Updates on Jim's deployment status. We hope you will share your thoughts and comments.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Continuing to Improve

Hello again. I appreciate your patience with the postings. I speak with Madelon sometimes up to 4 or 5 times a day - with constant updates . . . but getting them posted between returning e-mails, phone calls, visits and WORK, has proven to be a challenge!

So many good things to update you on. Hard to believe the progress Jim has made in one week. With a week under our belt, I recount the first call from Madelon on Tuesday morning. From where we stared to where we are now, I can say how truly fortunate we are to have Jim with us.

Yesterday was a good day. Jim sat in a chair for the first time. Additionally, he walked a few steps! They removed the remaining two chest tubes, which was a source of great discomfort. No word on the ENT doctor, regarding the hearing in his right ear. While I was on the phone with Madelon, I could hear the doctor talking, advising them that they will probably start "downsizing" the trach in the next few days. Jim is still unable to talk at this time but is using a dry erase board to communicate. News keeps changing about how long Jim will be in Bethesda. It sounds as if he will spend more recovery time there than I last posted. I will keep you informed. If you want to send cards, mail, flowers, etc. . . you can use the address listed in the previous post.

More details regarding the condition of his comrads from the humvee and the events from the day of the explosion, some from Jim and some from the other two survivors. Both Cordova and Turner are also in the Naval hospital. Mrs. Alunni had a chance to visit both men and their families. Tuner shared this story with Madelon:

When the humvee exploded, he and Jim were ejected in the same area. As he looked over and saw "the doc", his faced covered in blood, he dragged himself towards Jim. He thought Jim was dead or dying. He said he laid next to Jim because if he was going to die, he wanted to be with him in those last moments. Let me tell you what courage it took for him to crawl towards Jim. Tuner lost an eye, has extremely serious injuries to his arm and severe shrapnel wounds to his legs. Turner was overwhelmed with relief to know Jim was alive. What does it say about the courage, strength and friendship these men share? (Turner was riding in the front of the humvee with Grahm, the soldier that was killed)

The guys have not seen each other yet, all to unstable to move around at this point. I know they are anxious to meet again face to face. Jim had an unexpected visitor yesterday. In to his room hobbled Vic Lewis, another corpsman from Cleveland. Vic was injured a few weeks ago with a leg injury and has been recovering in Bethesda. Madelon said it was a special moment . . . she stepped out of the room allowing them to talk and catch up on their own. I know Jim found great comfort in seeing Vic. There is no way we can understand what these guys have been through and are going through, as they can with each other. I think being with each other is an important part of their recovery.

Madelon called me this morning. She had just arrived at the hospital but hadn't even gotten to the room yet. She told me she would call me later with more updates from today. I'll keep you posted.



At Wednesday, August 10, 2005 7:40:00 PM, Anonymous Aunt Celeste said...

God Bless You Jim, we are with you
Baby Face.
Thank you Cindy for helping Madelon keep us posted.
We love you.

At Wednesday, August 10, 2005 7:42:00 PM, Anonymous Michael Smith said...

Jim I hope you come home soon and safe.

At Wednesday, August 10, 2005 8:36:00 PM, Anonymous Maddy- The neice/godchild said...

dear jim, I love you . I hope you feel better. I will pray for you. Wen you are better can we play hungry hungry hippos? love Maddy

At Wednesday, August 10, 2005 8:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim - Glad you are home recovering in Bethesda now. Cynthia has done a fabulous job of reporting the latest updates on your recovery. We are thankful to her for that. The prayer warriors are still out in Marietta, GA for you and your buddies and the others still there. We thank you for your service to our country.
Linda and Joe in Georgia


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