Stay New York Strong, Barbara!

$8,220raised of $30,000 goal

Organizer: Rochelle Vetri Screeney Beneficiary: Barbara Screeney

Dear Family & Friends-

Barbara's life was forever changed on Sunday evening, November 24th, when she was the pedestrian victim of a hit-n-run driver.   She was taking the bus home from the country club, where she had just spent the day doing what she loves to do, making others happy through food. 

We are extrmely blessed that she survived and are now living the realities of dealing with the short and long term effects of her Traumatic Brain Injury, broken bones, damaged organs and everything else that will prevent her from stepping foot in a kitchen, to earn a living, for at least a year.  She will be at U KY Medical Center at least through the end of the year, and many months of inpatient, then outpatient therapy throughout 2014.

Barbara worked as a Chef in two different kitchens (Keeneland Race Track & the Andover Country Club), to help support "That's How We Roll", her beloved food truck. Unfortunately, like most small business owners, Barb does not have health insurance. 

With no income, and no health insurance, we are doing what we can, as a family, to provide financial support for both Barbara, and her son, Michael, but it's way beyond our means. 

Any contribution is a blessing and greatly appreciated.  Words cannot expresss how grateful we are, as a family, of your love and support during this challenging time. 

With Love & Gratitude-
The Screeney Family


by Rochelle Vetri Screeney
     I has been almost ten months since Barbara was injured in the most horrific way resulting in never ending health issue.  She tries to stay strong by preparing amazing food for her food truck as she deals with the frustration of not being able to physically get into it.  This past Sunday the truck was at Equus Winery so we went and Barbara happily hung out seated on the bottom step.  Also this week some friends from Andover Country Club stopped by to see her.  This was great since she has gone from a person who was constantly active to one who has become lonely only spending time with family and health care professionals. We try to keep her cheerful by finding different activities like art fairs, shows etc. Hopefully we will get a day without rain before the recetrack meet ends so we can go to Keenland.  Barbara enjoys the races and enjoys stopping by the track kitchens to see old friends and co-workers.                
     She is still seeing multiple doctors and going for specific therapies. Often when she addresses particular pains she is told that the symptons are cause by nerves in her brain sending wrong signals.
     We are currently addressing Barbara's dental issues.  The accident resulted in missing and cracked teeth.The injuties also prevented her from regular dental hygeine because of her shoulder, neck and head injuries.  After seeing her dentist we decided to just let him do a deep cleaning because his office does not take insurance.  Therefore we went to the UK Dental Clinic were she had an initial exam.  She has to wait a month to start treatment but a $5,000 bill as opposed to $15,000 private dentist bill is easier to deal with. This week, after four appeals, approval for medical coverage starting November 2013 was finally approved.  So the weekly telephone calls and $92,000 bill from UK ICU will be paid. 
      This week Barbara was referred to a Sports therapy Clinic because she still cannot lift her right arm and her shoulder pain is constant.  After reviewing x-rays and MRI it was determined that the bones and tendons have healed but the rotator cuff tendons remain swollen.  Barbara was given a cortisone shot and a prescription for additional physical therapy.  She is scheduled for reevaluation in a month. Another issue is her thyroid she was referred to and Endocrinologist because her thyroid has not been stabilized through a monthly increase in the hormone prescription. The other speciality appointments go on.  Barbara's ear pain is constant so she was referred back to ENT.  That's on for this week.  Also this week is her appointment  with the Foot Ankle Specialist.  This is another issue where the x-rays and MRI indicate the bones and tendons heve healed but she is left with an Achilles Heel condition.  Since physical therapy has not helped and she cannot walk without surgical boots the condition is being evaluated again. Because each doctor is highly specialized she is still waiting for someone to examine her left leg.  At the time of injury it was pierced by an object that left a hole that went through her calf to the bone.                    We remain grateful to family friends co-workers for kind wishes, prayers and donations.  Traumatic Brain Injuries change a person's life forever.  A new normal needs to be developed.  This can take many years and Barbara still has a long way to go.
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by Rochelle Vetri Screeney

When Mom left and I returned to Kentucky earlier this month Barbara still seemed to be in a foggy state.  The first week she had an appointment with her neurologist and urologist.  The Neurologist added a new memory medication to her regime and submitted new speech therapy orders to help improve her memory.  The Urologist told us that the bladder spasm medication counteracts the memory meds therefore, Barb should discontinue the bladder medication.  This was the best advice given so far!  I have noticed considerable improvement since she stopped this :).  
The Neurologist examined Barbara's right ankle and is now concerned with her Achilles tendon being overstretched.  We now ice her ankle frequently throughout the day.  Her physical therapy has been adjusted and the next steps are still being determined.
Barbara had her right shoulder re-x-rayed and has an MRI scheduled.  Dr Bernert believes there is a problem with the joint.
Barbara also had her thyroid rechecked and will be seeing an Endocrinologist in October.
Barbara has been staying busy and has been in a good mood.  She made oatmeal raisin and chocolate chip cookies for her food truck.  She also made s'mores cupcakes for her neighbor's son birthday.  They were tasty!
Next weekend her church is having a garage sale and picnic.  Barbara brought items to donate for the sale.  For the picnic she is making orzo pasta salad and volunteered to serve food.


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by Rochelle Vetri Screeney
We continually see a little improvement in Barbara's memory, (mostly long term) and reasoning skills.  She still needs to write everything on her daily sheet. She feels as though she has a fuul time job consisting of various therapies and doctor appointments.  We have been very concerned because her pain level has not decreased since she started therapy.  her Neuroligist finally ordered an MRI of her foot and ankle.  The test revealed torn tendons on the ankle of the foot that was broken when she was hit. Now we are waitng for an orthopedic appointment to determine if surgery is needed. In spite of her pain Barb still makes desserts for her food truck.  Her therapists love that she uses them as testers for new recipies. On free days Barbara loves to work in her gardens which look lovely.

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by Rochelle Vetri Screeney
     Barbara is improving every day.  As soon as I returned and saw her my reaction was, "Barb you are walking so much better".  While she is still not walking well, the improvement is significant.
     Last week we had a Family meeting with her therapy team.  Myself, Charlie and Michael were joined by Linda and Laura via teleconference.  Each therapist reported progress and percentage of goal so far acheived.  Physical progress has been impressive.  Memory and speech still need a long way to go.  Barbara relies on her daily sheets to remember what she is supposed to do each day. She needs to practise concentration skills. Speech still needs improvement.  Family disagrees with Speech therapist who thinks Barbs progress is very good.  Of course she is a Southern gal and does not appreciate someone who never lost her NY speech paterns and pace. 
     When not at therapy, Barbara is keeping busy cooking, baking and gardening.  She planted tomatoes, cucumbers, basil  and other herbs. She was able to visit old friends this week.  It was her first solo social event. She did very well according to Susan who took responsibility for her for two days. 
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by Rochelle Vetri Screeney
Barbara continues to make progress.  When I arrived back in Kentucky early last week I noticed improvements. Barbara speaks clearly sometimes and does a better job having a conversation.  Before she struggled remembering what items were called when we talked.  She doesn't have that problem the majority of the time. 
Her all day therapy continues twice a week which cannot be increased until she becomes more mobile and the pain subsidies. 
She is doing a great job writing things in her book that she wants to do during the day.  It helps to keep her on task.
Barbara has been complaining about her ears hurting more.  This is also causing her equilibrium to be off.  Left a message for her brain doctor - we know the pressure in her ears will improve as the brain trauma heals.
Mom has added alot of doctor appointments to her schedule working with her PCP. She has a general optometrist,  a neurological optometrist, a urologist,  the list goes on and on. 
Assistance from doctors and lots of positive energy are going a long way.

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by Rochelle Vetri Screeney
     Barbara is improving slowly every day.  On Friday the Bluegrass Foodtruck Association held a fundraising rally for her.  Both tv stations, WKYT(CBS) and Lex18(NBC) gave the event great coverage.  Of course they were anxious to meet Barbara snce, they covered her story and interviewed the family in December. 
      We went to the rally at about noon and there was a reporter and camera man waiting to interview her.  This was not too successful since it was Barb's first social outing since she was injured.  We talked briefly with reporters.  Then she visited with her many Food Truck Friends. After resting we returned to the rally in the late afternoon.  Again being met by a reporter.  This time Barbara was very confident and answered questions slowly and her speech was quite clear.  I was really proud of her. Although Barbara was happy to see friends this was an exhausting and emotional day.
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by Rochelle Vetri Screeney

     Barbara has completed her second session of the Climb Program at Cardinal Hill.  These are all day sessions, 8AM til 3PM twice a week, consisting of Physical, Speech and Occupational therapies in a group environment.
     The first session was pretty difficult.  She came home exhausted, frustrated and in a lot of pain.  Yesterday however, went much better.  She interacted more with the group and went on a field trip to the Public Library.  Barb was happy that she remembered how to find a book by looking up the author. I guess all those bi-weekly sessions with Ruth Rabinowitz the childrens' librarias at Brentwood Publc Library left an impression. Then came the Speech therapy excersise,  a crossword puzzle that she left completely blank.    But, handled it fairly well.  She still came home exhausted and took a long nap.
     Today Barb is looking forward to seeing her beautician friend Christina and having her hair cut and colored.  Will let you know how that goes.

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by Rochelle Vetri Screeney
Since it is Brain Injury Awareness month I thought I would share a link to the information we received at Cardinal Hill.

This is the Brain Injury Alliance of Kentucky. 

Barbara spent the last 2 days cleaning her front gardens.  We took advantage of the 60-70 degree weather. I am sure she will be very sore today. 

 Today she has a follow-up appointment with her primary care doctor.  Next week she has an appointment with an OD,FCOVD - a developmental optometrist.  Hopefully next week she will begin a therapy program at Cardinal Hill.

Every few days she reads the prayer cards she received and is so grateful to everyone. 
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by Rochelle Vetri Screeney
Barbara has been doing so much better since she is out of her wheelchair.  As long as she makes a list she can get a lot accomplished.  Today it's beautiful out so she is cleaning her front gardens. Barb also has been cleaning the house,  doing laundry and cooking/baking. This is so good for her!

We are still working on getting outpatient speech therapy set up. This is the therapy that focuses on her brain.  Unfortunately every process is extremely slow. I have her doing workbooks at home but she gets frustrated because sometimes they are too hard.  Once in a while she remembers something out of the blue,  but for the most part her memory hasn't improved.

She is still having hearing issues so talking on the phone is next to impossible. 

Her mood has improved significantly over the last few weeks!!!
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by Rochelle Vetri Screeney
Barbara has completed her in home therapy and later this week she begins the next phase - outpatient therapy. Last week she met a primary care physician that we really like. He looked at her foot to make sure she didn't have an issue with the small clot and it seems to be okay. He also found a staple still in her skull that was missed when the staples were removed. The first thing he wants to focus on is pain management since she is still in a signficant amount of pain. Today Barb went for a small walk, or should I say limp, to the end of her cul-de-sac and back. This week she also started playing memory games we found on the Android Google Play Store. Overall, there is not a significant improvement in her memory, but we have noticed small improvements. Hopefully the outpatient therapy will be more aggressive than what she had up to this point.
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by Rochelle Vetri Screeney
Barbara's broken bones are healing nicely but the more aware she becomes the more frustrated she gets.  Both her mind and her body do not respond.  The memory lapses are the most frustrating.  We are engaging her in familiar activities such as making NY bagels and her special cupcakes.  She rembers some but has lost a lot.  We are offering encouragement but she is focusing on the Drs estimate of at least two year brain recovery. Barb is grateful for your prayers and donations especially now that the medical bills are starting to roll in. 
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by Rochelle Vetri Screeney
Greetings, Friends & Family-

It's official, Barbara was wheele out of Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation today.  She has made a good deal of progress, and her clinical team feels that home therapy is the next step.  The snow in Lexington made it a bit of a challenge to manuver her and a wheelchair up the front steps, but she is happy to be home.

Her memory is coming back more and more each day and her Ortho Spine team feels that her fractured vertabrae is healing well; she can actually take off her neck brace for a few hours each day.

The Screeney's have a lot to be grateful for this New Year's, Barbara's progress, and your support, are at the top of the list.

We are a very lucky family to have so many family members, friends and colleagues in our corner.

Thank you all, and may the New Year bring blessings to all!

With Gratitude and Love-

The Screeney's  
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by Rochelle Vetri Screeney
Barbara is aware that she is in rehab, but does not remember the accident or hospitalization at UK; not surprisging since she has a TBI.  She continues to impove with speech,physical and occupational therapy and her wounds are healing.

We were contacted by both and today so they will be running features on tonight's evening news at 6pm to aid our fundraising efforts to assist with medical and living expenses for Barbara.

Catch Linda's interview at 6pm, on CBS and NBC, or online.  Thank you for you rsupport   and continued prayers.
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by Rochelle Vetri Screeney
Barb was transferred to inpatient rehab this week.  Cardinal Hill specializes in Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and most of the staff trained in trauma at U KY Medical Center. Barb is starting to rememver things, although she gets her dreams and realities confused.  She read and cried; she is so grateful to all the friends and family who have donated to help suport her recovery.  We are blessed this Christmas.
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