Showing posts from March, 2011

Disapointing Day - March 31, 2011

Last night, just before going to bed, I was on the phone with Jason's doctor. One of the other doctors had been to see Jason and told him that he was going to be loosing what was left of his left leg. She told me that, that was not the plan and assuaged my concerns, so I went back over to see Jason, even though it was getting late. He was awake and thought I would probably be coming back. I let him know about the conversation with his doctor. I also let him know that she said she had planned to stop by early to see him, as I had asked her to. We all went to bed, a little more relaxed, it was almost midnight.

At about 6:30am I was awakened by a call from his nurse, who said, "Jason wants you to come over to see him. The doctor is talking about the removal of his leg." I was up and dressed, and over there in about 15 minutes. Dr. Malone, his doctor, was talking to him and explaining what was going to be happening and that there was no plan to remove his left leg. If there w…

March 30, 2011

Today was a good day with Jason, and for Jason. He is much more comfortable now, though he is still not allowed to eat, other than through a tube in his nose. His spirits are high, and all his vitals are in line where they should be. He will be going in for surgery tomorrow morning, to remove what is hoped will be the last of the "clean up" surgeries, and all the remaining tissue will be what he has to work with, going forward. The doctor came in today and had a very good chat with all of us, in that they are going to begin the closing up of some of the wounds, and especially the work that is going to be going on in getting what is left of his left leg all healed up. She talked of bio-synthetic materials, skin grafts, and most importantly, where they will be able to bring natural skin to natural skin for the best healing. The more they can do this the better for Jason.

Earlier today we had somewhat of a treat, in that the commander of the 38th Marine Battalion's wife, an…

A good day at Bethesda 03/29/2011

Today was a good day for Jason. The problems he was having yesterday are all past him now, and they moved him up from the 3rd floor back to the 5th floor, and he was pretty happy about it. His mood is good and he was able to relax a bit more, for the first time, and catch up a bit on his sleep. He still isn't able to read, though he enjoyed the gamers magazine that his brother Sean gave him. He can scan through the pictures to figure out at least part of what is going on. His vision is a bit blurred still, and I think it is a result of the medication he is being given. He can see well enough, though, to watch Robin Hood (Russell Crowe) as he had not seen that movie yet. Other than that, it was pretty much just a day of relaxing and working with the doctors.

He has another surgery tomorrow, early in the morning, where they will give him another general anesthetic, clean out some the wounds and make some assessments of what to do next. I don't want to sound so routine, as these …

Resonses to some of the comments

You're welcome,
Thank you all
Okay, seriously - some of the comments have asked if they can send things. The answer is yes - with the caveat being, that they hospital room is only so big so please don't send BIG items. Cards, letters, even magazines (fishing, outdoor, camping, hiking...). Do not send food as right now he has a very controlled diet, if/when he can receive food I will post that. Also, for those that want to send flowers - feel free to do so, but please keep in mind, he is still a Marine!

Jason is back on the 5th floor, so that should tell you he is doing better, I am currently sitting in the waiting room, to go visit, while they set him up again, so I'll be putting out a better/more complete post a bit later. Take care and thank you all, for all the prayers and positive thoughts.

March 28, 2011 - Just another Monday

Today was a good day for Jason, in that he felt much better going into the late night, from last nights problems. and he did well with surgery. Then after surgery, though he was uncomfortable, it wasn't anywhere near the discomfort he had felt, so overall he said he felt pretty good. He looked a whole lot better too. The only challenge is that he is back on the 3rd floor, as they work to clear the blockage, and that should be done by tomorrow. He will be able to head back up to the 5th floor and once again work towards that next level of healing.

I was able to get over to the post office today, while Jason was still in surgery and picked up some mail, and a poster (haven't opened it yet, so don't know what it is), I think. We took them, all were for Jason, to Jason's room and there they sit, waiting for his return. He can't have things in his 3rd floor room right now, that aren't a part of his medical treatment. Well, that's not quite true - I was able to br…

March 27, 2011

Today both Sean and George, Jason's brothers, had to head back home. We understand that Jason will be receiving his Purple Heart, in a ceremony they do right there in his hospital room, next month. If it is possible, one or all of them will be back to see it. David and Miriam also said they want to be here for the presentation, so I've asked the Marines to provide me with a date to allow them to plan. It has been a blessing to have all his brothers here, as we really think it helped to bring his spirits up, and to help bring Mom and Dad's spirits up too.

Jason was feeling a little uncomfortable today, due to some minor issues with his stomach. I guess I was a little over reactive (over protective dad?) as I kind of jumped on a couple of the nurses and a doctor, as I didn't feel they were moving fast enough to help him with his discomfort. His discomfort went on for several hours, and Jason said he didn't have "pain" - just discomfort. But things are much b…

March 26, 2011

Today was a good day for Jason, and the rest of the family. We actually took the first part of the day to go over to Arlington National Cemetery and look around some. Sean had never been to Washington, D.C. so we figured since he is leaving tomorrow he should get a chance to see something of the historical places here. Prior to going we went over and spent some time with the girls so that Bridgette and her mom, Yvone, could go and see Jason. We then took off to Arlington. We got back about 4:15PM and then picked up the girls and went to go over to see Jason. We stayed with him until about 8:30PM. and then came back to Bridgette's room to wait until she and her mom returned.

While visiting with Jason we got to talk with him in shifts, and he was in a very positive frame of mind. Linda and I were able to feed him his dinner, and again he really went for those vegetables (today he had green beans). Funny thing though, for whatever reason, the hospital staff decided he needed extra jel…

Friday - March 25, 2011

Today was an interesting day, in that Jason had to go in for another surgery, and they were not able to close up wounds, as they found some more infection from the fungus. They are going to have to do some other treatments, and overall the affects of the different infections (bacterial and fungal) are just about under control, but sometimes there will be finds that cause a slight change in the direction the doctors wanted to go. There wasn't much other tissue to remove so there were some very good out comes from the surgery today, it just wasn't what they had hoped.

Jason felt pretty good after the surgery, and was happy with visitors today, just as long as there were only a couple at a time. Linda and I were able to come in at the right time, in that we got to help him with his dinner meal. Mom was in heaven when she got to spoon food, up to his mouth and he asked for the vegetables most of the time. The doctor told us that she wanted him to eat as much he wanted to, and they …

March 24, 2011

Today was another tough day for Jason in that he was having some discomfort and the medical staff was needing to do some procedures with him. Just the procedures alone can be very uncomfortable, and to have all that other pain going can sometimes be almost over whelming. We spent some time with him, and did our best to make him comfortable, but it was one of those days where not much of anything is going to make it less bearable. Other than that I really don't have a great deal more of an update to provide, so I'm going to go with another tack today.

One of the ways that we, Jason's family, are being allowed to be with him, is through the efforts of the Marines, and also through donations that come through volunteer groups like Yellow Ribbon, Wounded Warriors, and Semper Fi Fund. They have stepped up to provide us with the ability to get all his brothers out here, at no cost to us, and provide them with housing and food, while they are here. So I guess what I'm asking h…

A step back - 03/23/2011

Jason went through surgery today, and physically the surgery was a success and they were able to get some closing of the wounds accomplished. They took the feeding tube out and allowed him to begin eating whatever he wants, and he has been drinking for a few days now (I brought in a case of pink lemonade today - just for him). All of this sounds good, and it is, but his mental attitude dropped a bit today, and you can really see it in him. David, his brother, and I were able to visit with him for a short while and then he asked to be left alone. David put together a sign that was stuck on his door that said only medical personnel were to come in to his room. A short while later Bridgette, his wife, came to visit and Jason asked her to leave. He is needing to get his thoughts together and come to grips with how his life is going to be, going forward.

Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers, and do your best to provide him strength, as right now is when he is needing it most. Thank …

Welcome to the 5th Floor!

Hurray! Jason was moved to the 5th floor today, as a sign that his healing is moving along better than originally anticipated. He was in good spirits today, and when I came into his room this afternoon, with a bottle of Minute Maid Pink Lemonade he said, "Hey, that looks good. Is that pink lemonade?" I said it was, and that was the end of my pink lemonade, and it was the best bottle I never drank! Heck, even when David showed up today, I asked him to go and buy another bottle to take to Jason. His new room is a bit more accommodating to things being put in his room, so we're going to be bringing in stuff to brighten up the place. That plus a few followers of this blog have indicated that they are sending some things for us to put in his room, and I am guessing it will make it a little more tolerable for Jason.

A sign that Jason has accepted what has happened to him was seen today, shortly after arriving in the new room. They were getting him set up on the bed and they had…

March 21, 2011 - Continued Progress

Jason was in surgery for several hours and came through in a positive manner. The doctor told me that they basically didn't see any bacterial infection and that the fungal damage was all but gone. They did have to remove a bone fragment from his pelvis, as that bone had died, but it was expected, so I don't consider it a set back, and neither did Jason. The doctor stated that as long as Wednesday's surgery looked as good as(or better than) today's then they will begin closing up some of his wounds, and by Friday we can probably begin to make plans for him to move up to the 5th floor, for the next phase of his recovery. He came out of surgery at about 1:00pm, and by 2:00pm we were in with him, talking about whatever he wanted to talk about, and then we noticed he was getting a little tired. At 2:20pm we left, to let him rest/sleep and thought we would be headed off to go do some other things, when at a little before 3:00pm I received a call from the Master Gunny Sargent…

March 20, 2011 - Spring Time has come

With Spring comes new life and it seems to be very appropriate with the advent of how Jason is doing. Today marked a number of miles stones for our Marine Hero. Jason can now speak fairly clearly and hold a conversation with people; Jason can now move both of his arms by crossing his chest and lifting them up (about 5 inches) without causing him much discomfort; he can move his fingers on his left hand and even touch his thumb to his pinky, and he even showed the doctor that he could "flip him off." That last part was actually a part of the exercise that the doctor wanted him to do. Now the big thing... he was able to plant his arms down on the bed and push off at the elbow and lift himself up slightly off the bed. That is huge in the recovery process. I'd rather he not do it too often, until after they close up the wounds, but it is nice to see that he has the strength to do it.

On top of all those achievements, they have allowed him to begin eating "solid" f…

March 19, 2011 - Saturday

Jason had a rough night last night, experiencing bad dreams and waking up in a sweat a few times. As a result he was very tired this morning and basically asked if he could be pretty much left alone, so that he could get some rest. The doctors and medical staff have ways of helping with these kinds of issues, as there have been several other guys, before Jason, to have to go through the same type thing. Mom was able to visit him early this morning for a short while, with our friend Chris Greenlaw, and then Bridgette came a little later (she was delayed because of getting the girls ready, and I stayed behind to help). Bridgette spent about 10 minutes with Jason and let him sleep, and we all came back to the hotel and took a nap. Later in the afternoon I went over to see how Jason was, since I hadn't seen him all day, and he was still pretty tired. He asked me if I had a lemonade, to which I said no, and then asked the nurse about when he was going to be able to start drinking water…

March 19, 2011 - early morning

Good morning all, we are just getting ready to go visit with Jason, and will be putting more of an update a bit later today. Right now though, I want to provide an address where you can send cards, pictures, "things" to be shared with Jason. DO NOT SEND FOOD OR FLOWERS!! If we can brighten up his room in anyway it will help in his recovery. Send them to:

George Ross
General Delivery
8901 Wisconsin Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20889-5600

Either Linda or I will be going to pick things up there, on a regular basis, and bringing them back to Jason. Thanks, and God Speed to you all.

March 18, 2011 - Day is done...

Jason had a good day today, with a successful 6-hour operation and initial close up of some of his wounds. The way the body works on wounds is that when the body feels that the wounds is ready to begin healing it will cause the wound to contract, and pull together. In Jason's case the wounds are so open that they can't close on their own, and need some help from the doctors. The doctors are allowing some of the areas to do some closing, as it will help in the long run, towards general overall healing, and then when they need to go back in - probably in a few days - they will be able to open them up easily enough, without causing additional damage. At least this is how I understand it, from what they tell me. The bacterial infection is pretty much at a minimum, the fungal infection is almost gone, and there was little tissue being removed today. All this was positive, and we're pretty happy about it. Funny, what makes one happy now.

After his surgery he was brought back up t…

Happy St. Patty's Day!

To day was a good day for Jason, as they removed the breathing tube from his mouth and throat, and his medications and pain meds were lowered. All this lead to him being able to begin talking to us, and have visitors, other than from family. On top of that, Bridgette came with the girls today (she went a short time ago to go pick them up), so he'll be able to see and speak with them as well. Of course tomorrow is Friday, and he is scheduled for another surgery (I'll talk more about that later) so we will need to go visit with him early in the morning, and then later tomorrow we will be able to visit with him again.

He was visited by a bunch of different doctors with all of them asking him the same basic questions of, "How are you feeling? Where do you have pain? Can you tell me where you are?" etc., etc. Then came the psychiatrist, who wanted to be sure of his mental abilities and neurological issues. He began with those same questions then asked, "Do you know wh…

What Happened - II

This entry is to provide a few more details to let those who want to know, what happened, and how did Jason receive these injuries in the first place. This information comes from the wife of the man who actually saved Jason's life, GSgt Rickabauh. We had the good fortune to meet her a few days back and she offered to provide the information.

They were out on patrol, and cleared a village in the northern part of the Hilmand district. They had finished clearing the village and left, only to learn the next day that the Taleban had come back in and set more I.E.D.'s so the patrol began clearing again. Jason was in full gear and leading the group, when they approached a masque. I was the last area needing to be be cleared again when he stepped on a hidden pressure plate. They don't use nice, well defined materials for their pressure plates, so not only was it hidden, it was not detectable with the metal detector. The explosion hit all the guys, with Jason obviously taking the b…

March 16, 2011

Jason had a very long surgery today, and it went well. The doctors were pleased with what they found and only had to remove a minimal amount of tissue. The wounds are all still open, and will remain that way until they find that the fungus and bacteria has all been taken care of. We were over to visit with Jason prior to the surgery and at that time he was actually pretty well awake, and only had a minimal amount of affect from the drugs. As a result he was able to communicate with us for almost a full 30 minutes and he was able to focus on us with clear eyes.

Once they took him into surgery we had other things to attend to. Laundry had to be done, and then we had our "official" orientation. As it was, I was the only one in the laundry area and was able to use multiple machines all at the same time and was finished in just over an hour and a half. Then we had to head back over to the hospital for our orientation, that lasted another two hours. So now we're getting hungry.…

March 15, 2011 11:20PM

It has been a very long day and another trip up and down on the roller coaster, with a final little up, here at the end. Linda and I visited with another family, whose Marine has injuries similar to Jason's. The family was both honest and realistic about how the treatment and progress would be, and it felt very positive. David was up with Jason already, and had been for over an hour when we came in. We really don't know what we would have done if David and Miriam hadn't come. Jason was a bit more alert, and this was both good and bad, though I guess the reason it was "bad" was an inevitability. The good was because we were able to communicate better with him, and the bad was that it seemed like Jason was beginning to recognize that he was seriously injured and that he wasn't physically the same. You could see in his eyes and facial expressions that he was distressed, and not just from the pain. He answered some of my questions with blinks of the eyes, and we …

Follow up for 03/14/11

Just wanted to provide a last update for Jason, as we just got back from the hospital and had our visit with him. He opened his eyes but didn't see us, or respond to our questions. He's had a pretty rough day, though it was a good day. We are hopeful for the removal of the breathing tube tomorrow, but that remains to be seen. The support staff that is working with him all seem to be professional and courteous, as we have gotten to know some of them. We've also been able to meet some of the other families and their Wounded Warriors, as they are called. Some of them actually know Jason, so once he comes around a bit he will be able to have guys he knows to talk to. More up dates coming tomorrow. Thank you all, for your support.

3/14/11 Update

Well today was another roller coaster of a day, and so far has seemed to have ended on a high. We have met so many doctors and nurses that it kind of makes my head swim, but they all seem to have a great deal of focus on Jason and his recovery, and the head doctor, Dr. Malone, has been great about keeping us up dated.

Jason had to go in for more "clean up" surgery and it took several hours to accomplish. Before he went in they provided us with some of the details of what they wanted to do, and basically what they expected to find (the down). We had to wait about six and a half hours, when they were completed to find out that what they found was much better than they had thought they would find and they only had to remove a smaller amount of tissue. Though we don't want ANY more removed the fact that only a smaller area was showing signs of infection showed that Jason's body was fighting back and doing a good job of it (the high).

Jason still can not speak, and is sti…

3/13/2011 Evening

I just returned from seeing Jason and his eyes are beginning to open, and he is starting to recognize different people. He is also starting to respond to questions by blinking his eyes, sense he still can not speak. They are happy with his progress and are feeling cautiously optimistic (there's that phrase again) for Jason and his recovery. My heart dropped, when I actually got to see some of his wounds but I did my best to not show reaction. Since it was just me, Jason and the medical staff I think I did pretty well. I still deal with the pain of seeing him like this, and Mom is doing her best to cope, and the Marines are providing us with support and counseling.

About the best thing that has happened so far has been that today, while I was talking to him, I asked him to squeeze my hand and he did. That showed a solid sign that he had control of his hands and there was probably no neurological damage in his arm and hand (this was his left hand). The right arm is still immobilized,…

Sunday Morning 03/13/2011

Its early Sunday morning and we will be headed over to see Jason shortly. Yesterday we had a discussion with the Doctor and she told us that they hoped that they did not have to go back in for additional surgeries with Jason today. We also found out that we MIGHT be able to see him with his eyes open for the first time, tomorrow. It would be so wonderful to be able to talk with him, rather than just to him. They tell us that he can kind of hear us, and that he knows we are there, but that when he wakes he won't have much, if any, memory of us being there. They give him a drug that helps him to forget much of what is going on, and most importantly, the pain.

His hands look remarkably well, considering they only had the protective gloves on. One arm has a possible break/fracture, though there is no cast on either arm, I guess we find that out today. They took him down for additional X-rays of his pelvis, as that is broken and they need to stabilize more with a metal frame. He will co…

Saturday Morning 03/12/11

Jason was in surgery early this morning to take care of his wounds again, and it won't be the last time. His surgery went for about four hours. The challenge he is facing (and the doctors) is that the soil in Afghanistan has bad stuff in it and when the blast went off, it forced some of that stuff up into his skin and muscle tissue. This can cause infection and other problems so they have to do extra treatments to combat the infections that are caused. Also one of the things they can do is to remove some of the tissue, and quite frankly Jason does not have a lot of tissue he can afford to loose. They are doing all they can to get all the infection out, but sometimes they can't find it all until it shows up.

We have been cautioned to be prepared to take 3 steps forward and then 1 step back until such time as he is ready to move on to a rehab center. The doctor said to be cautiously optimistic so that is how I am telling you all to be. We did get to go in and be with him again to…

Update 03/11/11 - 8:40PM

Just left the hospital and spent some time with Jason. He is still very heavily sedated so he did not respond to our talking to him. David and Miriam arrived just prior to us going in to see him, so he got a bunch of visitors all at once and it was a good thing. We are making arrangements for Sean and George to come out, though it looks like they won't be able to get here for another several days. By that time Jason will be already getting some rehab.

On his condition, it was difficult for us to see him, in all the hoses and wires, but we are so happy to know that he is doing positive and getting better. We will be getting with the doctors tomorrow to find out more details but for right now they are taking him in to surgery to clean his wounds and make sure everything is working. Stay tuned for more updates tomorrow, and thank you all for your prayers and good thoughts.
Jason should be arriving in the next 2 - 3 hours, so Linda and I are anxious and nervous, scared and excited, happy and sad all at the same time. David and Miriam should be here soon (and that will help) and the Marines will be picking them up at the airport, I hope in time to be here before Jason arrives. The out pouring of support has been wonderful and very much appreciated.

First Follow up

Just to let you all know, I will be posting more (photos and stuff) later. Right now we need to find all the right things to have out there for everyone to share.

Thank you,

What happened?

First, we would like to thank everyone for all the prayers and support for Jason, as he begins his recovery from the injuries sustained. He is a strong and positive young man and that, combined with strong support from his family and all those who love him, we truly believe he will be able to find his way, from the injuries.

Most of you want to know what happened. Jason was on patrol in Afghanistan, doing his job, when an I.E.D. (improvised explosive device) went off. I'm not going to provide any more details than that, until I am comfortable providing it. He sustained injuries to both his legs, where his left leg was amputated from below the knee and his right leg from above the knee. He also sustained internal injuries and I guess maybe, that was the scariest part for his mother and I.

He was taken to an in-country medical center where they stabilized him enough that they could medevac him to Germany so he could receive additional treatment. Once he was in Germany they took him in…

January 2017

January 2017
Jason gets a visit from Gen. Jon Monett

January 2017

January 2017
With Gary at the GSF Office