Prosthetic Legs / Medical & Living Expenses for Mark Mann Jr

$24,385raised of $50,000 goal
48%

Organizer: The Mann & Freedland Family Beneficiary: Mark Mann Jr.

This fundraiser is closed

If you would like to mail a check to us our mailing address is:
11286 72nd Ave N. Maple Grove, MN 55369


Family & Friends,

First, let us take this opportunity to thank you all for the tremendous support you’ve shown to us over the last couple of months. We are moved beyond words by the love, prayers, gifts and encouragement you have shown our family. 

Mark Mann, as most of you know, is an amazing husband, man of God, encouraging brother, a loving son, an athlete, and a very positive person overall.

On Sunday June 16th of 2013, Mark was enjoying the warm summer weather on Balsam Lake in Wisconsin. Mark was on the water riding his stand up jet ski when he found himself in the water, looking at a boat heading in his direction. Mark quickly tried to get back on his jet ski in order to get out of the way, but he was unable to do so successfully.

Mark then realized that he needed to swim as fast as he could in order to get away from the middle of the boat. Luckily, he was able to create a distance between himself and the boat so that only his legs were hit, saving his life. 

Both of his legs were severely injured in the accident midway below the knee. After an excruciating 30 minutes without pain medication, a LifeLink Helicopter airlifted him to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, MN after calling 911 for help. After being transported to Regions Hospital, he underwent immediate surgery in hope of saving his legs. Unfortunately, the injuries to his legs were too catastrophic and neither could be saved.  His legs were taken from him at a far too early age of 25.

Mark is about to begin a long road to recovery. He will have to regain strength, and learn how to walk again using prosthetic legs. During this time Mark will not be able to work, and Rachael will need to be home with him full-time during his recovery process. We ask for your financial support for Mark and Rachael as they will need help covering Mark's medical expenses, prosthetic legs for Mark, and modifications to their home.

Thank you once again for your continued support. We appreciate all of your prayers, words of hope, support, and encouragement during this time as it matters the most to Mark, Rachael, and our family.  

Thanks,

The Mann & Freedland Family

Updates

Updates

03/18/2014
by The Mann & Freedland Family

Six Feet Tall, Two Feet Short ;-)  

It’s been awhile since I've posted an update on here and since I am currently back in the wheelchair once again and have some down time I figured I would update you all.

Life began returning to a new normal, Rachael and I had returned to work fulltime. I launched www.SwansonNatural.com and we decided to get some puppies (Toby & Lulu, they are Snorkies). Life was busy and fun and I was really starting to get the hang of walking with prosthetics. After a while prosthetics start to feel like an extension of your body and you don’t have to think about or calculate each step you take.

I was ready to start running and began with some light jogging on a treadmill. It was not the easiest thing to learn how to do. But after a few times and determination I was able to get it down. It is a little awkward and cumbersome, imagine trying to run on a treadmill wearing ski boots haha. That would be a funny youtube video to watch!!!

About the time I started jogging I was re-casted for my second socket. My legs had shrunk considerably and my calf muscles had started to atrophy. I was excited to get my new sockets since they would be smaller, lighter, and most importantly they would fit better. I received the new sockets a few days after Christmas.

About a month later I started noticing that my right leg was starting to hurt with every passing step. So I went in to see Dr. Anderson; they took some x-rays and sure enough I had developed a bone growth (spur) on my right Tibia, which was about ½ an inch long. My right Fibula had also developed a bone spur, it looked similar to a snake tongue as it was going in two separate directions. My left Fibula had regrown about 1.5 inches. My skin graft had shrunk dramatically and we were optimistic that we would be able to remove it entirely.   

All this new bone was causing pain and discomfort with each step. So we scheduled a revision surgery for March 14th. I told the doctors that it had to be done before March Madness haha.

My surgery went well, but I left in more pain than I thought I was going to be in. The doctors were able to remove the bone spurs, skin graft, and any extra tissue and skin. They reshaped my limbs and buried a very large nerve ending into muscle to relive phantom pains.

It’s been 4 days since my surgery and I am starting to feel better. Most of the pain has subsided. I am able to fully extend my legs without shooting pains and most importantly my phantom pain/sensations has almost completely disappeared.

I am unable to bear any weight on my limbs for 4 weeks, so I’m back in the wheelchair which is the major downside to having revision surgery. However, in the long run this surgery should be very beneficial.

I’ll be re-casted for another socket once I’m able to bear weight. My goal is to be up and walking around by mid to late April. And running by June. I want to enjoy this summer and I won’t let this stop me!! My big goal for this summer is to wake surf without a rope, I will definitely post videos!

Thanks for all the continued support and prayers. It means the world to me and I wouldn’t be where I am today if it were not for all of you praying me. I am truly blessed to know so many loving and caring people. I am very lucky!  


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09/23/2013
by The Mann & Freedland Family

It has almost been a week since I took my prosthetic legs home and I can't believe how much progress I have made! I am very excited to have my legs back and to be up and moving around once again. It was a long 3 months and it hasn’t been a walk in the park. There were many challenges I had to overcome and many mental battles that I had to win but here I am 3 months later standing tall and proud once again.

Prosthetic legs come in all different shapes and sizes and each person that has one must master the art of using their prosthetic. However, many people let their amputation or injury define them and look down on themselves for having a prosthetic. I try to take a different approach and let my attitude define me and not my prosthetic legs. You see life is much easier and way more fun when you choose to have a good and positive attitude no matter what situation you find yourself in.

A lot of people have asked me what it is like to walk with a prosthetic leg and the best way I can describe it is that it feels like I am walking in really tight and stiff ski/snowboard boots. I have very little ankle flex so it is a lot of toe to heal type walking. I have become more and more use to it as I wear them more and more.

I do believe that after a few more weeks I will be able to be more active, possibly even getting back onto the basketball court! I do except challenges to come my way but I will not let them prevent me from doing what I want. I also plan to snowboard once again this winter. I actually believe that this will come quite easy since I already feel as if I am wearing snowboard boots.

I will continue to keep you guys posted on my progress and victories. Also, I do want to encourage anyone who is going through a tough situation to continue to rely on God for strength and encouragement. God has given me a second chance at life, even though things might be a little different I know that God is at work and has a plan in place for my life. And for that I am very thankful.


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08/14/2013
by The Mann & Freedland Family

Yesterday, I began the prosthetic process with my first casting! It was exciting and informative at the same time. I am anxious to get back on my feet and regain my mobility. I never thought I would look forward to walking, but the idea of it makes me thrilled. I joke around with people when I say, “If I could learn to walk at 10 months I most certainly think I should be able to learn at the age of 26!”

My legs needed to be casted in order for molds to be made. Once they have a mold of my leg. Silicon liners are made to replicate the shape of my legs using exact measurements. The idea of the liner is that it is used as a supportive and protective layer of artificial skin that goes between my real skin and the prosthetic. This is the first step in the process.

In 10-14 days my liners will be ready. If my liners fit correctly I will be casted again in order for the carbon fiber molds to be made. This is what gives strength and support to the prosthetic. The carbon fiber molds take about 1 week. So if everything goes as planned I could be walking on my right leg with 3 weeks and on both legs with 5 weeks!


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07/25/2013
by The Mann & Freedland Family

Update: 40 Days Later

Life without legs will quickly humble any man. Everything that I used to do without thinking now becomes a much longer process, for example: opening a door, taking a shower, going to the bathroom, riding in a car, or just moving about. In all honesty, I have not been able to accept it, and it has been hard to get used to. It can be very frustrating and annoying at times. Much, if not all, of my independence is gone and I must rely on others for almost everything I do. It is a completely different way of life, and I feel for those who are in similar or worse condition than I am. I am blessed that this is only a brief season in my life, and that this is not the end result.

You see, you and I take much of life for granted.  Examples include: waking up, having a roof over our head, a car to drive, food to eat, a bed to sleep in, good health, etc. We need to remember that we are not entitled to anything, this world is not our own, and each day is a gift from God. It is our choice to live for or against Him. Sometimes it takes a humbling experience to put things in the right perspective (God is good at humbling us), and I can honestly say that this has been the most humbling and difficult situation I have ever been through.

I say all of this not to discourage but to encourage you. You see God uses trials and hardships to refine us, strengthen us, to draw us closer to Him, and to build character amongst many other things. Take a second to read the Scripture below, then pause and really think about what you just read.

James 1: 2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Did James seriously just tell us to consider trials pure joy? I don’t know about you, but this is not my natural reaction and at times this seems impossible to do. However, let’s look at the benefits of facing a trial: the testing of our faith produces perseverance, we become mature and complete, and lack nothing. Now that is something to get excited about! I don’t know about you but I definitely want to get to the point in my faith where I am lacking nothing; wow, what an awesome experience that would be.

This trial has not been easy, and at times I really struggle with it. I am no different than you, I am human and this is simply… tough. However, I know and believe that God is at work and has an amazing plan in place for me, just as He does for you. Let’s believe and trust in Him together. Let’s be world changers!

My prayer is that God will increase my ability to trust Him when I am weak in faith, to love Him like He loves me, to obey and follow where He leads, and to never doubt His promises. I must submit myself to God, for He gave me this life and He can take it away at any point (how clear this is to me). Let’s believe and trust in Him together!

Let’s be World Changers!


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07/09/2013
by The Mann & Freedland Family

Update 7/9/13 – My Birthday!

Today is my 26th birthday, I cannot believe I am already 26 years old. It seems like I just turned 20 two or three years ago. This was and will be my only birthday in a wheelchair, I am determined and motivated to make sure of that!

I enjoyed a relaxing day that started with a freshly baked cinnamon roll and ended with dinner at Ike’s with the family. My wife got me an awesome birthday present which consisted of VIP tickets to the Nitro Circus Show at the Target Center in January!

My recovery is going well, I had all of my staples and stitches removed yesterday. I was also fitted for a protective prosthetic that will protect the ends of my legs. My right leg is feeling great, it is about a month ahead of my left. I only had stiches in my right leg. My left leg is a little behind due to the skin graph that was needed to close my left leg. I had staples in my left leg and it’ll take a little bit longer for my skin graph to heal.

I am still working out two times a day (sometimes I’m lazy and only get in one exercise haha). I will be measured and fitted for my custom wheelchair tomorrow. I will need a wheelchair to get around in the bathroom when my prosthetic legs are off.

I am so thankful for all my friends and family who have rallied around me and have been praying and support us through all of this. I am truly overwhelmed and so grateful for everything you guys are doing. I feel so blessed and honored to have such great friends and family!

Things to keep praying about:

  • Gods Plan For My Life – continue to pray for guidance and confirmation about what God wants me to do with the story & testimony He has given me.

 

  • Phantom Pain – I continue to experience a lot of phantom pain, it almost seems to be getting worse. I have increased my medicine dosage to try and take care of some of it but it has not seemed to do the trick as of yet.

 

  • Nightmares – My wife and sister are having a hard time sleeping, nightmares of me dying are preventing them from getting a good night’s rest.

 

  • Fundraiser – for everything to go as planned and for God to use the night to expand His kingdom. We want this to be about God and not about us. God is good, and He deserves this night!

If you or someone you know would like to donate to the silent auction please contact me at 651-983-2316 or via email at markmann100@gmail.com. We appreciate any and all donations, thanks guys!  


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07/05/2013
by The Mann & Freedland Family

It’s the 4th of July and roughly 3 weeks since my life changing accident. Rachael and I are back up at my cabin (where the accident took place) for the first time. I have some family in from out of town staying at the cabin this weekend that are an absolute blast to hang out with so we decided to come up. It was not easy for Rachael and me when we first pulled into the driveway. She had to gather herself before we were able to get out of the car, we experienced a lot of emotions and had some flashbacks.

With that said, we have had an absolute blast so far and there have been no accidents to report, praise God :-) The weather has been absolutely perfect so far and we are enjoying the company of some great family members.

It has been hard for me to sit and watch from the sidelines, I long to be active and out on the water. However, I know that this is just temporary and before long I will have my day in the sun. I am still working out twice a day doing physical therapy to keep my muscles strong and loose. I have been feeling good overall and I am excited to start the prosthetic leg process in a little over 6 weeks!  

I am so excited to see where God leads me throughout this process. My story has been shared by so many and I have heard some great reports about how it is effecting people’s lives. Like I have said all along, this is God’s story, I am just a vessel and it has been all Him working through me.

Things to keep praying about:

  • God’s Plan for My Life – I have started to feel as if God is calling me into public speaking. I have had several people ask me to speak at churches and schools and I think this might be where God is leading me. However, public speaking is not my strong suit and I have never thought about it before. Please pray for me about this topic and ask God to make it very clear to me about what He wants me to do.

 

  • My Phantom Pain – I have been experiencing an increase in phantom pain, which is caused by my nerve endings. My nerves still think I have feet and will often shoot sharp pain throughout my legs. This is normal and expected, but also annoying and painful at times. This will typically last up for 6 months but let’s pray that it ends much sooner than that!

 

  • My Recovery – I obviously still have a long road to recovery and not all days have been pie in the sky. I have also had a couple of difficult days mentally and physically. Please continue to pray for my recovery and mental strength.

 

  • My Wife / Sister – Rachael and Olivia were at the cabin the day of my accident and witnessed everything. They have been having flashbacks and nightmares and are having a hard time focusing and sleeping at night. Please pray for these flashbacks and nightmares to decrease and eventually stop.

 

  • Our Fundraiser – We are having a fundraiser on August 9th at New Life Academy from 6-9pm. We are putting a lot of work into making it a great and memorable time. We would like to ask that you pray for everything to go smoothly, and for us to be able to raise enough money to cover our medical expenses, my prosthetic legs, and home and car modifications.

You guys are the best! I am so grateful for some many great friends and family who have rallied around me with prayer and support. Without all of you I would not be where I am today. Thank you so very much!


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06/29/2013
by The Mann & Freedland Family

Hey, Everyone

First off, I want to say thank you for all of your prayers, support, and financial donations. It is very much appreciated and I would not have made it this far if it were not for all of my family and friends. I have had quite the experience in the last two weeks, lots of highs and some lows, lots of prayer and some tears, lots of rehab and some pain.

Update:

I am scheduled to leave the hospital tomorrow (6/30) around noon, praise God. I am way ahead of schedule and I have been feeling pretty good. My mobility has increased and I am able to move around a good amount.

As of right now, my right leg is a little bit ahead of my left leg due to a skin graft that was needed to close the wound on my left leg. However, with that said I should be fitted for prosthetic legs in about 2 months and learning to walk on my own in about 3 months.

At some point in the next 6 months I anticipate that I will be back to 100% or as close as possible to it. Most doctors have been telling me that I should have about 87% of my mobility back when it is all said and done, praise God. That means I’ll be able to run, exercise, and play sports…especially basketball.

I still have a long road to recovery and it will not be easy so please continue to pray for me and help support us in any way possible.

Fundraiser:

We will be having a fundraiser at New Life Academy on Friday, August 9th more details to come! Please help spread the word about the fundraiser and come support Rachael and I.


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06/25/2013
by The Mann & Freedland Family
Mark is doing really well! Today was the first day that he was was up and cruising the hospital in his wheelchair. He will be able to leave Regions this Thursday!! (Already!) He will then head to rehab!
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