Thursday, December 6, 2012

Donna's Story

Hello! We asked Donna to write about what happened with Justin. They have been through so much together and have grown closer as a family. Here is the story from Donna:

On Saturday October 6, 2007 our lives changed forever. Before this time we carried on a very normal life. Justin worked as a security guard at Primary Children’s Medical Center. I was working part time and we were both working together raising Lilly, who had just turned two that summer. We loved going on family outings, exploring new places and watching old western movies together.

That morning Justin said that he was feeling weird, his arm hurt and was tingling. I felt his head and sure enough he was sweating. I told him I thought he was having a heart attack and that I was going to call his mom to see if she could get Lilly. He didn't want me to call 911, he thought is was nothing. I called Linda, his mom, and told her that I thought he was having a heart attack and she headed out. I went back in to check on him and his left side was drooping. I told him he was having a stroke and that we needed to call 911. He again refused and asked me to get him up and to the car. He couldn't- his entire left side was not working.  I called the bishop and he said to call 911 and so I did. The bishop came over and then Linda came around the same time. Justin kept saying that he just wanted to go in the car.  The paramedics came and got him in the ambulance and got him to LDS hospital.

Linda and I stayed in the waiting area to hear anything. I remember that LDS General Conference was on and then the nurse or doctor came out and said that they had to perform a tracheotomy- or a tube down so he could breath and that he had a stroke and was being moved to the ICU.  We went up and had to wait in the waiting room for the floor to finish getting him situated. I remember going into his room for the first time and seeing all the tubes and devices around him and coming off him. I was wondering if he was going to survive and what was going to happen to our family. The doctors came in at some point and talked to us about what had happened and said he had what is called a hemorrhagic thematic stroke. He had a blood vessel burst next to his thalamus and he had blood that filled up a good portion of it. The bleeding looked like it had stopped and they where looking at how to drain the blood. The Doctor couldn't operate; it was too close to the motor skills part of Justin’s brain- he was worried that he would hit it and make Justin paralyzed. The also didn't know how much his brain was impacted. They didn't know how his memory would be.

The doctor told us that he thought stints put on either side of Justin's brain could siphon the blood out of his brain. So, that is what they did. The stints worked off and on, but ultimately they worked.

I remember going in and sitting with Justin and reading and holding his hand. I would talk to him. I didn't know if he was going to have his memory, if he would remember me or not. I had so many thoughts and possibilities going though my head. He was under sedation so he wouldn't pull out his tubes. I didn't know if he even knew I was there or not. He would tap me with his thumb when I was holding his hand. Latter he told me that he was telling me that he loved me.

After about two weeks, he was able to get the tube out of his throat and began breathing with a oxygen mask. He was getting better and moved him to the respiratory intensive care unit. He was there for a few days and then the new hospital opened, Intermountain Medical Center, and they transferred him there. It was a big day and a little scary for me. Justin did fine though and was moved up to the rehab floor when I got to see him in IMC. He seemed to be doing fine, but I think he was only on rehab for a few days and they moved him back to the Neuro ICU where he seemed to be failing. The doctors and I still didn't know if he was going to make it through all this or not. We had many family and friends praying for us during this difficult time.
Finally, he was well enough to go back up to the rehab floor in the hospital and start to relearn how to swallow, talk and eat. Because of his injury, Justin is paralyzed on the left side of his body. He would go with the therapist and start to learn how to roll from side to side, how to help himself sit up. It was like watching a baby learn all those things again. Soon he got strong enough to transfer to a wheelchair.

  We celebrated Christmas in the hospital in rehab with our families. It was great...Lilly loved it. 
 Many long days and hard nights were spent in the hospital by Justin’s side. It was difficult to know what the outcome of his injury would be and how this would change our lives. Much about our future was unknown. We had no other choice but to go forward with faith, trusting God that all would work out.

Soon, we started talking about what was needed so Justin could finally come home. We had to change the way our house was, open doorways, add more room to the bathroom and get rid of the carpet.

There where so many people that donated to us at Christmas time, and friends and family that helped.  We were able to do the changes that were needed for Justin to come home. He did have to go to a rehab center for a few months while we got the house done. Dan helped us sell Justin's truck so we could afford a van for Justin to come home in.  We actually got the van in time for Justin's birthday in March and were able to take him out for the first time to dinner with friends and family. It was great. He was so excited to finally get to go out.  

Justin did have some set backs while in the rehab center, and didn't get as much rehab as I was hoping.  In June when the house was almost ready we had Justin go back up to IMC hospital rehab center to finish his rehab and prepare him and us to have him come home. We had to practice with him at home and make sure everything was good for him.   He was able to get fitted in a new electric wheelchair that would be his legs. He was a wiz with it. The therapy team would take him shopping and he even had to make dinner at the rehab area to teach him and I how to adapt to cooking and what tools he might need. I must say Justin has come a long way. He was able to come home for the first time in 8 months. He came home on Fathers day 2008. 

He doesn't remember much himself. His first memory of the hospital is when we had Christmas.

We are both so grateful for the staff and friends and family that helped us out at that trying time and for all the love.

Again our family has needed help and so many have and continue to reach out and help us. We both are so grateful for the love that has been given to us. We have truly been blessed.
Daily we see God’s hand in our lives and he is helping us and blessing us over and over again. It might just be little things, but it is the little things that make up the big things.

Thank you all, and God bless you!
 Justin, Donna, and Lilly Hargreaves

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010

Hello Friends!
       We are excited for our next "Motivation to Make a Donation"- which is the Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010, as pictured above. It is new in the box and is valued around $120.  For every $10 donation given through PayPal you will be entered into a drawing to win this software. We have two available, if the donations reach over $250 we will draw two winners. (If not one will be given at a later time.) You have from now until Thursday Dec.6th at noon to enter. Thank you for your generosity! Lets get Justin that van!


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Donate to win a $50 Gift Card to Carrabba's!

Hi All-
    We have a $50 gift card to Carrabba's Italian Grill up for grabs! (It can also be used at Bonefish Grill, Fleming's, Outback Steakhouse or Roy's) For every $5 donation made via Paypal- your name will be entered into a drawing to win the gift card. (For example, if you donate $30- you name will be entered 6 times.) This will be open until Monday December 3 at noon, when a winner will be chosen at random! Thanks so much for your donation! 


Monday, November 19, 2012

Motivation to Make a Donation

Hello Friends!
       We have several items left over from the Silent Auction. In an effort to keep the donations coming in- and reach our goal of getting Justin a van, the next person who donates a minimum of $30 through PayPal will receive 4 PLATINUM SUPERSAVER MOVIE TICKETS- which can be used at any Cinemark Movie Theater to view any movie. The tickets will be mailed to you as soon as possible.
        Please keep checking back here as we will be listing several other items in the future. Thank you for your generosity!

We have a winner for the tickets! The winner will be notified. Be sure to check back for new items. Thank you for your generosity!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Garage Sale Update

 Justin takes a short break and gets a drink.
 Matt, Alison and Linda- Sales people extraordinaire!
 Can you find Ellesse and Alison in the pile of clothes?
Dan- happy to be getting rid of the stuff from his yard.

Friends and family-
       The garage sale was a success! We were able to raise just over $3,000 towards Justin's van! It was a lot of work- and we appreciate all of the donations! A big THANK YOU to everyone who came out to support Justin and his family! We do still have some items left over from the silent auction that we will be listing for sale online- we will post a link here to any items we have for sale. Thank you so much for your love and support. It has been truly humbling to see the generosity and love from so many! And we are that much closer to getting Justin a new van!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Sale and Auction

Hello Friends!
        Just a little update on the Yard Sale- which will be held this Saturday, October 20th, beginning at 7am. The address is 1117 S 700 E, Salt Lake City UT. Located just East of Liberty Park. This is going to be a huge Multi-Family Yard sale with all proceeds going to help Justin and his family.

- Couches, end tables, other furniture items
- Clothing- all sizes- we literally have a mountain of clothes to sell
- Shoes- adult and children sizes
- Picture frames/ art work
- Home decorating items
- Office chairs
- TVs
- DVDs and VHS tapes
- Kitchen supplies, dishes

- Refurbished Dell Projector
- 2 FrightMares Passes to Lagoon
- Original Artwork from Brown Stone Gallery
- Picture frames from Brown Stone Gallery
- Park City ski lift tickets
- Windows Microsoft Program Package
- Toshiba Blu Ray and DVD player
- Utah Symphony Tickets
- Other great items

Also- we have a pumpkin supplier that will be selling pumpkins, a small bake sale and a lemonade stand run by Lilly- Justin's daughter who is 7 years old... will anyone be able to say no to this sweet little girl??? 

Please mark your calendars and come show your love and support for Justin and his family! Please spread the word! See you Saturday!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Van

 This is a picture of the current van that Justin and his family are using. As mentioned before it is in poor condition and not very reliable!
 Here is Justin pictured in the van, he is in a regular wheel chair here, not his power wheel chair- which is much taller. In his power wheel chair Justin must ride in a reclined position with his face just inches from the ceiling. This makes it difficult to communicate with Donna who is driving and impossible for Justin to see out. 
And finally- here is a picture of a van that we hope to be able to purchase for Justin through all of your kind donations! A big thank you to all those who have already donated! Please spread the word!