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.