There’s not a lot of good press about the folks in the city of Berkeley California. The Berkeley city council has embarrassed the whole country by letting everyone know that the Marine recruiter office is not welcome there. They are also openly supporting a group of misguided antiwar activist who have decided the best way to protest our involvement in Iraq is to pick on the Marines who have absolutely no say in where or when they are called to action.
But—all is not lost with the good people of Berkeley. This past week, students from a fourth grade class in Berkeley visited the troops in the Polytrama center at the Palo VA hospital. They brought valentines day cards that they made in class and distributed them among the wound troops. Their parents made baked goods which were also given out to the guys in the ward. Erin said the teacher asked her what type of things the guys needed at the hospital because they wanted to make regular visits to the wounded troops. There was no protesting…no barricading of doors, no yelling anti-military slogans. Just young children being taught by their teacher and parents to respect the men and women of our military who are recovering from very serious wounds. There is hope for Berkeley after all!
Sam’s medical status: Before I get to far into talking about Sam. Let me direct you to the new Flickr photo strip on the right hand side of this blog. I’ve configured the photo strip so that Erin can take pictures of Sam and herself using her camera phone, email it to my Flickr account from her phone, and it will automatically get fed into Sam’s blog through an RSS feed. I see Erin has already been playing with this cool feature. She sent the picture of Sam in the therapy gym working with the BowFlex machine. She also had a little fun and sent the Mickey Mouse ear’s photo.
Sam is all set to be transferred to Kentfield Rehabilitation Hospital this coming Saturday (2/23/2008). He will be there for at least eight weeks and will be under the care of their TBI specialist, Dr. Deborah Doherty. Last week, Erin completed the paperwork to get Sam’s medical treatment at Kentfield paid for through Tri-Care Remote. This will allow Sam to begin treatment in their TBI program right away instead of waiting for the VA certification which would take at least six months. We are not sure exactly where Erin will be staying yet, but regardless of the circumstances, she will be right with Sam the whole time (she wouldn’t have it any other way).
Sam’s right arm and hand mobility improved a little this past week. He was reaching the back of his neck with his hand where he was hurting. He’s also getting good at scratching with his hand when the need arises. Sam continues to try to speak, but is only able to make whispers. We are hoping the stay at Kentfield will improve his auditory skills as they have some special treatment that has proven to be effective on patients like Sam.