The Harry Potter Alliance and the DARFUR Fast

November 22, 2007

Harry Potter Alliance_Darfur Fast
It is Thanksgiving Day, and we are in Palo Alto with Erin and Sam.  This is not a sad day—we have so much to be thankful for.  Sam is alive and improving (although very slowly) every day.

On Saturday it will be four months since Sam was injured.  I still get sick to my stomach when I remember back to that first phone call from Erin.  She said the neurologist told her Sam was in a coma and if he ever woke up, he would remain in a vegetative state for the rest of his life.  

Sam was originally a “3” on the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) when he arrived in Bethesda—“3” being the lowest possible score on a scale of 3 to 15.  After two months, he was considered to be out of the coma (“12” on the GCS) but in a minimally conscious state (MCS).  His Coma Recovery Scale (revised) score, when first taken in Palo Alto, was a “7” on a scale of 1 to 23.  His latest score was a “20”!  The only reason he wasn’t a 23 was because he couldn’t  speak.  Last night, as I was standing next to him by his bed side, Sam looked right at me, opened his mouth and repeatedly tried to say something.  I only heard a few grunts, but he sure was trying to tell me something!  I’ll bet he was going to say, “I’m going to beat this thing”.

We are so very thankful for all the love and support and prayer from all of you.  I know God is working a miracle in Sam’s life.  With your continued prayers, I know the miracle will continue and he will eventually have a full recovery.

DARFUR FastNever Again On Our Watch:  As I mentioned in my last post, Erin is a member of the Harry Potter Alliance which is coming together for an event called the DARFUR Fast.  On the Fast Day (December 5th) you are encouraged to fast from some item that you normally eat or drink (for example, your $3.60 latte from Starbucks) and instead, donate that money to the cause. 

There are 2.5 million Sundanese in refuge camps (mostly women and children).  The men committing the genocide (the Janjeweed, which are funded by the Sundanese government) attack and rape the women when they have to go outside of the confines of the refuge camps to gather wood to cook their food.  Every $3.00 donated to the cause (of which 100% will go to the refuges) will help protect a woman in one of the refuge camps (which are mostly across the border in Chad) from rape and attack for a year.  To read more about HP Alliance involvement in the DARFUR Fast, click here

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Do you know why the Summer Olympics is being dubbed the “Genocide Olympics” or what it’s like to live at the gates of hell?  If you are interested in learning more about the genocide occurring in Darfur, and the grass roots effort to stop it, there is a very informative documentary on PBS’s Frontline, called On Our Watch that does a fantastic job of explaining the complex issues associated with this modern day catastrophe.  You can watch the complete documentary from the PBS web site.  There is also an HBO Documentary titled Sand and Sorrow, narrated by George Clooney, premiering on Thursday, December 6th that further explains this issue.  

Sam’s medical status:  A couple of guys from Kilo dropped by to see Sam and Erin; Cpl Young and Doc Farrell.

Erin had a meeting with the director of the VA Palo Alto Healthcare System a few days ago.  They are working with patients and family of patients to ensure they are providing the best possible care possible in the Polytrauma center. 

Sam was put on an IV on Tuesday because of a urinary tract infection.  Erin said it’s one of the bad infections like he had in Bethesda.

Erin found out yesterday that Sam can read!  She was doing word and picture association with Sam (holding up various pictures of objects along with a picture of the written words associated with the objects and he was able to tell her when there was a match and when the word and object did not match.

Another interesting thing Erin noted was that Sam is able to tell what day it is.  Again, through “1 finger for yes and 2 fingers for no” she has determined that from day to day, he knows what day of the week we are in and the actual date; another great sign his cognative skills are improving.

Sam received a wound-vac yesterday so he will hopefully be on his way to healing his backside; which in turn means, he will be able to get into a wheelchair and also be able to participate in other types of physical therapy.