We have had some events lately that were great successes- CrossFit for Charles and our Lilburn neighborhood block party.
Thanks to Forrest Callaway and to Big Frog T-shirt in Marietta who generously printed and provided the Fight For A Warrior t-shirts. If you haven't seen them, check out: http://tumulak.deco-apparel.com/
We hope everyone is doing well and we hope to share more of Charles' great progress soon!
Charles officially came home today around 11:30 am. He is getting settled into his wonderful new room and is just finishing lunch. He was met by family, his respiratory specialist, one of his nurses and beautiful flowers from Julie.
We would like to thank National Response Solutions in Jasper, Ga. for providing medical transport today and for ongoing transport until we secure a vehicle. In addition, they are helping with medical supplies for Charles. Specifically we want to thank Chris, Duane, the COO, and Director of Marketing Hal from National Response Solutions.
We would also like to thank the following:
Jason Sarvis for coming out last week to mount Charles' tv.
104.7 The Fish for selecting Charles as their Random Acts of Kindness highlight last week, their auction of Third Day concert tickets and backstage passes last month all to benefit Charles.
Bonnie's Cleaning Service in Woodstock, Ga. for such a remarkable job on our parent's home yesterday!
First Baptist Church of Lilburn for their crew of men who helped last month on the renovations.
Brian Wilson, Ingrid Ott, Mike Johnson, Antonio & Meghan Aguilera and various others who helped with renovations.
Sixes Tavern, The Armory, Craze Tavern, Canvas Cafe', Crossfit Refuge for all hosting benefits to raise money for Charles.
The Mudfreaks team for their never ending support of Charles.
If we have left anyone out by name, know that we are so thankful and blessed for all you have done.
Lastly, thank you to everyone who has donated their time, resources, money, knowledge thus far as well as your prayers!
Charles asked that write a note of thanks on this site to everyone who has been praying for him and our family, those who have volunteered their time, money, donations all to help. He started checking his email yesterday and he read so many emails and facebook comments, posts from friends, friends of friends, etc. since his injury, He said that he is so touched by all the wonderful things people have had to say about him, he even responded to some of these himself. Don't be surprised if you see a comment back from him!
Charles would like to thank Canvas Cafe and everyone who showed up to support his benefit last Saturday. He was amazed at the stories that everyone has told him about the crowds, the auction, t shirts sold, etc. In addition, he has sampled a few of Canvas' wonderful menu items.
Charles will be going in today for a small procedure to change his catheter to one that will be inserted into his bladder via a small incision in his belly. This is a minor procedure and he is expected to recover within the same day.
We hope that you have been to the facebook page and seen photos of Charles recently posted. So nice to seem him clean shaven and with a haircut.
Please check out the page in order to see all the wonderful things happening and how you might be able to help. We regularly update with items we are still hoping to get for the house, and now assistive devices so that Charles can resume some daily activities like browsing the web, checking his bank account, making calls to everyone, sending emails, and just plain watching tv.
A lot of people were pleasantly surprised to see Charles commenting/posting on his facebook page yesterday! These assistive devices we are looking for are exactly what he is training on at Shepherd right now to be able to use once he comes home.
Please come out tomorrow night to join us at Craze Tavern in Duluth for a Charity Poker tournament and raffle to benefit Charles.
Thursday May 23rd at 7:30pm
3312 Peachtree Ind Blvd
Duluth, Ga. 30096
Thank you to everyone for all your wonderful support!
Charles' has been eating regular meals for several weeks now and maintaining a healthy weight, so his feeding tube was removed earlier this week and he is healing well inside and out.
Charles finally got a haircut today! He also went on his first outing today to the movies and saw Iron Man 3. He was really wanting to see this movie and he was very excited to do so and Mom says he did wonderfully and really enjoyed the movie.
Charles has been working with the Assistive Devices therapist for the past couple of weeks and has been using the Dragon naturally speaking and Blue Ant phone commands programs. On Monday he was even able to make a phone call, get online, and "type" up an email. We are working with the therapist as she puts together her full recommendations on what she thinks he needs and what would be optimal for us to purchase in the way of software/hardware for him to live at fullest capacity upon discharge. Assistive device technology is not covered by insurance so anything we want we will need to purchase either through Shepherd or hopefully via a donation.
His wheelchair fitting took place yesterday, a long 2 hour process. But they now have all they need to begin production, (which will take 8-12 weeks) but they will provide him with a loaner chair upon discharge until his permanent chair is ready.
The van evaluation was completed Monday and now the family begins the search for a handicapped accessible vehicle.
Lots of exciting things going on and renovations still continue on the house as everyone prepares for Charles' discharge on May 28th.
Please join us this Saturday if you can at Canvas Cafe and Bakery in Marietta from 7am-9pm for the benefit and silent auction for Charles.
Just wanted to remind everyone to come out on Saturday May 18th from 7am-9pm to Canvas Cafe and Bakery in Marietta for the Charles Tumulak/Fight for a Warrior benefit and silent auction.
Sandra Day and Canvas Cafe have graciously taken it upon themselves to organize and put on this amazing event in which 100% of the proceeds will go to Charles. Anything you purchase, all monies raised from the silent auction will all help for housing and medical costs for Charles.
Please come out and support Charles as well as all of the wonderful companies that have donated items for the silent auction: Canvas Cafe, The Melting Pot, On The Border, Chili's, Home Depot, Mountasia, Monster Mini Golf, Joe's Crab Shack, Pain Solutions (Braves Tickets), The Kipling House (craft workshop), Gone With The Wind Museum, and The Southern Museum.
If you are or know a business that would like to contribute items towards the auction, please go to facebook.com/canvascafe for more details.
Charles got his neck collar off Monday morning! The collar, while useful, has been extremely uncomfortable for Charles, especially while sleeping. The doctor said that it will take him about a week to get used to holding his head up, as the collar has been doing this for him for the last 6 weeks. This also means that he can finally get a haircut.
Charles continues to do well with speech therapy, even taking calls via speakerphone in order to talk with people. Mom will randomly call people in the family so that he can talk with them. On Sunday, he even got to tell our Dad "Happy Birthday" and "I love you". This was the first time since the accident that our Dad has heard Charles speak-what wonderful words to hear!
Today Charles drove his chair to and from therapy with his cuff down, a first, and did great. Having his cuff down is the way that speech therapy allows him to talk by allowing air to pass around the trach tube, through the vocal folds and out of the oral cavity. This can sometimes lead to shortness of breath, feeling lightheaded or dizzy when first attempting, but you build up over time the ability to do so for longer periods. Driving his chair to and from therapy while at the same time having his cuff down is a great improvement.
We are still looking at having his feeding tube removed later this week as well.
So much work has taken place at our parents' home you almost wouldn't recognize it! So many wonderful people to thank for their help and donations to the home, please check out the Facebook page for Charles- facebook.com/ForChuckStorm to see photos and businesses that have donated as well.
We want to make sure we thank Brian and Ingrid who have pretty much run the renovations and have put in 14 hour days in addition to driving back and forth from the East Cobb area to Lilburn each day.
Antonio took the whole week to help out each day in any way needed. Greg White, Mike Johnson, Larry Ellison have been on hand as workers as well. Denis and Dave Recchia arrived in town Tuesday and have been hard at work.
Thank you to Fiserv, the Rhodes and Feddersen families for providing lunch and dinner this week for all those hard at work at the house.
Charles is working hard everyday and pushing forward. Doctors are looking to remove his peg (feeding tube within the next week), he has been doing amazing during speech therapy this week. He spoke for about 3 hours yesterday and today they were leaving his cuff leak open for most of the day unless he felt short of breath or lightheaded. I (Leilani) had the chance to visit for a couple of hours this morning during speech therapy with my nephews Finnegan and Varrick. Charles was talking wonderfully, speaking in 5-6 syllable words/phrases in one clip. He held a conversation with both of his nephews which consisted mostly of how are you doing buddy?, how are you dong Uncle? I kicked your seats in your car Uncle, I'm going to kick your seat (Charles saying this to the boys), Uncle watch me dance, Uncle is talking to ME Finnegan, not you! You get the idea. They loved hearing him talk and he loved talking to them.
They went to play in one of the family lounges with their Nana and when they came back, Uncle Charles had left for and x-ray and OT, and they kept asking where Uncle Charles was, when is he coming back, I need to say goodbye. They got their chance as we ran into him near the elevators and they danced for him a little more and said I love you Uncle, see you tomorrow.
Our entire family is truly blessed for the outpouring of support and prayers from everyone during this time, thank you and keep the prayers coming.
One month in and everyone keeps moving forward and Charles is continuing to make some progress as far as eating regular meals and better learning to operate different devices via the sip and puff method. We have learned that the anticipated discharge date from Shepherd is May 28, 2013. In addition, we have been told that the average cost for this length of stay at Shepherd is roughly $75, 000.00
At the moment, Insurance will cover a portion of his expenses but not all of them. Right now we continue to make our parents home handicap accessible, we are still looking for a van with a wheelchair lift, and we will still need to have 24 hour hired care in addition to the specialized wheelchair Charles will need. We have already started some of the work on the house, but are gearing up for the heavy stuff starting this weekend and lasting until May 5th. We pray that we will be able to get it all finished within this time frame and ready for Charles when he comes home.
These are just a few of the items that we are aware of at this time. We will continue adjusting the donation goal as we gather more information about the care and necessities Charles will need going forward.
Again, the family and Charles cannot thank EVERYONE enough for the donations and prayers.
Charles is still doing well eating regular meals, so much so that the nutrition specialist has decided to limit his tube feedings to at night. He has been eating about 1500 calories/day from his regular meals and she is very happy with that progress.
Charles "drove" his wheelchair to the therapy gym again today, but this time took the long way around the floor. He did a great job, only needing to backup once to make a turn! Unfortunately, this also wiped him out and his bp dropped some and he felt lightheaded.
He still got in all of his therapy today included speech. He spoke again for 30 minutes, but he didn't sound as good as he did on Tuesday and that discouraged him some. He and his 3 year old nephew Varrick spent most of his speech time carrying on their own conversation. Charles would say I love you Varrick, and Varrick would say I love you too Uncle Charles, then Charles would respond with I love you too Varrick, and you get the idea. They said what's up buddy to each other, what are you doing, how are you doing. From then on, whenever Charles would say anything, Varrick would ask-is Uncle talking to me, be quiet, I can't hear him. It was one of the sweetest things. Varrick asked to sit in his lap, but I didn't let him only because I was worried about the possibility of him popping out his vent. He did stand next to him and rub his hand and arm while he watched Scooby Doo.
We are gearing up for a hard days work at our parents home this weekend and are hoping that the rain holds off. Please pray for good weather!
On March 23rd, Charles Tumulak was taking part in one of his passions, obstacle races. Charles was completing the Cargo Net when he lost balance. His right foot was hooked in the net which caused his leg to catch and forced his body to turn upside down. He fell head first 15 feet to the ground below. The impact caused: a C2 fracture (broken neck), collapsed lung, facial fractures and a bruised pancreas.
At 46, Charles was the picture of health. An avid runner and crossfit buff, he had completed a dream of finishing a full marathon as well as several other obstacle races. A devoted brother and uncle, Charles was known for his positivity, enthusiasm and ability to make you laugh.
At this time, Charles is surrounded by his family who have traveled from far and wide to come together for him. The immediate goal is to get Charles stable for a transfer to Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA from McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence, South Carolina.
Funds will be used towards Charles' immediate care, transfer to Atlanta as well as his long term care. Updates will be posted as Charles continues his journey to recovery.