Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I don't have a lot of information, but will let you know what I do know.
Last week Dan was in the hospital in Flag had the pins all removed and while in there they found an infection. Last Thursday they sent him home with a pick line (similar to an IV) of antibiotics. Today at 6:30 am he called them because of the pain. They had him come to Flag asap so Amy took him up. They admitted him and he had surgery at 3 pm to clean the infection out of his left wrist. He is staying overnight and will meet with an infectious disease doc tomorrow. Hopefully we will know more after that, please pray for Dan as he fights this infection.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dan's Hands

It has been a little while since I have updated Dan's status in part because he is doing so well. He has had an appointment about the hearing in his left ear and they believe there is dried blood behind the eardrum, so the Dr. Has him putting olive oil drops in that ear which has loosened some of the blood and it has come out so that is improving. The neurological testing went well and the eye Dr. said the muscles around his left have been causing the vision issues in his left eye and that has been getting better. So lots of good news.
He was scheduled to have the pins removed from both hands Thursday, but his left wrist developed some serious swelling and pain. So we went to the Dr. Today and he was immediately concerned and the infection could undo all the work he did in that wrist. So he put Dan in surgery today, removed all the pins from both hands and cleaned out the left wrist joint. They took a culture and will give him an iv antibiotic based on that culture. Unfortunately because they have to be so aggressive and use iv antibiotics he will be in the hospital a week or two. Dan is in great spirits and the Dr. was quite optimistic. He is in room 3616 in Flagstaff Regional Medical Center, keep him in your prayers.
Dan's parents are coming in tomorrow so pray for their safe travel.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Two More Weeks

Dano went to the Dr. today regarding his wrists and goes back in two weeks to have the cast and external fixator removed. He will be sedated, but not completely out and said he would be able to kind of watch the surgery. I'm not sure what that means, but sounds like fun. The Dr. also said in his right had he will most likely have most or all of his mobility in the motion for swinging a hammer, but will lose some the other way...if that makes sense. The Dr. was excited about getting to see and talk to Dan, his last visit Dan didn't see the Dr. that did the surgery but an associate. Dan's belly wound is looking really good and you can see skin growing back in and it is getting smaller all the time. Dan has been doing well and keeping busy working in the camp store and other jobs that don't require any lifting. I am still amazed that he is doing this well in such a short period of time...simply a miracle. His eyesight is improving, but he his still going to see an eye Dr. down in Phoenix on Monday, I am anxious to see how that turns out.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Anger Button

Don't press the anger button!!

My friend Jim and I have realized after much research that there is a very tender spot that is directly linked to the extreme anger part of the brain. We discovered this by some "friendly" slaps to the button. Someone who will remain nameless (although that person is very close to me) "playfully" slapped Jim on the back of the head...twice. After the second time my friend came to me and explained how big of an issue this was for him and his ability to manage his anger. I then passed this on the "nameless" person mentioned above. Then it became personal! I unintentionally made a comment referring to my friend Jim as a lady (this is unusual because these comments are usually intentional). He then slapped me in the back of the head, not hard just a gentle slap at the anger button...I got angry instantly and it even caught me off guard. It was at this point that we had a highly intelligent discussion regarding our extensive brain research (basically 3 slaps on the back of the head).

There must be a nerve from here to the anger part of the brain. We are in the process of sending this study to the AMA as I am sure they are interested in the extensive process of testing we have done. If you have any anecdotal information you would like to add please feel free to contact me.

Don't Slap me Dookie,


Karl and Shyla Update

I talked to Karl this morning and here is the latest info.

Shyla should be released today, she has a broken arm as we already know and either a badly bruised foot or it may possibly be broken. There are not spinal/brain/internal injuries. She does have some tenderness in her neck but they have taken the neck brace off and she doesn't have any serious injuries. Karl, Shyla and her Dad will be headed back to Prescott as soon as she is released. She will likely have the arm set in CA, but will have the foot further checked out here in Prescott. At this point it looks like they will have to meet the deductible for the auto insurance, but the insurance will take care of everything else. Pray for their safe travel and that they would be able to locate Shyla's wallet. Karl sounded good and things are so much better than they could have been.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dan Barker Medical Fund

I talked to Michelle today and can give better information regarding the medical fund for Dan. At this time we have raised $10,500 for Dan's expenses and have used about $3000 to pay bills. As far as we know from the insurance company Dan has a $2000 deductible that has been met. There is also $4,000 max out of pocket for "in network" bills and $8,000 max out of pocket for "out of network" bills. We aren't sure what has happened so that that has been in or out of network, but the max out of pocket total is $14,000. Going forward Dan is going to try and stay in network, but with all the medical that he has been through it is safe to try and raise the full amount. So many people have been so generous and it is greatly appreciated. If you have further questions don't hesitate to ask.
In him,

Karl and Shyla

If you don't know, two of our summer staff were in a rollover car accident on CA today. Karl was driving and said he thinks he dozed off for just a moment and they went off the shoulder into soft mulch. The car rolled, Karl was buckled in and was unhurt. Shyla was thrown from the car and landed fortunately in the soft mulch and was taken to the hospital. At this point they have done lots of tests, but have only found that her radius is broken. All the other tests have come back negative. All positive news, there is still a chance of her having other injuries but from what Karl said not necessarily likely. Shyla's Dad is on his way driving from Prescott. Karl is going to continue to send me updates and I will post them on my blog. Praise God that things weren't worse and continue to pray for Shyla. Also pray that her Dad would have a safe trip.

Not For the Queasy

So Dan and I went to Flag on Tuesday and had a good time, I gave him a lot of crap and he gave it back and we laughed a lot. The Dr. who did the surgery to repair his intestines is a great guy. He came in and asked Dan if he was still using the tube in his stomach, Dan said no and the Dr. said let's take it out. Dan was not mentally ready for that and while the Dr. was pulling it out Dan was laughing and in pain. It was pretty funny to watch. The Dr. also allowed Dan to get rid of the wound vac. Dan just showers daily (an improvement right) and puts neosporin and a dry dressing on his belly wound. I put a picture of it down at the bottom if you are queasy you may not want to look. The Dr. was very clear that very few people could have survived that fall. It is really sobering to talk to a Dr. who sees a lot of people in ICU say Dan one of very, very few people who have survived that. The Dr. also told Dan to walk (trying to walk more everyday), eat 3 meals and 3 snacks a day whether hungry or not and stay busy around camp doing what he can.

Yesterday Dan went to the Ear, Nose, Throat Dr. and did better than expected on the hearing test. He is hearing tone out of his left ear, but can't understand language. The Dr. took dried blood out of his ears, but there is dried blood behind the eardrum in his left ear that is causing the problem So Dan is putting a few drops of olive oil in his ear to loosen up the dried blood and then will go back in early September to have it removed. Hopefully he will regain all his hearing back after they remove the dried blood. Notice I said he would hear, not so sure if he will listen.

With his hands he has 2 more weeks with the external fixator on his right hand and the cast on his left. After that they will look at doing surgery on both hands to remove the pins and the he will have a splint of his left hand and a cast on his right. Going to be a bit on the wrists, but he is doing pretty well in spite of it all.

Dan has had some fun with "pre-fall" and "post-fall" - if you ask him if he remembers something he will as if it was pre-fall or post-fall...or if he has forgotten something he will blame it on being a pre-fall memory. Life is good and Dan is really doing well.

Thanks for your prayers for Dan and the support. Don't forget to check out what Chris Herrington is doing to raise money for Dan and pitch in if you can.

Notice where his bellybutton has moved to and in the upper right you can see where the stomach tube was located. The Dr. said that the red in the wound was created by the wound vac so that skin could grow over it.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Dan Update

I am sorry I haven't given an update on Dan in a while. He is doing really well, just having him walking around camp, helping in the store and talking makes me forget that I even need to give an update. As you can tell he is doing great. He will have casts on his hands for another 3 weeks or so then he will have to have surgery to remove some pins in his wrists. He has the braces off so slowly he is beginning to eat more solid food. I am taking him to the Dr. today in Flag so I should have a little more information to share after that.

On another note we are continuing to raise money for medical expenses. We know that the max out of pocket is $10,000 but think there may be some additional expenses that are not covered by insurance. Dealing with insurance companies can be a bit challenging at times so I apologize for the lack of information.

Chris Herrington has a plan to help raise money for Dan I appreciate his willingness to sacrifice and do something for Dan like this. Head over to his blog and check it out and support Chris as he supports Dan.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Another Day in Paradise

I had a great day yesterday and today is off to a great start so it is just another day in paradise. Just thought I would let you know what was happening with Dan this morning, his mom Linda is taking him to Flagstaff to see the plastic surgeon and he hopes to get the braces off although we will have to see. Linda is leaving from Flag to go home and will take her well deserved vacation. Dan's friend Terry Strong is going to bring him home. We will have a list of Dr. appointments that we will be going on and I will keep you posted on how things go with those. Dan is doing really well at home and is progressing well. I have a statement in my box at work regarding his medical fund and will post that information soon. Hope you have a great day.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Grown Up

I know this is a bit of a fuzzy picture, but you take a picture of two 4 yr olds without them moving and let me know how it goes.

Took this picture of Gunner and his friend Jordan today and I got to thinking about it. Oh to be four again. In their mind they are anything they want to be. I have been thinking about that and my life. I can change who I am if it is something I want to be. I also had this thought today...Dan is wondering what God wants him to do since He brought him this far. What about me, Jesus gave me my life back too, maybe not physically (although I have had my share of near misses) but for sure spiritually. So am I really seeking what it is God has for me? How about you? Are you really seeking what God has for you?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Amazing Photo...Amazing Trip

On June 11th my brother Greg and I took 14 guys from Prescott Christian Church on a river trip in the Grand Canyon. We put in at Diamond Creek and take out on Lake Mead, it is about 75 river miles and this was an awesome trip. There are two highlights that for sure are worth mentioning.

River mile 231 rapid can be a real nasty rapid. The last paddle raft through got too far to the left and nearly flipped. Everyone ended up swimming the last half of the rapid which can be pretty scary stuff. We finally got all the swimmers in the boats, but we were still missing two guys. It is so tough when that happens. As it turned out two guys were stranded on the bank halfway down the rapid above a huge eddy. Couldn't swim against the eddy current and we didn't want them to take the risk of swimming the rapid and it was impossible to climb to us along the bank. We finally got two throw bags of rope tied them to a life vest and floated the rope to them and were able to pull them to safety. Doesn't sound nearly as exciting as it was...just ask Ray and Jim the two guys who were stranded.

The second mentionable was this incredible likeness of a Native American naturally etched on the canyon wall. Bill took a great photo and I did a little work on it to make it easier to find. I have never seen this before, not sure if it will be there when I go back, but it was pretty cool. It is a little grainy in the photo that I uploaded, but was as good as I could get for now. If you click on the picture and get it to full screen it is a little better. I guess Someone was watching over the trip for us.

Home Sweet Home

Dano came home today and I think everyone is pretty excited. I know Dan glad to be back on camp after 4 1/2 weeks of being in the hospital. Linda said that it wasn't the insurance company that moved him out it was a combination of him doing well and to protect him from any sickness that could come from being in the hospital. His Dr. said that it would be better off for him to be home. He has a list of Dr. appointments coming up, his mom is taking him to Flag on Monday to see the plastic surgeon and hopefully have the braces taken off. He has an appointment with an Ear Nose and Throat Dr. regarding his hearing in his left ear, an appointment with an eye Dr. for the vision in his left eye, another one with his orthopedic surgeon regarding his wrists and I think a psych eval. He will be busy for a while with all that. Linda is going to be here until Tuesday then going on a well deserved vacation (a bit reluctantly I might add, but what mom wouldn't be reluctant to leave?), she will then come back after vacation.

For those of you who have given to Dan a huge THANK YOU! It doesn't seem like it is enough, but thank you! I am also going to see if I can get some picts from his Mom when he was in ICU so you can see where we have come from in such a short time. Our local newspaper is doing an article on Dan's accident which is kind of exciting. At some point I plan on taking Dan over to the Rim Rock Fire Department so he can meet them. They asked for updates and for them I am sure that seeing Dan walking and talking would be encouraging.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Coming Home

Today we found out that Dan is coming home Wednesday. I am not sure what happened since Friday when the therapists basically recommended another week, but he is coming home. I don't know if the insurance company didn't authorize another week or if Dan continues to improve at such a rate that he is ready for outpatient therapy, regardless he will be excited to be out of the hospital. I think there is probably a combination of his improvement rate and the fact that he will have help once he is home that is allowing him to leave, but I should have more info tomorrow. He does have a Dr. appt in Flag Monday to hopefully remove the braces and possibly get his hands looked at. We also hope he gets someone to look at his left eye and ear soon.

As far as the Medical Fund, we have around $5,000 so far and that includes money from the lemonade/brownie stand some of the full time camp staff kids have been running. I will find out how much we think we are going to need and an exact amount in the fund so we all know what we are shooting for.

In my feeble little mind I have no way to explain Dan's incredible progress than the hand of God. The number of people praying for him is incredible and I know that God will continue his work. Please continue to pray for his recovery, his patience, his family and the direction for his life.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Dan's Family Meeting

I was honored to be invited to "the family meeting" with all the therapists and Dan's parents by Steve and Linda yesterday at 10:30. Basically the Occupational Therapist (OT), the Physical Therapist (PT) and the Speech Therapist (ST) each gave a report on how Dan is doing in their area and then we got the plan for Dan for the next week.
Basically the insurance company approved Dan to be at the rehab hospital until Monday. So if they don't approve another week he will be home on Tuesday. It is typical for the insurance to go week by week on their approval. If Dan were to go home Tuesday it would require someone to be with him at all times based on what the OT was saying. The PT was very pleased with his progress and based on his eval would release him. The OT and the ST would highly recommend another week for sure and then a re-evaluation. Dan isn't really having problems with his speech, but his brain is still healing and the ST would like to work with him some more on cognitive development. The lead nurse is working with the insurance company and felt like most likely they will approve another week based on what the hospital would recommend. If he does stay another week, which is likely, he will have an appointment in Flagstaff to see the plastic surgeon for his jaw and face and the orthopedic surgeon for his hands. The rehab hospital also wants him to have a neuralogical psych eval, ear nose and throat eval for his left ear and an eye doctor eval for his left eye. Currently he is having some trouble focusing out of his left eye and he cannot hear out of his left ear. I will let you know what he will be doing as soon as I find out, although I would expect him to be there another week. The team working with Dan recommends a discharge date of July 31st, but again it will be week to week on Dan's improvement, the teams recommendations and the insurance company. Steve has gone back home to get caught up and Linda is staying until the 26th or 27th as far as she knows at this time. She will stay longer if necessary.
Dan is doing well, there have been quite a few visitors and I think he likes the interaction with different people. We do need to keep praying that he keeps his spirits up and can have patience with the whole process. He can't eat solid food and has lost about 30 lbs (as you can tell from the pictures) so he has been eating a lot of smoothies, pray for his strength and weight to return. Also continue to pray for him to know what it is God saved his life for as he really believes God wants him here...I think I would agree. Also be praying for the financial piece of this whole thing. The kids of the full time staff here on camp (my kids, Coyne kids and the other Mengarelli's) have been selling lemonade and brownies with the procedes going to Dan's Medical Fund. I will try to get some info on how much we need and how much we have to pass that along to all of you. Thanks for your prayers and here are some pictures for your enjoyment.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Back from Vacation

We did make it back from our vacation last Friday and had a good time in MO and KS seeing the family. Great time on Lake Stockton with Amy's parents, got to see some great friends at church in Lamar and then loved seeing the Mengarelli's. One of the many highlights of the trip was seeing my Aunt Barb's quilt shop. Her passion for what she does and how quilts are a part of people's lives is so obvious. We also loved be at Uncle Jimmie's and hanging out in the bunkhouse...good times.

Another huge highlight to the trip was getting to spend some time with my friend Ky and his family. They have two beautiful girls and the youngest is the one we have been praying for through her heart surgery as an infant. She was born with only one chamber in her heart. Your prayers for Ky and his family have worked because of the 5 other babies with this same condition their baby Kally is the only one still living. They will take her in for surgery again in October and she will have 3 more, but she is doing great. Keep praying. One thing I think it teaches me is that you never know what is going to happen so you enjoy each day.


Now What God?

I had a great time today with Dan just hanging out and talking. I was there from about 3 pm to 6 pm, even had me a $3 meal. It was good to just sit and talk about what is going on and where he is going to go from here. Dan still needs our prayers, I think a big prayer request would be for patience. In his words "I am just done with all this" referring to the casts, the pain in his head and face, his wound vac, the time in the hospital. I know that all of you who know Danny know that what he is going through now is a big challenge for him. To not be able to get out and do things is a bit tough on him.
Another thing that he has talked about with several people and we talked about it quite a bit today is "if God let me live he must have plans for me...i just don't know what they are". Dan realizes that it is by the grace of God that he is even alive. He believes there is a purpose for his life and he is really seeking God to know what that purpose is. Toward the end of our conversation I asked him what specifically to ask for prayer for and this was it. (I brought up the patience one and he agreed.) This is what Dan is processing and what he asked prayer for. He and I have talked about the fact that working in maintenance at UCYC is not his lifetime career. While he is good at it, really we have seen that he is gifted at working with the kids here at camp. As far as I am concerned as his "boss" he can stay in facilities, but I also want him to follow what God has for him and will help him figure that out in any way I can. He is also thinking about the medical field. He recently did very well in an EMT class and has thought about becoming a paramedic. Regardless he is searching for God's purpose and would really appreciate the prayers.
As far as how long Dan is going to be there, we still don't know for sure, but the Physical Therapist that was in the room this evening said 3 to 4 days. I questioned her further and she only said they have been talking about Dan and he is doing very well. I am not one go get my (or yours for that matter) hopes up, but he is doing well and I don't think he will be there for 3 weeks as was initially planned.Keep praying and thank you to those who have given to the Dan Barker Medical Fund...to the rest of you thanks for the prayers and if you can give I know it would be appreciated beyond words.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Today Dan had several visitors and seems to just continue to improve. At physical therapy he was able to walk heel to toe and keep his balance standing on one leg just fine. He also got his first shower in 3 weeks and has had a chance to shave. He also has had the trach pulled so it is just a matter of time before that heals up as well. We are going to try and setup a schedule at the office here at camp to help keep the flow of people spread out rather than 50 visitors at once a few at a time is best. So for those of us here at camp we are going to filter through. Tomorrow I am going to go to Kenny Bailey's memorial service and then I am going to meet Cory Speights (the hero who ran to get help for Dan) and take him in to see Dan. I think they both will enjoy that. I will continue to keep you posted although it may not be quite as often. They think Dan will be there for about 3 weeks, but that would surprise me as he has been ahead of them most of the way at least these past few weeks. Dan's parents have moved into his house here on camp...might have to do some cleaning for the boy if you know Danny you know how tidy he can be. Dan's parents are doing very well and we are glad they are here.


The following post comes directly from one of our former summer staffers facebook page. I will tell you that if you want to support her kids or her in any way it would be money well spent on ministry. Jessica is one of the best we have ever had here and she will do awesome in ministry with these inner-city kids. If you are interested, let me know and I will give you her address:

From Jessica,

"A wild daisy emerges from the Earth, peeks at the sun through much trash and contorts itself around broken glass and concrete. In its becoming, the daisy stands with confidence and is simply what it’s meant to be. Like this small daisy there are children in my neighborhood doing their best to emerge, to seek goodness and to grow successfully. My house mates and I are doing what we can to love the children in our neighborhood and build relationships with their parents. In mid-June 2009, we started a Kids Club. We meet on Monday's from 6-8pm. We have singing, a Bible teaching, crafts, games and a snack. There are about 7-14 children on average that attend.On the 4th of July we took 40 neighborhood children to the zoo; ranging from the ages of 4-17. It was chaotically fun. The trip was a wonderful opportunity for the kids to leave the block and do something fun and educational. This trip was funded by a young adults group from a church in Central Pennsylvania that was visiting Philadelphia for a short-term service trip. However we exceeded the limit of for the number of children that could be payed for. It was a huge blessing to split the cost of the zoo trip with them! There is no way the three of us can fund everything we want to do with these amazing children.This being said I would like to extend the invitation for you to be a part of kids club! Currently we are planning a pizza party for the beginning of Sept. for children who have read 5 books during July and August. Other activities being planned are a trip to a museum, girls night sleep over, and much more. If you would like to sponsor a child for any other these events that would be delightful. I would love to personally talk with you about one of the children from my block that you may sponsor! "

You can contact me by leaving a comment for this post or via e-mail:

Burnt Can Chicken

This evening I was all excited about grilling up some beer can chicken on my gas grill. Will and Karis were in the kitchen and we got the birds all prepped on their cans, covered in oil and Montreal chicken seasoning. Will started to give them their wedding vows...not sure why. Anyway after getting them all settled on the grill I was teaching Will and Karis how to properly clean the kitchen as far as their chores go thinking the chicken just needs to be in there for an hour or so before I check it...you know cook chicken low and slow. When I went to check my fine slow roasted birds this is what I found.

For some reason my wife thought this was funny and that I should blog about it. Fortunately there was some uncharred meat on the inside that was actually pretty good. I am thinking the oil caught on fire and well you get the idea. Oh well, if you can't laugh at yourself you are in trouble so here is my Burnt Bird on a Beer Can.

Monday, July 13, 2009

He Makes Me Laugh

Dan is doing well. We were just hoping at a chance to see him tonight and as it turned out we found his Dad who was lost and helped him find the rehab center and were lucky enough to get in to see him. He was telling me and Jim Smith about having his dressings changed on his wound vac and was cracking us up. He is doing well, he is in some pain yet trying to not take too much in the way of pain meds. He had a lot to say tonight and has really come around to remembering things in just the past 3 or 4 days. He is also sorting out what was reality and what was a dream from the past 3 weeks. While at times he sounds confused I really don't think he is. I think he is just trying to recover from being totally out of it for the past 3 weeks....you can imagine there is a lot to process. For instance, he wants to tell us about all of his injuries as if we didn't know, but from his perspective he just found out so he assumes this is all new information for all of us.

As of yesterday he didn't remember anything about the fall. On the ride down from Flagstaff today he all of a sudden remembered and told us what happened. We had previously speculated that he crossed on a cable car but that is NOT what happened. He was hiking along the creek and crossed the creek by hopping across on some big rocks in the stream. Once on the other side the bank gets steep and rather than get wet or go back, he went up. Where he climbed up wasn't too steep or technical and he cleared it easily I am sure. He was walking on the top of the cliff and he simply slipped and fell. He remembers barely clipping a tree. If you have looked back in my blog you will recall me talking about a dead tree we thought he was trying to climb up. One of our summer staffers went onto the top when I was there and the top is sloped and covered in loose rock and debris and is very treacherous, that is what caused Dan to fall. He does remember falling the first 20 feet thinking he was going to die. After that he doesn't remember much until last Friday. Although there are some memories in between those two that he is trying to figure out. According to Dan's account I have no doubt he fell 40 feet and maybe more like 50 feet with the first part of that being a slide down. There is no question that God was with him.

Right now they are planning on him being in the rehab center for 3 weeks, but if he progresses as fast as he has been I wouldn't be surprised if he was out sooner. Things are going so well for Dan. I will probably go see him fairly often so if you have any well wishes don't hesitate to pass them on to me and I will be happy to get them to him.

Or here is the address if you want to send him something he is in room 102

Mountain Valley Regional Rehabilitation Hospital
3700 N. Windsong Drive
Prescott Valley, AZ 86314

Thanks for all your prayers, it is good to have him less than 30 minutes away instead of an hour and half away. Keep praying for him.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Awesome Phone Call

DAN CALLED ME TODAY!!! Actually his mom called me, but he was the one who answered. Steve said that last night he had some crazy dreams about aliens, which isn't a surprise to me as he has told me and Jim Smith some of his dreams and they are crazy. Anyway when his parents came in he was relieved. He told them he thought they had deserted him, so he was a little disoriented when he woke up. In the night he worked the wires off that hold his jaws together so I guess they won't take those off Monday after all. He had some pureed food last night through a straw and today they were going to feed him some solid food. Anyway he asked his parents if they had Greg (my brother) or my phone number and asked them to call me. He still has the trach so he is figuring out how to talk with that in by covering it up. He wanted to know what happened. I told him, but the nurse came in to give him some medicine so we didn't talk too much, but he said he would call me back. When I told him I met the guy who saved his life by going for help he thought that was pretty cool and I think he will look forward to meeting Cory. I am looking forward to the next call I get from Dan. I honestly don't know how to explain how fast he is recovering except for the grace of God. Three weeks ago I didn't know if he would live, now he is likely to be moved to a rehab hospital early next week. Isn't God amazing!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Dan and Memorial for Kenny Bailey in Prescott

Talked to Linda this evening and she said they have had a good day. They removed all the tubes except for the feeding tube, wound vac and trach. Dan is scheduled to have his jaw unwired Monday so I would expect then to pull the trach fairly soon too. He has also been moved from the step-down unit (a little lower form of ICU) to his own private room today so that was good. Dan is starting to talk, a therapist showed him how to cover the trach so he could get air past his vocal cords, but Dan has figured out someway of doing it without that. Leave it to Dan to find his own way of doing things. Overall good news and a good day.

There is going to be a memorial service for Kenny Bailey at PCC here in Prescott on Wednesday at 11 am. I am looking forward to it and look forward to seeing Polly tomorrow.

Life is good and it is good to be home. Have a great night.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Lots of Good News

After we left Dan this afternoon they did another x-ray on his jaw and after that they went ahead and took off his neck collar. That was really good for him. They also have removed the other chest tube and took out his catheter. He was up twice today walking around and they took him outside in a wheelchair. I am sure he loved being outside, but the air made him cough quite a bit. Hope to hear from the Dr. soon on unwiring his jaw, which was part of the jaw x-ray. He was making some sounds after the collar was off so he is starting to try and use his vocal cords. Pray they unwire his jaw soon so they can start to feed him and can remove the trach. Pray that tomorrow is as productive as today. We want Dan closer to home so we can see him more often, selfish I know but it is also a sign he is making good progress. He has lost a lot of weight and is pretty thin maybe lifting will be part of his rehab I am sure he will gain the weight and muscle as soon as he can. Can't wait to have him over for pancakes on a Saturday morning to fatten him up.

Just Saw Dan

WoW!  Dan has made a lot of progress in the last 10 days since I last saw him.  He recognized us and was moving his arms.  He showed me that he could move all of his finges and was trying to communicate with me.  He did write down who came to see him this morning.  I could tell it was frustrating to not be able to talk and he could couldn't have any water and he wantd some pretty bad.  The hospital in Flag was saying he would be in PV Tueday but a lot still has to happen before that transition can happen.  They did xrays on his neck and those results were good they are going to xray his jaw and if that comes back good they will remove the neck collar.  They can unwire his jaw anytime and that has to happen as well as removing the trach so he can eat.  The chest tube on his right lung is out and the one on the left can go anytime and they also need to remove the stomach tube.  All of that needs to happen before the move so we will have to see if it actually happens by Tuesday or not.  He still has the wound vac and a catheter I believe.  Overall he looks good and seems to be doing very well.  He has been off of pain medication for several days and has only had a little sedative at night once in the past 4 days.  I should have more news later from Steve regarding the jaw xray.  Be praying for everything to happen quickly and smoothly so he can get to PV and start on the therapy.   His parents are doing well and it was very encouraging to see him.
Keep praying and I will post another update later today and of course as things happen.

FW: Dan

This is the latest e-mail I received from Dan's mom Linda.

Date: Thu, 9 Jul 2009 23:31:26 +0000
From: lbarker547@comcast.net
To: kris_mengarelli@msn.com
Subject: Dan

Hi Kris,
Overall, it has been a good day.  We saw the doctor this morning and he seemed to be pleased with Danny's progress.  The decision has been made that when he leaves here, he will go to Mountain Valley Rehab in Prescott Valley.  The question now is as to when.  He has a "baby sitter" with him at all times to make sure that he doesn't pull out any of the tubes or try to get out of bed on his own - or do anything else that he shouldn't.  He has been writing some things on paper, some of which we can read and a lot that we can't.  They are planning on an x-ray of his neck to see if things in that area are such that the neck brace can be removed.  That hasn't happened as of yet today.
The speech theraphist spent some time with him today and I think was surprised at how well he did.  It is my personal opinion that Dan is going to surprise them all and be out of rehab and back to doing what he loves a great deal sooner than anybody thinks possible! :)
The best for last - they got him up this morning and took him for a walk down a bit past the nurses station.  The nurse and PT people kept trying to get him to spread his legs a bit so he would be a bit steadier.  The nurse told him to walk like a cowboy - without any hesitation, he bowed his legs and walked like a cowboy!  I don't think that was quite what John, the nurse, had in mind but it gave all concerned a big laugh!
Have a safe trip home.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Dan Update

I talked to Steve today as well as received an e-mail from Linda.  Dan was more relaxed today.  When responding to commands his response time is getting shorter.  He now has a cast on his left hand and Steve was working with Dan on being able to write.  Yesterday he was trying to write with his hand in the air so he is trying to communicate.  They removed the chest tube from his right lung and Steve thought they could remove the left chest tube and the trach soon.  Once they did that even with his jaws wired shut,  the speech therapist would start working with him.  It also looks like they may move him somewhat soon (late this week or early next week) he may be moved to a rehab hospital.  We hope in Prescott Valley but Steve hasn't heard anything for sure.  We are heading home tomorrow and should be back by Friday and hope to stop in Flag to see Dan.  Keep praying for Dan to fully recover, and thanks for your prayers this far.  Also be sure to let people know about the Dan Barker Medical Fund.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dan's News

Sorry I haven't updated lately.  Dan didn't have a good day on Sunday.  Physically he didn't go back or forward, but he was very agitated, frustrated or restless so they had to give him some sedation.  Yesterday was a good day he was back to responding to questions and his stomach was doing better with the food they were putting in his stomach.  Overall I would expect okay days and better days, continue to pray.
As if we didn't know it was a miracle, Amy's brother-in-law investigates accidents and researches them for the government mine safety inspection organization.  He said he knows of only one other person who has ever survied a 40 foot fall and he fell on his side.  For Dan to have taken that fall and landed the way he did and be doing as well as he is let alone just being alive is nothing short of a miracle.  Continue to pray, but take a moment to praise God for what he has done and what he is going to continue to do with Dan.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Dan's Update

Dan is doing well, the ggod news is that they are talking about moving him to the rehab hospital in Prescott Valley in a week or so pending any setbacks.  Seems like the Dr.s are very impressed with how Dan is progressing.  They did wire his jaws back together and his right lung was starting to collapse so they did surgery to put a tube in on that side to keep it inflated.  I guess it was collapsing because of the pneumonia.  Steve sounded like they weren't too surprised.  His O2 level was still very good.  Katie said he was frustrated, but did try to say good morning to her this morning.  I will post her status from fb on my wall so you can see what she had to say.  Jeni and Mike got to visit him today and were glad to see him.  He was trying to get up out of his chair and get to his bed.  As far as visiting goes it is okay as long as there aren't a bunch of people at once mid-week would be a good time.  Continue to pray, there is a lot to be thankful for, life being one thing for sure.  My brother-in-law investigates mining accidents and said thet he doesn't know of anyone who has survied a 40 foot fall especially landing the way we think he did.  Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers and don't forget that we are raising money to help cover what insurance doesn't.
Send checks to:
Dan Barker Medical Fund
1400 Paradise Valley Rd
Prescott, AZ 86303

Friday, July 3, 2009

On The Move

Wow!  Where to start.  Dan is being moved out of ICU today.  He will be in room 235 bed 2.  He stood up and turned to sit in his chair, stuck his tongue out at his sister (she asked for...literally) and has smiled as best he could.  He is on very little sedation if any.  He is recognizing people and doing very well.  Steve and I both agree that we didn't know if he would make it a week ago let alone be moved to a room already.  There is still a ways to go including rehab, but he is doing well.  Continue to pray for good progress and a complete recovery.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sleepy Day

Talked to Linda (Dan's mom) and Dan has had a lazy day. He was sedated some last night, but no sedation today. He has slept most of the day part of that sitting in his chair. We aren't sure how to interpret that, but it seems like after all he has been through natural sleep as opposed to induced sleep is probably good for him. So at this point, no news is good news.

I am ready to fly to Tulsa to spend the night with my friend Ky and meet Kally. I will hug her for all of you who have been praying and try to take a few pictures for you as well. I can't wait to see my family and enjoy a little down time. Pray for an easy week in facilities here at camp as we will be down to just one facilities stud...Jim Smith. I will continue to be in touch.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

"I'm sorry"

So today they put in the wound vac and that went well and they decided they were going to have him sit in a chair for an hour. Two and a half hours later he was ready to go back to bed I guess. Evidently the "food" they are putting in his stomach made him sick so after they put him to bed he threw up all over the nurse and himself. After that he looked at the nurse and mouthed "I'm sorry." His mom looked at the nurse and asked if she saw that and she said yes he just mouthed "I'm sorry." Great news!

The touching story of the day:
Dan's mom: "Dan, are you in any pain?"
Dan: nods his head "NO"

Dan's mom: "Does your tummy still hurt?"
Dan: nods his head "NO"

Dan's mom: "Do you know that I love you very much?"
Dan: nods his head "YES"

I guess this confirms that he is recognizing people and he is trying to talk. His mom also said that compared to earlier he is not flailing about as before rather it is more like he is trying to stretch. In other words his movements are different. Overall it was a good day for Dano and his mom Linda. Keep praying for a full recovery.

Dan Saw Me Today

I was going to write that I got to see Dan today, but he got to see me and Jim Smith today as well. Dan is off of the ventilator breathing on his own through the trach and is still on oxygen. They took him off of the IV sedation and now just give him some through an IV when he needs it. While we were there he looked at both of us with his right eye as his left is still swollen but looking a lot better. We believe that he probably recognized us as we was looking back and forth between us, his eye was tracking very smooth and there was good light behind his eyes. In many ways it was very encouraging to see him because he looks so much better. He followed commands this morning and was able to nod his head "no" when the nurse asked if he was in pain. He is moving a lot and in past posts I have said that they keep him sedated because he is agitated. I am sure he is, but a lot of the movement seemed to me like he was just restless. It seemed like he was moving to try and get comfortable or to stretch, with someone so active I am sure his body wants to move around just for the sake of moving. His fever is kind of up and down which could be coming from the pneumonia and/or an infection. Yesterday they opened up the incision in his abdomen to let it drain and today they are going to put a wound vac in that incision to help keep it cleaned out and draining. I think there is some infection in that area. Pray that the antibiotics and Dan's body fight off and get past the infection so he can continue on in the healing process. Jim and I also think he wants to talk but with the trach and his jaw wired shut it is impossible and that could be a little frustrating. Sometime last night or this morning he worked the wires loose on his jaw and will have to have it wired back again today. The nurse did say they were going to try to keep the visits down today and I think that will be the case until he calms down a little more. I also understand that in order for him to be moved to a regular room he will need to be off the vent and off of sedation...one down one to go. Pray that he would understand more and where he is and the need to be calm and rest as he comes off of the sedation. I know it is tough for him to relax, but that is what he needs to do.

Looking at my report I gave some "I Thinks", those aren't from the Dr. and are my opinion based on the information I have so be careful with those as I don't want to spread false information and I don't want those who read this to either.

Thanks for the prayers and support Dan's dad and sister will likely come out tomorrow and then on Sunday his mom and sister will fly back and his mom is driving on Monday to come back to Flagstaff. Pray they have safe travel. I am bummed that I won't get to meet his sister in person although I am sure we will get to sometime. Even though I am leaving to go on vacation with my family I will be staying up to date and will continue to update my blog with information. There will likely be less to report as he continues to progress steadily, but I will keep you posted daily or so depending on what there is to report. If I don't update it, "no news is good news."

Thanks again for your concern and prayers...things are looking better every day.
In His Grace,

PS - Don't forget the medical fund for Dan and Michelle pointed out in a comment that it will probably be more legit if checks are sent to the camp as opposed to my home address although either will work.
Make checks to:
Dan Barker Medical Fund
1400 Paradise Valley Rd
Prescott, AZ 86303

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Latest

We are into slow and steady it seems for Dan. Today though there was a bright spot. The physical therapist had Dan sit on the edge of the bed! Dan was still partially sedated, but the medical staff was really pleased with how he did. They were on either side of him making sure he stayed balanced, but with help they sat him up so that is some good news. He is completely off of the ventilator, just taking some oxygen. His fever has been staying down around 99 degrees, so they still don't know what caused it to spike. The Dr. did remove some of the staples in his abdomen as it is pretty red and swollen so there may be some infection there that they will need to keep an eye on. His mom seems to be doing okay and it looks like Steve and his sister Katie will be back here Thursday. Jim Smith and I are going up to visit tomorrow morning early, so I should have some more news in the morning. Continue to pray for his healing he has a long way to go.

Don't forget, and tell your friends about the Dan Barker Medical fund. You can walk into any National Bank of Arizona and donate or send a check to me made out to Dan Barker Medical Fund.
Kris Mengarelli
1533 Paradise Valley Rd
Prescott, AZ 86303

The funeral for Kenny Bailey is going to be held on Friday at Hansens Mortuary 8314 . 7th St in Phoenix. There will be a 10 am visitation and an 11 am funeral. Polly seems to be holding up okay although she said she hasn't had her big cry yet. I can't imagine how hard it would be to lose my wife of 15 years, so I know losing your soul mate of 65 years must be extremely difficult. Please pray for Polly to be able to handle the decisions she faces and for her strength in the difficult time. If you have a story about Kenny send it to Jason Price at jason@prescottchristian.com. He is the pastor at Prescott Christian Church and wanted some for the service I believe. If you don't know Jason you are missing out. He is a good man and I appreciate how he has walked through this with Polly and Kenny. He ministers not because it is his job but because of who he is and Who he follows.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Dan Update and Financial Help

Papa Papa
I don't know if I mentioned this here, but the first 24 hrs Dan was known as Papa Papa. I kind of like his new nickname. The mediflight or EMS crews had given the name so ICU used it until his name and data got into the computer. The good news of the day is that Dan spent most of the day off of the ventilator breathing on his own. They still have him on some oxygen, but he is off the vent. He may go on tonight if he has trouble breathing tonight, but then tomorrow they would try to take him off. Earlier today they found 80 ml of fluid outside of his left lung between it and his ribs putting pressure on that lung making it hard to breathe. After removing that he was breathing better. They haven't found the cause of the fever he had yesterday, but CT scans of his head and abdomen didn't show any signs of infection and the spinal tap test for meningitis came back negative as well. He did respond to one command, but otherwise has not. He also has had his right eye open and tracks people across the room although his eye movement is somewhat jerky.

We have opened an account at National Bank of Arizona called the Dan Barker Medical Fund. As you can imagine the medical bill for this is going to be astronomical. Dan has insurance but is going to need to meet his deductible and I would guess his max out of pocket expense. To contribute all you need to do is walk into any National Bank and let them know you want to donate to the Dan Barker Medical Fund. They should be able to help you. Or you can send a check to me made out to Dan Barker Medical Fund. We have already had the missions committee from a church express interest in donating and an 8 year old girl gave $50 to the fund so if you have been wondering what more you can do besides pray here is your chance. If we raise more than the max out of pocket I am sure there will be some physical or occupational therapy that the money could go toward or if he is unable to work with his hands possibly training or education.

Kenny and Polly
As I mentioned in my facebook status Kenny went to be with Jesus early this morning at 2:50. He was resting peacefully at the time and Polly told us she had prayed that God would take him home as he really didn't have any kind of quality of life. I don't know whether Polly is going to stay here at camp, or move down with one of her children. I also don't have any info on when services will be held for Kenny. I do know we need to keep Polly in our prayers, 65 years together is a long time and I believe those two have truly become one so this is going to be difficult for Polly.

My family left for Missouri to visit Amy's family last Friday and I am going to go join them this Thursday evening I am going to fly out. I will then drive back with them around the 8th or 9th of July. I am looking forward to some down time. I will continue to check in with Dan's parents and post updates here. Things seem to be more stable and a little slower as far as Dan is concerned so keep praying for slow steady progress.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


So the spinal tap was negative so that is good news as far as having meningitis goes. Still looking for the infection though. They were to do a CT scan to look for infection in the area of his face where they did the surgery. They were also going to check his abdomen to see if there may be an infection there. Don't have a lot to report, just keep them in your prayers.

Ups and Downs

Dan had a good morning when I was there yesterday, his surgery went well etc, but in the afternoon he developed a very high fever and had tremors. They did a spinal tap to check for menengitis and haven't gotten the results back from that yet. Doesn't seem like this is "normal" for this type of serious injuries from what I am getting so we need to pray that the Dr. can figure out what is going on. This morning his fever was back down.

His dad has gone back to Colorado and will return with his sister this week, when will depend on Dan's condition. Please continue to pray for them, especially pray for his mom as it can be difficult being here by herself. I know that it is easier to stay positive when you have someone with you so you can lean on one another.

Kenny Bailey
No new news this morning on Kenny. Please pray for the family. At this point they are simply making him comfortable. It is very touching to watch Kenny and Polly interact with one another even in this time. Their faith is amazin.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Dan is out of surgery.  He has a trach and a feeding tube that goes in through his side into his stomach.  He looks better, has better color in his face and it is nice to see without the tubes taped to his nose and mouth.  He has pneumonia in his right lung (not the one that was bruised), but is still doing okay and has been initiating breaths on his own just using the vent for the O2.  Part of the purpose of the trach and feeding tube is to clear things off his face and hopefully reduce his agitation when they wake him.  The way I understand it removing the tubes from his nose and getting him a clear breathing passage should help know more about brain damage.  He looks more comfortable than ever.  Continue that there is no permanent brain damage.

His parents seem to be doing quite well.  His dad is going back home to take care of some business and will return with his sister Katie.



At the hospital in Flag this morning to see Dan.  He went to surgery around 8:30 am to put in a tracheotmy and loosening his jaw so they can put a feeding tube into his stomach.  I was told us he wouldn't be out for a couple of hours.  He does have pneumonia which due to the trauma to his lung probably isn't too surprising.  The trach should help him breathe on his own and help them suction out phlem as he coughs it up.  They need to put food in his stomach to keep his digestive system going.  Will send more updates after surgery.

Friday, June 26, 2009


There is some good news from yesterday that I have yet to blog about. Dan obeyed commands! It is tough because I want to be excited and then interpret what that means, but we need to be cautiously optimistic. I think it is very positive, but as his dad said there are going to be ups and downs we are encouraged and optimistic but know there will be some tough days ahead as well.

Today there hasn't been much of a change. He is breathing on his own so the ventilator is not breathing for him although he is still on oxygen. They have been trying to take out the vent tube, but he has been too agitated, thrashing around when they try. He needs to be calm so they can see that he is able to breathe without the vent tube in. They are trying every couple of hours. If they continue to have problems they will pull the tube and do a tracheotomy. So Dan will be breathing on his own through the trach if it comes to that. I know they are going to try and get nutrients to his stomach soon as well. Today he also obeyed some simple commands so that continues to be good news.

I spoke to Carlos - one of the paramedics that found and rescued Dan and have a little better timeline than before. The Rimrock FD got the 911 call at 4:08 pm from a good Samaritan from Prescott named Cory Speight. Cory heard the cry for help and something in it made him realize that someone was truly hurt (he credited God and has been praying with his family for Dan every night, he was grateful for the update). He hustled to the ranger station and reported it and helped them know where he heard it from. He chose to do this as he has no medical training and wasn't sure what he would do if he found someone. Carlos estimated that at 5:40 pm the TRT got to Dan. Dan was not up and moving but did know his name and age. By 7:01 pm the TRT got Dan onto the helicopter at the "Y" where the Weir and Bell trails split. Carlos was not sure when the helicopter took off, because they had some procedures they had to do before they could fly. Carlos was shocked by the fact that as they hiked in 80% of the people they talked to had heard Dan and done nothing. Thank God for Cory Speight. A DPS ranger is the one who flew Dan out.

Greg, David and Don went to the site of the fall yesterday. There is a cable with a cart from the trail side to the other side which is a pretty sheer cliff. The cable car was locked yesterday when they were there, but the paramedic said it was unlocked and on the trail side when they rescued Dan. We are just GUESSING, but we think maybe Dan saw the cart and decided to cross the creek. Once on the other side he climbed up and got to the cart, but the cart rolled to the trail side leaving him stranded. As he was trying to climb down he fell 30 to 40 feet. Again this is a guess and we may never find out for sure.

Please continue to pray for him and his family.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Good Morning Visit

Jim Kendrick and I had a great visit with Dan this morning.  The ICU RN allowed us in for about 30 minutes in spite of it being during the shift change.  His early morning wakeup went better than yesterday.  He is not obeying commands yet, but waking up and being agitated is still a good sign.  His head/brain injury is still the top concern.  The only way to know for sure takes time.  The next step is to wean him off the ventilator, remove the vent tube and remove the sedation medication .  They will then be able to get a better handle on the brain injury by communicating with him as he will be awake.  They also are going to need to get a feeding tube to his stomach soon.  They pinned his lower jaw and wired his jaws together so the vent tube goes down his right nostril.  His jaw will be like that for 6 - 8 weeks and his hands may be in casts for that long as well.  The RN said he will have an infection somewhere with this many injuries it is inevitable, hopefully the antibiotics and Dan's body will fight it off.  They have been taking cultures of his blood trying to figure out what bacteria they will be fighting.  Relatively good news overall, but these next 3 to 4 days will be critical as the wean him off the vent and sedation.  Pray that all goes well.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Right Hand Surgery

Dan just got out of a 3 1/2 hour surgery on his right hand. It went well, but it was pretty broken up. They used screws and wires to put everything in it's place and some of that will come out at a later date. The Dr. is very uncertain about how much use of his hand he will have. I am going to make an early morning run to Flagstaff tomorrow with Mr. Kendrick. So I will update his progress again tomorrow mid-morning. There is still a lot of concern about the trauma to his brain, as Matt the night ICU nurse said they know a lot about the brain, but there is so much they don't know that it is still uncertain. Please continue to pray for the family as I know this is very draining and can be very difficult times.

Trust Him

So much is going on it seems. If you have been following what is going on with Dan there isn't much that is new this morning. Scheduled for surgery late this afternoon on his right wrist.

I stopped to talk to Polly Bailey. Her husband Kenny has been in the hospital for some time now and they need our prayers as well. Kenny is doing okay, but has a long road in front of him and there is a lot of uncertainity on when he will come home, long term care facility etc. Polly is so grateful for prayers and how people have reached out to her. I noticed that while I admire her faith and trust she isn't that much different than the rest of us, it is still hard for her at times. She and Kenny have been married for 64 years (65 soon) and she said she can't leave his side and being at home is the hardest thing for her.

I did get a picture from Ky of their daughter Kally (Kali is how I spelled it before). She is the one we have been praying for that was born with only one chamber in her heart. She is a beautiful baby. Keep praying for her as she has some upcoming surgeries although she is doing really well right now.

So this is how the Body of Christ works, we reach out - we reach into others lives and try to do what Jesus would do.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dan's Out of Surgery

Dan went into surgery later than expected, and just now came out. They put titanium plates in his forhead and below his left eye. The reason his left hand was of such concern there was a bone that was pushing against the nerves that control his fingers and it was extremely important that they remove that pressure so that he would have use of his hand. Surgery went very well and both the Drs. were very positive and pleased with how things went. He will likely have surgery tomorrow late in the day on his right hand.

I have also been thinking about the body of Christ...the Church as God has in mind. No one is asking what denomination or junk like that people are just rising to the occasion. I think this is it. So many people have been praying and helping in so many ways. Someone connected with Young Life (Dan volunteers with them) has allowed the Barker's to stay in a vacation home they have there. Another couple is taking a car for them to borrow tomorrow. People reaching out to those in need now that looks like the Body.

Thanks for the prayers,

Dan's Surgery

Just called Dan's Dad to see how surgery went and he still isn't in. He is expected to go into surgery around 6:15 pm. I would guess this had to do with scheduling to get both surgeons there at the same time. At this point they are going to do surgery on his face and his left wrist. As I mentioned earlier his left wrist was found to be more in need of repair right now than his right. I will expect to hear from his Dad sometime after surgery is over. Also his sister had surgery today and is home resting doing well to my understanding. Please pray for these two surgeries, and look for an update later on how things went.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dan's Latest

Ahh a nice big keyboard, this typing will go much faster.

Basically not too much has changed regarding Dan since I last posted and that is probably how things are going to go for a while now. There may not be much big news to pass along but I will still use facebook, twitter and text to pass the word on Dan. I plan on checking in with ICU or Dan's dad twice a day, and they know to call me if anything significant happens. I will then post once or maybe twice what I know even if it is brief. Right now things seem to be progressing well, but he is still a critical patient. He has come a ways, but he probably has a much longer way to go at this point.

As far as visiting goes - Dan is sedated which does not mean he is asleep. The Dr. called it the 4th dimension. He said while it looks like he is sleeping he is not necessarily asleep and right now he needs 20 hrs of sleep a day. So when visitors come in talking and such will wake him up. He needs some of that type of interaction that is positive and upbeat, but it is more important for him to get some sleep for the most part. I know this is hard because there are literally a hundred people who would like to see him, but we need to be sensitive to the needs of his family and let them have most of the time in the room. This is going to be a bit of a haul so there will be opportunity to visit after he is out of ICU. I say all of this not to say don't go up, but just be very cognitive of family and Dan and don't be disappointed if you don't get in to see Dan. Right now he and his family need our prayers more than anything.

The latest:
They are planning facial reconstruction surgery for tomorrow afternoon. If possible they will also operate on the right wrist. That will depend upon the schedule of the ortho surgeon. My understanding with the right wrist at this point is that there is a short section of bone that is broken and free floating. While it is not out of where it should be, it is not getting blood flow through it and they want to fix it so he doesn't lose that bone and functionality of his hand. His lower jaw is broken in two places and the left eye socket is going to need some reconstruction which is what they will be working on tomorrow afternoon.
Dan is a fighter and he is fighting hard and doing well for what he has been through and the injuries he has sustained. There has been no change in his brain injury which at this point is good news - not getting worse is a really good thing. It is going to take time now for it to heal. His lungs seem strong, even the left lung is doing well and he takes extra breaths in spite of the ventilator, this is great. I would guess being in good shape really helped with this injury. As long as the antibiotics hold off any potential infection every other injury he has will heal. I think it is important for us to remain positive and upbeat for him and his family. If you do get to see him (which may be unlikely until he is out of ICU) be positive.

Some Positives

We saw Dan after his CT scan and there are some real postives:
brain didn't show any increase in swelling or damage so it was stable
lungs seem strong they are leaving him on the vent due to upcoming surgery on his right wrist and face.
His vitals have been steady since surgery which is really good.
He does have a broken lower jaw both sides all the way through.  His left eye socket has a lot of damage below his eye and fractures above his eyes and left temple plate.  
They are going to try to do surgery on his rt wrist and face.  Once surgeries are done maybe later this week or the beginning of next week, they will consider removing the vent.  He is progressing but not out of the woods yet.


I am getting tired of this little keyboad and long updates, but here we go.  Spent last night at a hotle in flag and got some good sleep.

Dan's parents made it in last night.  His mom stayed last night with him and his dad is staying here today.  I will come home today and his dad will continue to give me updates and I will spread any news.

Dan is doing okay.  Still sedated and progressing.  Amazingly he has broken vertebrae in his neck but it is the "spines" of bone that come off the vertebrae so there is no spine damage and they will heal.  He went in for a CT scan this morning at 8:30 and will be out around 10 am.  There is a lot of waiting at this point.  Head injury is still an unknown but he seems to be doing okay.  His lung is a big concern but he has been taking breaths on his own.  He vent is set for 14 breaths per min, he has been taking 16 breaths.  Infection from surgery is a big concern as well, but he is on some strong antibiotics.  They are looking at his face/head to see how to reconstruct the bones that are broken.  Flagstaff has a great trauma center and they will keep him here for a few weeks in ICU.  

Continue to pray for him and his family.  Let me kow if you have questions.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dan is out of surgery

Dan is out of surgery and the surgeon stopped by and gave us the update.  He did find two holes in his small intestine and was able to repair them.  They also removed 72 ounces of fluid.  He now needs rest and prayer.  Dr. said he is doing okay.  Dan's parents are on their way up from Phoenix pray for their emoional strength and safe travel.  Thanks and we will keep you updated.

Dan Update

Jim Smith and I just talked to the Dr.  Dan is responding to pain when touched in his lower abdomen.  This leads the Dr. to believe he may have an intestinal injury.  They are doing exploratory surgery if they find nothing they will sew him up and he will just have a scar.  If they find somethig they will fix it.  Keep praying for the Dr. to have wisdom and for Dan in surgery.

Dan Update

I know many of you are praying for Dan.  I will try to keep my blog updated and post the link to my blog in facebook.

The trauma Dr. is most concerned about the trauma to his brain and they don't want the swelling in his brain to increase so they are watching that closely.  The second most critical injury is the deep bruise to his left lung.  After that the other injuries will heal but it is a long road ahead.  The other injuries are a fractured pelvis, laceration to his head, facial fractures, broken jaw, fractured right wrist and other internal injuries may show up later.  The next 48 to 72 hours are critical as far as the head injury is concerned.  He will likely get worse before he gets better, the ICU nurse said that will be difficult for his family and friends to see.  It is a miracle that he is alive and that EMS could find him.  Please continue to pray.  I will try to keep this up to date and accurate.  His parents are on their way and should be here around 10 pm tonight.  I think his sister is also coming later this week.  Pray for their safe travel and strength through this time.  Thanks for your prayers and concern.  Let's stay as positive and upbeat as we can and keep praying.  Thanks again for your support.
In His Grace,

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Kali Kiger

She is HOME! I know this is great news, Ky said she was eating from a bottle and doing very well...better than the Dr. expected. She has been gaining 1/2 to 1 ounce a day which is really good. We need to keep praying for her cardiovascular system to grow and keep up with the demand of her growing body as they prepare for surgery in another 5 months. Ky is very grateful for all the prayers and thoughts. Keep it up and we are excited about what God has done so far.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Back in the Saddle

Went for a ride this morning at 5:30 am. I hate getting back in shape, I also hate the fact that I have been off the wagon for so long. Hopefully I will start the climb back on the wagon and get in shape for the summer but more importantly for life. I ran yesterday and rode today tomorrow I will take a little time to recover and Friday I will ride again. Now if I can just stay off of the sweets.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What the Hell

Okay so I got your attention with the title and now you are going to start reading and have that reaction to this little entry. Oh well guess that is the chance I take for having a catchy title.

I heard a podcast talking about hell, I guess there are two camps (there are probably thousands actually) but two that are sort of opposites. Both use scripture even some of the same scriptures to make their case. On one side is the there is no such thing as hell as we have been taught in the bible camp. Basically "ultimate reconciliation" saying if God is love how could he live with himself by torturing us for eternity. Basically they would believe that there may be a hell but it is more of a temporary or that God will redeem them from that place. On the other side there is the classic hellfire and brimstone believers who almost need an angry God. A God who damn right you will burn and be tortured for eternity. So which is it? Maybe a better question, WHO CARES! No one has been there and people can back up their stuff and you can look at the same verse and have each side tell you what it means. I guess I have less time than they do, because I don't have time to worry about that. No one has been to hell so no one really knows and does it matter? It may be somewhat important, but I run away from the arrogance of saying I have all of anything figured out. I am learning and I want to learn...how to hear Jesus, how to follow the Holy Spirit in my life, how the Father's love fits with his judgment....

On another front I heard a guy just ranting about the prosperity gospel...if you believe in Jesus everything will go great for you and yours, you will get riches, your pig won't die, well won't run dry etc. Disgustingly this is presented in some third world countries! So you go to the poorest place on earth tell them believing in Jesus will prosper them...of course they believe! But not because they know Jesus loves them. It is awful to manipulate people in this way. Again on the other hand you have the scare the hell out of people gospel believe because if you don't YOU WILL DIE FOREVER! What a reason to believe, again not the loving relationship that Father invites us into.

I find myself being less extreme (sounds crazy but spiritually) and more gracious, that includes gracious to God to allow Him to be God and to allow Him room to rescue people from hell or not. He is God I am not, and I just want to learn what it looks like to walk with him daily. I feel like right now I am fumbling around a lot, but I also feel as though I am headed in the right direction.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Latest on Kali Kiger

Ky called me today to share some good news. The Docs were first of all amazed that Kali was doing so well. I think they honestly didn't think she would be doing this well, nothing short of a miracle really. They did and upper GI and she has all of her organs, spleen, stomach and everything else and they all seem to be functioning fine. They aren't where they are supposed to be, but that is still good news because they are working. Her heart and lungs are doing as good as they expected. The Docs think that she may go home in a couple of weeks. She needs to start eating, she tries but Ky said he thinks it is a matter of time her throat is sore when she swallows and she is still recovering from major surgery.

Be praying for her because the next big surgery is actually 6 months out, but Ky said that it is important that as she grows her heart and lungs and blood vessels keep up. I guess it is like the body grows and increases demand and the heart, lungs and vessels have to increase the supply. If that doesn't happen then the Docs said there isn't much they can do for her. Obviously that would be tough. Ky wanted me to make sure and thank everyone for their prayers and thoughts. He is positive that is what has brought them this far so continue to be thinking and praying for the Kigers.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Kali Kiger

Ky called today and said that Kali is off the ventilator breathing on her own! This is great news. Pray that she begins to eat next. She can nurse but still isn't getting anything. Also we can be praying for the next surgery, it will scheduled for 3 months from now. Hug your babies and say a prayer for Ky, Theresa and Kali.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


It has been a busy run lately. I have been working a lot on remodeling a house here on camp that we also moved into last weekend (at least partially anyway). We have had volunteers on camp so that has kept me working as well. So after 2 1/2 weeks or so without a day off I am toast. I am taking it easy today (or at least trying) and I hope that helps me get refreshed for more. I think I am going on a mountain bike ride and am taking lunch to the kids...ahhhh! A little relaxation is good for the body, mind and soul.

Kali Kiger

Just want to send out the latest on Ky and Theresa Kiger's baby Kali. Monday they closed her chest and her one chambered heart is functioning as expected for the most part. They have been working to wean her off of the ventilator and we need to be praying that she will begin to breathe on her own. It has been a hectic for the Kiger's, but it seems as though Kali is stabilizing a bit. Continue to pray for them to have strength and wisdom and for Kali's health. Ky also says thanks to everyone who has been praying it is what has gotten them through.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Love First

I listened to a podcast today that helped me quite a bit in sorting things out that I have been thinking about regarding my faith. The God Journey podcast is one of the few podcast that I listen to and it has been okay, but today it really spoke to me. I was listening to one titled "Kindness and Severity". I know that there are those out there who would criticize Wayne Jacobson and Brad Cummings as having a love only view of God and I have been wrestling with how that works with what I read in the bible. In this podcast they did a good job of explaining that they do believe in a God of judgment and "severity" but the point they had was that we need to start with God's love because that is where the severity of God comes from. I think the point they were making is that if we KNOW that God LOVES and live in that LOVE then the severity comes from love. I don't feel like I am doing it justice, but it is similar to the book I am reading by Brennan Manning titled The Furious Longing of God where contradictory terms are used to describe God. It seems like we want to separate who God is when in fact He is love first and love always even though that includes love with judgment, love with fury, love with... I have found myself in the past wanting God to be the mean God of judgment with people I had already judged rather than loving them as God loves me. The bible says "God is Love" so everything He does is motivated by love. Unless I am mistaken I don't think the bible ever says "God is Judgement", "God is wrath" etc. He is love, His very being is love and I may never completely understand how God's love and wrath go together, but there is no question that they both describe God. I think maybe it helps me to just know that God is Love and everything he does comes from this crazy about me love...even when it doesn't make sense or it even hurts.
I hope this whole post doesn't sound too convoluted.

Kali Kiger

I talked to Ky today, he said last night and today were the first good days they have had. They have been unable to take Kali off medications to allow her kidneys to remove fluid and swelling due to inaccurate readings regarding her blood pressure and some other vitals. They get those readings from a probe in a blood vessel and they can’t find a vessel that will hold and give them a good reading. Kali has been “fighting” the Docs so they have sedated her to the point of paralysis so she won’t move and pull things out etc. Tonight they are going to try to put the probe for her vitals in her brain (not sure how that works). If that doesn’t work I am not sure what is next. They sure need our prayers. I think Theresa is doing okay and Ky sounded better today than he has since the baby was born. I could tell because he was asking me about my family and how we were doing.
Keep praying for them,

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Good Friends

If you have seen my facebook page you know that I have been using my status to ask for prayers for Ky and Theresa Kiger. I spoke to Ky yesterday and have gotten some more information. Kali is so swollen from the surgeries and she cannot handle any more surgeries so if she has any more complications with her heart or if the swelling would affect her brain there is little the Doctor's could do to help. They are going to begin to test her kidneys as they move her off medications to see if she can remove the fluid from the swelling herself. The next 48 hours are fairly critical. If the surgery is successful she has life expectancy of 8 years or so. After that they can do a heart transplant which will give her another 10 to 12 years. Theresa has been taking it hard understandably so. She and Ky both really need our prayers for strength through all of this. Please continue to pray.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Keep My Commands - In Context

Reading today from John 14 - 15 somewhere in there. John 14:15 in context looks very different than I have heard it used. That verse is the classic "If you love me you will keep my commandments.." and from there the question is what are the commandments Jesus wants us to keep. Often I have seen those commands listed as all sorts of things, mostly external IE - tithe, be baptized, don't use profanity, don't drink, don't smoke, don't chew, be in church every time the doors are open, hand out tracts, evangelize, serve in the church, etc. But after reading the verses (chapters even) before and after that verse I didn't find any of those in there.

I found this in John 13:34-35 "Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I love you, love one another..."

I found this in John 15:11-15 "...This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends..."

I admit that I am just as prone to make a list of commands because it is easier than learning to live loved and learning to live a life of love. I guess more than anything I am excited to finally figure out what the commands are and I am grateful to Jesus for keeping it simple for people like me and for giving us the perfect example.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Is Confusing

Had a nice talk with my 4 year old:
Gunner - "Dad what's Easter"
Me - "It's when we celebrate Jesus coming back from the dead."
G - "How did he do that?"
Me - "He is God"
G - "How is He God?"
Me - "That is how He was created to come to earth."
G - "So does He bring all the eggs?"

Darn Easter Bunny
Gunner comes to me with some candy he found in an Easter egg - an atomic fireball jawbreaker. I told him it was hot but he was determined to eat it so I let him. He puts it in his mouth and in a matter of seconds covers his mouth with his hand. Then after a few more seconds he spits it out..."Dad my tongue needs some water"

LOL! Love my kids they bring me so much joy.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Performance-based Christianity

I was at this small group meeting last night of a sort of random group of people. Amy and I enjoy it and thought that last night was the best discussion that we have had. We were talking about Jesus and his first role is salvation. As we discussed what this looks like I asked the group (Amy and I are the youngest so there is a lot of wisdom) how! How do you live this life in Christ? The life in Christ that Jesus talks about where we are one like Jesus and the Father are one and we are intertwined...John 13 - 15? There was some good discussion and I got a few things out of it. Someone said that spending time reading the bible and praying is not necessarily for God, He doesn't need it, I need it. I need to give it some more thought, but it is true that I need that to help me with this walk. Although the bible does say that God inhabits the praise of His people. I was grateful to NOT get the usual stuff that is said about when you don't have that daily time with God your day goes bad (performance based love and grace from God on your day), but your day may seem better because your attitude is better by starting the day off in reading the bible and praying.

The other significant conclusion that I came to has really helped me. Our society is very performance based. If you do good work you get promoted, if you do well in school you get college paid for, if you are good in sports you get a scholarship and the list goes on. I am not saying that is bad, but it is the reality of where we live. As such whether I applied this same performance based attitude and applied it to my faith or whether churches in the West have helped create this doesn't matter. What does matter is that where I am in my faith right now is on a journey out of performance-based faith. Performance-based anything is so conditional. God is not going to love me any more or any less based on what I do. This doesn't give me license to go sin (just ask Paul) rather it helps me know that God loves me period! I can't earn more of His love than you and God isn't going to withhold His love for me. This kind of love draws me into Him more and more, I want to read, I want to pray I want to get close. It is a challenge to break this performance based thought pattern. I will also say this is pretty fresh material for me so I have some more processing and don't mind some help so I you want to talk about it or make a comment I would love to hear from you.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Last Words

Lately I have been helping coach a middle school wrestling club. We are just getting started and haven't wrestled any tournaments, but I have been thinking about what is said before the match. What do the college basketball coaches say to their team right before they go on the court? After reading a little in Brennan Mannings new book "The Furious Longing of God" he mentions John 13 and then it clicked...the last instructions before you go on the mat or court or field are typically the boiled down version of everything you have been working on in practice. So if I want to "get" what Jesus time with the disciples was about I can look at what he told them before he went to the cross. So I think I am going to spend some time reading John 13 - 15 as I prepare to celebrate what Christ did for me. One thing that I just realized this morning is that it is here that Jesus says if we love Him we will keep his commands and in this same chapter he commands us to love Him. This was quite a revelation for me because I always have thought I can't keep all the commands of Jesus, which ones exactly should I keep? Ten Commandments, all of the law, how about the sermon on the mount...don't look on a woman with lust that is the same as adultery etc, wow that doesn't help because the sermon on the mount only makes the Ten Commandments look easy. I think Jesus came to ask us, command us to love as he has loved us..."the greatest of these is love, love the Lord your God with all you heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself." I am truly seeking to love as Jesus loved us.

Can't wait to see what else I find in the "pre-game meal" Jesus had with His disciples.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Laugh 'Til She Cried

Yesterday I was listening to some podcasts from The Drew Marshall Show truly the best podcast interviews I have ever listened to. I suggest checking him out if you get a chance. One of the podcasts was comedy bits just for fun to finish his show and so last night I played them for my family. We watched all of the ones at this link Tim Hawkins and my kids and Amy laughed until we cried. It was so much fun just laughing as a family...like camping we need to do that more.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


I went to church at PCC this morning and the message was about 99.5%. Danny Cox mentioned that only 0.5% of our time would be spent in church on Sunday morning and that really got me to thinking. What about the other 99.5% (which was his point). Whether or not I go to church is not necessarily what makes the difference, it is really what I do with the other 99.5%. At our bible study on camp last Thursday we talked about really trying to live this relationship with Jesus day in and day out. Checking our hearts and how do we do that...by checking out hearts to what the bible says, allowing the Spirit to lead us and interacting with others (both Jesus people and those who aren't Jesus followers). Obviously I got something from going to church as I was challenged, just one of many ways God uses people to touch us. I am also reading a book by *Brother Yun a Chinese Christian called Living Water and the first chapter talks about our need to repent in the context of truly turning our lives over to Christ. He talks about a missionary to China who was bringing other missionaries in China to Christ. I realized that there are many "Christians" who need to come to Jesus...as I begin to search my heart I realize I may very well be one. Needless to say this has all hit me this weekend and I am looking at my spiritual journey wanting to be diligent with following and pursuing this faith I have. I don't want to go through the motions and if I am not taking 0.5% of my time going to church Sunday mornings then what am I doing with 100% of my time to grow in this walk with Jesus.

*When searching for a link to Brother Yun I found some controversy surrounding him being a heretic. Upon further search I found this open letter by his co-author that seems to support and clear up the controversy. I can say that whether or not he speaks for God what he has said has pointed me in the right direction in my faith Phil 1:12-20