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, March 30, 2008

Tickets to China - Dry Basement

Tickets to China
We booked the Air tickets for China this week. Doctors insist Joseph travel business class on the long flights to avoid blod clots/pressure sores/further amputations. Matt, his friend and aid, will be with him. Tim will fly economy class. It still is costing us over $16,000 for the 3 tickets. . . sigh! But, we do have them in hand and plans are moving forward.

News From Qingdao
Joseph received an interesting email from one of the Beike Biotech employees this week who found us on this blog and sent some photos. We've included a shot of the outside of the Hospital and a couple of interiors. The hospital is brand new, just opened, it is very impressive looking. It even has a kitchen we can use (as per Chinese custom, the Hospital doesn't provide food).

Jim and Rita Ely, Qingdao
We also received a couple of wonderful email messages from Jim Ely, dad's friend, who is teaching English in Qingdao. He serves as Patriarch in Tacoma Washington when he is in the U.S. You can sense that calling in his message:

"You may become tired of the Chinese food. We have a fully functioning Relief Society with an outstanding Relief Society President, Sister Effie Simpson. She will get us organized so that you will have some western meals along with the Chinese meals. . .
Joseph, you will have a major, eternal influence on the doctors, nurses, administrators and staff of this hospital. You will not be able to share with them your beliefs at the present time, but you will meet them again in some distant future--then you will sit with them and their families and have some wonderful experiences. They will have developed an appreciation, trust and love for you. Your time in China is a time of sowing. This wonderful nation has been held in reserve, for some reason, for more than five thousand years. That is about to come to an end. Regardless of the outcome of your treatments, you will find success, contentment, and a profound inner-peace. I don't know how to explain the great love that you will develop for these wonderful people. Even under the difficult circumstances which you may encounter, you will experience this sustaining influence."

We will be well taken care of in Qingdao. Elder Hallstrom (Asia Area Presidency) sent an email to the Beijing District President (English speaking District) this week asking him to take care of us as well. It is amazing to find so many great people who care.

Basement Woes
The flooded basement is now dry and ready for the rest of the furniture to be moved out to prepare for wall repairs and new flooring. Gloria found carpet etc. on Friday and Saturday. At the flooring store it was their grand re-opening sale, we even won Jazz tickets for Joseph and Dad for next week. . . and a massage for Mom. Yin and yang! Life moves on.

Conference and EBM Reunion
We are looking forward to our England Bristol Mission Reunion at our home on Friday evening and a wonderful 178th Annual General Conference Saturday and Sunday. It is an exciting time at the Church Office Building this week with all the General Authorities here for Conference meetings.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Disasters, Celebrations and Easter Together

What a week. The new vinyl lettering (photo on left) Elizabeth and Gloria put up in our kitchen is so appropriate.

Happy Easter
The good news? Spring officially arrived Wednesday. The Moon was full on Thursday so today is Easter (Always the first Sunday after the first full moon, after the first day of Spring. Since the earliest day Easter could possibly be is only one day earlier than it is this year (March 22nd) but that is pretty rare.
This year Easter is the earliest any of us will ever see in the rest of our lives, and only those 95 years or older have ever seen it this early (1913). None of us have ever or will ever see Easter a day earlier. The next time Easter will be this early (March 23) will be in the year 2228 (220 years from now). The next time it will be a day earlier (March 22) will be in the year 2285 (277 years from now). The last time it was on March 22 was in 1818. So, no one alive today has or will ever see it any earlier than this year.
Enjoy the Easter Message put together by the Church AV Department by clicking on this link:
Thanksgiving Point
Our family had a great Easter together. On Saturday we all went together to Thanksgiving Point. We missed the Easter Egg Hunt but visited the farm animals and the Dinosaur Museum. Ethan and Cheyenne loved it. It was also Joseph's first time. The children had a blast showing him everything. Sunday Dad did a triple header: speaking in Sacrament meeting, then teaching his Marriage and Family Relations class in Sunday School and finally teaching the Teachings for our Times lesson in priesthood for the combined HP and Elders. Afterwards at home we had a great inside Easter Egg hunt and family dinner.
Happy Birthday Cheyenne
Elizabeth and Denny's daughter Cheyenne celebrated her third birthday on Friday evening. What fun. Joseph's gifts were the hit (both for birthday and Easter). He's an awesome uncle.

Flooded Basement
This weeks adventure filled activity was the flooded basement on Tuesday. The sewer drain got plugged and water backed up through the basement drain into the house. We were blessed that Gloria noticed it early, and glad that Lisa (see last weeks blog) was still here to help (she left Wednesday). What a mess. The insurance company called the disaster clean up people who proceeded to tear out the carpets and lowest 12 inches of the walls and brought in fans to dry things out. Our garage is filled with belongings. We again were blessed that not much was destroyed. We will be under construction again for the next few weeks. (sigh).

Sled Hockey
Joseph and friends attended the 3rd Annual Great Salt Cup Sled Hockey Tournament on Saturday evening in Park City. Sponsored by the National Ability Center, this is a real action sport. The paraplegic and amputee particpants are gutsy athletes who really know how to mix it up (note the photos shot on Joseph's phone). He even won the drawing for a tee shirt with all the teams signatures (see photo on right).

Sunday, March 16, 2008

More on China -Spring is coming?

Spring officially begins on Thursday and Easter is this coming Sunday but the snow keeps falling in Taylorsville. The new shoots from the bulbs planted last fall are boldy rising forth so Spring really must coming. . . We're ready.

Visiting Canuck
The Taggart family is enjoying a visit from Lisa Aldredge from Alberta Canada this week. Lisa is a close friend of Joseph's from back when they were both going to school and the ward in Bristol England. It's a joy to have her around for a few days.

The planned stem cell treatments in China will occur a few days earlier than we originally planned. We will leave on May 1st and arrive in Qingdao on May 2nd. The hospital where the therapy is planned will be:

Qingdao Chengyang People's Hospital
Stem Cell Treatment Rehabilitation Center
8th +9th floor, VIP Ward, Changcheng road #600
Chengyang district, Qingdao, Shandong Province, China

The Hospital is just 2 miles from the International Airport and about 18 miles from the port area of Qingdao (Illustration on right). We are scrambling to get things in order so we can be ready. Gloria is glowingly looking forward to long naps and playing with the grandkids. . . she can't wait until May 1st.

We want to thank those who have donated toward Joseph's treatment. It is humbling and a bit overwhelming to know that others are committed to Joseph's success in life and in his desire for this therapy in China. Some have asked for info on the donation account. It is:
Joseph Taggart Donation Account
#009 465 691
Zions Bank
Taylorsville Office
5482 Redwood Rd Taylorsville UT 84118 801-524-2291

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Stem Cell Therapy Moved to Qingdao, China

Qingdao, Here We Come
Joseph recieved word this week that his stem cell therapy was being moved from Shenyang to the city of Qingdao in in eastern Shandong province, People's Republic of China. In the Google earth image on the right, you can see Qingdao's relationship to Beijing to the Northwest. The treatment dates may shift slightly as well, we may leave a few days earlier. More to come as we get more info. Tim and Gloria have a good friend Jim Ely living in Qingdao, teaching English at a university there.

The city is quite an interesting mix of European and Asian influence. The Germans occupied Qingdao at the end of the 19th Century and afterwards the Japanese controlled it. The city reverted to Chinese rule in 1922. It is the site of the Sailing events of the 2008 Olympics. Joseph and Tim are engaged in learning everything about Qingdao and practicing some Mandarin Chinese words and phrases, all that in the midst of trying to make the necessary financial arrangements. Beike Biotech sent us a photo of the nurses station in the hospital where the treatment occurs (right) it looks very modern.

Click on the panorama below, it's really great. It gives you a good view of the city from Laoshan, a famous Taoist mountain overlooking the city.

Joseph and Utah Government
Joseph received a nice note from the Exec. Dir. of the State Office of Rehabilitation expressing thanks for his testimony before the appropriations committee (click to read it). He also keeps things going at home whenever his niece and nephews visit (see last photo).

Sunday, March 02, 2008

March Already

Mothering Sunday
Today is Mothering Sunday in the U.K. (the British version of Mother's Day). There aren't enough Sunday's to honor our Moms. . . let's celebrate both! Gloria is still the greatest Mom of all time and proves it each day (She's an awesome grandmother too).

Dad in Atlanta
Last week kind of slipped by without a blog entry, opps. Tim left for a trip to Atlanta, Georgia on Monday and returned Wednesday. He and his co-oworkers were reviewing the Church's new satellite receiver from Wegener Communications. The new version of their receiver can handle multilanguage subtitles (, this will be critical as the Church works to meet the needs of members throughout the world. General Conference is in over 90 languages now and the number will grow. Tim has been pushing satellite subtitles so that in addition to meeting the needs of the hearing impaired, each audience can see the scripture text or other written text/graphics in their own language. This will now be possible as we develop the subtitling system using this new satellite receiver. The Atlanta Temple was beautiful as well.

Joseph and the Student Life
Joseph is recovering well from his operation, he is back in class with tests, papers and homework his daily tasks. He has set the curve for the tests in his classes this last week with A's all around. His recent papers include: "Combatting Terrorism" for his Law and Politics class (he discussed issues with civil liberties, Government evesdropping, wiretaps and the Patriot Act etc.) and "Proliferation of Free Trade Post 1980" for his Foundation of Politics in International Economic Relations class. He enjoys engaging the class in discussion and loves the thought provoking issues of the day.

China Here We Come
The Chinese visas for Joseph, Tim, and Matt Smith arrived this week. They each have a multiple entry visa good for one year. We are only two months and $50,000 away from Shenyang and Joseph's stem cell transplants.

New Utah Temple
On Saturday our family attended a Baptism of our cousin Cort & Estrella Schaefer's son Ethan. Gloria got to give a talk about the Gift of the Holy Ghost (It was great). Afterwards Joseph suggested we drive by the new Oquirrh Mountain Utah LDS (Mormon) Temple in the Daybreak development in South Jordan (The only city in the World with two temples). It is really moving along as you can see from the photo above. The artists rendition of the completed temple is on the left.

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