One year has passed since Tomo's accident, and we've come a looooooong way. After a year of intensive therapies and procedures, Tomo is finally recovered enough to get back in the saddle of working full-time...and...he got his U.S. Employment Authorization Card! He writes,
"Is anybody in Eugene/Springfield area hiring now? I'm bilingual, patient, healthy, hard-working, reliable, and substance-free. I have 19 years of experience in teaching art and language to all ages. Working with physically and mentally alternative people is my specialty. I also have worked as a waiter, landscaper, manual laborer, assembly line laborer, and farm laborer for several years. I have done sushi catering for private events, as well. I prefer weekday, day time shifts, so I can share more time with my family. I'm also an award-winning visual artist and musician. Any leads, referrals, or shares are greatly appreciated."
Please let us know! Thank you, all! xoLilianaxo
Check out this article on Tomo's recovery! Thank you all so much for all that you have done to help us through these past 8 months: meals for our family when Tomo was in the hospital; soups and smoothies during the 8 weeks that his jaw was wired; donations and fundraisers; cards and talismans; shoulders to cry on and elbow grease to get the job done; love, love, love.
Tomorrow Tomo will have his first procedure since his facial reconstruction on the day of the accident: removing the hardware from his mouth that kept his jaw wired shut. We are excited, and hopeful that this means that for the first time in nearly two months he will be able to eat things that come from somewhere other than a blender; to talk, smile and laugh without pain, and to take part in daily activities (such as dancing, running or even bending over to tie his shoes) without fear of damaging the inside of his mouth, or jaws. Thank you all for caring, for sharing, and for your ongoing encouragement. We cannot imagine how difficult this time would be without your support.
We had such a beautiful night last night at our in-town fundraisers. It is rare to live a moment and recognize its preciousness as you live it: last night was one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments. In our wildest dreams we could not have imagined dancing the night away at a sparkle prom and then in full regalia on a hip hop floor with our most gorgeous and beloved near and dear. Thank you tothe many, many loved ones who came together to put on a night in which we could breathe, pause, and reflect on how blessed we truly are.
Thank you to all those who attended, donated, and continue to donate and share our online fundraiser. Thanks to your contributions, Tomo's first dental surgery -- arranging his remaining teeth -- is now fully funded. Your continued contributions will go towards the next step: a bone graft and replacement of his upper front teeth.
We love you, Liliana and Tomo.
Hi All! We've extended the deadline on our fundraiser, as so many of you advised us to do, pending upcoming in-town fundraisers for Tomo (at which there may even be stations from which you can donate!).
Tomo is doing well: his doctors all agree that he is a medical miracle, and will make a full recovery. His youth, strength, health, and amazing attitude are all working in his favor. Acupuncture sessions are helping to make the pain in his hands more bearable, and his bones and skin are healing well. With the money donated thus far, we have enough to cover his first major surgery step since the accident: what his oral maxillofacial surgeon calls "organizing his teeth."
Thank you all, from the bottom of our hearts, for your ongoing support. Whenever we are having a blue moment, coming here to read your kind words and witness your generosity lifts us up, and gives us faith that everything will work out. The greatest blessing in all of this is realizing how truly loved we are. Gracias. Arigato.
(From Tomo) I still feel lucky. The traffic accident gave me the compound fracture in my face, but I still feel lucky. I cannot play saxophone for a while because I lost 8 front teeth and have the traumatic pain in my hands, but I still feel lucky. I appreciate for my bike helmet, which saved my brain and dome, for my parents visiting me from Tokyo even after my 12-year-absence, for the amazing medical crew, who gave me the new face and new life, for my lawyer who negotiates with the insurance company and other organizations, for my many many many friends who support my healing and my life and for my girlfriend, Liliana Darwin López, who shares her time, energy and home with me & my family and has been believing in my speedy recovery since the beginning. I still feel lucky and love you all!
48 hours after we began, and we are nearly halfway to our goal...! The outpouring of love and support that we have received since the first moment after the accident have been fundamental in the beginning of our family's - and most importantly, Tomo's - road to healing and recovery. Thank you all. So much. And thank you for sharing our site far and wide on your facebooks, twitter, and blogs.
Last night Tomo, his mother and I were talking, and we decided that once Tomo is recovered, and we are in the clear financially, we will establish a fund to help others in our situation, beginning by matching the funds we receive here. You all have been the feathered net that caught us when we fell: we would like to do the same. Thank you. Gracias. Arigato.
We are so honored and amazed that in less than 24 hours we are nearly 25% of the way to our goal of $10,000. Thank you to all those who have contributed - friends we know and love, and those we have not yet met. We visited the oral maxillofacial surgeon today, and learned that he will have his next oral surgery in 8 weeks, after his jaws are unwired, and facial bones heal enough to attempt more surgery. Thank you for working to lift the financial weight from us so that we can focus on this necessary healing and recovery. As Tomo keeps saying, "I feel so beloved." I second that emotion. We are so blessed. Gracias. Arigato.