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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.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Friendships, Ceiling Drips, Collar Skipped, and Info Trip -- 4/8/06

"Friendship is like Brother Turley in his blacksmith shop welding iron to iron; it unites the human family with its happy influence. (Joseph Smith, HC 5:517.)

The hearts of the Taggart family are filled with the happy influence of true friends-- some true friends from youth, others recent, but nevertheless welded to our hearts. One of our great friends has arranged for the van to be repaired in Cache Valley as soon as it gets shipped, (soon, we're told). Others sold Joseph's Chevrolet Malibu this week for him (he won't be needing it). Still others are guiding the whole construction effort on the home. Our gratitude grows daily.

This week has been a wet one. The recent downpour poured down through the plywood and plastic over Joseph's new room in abundance, but not with permanent damage. We get the roof on today. YEAH!

Tyler Housley (friend, neighbor, home teacher, bishopric member) did the tile work on our upstairs bathroom, repairing where the window had to be changed.
Jeremy Veenendahl (one of our great EBM Missionaries) came to the rescue this week and did the plumbing work for Joseph's room. (Scott Coleman (EBM) did the plumbing rough-in and his wife Cami's (EBM) father provided the supplies. It's wonderful to have so many talented friends willing to help. The doors and windows are in and we're ready for the electricians, inspections, insulation and drywall intallations next week. With continued blessings we ought to have a room ready when Joseph is released from the hospital in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday the 5th was the three month aniversary of the accident in Guatemala. To celebrate, Joseph escaped the bondage of his cervical collar! He is overjoyed. This week they replaced his trach tube with one without a cuff (see illustration on Thursday March 16th Update), making it easier to breath and bringing him closer to the time they can take it out altogether. He sleeps each night without the respirator and spends all day with the trach button on, breathing completely on his own without additional oxygen. Late breaking news: We just spoke with Joseph who told us that he spent his first night buttoned! No additional oxygen or humidity support just on his own. This is a first and a major step forward! (Hummm, we could have added "goals outstripped" in the title--alas, too much aliteration creates nausea).

On Friday Joseph went on an excursion to UCAT, The Utah Center for Assistive Technology. Dad and Bryant Smith joined Casey and Kris from Rehab accompanying Joseph on the info trip. It was very interesting and educational. We learned about devices that can help Joseph use the computer and control enviromental devices such as lights, phone etc. He tried out voice recognition software that is quite effective. It was also inspirational to be guided and taught by Brian Carroll, the Rehabilitation Technology Specialist, an intelligent and very competant quadraplegic who uses two sip-and-puff controls to manage his wheel chair and other devices and his chin on a adapted mouse to very quickly and efficiently use his computer. Joseph was gratified to know there are experts ready and willing to help, who truly understand the issues he is facing.

1) Ceiling drips in Joseph's new bedroom from the recent downpour of snow and rain.
2) Tyler Housley works on our bathroom tile (note the new smaller window allowing room for the new roof on the addition) while Joseph's nephew Ethan helps (?).
3) Jeremy Veenendahl (EBM) works on the plumbing as the storm approaches from the West.
4) Casey and Joseph approach the State Rehabilitation Service Center building where UCAT is located.
5) Scott Baggaley, Education Program Specialist for UCAT, shows Joseph a computer mouse he could operate.
6) Joseph operates an infrared mouse that follows the reflective dot on his forehead. It worked superbly well.
7) Bryan Carroll, Rehabilitation Technology Specialist for UCAT setting Joseph up to use speech recognition software.


Blogger Stephanie (Record) Davis said...

WOW the technology they have come up with is so amazing! I am so happy for you and the progress that you are making! You are such an amazing strong perosn, and you have touched MANY MANY lives! (In countries I never knew existed)Congratulations! We all love you and are praying for you daily!
Stephanie (Record) Davis

Apr 9, 2006, 5:24:00 AM  
Blogger Gym Rat said...

I can't believe it's been three months already! Probably seems a lot longer to you guys. I'm so excited to hear of your progress and all you've been able to do.

Apr 9, 2006, 8:58:00 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Love the mohawk!

Apr 10, 2006, 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger Stephanie (Record) Davis said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Apr 15, 2006, 4:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Família Blands said...

Brazil // Bahia - Salvador.

Nós da família de Luiza Blands (Faculdade Visconde de Cayru) - estamos acompanhando a recuperação e torçendo pela VITÓRIA de Joseph.
Muita SAÚDE...

May 1, 2006, 8:15:00 AM  

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