Well, only some of them. His cognitive function is OK, but he can barely walk, has trouble swallowing and using utensils, and lost the ability to speak. (This photo isn't unfocused or tilt-shifted; those are hand tremors.)
After numerous CAT scans, MRIs, spinal taps, and other tests, we found out that in addition to physical and speech therapy, he's going to need brain surgery and intensive in-patient rehab care.
Doing this means leaving the Washington, D.C. area and moving back to Oregon, where he will finish his Master's degree at Portland State University, with his immediate family and closer to his care team.
Unfortunately, while this is necessary it's also going to be very expensive in the interim. We have held off on paying at least $2500 in medical bills, as counsel says he is not liable for costs incurred due to a disabling accident that was in no way his fault. But recently his attorney in Maryland gave up on his case due to a lack of an explicit prognosis from his neurologist.
However that is PRECISELY why legal counsel is necessary and why we need someone to pursue this case. For months we've held that the negligence of the bus company, its contractors, and the ranchers who left their livestock to wander onto the interstate caused him to become paralyzed - as well as that of two different hospitals who told him it was all in his mind, not mentioning how their own tests showed clear injuries to his spine and brain, allowing them to worsen.
I'm not sure how much the cost of getting him and all of his things to Portland will be. I intend to drive him home in late May or early June. Ideally I'd like him to be home by May 24, his birthday, so he can begin in-patient care before the semester starts - but that would mean finding someone else to help him move, which is more expensive. If anyone can offer those services, please contact us ASAP.
We're also not sure how much it's going to cost to retain new counsel. We found an injury lawyer in Denver who practices in Wyoming, where the accident happened. This should be an open-and-shut case, but I don't know if we're going to be expected to pay up front.
I don't know if it's going to cost $2000, $5000, or $15,000 - but I do know in order to get him home at all we need to get the ball rolling by the end of May or the first week of June. That is the worst-case scenario. I would very much like him to be back sooner, in a familiar place where he can be certain of the emotional support he's going to need in this difficult and traumatic situation.
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- Daya G
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