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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

This blog is a record of events in the life of Joseph Taggart and his family since his spinal cord injury while body surfing in Guatemala in January 2006.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Dedicated Dilligence, Dinner and Dollars -- 3/12/06

The last half of this week was an absolutely amazing buzz of activity by everyone who knows the Taggart Family (and some who didn't know them before now). The supplier needed to deliver the new laminate flooring for the home on Saturday morning so it can acclimatize by Monday. That meant the main floor of the house had to be emptied. Family, friends and neighbors all pitched in to help out. Most of the furniture was moved into a PODS storage unit in the driveway, the rest into the garage. Then the gang pitched in to rip out the carpet. In the midst of this, the new 3'6" wheelchair sized back door was installed and wallpaper was being removed at the same time. WOW! what an effort. By Friday night the main floor was naked. Saturday morning the Ward Young Men came and shoveled dirt around the foundation of Joseph's new room addition. They did a really great job. Saturday the flooring arrived and the baseboard was painted ready for Monday. While all the helpers changed clothes and began work on:

As so many of you have read on, the big dinner and auction to raise funds to help the family get things ready for Joseph's return home and rehabilitation happened Saturday evening. It was astounding! Joseph's Mom and Dad didn't have much to do with the evening's planning or execution, a Committee organized by Elizabeth, Joseph's sister, and a group of friends of the family, returned missionaries, and neighbors -- along with the help of dozens of others, did the whole thing. What an unbelieveable undertaking:
-Dinner for 400
-Hundreds of donated items
-An auction of those items that moved with speed and fun
-Original music performed by Cori Connors
-Coverage of the event by the News Media

The dinner was wonderful, with a huge serving of Dutch-oven chicken and cheese potatoes etc. with apple pie for dessert. Please check out the website for the businesses and others who helped out so much. Dr. Dale Hull spoke for a few minutes (see Update 1/25/06: about his experience and the road ahead for Joseph.
Joseph's cousin Troy Pugmire from Logan put a video together that was played just before the auction. It was very moving. (We'll put a link to it here in the next few days).
The auctioneer was terrific and entertaining--and so many things had been donated. When Joseph saw a video of the event today, he was blown away. There was expensive jewelery; sports equipment; beautiful and unique handcrafted items; autographed photos and other sports items from the Jazz, Grizzlies, Blaze, USU, Uof U, BYU, and SLCC; furniture items; original artwork; certificates for services of all sorts; wonderful gift baskets of every sort; and dozens of other things. The auction alone raised over $17,000.
KUTV, (local Channel 2) sent over a news crew and interviewed Elizabeth,Dad and Dr. Hull as well as getting good footage of the event. The news story (we'll see if we can link that as well, in the future) was on the 10 O'Clock News. It opened about 10:13, live from outside LDS Hospital and lasted about FIVE minutes. They did a great job and used bits of the DVD prepared on Joseph. At the end they mentioned there would be a link on their website. It is there today: as the first item. It links to this blog as well as the website and tells how to make a donation at Zions Bank. They may do a follow up tonight.

Joseph is doing Great! He is working hard and making progress. He does have a couple of different kinds of infection, but they are not slowing him down at the moment. The doctors are giving him antibiotics. He has a new spiffy power chair he is trying out, that seems to work better for him. (It is hard to fit his long body and long thighs and get the wheelchair controls out where he can see to use them-- as well as other issues). His wrist is responding to electrical stimulation treatment. On Saturday morning he was able to clearly lift the wrist, flexing the muscle in the lower arm that controls it . We were all very excited. It is another muscle he will work on whenever possible.
He is so overwhelmingly grateful for everything everyone is doing and has done. It is difficult to express how inspiring it is to see the love and friendship and committment shown by the service, donations and expressions of so many. He hopes he will have the chance to see each person and personally thank them over the course of the coming months.

1) An empty wall in the kitchen (years ago it held a gas log for the front room) has been opened up for cabinets that Joseph can access from his wheel chair. You can also see the opening cut for the new wide back door that will allow entry from the garage).
2) John Connors, McKay Bodily, Denny Bird, Eric Fugel work on fixing a problem in the subfloor in preparation for laminate flooring.
3) Vicki Smith, (Joseph's 2nd Mom) strips wallpaper while Denny (our son-in-law) rips up kitchen carpet with a shovel.
4) Welcome, ticket sales, and handing out auction numbers.
5-6) The BringJosephHome Dinner/Auction crowd
7) Dr. Dale B. Hull, former C-4/5 quadraplegic.
8) The Auctioneer, Kelly Berezay from Logan, with his "Vanna Whites": Jennifer Segmiller, Erin Nielsen, Kara Peterson (behind), and Marci Smith
9-10) A few of the dozens and dozens of auction items. There were additional dozens of items in a "silent auction".
11) Joseph enjoys a Sunday morning "lie in".


Blogger Stephanie (Record) Davis said...

Well I'm not surprised by the turn out for the dinner, everyone loves you and your entire family Joe! I'm shocked at how much money the auction brought in! Sounds like you are coming along thats good to hear! Take Care Love ya

Mar 13, 2006, 8:16:00 AM  
Blogger Gym Rat said...

What an amazing event! I'm so glad that so much was raise to help out! You have an amazing number of good friends! Hugs!

Mar 13, 2006, 4:59:00 PM  
Blogger Schalane said...

If you didn't know you were loved before you do now! You have such a wonderful family. They are just amazing. That's just what this world needs ;stong family units who stick like glue when the going gets tough. We are still praying for you and your family and wish you all the best.

Sure love ya,
Schalane & the Gang

Mar 13, 2006, 9:37:00 PM  
Blogger Coy said...

My Family and I are following your Progress from here in Mexico buddy. We are praying for you, and have full confidence in your strength and ability to press forward. Keep smilin, you are not alone...
We love ya.

Mar 14, 2006, 9:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Heather D. White said...

I am so thrilled that the auction was such a success! WOW!!! What a great example of what can happen when friends and family come together for an incredible cause. Such a blessing!!!

Mar 15, 2006, 4:51:00 PM  
Blogger Cindy Hailstone said...

Oh, how I wish we could be up in Taylorsville to help with everything; but with your efforts (your positive attitude), your family's and all of wonderful your friends it looks like all is going well.
Who ever is doing this blog is doing a fantastic job. It's wonderful for all of us who can only be with you in spirit to see your wonderful progress and all the tremendous work up there.
Just a Hailstone update: Adam just got married last week and they're doing well.
I now have a very fat "cankle". I'm recovering from a broken leg. Everyone else is doing well. Joseph, I hope you realize how much of an inspiration you are to everyone. Thank you for your example!
Love from all the Hailstone's

Mar 15, 2006, 5:42:00 PM  
Blogger tanya said...

Sorry that I wan't there last week at the dinner, I just forgot all about it, wht with everything else going on right now. My mum was in town, but we didn't have any time to go see you.

Looks like everything is going great with you. I will sure try to come and see you soon, when I don't know.

Love you

Tanya and gang

Mar 16, 2006, 8:11:00 AM  
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