Aid for Alisha

$5,513raised of $25,000 goal
22%

Organizer: Edwin Scudder Beneficiary: Alisha Waters

Ambushed by her husband, Alisha Waters was shot 5 times, severing her spinal cord. Within seconds she became a quadriplegic. Her husband then shot himself.

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Fundraiser Details

    On Tuesday August 6th in Ft. Thomas Kentucky, my niece Alisha Waters was shot 5 times by her estranged husband, DJ Mathis (3 in the abdomen, once in the leg, and once in the neck). He then put the gun to his head and killed himself.

     Miraculously she survived, but the bullet to her neck severed her spinal cord.

     She is now a quadriplegic. 

     They had been separated for three months, when my niece filed for an Emergency Protection Order, which was granted; however six days later, it was rescinded by Judge Lisa Bushelman because there were (according to the judge) "No signs of domestic abuse", meaning she was not physically or sexually abused.

     The victim has to prove that they have been physically or sexually abused making the Domestic Violence Order the result of criminal activity.

          One of the things we are trying as a family to accomplish is to amend the law surrounding the granting of the EPO/DVO, as well as the law regarding stalking and harassment.

     Within a 2 week period Alisha had received 186 texts from her separated husband.

     He used psychological abuse, threats of violence, and threats of harm in his texts and calls.

     We are asking help from the public to amend these Kentucky laws to include stalking as a civil matter. We wish to bring Kentucky into the 21st century and force them to recognize that one can be abused physically as well as mentally

     Had Alisha been granted the DVO, DJ would have been denied the purchase of the gun that changed her life forever.

 

      Alisha has finally returned home; prior she had spent 4 months at 3 different rehab facilities. Representative Thomas Kerr KY-064 has introduced HB-501 which adds the definition of stalking to the domestic violence law. It is still a criminal statute.


 

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Updates

Updates

08/25/2014
by Edwin Scudder
We have 7 days left on this fundraiser. Please give thoughtfully and graciously. You will be rewarded with kindness and thanks
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08/19/2014
by Edwin Scudder
The picture in the Enquirer story below is by Patrick Reddy
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08/06/2014
by Edwin Scudder
New article by Terry DeMio of the Enquirer - Cincinnati and Kentucky on the anniversary of Alisha Waters attempted murder. Check out Terry's page and give a follow. She's been very kind to us with her articles covering Alisha.

http://tinyurl.com/mrh537p

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08/03/2014
by Edwin Scudder
We Finally Got a Van for Alisha. Thank you KMA and those who participated in The Survivor Ride.
Now to concentrate on a tilt in Space Shower Chair and Aid for her medical bills.

Thanks to everyone who have donated!
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07/15/2014
by Edwin Scudder
  1. Dr Phil Show Redux

    To all who saw Alisha's segment on the Dr. Phil show July 14, 2014. We were never informed of any air date, so we feel sub-marined.

    1. The segment was was filmed 10 months ago on October 14, 2013 and at the time of the filming, Tammy (Alisha's mother) told them that the pictures they were using for Alisha's husband, were not of DJ but TJ, who is her brother in the Navy. They said they'd fix it in editing, which did not happen. So the pictures you saw of her attempted murderer were actually her brother, and not her estranged husband. We're worried for his career because of this.

    2. Being under contract, We were not allowed to disclose anything related to the segment until it had aired. So while we did get a check from Aflac for $25,000; that was back in late October of 2013 and went to all the renovations on the house for Alisha's room. We just did not want anyone to think we got the donation yesterday and were being dishonest in any way.


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06/17/2014
by Edwin Scudder
I wish I could personally thank our anonymous doners.
Your gifts are appreciated and your support is met with greatful blessings from the family. It's people such as yourself that prove our faith in humanity.

Edde Scudder (moderator)
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06/17/2014
by Edwin Scudder
Unbreakable - by Tyler Essary
A short documentary that chronicles a day in the life of Alisha - from what had been to what is now.
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05/31/2014
by Edwin Scudder
We lost the van contest. Now more than ever we could use any help you have to give. Thanks as always!



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05/14/2014
by Edwin Scudder

Update on the NMEDA Van Contest

Alisha's family and I would like to thank each and every one of you who participated in this contest and endured our reminders to vote daily. Because of you we made it to the semi-finals! It's now up to the essay to take us to the winner's circle. We'll know on May 30. Thanks again!

- Edwin Scudder


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04/21/2014
by Edwin Scudder

Reunion

     Mention the word and immediately family memories swirl in your head. Hot Summer days filled with softball, volleyball, and corn-hole (which is the funniest name for any game I've ever heard of). Days of soda, and pretzels, and beer.

     It's really not much of a union at first: everyone gathers in their own little clan at picnic tables, awkwardly talking with others as they pass by to laden the food table. An occasional joke is made which gets a laugh or two from nervous apprehension, and there's always the one or two who pay no attention to the protocol and try to greet everyone they can corner with no means of escape.

     Really nothing happens until the beer starts flowing; then slowly, like cautious dogs approaching something new, the mingling begins. The day wanes and people start games of softball, volleyball, and corn-hole until everyone is tipsy enough to make fun of others' game skills and some people eventually leave angry, while others leave not knowing why some people are angry.

     That's how it happens with my family anyway.

     Other reunions are smaller, more intimate. They involve only immediate family. And in these we find the definition of "family" scatters its meaning and breaks the traditional mold.

     My partner and I have a family. Our kids are an old Beagle and a young Basset Hound. Like most families we've had our share of loss. The first to wait for us at that ethereal bridge was our Molley, then our Pete left, then finally Willoughby. Two Bassets and a Beagle. We had them cremated and they are with us to this day.

     Some people don't get that chance.

     Their family is ripped away through Life's spite, and when someone one loves is taken without reason, ones heart bleeds from the wound. But the heart heals, my friend. The heart heals.

     My niece, Alisha was shot 5 times by her estranged husband who then killed himself.

     She is now a quadriplegic whose two hounds, Howie and Dexter live with her shooter's parents.

     On Friday April 18th, Alisha got a surprise visit. Her husband's parent's brought Howie and Dexter for a visit. She could not contain what happiness blossomed in her heart and the healing began.

     So remember, when Life spite's you, the heavens surprise you. It may not happen today or tomorrow, but when it does it will be healing and radiant.

As always,

Edde Scudder.

    

 


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03/21/2014
by Edwin Scudder

Just a Memory

Thanks to you Alisha, when the tunnel gets dark, I can remember your smile as a toddler: the way your laughter reverberated while you sat in that circular walker pouncing Cheerios across the room with your little hands, playing "come to me" with your awkward legs. You had a hard time with your legs from being born premature, but making you laugh always brought you to me. All it took was making goofy noises and faces at you and you wanted to be next to me. I'd grab you from that walker and twirl you in my arms.

You'd laugh so hard.

Memories are an uncertain thing. Who knows what pictures of one's life will become stored and which will not. Shame that at their happening, we can't decide them to be remembered. I suppose some things are not for our choosing.

I'd love for all of you to see the reel in my head of me pushing her on the backyard swing. Watching her in Christmas videos as she cuddled my first puppy, Pete. Laying her head on her paw-paw when he couldn't remember that his wife had died, just that he was feeling sad for some reason. The memory was hers, but she couldn't make it his.

Some memories are bad, and for some reason play like a loop in our heads. They seem to be the ones brought up often from the depths of our dark minds. For example, I remember when my best friend committed suicide when I was 15. My sister Tammy got to tell me that news.

On August 6th I got another call from Tammy, but I was asleep and never heard the phone ring. My sister Bonnie finally reached me to tell me that Alisha had been shot 5 times by her husband, DJ.

It's a memory I'll never forget. The guilt of missing Tammy's call, haunts me like moans and chains in a dark abandoned house.

So I pull from the depths when the tunnel gets dark, those memories of a laughing, Cheerio throwing toddler. And now with her spinal cord severed, I remember making her laugh so she'd come to me.

- Edde Scudder


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03/17/2014
by Edwin Scudder
Our Journey Continues.......

First and foremost, I want to give a big thanks to my friends, family and all the new people that have come into my life. I credit everyone for giving me the strength to fight this battle. It's been enlightening, heart breaking and has definitely given me a different set of values on life.  This is by far the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.
I don't know if everyone knows this, but Alisha was born prematurely at 30 weeks. She was very sick when she was born. She was in the hospital until she was 6 months old, on oxygen for a year and required therapy to hold her head up, sit up and learn to walk. I told Alisha, I often have a feeling of de javu. Some of the things she needed help with way back then are some of the very same things she needs help with today. Now everyone can imagine how I come about these feelings. I think if we overcame her struggles at birth, then we can do it again!  In fact, I know we can!
Alisha is doing well and still continues to get stronger. She is working on strengthening her neck, shoulders and arms. She is also trying desperately to get her hands working. She does not have movement anywhere else in her body. Sometimes a toe will wiggle or she'll feel an electrical impulse down her legs, but that pretty much sums it up. When she went to the neurologist, he told her that she didn't have one single reflex in her entire body. We decided instead of letting it get us down, we'd keep working harder!  I told her, we have no place else to go but up and together we have to keep fighting!
It's easy to feel sorry for ourselves because of the circumstances we have been faced with. Some days I can't stop crying and I feel lost, but most days I have the determination to fight with everything I got!
I have a whole lot of mixed emotions at the moment. I'm excited, nervous, anxious and scared all at the same time. You see, I am going back to work tomorrow. I haven't stepped foot in my office, since I left there in hysterics on August 6, 2013. (The worst day of my life!!).
Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and everyone's prayers mean the world to us!!
I also want to thank each and everyone of you for voting for Alisha in the NMEDA van contest. If she wins one if these vans, it would make such a difference in our lives. Right now we are pretty much stuck inside, (especially Alisha!). We have a dear friend that picks us up in her wheelchair accessible van and takes Alisha to the doctor. Right now, that's the only time Alisha gets outside.
So if it's not too much trouble, keep voting everyday and help us to overcome another obstacle that has come before us!!

With love to you all from Alisha's Mother,
Tammy Russell
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11/07/2013
by Edwin Scudder
November 6, 2013
by Tammy Russell

Alisha is still slowly improving day by day. The pain is getting less and she has become more focused on getting out of here and getting home. I'm sure most if you have heard they are extending her stay here at Shepherd. Instead of leaving here on November 21st, we won't be heading to Kentucky until December 5th. When we heard this news, it was a bittersweet moment for both of us. The reason for the extension is because she has movement in her right arm. The therapist will be teaching her to operate her power chair with her arm instead of her mouth. If she starts to have function in other parts of her body, they could extend her stay even longer. As long as she is progressing (or even regressing), she has a chance of more therapy.  Not that I would deny her the opportunity for more therapy, but we both just wanna come home to our family and friends. So here's hoping that we will see you all before Christmas!
I have been doing well in my training sessions. I think I should be able to have some sort of nursing license by the time I leave here, lol. There is so much to learn. I just found out that I will have to do ventilator and trach traing in order to bring her home. The doctors seem pretty sure that she will eventually come off the ventilator, but she just isn't ready for that yet. She was doing so well without it 24 hours a day and then had that one bad day!!  She's been on the ventilator at night ever since. It will be 2 weeks on Saturday :(. The trach training is necessary for me because of the ventilator. Even if she is off the ventilator, they will leave the trach in for precautionary reasons. I guess we'd rather be safe than sorry. It was a devastating moment for us. It was also brought up that when she does get to go home, she may need to be transported to Kentucky by ambulance, due to the fact that she still may have an airway. It's a lot to take in and it's also kinda scary for the both of us.
We have our good and bad days, but we try to make the best of our time here. We actually went on an outing to the mall today. We enjoyed some pizza together and then hit the stores. We didn't have much time to shop, but we made the best of it. We had a good time.
When we got back to her room, I was getting ready to go downstairs for a drink. When I leave the room I have to make sure she has every straw she needs. The one to call the nurse. One for her water, one to operate her power chair and let's not forget the one that operates her tv. She said, "Mom, I feel like a monster with all these things in front of my face!"  I thought I was gonna pee my pants. I was laughing so hard at her!  That's the story behind the Monsters Inc pic we posted on Facebook.
I want to thank everyone for their continued support!!  It means the world to us!  It is a very lonely and sad place here and without your words of encouragement and prayer it would be even more so!  Please continue to pray for her and keep her in your thoughts!  Through this unfortunate journey we face everyday, I have found that there is power in prayer!!  We love you all so much!!
One more thing and then I'll shut up, my brother Edde has set up an event that starts Friday, November 8 at 9:00 am and ends Saturday, November 9 at 9:00. No one has to leave their house for this event.  All you have to so is post this to your status for 24 hours…
Help Alisha Waters strengthen Kentucky's domestic violence law, by signing her petition at www.change.org/petitions/petition-to-amend-kentucky-restraining-order-and-stalking-laws, that's it!  Won't you please help us change this law!  It is of the utmost importance to her!
With all my heart, Mom


Sent from Tammy's
iPhone
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10/26/2013
by Edwin Scudder

TWO STEPS FORWARD
by 
Tammy Russell

I know I haven't wrote much lately and I apologize for that. Alisha has had slight improvements since the last time I wrote.  She has been doing great with her therapy and learning how to operate her power chair.  Everything seemed to be coming together for her to get back home. There have been some slight delays here and there, but everything seemed to be looking up. She has movement in her right arm and a little in her left arm.
Last night we were sitting here joking around and I asked her to try to turn her right palm up to the ceiling. She did it and then turned it back.  She did that a few times and got more excited with her progress each time.  We both get so excited when she achieves something new.  It is so pleasing to see that look of achievement in her eyes and on her face.
As I sit here looking at my beautiful child and writing to everyone, I do so with a heavy heart. She has been ventilator free since a week ago Monday. That is until today.  She has some very thick secretions in her chest, her CO2 levels are very high and she is struggling to breath. The staff had no choice but to put her back on the ventilator. She did not want that to happen, but she couldn't breathe. I don't know what upset her more, the fact that she couldn't breathe or being put back on the vent!  Maybe this is what they mean by 2 steps forward and 1 step back.
Why is this happening to her?  I do not understand it.  She is the kindest, sweetest, most gentle soul you'd ever want to meet!!
I also wanted to take this time to personally thank everyone for your help and organization of Alisha's benefit!  It was a huge success! And once again thank you everyone that participated and help make it a success!  There is another benefit in the works and it will be announced at a later date. It'll probably be closer to spring or summer.
Please everyone continue to pray for her!  She really needs those prayers!
I'll try to write more often and keep everyone up to date.

Love,

Mom

Sent from Tammy's
iPhone


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10/24/2013
by Edwin Scudder

What a benefit we held tonight, Oct 20th! The place was packed. Channel 12 was there, as well as channel 9. We are so blessed to have such community support! A standing ovation should go to Angie Betz for her super-human effort organizing this event.

All the Family was there, although you probably only saw streaks of light as they worked the room. Tammy and Jim Russell, Kurtis Russell, Melanie Russell, Jessica Waters, Amanda Gentry-Carothers, Kevin Carothers; all were there selling tickets, working the bar and the room.

And all the volunteers who worked till they were sore, deserve a great thank you! Whether pushing tickets for the prizes we had, working at the bar, selling Jello shots, taking money, selling bracelets or T-shirts - my heartfelt love goes out to you all.

To everyone who was there that I knew and didn't know, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

More details to come.

And remember, It's a Marathon, not a Sprint!

Edde scudder.

 


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10/22/2013
by Edwin Scudder

What a benefit we held tonight! The place was packed. Channel 12 was there, as well as channel 9. We are so blessed to have such community support!  All Alisha's family was there: Jim Russell, Tammy Russell, Kurtis Russell, and Melanie Russell. Her brother TJ was there in spirit from Hawaii.

I met a lot of people that until now, I've only known through Facebook and what a pleasure it was. I received no handshakes from anyone, just hugs and backrubs of support. I received the opportunity to talk with a philanthropist courtesy of Donna Slone (who has been an advocate and good friend since day one). This gentleman whose wealth is way beyond my dreams, affected me greatly. He talked to me about 45 minutes with such kindness and sincerity about his desire to help Alisha. He said it best when he told me, "I believe my whole life has been to lead me to this moment of helping others".

We've got something in the works for April, which I will talk about more as the information comes in.

I got to see a friend I graduated high school with whose kindness overwhelmed me. Thank you Sherry Richmond! 

My friend Shelby whom I worked with years ago at Stein Mart, was spinning music for free and I can't thank him enough.

My nephew Chris spent two weeks working on a movie that would bring you to tears and he deserves a big high -five. God bless you Chris!

And all the volunteers who worked till they were sore, deserve a great thank you! Whether pushing tickets for the prizes we had, working at the bar, selling Jello shots, taking money, selling bracelets or T-shirts - my heartfelt love goes out to you all.

The one thing I forgot to do was take any pictures, but there will be plenty coming.

To everyone who was there that I knew and didn't know, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

More details to come.

Much love and kindness,

Edde scudder.

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10/17/2013
by Edwin Scudder
Pre-Sale Tickets for Alisha Waters Benefit. 

You can purchase them by contacting Angie Betz at (859) 292-0521 or Nikki Cole @ 
https://www.facebook.com/nikki.cole.526/info

Ticket prices pre-sale are $15 - single, $25 per couple
Ticket prices at the door are $20 - single, $30 couple.

REMEMBER THE DATE!

This Saturday October 19, 2013
Ludlow Vets Hall 
838 Elm St, Ludlow, KY. 41016.


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10/13/2013
by Edwin Scudder

Tammy Russell

6:08 PM (12 hours ago)

 

  
October 11, 2013

She is definitely getting her wheel chair today, getting to put her own clothes on and moving to the floor.  That means that she will be out of ICU!  Yay!  Those baby steps are paying off.  The therapist bent her arms at the elbow and asked her to try to touch her hand to her face. She could so that, but she just can't bend her elbows on her own.
If all goes well she will be going up and down the hallways in her new chair! That hasn't happened yet but I imagine it will by Monday.
She is on cpap on the ventilator, meaning she is breathing on her own!  They are gonna take her off and put her on trach collar until she needs some support from the ventilator. Maybe, she'll be able to stay off until she goes to bed tonight!!
And she did stay off until midnight!!
Alisha sat in her wheel chair for the first time. She stayed in it for a few hours before she just couldn't handle the pain. Her neck is so weak from the c-collar that she has to have therapy to strengthen the muscles on the right side of her neck.

October 12, 2013

Alisha has already shown so much improvement in the 3 days she's been here at Shepherd, for instance when she was on the trach collar at Select she was on 5-6 liters of oxygen and now she's on less than 1. Her lungs sound better, her highest temp has been 99.6 under the arm, she's eating better and she had her first shower today!  She was ecstatic!  I think she could have stayed in there all day. They started giving her Ensure to provide protein and nutrients in hopes that they can remove the feeding tube. She hasn't really used it to eat the last few days; its main purpose is for 2 medications that she hasn't been prescribed orally yet!
She also got up in her wheelchair again today and I was instructed on how to help put her in the sling to move her from her bed to her chair.  It's like a giant swing!  I'm learning a lot these days about how to care for her. I have so much more to learn, but I'll do anything to help get her back home. That's all I have for now, but I'll do my best to keep everyone posted. Next week is going to be a challenge for her, but remember,
It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint!!
I Love her to Pieces!!
Love, Tammy.
Thanks everyone for your continued support and I'll see everyone at the benefit!!

Sent from Tammy's
iPhone

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10/13/2013
by Edwin Scudder

Tammy Russell

6:08 PM (12 hours ago)

 

  
October 11, 2013

She is definitely getting her wheel chair today, getting to put her own clothes on and moving to the floor.  That means that she will be out of ICU!  Yay!  Those baby steps are paying off.  The therapist bent her arms at the elbow and asked her to try to touch her hand to her face. She could so that, but she just can't bend her elbows on her own.
If all goes well she will be going up and down the hallways in her new chair! That hasn't happened yet but I imagine it will by Monday.
She is on cpap on the ventilator, meaning she is breathing on her own!  They are gonna take her off and put her on trach collar until she needs some support from the ventilator. Maybe, she'll be able to stay off until she goes to bed tonight!!
And she did stay off until midnight!!
Alisha sat in her wheel chair for the first time. She stayed in it for a few hours before she just couldn't handle the pain. Her neck is so weak from the c-collar that she has to have therapy to strengthen the muscles on the right side of her neck.

October 12, 2013

Alisha has already shown so much improvement in the 3 days she's been here at Shepherd, for instance when she was on the trach collar at Select she was on 5-6 liters of oxygen and now she's on less than 1. Her lungs sound better, her highest temp has been 99.6 under the arm, she's eating better and she had her first shower today!  She was ecstatic!  I think she could have stayed in there all day. They started giving her Ensure to provide protein and nutrients in hopes that they can remove the feeding tube. She hasn't really used it to eat the last few days; its main purpose is for 2 medications that she hasn't been prescribed orally yet!
She also got up in her wheelchair again today and I was instructed on how to help put her in the sling to move her from her bed to her chair.  It's like a giant swing!  I'm learning a lot these days about how to care for her. I have so much more to learn, but I'll do anything to help get her back home. That's all I have for now, but I'll do my best to keep everyone posted. Next week is going to be a challenge for her, but remember,
It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint!!
I Love her to Pieces!!
Love, Tammy.
Thanks everyone for your continued support and I'll see everyone at the benefit!!

Sent from Tammy's
iPhone

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10/10/2013
by Edwin Scudder

Woman shot by estranged husband begins journey to normality



Where we are at now in our quest:

A recent interview with the family in the Cincinnati Enquirer by Terry DeMio.

http://nky.cincinnati.com/article/ab/20131010/NEWS0103/310100039


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10/09/2013
by Edwin Scudder
SHEPHERD CENTER ARRIVAL

Just a Quick Note:

Tammy and Alisha arrived in Atlanta safe and sound about 1:00 p.m. All in all, it doesn't sound like a long trip. The ambulance ride was about 30 minutes and the flight was about 40. She was surprised at how smooth a Lear Jet travels.

Alisha managed with the trach collar the entire trip, however when she got to the Shepherd Center they drew her blood gases which turned out to be somewhat low. She's been on the ventilator ever since.

I'll post more when I know more.

Love to you all, 
Edde Scudder


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10/08/2013
by Edwin Scudder

Sorry I haven't posted anything for a while. It's so busy around here. Alisha's trip got pushed back a day, so I got to say goodbye and good luck to my bright sun. She gets on an Ambulance Plane tomorrow at 10:00 am to head for Atlanta. Most of the time her mother and I spent holding a cellphone to her mouth so she could do an interview for The Dr. Phil Show. Yes, It is definitely happening! Her brother Kurtis will be on stage doing the interview on Monday, with her Mother in the audience. Yesterday, the family and Alisha were interviewed for the Cincinnati Enquirer.

I would personally like to thank all the staff at Specialty Select Hospital for taking such terrific care of her. I got to speak to the CEO Curtis Ohashi several times who gave me some great info on contacting the Legislature of Kentucky.

I wish her and her mother luck on this part of the journey Alisha will be traveling. I love you both more than words can express!

Edde Scudder


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10/05/2013
by Edwin Scudder

We've been sitting on this for a while. 

It all started with a phone call I got from California about 2 weeks ago. At first, I wasn't going to answer cause I get a lot of calls from bill collectors all over the world. My cell phone mantra is, "If you don't know the number; let it pass to the ether. I don't know why but I answered this one...

And found myself talking to Zoe Alexander, associate producer of the Dr. Phil show.

All things with a dash of salt over the shoulder, the Dr. Phil Show will be recording a segment with Alisha and Tammy on October 14th as a cautionary tale for victims of domestic violence. Dr. Phil's wife Robin, will be doing the interview in commemoration of October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month. They will do the interview from Shepherd Hospital in Atlanta (2020 Peachtree Rd NE Atlanta, GA 30309). We have no word on an air date yet.

It took a lot of hard work on Tammy's part (I just wrote the letter). But (God willing), there will be no glitches. It's exciting news, but there are no absolutes here; they could cancel at any time. All paths seem to be leading to this goal, however so now we're all covered with the beans we've spilled.

Love to all our supporters,

Tammy, Jim, Kurtis, TJ, Melanie, Edde and of course, Alisha.


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10/02/2013
by Edwin Scudder

PIZZA BENEFIT October 16

We have one dedicated Clan! My Aunt Vera Burger, My Cousin Eric Burger, and the rest of the Ohio side of our family have created another fundraiser for Alisha on October 16. Please read the following and have a slice for Alisha!

For information, click below

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10/02/2013
by Edwin Scudder
Alisha Waters Mathis benefit set for Oct. 19 - Region Northern ...
LUDLOW – A benefit to help a Northern Kentucky woman shot by her estranged husband cover medical expenses will take place Oct. 19Alisha Waters Mathis ...
www.wcpo.com/.../alisha-waters-mathis-benefit-set-for-oct-19

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10/01/2013
by Edwin ScudderShare This Update!


10/01/2013
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10/01/2013
by Edwin ScudderShare This Update!


09/26/2013
by Edwin Scudder
Measuring Time

The first watch was invented in 1504 by Peter Henlein in Nuremburg, Germany. It wasn't very accurate by most accounts; it was more a way to guess the time than determine accuracy. It is believed that the wristwatch was first created and used by the mathematician Blaise Pascal. It was quite a simple device. He took his pocket watch, added some string and tied it around his wrist.

Our modern timepieces have circled back to their origin: the humble pocket watch. We call them cell phones. I don’t know many people who wear a wristwatch anymore. Most of us dig in our pocket or purse for an iPhone or Android. We now can get the time down to the exact second.

We also measure time in other ways. Anticipation sees us counting weeks to our vacations. Politics sees us counting days to a Supreme Court decision, or passage of a bill. Prisoners X out the days on a calendar till their release. Hospital patients count days to each small victory that leads them to better health.

It has been 50 days since Alisha was gunned down in the foyer of her employer. In that time, we’ve seen her continuously lower her stats on the ventilator to the point she uses it less than ever before; we've seen her accomplish the ability to speak from a whisper to a proud voice. We've watched as she got her first drink of coffee and regained the ability to get nutrition from an actual meal rather than a bag. We've seen her grit through the pain to move her right arm.

Day 50 was another day of major accomplishments. Her doctors removed the painful and uncomfortable neck brace she’d been wearing since day 1. The best way I can describe it, is to imagine you had to wear one of those lampshades they put on ill dogs for 50 days. Not the best analogy I suppose, but it cuts to the point swiftly. Also on this day, they took her off the vent overnight and replaced it with a C-Pap. It fits snugly over her trach and forces air into her lungs, freeing her from the ventilator hose and all its accouterments. It must feel so freeing to sleep unfettered as she had been. It’s one step closer to removing her vent entirely.

Soon her respiratory rehab will be over and she will be on her way to Shepherd Hospital in Atlanta, where she will begin her toughest road yet. They are the top 3rd Spinal cord rehabilitation hospital in the nation. Here Alisha and her family will learn how to take care of her special needs. Here they will begin the painful physical therapy to increase her strength.

Maybe then, it would befit us to stop digging in our pockets for time. It isn't there. It surrounds us from daybreak to sunset while we worry more about the digital figures that hide in our jeans.

Remember, “It’s a Marathon. Not a sprint.”
In Love and Light,
Edde


We can only accept donations at 2 sites:

Online at youcaring.com
http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/aid-for-alisha/80066

Or The Bank of Kentucky, Alisha Mathis Benefit Fund.
You can walk into any branch, or mail a check payable to the Alisha Mathis Benefit fund at:
The Bank of Kentucky
255 Mary Grubbs Hwy
Walton, KY. 41097

We cannot accept donations or tributes at the Caring Bridge site since those tributes only fund Caring Bridge's operations. Alisha receives none of those dollars
 

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09/22/2013
by Edwin Scudder
A Mothers' Heart

September 21, 2013
I haven't really wrote much lately, because not much has changed. We are coming to a point where there is just more pain and agony for her.  The pain medicine doesn't seem to have the same effectiveness as it did in the beginning. She hurt so bad last night that her bottom jaw would not stop quivering. I felt so helpless. The only thing I could do was comfort her by stroking her head. I did turn my iPod on, laid it in her chest and played some soft country music. I just wish there was more I could do. There is no worse heartache than watching your child suffer!!  I pray all day for some relief for her!
She woke up yesterday morning with a 103.5 temperature and the doctors decided to run the same cultures of blood, sputum and urine. We are still waiting for the results. There was an X-ray taken on Thursday (on my insistence) that showed an infiltration in the right middle lobe of her lung. They are saying it is pneumonia but we can't be sure.  They put her on 2 intravenous antibiotics that cover a broad range if infection. Sometimes I feel like its a guessing game. 
She is able to eat a soft mechanical diet and drink liquids now. She doesn't care much for the hospital food, but will try it just to satisfy me. She is happy to have her coffee back, though.
After testing her off the ventilator for 24 hours, the doctors informed us she will more than likely be ventilator dependent at night while she sleeps. They say that because her C-4 vertebrae that controls the diaphragm was damaged. 
She does have a little more movement in her arms, but it pains her so much!  The therapists was working with these arm movements with her and was impressed that she had control of her deltoid muscles!!  She had a look of determination on her face that you wouldn't believe while she was receiving these instructions. 
Next week she has two appointments at UC with the neurological and surgical spinal cord doctors. She will be transported by ambulance on Monday and Wednesday for these visits. Monday she sees the doctor who will determine the longevity of the neck brace. I hope he decides to remove it on Monday so she can at least have a little bit of relief!  
For those of who who don't know, she had a powerful interview with WLWT Channel 5's Alison Montoya on Wednesday. I was impressed. It is pretty moving. I suggest if you haven't seen it, that maybe you should check it out in their website.
I'll catch everyone up in a few days, especially if there is any improvement in her condition. 
Please continue to pray for Alisha and her family as we travel this lonely road!  
Please share her websites with all your friends and their friends and so on and so on. She really needs the support of everyone who is willing to help her!
Love, Mom

Sent from Tammy's 
iPhone

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09/18/2013
by Edwin Scudder

Monsters, Dogs, and Construction Paper

     I went to bed tonight when I caught myself drifting off while texting with Tammy. I can multi-task with the best of them unless one of those tasks is falling asleep.

     Two hours of cover-wrestling later have led me back to where I began. It’s okay, though. I like this time of night. It’s like a warm cup of serenity I’m bade to drink when peace eludes me. Sometimes I feel like something is chasing me and my only recourse is to run. It’s a creature I cannot describe because it’s always behind me and I daren’t look back for fear of losing ground. I only imagine red eyes and long feral claws. Sometimes, the chase lasts for three or four hours; sometimes days, but eventually I outrun the recreant.

     Alisha usually asks her mom to spend the overnight with her. I cannot begin to perceive what chases her, but I know it must be larger and swifter than what hounds me. I can only pray her team of doctors teaches her how to keep it at bay or better, to defeat it so it won’t track her during the daytime as well.

 

#####

 

     Physically, she is a freight train with an endless supply of track. On the 16th, she was free of the ventilator from 9 am to midnight. They took her off again on the morning of the 17th, drew blood gases on her at 11:30 pm, and decided to try her vent free throughout the night. They drew another round of blood gases this morning only to find that when she does goes home she will more than likely be dependent on the ventilator at night. Her breathing musculature is strengthening at a pace none of us expected, but not enough to completely free her from that machine…but hope is medicinal after all.

     She got a much needed visitor Monday in the form of a 165 lb. Newfoundland named Jake. Her only regret was that she couldn’t feel him as Tammy used her hand to pet his soft fur. So far she’s been visited by about 10 therapy dogs. They give her so much pleasure. Alisha’s love for dogs is abundant. She has 2 of her own (Howie and Dexter) whom she is hungry to see. If her therapy keeps progressing as it has been, that day may come sooner than not.

     Oh, speaking of hunger (boy did I stumble into that segue), seems she and her speech therapist shared a little coffee yesterday afternoon. It was fed to her by a teaspoon, and after each sip the therapist would have her say “ahhh”, but it doesn’t take an engineer to know Alisha was making that sound because she was enjoying the coffee much more than the speech exercise. She also got some applesauce which she proclaimed the best applesauce ever. (Had they given her strips of construction paper to tongue to death, I’m certain she’d have said there was no tastier colored paper available). Today, she received another swallow test and passed so well they decided to give her a tray of soft solids for lunch.

In her Mothers’ words:

“Alisha and I are going to have a long awaited cup of coffee together!!  We are so excited about that!!  Especially her!

So we had our coffee and we cheered the occasion. It was a great mother daughter occasion. You see we always did that before her injury. We drank coffee on the deck, sometimes in 90 degree weather. Coffee is her drink of choice. 

They brought her lunch of fish, Mac n cheese, green beans and pears. Drinks were iced tea, milk and of course, she still had her coffee. She didn't eat a whole lot, but it was the fact that she could eat at all. She was in heaven. I left her for a little while and brought her some vanilla pudding and a coke, (that she has been dying for!). It was perfect. She scarfed down the pudding and wanted more!  I had to tell her no, ‘cause she kept falling asleep. There's more for tomorrow. I just have to make sure she gets her favorite mashes potatoes tomorrow. She's been craving them!”

 

     So that’s all for now friends:  two days of vocal therapy, breathing lessons, beverage know-how, and eating knowledge. Maybe I was wrong about some monsters. Maybe it's the things we do daily without a thought that are monstrous to others. Maybe Alisha is slaying more monsters than I'd given her credit for.

     And always remember:  It's a marathon, a sprint!  

     As Ever,  

     Edde

 

We can only accepting donations at 2 sites:

Online at You Caring.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/aid-for-alisha/80066

Or The Bank of Kentucky, Alisha Mathis Benefit Fund.

You can walk into any branch, or mail a check payable to the Alisha Mathis Benefit fund at:

The Bank of Kentucky

255 Mary Grubbs Hwy

Walton, KY. 41097

We cannot accept donations or tributes at the Caring Bridge site since those tributes only fund the Caring

Bridge operations. Alisha receives none of that money.




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09/13/2013
by Edwin Scudder

Sept. 7, 2013

     Goodbye is a powerful word:  One of the most powerful, I suspect, because of its meaning. It comes from the latter part of the 14th century when English was a dialect of the lower classes.  It was originally written as “goodbwye” and shortened even more to the “goodbye” we use today. It is a contraction whose origin literally means “God be with ye”. There are others I know who refuse to speak the word, as though it is a curse, but I can think of no better way of departing than wishing God’s watch on their leave.

     For Alisha and the family, yesterday was a day of goodbyes. In one respect, it was a word of well-wishes and good fortune; in other’s it was a word of leaving appreciation, for Alisha was moving from the ICU to her new place of residence - Select Specialty Hospital at Good Samaritan Hospital. This is where she will begin her rehab to completely remove her from the ventilator, and learn once more how to speak, swallow and eat on her own.

     This is where she will do her hardest work.

     Up till now, the primary focus was to stabilize her condition which the UC team performed exceptionally. Now she will be depending even more on her own fortitude, instead of the tenacity of others.

     They will push her to her limits and beyond.  She will feel like giving up at times, but with her family beside her, she’ll soon discover more strength than she thought she had. Now she says hello to a new journey; a new set of helpers [by the way, “Hello” was originally “Hallo” and used as a way of attracting the attention of others. It wasn’t until the invention of the telephone that it became used as a method of greeting, circa 1870].

     Today was a day of adjustment. Alisha’s fever ran from 102.6 to 103.0. She remained on the respirator throughout the day because of how lousy she felt. Her mother Tammy, spent the night with her because she was a little frightened being in new surroundings. Along with the fever, we discovered that her tracheotomy was sticking crookedly half-way outside her throat, causing a lot of pain. The human body, besides being an amazing collection of systems and organs working in tandem, is also a very determined security officer. Anything that does not belong is forced to leave, hence the problem with the tracheotomy. It’s the reason transplant patients need special drugs to retain their new organs. It’s the reason a splinter eventually forces its way out. Once the respiratory therapist fixed her trach, she seemed to calm down. She slept most of the day.

     If you take anything from this; never be afraid to say goodbye  because it is a beautiful word. If you visit Alisha, it’s ok to say goodbye…

     When you do, you are wishing her Heaven’s greatest honor.

     And as always, remember “It’s a marathon…not a sprint”.

     God be with you,

     Edde


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09/07/2013
by Edwin Scudder

     Goodbye is a powerful word:  One of the most powerful, I suspect, because of its meaning. It comes from the latter part of the 14th century when English was a dialect of the lower classes.  It was originally written as “goodbwye” and shortened even more to the “goodbye” we use today. It is a contraction whose origin literally means “God be with ye”. There are others I know who refuse to speak the word, as though it is a curse, but I can think of no better way of departing than wishing God’s watch on their leave.

     For Alisha and the family, yesterday was a day of goodbyes. In one respect, it was a word of well-wishes and good fortune; in other’s it was a word of leaving appreciation, for Alisha was moving from the ICU to her new place of residence - Select Specialty Hospital at Good Samaritan Hospital. This is where she will begin her rehab to completely remove her from the ventilator, and learn once more how to speak, swallow and eat on her own.

     This is where she will do her hardest work.

     Up till now, the primary focus was to stabilize her condition which the UC team performed exceptionally. Now she will be depending even more on her own fortitude, instead of the tenacity of others.

     They will push her to her limits and beyond.  She will feel like giving up at times, but with her family beside her, she’ll soon discover more strength than she thought she had. Now she says hello to a new journey; a new set of helpers [by the way, “Hello” was originally “Hallo” and used as a way of attracting the attention of others. It wasn’t until the invention of the telephone that it became used as a method of greeting, circa 1870].

     Today was a day of adjustment. Alisha’s fever ran from 102.6 to 103.0. She remained on the respirator throughout the day because of how lousy she felt. Her mother Tammy, spent the night with her because she was a little frightened being in new surroundings. Along with the fever, we discovered that her tracheotomy was sticking crookedly half-way outside her throat, causing a lot of pain. The human body, besides being an amazing collection of systems and organs working in tandem, is also a very determined security officer. Anything that does not belong is forced to leave, hence the problem with the tracheotomy. It’s the reason transplant patients need special drugs to retain their new organs. It’s the reason a splinter eventually forces its way out. Once the respiratory therapist fixed her trach, she seemed to calm down. She slept most of the day.

     If you take anything from this; never be afraid to say goodbye  because it is a beautiful word. If you visit Alisha, it’s ok to say goodbye…

     When you do, you are wishing her Heaven’s greatest honor.

     And as always, remember “It’s a marathon…not a sprint”.

     God be with you,

     Edde


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09/05/2013
by Edwin Scudder

Lighting the Darkness

I’ve yet to address this because I like to remain upbeat, however everything eventually flows to the top, so allow me this singular moment, and I will never speak of it again.

Everyone is afraid of the dark.

Place the bravest of men or women in a forest alone and I guarantee they will jump at the sound of a twig being broken in the distance. It is the reason we light fire pits deep in our wooded backyards; it is the reason we created torches; it is the reason we slept under the brightest of moons. It is the reason we captured fire:

To keep the dark at bay.

As adults, we teach our children that the shadows in their bedtime rooms are nothing more than tricks. We turn on the lights to show them what is really there. We turn them off again to show them what is really not there. We do this many nights (sometimes weeks) to prove that the dark is nothing to be afraid of.

Then we buy them nightlights.

 

                                                        # # # # #

 

At the first week and a half, many friends and family would sleep in the most awkward of chairs by Alisha’s bedside, keeping vigil despite the myriad of nurses at the ready. It’s human nature; an innate need to care for those we love regardless that should an emergency arise, we’d be clueless to be of any help. The nurses would appear from nowhere, and we’d be left standing at the wayside watching helplessly while they performed their jobs to aid her. The darkness would never consume her as much as it would us.

When the doctor’s decided that while overnight visits aided support; they also realized they deprived her of the rest she needed for proper healing. It’s no coincidence that she rapidly began to break her chain to the ventilator afterwords. Yesterday, she was off the ventilator up until midnight, and now they want to fit her with a cap for her tracheotomy so she will soon be able to speak. It will also give her the ability to eat and drink using her god-given teeth rather than receiving nutrition from sterile bags that hang above her bedside. Her fever reached a peak of 103, unfortunately.

While we are amazed at the rapidity of her progress, we should be more amazed of her courage in fighting the darkness contained within.

Not everyone knows that Alisha remembers all that happened that day; seeing the gun held at DJ’s side, nearly getting to safety as the elevator doors opened only to feel the first bullet and the next and the next and the next and the next.

The last bullet she heard pierced DJ’sSkull while she played dead.

She has a torch that is slightly lit, beating back the darkness in her mind. As she comes to terms with what has happened to her, the torch will grow brighter.

She may eventually realize the shadows will gain less significance as time winds its clock. If not, I’ll be the first in line to buy her a nightlight.

As ever, “It is a marathon, not a sprint”.

In love and light,

Edde


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09/05/2013
by Edwin Scudder
To All supporters and donaters:

     I've been so lax in getting to this point, I must apologize. I wish I could thank each of you individually, but unfortunately I'm not allowed that opportunity. All I can do is send an impersonal "Thank You" for donating to Alisha's cause. 
     My heart is overwhelmed with the number of donations we've received so far. You have no idea, what it means to my and the rest of the family. We are so greatful! Your donations will go to her medical care, the special equipment she'll need when she finally gets to go home and also to the handicapped addition to her parents' house where she will live from now on.

Please accept our warmest thanks,

Edde (Edwin)
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09/03/2013
by Edwin Scudder
     Breath of life

     A light breeze blows across our arms, tingling the soft hairs that grow there. A wisp of wind cools our face while we mow our lawn in summer’s heat. Tree's rustle a comforting sound as an autumn gust flutters their leaves.

     Nature breathes.

     And whether you believe it to be an act of the Lord's grace; or the essence of Gaia; or perhaps a belief that Nature is her own deity - one only has to step outside for proof.
     There are instances in life that are simple in their essence, but allow us the realization that we belong; that we are a part of something larger and that what controls life on this planet, gives us breath.
     From animals to plants to humans, we all respire. Our breath allows us to whisper in another's ear how much we love them; it gives us the opportunity to agree or disagree with our neighbors; to gasp as fireworks explode beauty above our heads; to scream for help when madmen and monsters chase us.
    
     Yesterday, they did a lumbar puncture to see if her spinal fluid was infected (preliminary tests showed it wasn't). They've decided to leave the fluid pocket in her neck alone, believing her slight fever to be a result of the trauma her body has received. As long as it stays below 101.5, we're golden.
     Danielle slathered her fingernails with purple polish except for the ring fingers of either hand, which Alisha requested be painted pink.
     The day was not without its ups and downs. Normally, she smiles and emits light where darkness hides, but keeping up that momentum can sometimes be exhausting.  Quoting from her Mother, Tammy Russell:


We had a girls talk today about the courage Alisha will need to endure to make this long journey. I told her that she was going to have to work harder than she ever has in her life, but that she had a tremendous amount of people praying and supporting her along the way. I told her to focus on [the Hope] TJ and she had talked about before he left and that seemed to lighten her just a little bit.
She is starting to ask some questions about her recovery and sometimes it's hard to be honest, but I feel that's my way of encouraging her to push forward, so I tell her the truth.


     Today, Alisha was put on a tracheotomy collar. It doesn't sound like much, but what it means is enormous. With the collar on, the doctor's had removed her from the ventilator! She was breathing on her own, no aid, and no assist from a machine itself that breathes. As of 11:30 tonight she was still ventilator free. Each inhale and each exhale is under her own control; her diaphragm responds to her body's request and not the ventilator's! I cannot imagine the exhilaration she must feel. I know her parents are overjoyed. As a result, the team is going to perform a speech/swallow test tomorrow.
     Every day, we are thankful for the little steps. While we are anxious for a speedy recovery, we realize that before one begins any daunting task...one must take a step back and just breathe.

     It is after all a marathon and not a sprint.

     In love and light, 

     Edde


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09/01/2013
by Edwin Scudder
The Naming of Things
Written 3 minutes ago


I love words. 
Big words, small words, in between words. I've even made up my own words. Once, I told my partner I had a bi-scrapulated shoulder to make it sound more serious than it was (I had been tutored for years into being a hypochondriac by my mother). 
A lover of words and grammar is called a "logophile". It comes from the Greek name for "words" - Logos; and for "friend" - phile.). 
I'm one of those annoying people who cuts you off mid-sentence to correct your grammar or speech. When I was a child, I used to sit in the corner by the bookshelves and read the dictionary as if it were a book. 
I was a weird kid. 

Now, I use those words to form coherent sentences into a work that is the sum of its parts - an article, an essay, a story, or an update on my niece’s condition. 
I also use those words to describe the monstrous nature of humanity. I name names to place the blame where it properly belongs; to give something that would otherwise be ethereal and meaningless a shape, a form...a face. 
Dennis Joseph Mathis attempted to murder my niece, Alicia Waters. I used to sit beside him at Thanksgiving and Christmas, talking the usual holiday talk that replaces normal conversation: “So what's been going on?”, “How about them (insert any football team here ‘cause I know as much about sports as I do algebra)”.

Never once did I hear him say, “You ever think about killing Alisha?”

And the reason for that is this: Demons never show their face. Not to their friends; not to their family; not to themselves. They hide their true essence until the time has come for them to do their dirty work. 

Nor are they perfect. They believe if they buy a gun; all they have to do is point and pull. Then when you put the gun in your mouth, point it towards the sky and pull one final time, the woman you once loved will be together with you for eternity

Sometimes the most accurate shot is the last.



# # # #


Alisha didn't die. She lives on through a different, difficult journey. But she is alive – alive enough to have told me: “I hate DJ”.

Three little words that could not better express her emotion than a hundred paragraphs of language. Sometimes, it’s the simplest of things that grant us power.

A simple word, a simple act, a simple improvement in healing…

Yesterday, Alisha was still running a low grade temp of 100.5, so the team did another MRI to rule out any infection. It showed that the pocket of fluid is sitting on or close to her c-5 vertebrae. Within the next two days, they will perform a lumbar puncture to see whether it is infected spinal fluid.

They lowered her PEEP to 5 (normal range)! They also lowered her PINSP (pressure of inspiration) which caused her throat to ache. Up till now the ventilator had done all the inhaling for her, so Alisha has to rebuild her throat muscles to inhale on her own. Jim and Tammy had purchased some iTune cards, and Alisha loaded up her iPad with Rascal Flats, Don Henley, and an audio book by Danielle Steel, “The Kiss”.

She always did love to read.

Please remember we are only accepting donations at 2 sites: 


Online at You Caring. 


http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/aid-for-alisha/80066



Or at The Bank of Kentucky, Alisha Mathis Benefit Fund. You can walk into any branch, or mail a check payable to the Alisha Mathis Benefit fund at:

The Bank of Kentucky
255 Mary Grubbs Hwy
Walton, KY. 41097

We cannot accept donations or tributes at the Caring Bridge site as Alisha receives none of that money. Only the people running Caring Bridge get those dollars. 

And always remember: It's a marathon, a sprint! 

Always, 
Edde

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08/30/2013
by Edwin Scudder

How to Create a Body of Music

Written a minute ago

<img src="http://www.caringbridge.org/assets/ugc/1o/5x/4i/52218aa2ac7ee92a4084c188.jpg" alt="" width="337" height="150">    I have been in love with music since I was a child. I joined the elementary band in 6th grade and learned how to play the trombone, which by the way is the noblest of instruments (and there is absolutely no bias in that statement). It is rumored that Handel's Aria from "Messiah", The Trumpet Shall Sound, was originally titled: The Trombone Shall Sound because Handel felt the trombone a more regal instrument. But with his text supplied from   
1 Corinthians 15: 51-53, he had no choice but to follow the biblical narrative that the trumpet was a better recourse for sounding than the trombone.  
     Alas the poor, trombone. 
     My point in all this drivel, is that music is the sum of its parts. One begins with a melody or a riff (and if one is lucky), it is perfect. More often than not, it's a little off and needs some tweaking.       
     Composers will spend days trying to find the correct balance; then suddenly (be it the grace of God, or the ether) something magical occurs, and notes or chords they'd never considered, become the notes or chords they heard in their head all along. 
     From there one adds a bass melody; a theme for a French horn; an oboe echoinghttp://www.facebook.com/AidforAlisha?ref=hl response. Then bassoons, trumpets, clarinets, and trombones make their point like punctuation marks in a sentence. 
     And all of these various instruments come together to make one magnificent work of music. 

     The human body is like that - a beautiful piece of music made possible by the coordination of limbs, brain, heart, sinew, and blood. Whether you believe in a creator or happenstance, nearly everything man creates follows the body's pattern through mimicry. Writer's write amazing works based on building blocks that start at the simplest level. Musicians, artists, photographers: all follow the same pattern of creation. 
     All forms of life are built from the simplest of beginnings. 
      
     And this is what Alisha is experiencing: the frustration of finding the right notes, the correct sentences, the simplest of beginnings to make her body work again. She's a faster composer than I could have imagined. She writes exquisite paragraphs of movement, and bodily control. Certainly, the work is tough, but she is an artist who is relentless in her pursuit of that perfect melody where muscles defy her body. 
     Her family's day began with a tour of several Long-term Acute Care Hospitals (LTACH). Quoting her Mother Tammy: 

" We got a bad vibe and Drake as soon as we walked in the door. It started out that the lady we were supposed to meet didn't even work today, strike one. The floors were nasty, strike two and the woman that was answering our questions seemed to be guessing at the answers, strike three. 

Select ( at Good Samaritan) was visit number two and we received a warm welcome there. All the same questions I had asked on the visit to drake were asked again. The difference in the answers was tremendous. She answered... with a lot of detail. Everyone was friendly and the place was very clean and welcoming. Thanks to Butch for the phone call before our arrival. 

Place three was Regency. We just didn't feel the same type of welcome as place number two. They are also relocating to Montgomery, which would be a rather long daily commute. We choose Select. Alisha will have a beautiful room with a wonderful view from the 15th floor." 


     The most wonderful thing I got to witness was Alisha using her Mouthpiece stylus to communicate on her personal Facebook page. She mainly tapped "likes" and short sentences, so if you are a Facebook friend of hers, she may have responded to you personally. God, I loved watching her. As a writer, I'm always observing people (I don't even realize it sometimes).  I could see the intensity in her eyes; her depth and earnestness seemed to increase with each tap of the stylus and her focus was unwavering.  
     Until she wanted to play Candy Crush; by then, I could've been a blue rhinoceros juggling beach balls and she'd have never noticed. 
     It was a delight to see; never could a blue rhinoceros have been happier. 
     Her peep is down to 6. We're one away from normal status! She's expected to leave SICU for LTACH by Wednesday. 
     The best part, I think is of what she is unaware. She's not conscious that she is creating the greatest piece of music ever written by bone and blood; by tissue and respiration. She is placing each instrument in her body's own symphony one by one, and baby step by baby step. When she is done, I do not believe there will be a music hall to contain her. 
      Please remember we are only accepting donations at 2 sites:  
          
          Online at You Caring. 
   

Or at The Bank of Kentucky Alisha Mathis Benefit Fund. You can walk into any branch, or mail a check payable to the Alisha Mathis Benefit fund at
The Bank of Kentucky
255 Mary Grubbs Hwy                                    
Walton, KY. 41097

     We cannot accept donations or tributes at this site as Alisha receives none of that money. Only the people running Caring Bridge get those dollars.  

     Remember: It's a marathon, not a sprint!  

    
 Always,  
     Edde

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08/29/2013
by Edwin Scudder

The Numbers of People

Written 16 minutes ago

<img src="http://www.caringbridge.org/assets/ugc/1o/5x/4i/52201e11af3d79bb1ebc914d.jpg" alt="" width="279" height="181">
  • The average age of a person afflicted with a spinal cord injury is 31. 
  • There are approximately 200,000 people in the United states with spinal cord injuries, 47% of whom are quadriplegic.
  • These injuries are most often the result of automobile accidents; coming in second are injuries occurring through violence.
  • Recent statistics suggest that acts of violence are on the rise, while those due to car accidents are declining.
  • The average cost for quadriplegics within the first year is $417,000.

     I don't mention this because I have a fondness for statistics. Usually when I see paragraphs of such numbers, my eyes autonomously look to rest on a place where words belong. I can't help it. I'm a writer.  
     It's difficult for us to realize these statistics are people - actual human beings that add up to the percentage of quadriplegics in the U.S. 
     It is almost spooky, that Alisha was exactly 31 at the time she was felled by 5 bullets (as stated above). 
     It gave me goose-flesh.  
     But this 31 year old fights on with bravery and unconditional surrender. Yesterday, they moved her PEEP numbers down twice putting her at a 9, and today they moved it to 8. Her lungs do not seem to be fighting her, and the doctors are hoping to continue lowering her numbers by 1 every twelve hours now. Their goal is to get Alisha in the normal range of 5 to allow her some time off of the ventilator. Her chest x-ray was clear, her blood gases are better than they have seen so far, but she is still in a lot of pain. 
     The trauma team is treating her with a variety of antibiotics to clear the pocket of fluid around the bullet wound in her neck. They are wary of aspirating it because of its close proximity to the spinal cord.  
     It's possible a move to rehab may begin as early as Tuesday, Oct. 3. Tammy and Jim are going to begin their tour of facilities tomorrow to find a good fit for her needs. 
     On a lighter note, her mother dry shampooed her hair (which must have felt terrific after 3 weeks), brushed it lovingly, and then styled it for her. 
     She looks like Princess Leah. 

     Please remember we are only accepting donations at 2 sites: 
          

          Online at You Caring 
  

Or at The Bank of Kentucky Alisha Mathis Benefit Fund. You can walk into any branch, or mail a check payable to the Alisha Mathis Benefit fund at
The Bank of Kentucky
255 Mary Grubbs Hwy                                     Walton, KY. 41097

     We cannot accept donations or tributes at the Caring Bridge site as Alisha receives none of that money. Only the people running Caring Bridge get those dollars. 

     Remember: It's a marathon, not a sprint! 

    
 Always, 
     Edde

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08/29/2013
by Edwin Scudder

The Numbers of People

Written 16 minutes ago

<img src="http://www.caringbridge.org/assets/ugc/1o/5x/4i/52201e11af3d79bb1ebc914d.jpg" alt="" width="279" height="181">
  • The average age of a person afflicted with a spinal cord injury is 31. 
  • There are approximately 200,000 people in the United states with spinal cord injuries, 47% of whom are quadriplegic.
  • These injuries are most often the result of automobile accidents; coming in second are injuries occurring through violence.
  • Recent statistics suggest that acts of violence are on the rise, while those due to car accidents are declining.
  • The average cost for quadriplegics within the first year is $417,000.

     I don't mention this because I have a fondness for statistics. Usually when I see paragraphs of such numbers, my eyes autonomously look to rest on a place where words belong. I can't help it. I'm a writer.  
     It's difficult for us to realize these statistics are people - actual human beings that add up to the percentage of quadriplegics in the U.S. 
     It is almost spooky, that Alisha was exactly 31 at the time she was felled by 5 bullets (as stated above). 
     It gave me goose-flesh.  
     But this 31 year old fights on with bravery and unconditional surrender. Yesterday, they moved her PEEP numbers down twice putting her at a 9, and today they moved it to 8. Her lungs do not seem to be fighting her, and the doctors are hoping to continue lowering her numbers by 1 every twelve hours now. Their goal is to get Alisha in the normal range of 5 to allow her some time off of the ventilator. Her chest x-ray was clear, her blood gases are better than they have seen so far, but she is still in a lot of pain. 
     The trauma team is treating her with a variety of antibiotics to clear the pocket of fluid around the bullet wound in her neck. They are wary of aspirating it because of its close proximity to the spinal cord.  
     It's possible a move to rehab may begin as early as Tuesday, Oct. 3. Tammy and Jim are going to begin their tour of facilities tomorrow to find a good fit for her needs. 
     On a lighter note, her mother dry shampooed her hair (which must have felt terrific after 3 weeks), brushed it lovingly, and then styled it for her. 
     She looks like Princess Leah. 

     Please remember we are only accepting donations at 2 sites: 
          

          Online at You Caring 
  

Or at The Bank of Kentucky Alisha Mathis Benefit Fund. You can walk into any branch, or mail a check payable to the Alisha Mathis Benefit fund at
The Bank of Kentucky
255 Mary Grubbs Hwy                                     Walton, KY. 41097

     We cannot accept donations or tributes at the Caring Bridge site as Alisha receives none of that money. Only the people running Caring Bridge get those dollars. 

     Remember: It's a marathon, not a sprint! 

    
 Always, 
     Edde

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08/28/2013
by Edwin Scudder

Rolling the Rock – August 27

 

 According to Greek mythology, Sisyphus was a king who considered himself to be more clever than the ruler of the Gods on Olympus, Zeus.
When word of this reached Zeus, he devised a unique and crafty punishment for Sisyphus' audacity. He was forced to roll a huge boulder up the steepest hill in Greece. What made this punishment maddening for the king was that every time he neared the top of the hill, the monstrous rock would roll back down, forcing Sisyphus to start his labors all over again. What Sisyphus did not know was that Zeus had enchanted the boulder to do this, thus leaving the king to perform his punishment for eternity.
     The story is an apt parable for Life. How often in our labors have we felt the odds so against us, that it feels we are pushing our own rock?
     We are all Sisyphus, but some of our boulders are bigger than others.
     Alisha is rolling a rock more gargantuan than we can imagine. Her incessant smile and positivity, I feel is often more illusory than real at times. Sometimes I believe her outlook is more to safeguard ourselves, than her. 
     We have no idea the talons of demons that scratch her mind. Locked inside is the the misery of her condition now, compared to before when she was able to roam wherever she desired; when she could get in the car and drive just because she wanted to; where she could enjoy a cup of coffee on the deck, instead of ice chips; instead of the haunting memory of running for her life and being gunned down.
     That must be an eternal loop playing in her head.

     Yesterday, was a good day. Alisha's spirits were up as always. They turned her PEEP down from 13 to 12 (bear in mind that the normal level is 5), but her lungs acquiesced to the lower number very well.
     Today, they turned it down to 11 and she is still keeping her oxygen levels up, which means her diaphragm seems to be taking over more and more.
     

  • PEEP: Positive End-Expiratory Pressure. Remember that air is pulled by the lungs into tiny little air sacs called 'alveolus'. These are very very small little balloons where the blood swooshs around the outside--giving up its CO2, absorbing O2. You know they're wet inside. You know the coughing and suctioning and mucous production of the chest can collapse these balloons. Yes? It's not hard to imagine a sick persons chest has lots of aveoli that are collapsed like shriveled up little balloons (http://allnurses.com/ccu-nursing-coronary/vent-settings-122919.html).


     The social worker stopped by to discuss placement in a rehab facility once her level is near a normal state. We don't know how long that will be, but we're looking for only the best facility (of course).
     The reason, I brought up the allegory of Sisyphus, is that sometimes, it's easy for us to assume that because Alisha's spirits usually remain high, we must realize at the same time the amount of turmoil and physical pain Alisha suffers daily. It's easy read these updates and think everything is cotton-candy and circus peanuts, but it isn't.
     It's hard work for her, and today was the first time I could see the depression in her eyes, which is not surprising considering all she has to do day and night is think...
     Think about everything.
     She did smile at some of my stupid jokes, but beneath it all there was a sadness reflecting in her eyes.
      So please try to remember when rolling your own rock up your personal hill; there are others who who would gladly take your place if only for the chance; for just one day to push a boulder much smaller than their own.

"It's a marathon, not a sprint"

In love and light, 

Edde


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08/25/2013
by Edwin Scudder
<img src="http://www.caringbridge.org/assets/ugc/1o/5x/4i/521ad6c6cb16b45437c8de54.jpg" alt="" width="274" height="206"> Sunday, August 26

     Sometimes flowers grow in places we'd have never thought. We may find one pushing its presence at the side of a street curb; alone yet savoring its place in the world - arcing to the sky in celebration of its singularity. We may find them hiding amongst the weeds we pick out of our gardens, or clinging to trees and fences. It is our view of what's rational in the world that makes us think that they do not belong there. But the world is not rational, and a flower will grow wherever it feels safety and warmth.
     My niece is such a flower; thriving while she wasn't expected to, and arcing to the sky in celebration of her own uniqueness.
     Today was just such an example.
     The doctors decided not to aspirate the fluid that had built around the bullet wound in her neck. She will stay on the antibiotics in expectation they will fight whatever exists there.
     Once more, her ventilator settings were lowered another notch (PEEP from 14 to 13 and her oxygen levels to 40), and she seems to be doing well at those levels. The respiratory therapist could still hear a little rattle in her lungs, but could also detect air movement more than before.
     Alisha's temperature was 100.2 and even though that's higher than yesterdays 98.8, it's still better than her spike at 103.
     As I said before, where other's may see baby steps; we envision Neil Armstrong jumping on the moon.
     Her color was good and even though she was a little tired, she still in that high contagious spirit we've come to fall in love with.
     So let those unique flowers thrive for they are the greatest flowers of all.
     Simply by their being.
    

     "It's a marathon, not a sprint"

     Edde
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08/24/2013
by Edwin Scudder
Day 16 - What's in a name?
     
      Let me start by saying we have good news to report! I wish we still had town criers to shout this around the city, but I suppose I'll assume that role for now.
     Alisha had another chest x-ray today and the doc said she was quite impressed since the bronchoscope yesterday. Her pneumonia is gone! They turned down the numbers on the ventilator another notch today, and Alisha did fantastic. Now while these numbers are still critically high, every step that is a baby step is cause for celebration. Her PEEP number (this is what allows the alveoli to expand for the exchange of gases in the lungs) is down from 15 to 14. The normal number for this is 5. So she still has a long way to go, but she is such a hard worker at her healing, we have never ending faith in her.
     Hope is medicinal.
     The cat scan results from yesterday revealed a pocket of fluid about the size of a fifty-cent piece, in the area of her neck that the bullet tore through. This goes a long way in explaining the persistent pain she feels there. She has another CAT scan tomorrow and they want to draw out some of the fluid to see if it is an infection or not. They started her on a prophylactic round of antibiotics to get a jump on it; If the results show no infection Alisha will not need to take them anymore.
      It seems the chance to sleep alone last night has helped her recharge a little. Her color looked good, and she was quite cheerful (Alisha is always upbeat, but today there seemed to be a little more pep to her interactions with others).
     Perhaps the most exciting news of the day is what helped raise Alisha's spirits. As of today, her name has been officially changed to Alisha Waters! She no longer carries the hyphenated Mathis. The last bit of control that D.J. held over her has been forever erased from history. I cannot fathom how disillusioning it must be to be forced to carry the name of the man who attempted to murder you. A name taken for love; destroyed by evil, has now been crushed by love once more. For Alisha, the name Mathis no longer holds any power!  Raise cups all around!
      I also was asked to remind everyone that Alisha's visits are restricted to immediate family at this time. Down the road, as she improves this should be lifted. We understand your desire to be near her, but rest improves healing. Even the family has been asked to stop the over night visits. That's all for now.
     And as always, remember:  "It's a marathon, not a sprint"

     
Edde
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08/24/2013
by Edwin Scudder
     The Cincinnati Enquirer just wrote an editorial about changing the EPO/DVO laws, which we have been on a crusade for ever since this tragedy happened.

 http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/201308240522/EDIT/308240024

     If you'd like to sign our petition, please feel free to do so at:

http://www.change.org/petitions/the-legislators-and-governor-of-kentucky-change-emergency-protection-order-laws

     Thanks as always for your support and love. we'd have never made it this far withought you.
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08/23/2013
by Edwin Scudder
In order to make it easier for anyone to donate at our online site:

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/aid-for-alisha/80066

I have upgraded the PayPal Account to accept credit card donations as well as PayPal donations. PayPal will skim a little more off of the top, but I believe that not having the option to donate by credit card has turned people away from the project.

So now , just go to the website, and donate with any credit card you like. Pretty please with sugar on top? Or any other topping you desire
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08/23/2013
by Edwin Scudder
     Another bronchoscopy today, with good news attached. The team feels like she has less secretions than two days ago, which means her lungs are clearing bit by bit. We count Alisha's achievements on a larger ruler than other's might, because the little steps toward healing are huge to us.
     As far as her fever is concerned, She had another CAT scan (this time focusing on her neck) because the doctors wanted to she if she had an abscess hiding there.  She complains of neck pain consistently  despite the powerful painkillers she's on. Unfortunately, we won't know the results until tomorrow - one of many waiting games we've gotten used to.
     
     One of the most difficult things we had to do as a family was to inform friends of Alisha's request from visitor's (that only immediate family be allowed). It was a difficult decision for her because she is more thoughtful of others than herself, but right now rest means healing, and isn't that the focus after all.
     That point was not more poignantly proven until tonight. Up till now, members of the family would spend evening to dawn, resting in chairs to keep watch.
     Tonight, the staff asked that the family let her sleep alone, so could rest all the more. It was devastating. Especially to her mother, Tammy. It's difficult to let go of the one thing that has been one's raison d'etre for so long. But even so I believe everyone involved needs their own space in which to process all that has happened: Alisha especially. But even though we may be separated, we are still connected. To quote one man's words:

     “I imagine a line, a white line, painted on the sand and on the ocean, from me to you.” 

Jonathan Safran FoerEverything is Illuminated


    So I believe I'll end there, and dream of that connecting line.
And remember, as always: 

     "It's a marathon, not a sprint"

     
In love and light, 
     Edde
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08/22/2013
by Edwin Scudder

    I believe the Sun is envious of Alisha's bright spirit. Her smile has such an immense warming effect on the soul; there is no way one cannot be absorbed by it. While we as her family do our best to lift her up, she oftentimes raises us even more.

     Today, she received a huge stuffed dog from her Uncle, Jim Cole.

     She named her “Hope”.  

     Her brother Josh and his girlfriend Bethany, made a photo board (which she loves) to put in her room. Alisha enjoys looking at pictures, so if anyone wants to send her a pictureor two to put on the board, she would be delighted. The more things make her smile and warm her heart; the stronger she will become.

     On the medical side, she had surgery to implant the Greenfield Filter (which will keep any blood clots from reaching her lungs). She did very well and got through the procedure without any complications. Alisha still has a persistent high fever,which today spiked at 103. The doctor’s are doing their best to find its source, but so far are at a loss. She has a terrific trauma team, and we’re certain they will figure it out.

     The only difficult point was not a medical issue, but an emotional one. Alisha asked her mother Tammy, to place her cell phone in her hand. If only she could grasp it, raise it to her ear, punch in a number, or check Facebook for herself; but her hands cannot feel nor do the things that we take for granted every day. It’s challenging to hold our tears, but we will not be dismayed. We firmly believe that hope is medicinal and we will keep placing that cell phone in her hand every day, no matter what.

And remember my friends; her recovery is more about endurance than a quick fix.  That’s why we will always end with: 

     “It’s a marathon, not a sprint”.


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08/21/2013
by Edwin Scudder

We held a news conference on August 19 for all of the local news stations and the Cincinnati/Northern KY Enquirer. The interviews can be seen at the following websites:

www.wlwt.com/ Channel 5
www.wcpo.com/ Channel 9
www.local12.com/‎ Channel 12
www.fox19.com/‎ Channel 19
news.cincinnati.com/‎ Cincinnati/Northern KY Enquirer

Alisha's condition is still critical. She can talk, although it is well below a whisper, and often quite raspy. As a result, we've become well versed in lip-reading. She can move her head left and right, though she's still in a C-collar. We're trying to train her to keep her head forward (sometimes it slips to either side as her neck muscles have become weak). This will help strengthen those muscle so eventually the collar can be removed, but that is weeks away. She cannot feel anything below the top of her breasts, though she does have some tingling on the inside of her upper left arm. Like anyone in her condition, she has days both good and bad.
Today, August 21, has been a not so good day. They believe she has developed pneumonia, but can't find its source through bronchoscopy because they have to turn the ventilator off to do the procedure and her oxygen levels drop so quickly they can never finish. She has has at least 9 of these procedures. That was one of the trauma teams' goals: to wean her off the ventilator and strengthen her diaphragm so she'll be able to breathe on her own.
We also found out today that both of the lower lobes of her lungs have collapsed. She generally has a continuing fever of 102, which could be from the pneumonia, but they also believe she may have a fungal infection of her blood. They gave her some blood yesterday, but it did not raise her level at all.
Despite it all, her spirits are quite high and she even laughs at my stupid jokes. It is her indefatigable spirit, that keeps us going. She has no idea that her courage and bravery is what keeps us humble. She adores when we read the loving posts people from all over the country, writing in support and concern.
If you feel so inclined, you may leave messages of encouragement and love on her Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/AidforAlisha

It is open to the public so anyone can post there. 

We thank each and everyone of you for your love, your thoughts, and your prayers; and please share this petition site with all your friends. We cannot change the law without signatures.

In love and light,
Edde Scudder


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08/20/2013
by Edwin Scudder

The 2 week mark

Written 2 hours ago

Today didn't start out as well as we all would have liked. We found out that last night Alisha's fever spiked to 102 degrees. As the doctors have been taking cultures of her blood to send them off for testing, they came back negative for pneumonia. Although this is positive in some light, it it still a bit disturbing as to where this fever is coming from. In order to eliminate a few of the possible causes, the doctor requested a cat-scan, from which we have not heard the results yet. That shall be revealed as soon as they are revealed to us.

On the positive side of things, today was the first day they lowered Alisha's PEEP. The PEEP is basically what is doing the work the diaphragm usually takes on. This is the first step in getting her off the ventilator. They also lowered her O2 level from 50% to 45%, so all positive news when it comes to the ventilator. 

We have contemplated taking down the carebridge site, due to the fact of people donating to "carebridge" rather than the designated youcaring site. If you would like to contribute, please make donations either at any branch of The Bank of Kentucky or by visiting the following URL: http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/aid-for-alisha/80066.

The road to recover looks tedious, but with Alisha's spirit, faith, and perseverance, we shall move forward. And remember, it's a marathon, not a sprint!

Sent from CaringBridge iPhone app


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08/20/2013
by Edwin Scudder

DO NOT DONATE TO CARINGBRIDGE!!!!

Written 12 hours ago

Please, if you wish to make a donation to Alisha, so not try and so it via this web site. All donations made to caringbridge go to caringbridge, not Alisha. If you wish to donate to Alisha, please walk into any branch of The Bank of Kentucky or mail checks to:

Alisha Mathis benefit fund
The Bank of Kentucky
255 Mary Grubbs Hwy
Walton, KY. 41097

Thank you!

TJ Waters

Sent from CaringBridge iPhone app


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08/20/2013
by Edwin Scudder

Day 13

Written 23 hours ago

Alisha was in good spirits today. The doctors have started to be a little more aggressive on getting her off the ventilator. They started what is known as a cough assist and insufflator to help breakup and rid Alisha's lungs of mucus secretions. We are hopeful that with these procedures she will be off the ventilator within a few weeks. Other than that, not much went on today (at the hospital).

After we left the hospital, the entire family headed back to moms house and did an interview with all four major news stations. We have seen the fox 19 story and it was really good. It hit on the EPO issue that we are trying to change. 

Today was also my last day here in Kentucky. It really hurts my heart to leave Alisha and my family here under these circumstances. I know that my family can handle the situation, but I just feel like I need to be here. Anyways, I had a talk with Alisha and she has promised me to do exactly what I talked about in yesterday's caringbridge post. Focus first on what the docs say we can do, then move on to the things they say are "the miracles". Lastly I made her promise me that she would never give up. I told her, you are gonna have bad days and there will be times that you wanna give up. Those are the days you have to push even harder and put that big beautiful smile on your face. After our talk she told me "T we are gonna be fine. I am gonna walk again." I then reminded her......Remember, it's a marathon not a sprint!

Sent from CaringBridge iPhone app


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08/20/2013
by Edwin Scudder

Hope!

Written August 18, 2013 7:35pm

"Hope, like faith and purpose in life, is medicinal. This is not a statement of belief, but a conclusion proved by meticulous controlled scientific experiment." (Dr. Harold Wolff) This is a quote that I read to Alisha this morning from a book she received that contains shorts for each day of the year. As fate would have it, the doctors came in and laid everything out on the table for Alisha later this afternoon telling her what I am sure she already knew. They said that to regain all functionality of her arms and legs would "be one of those miracles doctors always talk about." They did tell her that it would not be impossible to regain basic lateral movement in her arms. This was hard for me to hear, so I can not even begin to fathom what was running through her mind. After I left the room I started to think about everything the doctors had said and what I was going to say to my sister to comfort her in this hard time. I decided to go back and read the excerpt I had read earlier that morning. A little later, I walked into her room and saw a very sad Alisha. It broke my heart! We started to talk about everything that was discussed and I told her that first we need to concentrate on what the doctors say is possible. Lets get those arms moving first, then we will focus on the next step then the next step and so on. I then reminded her of the excerpt we read about 12 hours prior and told her that hope is very powerful. If you believe it, you can achieve it. I ended by saying the same thing we say everyday......"remember, it's a marathon, not a sprint."

Sent from CaringBridge iPhone app


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08/20/2013
by Edwin Scudder

Feeling Good!

Written August 17, 2013 6:15pm

Today was a good day! Where there really is not any thing to report in the way of progress, it was still a good day. Alisha woke up this morning feeling great. As a matter of fact, she said she felt the best she has felt since she arrived here at the hospital. To make things better Alisha received a visit from a few therapy dogs. She loved it. The lady mentioned something about making it a daily routine and man you should have seen her eyes light up. She is getting a lot of rest today and has a busy day planned for tomorrow. Tomorrow she will undergo another bronchoscope and hopefully remove more of the secretions that are clogging up her lungs. So, until tomorrow, remember......it a marathon, not a sprint.

Sent from CaringBridge iPhone app


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08/20/2013
by Edwin Scudder

Cincinnati Enquire Article

Written August 16, 2013 5:15pm

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20130815/NEWS0103/308150102

Sent from CaringBridge iPhone app


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08/20/2013
by Edwin Scudder

Momma always said there'd be days like these...

Written August 16, 2013 2:55pm

A few days after the incident, the doctors discovered a small blood clot in Alisha's leg. Really not that big of a deal, the docs just gave her some blood thinner and said they would keep an eye on it. Well, this morning the nurse discovered blood in Alisha's colostomy which they believe is oozing from the sutures in her bowels because of the blood thinner. As a result, the docs have decided to take a chance with the blood clot and take her off the blood thinner. Also, she is undergoing another blood transfusion because her blood count was low. Lastly, she has a lot of congestion in her chest today. The respiratory docs don't seem to worried about it but it is making her a little uncomfortable. On the bright side of things, she said she is having less pain which is more than likely the result of an increase in her pain mess. Also, the physical therapist said she has a little better movements in her joints (both arms and legs). Through it all, Alisha still finds the strength to put a smile on her face and makes sure to ask how everyone else is doing. After everything she is going through she still wants to know how everyone else is doing. What a strong, kind person she is. Remember, "it's a marathon, not a sprint."

Sent from CaringBridge iPhone app


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08/20/2013
by Edwin Scudder

Slow and Steady

Written August 15, 2013 2:13pm

There has not really been much progress to report today but you know what they say, no news is good news. Although there is nothing really good to report, there is nothing bad to report either. So I guess that is good news. Alisha has been her normal loving, smiling, chatting self today. She has been in the chair twice today and will probably do it once more this evening. She has made a little progress on her battle with the ventilator. The docs continually decrease the amount of assistance the ventilator provides and hopefully within the next few days she we be able to breath without it all together.

I wanted to let everyone know that I read the caringbridge post to Alisha daily and they always bring a smile to her face. Please keep sending your stories and words of encouragement. 

Alisha wanted me tell everyone Thank You for your continued Love and Support. 

Remember, "it's a marathon, not a sprint!"

Sent from CaringBridge iPhone app


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08/20/2013
by Edwin Scudder

Family, Voice and Spirt

Written August 14, 2013 12:52pm

Last night the spinal doctor came into the room and was talking with Alisha. In that conversation the doctor mentioned to Alisha that she would "probably" never regain the use of her legs or arms. Alisha's response has forever altered my view on life! She said "As long as I have my Family, My Voice and My Spirit I will be fine!" God Bless Her!

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08/20/2013
by Edwin Scudder

Never ceases to amaze me!

Written August 13, 2013 2:45pm

Hello everyone, sorry that it has taken me a little while to get an update on here today but we have been quite busy. Anyways, Alisha is continuing to show signs of improvement. She has been on ventilator support since she arrived at the hospital because one of the bullets struck one of her ribs causing some fluid build up in her lungs. She has undergone 3 or 4 bronchoscopes to try and clear up all the gunk and today was the first day she didn't need to under go that procedure! Where she is nowhere near 100%, this is a huge step in the right direction. Just like yesterday, she has been very upbeat and smiley. Her strength and spirit continue to amaze me (as I am sure it does many people). Please keep the prayers and kind words coming!

We have finally gotten a fund set up for everyone wishing to make a donation. The information is as follows:

The fund is set up at The Bank of Kentucky under Alisha Mathis Benefit Fund (it has to Mathis as this is still her legal name and we are currently working on this). To make donations you can either walk into any branch of The Bank of Kentucky and tell the teller you would like to donate to The Alisha Mathis Benefit Fund or mail a check payable to Alisha Mathis Benefit Fund to:

255 Mary Grubbs Hwy.
Walton, Ky 41097

Again, thank you all for your continued prayers and support.

Sent from CaringBridge iPhone app


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08/20/2013
by Edwin Scudder

Another Good Day!

Written August 12, 2013 1:09pm

Started the day off right again. She woke up this morning with high spirits again. Once again she was very alert and talkative. She insisted that I send out a Facebook post thanking everyone for their support. A little later she told us that she could feel us touching the bottom of her left foot. She has also regained feeling on the inside of her left arm! We are all ecstatic and are praying this trend continues. She also underwent another bronchoscope and had a little more success than yesterday. They are still unable to leave the ventilator off long enough to finish the procedure. We still have quit a few bridges to cross so please keep the prayers coming. Also, she really enjoys reading Facebook and caringbridge posts so please keep those coming as well. We are making progress but we still have a very long way to go. Thank you everyone for your support.

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08/20/2013
by Edwin Scudder

DONATIONS

Written August 11, 2013 7:17pm

If you are interested in making a donation to Alisha, please contact the family. Donations or tributes made through this site go to this site. The family will never see any donations made through caringbridge. If you have already made a tribute or donation through this site I am sorry. You may be able to contact the site and see about getting your money back.

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08/20/2013
by Edwin Scudder

Good Morning!

Written August 11, 2013 1:02pm

I (TJ) got to sit and chat with Alisha this morning. She was very alert and talkative. Her voice is getting stronger and I could actually hear her words. She shared some stories and asked some questions and Kurt and myself listened and answered as best we could. We even cracked some jokes and heard her laugh, and she cracked some jokes right back. She is now undergoing her second bronchoscope to clean out some mucus build up in her chest. I would suspect that's she will be very groggy and tires for most of the day. We (the whole family) have decided to keep Alisha's visitors to a minimum so that she can rest and have the strength to fight this long hard battle. Please feel free to come and sit in the waiting room to show your support but realize that the only people that can actually see her will be very close family. 
Thank you everyone for all the prayers and kind words and please keep them coming. If any one would like to send silk flowers (please do not send real flowers, they are not allowed in the room with Alisha) or cards, here is the address:

Alisha Waters
2nd Floor SICU
University Hospital
234 Goodman St.
Cincinnati, OH 45219

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08/20/2013
by Edwin Scudder

OUT OF BED!

Written August 10, 2013 6:03pm

Today was a day of give and take. This morning we got her out of bed and had her sitting in a chair. We even had her crack a few smiles. Later she finally got to wet her mouth with a few pieces of ice. Then in the afternoon the docs had to run some pneumonia tests that didn't go that great. Like we keep saying, she's got a long hard road ahead but she's a fighter. Everyone please keep the prayers coming. Remember its a marathon, not a sprint!

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08/20/2013
by Edwin Scudder

Smiling today

Written August 9, 2013 12:09pm

Alisha is awake today and is smiling to beat the band. We have been reading her all of her messages and each one is making her smile a little more. We have purchased her an iPad today so communication will be easier and less stressful for her. Keep on praying for our beautiful Alisha!

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08/20/2013
by Edwin Scudder

Surgery went well

Written August 8, 2013 3:40pm

Alisha is recovering from surgery. Vital signs are good. Not expecting any more surgery in immediate future. She has a long road ahead, please keep praying.

Sent from CaringBridge iPhone app 


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