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Monday, October 8, 2007

10/8 Headed to Boston and Need Help Fundraising

Hi Everybody,

Courtney is headed to Beantown, our case manager says she's been accepted into Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, we're waiting for Court's insurance to clear and she could be transported via ambulance as early as Wednesday. This is the best news I've heard since I first learned she was stable nearly a month ago. I teared up before meeting with Mary Beth who works in admissions for Spaulding and faxed in Court's recommendation, its nice to feel happy tears for once.

Mary Beth was impressed with Courtney's progress and assured us that the hospital could accept her into its brain injury rehab program. At Spaulding she'll have a roommate and will be surrounded by patients more her age. She will have a team of nurses, physical, occupational and respiratory therapists and other specialists tending to her and we're looking into getting her one-on-one attention in the early stages. Mary Beth described Courtney's condition as a low level of consciousness, she is a Level 2 on a scale of one to eight (eight being nearly independent and visiting the hospital for rehab sessions). More information on the brain rehab program can be found on Spaulding's Web site.

This is really exciting, we've heard nothing but good reports on Spaulding with the most ringing endorsement coming from Meagan Milmoe, whose brother Mike spent six months there in rehab. A year after suffering a heart attack on September 12, 2006 (the same date as Courtney's) he his now at Crotched Mountain, another rehab center in Greenfield, N.H. Meagan said her brother can now hold a conversation and is learning to use a walker and eating utensils.

We peppered Meagan with questions about her family's experience through Mike's heart attack, hospital stay and rehab, she was kind enough to answer us all. She mentioned that Mike was unresponsive after one month at Fletcher Allen when he was then admitted into Spaulding (Courtney is responding even more now, she clearly mouths 'yes' and 'no' and can move her arms, legs and fingers on command). Mike slowly regained the ability to talk and move his body. He suffered short term memory loss and couldn't remember the beginning of the school year at UVM, although he did remember all the friends he had just made there. Meagan gave us some great advice, some tasty brownies and really lifted us up with Mike's odds-defying story.

A Boston Globe reporter recently picked up the Milmoe's story (read it here or search to Globe's site for 'Milmoe'). A paragraph on the second page stands out for me:

"And on Sept. 22, a benefit buffet, dance, and auction will be held in Mike Milmoe's honor at Moseley's on the Charles in Dedham to defray the costs of long-term rehabilitation. Insurance will cover Mike's stay through Oct. 10, but when it runs out, it will cost the family $660 a day. They don't yet know how long he will need to be there."

I highlight the fundraiser because we foresee Courtney in these same shoes in a matter of months. While insurance will help cover her stay in Fletcher Allen and now Spaulding (we're not sure how long rehab will take, but think in terms of months), there are bound to be auxiliary expenses.

To cover these expenses we need to begin raising funds as soon as possible. We are working with a lawyer to start up a non-profit fund in the name of Courtney's family (if anyone knows of quick way to set up a benefit fund, please let us know). We are in the early stages of planning a fundraising event. We want your input and advice on fundraising, early ideas are a fun run or bike race type event or a benefit concert/silent auction.

We're looking forward to reading your ideas, I myself am about to enter into a Boston state of mind (which involves Courtney, a lot of chowder and some wicked exciting Sox games).

We Love you Courtney and we can't wait to have you back safe and sound.



Marti said...

I'm so excited to hear about Courtney's progress and admittance into Spaulding! I have such high hopes for her recovery now.

I will talk to our school fund raiser for any ideas she may have for you. The school I teach in has several fundraisers each year plus we have two students who are masters at fundraising for breast cancer survivors.

Keep up your great work, Sean and everyone else!

Nancy C. said...

Yahooooooo! Go team, go! Its like a big green light! Nice work Mom & Dad ...what a day it has been for all of you and our 'star'.

Anonymous said...

That is great news! Spaulding is the best I've heard. Be sure to say hi to Sharyn and Caleb for me. I posted the info on Caleb's blog so you might get some visitors. Hope you don't mind. My best healing wishes to Courtney and the family.

Gary Flo

Anonymous said...

All this is such great news. When Court gets to Boston I will be visiting all the time. I can't wait to see her again


mike said...

Hello all,
Courtney,I was so glad to hear you are going to Boston.And are doing so well. You have so much support with your family and freinds.Sean,has this web page all for you. And I'm glad so I can keep up on things when I not there.I wish you the very best of luck and keep up the hard work.Some day I hope we can talk. Take care. AAWWY. meaning (Angels Aways Wth You. Mike M4ICU (LNA)

Anonymous said...

This is just wonderful news! All of our prayers & hopes are being received...Courtney & her family are still counting on us to be there, wherever she is!

Patricia McD

Lauren said...

Woohoo!!! Way to go Courtney!!! I'm so proud of her.

Just a possible fundraising idea. It would be small but... Courtney was a fairly active member of the outing club. Perhaps they could set up a fundraiser hike for her. Maybe John Abbott could help with that.

Also, just to say again, once she comes to Boston, any visitors are welcome to stay with me. I have a nice futon and I'm pretty close to the city. :)


Martha Conway-Cole said...

I was home in Maine for the last two weeks so I was elated to be with Courtney for the weekend. Elated because of the progress that I see. I preface this gush with the observation that I have been known to be brutally objective for all my life so what I write is no BS. Courtney is responding accurately to complex requests(move two fingers on your right hand), she is moving both sides of her body with great tone,range of motion and strength. The intensity of her movement is a little disconcerting sometimes but it is reassuring. Courtney attends visually to pictures (she smiled at the card of the small dog that Megan in MA sent to her). Courtney loves visits and phone calls. she listens and beams. Courtney is going to benefit a great deal from neuro rehab and even now without any rehab she is coming right along. Its hard to deal with the day to day setbacks and uncertainties. I hate that tears roll down Courtney's face sometimes and we can not figure out what is wrong. But tears are not happening much compared to her smiles. Julie, Marty and Doug you are doing a wonderful job staying balanced in the face of very exhausting conditions. Its hard and you are great!!!
I loved our nurse, Barbara. She is covering so many patients and Courtney is a wild ride. Barbara was right there at every scheduled event and she was serious and competent. She remembered every piece of equipment. She was good humoured and obviously cares alot. She chewed Sean and I out for turning off the beeping feeding tube without her permission. A sign of how comfortable we are getting with equipment and how seriously she takes her duty to patients. Anyone who doesn't believe that people are deeply good and moral has not spent much time in the Fletcher Allen hospital! Keep praying and working hard for Courtney. Everyone's thoughts and contributions matter and the visits and posts that we get keep everyone encouraged. Please keep visiting and come to Boston when Courtney gets there. Every hike you take in this beautiful weather and location think of Courtney and her lust for life.
Love, Martha Conway-Cole

Anonymous said...

This is such great news! We can't wait to see you in Boston!

The Milmoes

Marti said...

Thank you Martha for your beautiful and inspiring words. Thank you too for all of your support and love.

I'm so impressed with the strength and dedication that Court's family and friends have demonstrated.

This experience has been life changing, terrifying, and wonderful all at the same time. I hope everyone in Burlington stays in touch with Court and her family. You all have a lifetime place in my heart.

Meltron said...

time to take some roooaaadtrips....

Paul said...

It sounds like a corner has been turned. Lots of hard work ahead, but the support system Courtney has will make it much smoother.
Best wishes from Berwick to Courtney, Julie and Marty...

Anonymous said...

What a girl!!!!! We are SO proud of her and of ALL of you..what a month!
God Bless - the prayers and my new mantra "COURTNEY" ..will continue for as long as it takes!
Much Love and BIG hugs!!!!

Abraham said...

Such inspiring news! I'm so happy for Courtney. I've heard of Spaulding before (which says something, because I don't know much about rehabilitation centers), and yes, it seems like the best of the best. Cheers!

mom said...

Well, it's been quite a day! I walked into Courtney's room this morning for my first visit of the day, expecting to see her wildly flailing around and somewhat disgrundled. Instead I hear "hi Mom" "how are you"!!!!!!!! from Courtney! Yes, they put in a talking valve and I didn't think they'd do that until we got to Spaulding. She continued to talk up quite a bit all day with quite some coughing too. The talking valve is a one-way valve so she can't exhale through it, only inhale. So, if she coughs, anything that comes up from her lungs gets lodged in the valve,thus making it harder and harder to talk. But she got to talk to her Aunt Marti and asked her how she was and her dear friend Liz,also in AZ. She identified and addressed most all of her friends who came to visit today. It was beyond my wildest dreams to see and hear that this soon. And to know that she is cognitive as well. WOW! What a girl! It is truly a miracle and I'm confident she will continue to amaze us all. We are headed to Boston tomorrow morning at 11:00. We should be there by 4:00 or so.
YOU GO GIRL.......we are all 200% with you!
Much love to everyone who has been here for Court and her family...

Lauren said...

I was just wondering if we can visit Courtney at Spaulding. I'm sure tomorrow will be a busy day, but maybe Thursday? I can't wait to see her! I'm so amazed that she was talking today. She really is the toughest girl I know.


mom said...

Lauren...and everyone..
You are all certainly welcome to visit Courtney in Boston. I don't know what Spaulding's policies are re. visiting hours but I know they are advocates for friends and family to be there as much as possible. If they are in the middle of p.t. or something you may have to wait until it's over with but,hey, she's definitely worth the wait!
We will post the address and policies of Spaulding asap.