Bill Dahl  age 22 of Maple Plain was airlifted to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale on February 7, 2004  following a snowmobile accident which happened on Pelican Lake near Breezy Point. He has been transferred to Bethesda Rehabilitation Hospital in St Paul. Bill came out of a 2 month coma on April 7, 2004

Wednesday April 7, 2004
Bill is out of the coma

  Message From Bill’s Family 

    Jeff and Derrick, we are so glad you were there for Bill!  Also, the 2 gentlemen that were ice-fishing who helped transport Bill to shore. Thank you to Matt Anderson for bringing all of Billy's belongings (Truck, trailer, and everything else) home.|

     We would like to thank the Breezy Point Police Department, Pequot Lakes Fire Department and North Ambulance / Air Ambulance for their quick response and care for Bill at the scene of his accident. We can not find the words to express how grateful we are to people like all of you.

     Thank you to our family members, STS family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, Bill’s many friends as well as their families (the list goes on and on..). Your support through this tough time has meant the world to us. Whether it has been kind words, prayers, food or just sitting with us to pass time.

Please continue to pray as we wait for Bill to wake up from his coma!

Ron, Connie, April, Jenny & Krissy
Daughters - Abby & Emma
Niece – Amber
Brother In-Laws – Mike & Ben

2-7-2004 Saturday
Torn Kidney
Bruised Lungs (right one is worse)
Femur Bone Broke in 3 spots
Fractured Face and Jaw
Deep Coma
Bruised Brain
Blood around the Brain Stem
2 CT Scans were done & surgery on the femur bone
inserted a tube to drain fluid from brain

2-8-2004 Sunday
Right lung collapsed - inserted a drain tube
Pupils reacted to light
Some movement in the arm and leg (possibly reflex movement)
Gag reflex

2-9-2004  Monday
1st MRI & 3rd CT scan
Shearing of the brain stem nerves
Found out that the 2nd vertebra was fractured
Blood is flowing through the brain
One of the 4 arteries to the brain was damaged and formed a blood
     clot which went to the brain and caused a large stroke on the right
     side, which controls the left side of the body.
4th Ct Scan

2-10-2004 Tuesday
 2nd MRI to look at the fractured vertebra more closely
 More movement today

2-11-2004 Wednesday
Bill had Neuro Storms throughout the day.  It is when there is a surge in the brain, and the body moves. Plastic surgeon met with the family in the AM, explained that Bill may not need reconstructive surgery on his face.  There are many breaks all over the face but they are all aligned and can heal on their own.  The jaw does have 3 breaks that need to be repaired.  This is typically done in the first 7 days, and they will wait until Bill is stable to be put under.  After the jaw is wired they will take another CT to make sure the rest of the fractures are still aligned.

10:00pm the Dr. visited.  The MRI showed that Bill has a bruise on the spinal cord near the 2nd vertebra and the ligaments are stretched.  That the MRI showed Bill does not have a cracked vertebra in his neck. They have not determined if a neck brace will be enough to correct this or if a halo will be needed. We will need to start measuring progress on a week by week basis rather than day by day. The movements he is making now are better than nothing.  Because of the coma we do not know if the movements are 'him' or reflex.  We are believing it is him, we know he's a fighter.

2-12-2004  Thursday
Bill's night nurse said he did well through the night.  His temperature dropped to 100.6.  He had less Neuro Storms through the night.  We may see this increase through the day as it occurs when people are talking/touching.

9:30am Dr. visited.  Bill's pressure in the brain is down.  They will turn off the drain today (leaving it inserted) and monitor it.  If the pressure remains low through tomorrow they will remove the drain tomorrow.  He did say from the signs they have seen that it may be months before Bill wakes up - "but he could also prove us wrong"

2-12-2004   Thursday
     8:00 a.m. Mass at St Anne's Catholic Church 
     in Hamel for Billy
     200 Hamel Rd
     Hamel, MN 55340-9613

Thursday 2-12-2004
Bill's fever was back up during the day (101).  It is most likely caused by brain trauma and not an infection. His heart rate did come down in the evening.

Friday 2-13-2004
Bill had another CT prior to 6am.  His night nurse said he did well through the night, his heart rate was up but under control. The Dr met with the family, he said it may take a year for Bill to get as far as he will progress.  The Dr is very concerned about how the stroke will affect him.  They will do an angiogram on Monday, this will show the blood vessel damage caused by the stroke. The blood in his brain is absorbing, and will do so slowly over time.  The pressure has gone down enough for them to remove the stint that was in his brain, this was done in the AM and the procedure was done in the TNICU room.  They were also able to remove his chest tube this AM and that procedure was done in the TNICU as well. They will not be able to wire his jaw yet (it is broken in 3 places), his brain is not stable enough to handle the surgery/anesthesia, it may be another 2 weeks. They will have some ankle splints made for Bill.  This will help to hold his feet in more of a standing position so that the muscle behind the ankle does not tighten up. Right now they will continue to support the rest of his body while his brain heals.

Sunday 2-15-2004
Bill's condition remains the same. He is scheduled for an angiogram of his brain first thing tomorrow morning.  This is where they will inject dye and do a CT of his brain to view the blood vessels that have been damaged.

Monday 2-16-2004
Bill's condition remained the same throughout the day.  He continues to sweat, we are told this is not from his fever but from the brain trauma.  He was moving around quite a bit, but not on command.  He had his Angiogram around noon, and his nurse said he was solid as a rock throughout the test.  We did not receive the results on the angiogram from the neurologist yet.

Tuesday 2-17-2004
The neurologist met with us on the results this AM from his angiogram that was done yesterday.  GOOD NEWS!
1 - The angiogram showed that there is blood flowing to all the main vessels on the right side of his brain that was affected by the stroke.  The smaller vessels are unclear, so time will tell when he wakes up.

2 - This morning they fitted Bill with splints on his wrists, and feet.  This will help his muscles.  The speech therapist will start working with Bill today - even though he remains in a deep coma and is unresponsive.  They will also start therapy, moving his limbs around - seeing if they can get a response from him.
3 - They will also start to wean him off the respirator today.  A little at a time (each day) to see how his body adjusts without it
4 - On Thursday they will do a tracheotomy to move the respirator to Bill's throat.  This will help to wean him from the respirator, and will be much more comfortable than having tubes down his throat.  He will also be able to start coughing, swallowing on his own when he's ready.  At the same time he is in the OR. getting the tracheotomy they will put a feeding tube directly in to his stomach (much like the chest tube was directly to his lung area).  This will be much more comfortable for Bill than the tube in his throat for feeding now.
5 - The may be able to wire his jaw at the beginning of next week.

Wednesday 2-18-2004
Bill was moving around quite a bit throughout the day (his right leg).  He was also opening his eyes (half way) throughout the day off and on.  It does not appear that he is focusing on anything in particular when his eyes are opening - but I know I saw him look at dad for a bit when I was in there with him.  Tomorrow early afternoon he will have surgery for his tracheotomy and feeding tube.  He will most likely be wiped out the rest of the day after surgery, so we may not see much movement from him after that.  We know he is fighting though!!  He continues to give us signs daily.

Thursday 2-19-2004
At 11:00 this morning, Bill went into surgery to have his tracheotomy put in, Dr.Arendt (the surgeon) said that the procedure went very good.   Bill is also able to breathe very well through the trach.   Dr.Arendt was all smiles when he told Bill's family members that he saw Bill's eyes for the first time!! 

They also had another doctor in the room, and that doctor had placed Bill's feeding tube into his stomach and they will began feeding him sometime tomorrow morning.

They will keep Bill sedated for the rest of the day today.  They are planning on possible wiring his jaw next week, they are going to have a oral surgeon in sometime soon to give us more information on that. 

The family plans on updating the website often.  There might be some days that  no information is entered, that does not mean anything bad has happened.  We will keep it updated often, we are just at the stage of WAITING now. 
12:30pm Bill's surgery went well.


Saturday 2-21-2004
Bill had a rough night last night.  His heart rate was up to 150 and his fever was 105.  They put ice on him and placed a water cooled blanket underneath him.  His fever came down a little throughout the day, to 103.  His eyes did not open much during the day, and he was having neuro storms throughout the day as well.
They are treating him with antibiotics, they also draw blood to test for infections.  The preliminary results show that there is an infection.  They will then culture the tests to show where the infection is coming from.

Sunday 2-22-2004
10:00  Bill did well through the night, his temp is now down to 100 and his heart rate is down to 98.  He will be resting much of the day to fight off the infection.  They believe the infection is coming from his lungs, and the antibiotics he is taking should take care of this. We were also reminded that visitors should be limited to immediate family only.  Depending on Bill's condition at the time we will only be able to visit with him briefly if at all.

Monday 2-23-2004
Last night the nurse was in with Bill and she asked him to give the thumbs up.  He did it half way!  Then she asked him to squeeze her hand if he was having pain, and he did.  They gave him some meds for the pain.  The therapist was in with Bill this morning, she said he is improving with his movement on his right side.  When she was leaving she asked if he could wave good-bye, he wiggled his fingers at her.

Tuesday 2-24-2004  8:00am
Mass for Bill
At St. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Loretto, MN

After Bill's session with the physical therapist today we were informed that he is able to move his eyes all the way to the left and all the way to the right.  Bill is also breathing on his own now!  He is still hooked up to the respirator which is set at low to provide oxygen when needed to make sure his lungs are expanding enough.

Thanks to Kurt, Bill's co-worker you can now reach this web site by using the following web address 

Wednesday 2-25-2004
Overall things are going in the right direction and Bill's condition is improving. He is being treated with antibiotics for Bronchitis so visitation is still limited to immediate family only. Progress is being made on the ventilator and Bill could be off it completely by this weekend. The oral surgery on Bill's jaw will take place tomorrow at 9:00am and will take about 3 hours.

Thursday 2-26-2004
Bill was in surgery today from 9:30am to 2:30pm. The doctors were real pleased with the way it went and everything went real well. 

Saturday 2-28-2004
Bill has been sedated most of the day today and yesterday. He is kicking around his leg quite a bit and they want him to relax. He is still pretty swollen from his surgery on Thursday,  They say (his nurses) that the swelling is starting to go down now. He is off the respirator all day and then at night they turn it back on to give his body a rest. 

Tuesday 3-2-2004
Bill is now completely off the respirator.  He is doing well without it but still gets a little help to take some deeper breaths.  The doctor's say Bill is progressing very slowly, but he is showing progress.
At approximately 3:00 pm today Bill was moved out of intensive care into a room on 5 North. If all goes well through out the night (no temps, no problems, etc) he will be transferring to Bethesda Rehabilitation Hospital in St Paul on Wednesday March 3rd for rehabilitation. Bethesda specializes in pulmonary and brain injury areas. We will be updating the web site again tomorrow with more info such as his room number, visiting hours and a contact phone number. 

We'd also like say THANK YOU to everyone for 
being so supportive and for all the prayers.

Wednesday 3-3-2004
Bill was transferred today to Bethesda Hospital. He is in room 501. The move went really well. He was also coughing and yawning on his own today. Tomorrow will be a very extensive day with doctors and therapists making their assessments. To find out exactly what type of therapy will be needed.   We will update the web site and let you know when visitors will be allowed. There are a few restrictions such as no balloons or cell phones allowed in the hospital. There are phones in the family lounge. 

Friday 3-5-2004
Bethesda is such a great place for Bill!  Everyone we have met is so kind, helpful and just wonderful.  It is clear that they will be giving him the best care.  Wednesday after he was moved the rest of the day was spent getting him settled.  He has been running a slight fever since Wednesday night, 100, not too high.  They are treating him for that.  Yesterday there were quite a few different therapists in to meet Bill, work with him and assess him.  They really took the extra time to get to know about him too, his personality etc.  They also did an EEG test.  They also had him in the wheel chair for a while yesterday.  He is not able to support himself or move around on his own yet, but it was good to see them moving him around.  Today and tomorrow many different people will be continuing to assess him.  After all the assessments are done, the team of people who have met with him will sit down for a group meeting and determine a plan for Bill.  After they complete their group meeting they will meet with the family to inform us of this plan as well. He is wearing his regular clothes now, no more Velcro boxers. His friends will be happy to know he was wearing his infamous fish taco t-shirt yesterday. It may be a few days until the next update.  We will put out an update as soon as we meet with the therapy team and we know their plans for Bill.  This should happen early next week.  At that time we should be able to let people know about visiting too. 

Monday 3-8-2004
The therapists did not meet with the family today.  It may not be until next week.  The social worker met with us and said that the therapists would need more time to assess Bill.  They also informed us of Bill's condition more thoroughly... that he IS still in a coma.  This came as a big surprise to our family.  We were under the impression that he was no longer in a coma (2-23-2004 update).  Apparently we misunderstood.  This does not mean that Bill's condition has changed and gone backwards, it means we thought he was out of his coma and he is not.  To explain this simply, there are many steps to "waking up" from a coma.  Unfortunately it is not as easy as it sounds to "wake up", it is nothing like the movies.  This could be a long process, we do not know, time will tell.  There is a lot of information on the internet about this waking up process, please see the below links to information that will help explain this - Understanding the term 'coma'. - This is the scale used by Dr's/hospitals.  They provide a descriptive guideline of the various stages a brain injury patient will experience as he/she progresses through recovery.  According to this scale, and what we (his family) observe from Bill it seems that he is around the level 3.  Just as every brain injury is unique; so is the rate of recovery.  One can not predict the speed with which a brain injury patient will progress from level to level, or at which level the patient will reach a plateau, which is temporary or permanent leveling off in the recovery process.

We did ask about visitors.  At this time they would still like it limited to immediate family.  This will be until he is more alert.  The stimulation is just too much for his brain to process at this point.  We will be sure to keep everyone updated as well as let everyone know when visitors can come down.  Thank you for continuing to keep Bill in your prayers!

Wednesday  3-10-2004
The doctors said today that Bill's progress has greatly improved over the last two days. He is now at level 4 on the Rancho Los Amigos Scale, Below is a brief description about level 4 coma.

Level 4 (Confused-Agitated) Patient is in a heightened state of activity and severely confused, disoriented, and unaware of present events. His behavior is frequently bizarre and inappropriate to his immediate environment. He is unable to perform self-care. If not physically disabled, he may perform automatic motor activities such as sitting, reaching and walking as part of his agitated state, but not necessarily as a purposeful act. 

     The results of the brain EEG that was done on Thursday March 4th came back negative, which is GOOD! that means there is no seizure activity.
     They have changed Bill's meds so that he can become more alert.  Right now they are doing everything they can for Bill, the rest is up to him and God.

Monday 3-15-2004
Things have been going well for Bill.  On Saturday they determined that he does not have to wear his neck brace while he is in bed, but it does need to go on when he is in the wheel chair.  He does not like the chair very much and gets agitated when he is in it.  Bill has started to speak to us a little.  He can also nod his head for 'yes' and 'no'.  A few times when we've asked him our names he can say them so we're hoping that means when he is truly 'awake' that he will remember us.  They will also be giving him a smaller trach tube, hopefully today.  When they change to a small tube it should be easier for him to talk when he tries, and we should also be able to hear him better.
Bill is supposed to get a new bed today, it's called a net bed.  This looks like a big tent around the bed.  He has been moving around so much they want to be sure he does not fall out of bed. 

Wednesday 3-17-2004

Bills trach was reduced today to a 6. Ron just called from home and said that him and Connie decided to stay home this evening and let the girls go down to the hospital. Shortly after Ron and Connie got home they got a phone call and they actually spoke with Bill on the phone. They were totally surprised.

additions for 3-17
   Bill amazed us when we saw him, he was talking - really talking in sentences, asking questions, answering questions.  When we got there, right away he asked Krissy, "Krissy, how's your eye?"  The day before when Kris was visiting she was saying how her eye was bothering her, he remembered!  He knows who we all are!  I read him some of the names of people who came to see him the first couple days, he knew who they were.  He wanted to talk to Jeff, so I called mom & dad's house to get Jeff's number.  Bill talked to mom and then dad, wow - were they ever surprised.  The rest of the night he talked and talked and talked..... He talked about the dogs that came in his room the day before and he remembered their names.  We put in a CD for Bill and he started singing with it!! We will continue to keep everyone posted.  We will also let you all know as soon as the Dr's give the OK for him to have visitors, for now it is still limited to immediate family.

Thursday 3-25-2004 
Bill's spirits have been good. Although he is still in a coma, somewhere between level 4 & 5. He's been going thru one hour of therapy daily and is showing progress. Today x-rays were taken of his right shoulder because he's been complaining of pain. The trach was also capped today. This way he breaths completely on his own thru his mouth and nose.  X-rays of his broken leg will be taken on April 3rd, these x-rays will let the therapists know how much weight he'll be able to put on that leg. Visitation is still limited and were hoping that will change soon. When it does we will probably set up some type of calendar so people can sign up. That way we can spread the visits thru out the week and make sure they won't interfere with his therapy and also minimize confusion and stress on Bill.

Tuesday 3-30-2004
Bill's trach was completely removed last night at 6:30.  He says it feels much better to have it removed and is very thankful it's gone.  They (Dr's) are talking about moving Bill to the 4th floor soon.  We will give another update when this happens.  Along with the update we will post information about visiting, on the 4th floor the visiting rules / hours change.

Thursday 4-1-2004
    Bill was moved to a new room yesterday, 4th floor - room # 401.  It is right beneath his old room on 5th floor.  He has been in very good spirits the last 3 days.  The oral surgeon (Dr. Laing) from North that did Bill's jaw happened to be at Bethesda last night, he decided to pop in on Bill and see how he was doing.  He was very unhappy (to say the least)  to see that the braces and bands had not been removed yet.  He cut the bands off and said he'd make sure the braces get off soon as well (date yet undetermined).
Now for the good part, visiting hours...... Yes, Bill can now have visitors!  We will need to limit the amount of people who are in his room at a time.  We ask that before coming down to see Bill, please call Ron on his cell phone 612-221-2238.  On the 4th floor visiting hours are from 6pm-8:30pm Monday through Friday.  On Saturday, Sunday and holidays it is 12pm-8:30pm.  Ages 16 and under are allowed in 4 South (where Bill is at).  Again - please call before coming so that we can space out the amount of visitors at one time.  Thanks!

Monday 4-5-2004
   Bill had a good weekend, his spirits are good.  His neck brace is now completely off.  We are planning a fund raiser which will be either in July or August at the Hamel VFW. We will post the date as soon as we know for sure. If you have any items to donate for the silent auction or suggestions on places that might donate for the fundraiser event please contact Kurt Seydow at

Wednesday 4-7-2004
Bill will be going to the University of Minnesota Hospital on Friday morning at 8:00am to have the jaw braces removed. Krissy will be going along with him. Following the surgery he'll be transported back to Bethesda, and will probably be pretty exhausted during the rest of the day. Yesterday Bill was taken outside in his wheelchair for a bit to enjoy the gorgeous weather we're having. We've also added a visitor calendar to the site. Check it out and if you plan on visiting enter your name & time, this way everyone doesn't show up at the same time. 

10:15 pm  Wednesday 4-7-2004    
Ron called and said he had just gotten off the phone with the doctor. 
The doctor is amazed at the progress Bill has made and also said that Bill is 

COMPLETELY out of the coma
The family will meet with the doctors on Tuesday April 13th for a family meeting.
The family will meet with the doctors on Tuesday April 13th for a family meeting.

Thursday 4-8-2004
    Mark your calendars the fund-raiser at the Hamel VFW will be
July 17, 2004. We will keep you update as to the time as soon as we know for sure.
If you have any items to donate for the silent auction or suggestions on places that might donate for the fundraiser event please contact Kurt Seydow

Friday 4-9-2004
Good Friday - Bill's surgery this morning went really well. Krissy and Bill are waiting for their ride back to Bethesda. 

Monday 4-12-2004 
Bill is able to eat some foods now and is drinking both pop and water. He still has the feeding tube attach and hopefully that will be removed soon. The family is scheduled for a family meeting tomorrow afternoon with Bill's doctors.

Wednesday 4-14-2004
    There was a family meeting yesterday and the next one is scheduled for April 27th at 2:00 pm, here is the update: 
   Each therapist talked about Billy's attention span.  It is short but he has shown much improvement.  We were advised to look into care for Bill in about a month.  We could possibly take him home or to the Courage Center for therapy.  Speech therapist says he is a bit slow at swallowing but that was because of the arch wires in his mouth.  He is on many medications, depressants, stimulants, pain relievers, buffers and blood pressure.  His mental test scored better this time, things like spelling words backwards, what day it is and who the president is.  He scored 23 out 25 questions which is really good!  Short term memory test was good and they are checking on the CT of his shoulder, if nothing shows up they will ask for an MRI. The doctors say that for Bill's type of injuries a rapid recover could take about 6 months.

X-rays came back today on Bill's left leg and he has no weight bearing limits so he can put as much weight on it as he wants. Therapy will include getting him back up on his feet again. 

Friday April 16, 2004  
Bill enjoying  his first Mr. Pibb in quite awhile.

Thursday 4-22-2004
Bill is now eating pureed food.  He says it doesn't taste very good but he knows he must eat it.  In therapy he is up and walking with help.  One nurse walks in front of him and the other walks behind him to prevent him from falling. He says he hasn't lost his balance yet.  And he has walked 75-100 ft. each day.  He still does not have use of his arms and they are doing some tests on Friday to look at why.  They expect Bill to be at Bethesda for approximately 3 more weeks.  We are then possibly moving him to The Courage Center in Golden Valley for more rehabilitation.  He does enjoy getting visitors.  Just keep in mind he also gets tired occasionally while you are there.  So if he shuts his eyes for a bit give him 5 minutes and he will visit more.  Our Family care counseling Meeting has been changed to Thursday, April 29th.

Monday 4-26-2004
We are asking that everyone limit phone calls to Bill's room and call only between the hours of  6 -7:30pm Monday thru Friday and between 12pm-8:00pm on Saturday and Sundays. Bill is unable to answer the phone on his own so by calling during these hours most likely someone will be in the room with him to answer your call. We should be able to provide a more detailed update after the family meeting on Thursday.

Thursday 4-29-04
     We had our family meeting this afternoon at Bethesda.  He is showing improvement in all of his therapies; physical, speech and occupational.  His speech therapist commented that "Bill really has a great sense of humor".  He is still on a puree diet for now, his chewing/swallowing need to improve more before he can move on to soft foods.  He is also moving his left leg more.  They will be fitting him soon with a splint for his right elbow soon, to straighten it out.  This afternoon they will complete the 2nd half of the EMG test for his right shoulder.  We should have the results on that in the next couple days.  
  NOW FOR THE GOOD NEWS.... Bill's estimated discharge date is in 2 weeks,

5/12/04.  We are not sure at this point if he will be going to Courage Center or come home until Courage Center has an opening.  We will be able to post more as the date approaches.  The other good news... Bill will be allowed to leave on a day pass this weekend for 6 hours.  We are planning on doing this Sunday.  Since it will be for a couple hours we are not planning any type of get together.  He will be back at the hospital by 5pm that day.  Then the following weekend he will be able to leave on a longer pass.  Bill is thrilled that he will be able to see home for a bit, and if plans stay on track - home for fishing opener!  Hopefully the weather cooperates and he may be able to drop a line in.

Wednesday   5-5-04 
Bill had tests done on his right shoulder last Thursday afternoon.  It showed that his nerve is pinched in between the C5, C6 & C7, these are the cervical vertebra in the neck.  We are told this is something that may be corrected surgically, now we are waiting on word as to when he will be evaluated by a neurosurgeon. 
    Bill's visit home last Sunday for a couple hours went very well.  He was happy to lay in his own bed for a couple hours.
    On Monday (5/3/04) Bill received 7-8 botox shots to his left arm and leg.  This is supposed to relax the muscle and alleviate pain.  This should take effect within 7 days to 2 weeks.
    Overall Bill has been doing good in therapy and has been in excellent spirits, he LOVES visitors!  He also can't wait for his weekend visit home this coming weekend.

Thursday 5-13-2004
Bill spent time visiting with co-workers at STS Flooring on Wednesday May 12th.

Friday 5-14-2004
      Bill is doing well in therapy.  They have him walking 100 ft 2 times a day. He has also walked up some stairs.  The botox Bill had on his left side seems to be working.  The doctor was impressed.  His arm is loosening up so the can work with it more in therapy.  On Wednesday Bill had a doctor appt. with Dr. Roach, his trauma doctor from North Memorial. His first follow up appt. since the accident with this doctor.  The X-rays taken a few days earlier showed there is fluid on the brain.  More than someone his age should have.  So the doctor wants to put in a permanent shunt. This would drain the fluid into the stomach and the fluid would be absorbed. Before this is scheduled Bill will have an MRI (Tuesday) of the brain and the cervical area. We hope to get some insight as to why Bill cannot use his right shoulder. We should get the results on Wednesday May 26th.   After the appt. at North Memorial we headed to The Courage Center in Golden Valley for a tour.  Bill was very impressed and can't wait to go there.  He was ACCEPTED!!!!!  Now we wait for an opening.  It could be one week or one month or whenever...    After that we made a stop at his work place (STS Flooring)  He was glad to see everyone and had a very nice visit.  He can't wait to get back.  After that we came home for a short rest before heading back to Bethesda.    A very SPECIAL  Thank You to everyone for all the prayers and kind actions and thoughts.   May God be good to you all. 

Thursday 5-20-2004
Bill and his family heard the news they have been waiting for.  He gets moved to the Courage Center in Golden Valley on Tuesday May 25th.  As far as we know he can have visitors anytime.  We expect them to reevaluate Bill to set up a new therapy routine.  He also gets a  day pass on Sunday.  He wants to go fishing really bad.  Hope the weather holds out.  He is also looking forward to going fishing with the group from Bethesda.  If it rains they will go mini putt-putt golfing.  We have an appointment on Wednesday the 26th for the results of the MRI.

Tuesday 5-25-2004

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Bill Leaving Bethesda on Tuesday May 25th

    Bill made it over to the Courage Center today & is getting settled in.  They will be busy evaluating him for about a week.  Bill seems to like the Courage Center a lot but it will take him a couple days to adjust. 
Monday 6-7-2004 
HOORAY - Bill is at the Courage Center located in Golden Valley.  As time goes by he enjoys it more.  He was bored at first because he didn't have therapy.  Just evaluations.  He now has OT and PT everyday and Recreational Therapy (RT) 3 times a week.  He also has speech 3 times a week. He is still on pureed foods but at the Courage Center the food is thicker and has more flavor. The speech therapist is going to let Bill try eggs and sausage for breakfast on Tuesday.  If he does okay he will be on his way to regular foods.  He really isn't suffering because he has acquired a taste for Strawberry and Cream Frappaccios.  He has also gained weight.  He is up to 134!!!
    We had an appointment with Dr. Roach for the results of his MRI on the brain and neck taken May 26th.  According to the MRI the C5 and C6 nerves are intact. Contrary to the results of Bill's earlier EMG test.  There is fluid on the C7 which controls the biceps.  This cannot be removed and the damage may be permanent.  He may never regain use of his right elbow.  We have another MRI set up on 6-07-04 to take another look at this area.  We should have results in a week.    As for the MRI of the brain it did show fluid on the brain.  More than the doctor would like to see.  It could be caused by the shrinkage of the brain due to the trauma or it could be fluid collecting and not being absorbed like normal.  The doctor is not sure what is causing this and does not want to put a permanent shunt in unless he has to, so another MRI is lined up for the end of the month to be compared to the other one and then he will decide.    Bill also had a recheck   appointment with Dr. Hauck to check on the progress of the broken femur.  GOOD RESULTS   the femur is completely heeled.  The doctor was amazed at the rate of recovery.   Thank you for waiting patiently for more info.

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A day of fun and sun on Lake Independence 
with buddies Paul, Matt and Brian 

(Click on photo to enlarge it)

Tuesday 6-8-2004
Bill has been coming home on the weekends and making  the most of it.  He still gets tired quite fast but enjoys seeing people.  One night he went to a neighborhood bonfire and another day he went to a grad party.  Bill had a great time at both.  He said it was so much fun to see some of his friends.  His friends also took him on a pontoon ride and as you can see in the picture his friends got a lot more sun than Bill did.  Bill loves to have visitors and the address of the Courage Center is 3915 Golden Valley Road, Mpls, Mn. 55422.  He also has a mailbox so anyone can send him a note or whatever.  His room number is G4a.  He has a headset rigged up on his phone and his number is 763 520 0756.  Or  you can get a hold of him on his cell phone.  Please don't call passed 8:30 pm. He is also using the computer in the media center and checks his website.  Also if he is home on a weekend and you would like to see him just give us a call.  763 479 2388.  I gave the wrong day for the swallow test.  It is on Wednesday morning at breakfast.   We also have dinner tickets and raffle tickets now available for Bill's Benefit on July 17th.  We will give more info very soon.

Wednesday 6-16-2004
The results from Bill's MRI last Tuesday did not show any damage to the shoulder.  So now we are back to square one so to speak and need to set up an appointment with an Orthopedic Surgeon.  They are wondering now if it could possibly be damage in the Rotor Cuff.  He gets to eat more solid foods for breakfast but not the rest of the day as of yet.  He told Ron he walked 250 steps in PT today and they are teaching him how to get to the edge of the bed to get up by himself.  Bill says he's a bit skeptical about that part.  He attempted to go fishing on Tuesday but things got mixed up.  He did go out and cast a few times but they parked him in front of the lily pads.  We all know how that can get your hook tangled so he didn't enjoy it too much.  But he says he will try it again next week.  He can't cast by himself but the specially made fishing rod just needs to have you push a button and it reels itself in.  Great contraption. 
      Now for an update on the Fund Raiser. JULY 17th on a Saturday.   Dinner tickets are $20.00 Adults and $10.00 for kids under 12.  It starts at 4:00 with dinner served from 5:00 to 7:00 and we have a band lined up, "the Stampede" From 8:00 to 11:00.  There  will be a silent auction from 4:30 to 9:00.  There are also raffle tickets for sale for $5.00 each or 5 for $20.00.  The 3 big prizes are 2 - $500.00 in cash and One room carpet installed. Valued at $500.00.  For tickets to sell or to buy or if you have any questions you can contact Ron 612-221-2238  or call our home and leave a message on the recorder if we miss your call  763-479-2388. 

Monday June 21, 2004
Bill was again home for the weekend.  He has a hard time staying home on Sunday because he knows he needs to go back and the longer he stays the harder it is for him to go back.  He enjoyed going to Lake Minnetonka to see Aubrey and Emma's new apartment.  Says it has a great view and is very nice.  He also went to see some of his friends in Delano.  He also got to go out on the pontoon in the evening.  Thanks everyone for making this possible.  Bill has an appointment with a orthopedic surgeon on Friday.  This doctor looked over the MRI of the shoulder and he wants to get to the bottom of this episode of why Bill can't seem to use his right arm.  Bill on Friday was very proud and lets people know that he started to move the fingers on his left hand and he can raise his elbow up to his shoulder height.  He knows it will take more time but he is very happy it is starting to work.  He surprised all of us and got out of his bed all by himself.  His walking is slow but he is showing improvement.

Monday June 28, 2004
     Hey everyone - here's another update.  We saw the orthopedic doctor on Friday.  He says after looking over the MRI it does not show a rip or tear in the roto cuff.  Nothing he can do surgically can be done to fix the right arm.  He says it must be neurological.  Meaning maybe in time he will get it back.  He had his 2nd MRI of his brain and neck today.  We should get the results on July 7th.  Bill seems to be more himself every week.  He is working very hard to get himself back to how he was.            
     Again - - just a reminder about the fundraiser being held on July 17th at the VFW in Hamel.  For $20.00 you get a chicken dinner and there will be a band from  8 to 11.  There will also be a silent auction.  For tickets call Ron 612-221-2238  You can also get raffle tickets for yourself or to sell.  The 3 big prizes are 2-$500.00 and a room carpeted. Valued at $500.00.  You can also get those tickets by calling Ron.  We do need to have a count on the dinner tickets by July 8th.  So hurry and give Ron a call for your tickets.  It should be lots of fun!

Sunday July 11, 2004
        Bill had a good 4th weekend.  He ended it by going to a friends sisters house to see the fireworks.  Says the finale was real good.  He wanted to be back at Courage Center on Monday to see what it's like to be there without having therapy.  Tuesday he was back in routine having OT, PT, Speech, Psych and Vocational.  Wednesday was his follow up with Dr Roach, the trauma doctor.  Looking at the MRI he has decided it would be in Bill's best interest to have a permanent shunt put in.  This would be placed in the brain with a tube going into the stomach.  It should reduce the fluid build up.  You will not be able to see this because it is under the skin.  This will be done on Monday July 19th.  He will be in the hospital for a couple of days.  Wednesday afternoon we went to see Dr. Britton at Bethesda.  He was very happy when he heard about the shunt.  He hopes it will help with the elasticity in his left arm and leg.  He is very concerned about that.   This is a first step.  Next he would like to put a Baclofen pump in his front hip area.  This would help with the spasms in his arm and leg.  3rd he would like to do another EMG.  Bill says absolutely not. But after the doctor explained things he is more willing to do it.  They also said it wouldn't hurt to get a 2nd opinion on his right shoulder.  Things in his shoulder are the opposite of what they should be.  The C4 & C5 show no damage yet that is what is not working.  The C6 & C7 show damage and yet they work.  Confusing right?????  All this was a lot to take in and by time we got home we were exhausted.   Thursday July 8th  Bill had his Program Review.  This is where he meets with all his therapists and doctors in a group and he expresses his opinions on how he thinks things are going and what he would like next.  Of course he says to get out of there.  In OT - they are looking into a device to put on his wheelchair so he can feed  and groom himself.  PT - he goes in the pool tomorrow for the first time.  They are continuously working with him on walking, stairs, and his endurance.  Speech - 3 times a week.  He is now on soft mechanical food for both breakfast and Lunch.  they work on his motor skills to make his jaw stronger.  And memory skills. RT - working on blow darts and fishing.   Hope to see you at his benefit.  Look for another update on Monday. (Hopefully)

Sunday July 18, 2004
Congratulations to the raffle winners
1. Pat Skeie - 1 room carpet installed ($500.00 max.)
2. Nancy Varner - $500.00 cash
3. Eric Mortvedt - $500.00 cash

Monday July 19, 2004
Bill had his surgery this morning at 7:30.  Doctor said all went well and he did have pressure on the brain so this was a good move to make.  He is alert and talking but is tired.  He feels discomfort but this should pass in a few days.  If all goes well he should be back at the Courage Center sometime Wednesday.  Thank You to EVERYONE for making the fund raiser a huge success.  We are overwhelmed by all of the support.  It's GREAT.  THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday July 28th, 2004       
      Bill again is having a good week.  It took a few days after his surgery to regain  his confidence in his walking but everyday you can see he is more sure of himself.  He has an attachment to his wheelchair he is learning to use.  I haven't seen it yet but it goes on the right side of the chair and enables him to use his right arm.  He has fed himself and also shaved  himself using this device.  He had his stitches removed today and said his head feels better but it's itchy.  Bill also wants us to remind everyone that it's okay to visit him. He generally is done with all therapy by 4:00 and has supper at 5:00.  They serve a real good meal and anyone can come to eat with him.  It's a decent price too.  Keep in mind he would like us to keep visits to an hour at a time and he likes to go outside after supper in his electric wheelchair.  So bring your walking shoes!!!  Directions:  from Hwy 100 take the Duluth St. exit and go east (toward the cities)  at the 2nd stop light take a right and follow the signs to the south parking lot.  He is on the ground floor Room 4.  He enjoys having people come to see him.

Sunday - August 1, 2004
    A lot of people are curious about how the benefit went.  Very Well!  Everyone seemed to like the food.  Rosie at the VFW did a wonderful job in preparing all of it.  Her time, her husbands time behind the bar and the hall were donated for use at the benefit.  The silent auction was a huge success.  All items sold with the exception of the '57 chev.  And there were a lot of items. People we talked to were very happy to get what they bid on.  I would like to say "THANK YOU" to everyone for their donations for the auction.  Without that it would not have turned out as nice as it did. I can't thank people enough.  Everything was very well organized and we had many great volunteers that made the night happen.  Also a HUGE  THANK YOU to the crew at STS Flooring.  So much time and effort was put into the event.  It turned out fantastic.  It's unbelievable how much goes into planning an event like this.  The group from STS did a great job.  Thanks again.  And a very special thank you to all the volunteers who helped make the event such a great success.   Love you all....

    Bill's week at the Courage Center went mostly routine.  No doctor appointments.  Just therapy, therapy, and more therapy.  His weekend was a different story.  He was looking forward to a spaghetti dinner on Saturday but didn't make it.  He woke up with a huge headache and vomiting and a fever.  Went to emergency worried about maybe trouble with his shunt but that was not the case.. Turns out we didn't give him his sleeping pill and as a result he had withdrawals and a migraine headache.  On Sunday he started feeling better.  This week he gets back to his pool therapy which he had to skip because of his stitches.

Thursday - August 12, 2004
Bill is in surgery this morning due to complications of the shunt and he is currently at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale.  We will provide more information as soon as possible.  So if you plan on visiting Bill this week please check with Ron or Connie as to when he will be back at the Courage Center.

Yes Bill went to the emergency room on Wednesday with bad stomach pain.. They did an ultrasound and ruled out the gallbladder then did a CT scan and decided the pain could be from the entry point of the shunt into his stomach.  He had surgery to relocate the tube so now it comes out of his side into a bag and not into the stomach.. They also are doing a culture of the fluids in the stomach. We should get those results tomorrow.  He has been put on antibiotics and he is doing okay this evening. Tomorrow is another day and we will be talking to the doctors more.  Thanks for keeping him in your prayers.   

Monday - August 16, 2004
  Bill's first culture has been returned and he has a minor low grade staff infection.  He is on strong antibiotics at this time.  They are further culturing to see what exact microism is the culprit and then they will be able to get the exact antibiotic to work against it.  Then we will be waiting to see what Dr. Roach decides to do about the shunt.  As of now he is still at North Memorial Room 547.

Thursday - August 19, 2004 
Yes Bill had surgery to take out his shunt.  Good news!!!!!  After the CT scan the doctor said the spot he was watching has not changed and they would like to prevent all chances of infection spreading.  If down the road he shows signs of needing it again  he may have to put it back in.  But the doctor feels this shouldn't happen.  He should be in NMMC until Monday if all goes well.  He has been accepted at the Mayo Clinic for a second opinion but not until October.  Unless we can get in if someone cancels an appointment.  This has been a small set back but we all know what a fighter Bill is and he shall do his best to get back to his normal again.  Thanks again for all the support and prayers.

Wednesday - August 25, 2004
       Bill has moved again... He did great at North Memorial and he has now moved to: 
DELANO HEALTH CARE CENTER, 433 COUNTY ROAD 30, DELANO, MN.  He will be located at this facility until his IV treatments (antibiotics) are finished (approximately 1 week) and there is a bed open at the Courage Center.  Bill got put on an IV treatment after they had removed the shunt to help cure and prevent more infections .  Bill was unable to go back to the Courage Center because they don't treat patients with IV treatments. 
   The Delano Health Care Center has IV treatments and therapies to help Bill with his progress.  Visiting hours and times are OPEN to any time and any day (no restrictions).  We will continue to keep everyone updated.
  There is a good map and info here to get to the Delano Health Care Center:

Wednesday September 1, 2004
        Bill's doctor appointments went very well.  Dr. Roach said he is doing very good and they took out his stitches on the back of head and his stomach. He will go back in one month to do a CT scan to make sure things are going right without a shunt.  It sounds promising.  He also signed a paper saying Bill can be his own guardian.  Dr. Shrock's office took out his IV pic and took him off of his antibiotics.  He is now clear to return to the Courage Center.  This happens tomorrow. (Thursday)  We don't know yet what time but he will be there by supper time.. He is really looking forward to that.  He has a positive attitude right now. You can visit him  while he is there.  Just call the front desk 952-520-0308  to find out what room or his phone number to give him a call.  Or you can reach him on his cell phone.  We won't know his room number until we get him there tomorrow and it will be to late to get it on the web page.  The next update should be next Tuesday so everyone have a great weekend.

Wednesday September 8, 2004
     Yes Bill made it back to the Courage Center.  He has his pool therapy and regular OT and PT therapies.  He sure got tired from all the work after not doing it for awhile. He got his old room back so he is still in G4.  We are thinking he may be there for a month or so.  He had a good weekend.  He went downtown with one of his good friends.  If you want to know what he did you have to ask him!!!!  He did a little shopping and he even went to work on Friday.  By the sounds of it they need to give him just a little more work to keep him busy. He's quick!  He goes to his work place for two hours on Fridays for his vocational therapy.  It's great he has this opportunity.  He was told by his nurse that he can now come home for the weekend without having to check back in every 23 hours.  So you guessed it, he is now planning his weekend up north.  Something he has wanted to do for a long time.  We will keep you posted.  Thank you for all the support.

Sunday September 12, 2004


Sunday September 19, 2004
Bill said it was great to see the whole fam damily at Kelly's wedding. It was Saturday at an outdoor park in Stillwater and it was beautiful weather.  Congratulations to Kelly and Jon!!!!  And welcome to the family Jon!  Bill enjoyed everything about the day. Bill had a very uplifting week. On Tuesday he stopped in at the Toll Welding Company who was celebrating their 75th Anniversary.  For their event they had a chopper built by Orange County Choppers valued at 150,000.00.  They had it on display for people to get their pictures taken with.  Bill  received 2 pictures.  One with him standing behind the bike and one with him sitting on the bike.  Something they didn't let other people do. We will try to put these on the site next week. They also gave him a T-shirt for coming and shooting the bull with them.  Tuesday night he went to a Ducks Unlimited Banquet. He registered for the raffle and his name was picked first at the drawing.  He got first pick at the prizes so of course he now has a new 12 gauge semi automatic shotgun.  His goal is to use this by the fall of 2005.       
     On Friday Bill had pre tests done for a Baclofen pump. This is a pump that would be inserted under his skin and a small tube would put the drug Baclofen right into his spinal cord which allows the medicine to go directly to the areas that need it the most. Baclofen is something that controls spacticity and would allow him to use his leg and left arm more.  The results of the test were very good.  Bill could lift his foot towards his head and his toes.  Something he couldn't do before.  He is very excited about getting the pump now that he has seen what it would do for him.  We are looking at the end of October to have the pump put in. We want to wait until after his October 12th appointments at the Mayo Clinic. 

Update.... Thursday October 7, 2004
       On the weekend of September 25th Bill was challenging himself as much as possible.  Friday night we went for a walk down to the boat launch.  When we came back up to the house, Bill walked all that way uphill from the bottom of the launch, up the hill to the house, up the stairs and into the house, including opening the door by himself just to prove he could do it.  We were very proud.  He got weak at times but would not give up.  He has such determination.  Saturday when I got home from work he was sitting on the 4-wheeler.  He told me he got on it all by himself and wanted to drive it.  Knowing the brake is applied with the right foot I said he could try.  Lo and behold the little shit drove it and took it for a ride into the woods behind the house.  He was very careful.  He was sooooooooooooo excited.  Sunday is not registering in my mind so I will have to ask Bill what else he did.  This was the first week without appointments.  It was a nice rest.  

    On Wednesday we had rechecks with Dr. Roach who told Bill he is a puzzle.  The CT scan stayed the same and that's good.  He doesn't have to go back for 3 months.  Dr. Schrocks office took blood samples and said everything look good.  He was the infectious disease doctor.  On Tuesday next week we go to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.  We will be getting a second opinion on why his shoulder doesn't work.  We could be down there anywhere from 3-7 days.

Thursday October 14, 2004
     It seems to be changing fast around here.  Hope we are ready.  Bill is at the Mayo Clinic for a second opinion on his shoulder and other things they would like to look over.  As of Wednesday night he had more consultations lined up and he had a MRI and a sensory test on his left hand.  Today after meeting with a doctor Bill is scheduled on Oct. 27th for surgery.  They will be transplanting a muscle or tendon into his right arm to fix his bicep.  Bill will update this more with a more accurate message.  The baclofen pump surgery which was supposed to be on Oct. 28th will be postponed.  The doctors at Mayo believe his right arm needs to be taken care of first.  Bill also will be moving back home as of MONDAY!!!!!!!!!

Saturday October 16, 2004
   It's me Billy, and I have two updates.
1. I'm out of the courage center, and living back at home!
2. I have surgery Oct. 27 at St. Mary's in Rochester.  They are going to take a nerve from my right hand, and place it in my right bicep, then I'll be able to bend my right arm at the elbow.  They also said they can fix the left arm, but wanna do the right arm first.  I'm very excited!!!  There will be 3 doctors from the Mayo Clinic doing the surgery.

Thursday October 21, 2004
Bill is adjusting to living at home. He's spending a great deal of time on the computer so it's pretty hard to get a hold of us unless you know Ron or Bill's cell phone number, because we only have one phone line. 
     We are waiting for the results of Bill's last MRI, but still haven't heard anything.

Saturday October 23, 2004
     MRI results came back, and good news. No aneurysm ! The neurosurgeon says Bill's brain looks like a brain of someone his age should, and everything looks normal! 
   Also more about the surgery, they plan on Bill being able to move his hand to his mouth by the end of the surgery, but say it will be 9 months before the maximum results start to show.

Saturday October 30, 2004       
The nerve transfer surgery on the 27th went well.  They took two parts of a working nerve in my right bicep and intertwined them with the damaged nerve in my bicep.  I will be able to lift my hand to my mouth in 6 months, and get the maximum strength of my arm in 9 months.  They kept me overnight 1 night in ICU, unfortunately it was a rough night as I quit breathing due to the medications they gave me.  When they realized I wasn't breathing they gave me a drug to reverse the others and I started to breath on my own again.  I am now home, and I have to wear an arm imobilizer splint for three weeks.

Saturday November 6, 2004

This picture  was taken on Saturday 
at Ron and Connie's surprise 
30th anniversary party,.

(Click to enlarge photo)

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Saturday November 6, 2004
      Bill is getting antsy sitting around the house.  April is doing a good job at being with him during the day while we are at work.  She does take him places when he wants and she gets him outside for walks.  He says this weather is perfect although we may think its a little cool.  

Friday November 26, 2004
     Bill writes, 
     I'm going to the mayo clinic on Tues. the 30th, hopefully I will be able to quit wearing the arm imobilizer splint I've been wearing to help my arm from the surgery.

Tuesday  November 30, 2004
    Bill writes,
     I got the arm imobilizer off today, the doctors were impressed with my arm, and the way everything went with the surgery.  They gave me a portable electric stimulator to bring home for my arm therapy.  I will be going back down there in a couple months to go over the options for fixing my left arm. 
    I will be bring what's left of my snowmobile to a class on Thurs. Where they certify kids to snowmobile, to show them the sled, and give a speech on the dangers of drinking & driving, and the all around safety of snowmobiling

Sunday  December 4, 2004
Bill writes,
I gave my first presentation about the accident to kids 12-13 yrs old at the Polaris headquarters 
in Medina, Minnesota on 12/2/04.
    The Sno-birds of Loretto have signed my quest book. You can view the posting from this link.  
Thank you letter from the Loretto Sno-birds.

Wednesday December 22, 2004
     Bill writes,
    I'm anxious to go ice-fishing, and I went in the hot tub for my first time since last Feb. 
It was great!

Bill, Abby & Emma 
Wish you all a Merry Christmas

(Click to enlarge photo)

Tuesday December 28, 2004

bill-fish house.jpg (165491 bytes)

Bill's new fish house 2004,

(Click on photo to enlarge)

Wednesday January 5, 2005

Aiden Jeremy was born
Jan 3, 2005 - 2:45 am
8 pounds - 13 ounces
20" long

Mike and April

Tuesday January 11, 2004

Pictures taken Feb 7, 2004 on Pelican Lake can be viewed here ---
Snowmobile and truck pictures

Click on the following link to view pictures of Bill taken 2 days after the
accident at North Memorial Medical Center ICU.

ICU - Pictures taken February 9, 2004

Thursday January 20, 2005
     Bill writes,
I'm starting home therapies.  Therapists from the courage center come to my house twice a week, for occupational, and physical therapy.  They have given me exercises to work 
on my upper, and lower body.

Wednesday January 26, 2005
       Bill writes, I got 10 shots of botox on 1/25.  It will help my drop foot, and straighten my left arm at the elbow.  It will also straighten my left wrist, and let me use my left fingers again!  That's only if it works.  It's not guaranteed to work, but it did last time I got it. It takes 7-10 days before the effects show, if it works, but I'm hopeful. 

Wednesday February 2, 2005
       Bill writes, The affects of botox are starting to show.  The nerve transfer surgery is also showing, as I  can bend my right arm at the elbow on my own again!

Wednesday February 9, 2005
Bill writes,  A friend of my brother-in-law decided to take me for a ride in his plane on February 7th for my 1 year anniversary..  It was a lot of fun!

Click on thumbprint to enlarge photo

Friday March 11, 2005
Bill writes ........
I'm finishing up home therapies, and am planning on going to the courage center for outpatient
occupational therapy, pool PT, and their stay in fit program (working out in fitness center with therapist).
     I drove my Blazer for the first time since the accident.  I drove on the lake, it felt good to drive
again, and I didn't run into any parked trucks. I usually take out my ATV everyday to get out of the
    I go back down to Mayo Clinic March 24th.  I will get an EMG on my right bicep to see how the nerve transfer is doing, and they will go over the options for my left arm, which is affected from the stroke.

Friday  March 25, 2005
Bill writes ......

     I went to the mayo clinic 3/24/05 for a check-up on my nerve transfer.  The doctors that performed the surgery were impressed with the progress I've made for 5 months from the surgery.  They also said that I can get my right arm back 100% it can take up to two years, but they said it can be 100% again.  They have given me some new therapies to do that include weights to build my bicep muscle. They told me to keep doing what I'm doing with my left arm, and they would consider a surgery if it hasn't got any better 2 years from the accident.  It was great news to hear that I can get back the use of my right arm 100%

Monday  May 2, 2005
Bill writes ......

I'm going to courage center for the following out patient therapies: Occupational therapy, and physical therapy in the pool.  I'm excited for the summer to arrive, and can't wait to go  fishing.  
    I will be able to do a driver assessment at courage center, but it will be awhile until I'm ready to do so. 

Wednesday  June 8, 2005
Bill writes ......

    I went to the Britton Center on 6/7/05 for more botox, and they injected some phenol in my left leg.  I will be going back there in 3 weeks for the doctor to see how well the botox is working.  If it has a positive effect again he will start weaning me off some medications.  I go back to mayo towards the end of July for another check-up on my right arm.

Tuesday July 19, 2005
Bill writes ........

   I have gained significant improvement in my right arm from the nerve transfer.  It is not 100%  yet, but I'm confident it soon will be.  I can now lift my right hand to my mouth.   The botox injections I receive have allowed me to open & close my left hand. I notice improvement every time I get botox for my left hand, and I'm confident I will get it back.

Reminder ........ For those attending the "DAHL FAMILY" reunion camp out at St Croix Haven on the weekend of August 12-14 please call in your reservations or Contact Josh Swanson for more information ..... THANKS 

Wednesday Nov. 9, 2005
Bill writes ......

   I have a day full of appointments at the mayo clinic December 13.  It will be a follow up on my right arm,
and possibly looking at my left arm.  I need to get one of the plates in my chin removed because a screw
went into a tooth, which now needs to be pulled because of that.  I'm waiting to hear from a doctor to
schedule the removal of the plate, and the tooth. 

Wednesday Dec 14, 2005
Bill writes ......
    I was at Mayo Clinic Tuesday, December 13.  My right arm keeps improving, and they will be looking at my left arm next.

Wednesday Dec 21, 2005 
Bill writes ........

I will be volunteering once a week at Courage Center as a peer partner.  They will match me with someone who has the same injuries as I had, and I will guide them through their recovery.

Friday  Dec 23, 2005 
Bill writes ........

   I will be going to Mayo Clinic mid February for a movement disorder study on my left arm.  The results will determine the treatment for that arm. 

Monday  March 20, 2006 
Bill writes ........

    It's been awhile...but I finally got time to write.  I went to the Mayo Clinic mid February for my left arm affected by the stroke.  They said that they do not think they can do anything to fix it, but They want me to go back down in a few months for a second opinion with another doctor.  I will continue receiving botox every three months, and continue with occupational therapy.  I am also planning on going back to school this fall for my associates in marketing.

Friday  March 31, 2006 
Bill writes ........

   I have an appointment at Mayo Clinic  in the end of June to meet with a hand specialist for the second opinion on my left hand.

Friday  May 20, 2006 
Bill writes ........

      I had a surgery at the U of M Wed. May 17. They removed a metal plate in my chin, the tooth it infected, and pulled my wisdom teeth.  The surgery went well, and I even kept the metal plate and screws for a souvenir.

Friday  May 29, 2006 
Bill's daughters Abby and Emma having fun on Memorial Day 2006

abby-a.jpg (366831 bytes) emma-a.jpg (413653 bytes)
Click on thumbprint to view larger pictures

Thursday June 22, 2006 
Bill writes ........

     I visited The Mayo Clinic Friday the 16th.  I met with a hand specialist, and received exciting news.  They're going to fix my left hand.  The surgery will involve lengthening the tendons, they will also flip the tendon on my thumb to pull it out of the palm of my hand.  depending on the results of this surgery they may also need to cut out some of my wrist bone.  I will get full movement back in my hand.  I asked the doctor if I would be able to ride a motorcycle and use the clutch, he said yeah.  Now it's the waiting game to see when surgery will be (hopefully before the school year begins).

Wednesday June 29, 2006 
Bill writes ........

Surgery on my left hand is scheduled for August 3rd. 

Saturday August 5, 2006 
Bill writes ........
    The surgery on my left hand went well. I Was finally able to get in to an operating room after waiting 11 hours due to an emergency that came in, but the doctor was pleased with the outcome of my surgery and said everything went well.  I have a cast  extending from my elbow to the end of my hand keeping my hand in an  open position.  I need to go back in about 10 days to get this cast removed, and get a custom plastic splint made.  I have limited movement due to the cast, but have been able to move my thumb and fingers more then I could before the surgery.

Thursday September 7, 2006
Hello everyone.  It's been awhile since I've wrote here, so I'll let you all know how I've been.  I got my drivers license back towards the end of July, and I started school August 21st.  I am going to North Hennepin Community College for my marketing degree.  I will be back down to the Mayo September 12 for my six week post-op.  My doctor will then decide what future surgeries I will need on my left hand (if any).  I will post a report on that visit.

Tuesday September 12, 2006
I had my six week post-op visit today at Mayo, and the doctors were very impressed with the results.
I go back down in six weeks to  discuss surgery on my thumb.   The doctor asked if they could do some testing on my right arm from where they performed a nerve transfer, so next visit I will also be in the biomechanics lab for testing.  I was the first patient where they did work on two nerves, before that they only did 1 nerve.  They said the results on me are significantly better vs. the patients  that only had one nerve worked on.  The doctor also said he might be able to do more for my right arm, depending on the test results.

Friday November 3, 2006
     It's been awhile since the last update, so I thought I better write.  I gave my first high school speech the end of October at Hill Murray High School.  The speech was focused towards choices and consequences. It went very well, and I'm looking forward to doing more speaking of that nature.  I've been keeping busy with school  half way through my first semester back, and doing great.  I will be getting braces on the 7th as part of the procedure for preparing to break my jaw again.  I go to Mayo on the 9th for a consultation on my next surgery (thumb), and to do testing on my right arm in the biomechanics lab.

Monday January 1, 2007
Happy New Year everyone!  I started the year  getting back on a snowmobile for the first time since the accident.  It was a lot of fun and best of all, no trucks got in my way.

Monday July 2, 2007
       I know it's been awhile, but wanted to let everyone know what has been going on with me.  I had surgery at Mayo on June 14th.  My thumb muscle attached itself to a bone, so they went in the palm of my hand and tore the muscle away from the bone it was attaching itself to.  They also placed two metal pins in my thumb at the MP joint (middle joint).  I saw the pins when I recently had a new cast put on, and needless to say, that was quite interesting.  I go back down to Mayo July 20th to have the cast removed, and pins pulled out.  I also started volunteering at Courage Center This past Saturday.  That's it for now, more to come....

Thursday September 13, 2007
     Summer was here and gone before I knew it.  I started school a couple weeks ago, I've been volunteering at Courage Center, and also continue public speaking.  I know it's coming up on 4 years post-injury, but I'm still recovery daily and continue to progress forward.  The last surgery I had at Mayo was a success, as my thumb is  now out of the palm of my hand.  I will be having another surgery on my left hand.  My knuckles are contracted, and the doctors will go in on the top of my hand and tear muscle giving me more movement and use.  That surgery is not scheduled yet, but I will be having surgery December 26th, Merry Christmas to me.  I will be having my jaw broke at the U of M, guess I didn't do it good enough when I broke it in 10 places.  One last thing for this update.  I ask all of you to please pray for my uncle Sid Swanson, who is courageously fighting the battle of cancer.  Thank you.

Friday November 2, 2007
   I know my updates have been few and far in between lately, but I have some news to share.  I have an appointment to see a foot specialist at Mayo November 28th, my left foot is very sensitive and the bottom of my foot gets very painful from walking.  I have never seen a doctor for my foot, so I am excited for that.  November 30th I will be having surgery on my left hand at Mayo,  they are going to fuse the bone on my thumb, middle finger, and ring finger.  This procedure will place my hand in a more functional position, but I will still be unable to bend my middle knuckles actively.  And December 26th I am having my jaw broke at the U of M.  So I have two more surgeries planned for this year, and possibly one on my left foot in the future.

Tuesday    December 25, 2007
I am having surgery at the University of Minnesota tomorrow, December 26th.  They will be breaking both my upper and lower jaw.  They will be putting 2-3 screws on each side, they need to do that from the outside of my cheek.  The doctor said they are very small screws, and we won't even be able to tell I have them after a few months.  I report to the hospital at 6:00am, then surgery at 8:00 following a 2 hour prep.  If all goes well I will be in recovery at 12:30. This surgery will change my appearance, and has a 4-5 week recovery.  I also got the results back from the EMG on my left foot, fortunately there is no nerve damage.  This means that my foot is affected from the stroke and brain injury.  I will be having surgery on my left foot this summer at the Mayo.  They will lengthen my Achilles tendon, do a tendon transfer, and fuse my big toe.  This procedure is the last thing I can do, being that I've already gone through physical therapy, and have had injections.  Much like any surgery, there is a risk involved .  They do not know how much Achilles tendon to lengthen.  If they lengthen it too much I will lose my calf muscle, and need to wear an AFO brace the rest of my life.  If they don't lengthen it enough, it will have done nothing at all.  I plan on having this surgery mid-may after spring semester ends.  Please pray for me that these surgeries go well, and are successful.  Thank you!

Wednesday    January 7, 2008
Surgery was a success, and the doctors were very pleased with the procedure.  They broke my lower jaw, and moved it back.  They also broke my upper jaw and moved it to the right.  They placed 2 metal plates in between my nose and upper lip, and 3 screws on both sides of my lowers jaw.  I have come to the conclusion that I talk to much after going through with this procedure.  My mouth gets painful from movement, and I continue to talk?  My jaw is not wired shut, they have 4 bands holding my jaw in place and I have a splint in my mouth to help with that also.  I am on a soft food diet-mashed potatoes consistency I go back in two weeks, and I'm hoping to have the bands and splint removed.  Following the procedure, my face is now perfectly straight.  I am anxiously waiting to be done with all the mouth/face procedures, but realize it's all for improvement.  Thank you for continuing to follow the progress of my recovery, and I will update when information becomes available.

Wednesday    January 23, 2008
       I had my one week post-op for my jaw surgery last Thursday.  I was hoping to have the splint in my mouth and the bands that hold my jaw in place removed.    I was able to get the splint removed, but my jaw wasn't healing correctly, so they gave me new bands and encouraged me to keep my mouth closed as much as possible.  Apparently I was talking too much after the surgery, which wasn't good for the healing process.  My jaw feels great and I'm hoping the new bands will resolve the problem.  The doctor said that if these bands don't help I will need another surgery.  They would go in through the same incisions only on the bottom jaw and put more screws in.  Not like I have enough metal in me already?  I am hoping and praying that I won't need another surgery on my jaw, the doctor also said he would then have to consider wiring my jaw shut again.  I never realized how much I  talk until I was told that I shouldn't, it's a lot harder than I thought-I can't stop talking....

Monday    June 2, 2008

     I had surgery last week on my left leg down at Mayo.  They lengthened my Achilles tendon, did a tendon transfer on my foot, and fused my big toe.  I am now faced with the challenge of operating on one leg for the summer, as I am in a non-weight bearing cast for a minimum of two months.  The doctors were very pleased with the outcome of the surgery, and I am anxious to see the results.  I now need to focus my problem solving on getting to my boat.  There are approximately 50 steps down to the dock, and that's a lot of hopping.  The fish better take advantage of this because I'm determined to find a way on the lake soon.

Wednesday    July 30, 2008

    The surgery on my left leg was a success, and I am now able to walk with no limitations.  They have me in an air cast boot until Sept. then hopefully I will be all done with surgeries on my left leg.  Surgeries are almost routine for me, especially since it's been four years and I'm still having surgeries.  It looks like it has finally come to an end as I don't have any surgeries scheduled, we will have to wait and see though.  Thank you all so much for caring and continuing to follow my recovery, it has served as great inspiration.

Update... Wednesday    July 15, 2009

Hello everyone.   I apologize for the lack of updates, as I have been busy.  One of my goals was to be living back on my own within 5 years of the accident, and I accomplished that goal 1 day before the 5 year anniversary. 


 Pictures of the truck and the snowmobile taken on February 7, 2004
ICU - Pictures taken February 9, 2004

9-18-2004- 266a.jpg (38774 bytes) scan-a.jpg (53938 bytes)
9-18-2004- 264.jpg (74753 bytes)

Kelly & Jon's -Wedding 
September 18, 2004

Derek & Michelle's -Wedding
July 30, 2005

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 Photos from the benefit - Page 1
 More photos from the benefit - Page 2  

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Last updated on 03/13/15
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