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Steven's Road Back

$46,278.21raised of $250,000 goal
18%

Organizer: Barbara Gilbert Beneficiary: Steven Walker

This fundraiser is to help Steven get the care and resources he needs to move forward. Immediate needs-transportation expenses, adaptive sports expenses, upgraded prosthetics, and medical expenses.

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Fundraiser Details

Steven Walker is a loving son, brother and devoted friend. On April 15, 2012, he began the fight of his life in the Critical Care unit due to a rare and aggressive bacteria. The bacteria, which had yet to be identified, spread throughout his entire body causing all his organs to shut down. He continued to amaze us all with his fight to stay alive.  My brother says he was a warrier!  He remained in a coma on maximum life support until June 10. Not one doctor expected him to live! During this journey, it was necessay to amputate both legs below the knee and both hands. In addition, Steven will still need some facial surgeries, and dental procedures. Steven woke up with a new zest for life. He is now involved in the Brooks Adaptive Sports program and is blowing it out of the water! He is playing on the Bandits traveling quad rugby team. He is also on the Hanger running team. He is bowling, shooting pool, playing basketball, and has even gone surfing and water skiing! He is in a Leg Up, the local amputee support group. Steven's absolute passion in life has always been education. He has recently returned to school at UNF and is pursuing his PhD to teach math on the college level. He is a computer programmer and tutor by trade. His quest for knowledge knows no bounds. He loves sharing it with everyone- from his students who need help getting their grades up, to the kids in Jamaica - where he travels with our Mother to work with the poor and, most recently, build a school. Now he has a new passion-adaptive sports, specifically rugby. His goal is to make the national team! Steven also now wants to mentor and volunteer with patients, specifically amputees at Brooks Rehab Hospital. His biggest challenge now is the transortation costs to get to school, and adaptive sports practices. He has recently purchased a transport van that is wheelchair accessible, which $5000 is still owed on. Although he now has prosthetics, upgrades are continually needed as his nubs shrink and as a student he needs more advanced hands The emotional toll this has taken on all who know and love him is insurmountable. Our family is small. Our mother Barbara is who we draw our survival instincts and caring nature from. Mike and Robert - our older brothers- are who we draw our strength from. And then there are Steven and I - the youngest. There are few families out there who could be financially prepared for such a sudden, catastrophic event. We do not fall into that category. Without medical insurance, this has certainly been another obstacle to face. We have been assured that this will be a very long process of recovery, rehabilitation and healing. Our mother will continue to be by his side every step of the way. Steven has proven to be a fighter and has come out of this stronger. He is now 30  and had a lot of love to come back to. **As of March 18, 2013 we are re-starting this fundraiser to help pay for transport vehicle costs, Steven's prosthetic needs, permanent housing, upcoming medical procedures and education expenses to insure future employment with his new limitations. We are eternally grateful for all who helped us achieve our initial goal. We are confident that we can reach this next one!
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Updates

Updates

02/25/2014
by Barbara Gilbert
It has been 1 year and 8 months since my miracle son, Steven woke up from his 3 month coma-a new quad amputee.  Not one doctor expected him to live and he is living life to its fullest.  He will tell you he is happier than he has ever been and is making lifelong friends he would have never met-in the Brooks Adaptive Sports family (specifically the Bandits quad rugby team) and Amputee Coalition (specifically the Cruisers).  He has returned to school, a junior at UNF majoring in math.  He is tutoring math students again. Besides education, his passion is quad rugby and his goal is to -play in a future Paralympics.  He returned to Jamaica this year with his mother to visit the poor and her projects.  He officially opened a computer and learning center called Steven's Place, built in his honor.  He lives independently in his own apartment, drives and is a member of the Bandits traveling quad rugby team which is headed to Nationals in a few weeks.  He continues to inspire us all!  His current needs are sports expenses-we need a sports sponser, we still owe $5000 on the conversion van he drives,in addition to a needed facial surgery as Medicaid (his new insurance does not cover this procedure and it is $35,000!) Thank you to everyone for your continued support.  We are now extending our fundraising deadline for a year, as the goal is to get this surgery done in 2014. We have used the funds raised in this account for his first year of expenses, so we are starting over! 
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06/22/2013
by Barbara Gilbert
Wed., July 10, 2013-the next Jacksonville fundraiser for Steven!

Salt Life Seafood Shack
1018 Third Street
Jacksonville Beach, Florida 32250

Eat, Drink and Be Salty at a fundraising night for Steven!
 10 % of sales-(4-10 PM)- to fund medical, prosthetic and transportation needs.  
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03/19/2013
by Barbara Gilbert
The address for the Bono's March 20 (Wed) fundraiser is:

Bono's BBQ
1266 3rd St south
Jacksonville Beach, Florida 32250

10% of sales(11-9) will go towards Wheels for Steven to buy a disabiloity transport van.

Meet Steven 5-9

If you are unable to make this fundraiser, please consider donating at this site.  any amount would be apreciated.  Thank You!
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03/18/2013
by Barbara Gilbert
Wheels for Steven fundraiser March 20, 2013-A Night for Steven at Bono's BBQ-Jacksonville Beach 5-9.  Steven will be there signing autographs, talking about adaptive sports, and inspiring us all!  Steven will be selling his inspirational calendars at the event.  Bono's will be donating 10% of sales from 11-9 towards a trasport vehicle for Steven.  Come join us or make a donation on this wevsite!
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05/21/2012
by Barbara Gilbert
The procedure went well this past Thursday. Steven is stable and resting in preparation for this week's surgery to take away his hands. 

The bacteria that he is battling has been identified as capnocytophaga. It is an extremely rare and dangerous genus - so much so that Steven's case is only one of three to occur in recent years.  

We are all extremely thankful for the overwhelming amount of support. I would like to share Steven's Facebook page which we made for him so that people could learn more about him and leave him messages of encouragement on his wall. 
www.facebook.com/profile.php

Please feel free to add him whether you know him in person or not. 

Again, thank you for all of your continuous support. 



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05/17/2012
by Barbara Gilbert
So today is going to be a rough one. Steven will undergo his first big surgery. The doctors will be amputating his legs as the infection is the worse in that area. As you can imagine, this was a devastating blow to us as a family to face yet another obstacle we did not expect. 

The belief is that by doing so, it will allow for the rest of the body to continue to heal with a large portion of infected tissue gone. They discovered the bacteria that he is infected with, which is a long word I cannot pronounce. They confirmed it is the only case of this kind of infection happening in the U.S. The most similar case was with a girl in Australia who had all the exact symptoms of Steven, had to have her legs taken as well as a kidney transplant. That girl is alive and well today. 

The good news this past week was given on Mother's Day. The neurologist who has been treating Steven told Mom that he believed that Steven come back from this with all of his brain functioning in tact. This is the vital piece of information we hope to hear as Steven's whole life is teaching and learning. Our hopes is that he will come back from all of this soon with his mind and heart stronger than ever. 

Thank you all again, friends and strangers alike, for supporting our family in this extremely trying time. It means the world to my brothers, my mother and I. 

Please continue to keep Steven in your thoughts today. 

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04/30/2012
by Barbara Gilbert
Two weeks since he was admitted into Critical Care, Steven is continuing to surprise the doctors with his improvements. He is now able to breathe on his own but still needs the aid of a trache. Friday the 27th there was a procedure to take out the abcess tooth in his jaw where the infection originated. It went well and was one step forward to his recovery. Doctors still have not identified the bacteria but hope to find a way to get it out of his system once and for all. 

He still has a long road ahead. Our family is incredibly grateful for the continuous support and well-wishes. 

Thank you all! 

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07/16/2012
by Barbara Gilbert
It has been an incredible few weeks for Steven. Last Thursday, he was released from Brooks Rehabilitation Center to return to his life. In the small amount of time he spent there, Steven has gotten most of the basic tasks down and is on his way to becoming very self-sufficient. He can feed himself, dress himself, get from point A to point B in his wheelchair and even sign his own name! Right now, he is waiting to move into his apartment as it is being equipped with what he needs. 

Steven has a lot of plans for his future. He would like very much to return to school to get his PHD and return to his job as a math tutor. He already has past students looking forward to their next sessions. He has also shown interest in wheelchair and ambulatory sports. His main interest as of now is rugby. He would also very much like to volunteer and help others at Brooks. With him, it's all about taking it one day at a time and never giving up.

With two weeks to spare, my family and I are blown away that we have surpassed our goal for the fundraiser for Steven. It has been a trying few months but the support of everyone far and wide has been amazing and will mean more than we can ever say.

We have set up a trust for Steven that will be used solely for any needs that may come up, such as prosthetics, nurse assistance and rehabilitation costs. 

I will be leaving the site up until the deadline date on July 31st. If you would still like to make a donation, please send all proceeds to this address:

The Center for Special Needs Trust Administration
Attn: Todd Belisle
4912 Creekside Drive
Clearwater, FL 33760

Please make out any donations to:
"The Florida Pooled Trust FBO Steven Walker"

All donations will be tax deductible.

Thank you all so very much for all of your support. Our family is forever grateful for every kind word and generous donation to help my brother get back to living his life. 

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06/30/2012
by Barbara Gilbert
On June 22nd, Steven rolled himself out of Beaches Baptist Hospital into Brooks Rehab Hospital in a wheelchair. He was never expected to live by any of the doctors who had worked so hard to keep him alive. He is truly a miracle. This was a very emotional day for Steven, his family and the medical team who had been working with him. We are celebrating his strength and courage to move on to the next stage in his recovery. 

Now on to the next part of his journey home...

Steven is blowing it out of the water at Brooks, far surpassing what is expected of him. Learning new skills every day, he is now dressing and feeding himself, learning to use the computer again. He continues to inspire us all. He will be discharged from Brooks on July 12th. At that time, services must be in place to include handicapped accessible housing in addition to numerous out of pocket expenses for the transistion into his new life with limitations. 

We are nearing our goal of the fundraiser and very much appreciate all of the donations so far. Please share this story with others so that we may meet this mark and get Steven what he needs. 

Thank you so much. 

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06/10/2012
by Barbara Gilbert
Nine weeks after he was admitted into the Critical Care Unit at Beaches Baptist Medical Center, Steven is now awake. He is aware of what he has lost and has accepted it. He is incredibly brave and resilient and we couldn't be more elated to see the light in his eyes again. 

After his surgeries there were instant improvements in his vitals, his fever stopped spiking throughout the nights and, most importantly, his kidneys are working once more. He is not completely out of the woods yet - he will need another procedure in the next few weeks to remove his spleen. Due to having breathing tubes for such a long period of time, he will have to undergo speech therapy to learn how to speak again. 

Steven's 29th birthday was this past Wednesday, June 6th. He spent the day surrounded by family and close friends. He was given a voice box by the hospital which allowed him to speak for the first time in two months. His first word was "Hi" to our oldest brother Mike. A few moments later when my mother was leaving the room to get some final birthday preparations settled, he said, "I love you". This was definitely a memorable day for all of us. 

Steven will remain at the CCU for another month. After that he will be taken to stay at a rehabilitation center where he will stay for about six months. The journey isn't over but Steven is not about to give up any time soon. He is happy to be alive and so are we. 



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05/31/2012
by Barbara Gilbert
As of today, Steven's kidneys are back in full function. No more dialysis treatments. :) In the past week since the last surgery he has become more aware of his surroundings and has become responsive to questions. Due to the trache in his throat to help keep his airways clear, he cannot yet speak. However, he does respond with nods and he mouths what he wants to say. He has become aware of some of what he has lost - his hands. That was not taken well. All we can do is be there for him to let him know that no matter what, we love him and this was a necessary choice that had to be made to save his life.

I would also like to share that I will be having a Benefit Art Show in Los Angeles for Steven on June 23rd at the iAM8Bit Gallery. 100% of art sold will go to my brother's expenses for his rehabilitation and many needs he will have down the road. If you are in the area, please do come. 

Again, from the bottom of our hearts - thank you so very much for all of the support and warm thoughts. We are not are not out of the woods yet but we are starting to see rays of sunshine peeking through. 



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05/21/2012
by Barbara Gilbert
The procedure went well this past Thursday. Steven is stable and resting in preparation for this week's surgery to take away his hands. 

The bacteria that he is battling has been identified as capnocytophaga. It is an extremely rare and dangerous genus - so much so that Steven's case is only one of three to occur in recent years.  

We are all extremely thankful for the overwhelming amount of support. I would like to share Steven's Facebook page which we made for him so that people could learn more about him and leave him messages of encouragement on his wall. 
www.facebook.com/profile.php

Please feel free to add him whether you know him in person or not. 

Again, thank you for all of your continuous support. 



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