Manzari Family

For: Matt and Bobbye Jean Manzari
Organizer: Marta Hartzog
Manzari Family (Matt and Bobbye Jean Manzari)
of $150,000 goal
56% Complete
Raised by 365 donors
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

Matt Manzari suffered 3rd degree burns after being electrocuted while trimming trees.  He is in the burn trauma unit and will remain hospitalized for an extended time for additional surgeries and skin grafting.  Upon release, doctors anticipate the next year to be a difficult rehab process.

Matt and his wife Bobbye Jean are expecting their fist baby in January and finances will be slim.  Neither Matt nor Bobbye Jean will be able to work during the rehab process.  Please consider a gift to help this precious couple.  If you would like to do a monthly gift, that would be so appreciated. You can also contribute at any Wells Fargo bank under the account name Bobbye Jean Manzari donation account.
Thank you again for your prayers and support.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on March 1, 2015

Posted on March 1, 2015

Hello Friends and Family,

This is the first update I’m writing with a baby in my lap instead of in my belly J  He has hiccups and is very interested in what I’m doing right now.  The last two months have been a whirlwind as we have stepped into parenthood. 

Justice Matthew Manzari was born on January 6 and weighed 7 lb. 2 oz.  He is completely healthy and we feel beyond blessed for that!  I was in labor for a little over 27 hours, but delivery was smooth with no complications.  It was so strange to be back at the same hospital plaza where Matt had been, but we were there for happy reasons this time J  Matt and I were overwhelmed at his birth. It brought Matt to tears, as he felt that he had made it to a huge goal in his recovery:  Seeing the birth of his son.  He had looked forward to it when he was in the hospital and had prepared for it in physical therapy.  His therapists would make “fake” babies out of weights and towels to help Matt gain the muscle to hold his son, and now, we have made it!  Matt is strong enough to hold Justice and that is priceless. 

Being a new mom has been exhausting, amazing, strange, painful, enlightening, special, and fun!  I couldn’t believe when they laid him on my chest after he was born that he had been with me through the whole journey.  This little buddy had been feeling all my pain, sorrow, joy and triumph through Matt’s accident… The two of us had been through a lot together and now I was meeting him for the first time. Not only was I overwhelmed by meeting him, but I was so happy to have Matt at my side through it all. It was a moment I will never forget. 

Our transition home was not without complication.  The day after we came home with Justice, Matt had to be rushed into an emergency root canal to correct a severe abscess in his tooth.  He had a bad reaction to the laughing gas during the procedure, which, in combination with his severe nerve pain, left him out of commission for a few days.  I got sick a few days after that and it seemed like we were spinning!  We made it through that rough patch and it has been getting better. 

Matt still suffers more than he lets on to anyone.  His recovery is very difficult and painful in ways most of us could not imagine.  His nerve pain plagues him, and even with medication, it can be too much to bear.  He pushes through and has been diligent in his physical therapy, continuing to gain mobility in his arms and neck.  His limp wrist is coming back more as well, and we are hopeful for a full regeneration of the radial nerve in order to use his left hand again.  The scar tissue has grown so strong on his right ring finger that it has pulled the tip out of the socket, and causes consistent pain that can’t be fixed without corrective surgery.  The more the scar tissue forms, the harder he has to stretch out his neck, which causes gaping holes that bleed quite a bit.  When he can manage to fall asleep with the insomnia, he still wakes up with sharp pains and does not get much rest at all.  He lives exhausted.   

I am amazed at his ability to keep a good attitude.  The suffering he endured in the hospital was a test in every way, but to have many constant pains throughout your day and no relief, I can imagine it grinds you down and could tempt you to feel sorry for yourself.  Thankfully, Matt continues to push through it with hope and an attitude of thankfulness for his life.  If people were to ask me to describe my husband and tell them what he is like, I could sum it up by telling them what he is not:  My husband is not a “fair weather” Christian.  He continues to praise Christ and pursue Him even in daily struggles.  All in all, he is a strong man who trusts God with his whole life. 

We just passed the 7-year anniversary of our first date on Feb. 21.  As I reflect back to that day, I could never have known where life would lead the two of us.  I did not predict such trials, but I could see Matt’s love for God and I knew if we did hit trials, he would not waver in that.  This last 8 months has shown the fruits of why I fell in love with him on that first date. 

People have continued to bless us in this time and have given us meals, done work at our house, blessed us with baby gifts, and prayed for our needs. We have seen the caring side of humanity and it is beautiful.  It still humbles us as we receive the goodness that people send our way.  We feel unworthy of all of your love and generosity and we cannot say thank you enough.  We look forward to blessing others in the ways that we have felt blessed.   

Bobbye Jean

Posted on December 31, 2014

Posted on December 31, 2014

Hi to all of our family, friends, and sweet strangers,

Matt has been healing extremely well in this last month! His wounds on his ears and head are closed up almost completely!  His left ear is the last one with a small amount of healing left to do, but he will not need surgery to any of those wounds!  We were fully expecting to have additional surgeries on his sternum and ears, but thankfully, they have closed up with time, patience, and continuous dressing changes.  He has been wearing compression garments on his grafts that have helped his scars to become more flattened and the color is continuously getting closer to his natural pigment.  He has been diligent with his stretches and exercises from occupational therapy, even though it is extremely painful for him.  Because of his diligence, he has ripped open the skin on his neck and in his armpit, where the scar tissue is especially taught.  Though painful, it is important to have these skin breaks. When they heal, it will not be as tight as it was before, accomplishing the mobility goals of his therapy.  He also challenges himself to use his weaker arm and hand for daily tasks saying, “I have to be able to use this arm because we have a little guy on the way.”

His left wrist is making a miraculous recovery… They have been telling us that the nerve may regenerate, but it will take a very long time to tell.  However, within the last few weeks, he has had the ability to move his wrist up and down in slight motions for a few seconds, assuring the therapists that his nerve is in fact regenerating!  Many people have been praying for this to happen and we are incredibly grateful! 

The electrocution caused Matt to get cataracts in his eyes.  Usually, cataracts are only found in people over the age of 40, so they were surprised to find them in his eyes.  After Matt’s release from the hospital, his vision started to decline rapidly and in just a few months, his cataracts became disabling for him.  We just finished getting his eye surgeries 2 weeks ago and he is enjoying being able to see again! 

Sleeping at night is still a struggle and he is exhausted during the daytime.  We have been warned that this is a common struggle for electrocution victims.  He will have a few days where he has re-set his sleeping schedule and he feels better, but his nerve pain will come in strong and mess it all up again.  The doctors said it just takes time for this to all balance out.  At lease he will be willing to make late night diaper changes, as he is awake anyway ;)  On our most recent visits to his burn doctors they were thrilled with his progress and blown away by the speed of his recovery.  Everything is moving in the right direction and we happily passed the six-month mark of the accident on Christmas day.  The further we get from the accident date, the happier we are. 

Our son is due on January 12, but our bags are packed as they say he can come any day now!  It is very surreal to think he will be here so soon.  Matt is beyond excited and keeps asking why I haven’t had him yet J 

As is to be expected, there have been some difficult times throughout this process.  It is hard to be in a patient/caretaker relationship every day and not have moments of frustration.  Overall, I feel that Matt and I have embraced our time together the last few months and grown closer in ways most couples will never experience.  However, this does not mean the time has been without the testing of patience, attitude, and selflessness.  We look forward to our relationship continually shifting back towards where we were before the trauma, and also seeing our relationship grow through parenthood.  This New Year brings much hope and I have never been so happy to say goodbye to a previous year.  God has blessed us incredibly in 2014 through the hardship, but I can’t wait to see what He has in store for 2015!       

Posted on November 5, 2014

Posted on November 5, 2014

Hi Loved Ones,

You have all gathered around us and made our transition into this new life as blessed as it could be under the circumstances.  We have felt God’s love in the most touching ways through all your support.  Constantly we witness the kindness of our close friends and family, as well as the kindness of distant acquaintances and complete strangers.  I simply wish there was a way to put our gratitude in adequate words. 

We have been home for a month and a half and have slowly gotten a routine down of dressing changes and therapy.  He has been doing well in therapy and diligently working on all the exercises they give him to stretch out his scar tissue, though it hurts him with a pain he can’t describe.  His wounds are closing up daily and even though some of them break back open from time to time, his skin grafts are doing well overall.  His ears and sternum are getting weekly treatments of Silver Nitrate, which burns the hypergranulation down and helps the skin to heal in a proper manner.  We have seen huge results from this treatment and they are now talking of not even needing to do grafting!  Because of his dread for surgery, he endures the pain of the Silver Nitrate treatments to his ears.  This pain leaves him shaking and screaming, but he pushes through!  His head exit wound has also been healing rapidly.  The open area is now less than half the size of what it used to be!  His left wrist is still limp from the nerve damage, but after some testing, it seems that his nerve might be regenerating!  We have a long way to go to see how much it will regenerate, but there seems to be hope from his therapists.    

The biggest struggle is the consistency of pain.  Matt has an incredible determination to get through where I think most of us, including myself, would just find it too difficult.  He puts on a good front when he is with people and he does not walk around complaining, but his reality is harsh.  The doctors have told us that his nerve regeneration causes pain that is indescribable.  This pain is not only intense because of the amount of nerves growing back, but also a strange pain that makes your body feel “weird.”  This is the cause of his intense insomnia. There are good days and bad days.  Some days he cannot get out of bed, whereas other days he is running around like the old Matt. He has weaned himself off of his medicines enough for his doctor to approve him to drive.  This step was a huge one for Matt to feel independent and normal again.  With that being said, his lower levels of pain medicine make the bad days that much worse for him, and we are continually working to find the balance that he needs at this time. 

I am 30 weeks and my pregnancy is continuing to go well!  The baby seems to be in great health and I have not been dealing with any hard pregnancy symptoms on my end.  I’m very grateful.  I know we will have an active one on our hands because he is moving ALL THE TIME!  I still cannot wrap my mind around the fact that a little person will be entering our lives in 10 weeks.  

I must say, Matt is one of the strongest men in the world.  Yes, I am biased, but I also see his daily struggles and can truly appreciate how strong he is.  He is strong enough to push towards God in the midst of an exhausting physical recovery. He continually seeks after God’s will for this new version of life and he humbly accepts the help that he needs.  I see that it is hard for him to be incapable of certain daily tasks, or the inability to move furniture in the baby’s room etc.  This is not the way he pictured life.  He wants nothing more than to be the strong young man he was at the beginning of this year, but he knows that God is using his new body for an even better purpose. 

We are constantly stopped and asked what happened.  People see his scars and are riddled with concern and curiosity.  These conversations have given us opportunities to hear other people’s stories and pray together in the middle of parking lots, grocery stores, and restaurants.  You never know what people are going through or have gone through, but Matt’s struggle is worn on his arms.  The visibility of his hurt allows people to feel safe sharing their hidden hurt, and Matt is doing ministry without even trying to.  God amazes me with His ability to use bad things for good. 

Your continued prayers are appreciated, as the struggle does not end when one gets out of the hospital.  The healing process is a rollercoaster and your prayers have blessed us through it!  We love you all!  Thank you!

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