Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tough Times for One of our Own

We got a really sad e-mail from one of our long-time readers and commenters yesterday. Our dear Vermonstermom has been through a lot in the last couple of years, including the loss of her father after a battle with Alzheimer's, and the fact that she can still form coherent sentences is amazing. Another tragedy has struck her family and she gave us permission to post her story below. I'm inserting part of the background from her husband's Caringbridge site. Click that little link-y right there for more info and to stay up to date on his progress.

First of all, thanks to all of you who have offered your prayers and thoughts and help to me, MJ and the girls.  It is the support and love of my friends, family and various communities that will get us through this I know.

The Story:  MJ took the girls to the West River in Dummerston VT to go swimming on Wednesday afternoon (8/22).  I was supposed to go but didn't (insert guilty feelings here).  Apparently MJ got into deep water with Abbi (our youngest daughter, 5) and must have found himself in distress somehow, maybe he swallowed some water, I have no idea really what happened.  It is my thought that he was trying to hold her above the water and found himself drowning.  Alice my 9 year old was trying frantically to get the attention of people on shore to help.  Miracle number one:  that there were other adults there to help as often you are alone at these swimming holes.  A woman came to Abbi's aid first and got her on to her shoulders, and was yelling for others to come and help MJ.  He was brought out of the water with no pulse, no heartbeat, not breathing, eyes open, and blue.  Second miracle:  someone there knew CPR (here's a plug for everyone to learn it).  He had never practiced it before, but it worked.  They brought him back and worked on him till the rescue and police arrived.  Someone had to run about 1/4 mile to get a cell signal to call 911.

MJ was taken to our local hospital, Brattleboro Memorial, where they immediately decided he needed more care than they were capable of providing neurologically.  So he was lifeflighted to UMass Worcester, about 2 hours drive from our house.  He is in ICU, on a respirator but he is currently (it's Friday afternoon now) initiating breathing on his own and the machine 'helps' him get a full breath.  Miracle 3:  they are not concerned about severe neurological damage at this time.  He is responding to requests to squeeze hands, wiggle toes, and can answer basic yes and no questions by non verbal means.  He can't speak due to the intibation tube down his throat.  He is pretty heavily sedated in order to tolerate that tube.

The main concern right now is his lung function.  His right lung has water/fluid in it and the xrays are "yucky" (didn't know that was a medical term, learn something new every day).  Medical team is waiting for the deterioration of the lung to stop, or to start getting better, before removing the intibation tube.  They don't want to have to take it out only to put it back in, running the risk of further infection.  He is bound to have pneumonia to some degree I expect.  He is on preventative antibiotics, is running a slight low-grade fever and that is being treated appropriately.

We are in a waiting game, which is not the one I want to play.  I want the "he sits up in bed and is ready to come home" game.  Not gonna get that.  This will happen in God's time, not mine.  I have had many voices speak supportive and encouraging words, have many friends, family and others praying and hoping for the best possible outcome for MJ.  I am optimistic that he will make a full recovery, this is my deepest prayer and wish.  I am beyond praying, I am begging God for this to happen.  I need my husband and my daughters need their father.

Her story really touched us. We are a crazy, drunk, dysfunctional, strange non traditional family here and if something happens to one of us, it feels like it happens to all of us. If you'd like to jump on the sparkly Twitarded bandwagon to help financially while her family's sole breadwinner is in the hospital, her PayPal address is You can use the same e-mail address to send thoughts, prayers and hopes for a quick recovery.


  1. So I had temporarily edited this post to add the Tribute page to donate - actually that money does not go to Vermonstermom it goes to Caring Bridge (which seems like a really awesome place but I still feel like an idiot because the money I just donated did not go to the right party. FAIL! So mad at myself right now for not noting that before I tried to help. Gah.

    I took that link out - sorry for any confusion and hope nobody just did the same thing I did. I should have checked with TK before I made a change to her post.

    If you want to make a donation, please send directly through PayPal.

    : (

  2. My thoughts go out to Vermonstermom and her family. Hang in there. Stay strong. Your husband needs you to do that.

    I recently read another article on UK Facebook about a woman whose husband was sadly taken away from her and their children during a freak incident. (I sincerely hope MJ makes a full recovery.) It made me stop and think how much we take for granted.

    I never want to take the beautiful thing that is my family for granted. I want to savour every moment - even the not so good times. It's stories like Vermonstermom's that remind me of this.

    Sending positive thoughts and hugs to the Twitarded sisterhood...

    CC x

  3. This makes me so sad! Why do things like this happen to good people? I've thrown away two loser husbands. Vermonstermom has a keeper, who winds up in the hospital giving her the fright of her life! Why?

    They say God doesn't give you more than you can bear. I'll pray for a thorough recovery - and that he comes back bigger, better, faster, stronger - to make up for the suffering she's had to endure.

  4. All my love and positive thoughts to Vermonstermom and her family. You're so right, TK, we're a big family here (although possibly getting smaller by the day it seems) and we all care. Much love xxx

  5. Your family is in my thoughts & prayers. Take care & chin up! Everything, I am sure will turn out well. Sending XOXOXOX's!

  6. Sending healing thoughts in your direction Vermonstermom. I hope someone is taking care of you too! ((hugs))

  7. Oh no. I'm so sorry, Vermonstermom! You and your family are in my prayers.

    By some strange coincidence, or perhaps not, I have been following the blog of some random family whose toddler son drowned in a five gallon bucket - was pulled out lifeless, and revived, just like your husband. He has made a 95% full recovery in a matter of weeks. Their blog is

    Don't lose hope, girl. All things - ALL THINGS - are possible with God. xoxo.

  8. Glad to help out. So sorry Vermonstermom!

    On another note, I am SHOCKED that you guys actually read your email.

  9. Vermonstermom - Please know that my thoughts are with you and your family at this time. Please keep us posted!!

  10. Vermonstermom - praying and wishing and crossing everything in the hopes of a speedy recovery. Lean on us.

  11. This hospital is 20 minutes from my house. If there's anything I can do for Vermonstermom or her family I would love to. We are here for a place to stay, home-cooked meals, or whatever else she may need!

  12. This is awful to hear. Saying lots of prayers for Vermonstermom and her family. *hugs*

  13. VERMONSTERMOM! I am pulling overtime generating positive thoughts for you. We will lift you up!

  14. Vermonstermom, please know you are loved here and supported to the fullest! I am sending all my positive energy your way, also a huge hug.


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