Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Man on the Move

The moment we've all been waiting for: Dan's almost outta here. He's transferring to Walter Reed Military Advancement Training Center on Tuesday! He's made all the progress at NNMC that he can, and now it's on to the next phase.

To summarize all the amazing steps he's taken over the past week:

His skin graft to the left thigh took 100% - no complications!

He's completely weaned off his IV pain medications. His pain is well-controlled at this point, which is a huge relief to everybody.

He's thoroughly enjoying all the pleasures that food has to offer. He went from not being able to eat at all to eating everything in sight. You name it, it's going in his mouth. We can hardly keep up with his requests for exotic things like papayas, mangoes, and avocadoes. I'm blaming his other family in Fiji for that one. (Your calendar is hanging in his room, by the way - it's beautiful).

They took x-rays of his pelvis last night and per report from the orthopedic surgeons, his pelvis is looking great. He's still wearing the external fixator and will need to for a while longer, but he's healing as well as can be expected given the severity of the fracture.

He absolutely LOVES physical therapy (who would've guessed?) and does it for several hours each day. He can transfer almost all by himself from his bed to a wheelchair now. I came to the hospital this morning and he was workin up a sweat on an upper-body cardio machine. Then he wheeled all over the hospital after that, up steep ramps, and down even steeper ones (freaking my mom out big-time with his velocity). We've been having lunch outside as a family for the past few days and sometimes I have to pinch myself because I can't believe we're actually doing this.

He's slowly starting to get his attention span back. He hasn't been able to watch TV or read books because, due to the effects of narcotics, he can't really focus on them for very long. But now he's starting to watch some TV, and is definitely getting his love of reading back. He's got an issue of the Economist (Ecommunist?) and an edition of War and Peace (complete with character summary) on his bedside table. I think he just wants them there to show off and impress people.

I know the Team guys will appreciate this one. For about 3 weeks now, Dan has refused to shave.

To Erin, Marty, Maryann, Lori, Niko, and EVERYBODY who participated/donated/supported/came to the Aquathlon in Dan's honor in La Jolla last weekend - thank you. We've heard nothing but the best. We are so lucky that Dan has friends like you guys. You've done a truly awesome thing.

To all our dear friends back home in Kansas, for putting together and participating in Dan's Ride for Freedom this weekend - thank you. The support from all our family and friends at home (and even people that we don't know) means the world. We are taken aback every day by people's kindness, and this is no exception.

Wish us luck as we are about to make this new transition to Walter Reed. While we're excited for this new phase and all the progress Dan's about to make, we are sad to leave NNMC. This has been our home and this staff has been our family since Sept. 11.

Stay tuned - I think Dan's about to do even more unbelievable things.


  1. Dan, Keep it up man, your courage to press on and showing others how to have strength in these times is amazing. I am taken back every time I read more of your accomplishments. Your doing awesome man. I can wait to see you running the 5k and showing off your clear legs :) I am praying for you and that God continues your use your life as an example to those who need it. I have buddies in the military checking out your blog and its giving them hope while they serve.

  2. Amazing Progress! Keep up the good work.

  3. Wow. I had no idea he would be ambulatory so quickly. He is an amazing guy.


  4. AMEN! We are so thrilled to read it! YEAAAAAAAA!!!!!

  5. I just read about Dan on my Facebook Navy Seal page. Dan, I'm thrilled to hear you are progressing so quickly. Please know how thankful I and all American's are for your sacrifices in the cause of Freedom. If I could give you my legs or take the pain you are feeling I would do so in a heartbeat! America would not be the great country she is were it not for people like you. You are a true Patriot, and I am proud and Honored to be a fellow citizen of yours! God Bless.

  6. Yay!!! This is amazing news and updates! You go, Dan!!!! Keep up the great work!

  7. My name is Jon Erskine and I am a classmate and friend of Dan's. I am in the DC area and would very much like to stop by and visit. Please let me know if there is time this weekend or any other and anything I can bring

  8. I forgot to include my contact info, or (760) 855-2117. All my best.

  9. Dan's probably seen it, but just in case. Outside magazine covered a new prostetic knee that's letting people snowboard again.

  10. Dan,
    You are an amazing human being! We love you and are astonished by your recovery so far. May you continue and progress the way you have so far. God bless!