The Taggart Family -- Life, Family and Friends

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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, June 25, 2006

Speaking, Linking and Sinking with 'Good Cheer' -- 6/25/06

[Updated with photos above -- Blogger was having problems with uploading photos.]

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Free at Last! Free at Last! . . . 6/18/06

We have a vehicle! Joseph has a functioning shower! Life is goooooood!

This has been a wonderful week. Elizabeth and the little tykes came down on Wednesday and she began unpacking Dad's books and Mom's dishes. She really got a lot accomplished and Joseph enjoyed the kids.

On Thursday the shower was finally adjusted for temperature control (it took the factory rep to discover they had given us mismatched parts), so Friday morning Joseph had a wonderful shower. Oh the joy of the simple pleasures of life.

Late Friday afternoon Elizabeth returned to Logan and took Dad to pick up the Van. The photo shows Kim Fridrickson and his wife in front of their business with the shiny new vehicle. It looks fabulous and Dad enjoyed driving it home (Even if the "new car break-in period" still mandates conservative driving). Joseph was so excited to see it. Mom, Dad and the whole gang climbed aboard for a maiden voyage to the store for groceries etc. It was so great for Joseph to get out of the house and into the world again. On Saturday we made more 'hunting and gathering' expeditions with him, finding some light fixtures he wanted to choose for his room and looking a cell phones that might work for him.

Work on the house continues and nears completion. A backing piece had to be added in the wall to attach the new sink in his room. Sid Smith came over to help patch up the hole. Terry McCLeery is pictured working on the siding in the back. Only the ramp in the back and the siding remain and the outside will be finished.
It was a Father's day full of gratitude; for a son with the heart of a champion; a beautiful daughter who loves to serve and shines in all she does; a wonderful wife who's perfect example of charity, compassion and service enriches all she meets; and a son-in-law and grandkids that are a treasure beyond measure. Add to that the brilliance of true friends who are willing to sacrifice everything for the Lord, according to covenant. . . but for a friend as well. To understand these things, is to know that life is good and greatness is all around us.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

"Orden e Progresso" 6/11/06

The Brazilian flag sports the phrase "Ordem e Progresso" (Order and Progress). That wouldn't be a bad theme for the week if only we had more order. (With the World Cup in Progress it just seemed appropriate).
On Friday we were filled with anticipation at picking up the van from Logan, but alas, final work remains and it looks like it will be Tuesday. As you can see from the photos it is looking SWEET. However, the cries from the bedroom sound a lot like "Let my people GO" :)
Joseph is ripping along on the voice recognition software. He is also making substantial progress physically. The latest is the "flicker" in his right bicep! (see biceps brachii). The progress is in small steps (and orderly) with a lot of consistant and constant effort on his part and on the part of those continually helping him.
We had the plumbers in on Friday afternoon and they installed the spiffy new toilet (believe us, it is amazing) and started to figure out how to anchor the new sink on the wall. They will be back tomorrow to try to tackle that one.

On Friday the great people from Hallmark Cabinets ( delivered the cabinets for the family room. One of the exec's, with his son, sacrificed their Saturday morning to install them. These cabinets will allow Joseph access to DVDs etc as well as provide accessable storage. They are incredible workmanship (much better than we deserve). Note the 9" raised area on the bottom so Joseph's feet in the wheelchair can fit underneath. We have been so blessed, and the blessings just keep coming.

We were unable to post two photos last entry and have included them here. The one of Joseph using his speech regcognition software at the first of this article and this one of the POD being hauled away.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Look Out World, He's Connected! 4/6/06

It's five months ago today that the black basalt sand and the blue crushing wave wrecked havoc on Joseph's neck. For him there is no looking back! This week has been one of agressively pushing forward. First and foremost HE IS CONNECTED AGAIN. Through his friends at SLCommunity College Bookstore he purshased Dragon Naturally Speaking 8 Life will never be the same again. Through this amazing voice recognition software, he can dictate acurately, faster than regular typing speed. He can dictate in word processors, but also in many other programs, and has learned a great deal already about controlling the computer and various programs all with his own voice.
If you have been wanting to email him in the past, it hasn't been possible for him to really read them on this own until last week or to respond at all. NOW HE'S FAIR GAME. His email address is He can't respond in Portuguese or Spanish yet (he'll figure that out eventually) but in English he is racing forward. We are so impressed with how quickly he is learning to do things on his own. He's always been independant, he's still showing what he's made of. Life may think it's closing doors on him, but he's kicking them back open and racing through! We'd be impressed even if we weren't his parents.
This week the crew from AV Engineering came by to install the amplifier, speakers, and DVD player etc. for Joseph's room. Jeff, John and the gang were speedy and professional and Joseph is blown away with his new system. Walter the painter came back for the last coat on the outside door and a bit of touch up; Steve, the electrician came back and intalled the heat lamps and vent in the bathroom; Ed Ayers worked on the door handles and locks again for a few hours; and the gang in Logan keeps working on the Van. We're told NEXT FRIDAY it will be ready. We are giddy in anticipation.
This week the extra room left the premises: the PODS storage unit, emptied of all it's contents returned to that company from whence it came. We are delighted to have a driveway back and may at some future time even use the garage for vehicular storage (Dad works on it each and every day).

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