Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Dec. 31 - Paul's First Message (Short but Sweet)

it feels good to finally say hello in person. happy new year. thanks for the great thoughts and goodwill.
adios pablo.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Update (Finally!) - Dec. 28, 2008

I can't believe it has been more than two weeks since Paul arrived home. It has gone by fast but also feels like living at Pate and the hospitals are long in the past. We had a great homecoming. Paul, Beth, and I picked up Buzz from school on the way in from Anna so Buzz was there with us when we arrived home. Although Paul needed assistance from both Beth and I, he did walk in the front door, which is one of the goals we both had for his arrival. He seemed very happy to be home and, as Beth and I prepared dinner, Paul and Buzz sat together on the couch and watched "SpongeBob SquarePants," which is one of their favorite pastimes. That night, we had a great dinner and made a toast to Paul being home. Buzz was so happy. He kept running into his room to get toys or memorabilia he and Paul had made to see if Paul remembered them. It was very sweet.

As happy as we were that Paul was home, those first few days were pretty difficult and emotional. Logistically, it was hard to get the hang of maneuvering him around the house in the wheelchair, transferring him, and getting him in and out of the house. We also are all getting used to being out and about with Paul in the wheelchair and the amount of planning ahead and time involved. It is a learning experience for all of us and has certainly opened my eyes to many things. I think it is hard for Paul to be home and out in familiar places because it has magnified his limited abilities but it also has made him even more determined to continue to practice his walking and his talking.

That first week, the mornings were chaotic. Since Paul is continuing his therapy at Pate in Anna through part of January, someone from the facility arrived each morning at 8:00 to pick him up, which is about the exact same time that Buzz goes to school. Thank goodness, again, that Beth is here to help. Right now, Paul needs assistance showering and dressing and takes a variety of medications in the morning so it took that whole first week to get a routine down that ensured Paul was ready when the van came and that Buzz made it to school on time.

We've also had many visitors, which has been a great thing for Paul, especially in helping him put the pieces of the puzzle (his life) back together. The home environment has really made a difference. For example, about a month ago at Pate, we tried to log on to Paul's e-mail and he could not remember the password. But at home, on our computer, he knew it immediately. We also took a field trip to MasonBaronet, the agency where Paul worked before the accident. Holly Mason, who owns the company and has been wonderful to us throughout this ordeal, met us there on a Saturday. Paul seemed enlightened by the visit and I really think it opened his eyes to his career and what he did. Again, putting the puzzle pieces together. Prior to that, he knew where he worked and knew his co-workers but I'm not sure that he remembered exactly what he did or some of his work. He still often gets confused and, although his short-term memory is improving, must constantly be reminded about things or told things several times before he can remember them. It is hard to tell for sure but I am excited because he has now showing more of an interest in his work and has begun drawing a little bit more too. His art and creativity is so much a part of who he is and I really hope that he finds that again.

On the Monday before Christmas, we were just finishing up dinner when there was a knock on the door. Samantha Reitmayer, who was instrumental in organizing meals being brought to the hospital daily those first few weeks after the accident, and Willie Baronet, showed up at our doorstep with a bundle (I don't even know if bundle is the correct word!) of gifts. They had four enormous stockings full of gifts and additional presents not just for Paul but for all of us. I thought Buzz's head was going to explode. We had a wonderful time opening the gifts and were all overwhelmed, once again, by the generosity and kind hearts of so many that donated money and gifts or have stopped by with packages and gift bags. That evening, Paul seemed touched as he opened his gifts and heard the names of those who had participated and spelled out on his letter board that he would need to thank each individually. (pictures below)

I am so touched to know that so many of Paul's colleagues and friends had participated. I've been so focused on Paul and his recovery that I feel like we've been living in a time warp and the rest of the world is moving on but knowing that so many still think of Paul and support him and us was touching. Especially everyone in the design community, which has been such a big part of his life.

Christmas was great too. We had a fun morning at home opening gifts and then went on to my mom's house where, because of various family obligations, traveling, and even the flu bug, we had a small turnout compared to most years. That was probably a good thing though because we stayed for more than four hours and I don't think Paul would have lasted that long had everyone shown up.

Thank you all again for all that you've done and for following Paul's story and his recovery. This has been an incredible experience for me - I've learned so much, gotten to know so many amazing people, and been deeply affected by all of those who have cared and offered assistance. I can't even begin to think about how things would have played out for me, Buzz, and for Paul had we not had the incredible amount of help we got from my family, our friends, and the design community. We now are looking forward to 2009 - a new year with many new opportunities.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Recent visits (oh, and today Paul comes home!!!)

Paul and Tanya

Paul B., Willie, Mike, Paul J., Dave, Brent, Gary (seated). Some of the Saturday morning basketball gang.

Hey, who's the wise guy?!

Patty and Paul

Willie, Paul and Jeff

Paul and Jeff can't stop laughing...

Oh, and did I mention, PAUL COMES HOME TODAY! :-)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Every once in a while you come across something so precious, so priceless, so perfect that it must be shared. This is one of those times. :-)

Lovingly "borrowed" from a stash of pics that Paul's mom brought down on her last visit.

Blessings to all of you for continuing to send love to Paul.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Four More Days - Dec. 8 Update

The countdown continues as there are now only four more days until Paul comes home. Thanksgiving went well and, although I know it will be a huge adjustment from life at Pate, I think Paul is ready to be home and will be stimulated by being back in his real life.

Paul still is not verbal so we continue to communicate via the letter board. We don't have the Dynavox machine yet as there is paperwork involved because the machine, which is fairly expensive, is being provided by the state. (Thank you, everyone in Texas, for paying the universal service charge on your phone bill. Now you know where some of the money goes.) Right now, we have a Dynavox trial software program on my computer that we've been practicing with but since Paul is still adapting to using the keyboard and typing with only his left hand, it is slow and he prefers using the letter board. The letter board works fine, but is time consuming since you have to concentrate as he spells out each word. If you miss a letter, it gets very confusing. Of course, oftentimes, I can guess the word before he finishes spelling but sometimes I am wrong in my guess. For example, on Saturday a friend who we had not seen for some time even before Paul's accident was visiting. It was an emotional visit and I was teary eyed when Paul began spelling out, "C-R-Y..." Before he could finish, I said "Crying, yes, I was crying but don't worry about me, I am fine." Paul shook his head and continued spelling, "C-R-Y-S-T-A-L L-I-G-H-T." It turned out that he was not really concerned about me but just thirsty. The old Paul continues to shine through!

I expect that the actual Dynavox machine, which is touch-screen, will be easier for Paul to use. Again, he continues to work on his speech and I remain very hopeful that it will come easier in time.

Paul's other main focus still is his walking. He wants to practice all the time and often just tries to get up out of the wheelchair. I think when he gets home, his determination will multiply and we'll have to keep an eye on him until he has more control and balance.

The renovations on the house continue and, right now, it is a mess but I think most of it will be done by Friday and we'll be able to clean up the coat of dust that covers just about everything. We plan Paul's arrival home to be low key because we think he will be overwhelmed enough simply by being here. His coming home is just one more step forward on his journey to recovery. I've been doing some research on traumatic brain injuries and have read that, although much of the recovery takes place during the first year to two years, the brain can continue to heal and change throughout a lifetime. Right now, I believe he is far from done with his recovery and nowhere near where he'll be in a year.

That said, I'll continue to update the blog even after Paul's homecoming and perhaps, one day soon, Paul will be able to take part in updating the blog too.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Update, Nov. 21 - Paul Gets Closer to Home

Paul took his first trip back to Dallas last Saturday night on an outing to my sister Katie's house in North Dallas. It went great! He seemed to enjoy the drive and appreciate being back in familiar territory. Transporting him was easy as there is only one step to get into the house. From the car, he got in the wheelchair but when we got to the step, we helped him walk up the step, into the house, and to a chair in the living room.

Not everyone in my family was there but we still had 7 adults and 5 kids. We figure this is good practice for Thanksgiving, when the head count will double. It was a nice visit. He had a long conversation (via the letter board) with my sister about William Faulkner's "The Sound and the Fury." I'm not really sure how it came about, sometimes the topics he wants to cover come out of nowhere, but he definitely remembered reading the book and all the details and meanings behind the plot. Dinner went well too but shortly after we ate, the kids started to get a little rowdy and the noise level rose quite a bit. Paul let us know that he was ready to go.

As I've said before, he still gets confused and often spells out that he feels out of it, scrambled, or scared. The neuropsychologist at Pate has said that this is a good thing because Paul is moving toward comprehending the bigger picture, that something has happened and his life is out of whack. Apparently, many traumatic brain injury patients never even reach that point.

Little by little, Paul also seems to be getting his short-term memory back as well. For a while there, Paul would ask me every 15 minutes how long I would be staying at Pate that day. It actually got to be a little bit comical. He now seems to remember for the most part but he still acts a little surprised when I do say I am leaving. He also can forget what happened earlier in the day or that he had recent visitors. The doctor feels this should get better but may always be somewhat of a problem.

We are excited about Thanksgiving (Paul's mother will be here for a week) but we are even more excited (and nervous too) that Paul has been given a discharge date and will come home Dec. 12. However, his rehab will continue as he'll have out-patient therapy through February, if not longer. We are preparing the house for his arrival by renovating the bathroom to make the shower larger and by adding grab bars. We also are installing French doors in the front of the house that will allow Paul easier access into the house. We continue to be very hopeful and optimistic about Paul's walking but the reality is that, by December, he still will be using the wheelchair.

Both Paul and Buzz have countdown calendars to Paul's homecoming and we mark off the days as they pass. I cannot believe that five months ago I didn't know if Paul would ever be returning home and now he will be here for Christmas. What a wonderful gift for all of us.

Thank you again for following our story.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Lunch and a haircut

Last Sunday Patty, Pete, Jim (Paul's brother), Jason and I went with Paul for some good ole Mexican grub.

Here's a pic from after lunch.

Then it was time for haircut number 4 since Paul's accident. Here's Paul getting prepped.

Here we go!

Paul approves.

Jim soaks in the sun and listens to the buzz of the clippers.

And we're done! Paul forgets to tip the barber. :-)

It was a great visit, and Paul showed some progress in spelling out some longer sentences using his alphabet sheet. He also was eager to do some walking, so with some support on each side he walked several times across the patio. He is getting stronger, but it's still quite a task for him to lift his right leg. Paul is such an inspiration, and I am so grateful to be his friend.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Update - Nov. 13, 2008

Paul continues to struggle with the aphasia and his ability to talk. Until now, we've been using a message board, which is just a laminated sheet of paper with the alphabet on it. He spells out words and we write them down on a dry erase board. He has gotten much better at communicating this way, however it can time consuming and exhausting for both Paul and the person he is communicating with. So, this week, we met with reps from a company called Dynavox and have ordered a touchscreen device that will assist Paul in communicating. It includes a keyboard, word prediction, and voice activator that articulates the phrases for him. Of course, we do not want this to take the place of him talking and we, and his speech therapist, will continue to push him to talk.

Again, Paul is progressing, grasping and expressing more complicated thoughts yet he still gets confused and needs to be reminded of what has happened and putting the pieces back together. We continually try to fill in the gaps from pre-accident until now. He seems to have stronger memories of significant people and events from the past. For example, wanting to call an old friend from high school that he has not spoken with in 10-15 years or even thinking that he recently saw that person at Pate.

That said, he does continue to progress and things change weekly. This is a good thing. Today, I am going out to Pate earlier than usual to watch Paul's physical therapy treatment in the pool. He walks on a treadmill underwater and, as of last Thursday, insists upon walking up the steps to get out of the pool as opposed to using the lift chair. His determination continues to show up in every task.

I'm off to Pate. Thank you for your support and interest in Paul's recovery.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Update, Nov. 4, 2008

Paul's hard work is paying off and he is now practicing walking with a platform walker, which is a regular walker with an attachment that serves as a forearm rest for his right arm. Until now, the therapists had him using an EVA support walker, a larger walker with wheels that supported Paul's weight and helped more with his balance. The platform walker is forcing Paul to really balance. While he is progressing during his theraphy sessions, the reality is that outside of his therapy sessions and practicing walking, he requires a wheelchair.

I also am including this photo of Buzz and Paul during a visit to Pate last Saturday. I am so proud of Buzz. He is always excited to visit Paul, gives him lots of hugs while we are there, and cheers Paul on when he is practicing his walking and talking.

I also want to thank the staff and parents at St. Patrick's (Buzz's school) and everyone from Buzz's soccer team. The outpouring of generosity and kindness from the school and the community, in general, has been overwhelming and made such a difference in helping us get through this. I feel like almost everywhere we go, people go out of their way to look out for Buzz. Buzz seems oblivious to all of this but I know it has helped all of us cope.

Thank you again,

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

October 22 - Paul Moves Up

Paul has been promoted to Hilltop, another building within Pate Rehab. Most of the residents at Hilltop are self-sufficient and don't need as much care as Paul, who still requires supervision and maximal assistance. However, it definitely is a step forward for Paul and very positive mentally and emotionally. The house is bigger and cheerier and, instead of just a bedroom, Paul now has an efficiency-like apartment with a sitting area, washer and dryer, mini-refrigerator, and his own bathroom.

He seems very happy about the move and already has started entertaining, with visitors last night. He even did a little disco dancing from his chair to some '70's soul music.

He continues to vigorously work on his walking. On Sunday, we took him to the park and he insisted on walking so, with assistance from my brother on one side and my brother-in-law on his other side, he walked probably, all together, half a block. Balance is still a major issue but he continues to get stronger and improve his cadence. I was so proud of him though because he kept wanting to walk farther, even though it was obviously very difficult and exhausting.

We invite you to come visit on the weekends. Now that Paul has two-hour passes, there are times when we might be off campus so if you plan on visiting, please let me know via e-mail (

Thank you, everyone, for accompanying on this journey.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pics from the Mexican restaurant outing :-)

Pete and Paul and a chip.

Yum. Where are my enchiladas?

Peter, Paul and Mary. Oops, I mean Patty, Paul and Mary.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Update - Oct. 14

Paul took his first official outing from Pate on Sunday and it went great. My sister, Mary, Willie Baronet, Pete Lacker, and I all accompanied Paul to a Mexican food restaurant in "downtown" Anna. We were able to go as Paul now has daily two-hour passes that allow him to leave the Pate compound. I was a little nervous because I wasn't sure how Paul would react (prior to this we had driven around and gone to Sonic but never actually taken him out of the car). He is getting stronger every day so transferring him from the wheelchair to the car was very easy. I think he was a little nervous but we got to the restaurant early so we were the only customers, the service was quick, and the food was good. He was in a great mood and laughing as we talked. I think he was sad to have to go back to Pate but, eventually, the passes will be for longer and, when he is ready, we can bring him home for visits. I hesitate to do that now because I think going back to rehab would be really hard for him. In time, I expect that he'll have a better understanding of why it is important that he stays there and continues to work hard.

Although his ability to speak is slow in coming, Paul has gotten better about spelling out words on a laminated letter board and by writing on a dry erase board, both of which we keep with us at all times. He doesn't always spell correctly but so far has communicated with the board both by spelling out one word or whole sentences. On Thursday, Beth was visiting with him, they were sitting outside, and he spelled out "jacket" to let her know that he was cold. On Friday, he spelled out, "How long will you be..." and before he could finish, I guessed the last word was "staying." I was so happy (for both of us) that he was able to communicate because I can't imagine how trapped and scared he must feel. In fact, he has spelled out "fear" when we've asked how he is feeling. He still is sad a lot though he also, more and more, gets that determined look on his face, makes a fist, and seems ready to take on the world. In addition to walking in his daily physical therapy sessions, the staff at the house helps him practice walking every night. This seems to ease his agitation, calm him down, and boost his confidence. Each time, after he walks, he insists on giving everyone involved a big hug and seems very proud.

We also constantly give Paul pep talks to keep him focused on what he can do and on what he will do, instead of what he can't do. Please keep praying for him and thank you all for your support.


Friday, October 3, 2008

Friday, Oct. 3

Life at Pate continues for Paul. He is really working hard on building up his leg endurance with several therapy sessions daily that include pedaling exercises, a standing frame (which assists Paul in standing for long periods of time), exercises in the pool, and walking with assistance and a walker. On his own, he also builds strength by using his legs to mobilize his wheelchair.

He also recieves occupational therapy daily, where the focus is on his right arm and hand. Unfortunately, the movement of his right arm and hand are affected by ossification of the muscle, which means some of the muscle tissue has ossified (turned to bone cartilage). His therapist continually works on the range of motion and has made progress but, right now, Paul is not able to use his right hand. As he is right-handed, this can be a problem but he seems to be adjusting fairly well to using his left hand.

Paul's biggest hurdle right now is the apraxia and his inability to talk. He can often repeat words but has a hard time communicating his own thoughts and messages. This is very frustrating for him as he seems to know exactly what he wants to say but, as soon as he begins talking, the words that he wants to come out, don't come out. At least that is what we believe. The obvious solution would be to write down his messages, however the aphasia has affected his ability to write as well. His speech includes repeating words and sounds, practicing writing, and even exercsises and programs on the computer designed specifically for patients with brain injuries. Of course, he has to maneuver the mouse with his left hand (akward) and left click, since it is a PC as opposed to a MAC. I'm pretty sure that he has an aversion to working on a PC because he almost always seems disgruntled during his computer sessions, although he succeeds well on the exercises.

All around, he is making progress but it is a slow process and we expect him to be at Pate for awhile. We feel that Paul is beginning to realize the bigger picture in that something drastic has happened to him. He gets very sad at times, which is to be expected, and angry. However, he also seems to realize that his hard work helps his recovery and will accelerate his being able to come home. As we've all known about Paul, determination is one of his greatest traits and it is beginning to show through once again.

We encourage people to come on the weekends as Paul has a lot of free time and seems to benefit from visiting with friends. Please send me an e-mail if you plan to come out.

On a related note, Paul's sister, Beth, has moved to Dallas from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to help me take care of Paul and of Buzz. (My mother and sisters helped with Buzz all summer but once school started and Buzz and I moved home, things became a little more complicated.) It has been wonderful having Beth here. She is great with Buzz and makes the drive to Anna almost as often as I do, which has allowed me to spend more time with Buzz as well. Now she is looking for work. She has an extensive background that includes program management, teaching, training people, grants administration and PR. So, if you hear or know of any openings (full, part-time, or even seasonal) she is immediately available and open to almost anything, please e-mail her at

Thank you again for all of your support,

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Paul's haircut #3

Patty, Paul, Jim (Paul's brother) and Beth (Paul's sister, shortly after Paul got his 3rd haircut since the accident. And yes, I'm the one using the clippers. :-)

Keep sending cards and letters!

Love and blessings,

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Jerde Cup Pix!!

Click here to see pix from the tournament!

And thanks to all of you who made it such a huge success!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wednesday, Sept. 24 - The Day After the Jerde Cup

The Jerde Cup was yesterday and it was an amazing event. I was there around noon to greet some of the golfers and was completely overwhelmed by how many people participated, how organized the event was and how much Paul's presence was felt throughout. In every group, I saw a part of our lives, whether it was high school friends of mine, college friends of Paul's, friends from Dick's Last Resort (where we met more than 20 years ago), colleagues from my many years at ClubCorp, from RSW Creative (Paul's first job out of college), MasonBaronet (his most recent job) friends of family, and SO MUCH representation from those in the design community. What an extraordinary group of people. As I was chatting with one volunteer about how overwhelmed I was with the organization and generosity of Paul's creative designer friends, he added, "And not only that, designers make sure everything looks great too!" And they did - there were Jerde Cup coffee cups and T-shirts and some incredible drawings and paintings of Paul out on display.

I did not stay for the dinner afterward because I was at Pate with Paul but I told him about the event and I believe he understood, smiled but also got very emotional when he heard about everyone who was there. From what I heard, the dinner afterward was a great success and everyone had a wonderful time. Buzz was there with his cousins and came home with several raffle prizes and a passion for the game of golf. This morning, he was practicing his putting on the front lawn and ended up being late for school. I guess the golf bug runs in the family.

When Paul's accident happened on June 14, we were catapulted to a new life. I feel like our families and our friends were there to catch us, gently place us on the ground, and have helped clear our pathway as much as possible. We are so blessed to have such a large group of friends and family that care so much to take the time and effort to support us. So many people have stepped in and contributed in so many ways - it is a tribute to the human spirit and how kind and caring people can be.

Thank you to all of the organizers of the Jerde Cup, especially John May, John Hampton, Dave Cowling, and Anne Clarrissimeaux and all of the others who helped set it up, the volunteers, those who donated so generously, and to all the players.

I hope those who attended will take the time to post messages on the board about their experience so that I can share the good times had with Paul. And, I know many photos were taken and we'll post them on the blog soon.

Thank you again.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Paul gets a visit from his men's group!

Last Thursday night, Paul was surprised by a visit from his weekly men's group (the New Warriors). We all sat in a circle, got to visit, and Paul seemed to understand what everyone was saying, and we could tell he wanted to be able to speak up more himself. We've missed Paul a lot these last 3 months, and it was great to all be together again. Hopefully we'll do it again before long. Paul had a huge smile, and couldn't get enough of the hugging. Thanks to Francisco, Gary, John, Bruce, Dan, Sandy, Raymond, Ed, Donny and George for being there, and also to Jeff, Shane, Harry and Marc, who were there in spirit. Your love for Paul means a lot!


p.s. (I'm not in the picture cause I took it!) :-)


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Update Saturday, Sept 20

We've found that, as Paul becomes more aware of what has happened to him and his limitations right now, he can get very frustrated and agitated (and rightly so). The neuropsychologist has told us that this is normal and part of the process. Therefore, I am asking that anyone visiting to keep visits short (15-20 minutes). I know that it is a long drive out to Anna and I am so thankful that everyone has been so concerned and cares enough to visit. These visits seem to make Paul happy but when he can't actively participate in discussions or activities, he often becomes frustrated. Again, please contact me via e-mail ( if you plan to visit and keep the cards and letters coming as well. I am so thankful that we have all of your support and I encourage everyone to continue praying for Paul and giving him the strength that he will need to get through this.


Wednesday, Sept. 17

It is less than a week before the Jerde Cup and I'd like to thank everyone who has signed up to participate, whether as a player, sponsor, or volunteer. I would especially like to thank, in advance, those who have planned the tournament. I know this has been no easy task! I am so touched that so many people are willing to take the time, whether it has been the months of planning or day off work to play (or as in my uncle and aunt's case, flying to Dallas from Baltimore), to support Paul and our family. I don't believe that Paul understands completely right now but I know he will one day and he will be flattered, moved, and most likely envious that he missed out playing a round on Tour 18 with so many friends and family. Thank you again and I look forward to seeing everyone next Tuesday.


A pic of Paul, blue suede shoes and a story from Phil

This is the first picture of Paul we've posted since his accident. It seems appropriate that it would be a celebration of his wedding anniversary, with the following story from Phil Hollenbeck:

When Paul asked me if I'd shoot his wedding, I just wasn't too sure that would be a good idea. I'm not a wedding kinda shooter guy and Paul was in the "business", a young creative on his way up. Did I really want to shoot a designer's wedding? And Paul's so picky. What to do, what to do? Well, when he told me the wedding was going to be at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, that sealed the deal. Rehoboth Beach was where I spent some fine summer vacation time with a favorite uncle. We were from Baltimore, a short drive to the beach. Shooting Paul & Patty's wedding would trigger a lot of memories for me. I could visit old haunts, drink Gunther beer while feasting on Chesapeake Bay blue crabs and take a day trip to Tangier Island. It would also afford me an opportunity to visit my mother's grave site in Baltimore. She was killed when I was 11, oddly enough, on September 6th, 1954. So it seemed to me that the stars were in alignment for me to shoot this wedding. So I did.
When I got the news of Paul's accident I was both stunned and horrified. Like many others, I just couldn't believe this news. On my first visits to see Paul in ICU at Baylor, I saw many of Patty & Paul's family. These were people I hadn't seen since the wedding eleven years ago. A few of them said, "I remember you. You were wearing those blue shoes." That's true. Blue suede shoes. Think Elvis. Paul was going into week three at Baylor and I was at my Arkansas getaway in Eureka Springs. Rummaging thru boxes from the recent move I came across, yes!, the blue shoes. A major brain fart went off in my head and I thought, "Wouldn't it be great to make Patty & Paul a wedding anniversary gift using these shoes?" So I did. The frame was found by the side of the road. I spray painted it gloss white. The little girl figure was peeled off my art car and the hearts & little basketballs came from Hobby Lobby. The shoes are glued on with E6000, a glue so strong that it will hold a bad marriage together. The shoes are glued to a collage of contact photos from the wedding.
So, to a couple that I love and admire and to a man who has given so much, Happy 11th Anniversary. I owe you, Paul. You always make me look like I know what I'm doing.


Thursday, September 11, 2008


Yesterday Paul got a couple of cards in the mail, and he had me read them aloud a couple of times and really looked at them. I could tell it meant a lot to him. Patty mentioned this address in her previous post. If you are willing, put a card in the mail to Paul. A postcard, a short note, anything. I think it would make his day! Here is the address again:

Pate Rehabilitation Brinlee Creek
10057 Country Road 472
Anna, Texas 75409

Many thanks!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Monday, Sept. 8

We got through the weekend, but with no therapy scheduled and still all new faces at Pate, it was a little difficult. I had hoped at Pate that the therapy would continue through some of the weekend because I always feel we build up momentum during the week and then lose it with two days off. Unfortunately, the staff feels that weekends are family time - not to say that is bad! - I just want Paul to stay challenged constantly and think he gets bored (even though we try to stay busy). 

It is wonderful that Paul is really more aware of what is going on but I also think he is slowly realizing what has happened and what it means. He is trying more to communicate and using words more often but also gets frustrated when he is trying to tell us something and it is not coming out right. As hard as it is, we all know that it is a good thing because it means he continues to progress and I keep telling him that this is all temporary and his next stop will be home. 

The other day, we went through the "Get Well Paul" sign-in book we have for visitors and I talked about everyone who has shown up and offered support and help. He seemed really surprised and, I could tell by his facial expressions, touched yet also pleased with himself. He has always claimed to hate being in the spotlight but secretly loves it. I am also going to start from Day 1 and read him all the blog messages.

I am excited for things to really get started at Pate, for Paul to get into a routing and to get more comfortable in his surroundings. I ask that anyone planning to visit should do so after 4:00 during the week and anytime on weekends but that you contact me ahead of time to ensure that he is up for visits or not busy eating dinner or working. Please e-mail me at

Also, anyone wanting to send mail to Paul, the address is:
Pate Rehabilitation Brinlee Creek
10057 Country Road 472
Anna, Texas 75409

Thank you for your support and for being a part of this journey with us.


Some new (old) pics of Paul in the sidebar

Here's one of the new pics, courtesy of Tom Hair, the first person to hire Paul as an intern in graphic design. And no jokes about Patty having a bad hair day. :-)

There are a few others in the sidebar. Thanks Tom!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Saturday, Sept. 6

Paul is now getting settled at Pate and I would be lying if I said the transition has been easy for either me or Paul. I think traveling to the new environment and being around all new people has been confusing for Paul and, seeing that, has been hard for me. There are two housing areas at Pate, one for more independent patients and another for those that are not self-sufficient and need round-the-clock care, which is where Paul is right now. There are several patients there in far worse condition than Paul, which reminds me of how thankful I am for Paul's progress but is also hard to see. I also know that Paul will continue to progress and it will only be a matter of time until he moves to "Hilltop," the housing area for more independent patients, but it may be awhile. Meanwhile, we are getting acclimated and tonight I plan on staying overnight with Paul (Buzz is at his cousin's house) and we'll celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary.

This weekend, I think it is best if Paul's visitors are just family and close friends. Please call me ahead of time if you plan on making the trek to Anna.

Please keep praying for Paul's recovery. Your prayers have really made a difference!


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sept. 4 - Paul Moves to Pate Rehab in Anna, Texas

Paul is being moved today to Pate Rehabilitation, a residential treatment center located on a 96-acre ranch in Anna, Texas (which is located about 35 miles north of Dallas). At Pate, the treatment program focuses on transitioning traumatic brain injury patients back into their everyday lives. In other words, Paul will be spending more than six full hours a day (as opposed to three) doing the same type of therapy he was doing at Baylor so that he can eventually come home. However, Pate takes the rehab situation a step further and allows the patient more time to begin acclimating to everyday life. As sad as we are to leave Baylor, we've been assured by the staff that Paul will benefit from moving on to Pate, where he will actually be working much harder.

We are not sure of how long his stay at Pate will be, but most likely it will be more than a month, if not several months. As long as Paul continues to progress, I don't care how long it takes. He got off to a slow start when he first arrived at Baylor Rehab, but his progress these past 10 days or so seems to have surprised the staff. I believe that now it is just a matter of time and hard work on Paul's part (something he already has embraced now that he can) before he begins to overcome the apraxia. I don't expect him to be chatting up a storm or strolling across a room any time soon, but I am very hopeful that he will in time. He continues to get stronger physically and he also has been saying more words, however it still very difficult for him.

Although Pate is quite a distance from Dallas, it is located on a beautiful, scenic and serene ranch. There is a lot of wide open space and a large rec center for visitors that includes a big-screen TV, couch, pool table, air hockey, fooseball, and popcorn maker. All of which is much more compatible to visits by a hyperactive 6 year old than a hospital setting where many of the patients are elderly and learning to walk after surgery. Aside from Pate being a good thing for Paul, I am sure that my blood pressure will go down during visits with Buzz and I know that Buzz will have more fun.

Once Paul gets settled, I'll let everyone know his schedule and the best visiting hours.

Thank you, everyone, again!
Love, Patty

Friday, August 29, 2008

Patty's going to kill me

But when you have retro photos of this caliber you gotta post 'em, right?

Get well soon, Paul, and you can help prevent pictures like this from being shared in the future. :-)

Your pal,

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Jerde Cup!

Update - Wednesday, August 27

Today is Buzz's birthday so we'll be celebrating tonight as a family at the hospital. I'd like to request that Paul get no visitors tonight.

In other news, yesterday was pet therapy day at the rehab center. Dogs are brought in to interact with the patients. Although I wouldn't say that Paul is a dog person, he really seemed to connect with a couple of the dogs, feeding them treats. The therapist even got Paul to throw a tennis ball for one of the dogs to catch. This is significant because the apraxia has been keeping Paul from being able to throw. Until yesterday, he would hold a ball out and seemed to be trying hard but just couldn't let go of the ball or make a throwing motion. Another small, but significant, step in his recovery.

Thank you everyone for your support and wonderful comments.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Update - Monday, August 25

Paul has had a great last few days. His command following has improved and he seems to much more aware of those around him, smiling, and giving high fives and thumbs up. We are also learning more about the some of the effects of a traumatic brain injury.

The doctors have determined that Paul suffers from a condition called apraxia, which is the inability to perform intentional movements although there is no sensory or motor impairment. For example, Paul has the strength and coordination to do certain tasks and seems to know what he wants to do but his brain cannot always make his body do what is necessary to complete the tasks.

He also has apraxia of speech, an impairment caused by damage to the area of the brain that controls the voluntary, exact movement of speech muscles. Basically, this means that he can say a few words (and actually has) but can say them when he is uncomfortable or in distress. It is much more difficult for him to speak when he is really concentrating and trying. However, the speech therapist continues to work with him and focus on ways he can again begin to control his speech.

I say that he has said a few words but I would not say that he is talking. It is great to hear his voice, even though it has been single words, such as "yes" "no" and "dammit" (once when he was really frustrated). The best word he has said yet though is "Buzz," which he said when Buzz was visiting the hospital and on the floor coloring. Paul was watching him, said Buzz's name, and then reached out his hand toward Buzz. He kissed Buzz's hand, hugged him, and stroked his hair. It was a wonderful moment for all of us. Even the nurse, who walked in around that time, got teary eyed.

You probably are wondering if Paul's current actions mean that he is officially "awake" now. He is not. There are several ways that the doctors determine this and all involve different phases or stages, which Paul is slowly working his way through. His actions these past few days are very encouraging and positive though and we can definitely say he more wakeful if not awake.

One thing that the doctors and nurses have stressed is that too much excitement or noise can agitate Paul. So, please keep visits to about 15 minutes or so.

Thank you again for your support.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Help Paul - donate to the Dream Fund!

Many of you have graciously asked how you can financially help the Jerde family to ensure the best care and recovery for Paul. We’ve connected with DREAM Fund, a nonprofit foundation that supports those in the communications industry who have experienced a life-altering event. Not only will the foundation be helping Paul, but they also have a website with the ability for donations to be taken online. Additionally, you can choose to make a one-time donation or a recurring donation depending on your preference. The online donation form can be found here. Please just be sure to fill out “Paul Jerde” in the “Directed Donations” field at the bottom of the form to ensure the donation will be distributed directly to Paul’s family.

We can’t thank you enough for all the support and for your contributions. If you’d like more information on DREAM Fund, you can visit their website at or feel free to call Holly Mason at 214.663.8817.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Saturday, August 16 - Paul's Story in the Dallas Morning News

An article about Paul and the community's efforts to promote cycling safety is featured in today's Dallas Morning News. The article mentions a golf tournament being held by friends and family to raise money and further raise awareness. The tournament is Tuesday, Sept. 23, at Tour 18 golf course. Please continue to check the blog for more information on the tournament and how you can participate.

Thank you!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Update - Thursday, August 14

Paul has now graduated to pureed hospital food (not exactly Taco Diner but better than just tube feedings). We still are carefully watching to make sure that he swallows correctly. He gets three meals a day, which either I, or the nurse, help him eat. We also are working toward him holding the fork on his own but that will take some practice. At this point, he doesn't eat a lot so the tube still is in place in his stomach.

He continues his rigorous therapy sessions as well and is out of bed for most of the day. He can sit more comfortably in the wheelchair for long periods of time so, now that the weather has cooled off, I’ve taken him outside several times. I think he enjoys the fresh air and this morning put his head back on the headrest and dozed for about 15 minutes during a break between sessions.

His doctor here is Dr. Mary Carlile, who is very highly regarded in the field of traumatic brain injury recovery. She has prescribed several neuro-stimulus drugs so he is much more alert now and aware of his surroundings but still is not responding to commands consistently. It is hard enough for me to understand and even harder to explain, but Paul can put a baseball cap on and take it off; hold a cup and sip through a straw; and fluff his pillow under his head until he is comfortable but he still has not fully regained consciousness.

Something that I find difficult to handle is that the therapists, doctors, and nurses don’t get to see and appreciate Paul’s charismatic, and often very complicated, personality (anyone who knows him well will most likely agree). We have photos up throughout the room and also have displayed some of the professional work he has done. Today, I passed out to the staff a recent article from HOW magazine, in which Paul was interviewed about the creative jams (creative team-building sessions) held at MasonBaronet. I’ve always known that Paul’s brain was more complicated than most people’s (life with Paul is never boring) but want to share this information with everyone here. This is no generic patient they are dealing with and I want them to be creative when they are working with him as well.

As I’ve said so many times, please continue to pray for Paul and his recovery. I know that, once he fully regains consciousness, there will be nothing stopping him.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Update - Thursday, August 7

I feel very lucky that we are at Baylor Institute of Rehabilitation as it is one of the best in the country. Our first week here is coming to an end and, just as we expected, the therapists here are working Paul hard. Weekly conferences, which include the therapists, neuropsychologist, and the doctor, are held to keep me abreast of Paul's current therapy and progress. Our first conference was yesterday, and they reported that Paul is inconsistent with command following but is starting to attend to automatic skills. Automatic skills examples include that we can hand him his glasses and he'll put them on, he'll take the phone and put it up to his ear and then flip it closed, and he'll raise his arm to help when his shirt his being taken off. Right now, the speech therapist is working on developing a yes/no communication system but have not yet developed a reliable way of getting Paul to communicate.

As posted on Tuesday, Paul moves around a lot and is very restless. Because he is getting so strong, he is now in an enclosed bed to keep him from pulling himself out of the bed. The best description we've come up with is that it looks like his bed is in a bouncy house. But, this keeps him safe and seems to be the norm around the rehab facility as many patients have their own bouncy houses.

We now have a private room, room 300, and expect to be here at least through the month of August. Again, please keep in mind that Paul is busy throughout the day with therapy so visitors are encouraged to come in the late afternoon and evenings. I also ask that visits be kept to about 15 or 20 minutes to keep Paul from getting overwhelmed.

Thank you all again for all of your support and continual interest in Paul's recovery.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Update - Tuesday August 5

Paul is adjusting to his new home at the rehab facility. His therapy sessions start at 9:00am and, aside from a lunch break for the therapists from 12-1, don't stop until after 3:00. On Monday, his speech therapist gave him thickened apple juice, much like apple sauce, and he swallowed it easily. So, she plans to continue testing him through the week and hopefully get him on something more solid soon. In the meantime he continues to be fed through his feeding tube, which he often tries to pull out with his left hand.

His speech therapist still would like him to more awake and responsive, something we continue to hope and pray comes soon. And we want him to start talking, of course.

His "purposeful" movements continue as well. Because he tries to pull out his feeding tube (and sometime his catheter) with his left hand, he has been wearing a "mitten" on his left hand that looks a lot like a Snoopy paw, which prevents him from grabbing anything. He has recently figured out that he can take the mitten off with his teeth if he works at it long enough, if the velcro is hanging off even a little. While this is a major pain for those watching him, it is also encouraging in terms of his intent. He also consistently repositions his favorite pillow, and sometimes pulls himself so that he can lay on his side.

His brother Jim (and Jim's family) were in town from Kansas again this weekend and that was great for Paul and for Buzz.

To all family and friends, thank you again for ALL that you do. For your comments and all your love and support. It means the world to all of us.

Love and blessings to you.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

July 31 - Paul Moves to Rehab

Paul was moved to the Baylor Institute of Rehabilitation today. This is great news as it means he is medically stable and can tolerate three hours of therapy sessions daily. The move seemed to come abruptly, we were just getting settled but I have been assured that rehab is where Paul needs to be right now. He still is not fully awake but continues to progress physically and, I think, is getting restless being in bed most of the day. I am very excited about his move to rehab but also very nervous. From what I hear, Paul is about to receive the workout program of his life. I have no doubt that Paul has the determination to succeed and won't give up until he has reached his full potential.

Visiting hours are until 9:00 p.m. and I would like to, again, requests that visitors come late afternoon or evenings. We are in a semi-private room right now so please take into consideration that Paul has a roommate. The facility is located directly behind Baylor Specialty Hospital at 3505 Gaston Avenue.

Once we have met with the therapists and the doctors tomorrow, I'll know more about Paul's new schedule and relay if there are better times to visit.

Thanks again for your support.

Love, Patty

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Update - Wed July 30

Sorry we haven't posted in the last couple of days. There hasn't been a whole lot new to report. Paul continues to do his daily therapies, and some days he is more responsive than others. Today he seems to be a bit more agitated than usual, which could be because of some pain or some discomfort from the food he gets through his feeding tube. He slept right through the visit from the speech therapist, even though she was tempting him with a chocolate flavored lollipop. Some days are just better than others.

They are going to remove his PICC line today which is in his left arm. PICC stands for Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter, and it can be used for giving treatments like antibiotics and intravenous fluids. Since they haven't needed to use it lately (and since it could be a potential infection risk) they decided it could come out. So one less contraption to deal with. :-)

Thanks again to all of you for your comments, love and support. It makes such a huge difference!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Update - Sunday, July 27

We've now been in the private room for over a week and it is great. Paul'stracheotomy hole is now nothing but a tiny scab and he no longer receives any kind of breathing treatment. He is now moving his right arm much more although he is tensing it up. He gets very fidgety at times and pulls at theblanket and at his gown. He keeps rearranging one around his head; it lookslike he is trying to make himself more comfortable. One of the therapists commented that this was “purposeful” movement, which is good.

His therapy now involves daily trips in a Stretchair (photo on left), an industrial-type wheelchair that allows Paul to be moved safely from the prone position in the bed to safely sitting upright. He is then taken to the workout room, where the therapists work with him. He is seated upright on a mat while one of the physical therapists holds him up from behind while another sits on a chair in front of him. At this point, he cannot hold his head up (although it is getting much stronger) so the therapist must hold it up while also holding him from behind. The goal is for him to work up his strength and to relearn to sit up.

Looking at my notes from the past week, I can see the progress he has made. It is sometimes hard to tell since I am here every day so it is nice when a visitor, who hasn’t seen him for a week or so, comes by and talks about how good he looks and all the changes.
Thanks again to everyone. I am thankful everyday to have so many people rallying around us. I can't even imagine what it might be like without allof your support.

Love, Patty

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Update July 24 - and Paul wins huge award!

Paul continues his daily physical therapy sessions and is getting stronger every day toward holding himself up while sitting. The sessions are intense and it is evident by the look on Paul's face that he is working very hard. No more lollipops this week, but the speech therapist has given him large Q-Tip swabs that are coated with lemon juice and refrigerated. He doesn't seem to enjoy these as much as the lollipop but, again, appears to like the sensation of taste and cold.

In other news, Paul's cool logo for the Ball Hogs (click here to see it) was accepted into the Communication Arts Design Annual. This is one of the highest creative awards you can get anywhere. CA is considered the bible of the creative communications industry. Congrats to Paul for his creative excellence!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Update - Monday, July 21

Paul had a good weekend at the hospital. We feel certain that he smiled a couple of times and feel he was very engaged while looking a family photos and did seem to focus on television and the British Open, despite Greg Norman's third place finish. Buzz was at the hospital for several hours with me yesterday. Although he spent a good deal of time playing on the computer, he had a great visit with Paul, even climbing onto the bed and sitting next to him to watch Robots on TV.

I am happy for a new week to begin though as during the weekends, the therapists are not here so he doesn't get his usual exercises and therapy sessions. Right now, since Paul is not completely awake, he cannot be given food or drinks so he gets his nutrition through a feeding tube. However, because he does seem more alert, the speech therapist gave him a green apple Dum-Dum lollipop to suck on this morning and he seemed to really enjoy it. He loves apples but I am sure that, after five weeks of not tasting anything, just having a little variety was heavenly.

As always, I am very hopeful about Paul's recovery and encouraged by the small changes that take place. I am also very thankful that we both have wonderful families to support us and such a great group of friends that continue to encourage us every step of the way. Thank you!


Friday, July 18, 2008

Update - Friday, July 18

Paul was moved last night to a private room. He is now in room 201, which is great as there is much more space and privacy. We'll now be able to play music for him without having to use the headphones, sit more comfortably with him and talk a little louder, and I plan to bring Buzz up to the hospital this weekend for another visit. And, of course, between therapy sessions this morning, I'll keep the TV tuned into TNT, so Paul can watch/hear/hopefully sense the British Open. Even though Paul will be disappointed that Ernie Els probably won't make the cut, he should be interested that Greg Norman is leading the pack. Let's hope the tournament stays exciting throughout the weekend. Thank you, everyone again, for your interest and constant support.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

No More Tracheotomy!

Finally, Paul's tracheotomy was taken out yesterday. There is a now just gauze, which will stay for a few days until the hole closes up. The doctors also took him completely off oxygen so no more nasal canula (tubes in his nose). So now he looks even more like himself and has fewer tubes and things to grab at, and he's breathing completely on his own. Another small but positive step, and we are grateful for all of them.

Thanks again for all your positive thoughts, comments and prayers. You are all part of Team Jerde, and it's the best team in the world.

Love and blessings,
The Jerde and Hatfield families

Monday, July 14, 2008

Update - Monday, July 14

There's not a whole lot of new news to report. Paul is about the same at the Baylor Specialty Hospital, still breathing without the aid of his tracheotomy tube, and doing various therapies during the day. We've been giving him things to smell, like coffee, garlic and cinnamon, and sometimes he seems to respond to these favorite aromas. He's definitely never gone this long without caffeine. :-)

It's been 4 weeks now, and we really appreciate all your love and support (and your comments).

"Faith is the realization, on looking at what seems only strewn before us, that it has instead been set before us, and that it doesn't block our way, but IS our way." -Paul Greenberg

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Waking Up Process

Thank you so much for all your prayers and support. I feel like it is important to explain what we are going through with Paul now. We have said that Paul’s eyes are open much of the day, and he is more alert, but I think it is important to explain the reality of “waking up” from a coma-like state. I have had to learn more than I ever wanted to know about this. It is nothing like the movies where a person is “sleeping” and then suddenly “wakes up” and is just the way they were before the accident. I have learned that this is a long, slow process. There are various stages. Doctors even talk about levels of consciousness, as opposed to coma. People move through these levels at their own pace. While we do see progress, and Paul’s eyes are open from time to time, we don’t really know how aware he is. There is so much unknown at this point, it is hard to describe what is happening. One constant we hear from the doctors and nurses is that no matter his levels of consciousness, we should always speak positively around him. People who have recovered from similar injuries have said that they heard and understood what people were saying around them. Therefore, we would like to keep conversation about Paul’s condition upbeat and positive. I hope this helps you understand about Paul’s condition.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Update - Wednesday, July 9

Paul is getting settled in his new digs. He started his new regimen today, which included the therapists sitting him on the side of the bed twice, continued breathing treatments, and exercises. The staff seems to have made it their collective goal to prepare him to go to rehab, which makes me happy as it is our goal as well. As his testing and therapy sessions take place in the mornings and early afternoons, I'm asking that visitors come by between 3:00-9:00 pm. This will ensure that the focus can stay on his therapy during the day, and friends can spend quality time with Paul in the evenings. Thank you again for your continued support.

As always your comments are a great boost to us and to Paul.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Paul Moves to Baylor Specialty Hospital (room 206B)

Today, Paul was moved from Baylor Medical Center to Baylor Specialty Hospital at 3504 Swiss Avenue. It's just about 2 blocks north of where he was before (and a much better elevator situation!). Here he will be followed by a physiatrist, a physician who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Paul will receive daily care from respiratory, physical, occupational, and speech therapists. Our goal now is for Paul to continue to recover and get to a point where he can actively participate in rehab.

The doctors also capped Paul's tracheotomy tube so he is completely breathing on his own through his mouth and nose. Right now, he is sleeping and snoring away as if he were napping on the couch at home.

Visiting hours at Baylor Specialty are from 10am to 9pm and Paul is in room 206B. The first couple of days we request no visitors as he is being evaluated and will begin his new care plan. Thank you again for your support and we'll continue to keep you posted on his progress.

Love, Patty

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Update Sunday July 6

For those of you who've been to see Paul recently, you know that at times he has one or both of his eyes open to some extent. This has been happening for a few days, and while it's very encouraging to see, the doctors have let us know he is still not "awake", which we are all still hoping and praying for. It's hard to know exactly what Paul is able to see or recognize, but it has been comforting for all of us to see him make these small signs of progress.

As of today, he is still breathing partially through his tracheotomy tube, but they have removed the oxygen support, which is another positive sign. It's possible that if he continues to do well with his breathing, they will remove the trach tube completely in the next couple of days.

Today Buzz got to visit his dad for the first time. He stayed for a while, and the visit went really well. Of course Buzz is curious about every contraption in Paul's room, put a number of things in Paul's hand so he could feel stuff, and was also interested in finding goodies to eat. It was a great visit.

It's been a quiet holiday weekend and Paul is resting comfortably now. Paul's brother Jim has been in town for the weekend and giving Patty a break by taking some of the night shifts.

Thanks again to all of you for your comments and your love and support.

Love and blessings,
The Jerde and Hatfield families

Friday, July 4, 2008

Update Friday, July 4

Paul continues to progress with his recovery. He has more wakeful moments when he seems much more aware of his surroundings and his movements are increasing. Yesterday, he began putting his hand on his face, feeling his mouth and nose, and rubbing his eyes and the back of his neck. (Many of the same mannerisms we've all seen after a particularly challenging meeting with a client or bad shot on the golf course.) He also has progressed from wiggling his toes to now moving his legs and even lifting them up and often crossing them. Please continue positive thoughts and prayers for Paul throughout the weekend. His room overlooks Fair Park so I'll be watching the fireworks display here and can't wait until next year when Paul, Buzz, and I can watch them together. Have a good weekend and stay safe!


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Update Wednesday, July 2

Paul is resting comfortably and still about the same. There are periods of time where he is more active and others where it seems as if he is sleeping/resting. We really appreciate your visits to the hospital, please be aware there may be some doctor or therapist visits that may require visitors to wait outside in the lobby. As Paul progresses there is increased focus on his rehab and exercises, which are a critical part of his recovery process. Thank you all so much for all your love and support. We couldn't do this without you.

The Jerde and Hatfield families

And here is a photo of brother-in-law Bobby and nephew Robert Paul Hatfield, born June 30, 2008, Paul's 44th birthday.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Paul's Picnic Pix!

Click here to see all the photos. Hope you enjoy them!

Update June 30 - Paul's new nephew!

Paul spent his 44th birthday in his new private room with visits from family and friends. He continues to grow stronger and make progress moving his hands and feet. Paul also became an uncle (again) today when Patty's brother, Bobby, and his wife, Karen, had a baby. Robert Paul Hatfield was born this morning at Medical City in Dallas. Please continue to pray for Paul to wake up soon so that he cane meet his new nephew, namesake, and birthday mate. Thank you again for all of your support and well wishes!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Paul!!

Paul turns 44 today. Send him a birthday wish, sing him a song, or give him a birthday spanking (in your imagination, of course).

Paul, we are all sending our love and hoping this will be the year of miracles for you. Rest and keep getting stronger this birthday!

(reminder, if you have any photos of the picnic that you'd like to share, please email them to

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Paul moved to private room

Fyi, Paul has been moved to room 1103 on the 11th floor in the same building he's been in.

In other news, Paul turns 44 tomorrow!! Please send him some happy birthday wishes.

Thanks and blessings to all of you.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Update Saturday June 28

First of all, the picnic was a huge success and we'll be posting more on that and many more pictures once we collect them all. Thanks to ALL of you for sending your love and for the very creative posters! The bridge looked incredible after they were all up. :-) So check back for more details. Thanks to Samantha and Holly for organizing this wonderful event.

Today Paul is in a holding room (still in ICU but in a different area) waiting for a private room on another floor in the hospital. This is because he's been breathing on his own for over 48 hours, which is great. We'll keep you posted on his location. He continues to be stable, and moving his hands and feet at times. Keep sending your love and prayers for him to regain consciousness soon. Your love is helping us all.

Today on the channel 5 news they did a short story on bicycle safety at White Rock Lake, and as part of the story they talked about Paul. They showed a great photo of him, talked about the picnic, and Paul's sister-in-law, Katie, was interviewed and did a great job of sharing the story and expressing that increased bicycle safety might prevent other families from having to go through this.

Again, we can't thank you all enough for all you're doing to support Paul and our families. Blessings to all of you.

The Jerde and Hatfield families