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Travis's Recovery - A Long Road Ahead

$20,377 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 356 people in 2 months
Created May 1, 2019
Team Travis
on behalf of Kelly Barone
Dear Friends,

On Saturday, April 27, 2019, a day like any other, our friend Kelly took her 17-year-old son Travis to the Urgent Care because he wasn’t feeling right. She never expected what was about to unfold. Travis was swiftly transferred to the Medical Center as his condition changed.  He rapidly became paralyzed from the neck down and was taken into surgery. The doctors discovered that he had a very large blood clot in the epidural space in his spine and was diagnosed with a spontaneous epidural hematoma, not caused by trauma. This is *very* rare in a young person.

Travis is facing another surgery to stabilize his c-spine with pins and rods and is expected to stay in the hospital for at least the next month.  The good news is that he has regained some movement in his hands and is working with an Occupational Therapist to feed himself with a spoon.  At this time he remains without feeling below the waist. The hope is that with time and youth on his side, he will be on his feet again. Travis has a great attitude for someone so young suddenly facing such a huge challenge.

This campaign is to help Travis and his family with the many expenses of this sudden life-changing event. Today, the extent of the out of pocket expenses are not known. Due to the rarity of this event, the projected costs could be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. At present, a medical plan has not been made beyond the next surgery.  His mom Kelly, sister Cheyenne, and father Roger are his greatest advocates and are always by his side.

Thank you for reading Travis’s story.  We appreciate any help or contribution no matter how big or small! We will be keeping you updated as things unfold and Travis begins his recovery. 

If you would like to send a card to Travis please, feel free to contact us for the address.
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Graduation part 3: After the lessons learned on Saturday about how to maneuver outside of the hospital, the family made it to graduation without incident on Sunday. Tears streamed as Travis made his way across the stage to receive his diploma. He received a standing ovation (and not just because he looks handsome in blue!). Check it out! https://vimeo.com/346608021
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Graduation part 2: On Saturday, the family did a trial run taking Travis out of the hospital in preparation for Sunday’s graduation. Kelly rented a handicap accessible van for a trip to get ice cream - it had been 3 months since they’d driven together! Travis is TALL so it took some finagling to get him in safe and secured for the drive, but they managed.

Reality hit when they pulled into a handicapped spot for the first time. It took a while to get him down the ramp and out of the van. Navigating the sidewalk and “gutters” (where the sidewalk dips down and transitions to grass) was challenging and they avoided several close calls that threatened to topple Travis in his chair.

The line at the ice cream shop was about 40 people deep! After deciding to leave, things got complicated. An inconsiderate patron had parked in the restricted area beside the van, the space used to extend a wheelchair ramp. You can imagine their frustration! After waiting to see if the driver would show up, Kelly did the next best thing: she backed the van into the parking lot, put it in park, and began getting Travis in.

Now imagine other impatient drivers staring, looking exasperated and annoyed, as the family did their best to move quickly while blocking traffic. Holding back tears and focusing on the task at hand, they were able to get Travis secured and were finally able to leave.

They changed course and went to a BBQ place instead. They got inside without incident, only to realize that things were VERY different: Travis couldn’t sit at a regular table; he couldn’t reach anything; he can’t sit up straight; his drink was served in a glass jar that he couldn’t hold; the straw wouldn’t bend; they didn’t bring his adapted fork (ice cream cones had been the initial plan)...

By the time they got back to the hospital, everyone was on edge, frustrated and exhausted. We are so thankful for this test run to work out the kinks before the big day on Sunday.
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Graduation Weekend - something every parent and child looks forward to. A time to transition from high school to the adult world. A walk across the stage to accept a hard-earned diploma. A big party and announcements of future plans: college, trade school, employment, travel, study abroad. Everyone's situation looks a little different. For Travis, Kelly and the rest of the family, it looked a VERY different - shockingly different than expected.

For them, it's been a weekend of excitement, nervousness, celebration and anxiety.

On Friday, Travis's caregivers, nurses, OTs, and PTs surprised him with a graduation party at the hospital. There were presents, pizza, laughter and even games of cornhole in the hospital hallway (don't tell anyone!). It's kindness like this that reminds the family that it was a good move to choose Strong Memorial. What a great way to kick off graduation weekend, even if it had to be spent in the hospital.

Stay tuned for parts 2 & 3 of graduation. Please keep sharing Travis's story of resilience and strength in the face of hardship. He deserves it!
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The way to a teen’s heart is through his stomach, right? Travis’s occupational and physical therapists are capitalizing on this universal truth. Recently, they took him into the kitchen to continue therapy by making his favorite: chicken pesto pizza!!! What a great way to practice both gross and fine motor skills with a tasty result at the end.

Travis’s days are filled with hours of physical therapy, hours of occupational therapy, and hours of studying so he can graduate. Every day is exhausting, re-learning how to do the most basic things. Every activity takes much longer than it used to. He has now been in the hospital long enough to have gone through three entire tubes of toothpaste. Let that sink in.

Travis’s strong spirit is evidenced every single day in the most mundane tasks. While he may get frustrated at times, he never gives up! His wit is still sharp and his mind keen, things we are definitely not taking for granted!
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$20,377 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 356 people in 2 months
Created May 1, 2019
Team Travis
on behalf of Kelly Barone
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