Thursday, September 29, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
John had his 2nd visit to PT today... wow.
Jennifer has him practicing picking up things with his right arm.... phenomenal, I think... and he's using his fingers to pick up stuff and EAT BY HIMSELF - grapes, cut up carrots, etc. HUGE!!!
Lots of new exercises to get his fingers moving. There is still a lot of swelling - so we have some things to do for that, too. I am amazed at this whole process of getting John back to independence. John is such a ROCK STAR that everyone he meets (gals at the front desk of PT, assistants, etc) is blown away by his attitude - they are jumping through hoops to help him. Not that it surprises me (or anyone who knows John) - but it's inspiring!
Call him on his cell phone! Chris hooked him up with a new, very comfy bluetooth that he loves... and he is using the voice dial on his phone, too. Your calls MAKE HIS DAY. 650-759-1834
1st off - thanks for all of the calls, cards and well wishes. they do help.
i met my new hand surgeon on monday and was relieved that he immediately started treating me like this was no big deal; almost like he sees 3-4 guys in my condition every day. he said that it didn't look like he'd have to fix dr. galpins work - a compliment? - but i might need some work before the toe/thumb switch
Jen here now... John's fingers gave out :)
Yesterday I went to PT and tested range of motion (ROM) - lots of work to do in the hand, wrist and fingers... but this is her gig. Jennifer (the PT gal) also made me a CUSTOM thermoplastic removable splint/ cast. If you've ever had a mouth guard - same stuff. I've now got "homework" to do - to keep me moving. I go again today... and then it looks like 3x/ week until they say so :)
I'm going to have another specialist for my right arm - haven't set that appointment yet - will do so after the next meeting with my surgeon (Oct 3).
ready for his Coke - so gotta go!
Jen (attorney in fact for John Caughlin) - ha!
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
This is the official paypal donation link for John.
Monday, September 19, 2011
I cut and pasted this article from an online article in SWIM COACH DIRECT
C/o The Dorsey's
1210 Green Orchard Place
Encinitas, CA 92024
Every now and then we MUST look to a greater power for strength.
Today that power is John Caughlin.
On Saturday September 3rd John participated in the Annual Maui Channel Swim. Instead of being a part of the numerous relays he decided this year he would give it a go solo. He made all the usual sacrifices to get himself ready. And was he ready! Many of his friends and fellow swimmers were going with him - spiritually. Some of you who read this blog are already open water compatriots of John's - even though you perhaps have never met him. Some of you have swum the English Channel. Some of you have swum in the Sea of Cortez, or the Gulf of the Farallons.
Suffice it to say that all long distance open water swimmers share many bonds.
John was about 200 yards from shore and the finish when he made a defensive move to protect himself from a power boat, raising his arms to protect his head. As a result of the collision John suffered life changing injuries to both arms. His right arm was amputated above his elbow and he lost the thumb and forefinger on his left hand.
The lingering image from that tragedy is seen in his picture...what a smile of inspiration! Make certain that smile is indelibly etched in your memory forever. Next time you think you are having a tough day remember John's smile. That's all you need to keep moving forward. It is actually that simple.
John and his sister Jennifer (at his side in the picture) arrived in Southern California on Saturday the 17th of September. John is spending some time with his family at the address above.
His words..."I had my swim and then I had an accident. I will come back sooner than later and finish the swim." Awesome attitude doesn't really capture the power of John Caughlin.
Before email, text and twitter there was snail mail. It still works today. Maybe send John a note, card, flowers, something...let him know you are with him...we are certain you will make a difference in his life just as he has in yours.
Be grateful when you go in the water this week...
Don Swartz & Ken DeMont
Friday, September 16, 2011
I talked to John again on Thursday... He is in high spirits and is facing his challenges head on, one at a time. I think he is ready to leave Maui and go to San Diego. He said that he really hopes, once he is in San Diego, that he gets physical/occupational therapists that used to be drill sergeants and that they will work him extra hard. As long as I have know John, he has never backed away from a challenge once he accepts it. Here comes that gritty character trait again!
I also want to thank Lisa Piumetti Farland, the Executive Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving at Loyola Marymount University. Below are excerpts of emails from her for John.
John Kovacevich informed me of John Caughlin's terrible accident. Please let John and his family know I've spoken to Fr. Robin who has notified the Jesuit Community. John and his family are in the Jesuits daily prayers. I've also spoken to Fr. Erps in Campus Ministry. Fr. Erps is including John in our special intentions during the prayers of the faithful in our campus liturgies this week.
It's hard to imagine what you are all going through...John, his family, his friends. Thinking of all of you and praying John's days ahead are filled with hope and God's grace provides all that he and his family will need during this very difficult time.
Lisa Piumetti Farland
Just checking in to see how John is doing. Please let John and his family know that he continues to be in our special intentions at our campus liturgies. In particular, I wanted them to know he will be remembered at the Alumni Reunion Mass next Sunday, September 25, where we expect over 800 to attend the liturgy in Sacred Heart Chapel.
Thinking of John and praying for God’s healing grace.Lisa
Thanks to everyone for the prayers and thoughts!
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Here's a link to the companies website. Looks slicker in the current pictures:
Here's some stuff about transferring Motor and sensory nerves so that you can use the original nerves to control a prosthesis.
Just thought he might appreciate this stuff at some point. :)
Here is a link to Todd's info at the Rehab Institute. http://www.ric.org/aboutus/
Stuff from Tim's friend Chad whom I think is part of the group, "stumps".
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Boat ride out to Lanai:
John and Mike about 2 hours in:
John and Mike about 5 hours in:
Thanks Nell for taking the videos!
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
I just talked to John tonight and he is in good spirits. I think getting a little sun helped him out today. That is Joel, Billy, and Gabor hanging with John.
I don't know how many units of blood John has gotten since the accident but if you all want to help out, please visit your local blood bank and make a donation!
Also, if you know other people who you think should get this blog, please email me, or leave a comment and let me know.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
I talked to John yesterday.. he is doing pretty good. Yesterday, Matt left and is now back in Petaluma. Today, Billy and Joel (and maybe Gabor) arrive to hang out with John for a few days.
It would appear that John is, "working to hard" according to his doctor. So, after a stern talking to about letting his body rest because that is what it needs, the doctor said he wanted John to stay in the hospital a bit longer. It now looks like John will be traveling to San Diego on Saturday (1 week from today) instead of Tuesday or Wednesday as previously thought.
As most of you know, I am an outrigger canoe paddler. In Hawaii, about a year ago, a paddler who is well known in the paddling community, and who is a canoe builder, was participating in a race and he got hit by a boat and suffered injuries from the prop. He has heard about John and recently blogged a bit about the subject--including John. http://kamanucomposites.com/
Thursday, September 8, 2011
On September 3, 2011, John swam an event called the Maui Channel swim. He swam it solo (most folks swim it as part of a relay). It is roughly 10 miles going across the channel from Lanai to Maui in Hawaii. He completed the event with one of his swim buddies Mike. They did it in roughly 6 hours and 15 minutes in some very rough conditions. John likes to talk about the fact that they did not come in DFL (dead f'in last). I have yet to see the official results, but it would appear that John and Mike beat many of the relay teams! They really kicked some butt out there!
This had been a goal/dream of John's for over a year and for a year, he trained and trained. Not only did he put in a ton of time but he liked to make it even harder on himself by how he trained. Most open water athletes up in our neck of the woods (San Francisco Bay Area) don't even dare going into the water without a wetsuit. John on the other hand, decided that he wanted to be part of the tough folk gang that swim in an ocean that hovers around 50-55 degrees in just his speedo, a swimcap and some goggles. John truly has grit in his character.
So why call this blog lifeafter615? Well, an event occurred at the very end of the swim, that is going to call up every bit of grit John has. His life is forever changed by his swim (finished in 615) and what happened at the end. Two hundred or so yards from the finish line of this swim, in an area that was supposed to be free of boats, John got hit by a boat. John suffered great trauma to his right arm and left forearm/wrist, including loosing his left thumb and pointer finger from the prop on the boat. He had a super fast rescue performed on him and at the hospital he underwent surgery. The surgeon was unable to save John's right arm and it was amputated just above his right elbow. The surgeon put John's left arm back together as best he could and in the end, John would have a broken wrist, pins/plates/screws holding his left forearm, wrist and hand together, and lots of "wound" that would need to heal. John's left thumb and pointer finger are now part of the great ocean that he loves to swim in.
So, John now has a new challenge in life, one that began after 615.....