Strantor begs you...

Thread Starter

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
6,112
...to share this link (gf.me/u/vyvcyh) on social media. This is a fundraiser for my Brother In Law, best friend, and former employee Vince, who was in a horrific motorcycle accident and is now in a coma with no medical insurance and no funds to pay for treatment or rehabilitation. I know this isn't an appropriate platform for panhandling but I'm desperate, sorry.

I created this fundraiser to hopefully pay for some of Vince’s care and I would be very grateful if you could share it with others by whatever means available to you. I’m not asking you to donate (of course you're welcome to if you feel so compelled), I'm only asking that you spread it around. I’m finding that over half of the donations are coming from total strangers, as a result of the link being shared around. So one share (with no donation) could be worth hundreds of dollars, and if that link gets re-shared it could turn to thousands of dollars.

Much love,
Strantor.
 

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cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
7,826
There you go, my friend. I just donated a small amount. There isn't much I can do to spread your message around, since this is the only "social network" that I belong to. But other than the donation, I can tell you that your buddy is going to be in my family's thoughts and prayers. I sincerely hope he recovers soon, and that his wife (is she your sister?) finds all the strength she needs in this moment of hardship. God bless.
 

Thread Starter

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
6,112
There you go, my friend. I just donated a small amount. There isn't much I can do to spread your message around, since this is the only "social network" that I belong to. But other than the donation, I can tell you that your buddy is going to be in my family's thoughts and prayers. I sincerely hope he recovers soon, and that his wife (is she your sister?) finds all the strength she needs in this moment of hardship. God bless.
Your thoughts, prayers, and donation are very much appreciated sir! Not to extinguish optimism, but he is not likely to recover soon. Assuming he wakes up at all (which it looks like he might be starting to :)) and assuming he isn't paralyzed from the neck down (a possibility which can't be evaluated for likelihood yet), The typical process for this type of thing is a long and arduous road to recovery involving many surgeries, physical therapy, medications, and the common opportunity for addiction that comes along with those meds. Yes, his wife is my youngest sister.
 

cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
7,826
Just read that your BIL is showing signs of improvement... that's great news! I can see lots of hard work and therapies ahead of him, but I sincerely hope he completely pulls through.
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
6,959
I donated, because I ride. I wish him a speedy recovery. Riding has become more and more of a challenge lately. When a bike gets hit 99% of the time the person hitting the bike claims "I never saw the bike". Again, I hope all of this works out for your brother-in-law. Oh yeah, the form thing mentioned team or something. I just picked a name I guessed might be you.

Ron
 

Thread Starter

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
6,112
I donated, because I ride. I wish him a speedy recovery. Riding has become more and more of a challenge lately. When a bike gets hit 99% of the time the person hitting the bike claims "I never saw the bike". Again, I hope all of this works out for your brother-in-law. Oh yeah, the form thing mentioned team or something. I just picked a name I guessed might be you.

Ron
Thank you so much! I am finding that the motorcycle community is a very compassionate bunch. A lot of people who don't know him, but who ride (like yourself) have donated. It's more than a hobby. More like a brotherhood. I feel almost predatory in saying/doing this, but I'm counting on that fact. I'm organizing a little campaign to attend an upcoming bike rally and solicit donations, sell BBQ plates and T-shirts to raise money. These are things that I personally have always found irritating. Being approached and asked for money, always a turn-off. I never in my wildest dreams would have expected that I would be on the other side of the clipboard. But here I am, learning a lot about life and what good people (like you) do, and how to be a better person.

Thanks again!
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
6,959
You are more than welcome. Yes, the biker crowd is for a good part a large brotherhood or family of sorts. I am a member of my local HOG (Harley Owners Group) chapter. When an accident or illness happens be they a chapter member or not we normally have a fund raiser. The nice thing is local businesses often donate things for a Chinese Raffle and we also use 50/50 boards. If you have a local HOG chapter try and contact their current chapter officers and ask for some help. IN my chapter they need not be a chapter member and we also focus on out local community. If your brother in law was a member of any local clubs or organizations like VFW, K of C, just about any clubs make sure you contact them and get them involved. I know my VFW post we rent out a hall and help people with fund raisers. We have even had local retailers donate food for fund raising dinners.

Like you I seldom wanted to get involved with such things but I would donate if I liked the cause. I was happy to donate to your brother in law and pray my local chapter is never raising funds for me. :)

Best of Luck and Wishes
Ron
 

Thread Starter

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
6,112
Thank you for following up! I haven't posted any updates to the GoFundMe page in quite a while because I did not think anyone was watching for updates there anymore. Donations petered out; everyone who was ever going to donate, already has. And my sister created a Facebook group where his close friends and family get updates. So I mostly left the GoFundMe page alone. I forgot about you guys, who care but aren't part of the social media circles that are continually updated. Sorry about that. Here is the Facebook page where all the most recent updates are shared.

He had no insurance and apparently no hope of ever paying any money, so as soon as he could be taken off life support the hospital got rid of him, sent him to the first place they could find, which was a nursing home for old people. The nurses there were not trained in the care of people with traumatic brain injuries. He had special needs they refused to acknowledge or cater to. He was having episodes of storming (like a seizure but not a seizure) during which he needed to have medicine administered immediately to reduce the risk of secondary brain injury. The care staff at the nursing home would leave him in that state for hours, writhing in agony, with cranial pressure and temperature well past safe levels, insisting that medication was administered on a strict schedule and he had to wait until the nurse made her next rounds, just like all the other residents. My sister and mother could not abide that. They raised all kinds of hell and eventually a doctor from the hospital came to the nursing home and trained them and in some manner deputized them as ad hoc medical professionals to be able to administer his drugs themselves. Then some occupational and physical therapists came and trained them in some exercises to perform with him. After they were sufficiently trained, the doctor from the hospital gave his blessing for them to take him home. He was still effectively paralyzed and outwardly apparently "retarded" at this point; on an IV and feeding tube, intravenously medicated, the whole 9. Thanks to your GoFundMe donations my sister was able to buy a cheap hospital bed, wheelchair, and other items needed to see to his care at home.

Since then he has made incredible strides physically. He is up and walking around now with a walker. He no longer requires all those medications and is no longer experiencing storming. He is able to get out of bed and go to the bathroom himself. Recently (before the Coronapocalypse) my sister took him to walmart and he spent about 30 minutes on his feet (with a walker) walking all over the store. His left side is still quite impaired. His left hand will not do what he commands of it most of the time. He can hold objects but has no fine motor skills really. His left leg is stubborn. He walks like Igor.

Mentally he is improving more slowly, but improving nonetheless. I'm sure you've known someone at some point in your life with alzheimers/dementia. To watch them slowly lose their minds, forget who their children are, forget their name, not know where they are. This is like that, in reverse. All his memories from before the accident are apparently intact, but perhaps out of order and requiring some tricks to access. Hard to explain. His short term memory is very compromised. He requires frequent explanation of his situation. He doesn't always remember that he's been in an accident. He is conscious of his impairment but doesn't know why. He complains of feeling retarded and useless and my sister has to explain to him that he was in an accident and has a brain injury and that his brain is healing itself and it won't always be like this; that he is healing and one day will not feel this way.

He is on a waiting list to be able to go to a charity rehab center. Until then my sister is working with him, giving him one-on-one care which is in reality probably better than he will receive once he gets there. On his last doctor's appointment the doctor was equally amazed with his progress and with my sister's aptitude for this kind of work. He strongly encouraged her to consider a career as a therapist. He said that at this rate, he may not even need to to go to rehab once the funding finally comes through. He is still being fed through a tube though, and the doctors at the rehab facility are the ones who decide if he's able to remove that and eat real food and drink. There is concern about the control of his throat muscles. If his throat is as clumsy as his left side, he could pass food and fluid into his lungs instead of his stomach.

I don't know what lies ahead. I suspect a full recovery, but I can't estimate any kind of timeline. My research indicates probably several years, but every brain injury is different. Maybe sooner? Maybe never? This whole ordeal has been consistently devoid of helpful information from medical professionals and we laymen who see to his care are only internet-educated with a single case study.
 

cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
7,826
... my sister is working with him, giving him one-on-one care which is in reality probably better than he will receive once he gets there.
That's what love is all about... your BiL is one lucky, or should I say blessed, fella. Kudos to your sister for showing her beautiful, true character.

This whole ordeal has been consistently devoid of helpful information from medical professionals
That's because every single case is unique, and they themselves don't truly know exactly what lies ahead. But they won't tell you that because the trust between patient and doctor is extremely important for both sides.

I'm glad to hear that even though his situation (and your sister's) is hard, he's making improvements nevertheless.
 

Thread Starter

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
6,112
Thank you for
That's what love is all about... your BiL is one lucky, or should I say _blessed_, fella. Kudos to your sister for showing her beautiful, true character.
He is. And Kudos to you, for showing your character. It means more than you know, that you reached out and asked.
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
6,959
Thanks for the update and it was my pleasure to help. Every now and then I wondered how he was doing. This as we look to begin another season of riding. Really glad he is doing much better and sadly I have seen it all too many times. No insurance and you are out of the hospital as quick as they can discharge you. Give your sister quite a bit of credit, I have played the care giver game and it is tough, real tough.

Ron
 
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