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Blackburn Family

$13,275raised of $10,000 goal
100%

Organizer: Leona Hill and Liz Sherbaugh Beneficiary: Josh Blackburn

Blackburn family fundraiser

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Fundraiser Details

As most of you probably know by now, Josh Blackburn was in a car accident near Garibaldi on his was home from work Saturday January 4th 2014. He was life-flighted to Emanuel. Josh is a wonderful husband and father of 2. Josh works as a Paramedic and RN for Tillamook Regional Medical Center. Josh is always so compassionate toward his patients and positive to be around. We are asking for donations to help the Blackburn family with financial burdens that arise. A US bank account has also been set up.
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Updates

Updates

02/20/2014
by Leona Hill and Liz Sherbaugh
We've almost been home a month! Where has the time gone? Josh continues to make improvements every single day. We are so thankful to have each other and our family. I'm so very very thankful that our kids get to have their dad as they remember him. With his type of brain injury, he could have come home with a completely different personality.

For better, or worse, he's back to his old self. I came home from work a few days ago carrying a big box and kicked open the porch doo...r only to have him jump out and scare me. Needless to say, I threw the box and screamed, to which he said, "I'm baaaaaackkkkk!" There's never a dull moment around here!

He has far too much time on his hands lately! Slow Grows It plans are in full swing. I continue to be the 'dream crusher' of bringing him back to reality. Thankfully he should be ready to return to work sometime next month.

We cannot thank our friends, family, and coworkers for the tremendous support over the last few months. At times it's hard to wrap my mind around what we've gone through. Above all, we are thankful and blessed that God has given us a chance to keep on keepin' on.

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01/24/2014
by Leona Hill and Liz Sherbaugh
  •  
    We've been home for three full days! I had to attend a computer training all week for our new computer system at Roby's so its been BUSY! Josh has been a trooper and has come to work with me, attended therapies, and has mostly followed the doctor's rules. (I did find him in the hay loft the first day so he won't be staying home alone anytime soon!)

    We are doing well. Life is back in to full-force with kids, work, and recovery. We are SO blessed by our friends who have provided meals which is one less step for me at the end of the day.

    We can literally feel the community support at each place we need to stop in town. We can feel that people are rooting for Josh and his recovery. It's slightly strange when people we don't personally know, stare, smile, and nod when we walk by...but we'll take it because we know they're rooting for us!

    Thanks again for all of the support. We truly appreciate it even if we can't find words to adequately express our gratefulness.
     

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01/24/2014
by Leona Hill and Liz Sherbaugh
  •  
    We've been home for three full days! I had to attend a computer training all week for our new computer system at Roby's so its been BUSY! Josh has been a trooper and has come to work with me, attended therapies, and has mostly followed the doctor's rules. (I did find him in the hay loft the first day so he won't be staying home alone anytime soon!)

    We are doing well. Life is back in to full-force with kids, work, and recovery. We are SO blessed by our friends who have provided meals which is one less step for me at the end of the day.

    We can literally feel the community support at each place we need to stop in town. We can feel that people are rooting for Josh and his recovery. It's slightly strange when people we don't personally know, stare, smile, and nod when we walk by...but we'll take it because we know they're rooting for us!

    Thanks again for all of the support. We truly appreciate it even if we can't find words to adequately express our gratefulness.
     

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01/22/2014
by Leona Hill and Liz Sherbaugh
We made it home around 5:00 today. First stop was Burden's to look at the car. We are ever so blessed that Josh is going to recover and that our kids weren't in that car. The Blackburn family no longer cares about the fuel bill!!

Josh was so happy to be home. He kept saying, "I love this house. It's a nice house." He forgot that he had remodeled the bathroom and was impressed with his own work.

He fell asleep in his own bed at 7:45. I'd say it was a successful day.

The outpouring of support from our community, family, and friends is literally overwhelming. Thank you doesn't do it justice.

Our small group decorated our house, stocked our fridge, and Kim & Wes brought us dinner. We are abundantly blessed.
— with Kim Seidel and Wes Seidel.
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01/20/2014
by Leona Hill and Liz Sherbaugh
  •  
    Tomorrow is the day! Josh and I finally come home! We are excited and nervous at the same time. The good news is that if you or anyone else meets Josh on the street, you'll never even suspect he has a traumatic brain injury! It will mostly just be a story to tell. We're discovering it's more my story to tell than his, because he remembers very little of the last few weeks!

    We are excited to come home, but we still have a long way to go. I feel like the 'weight of the world' will be on me as we progress through this recovery! For a while Josh won't be able to be left alone at all which adds a whole different dynamic to our daily life.

    I also have 17 days worth of work piled up on my desk and of course need to bring the entourage if I want to work after hours to work in a quiet place. It will be a juggling act for me to figure out work, kids, home, Josh, therapies, farm, and recovery.

    We are optimistic that we will pull through this a better couple and a stronger family in the end. For me, tomorrow is when the hard part begins. The good news is that I feel we have a lot of support to get through this....its just not going to be the same for a while.
     

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01/19/2014
by Leona Hill and Liz Sherbaugh
Today is another day of progress and thankfulness. I woke up this morning and had the overwhelming desire to see my kids. So I made a quick trip home for the first time in 14 days! It was great to give them hugs and kisses!

Josh spent the day in different therapies including heading out to a swimming pool and then he walked a block down from the hospital to have Starbucks as an Occupational Ther...apy session. He walked there and back on his own two feet!

The even better news was that he was able to remember where I was all day long and was able to recount his day to me. This is an improvement from the last few weeks! (He doesn't really remember anyone coming to visit him.)

I keep thinking about a conversation we had with Aaron Middleton in small group a few years ago. I can't remember the gist of the conversation but it came down to how we as humans deal with success. I remember Aaron saying, "Where's your focus? Is God receiving the glory for your accomplishments?" Those phrases have meant more to me in the last few weeks as we've had to rely on our faith and ask God to provide. We'll continue to ask, to praise, and receive - giving God the glory along the way. Sincerely, thank you for all of those who have prayed for us, they have made the difference in this journey.

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01/16/2014
by Leona Hill and Liz Sherbaugh
  •  
    Today was glorious on so many levels! I'd say that today was lucky number 13!
    Our day started off sharing a coffee together from Starbucks. While Josh attended some therapies, I headed out to buy him new scrubs for his nursing job. (They switched to black and he wanted to make sure he had them when he went back to work. Way to be optimistic!)
    When I returned, Josh was in the middle of physical therapy and he was WALKING ON HIS OWN! They started with a cane, but he was too good for that so they just moved right on! His goal is to be walking unassisted out of this building.
    We met with the head psychiatrist today and he said that there's every reason to believe that Josh will make a full recovery in 3-6 months. What great news! Everyone keeps saying that 'awareness is key' and he's got a whole lotta that.
    Then I headed back out to Powell's on a special mission to buy a bunch of books on beekeeping which he thinks is his next addition to the farm. He's been reading ever since. (Remember my new-found resolution to be more supportive of "The Dream"?...Yeah....I almost forgot too!)
    While he rested, I pretended I was on vacation and had a 90 minute full-body massage. I justified my splurge by thinking about how much money I saved sleeping on the floor for NINE nights!
    Josh has decided that his new ploy to get his way regarding anything is to use the phrase, "You should just be happy I'm alive. Do what I say!" Like they say...."Awareness is Key".... I think this man's gonna make it. Even if he doesn't get his way.
     

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01/15/2014
by Leona Hill and Liz Sherbaugh
Here's our first full-day schedule at RIO:
8:30-11:30 Various Therapies (OT/PT/Speech) 11:30-1:00 BREAK 1:00-3:00 Various Therapies
He's gonna sleep good tonight.
As for me. I've scheduled myself a 90 minute massage tomorrow and am going to walk up the road to get a Starbucks. Perhaps I need a pedicure too. It was nice to sleep on a 'bed' last night. Although nothing beats my Simmons Comforpedic. If you need a REALLY good night's sleep, go to Roby's Furniture and all the lovely people covering my job will help you out! (Hey. Free advertising where we can get it, right?!)
So I know you'll enjoy this story. Last night Josh was WIDE AWAKE at 1am. I decided to crawl in the little bed with him to rub is back. (Seriously that's ALL). When I went to get out of my bed, it set the bed alarm off! Then nurses came running. I suppose it could have been WAY more embarrassing than that, but lesson learned!

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01/15/2014
by Leona Hill and Liz Sherbaugh
We are settled into RIO. Here is Josh's mailing address for anyone interested:
Josh Blackburn Room # 7-2 Rehabilitation Institute of Oregon Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital & Medical Center 1015 NW 22nd Ave Portland, OR 97210
RIO is located in the main hospital building on the 6th floor. We'd ask for you to prearrange a visit with me prior to making the long drive. He will have a FULL schedule fo...r activities starting at 8:00am. We'll get a schedule each morning for the day's events.
Visiting hours are generally 4:30-8:30pm. We'll see how he does with the intense therapy. My assumption is that he'll be REALLY tired by the time 4:30 rolls around.
I never thought in my LIFE I would be so excited about being somewhere like this. I am able to have my own cot in his room and there are closets for all of our stuff. We have a room to ourselves and is plenty large enough to have company.
Dare I say it's sort of like we're on vacation? Hmm..maybe not, but I'm thankful to have him and am looking forward to our road to recovery. Under normal circumstances we wouldn't ever be able to spend this much time together.
Thank you for praying for us. We know it's made the difference. Not a day has gone by someone hasn't mentioned the surprising recovery. He's got the hospital talking. They even sent out an all-staff e-mail about him and the article on Fox News.

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01/13/2014
by Leona Hill and Liz Sherbaugh
  •  
    We will be moving to RIO tomorrow morning at 10am. I am thankful for this news. We've been working all day on insurance paperwork. Josh is REALLY tired and has been resting the day away. I'm exhausted and looking forward to the move tomorrow.
    As long as the Census stays down at RIO they will be giving us a room together and I'll be allowed to stay. However, he's considered a mild case for them so if they get busier he would move to a semi-private room and I wouldn't be able to stay there. I hope this means that I'll actually get to sleep in a bed!
    I'll update with a room number, schedule, and mailing address for him tomorrow once we get settled. He will have a daily outline of different therapies with a strict eating and activity schedule. From what I can tell, they encourage family and friends to come by.
    Thanks for praying. We are so blessed.
     

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01/13/2014
by Leona Hill and Liz Sherbaugh
  •  
    I know I haven't posted anything on how the kids are doing. The fact is they're doing great. I feel SO blessed to know they can transition seamlessly without many bumps along the way. I've been so preoccupied caring for Josh that I'm glad they are in good hands. I've missed them, and yet can't imagine caring for them at the same time given the circumstances.
    Things have really started to "hit home" the last few days. Our visit with the kids yesterday went great, but it didn't play out the way I expected in my mind. We hadn't seen our kids for a full week and really just wanted to snuggle their smiling faces. My assumption was that Josh would feel the same. Reality hit when I realized that he hadn't really missed the kids that much because he only thought he'd not seen them for a day or two.
    On so so many levels Josh is back to himself, but each day lets in a little brighter glimmer to the damage that has happened in his brain. His short-term memory is lacking significantly and confusion varies greatly depending on how tired he is. He needs several naps a day and makes unsafe decisions for walking when he's tired.
    I'm so happy about our progress, but each day it becomes more apparent that this is very very real and will probably be a very long road.
    I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that we're lucky to have each other. I had another doctor tell me today that he's not supposed to be doing what he's doing and they can't explain why he's recovering so quickly.
    Please specifically pray that we get accepted to RIO tomorrow. I feel we need to be in a place that facilitates intense rehabilitation in order learn how to go back to our new 'norm'.
    Thanks for lifting us up!
     

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01/11/2014
by Leona Hill and Liz Sherbaugh
  •  
    It was such an event-filled day that I forgot to update you on our progress!
    The most exciting answer to prayer today was Josh's visit with the neurosurgeon. Yesterday he was very disappointed with the result of his surgery. I can tell he is a man who doesn't like to get it 'wrong'.
    When he came in the room today, Josh's toes started to move and he was able to push down with his foot. You should have seen the look on Dr. Adler's face. (Neurosurgeon's seem to be a breed of their own. He has the driest sense of humor I've ever encountered.) He was visibly excited. It was a complete 180 in terms of mood. He's no longer ordering an MRI and says (in few words) that Josh's has a good chance at regaining use of his foot. His partying words to me was casually mentioning that most people who wake up with surgery exhibiting Josh's symptoms don't ever regain movement. (I'm glad he didn't tell me that yesterday, although I had my suspicions based on his puzzlement.)
    When he saw the progress, he lit up and said "Hey! I fixed him! I did that! Do you see that?" He was like a kid in the candy shop. I asked if he would finally be able to sleep tonight and he said he would.
    Love it that God guides these doctors. Love it even more when God makes a neurosurgeon test science and logic.
    Our next step is hopefully to RIO on Monday if Josh is able to get a spot for inpatient rehab.
     

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01/10/2014
by Leona Hill and Liz Sherbaugh
Update from Amy:
Today's Events:
1. Met with trauma surgeon. It went well. They are happy with the improvement.
2. Met with neurosurgeon. He is perplexed by Josh's leg. Although improving each day, his doctor was hoping for a better result and will review his MRI again, possibly ordering another one.
3. Met with physical therapy and occupational therapy. He is now able to stand with the use of... the walker. He was able to get to the bathroom, in to a wheelchair, and into a shower chair. We had lunch downstairs together. Tomorrow he will be looked at again to see if he can get new things added to the list.
4. Met with speech therapy. (They evaluate brain function.) They put him through the ringer with a bunch of tests that honestly I wouldn't be able to do. Who counts backwards by 100 by increments of 7. He got approximately three places further than I would have. Based on this series of 'tests' their recommendation would be to be moved to a rehab facility for in depth cognitive and physical therapy prior to being sent home. Once home, he'll need 24/7 supervision to protect from impulsive/harmful activities.
5. Got to have a shower. This was STRESSFUL as he was getting extremely tired and started deciding he could do things on his own.
6. Eating dinner and hopefully to bed. He hasn't had nearly enough rest today with all of his activities.
Here's what I ask today. Please THANK GOD for where we've been to where we've come. Next...please pray for me to keep it together. I don't like being the 'bad guy' when he doesn't want to do what he's 'allowed' regarding his safety.

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01/09/2014
by Leona Hill and Liz Sherbaugh
Last night went well! Josh is still sleeping. I had 7 straight hours of sleep and am starting to feel a little but more normal.
Today's agenda will include more rest and meeting with physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy to further assess Josh's obstacles.
Seriously. This man's acceptance, attitude, and determination overwhelms me with pride and joy.
His nurse, Kyle, had him do some exercises with his left leg last night. I can tell he has to fight hard to make his brain control movements in his leg. We've already seen improvements and pray for more!!

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01/08/2014
by Leona Hill and Liz Sherbaugh
Update from Amy. Feeling thankful!
Josh is doing miraculously well!! Surgery went well. I am SO thankful that his anesthesiologist didn't give him versed, which made him agitated last time. He woke up alert, compliant, and loving. His leg still doesn't move and maybe never will. SO just say a little prayer for full recovery. He says he'd be fine with one leg.

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01/07/2014
by Leona Hill and Liz Sherbaugh
  •  
    Josh will be having surgery tomorrow to repair the herniated disk on his back which is causing the weakness in his legs. The doctor is 'perplexed' by the size of the disk and why he doesn't exhibit more pain.
    Please pray that the surgery will be a success. Also pray for me as I'm not looking forward to waiting through the surgery.
     

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01/07/2014
by Leona Hill and Liz Sherbaugh
Josh has cleared the next hurdle of standing. He keeps wanting to know the next steps he needs to accomplish.
His left leg is still weak, but is he concentrates really hard, he can move it.
He is no longer tied to his bed and is sleeping comfortably for the moment. ...
His nurse is baffled by his behavior and labels him as 'extremely insightful' considering his injuries. I'd like to chalk that up to the power of prayer.
Amen, people!

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01/07/2014
by Leona Hill and Liz Sherbaugh
People. I believe in the power of prayer. I can feel it. Josh is beating the odds!
I'm sure there will be many ups and downs on this journey, but right now I am thankful for the fact that he ate a complete meal, is aware of all of his surroundings and is making mental plans on what his next steps should be. Right now we're waiting for the physical therapist to come by to help him get out of bed. He is looking forward having a plan.
Here's to God proving he can do immeasurable things when we ask.

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01/07/2014
by Leona Hill and Liz Sherbaugh
  •  
    The results of the MRI are in. The scan shows that his injuries are significantly great than first thought.
    The scan of his brain shows that he has several shear brain injuries in addition to the bleed in the right frontal lobe. Miracles have already happened. The doctor was impressed with how Josh was doing so far. He said that he's seen people with Josh's scan who never wake up. That is so scary.
    He says it could be months or never before he returns to work.
    The scan also shows injury to his lower back and spinal column. We are pending consultation with the doctors who will determine if surgery is  needed
     

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01/07/2014
by Leona Hill and Liz Sherbaugh
  •  
    I'm not going to sugar coat anything, friends, it's been a rough rough night.
    On the positive side, I got four hours of sleep and right now Josh is sleeping. Today's prayer is for a good MRI result with explanations and to have all of his restraints removed. He knows he doesn't want to be here. He is a fighter. Although that isn't working in his favor right now, overtime it should help him heal.
    I pray he is compliant and calm. This is typical of brain injured patients, but his 'filter' is no where to be found and he's wildly impulsive. I'm told this can last days to years.
    Lord, give me strength to do this. Give Josh peace and acceptance.  (Oh. Just one more little thing...I pray that he likes me today! Aka-restraints off)
     

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01/06/2014
by Leona Hill and Liz Sherbaugh
From Amy Blackburn:

Josh will be getting an MRI later today or tomorrow to help determine the cause of the immobility of his left leg and foot. It has feeling, but he can't move it. He's resting well. We are keeping visitors to a minimum in order to avoid over stimulation as his brain tries to connect the dots.

He's a trooper. He's only hooked to two IV's which will go when he starts wanting to eat.

I'll post as something changes. Hospital time is sort of similar to Hawaii time, only not near as cool.

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01/05/2014
by Leona Hill and Liz Sherbaugh
Josh Blackburn has moved out of the ICU into a Trauma Recovery Unit. We'll play a waiting game for a while as he comes in and out of sleep and confusion. Sometimes he's able to appropriately answer questions and other times he's not. It's been a day of ups and downs, but moving in the right direction. There appears to be issues with his left leg due to the brain injury. Please pray that he regains awareness and that his left leg will be functional shortly.
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01/05/2014
by Leona Hill and Liz Sherbaugh

Update from Amy:
Josh Blackburn remains in ICU in stable condition. The bleeding in his brain has not increased and when he wakes up briefly, he wants out! The concussion will take several weeks to bring him back to himself, but the long-term prognosis is promising. This will be no short endeavor, but God is good. Keep sending up your prayers.


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