Sam's Recovery Fund
$56,355 of $15,000 goal
There’s so much violence in this world. It makes me sad and scared. As someone who’s family has been touched by violence, it changes everything. There’s always something not quite right with the world after that.
But YOU are what gives me hope. YOU are what is right with this world. The majority of you have never met me or Sam, but yet you reached out to us when we needed it most with your money, your love and your prayers. I am forever grateful. Please know that.
This will be my last update on Sam through GoFundMe, although I may update my blog occasionally. I’m so thankful for your time, your donations, your friendship and your prayers. It’s time to move on. To not let the past dim our future.
Sam is doing well. He’s driving again. He’s working on his career. He’s spending time with his friends, with family, his dogs and following his favorite teams ... the Packers and Razorbacks. He looks great and feels good. These past three years have been full of pain and sorrow but also full of love and laughter. We are now beyond grieving for what was lost or what is forever changed but to one of acceptance and hope. He has forgiven those who hurt him, so I must follow his lead.
I love you all. I’m grateful for each of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
He’s finished college, is working, and I still living in Oregon. Bridget, same! Working and enjoying her best life.
Sam hopes to drive again soon, but will have to take ALL the tests again. His headaches and dizziness are there, but he wants the freedoms that come with driving.
No progress on his case. I don’t think there will ever be, so I try not to think about it. I’ve come to an uneasy acceptance. I’m trying to forgive (for my own sanity), but I won’t forget.
Thank you for everything, and for always thinking of my precious son.
It’s been two years, and it some ways, it seems like yesterday, but then also a lifetime ago. Many things have changed for me, and mostly because of what happened to Sam.
But this is not about me. It’s about Sam, and for those who love him or who have supported him or who follow him through my words, you are here to hear about him.
Sam finished last semester at Portland State University with a 4.0 GPA while working. He has 2 more classes and he will graduate. We are so proud.
He and Bridget are happy in their new home, just outside Portland in what I would call “the country.” Lots of acreage and horse farms around. It seems perfect. They have a new dog, Eliot Ruby or Elle (named after Sam’s favorite T.S. Eliot) who was welcomed to the fold by her older sibling, Weezy.
Bridget works 2 jobs. Sam works and goes to school. Bridget was called by the producers of the TV show Portlandia and will be an extra in an upcoming episode. Exciting!
It would seem their life is back to normal, but it is a new normal for them because Sam does not drive. The headaches and dizziness still prevent him from feeling comfortable on the road, and he would never put himself or anyone else in danger. So, Bridget or an Uber take him to his bus, then his bus takes him to the train. And on it goes. That’s how he gets to work and school. It’s not comfortable, but it is how it is. Sam still takes 2 medications every day, maybe forever. He used to work at a bar; he was the bartender who could talk to anyone about anything. He’s so well read. He loved the social aspect of it, although maybe not the late nights. Now, he doesn’t drink so bars are not his thing. If he goes, he goes for the camaraderie, not the alcohol.
The one question everyone always asks me is “Have they caught the guys who did this?” It’s a fair question. It isn’t about catching them, they know who they are. It’s about arresting and convicting them. That has not happened.
We wait and hope and hear nothing. You can guess how I feel or what I might think. I’m hesitant to say too much just in case ….
But I will tell you a little something about what I believe about the the MAIN perpetrator of this crime and the eyewitness accounts.
* Sam did not know his attacker.
* Sam did not raise his fists or his hands.
* When Sam raised his hand to his head, after the first punch, the bully punched him again.
* Sam was hit not once, but at least twice. Probably more.
* He was unconscious when he hit the ground. That is why he didn’t put out his hands to catch himself.
* His attacker and his friends fled the scene. They did not call 911; they did not wait around to see if he was OK. They did not contact the police when they saw it on the news.
* His attacker and his friends have never showed remorse or offered an apology.
* His attacker and his attacker’s friends all hired private attorneys. Three different private attorneys. Think about that.
Prepare yourselves Portland, there is a person roaming the streets of your city, who put my son in the hospital, who doesn’t have a police record, who is free to live his life, and who is free to torment others if he wishes. Which he will, I’m sure. If he has done this to my son, he’s done it before, and he will do it again. I’m sure he feels like he is untouchable.
His attorney, I’m guessing, asked him to remove all of his social media activities and any evidence of who he is online, which he did to some extent for awhile. As did his friends. But, as his confidence in “getting off” has accelerated, so has his activity on social media, and he’s back on Facebook. He’s been tagged in photos, his friends have quoted him, and there is information out there that shows he is just plain stupid. And, I am not.
I have been able to piece a picture together of this person. And, the picture that emerges is of an entitled brat who has traveled all over the world (and he’s only in his mid-20s) simply partying. He makes misogynous comments online. He is disrespectful. He spends his time partying, snowboarding, wake boarding, skateboarding, and watching football. He’s from the Portland area. He has a rowdy group of friends who use foul language online. They aren’t funny, they are crude.
While this person is able to skateboard and snowboard and participate in his favorite activities, Sam can no longer play basketball. Sam spent his entire life loving and playing the sport. When he was 4 years old, I bought a $10 yard-sale goal and stuck it in the living room so he could run off some of that pre-school energy. He would play for hours, dunking on that tiny goal. He played on that thing every single day. It's still one of his prized possessions. Until a few years ago, wherever and whenever he could, he would play in pickup games. He was a confident player, an excellent player. He loved basketball. It is painful for me, and for those who have watched Sam for years, to know he is not able to participate in those things in loves. It's not fair.
Yes, my bitterness is palpable. I get it. I am angry that this bully is not being held accountable. I have no respect for him, his boorish friends or his pathetic parents. They raised the worst.
While I raised the best. While I wait for justice or an apology or something, Sam already has forgiven his attackers. That says everything.
Thank you all for everything you have done for Sam, all the prayers and financial support. It means everything. Thank you for always thinking of my sweet son.
Hi just wanted to say I am sorry for what happened to you!! As a football fan I was disgusted when I read the news about the attack! I hope you keep fighting man ! I been posting your link to almost every NFL Facebook page, and Packers fans pages as well. I don't have any money I am full time student, so I am sure you know how that goes goes. But I will keep spreading the word and share your story ! Keep fighting !
COME ON 12's! SAM THE PACKERS FAN AND HIS FAMILY NEED OUR PRAYERS AND SUPPORT! Sherry Burley Jesse Sims Peirce Mary Mathes-Austin Chris Deno Brian Pollard Mark William Thompson Jamie Soule Chris Urlacher Spencer Reynolds AND WHOEVER YOU CAN ROUND UP TO SEND HIM WELL WISHES....and Those Seahawk fans are sure in the hell NOT one of us 12.s! We have a hell of a lot more Dignity, Grace, Respect, Integrity than those three that did this to Sam... God Bless you young man and Go Packers!!! A True Blooded Hawk Fan sending you Prayers, Peace, Love and Well Wishes for a Healing and Speedy recovery... And I Promise you this Packer Sam.... My fellow 12's Got Your Back 100! God Bless You and your Family
Sam, I live in WI, just an hour away from Lambeau Field. On behalf of Packer Nation, I am sending you well wishes and prayers for a speedy recovery. We Packer fans are true and loyal to our team, and to each other, no matter where we're from. You have an entire Packer Nation on your side brother. Get well soon!!
I am so very sorry. What a horrible thing to happen. I am a 12. The people that did this are not typical Hawk fans. I hope that they were caught and spend a long time in prison. That does not change what happened though. I cannot express how much this sickens me. I pray for a quick and complete recovery. I will keep you all in my prayers.
I'm sorry I can't afford to donate anything at this time. As a Vikings fan, I just wanted to provide some words of support. Though our favorite teams are rivals on the field, there's no sense at all in violence between football fans. I hope your recovery is quick and you can get back to enjoying the game of football!
My heart aches for you and all who know and love your son! :( I am so sorry about this devastating, thoughtless action. I have asked my community to pray for miraculous recovery. God loves Sam!! Jesus came for the specific reason to let us know that--and that nothing is impossible with God--if you would believe and not waiver in your faith, you will see His "salvation", which is in every area of our lives. I am standing with you in faith for Sam's healing and provision for all his needs.
I am so very sorry for you son. I am a life long 12 and just know that these men are not what we stand for. I'm sure we stand with the Packer Nation in condemning the actions of these poor sports. I will be donating and sharing. Prayers and love your way.
I posted this story all over the Seahawks Facebook page. I know the team had nothing to do with this, but they should denounce what their fans did. They should also donate to Sam's recovery. We're Chiefs fans and there's NO excuse for Violence in being NFL fans. It's a GAME. Not a WAR. Our prayers are with Sam and his family and friends.
I hope you get better soon! I am so sorry this happened to you. I hope you know that you have all of Packer Nation rooting for you! I hope you have a full recovery. I am so proud to be apart of such a caring and great fan base! It is amazing that we can all come together and support this cause. Just another great reason to be proud of being a Packer fan! Go Pack Go!
Oh My thank you Lord to see Sam's thumb up and having some water "AWESOME" lots of praises from our Lord being their for you Sam and I heard the Green Packer's Team awesome. See Sam you have lots of new friends even here in Culver, Oregon if you and your girlfriend and family come over to met someday I would like give you a big HUG and lunch at Beetle Bailey's Burger Place downtown Culver. To share of fun news at Whitford Jr. High School in Beaverton , Oregon I was one of a student there in the late 60's but many years someone went to the same Jr. High he name is Aaron Rodgers is a classmate awesome, then his parents divorce move to Calf. well he is a Quartback for Green Bay again awesome I hope and pray he comes to see you soon and Matthews as well. God Bless from your new Green Bay Packers Friend from Culver, Oregon Ms. Linda Marshall and Kydd the Golden Retriever and Mattie the cat. LOts of hugs & licks from Kydd. LOL.
I hope that they catch the men that did this. I will be praying for a full recovery. I hope he will be able to go to a packer game one day at lambeau field and see how great packer nation really is. From one life long packer fan to another get well soon. (You have all off season to recover ;) )
I am sooo sorry for what has happened to you. I really hope u will be ok. What a horrible thing to go through, and I know how much hospitols and healing sucks hard. I hope they find these punks. I am ashamed hard, of these so called Seahawks fans, they need to be stripped of their rights, and thrown in jail for a looooong time. Among other things I wont say. A true 12 dont these kind of things and we do not claim them. I am at least pleased that you have a loveing family to help u pull through this, bless them too. And by the way, if I wasnt such a hard-core Hawk fan, I would be a Packers fan, really. They are good team, they are smart and so far Arron seems to be a really good guy, and I like him. take care buddy, we REAL Hawk fans are praying for you. xo