therapies and cause him a lot of pain for the next 4 to 6 weeks.           

 

We continued to be so pleased with the care facility where Bryan is being treated.  They work so hard to make their patients feel at home, and they even recently hosted a Halloween party for all of their patients.  

 

We hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Thank you again for your continued support and prayers. 

Here is a picture with Bryan and his friend Jeremy Affeldt after the game!

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Oct
09

It’s official! Bryan cheats at Uno and he gets it from Dave.
As always, there are good days and not so good days. Despite the extra bone growth he developed, he still is working hard in all his therapies. It is painful for him and he is adamant that his fingers are broken (they aren’t) and one time insisted he had a broken foot.
His memory is very unpredictable and we don’t know what he will remember and what he won’t. We imagine that this is something that will be a part of his recovery for a long time. Sometimes, trying to bring back those memories for him is fun, however, most recently Bry had forgotten our grandparents had passed away; one in 2006 and one in 1993. We had to help him mourn that loss all over again, which was emotional.
On a happier note, Bryan is back to caring about what his hair looks like and needs to put gel in it every morning. He still loves doing karaoke twice a week and still sings Eye of the Tiger (several times with growls) and has added Genie in a Bottle by Christina Aguilera, which cracks us up every time.
We are still surprised and happy when Bryan receives cards in the mail even 1 ½ years later. To know that what happened to him had such an impact on so many people is truly amazing. We came across this article which we attached below. It meant a lot because it is from our home town of Capitola. The picture that was included was one we had never seen before but still warms our heart. Instead of a song, we think this picture says it all. Thank you to this unknown person and to you all for still caring and believing in Bryan.

http://capitola.patch.com/articles/bryan-stow-support-still-alive-at-at-t-park



 

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Sep
02
Hi everyone! Today marks 6 months since Bryan moved to this rehab facility. It is really amazing to see his progress, though at times there are some steps backwards. Physically there are still his major hurdles, stiffness, pain, the extra bone growth that prevents him from doing simple tasks such as raising his arms. He is doing an amazing job maneuvering his manual wheelchair himself, even in tight spaces, but it takes him awhile to get where he is going and he gets tired. A wheelchair specifically fitted for Bryan has been ordered so we are waiting for that. Sometimes he gets down or discouraged if he can't do something. We tell him that by working at it, he will be able to do it, and that is something we truly believe. He helped pack his lunch this past week, even making his own peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Tuesday and Friday nights are karaoke nights at his apartment complex. He enjoys going to watch, and he sings the same song every time...Eye of the Tiger. His personality really comes out while singing and he has everyone laughing. Often Bry plays UNO with us or his roommates. We have come to the conclusion that he either doesn't know the rules or is cheating. Judging by his lack of a poker face, we think it's the latter. We know we have said it before but Bryan's smile and laugh means the world to us. Little does he know that with a simple smile, and without saying a word, he lights up the dark.

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Jul
22
With our visiting schedules set to make sure someone is with Bryan every day, we always get a big smile and a “what are you doing here?”, but he may be tired and quiet. We have noticed that when there is too much going on around him, he starts to shut down. He is continuing with therapy, but still requires help doing everyday things.
We remind him of funny stories all the time, hoping the memories are still there and some are. Thankfully he still has a sense of humor so if he doesn't remember a story, he still finds it funny. We have also noticed a slightly different personality. He has a sweetness and politeness about him that results in a lot of "I love you's" and kisses goodbye.
We read all of your comments (thank you!) and noticed that some of you have downloaded the songs we have posted. We have too and now have Volume 1 and Volume 2 of Bry’s website songs. We remember why each song was posted and what was going on at that time. Some are harder to listen to (Train’s Calling All Angels when Bryan had to have emergency surgery to remove the boneflap), some make us smile (the Beatles Here Comes The Sun when Bryan went outside for the first time and said it was “magical”) and some make us laugh (Twisted Sister I Wanna Rock when Bryan decided he wanted to grow his hair long again). Through these postings and our songs, we realize just what a road we all have been on.
Bryan has sleep apnea, which is a common occurrence with TBI so he has been sleeping with a CPAP machine, which he says keeps him awake. It also rubs the bridge of his nose and continuously scabs. We have asked for an alternative so hopefully that will come this week. He was experiencing abdominal pain which they think might be diverticulitis.
Bryan's memory is still a mystery. At times we are surprised when he remembers certain things, but then there is a lot he doesn't remember. We like to remind Bryan about when him and Erin locked a 5 year old Bonnie in her bedroom while Dave and Ann were at work. Bonnie being Bonnie, climbed out her window and waited on the front step until someone came home. Not only that, she waited in her footie pajamas. When we tell Bry that story, seeing his smile is heartwarming and hearing his genuine laugh is truly music to our ears! When we see that smile, we know we can face anything.

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Jun
27
Bry's Fortune 6/27/12

Bryan’s fortune could not be more fitting for him and we just had to share.
He is still working hard with all of his therapies. Some days are just better than others and we’ve come to accept that. Bry has always been strong willed and fortunately, that hasn’t changed. He’s never given up, and neither will we.
He is a true inspiration to us all!



 

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Jun
08
Ever since March 31st, 2011, we have had the utmost respect and confidence in the LAPD, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. We will continue to thank and praise them for all their dedication and hard work, regardless of the outcome, even after this is long over. Obviously we want justice, but that wouldn’t even be possible if it weren’t for all that has been put into it. They continued to update us and keep in contact but we were able to put all our focus on Bryan and not think too much about this case. We put our faith and trust into everyone involved and we know that it is important to them as well to see justice prevail in the end of all this.

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May
29
Hi everyone! We would first like to start off by expressing our gratitude that over a year later, you are still here, thinking about and praying for Bryan. We thank each and every one of you for the support you’ve shown our entire family.
Once again, we have settled into a new routine that, despite the distance, allows at least one of us to be with Bryan every single day. Our excitement in seeing him gets us through the drive there but leaving is difficult. Walking out the door is heart wrenching. We also ask that you keep our safety in your prayers as well.
As we have said before, Bryan’s memory was hugely affected, mainly his short term. It’s really hard to see him forget even something that happened minutes ago. However, because of this, every time we tell him about Tyler throwing out the first pitch, it’s as if he just heard it for the first time and we get to see his face light up over and over again.
We have learned a lot about TBI’s throughout all of this. We have met other families who have gone through it and heard their stories. The similarities at times are almost refreshing but no brain injury is the same. Bryan still doesn’t understand or realize what has happened. When he expresses frustration or seems sad or confused we just remind him of how far he has come and how strong he is. We hear about patients getting frustrated about what they can no longer do as easily as before or angry because they are no longer the person they once were. Bryan does express frustration at times but luckily, because he isn’t aware of the drastic change from who he was to who he is, the anger isn’t there. We explain to him what happened, minus some details, but we are constantly waiting for that realization. We know people don’t fully understand TBI’s, and some will stare and some may make comments. We have become very protective of him and should he ever realize exactly what is going on around him, we will be there. To tell him yes, he’s a different man…..but to us, he’s perfect just the way he is.

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Stow Family Album

Barry's visit to Bryan in L.A.