I just wanted to let our Family and Friends know that Brian will be returning to rehab at the Spinal Cord Injury Unit at the Seattle VA on Monday January 26th. He is scheduled to be there for 3 weeks but if he continues to progress he will stay longer. His goal is to be able to walk when he returns home, which is possible with his hard work, determination and the prayers of many others. I'm sure he would love visits while he is there, especially since I wont see him for his first two weeks while at rehab. I will be taking a much needed vacation. He has a cell phone that you can reach him at 360-269-5003
I wanted to post some pictures of Brian from before his accident. I have been so busy blogging about the kids that I haven't taken the time to continue with accident recollections. The truth is that it is very hard to put your mind on a subject that has changed your life dramatically in an instant. So for now I will just focus on the positive. This is the last time I went riding. We went to Tahuya with some friends and his brother Aaron who was visiting for the first time from California. About a mile down the trail his brother crashed the quad and the tire came off the rim. It was alot of fun watching Brian use a rock like a cave man to bend the rim back in place. He was always so good at figuring out how to fix anything.
O.K. so this is sorta old news but I wanted to share it. About 3 weeks ago Brian had to prove to me that he could sit himself up in bed. I patiently watched as he moved his legs to the side and pulled himself up and sat on the edge of the bed. It was so awesome to see him make such a big leap towards recovery. His recovery has been slow but steady. He has been working hard to make himself stronger. and I am very proud of the progress he has made.
Brian went to Seattle VA hospital for more Therapy on Thursday and was able to see one of the friends that he made while he was staying at the VA. His friend Wes is a war hero that served in Iraq. They caused a little trouble together while they were both at VA. Brian was glad he was able to see his buddy before he went home to Eastern Washington.
I just wanted to thank everyone that contributed to the run on behalf of Brian. We have been blessed by the generosity of others and our burdens have been eased by those who are so willing to share of their time, talents and by contributing to our unexpected family and medical expense's. We will be forever grateful to all those that have sacrificed on our behalf these last seven months. We hope that Brian's recovery will be a testimony to the miracles that can happen with the faith and prayers of others. We again Thank you, Brian, Susie & Family
March 15th 2008. That day will always be etched in our memory as the day our lives were forever changed. The day before we went to Doughnuts for Dads at the school as a family and then we went to the middle school to withdraw Brianna from 8th grade so we could homeschool her.
March 15th was a typical Saturday around the Conrad house. The kids were watching movies while I started getting Brianna's lessons ready. Brian decided to go riding with his buddies Jason, Wes and Brian and his son Kyle. I was not real happy that the "boys" decided to go riding without me. I had only been riding once since I had Quinton and I let Brian know I wasn't happy I was getting ditched. We had dinner plans at 4pm that night at Red Lobster so I told him he had better be back in time to shower. (The guys are notorious for showing up late with some lame excuse).
I was getting the kids pizza out of the oven when Jason called. He sounded very serious when he said that "Brian was clipped by a train." I didn't really understand because they hadn't been gone very long. I thought it was a joke but If you know Jason he jokes around but not about serious stuff. So I kept telling him that he better be lying. He said I'm serious and I disagreed a couple of times before I heard the Ambulance. As soon as I heard the ambulance I knew he wasn't joking. He told me where they were and I got off the phone. Everything after that was in Fast forward- slow motion. I told the kids daddy crashed his dirt bike so we were leaving. Brianna got the baby ready, I grabbed the diaper bag and I called my friend Ashlie and told her I was dropping the kids off because Brian was hurt.
When I got to Ashlie's house I repeated what Jason had said. She said her husband Kyle was going with me. He offered to drive but since it was Brian's company vehicle I told him he couldn't and besides I was still pretty calm. We drove to Vader, which was only 15-20 minutes away, but man was that a slow ride. If it wasn't for all those curves in the road I would have been going 80. We got their to find Brian H. and his wife and 2 kids standing their along with Stacie, Jason and Wes. I was a little under dressed for the event. I hadn't brushed my hair or teeth yet. I was wearing my paint covered sweats, work shoes and of course I had no bra on. Since I usually have something funny to say especially in awkward moments,I told them If I would have known everyone was going to be waiting for me I would have dressed up. I thought I would get at least a chuckle but everyone just stared at me with a solemn faces.
Brian was pretty far back on the fire road so Wes offered to ride me back on his quad to where the medics were. As we road back the ambulance passed us and Brian H. was riding on the side since he is a volunteer medic. Wes and I continued riding back so he could show me where it happened and give me more details.
So after talking to Wes, Jason and listening to Brian retell the event of that day i have come up with a fairly accurate description of the event. They got on their dirt bikes and quads at Brian H's house, rode across and headed down the fire road that ran parallel with the train tracks. Brian H and his son Kyle went right across the train trestle without looking back. Jason had a really bad feeling about going on or near the tracks so Wes and Brian decided they would just wait with Jason until Brian H. and Kyle came back. After waiting about 5 minutes Brian decided he would go across and tell them to come back. They wanted to find a differentway to get to the other side of the creek. So off he went. He rode over, told Brian H. they needed to find a different way across for the other guys and then they rode back across to where Jason and Wes were.
Brian H. sent his son around a different way and then went back across the tracks first with Brian following him. According to Brian He started his bike back up and hopped on the tracks without looking. A few seconds later he heard the train looked back and was hit and thrown down the embankment about 30 feet. He landed with his head downhill and blood from his broken nose started to roll down into his eyes and make it hard to see. He couldn't feel his legs at all and he said him arm felt broken. He kept repeating his name over and over so that he wouldn't lose consciousness. He was awake and alert until he was on the ambulance and then he passed out.