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, February 22, 2009

Wanted in Two States

Wanted in Utah and Colorado
Joseph received his acceptance letter from the University of Colorado Law School this week. There will be replies from several others in the next month. Sometimes it's nice to be wanted. He will wait until he hears from most of them before committing.

Wanted: Walking and Scooting
This week Tim spent the whole week without the walking boot for his broken leg. He loves to be wearing matching footwear again. . . but he misses the excuse to zip around on his cool scooter (it went back to IHC this week).

Wanted: Christmas. . . and Christmas to be Over
We love Christmas. . . really. It's just that this year with the broken leg and other ailments we haven't been able to get Christmas over with. This week the Valentines Day Tree came down (at least that is what we have called it the last month). Now if we can just get the rest of the Christmas Cards and gifts out --we'll be satisfied.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Accepted! and Loved

Accepted at Law School
Joseph received his acceptence letter to the S.J.Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah this week. He hasn't officially accepted yet, he hasn't heard back from a number of other law schools. . . but we are all excited and relieved. The law school at the U is among the highest median GPAs of all law schools. You can read the U's Law School Profile by clicking on the link (photo on right: U Law School Library).

Joseph is still attending graduate level classes in Public Administration this semester and is hoping he will be accepted in the program as he works towards a concurrent Masters degree. He has been carefully planning and figuring out his schedule for the next few years. He really enjoys his classes and the other students in them. He also thoroughly loves his work at the disability law center and the Neuroworx foundation. He is also still working with the legislators on the hill (see photo above left: Joseph at the Capitol steps).

Accepted without the Bulky Black Boot
Church members in Taylorsville were able to find it in their hearts to accept Tim at stake conference today without his boot. He only has to wear it part time now, and he declared today his coming out event. It was a great stake conference, especially without the added baggage. The new x-rays taken earlier in the week showed everything healing nicely (not that we can tell from the new pictures).

It was a season of love and celebration with Elizabeth's birthday and Valentines Day both in the same week. Gloria's valentine for Tim was a handcrafted masterpiece that can never be thrown away, Tim's card sang Sonny and Cher's "I Got You Babe" to Gloria. For Elizabeth's birthday Denny gave her a cool pink mountain bike for the occasion, so now she can take the kids on bike rides. She was so delighted!

Since Tim's work has all switched over to Sprint cell phones the family started the move this week as well. Tim and Gloria drove though the snow as did the kids and all met in North Ogden at McDonalds with the new phones. The grown ups had almost as much fun playing with the phones as the kids did in the play area.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

"Imagine What a Little Time Can Do"

Imagine a Spinal Cord Injury
Joseph went with Tim up to see Glen Weight in University Hospital this evening. Tim served on the high council when Glen was the stake president, then Tim was called in 1987 when President Weight was released. He and his wife Hazel have served three missions to Finland since then. Glen was snowmobiling six weeks ago and crashed into a tree injuring his neck (C3-C4 level). He has been through surgery, intensive care, respiratory therapy, pnemonia etc. so similar to our family's experience. It is so hard to be patient and take the tiny steps required to progress with something so devastating. Joseph shared some good experiences and assured them things will only get better over time. We encouraged them to review the story contained in this blog. As you go through week by week progress is astoundingly slow, but over time . . . miracles.

Imagine Sharing Your Story with the World
Joseph's contacts at the Disability Law Center asked him to participate in a project called StoryCorps coming to Salt Lake in late March. Read about the concept here: It is a great idea to collect personal stories, archive them in the Library of Congress, and for some, share them on National Public Radio. Tim will interview Joseph.

Imagine, the Documents to Prove Graduation.
Joseph's graduation presents were the frames to hang his diplomas in his future law office. For now he's settling for hanging them in his bedroom.

Imagine a Bird Making a Difference in Kid's Lives
Elizabeth's husband Denny Bird is a natural teacher as well as a wonderful police officer in Logan. Detective Bird has as part of his assignment doing community policing in schools in Logan. There was a great article in the Logan Herald Journal last week about his work: We're proud of his good work as an officer and detective. . . but even more because he's a great Dad.

Imagine Working on the Basement
Elizabeth and Denny have been fixing up their basement in Cache Valley. It has been unfinished. They have accomplished a lot. Tim has felt bad not being able to help much (with the broken leg). But we are all proud of what they have done so far. The kids are going to love it!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

May I Have Your Autograph Please

Joseph: Media Star
Joseph was in the news a couple of more times this last week. This time on KSL TV5. The first story, like the one last week was on the state budget cuts and the disability community. He got his boss at the Disability Law Center to come down and be a part of the interview as well. Here is storys video link: Cuts to state program could mean loss of independence ... and the video (sorry about the short ads on the front)

The other story was about the O'bama approval for stem cell research: FDA clears way for stem-cell therapy testing on humans and the video included an interview with Joseph at Neuroworx.

Video Courtesy of

Joseph has written a couple of op-ed pieces for the local news as well, which will be published this coming week. More on that next time.

The Papers to Prove It
This week Joseph received his two diplomas in the mail, one a BA in Political Science, the other a BA in International Studies.

NeuroWorx Board
Joseph has been asked to serve on a fundraising board at Neuroworx. This is a real honor and an opportunity to "pay-it-forward" as they raise funds to build a wonderful new facility to serve those like Joseph who need physical therapy etc. Click here for a link to an introductory Neuroworx video (also with an interview of Joseph).

The Rest of the Family
The rest of the family is doing great as well. Tim declared today the "Official end of using crutches" day. and will be hobbling around on his boot now. (He still plans on scooting between meetings for efficiency however). We have been surviving with the help of Elizabeth and Joseph's friend Matt Smith lately, for which we are grateful. . . and the grandkids continue to delight.

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