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Heath & Angela Frazier

$19,390 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 219 people in 3 months
Created August 12, 2018
On the morning of August 12, 2018 Heath was involved in serious car accident. The following is from Angela's Facebook post: He is on the ventilator but is doing a fair share of the work which is a positive sign. He is currently moving all four extremities spontaneously but is not yet showing purposeful movement. He does have several brain bleeds and most likely a fractured skull, the extent and effects of those which are still unknown. So far there is no major swelling which would cause more damage, so we pray that stays that way. He does have a broken sternum and wrist, and quite a bit less hair than he did from abrasions. We are unsure at this point if he has a pulmonary embolism or not. His injuries are very serious but we are hopeful that he will recover, and will take care of getting him back to the same character you all know him to be. The first 48 hours are the most critical as his injuries evolve, so we are nowhere near out of the woods.

8/12/18, 930 pm Update: It has been confirmed that he has multiple bilateral pulmonary embolisms.  They are unsure at this point if he also has a DVT (which could have caused the PE's or all could be from the trauma). He will remain ventilated until his neuro status improves.  They have placed an ICP monitor, and for now his pressure is stable. At this point the effects of his head trauma is unknown. They anticipate his ICP will likely rise in the next 3-5 days, and the ICP will determine if he will require NeuroSurgical Intervention.  There are concerns that he is having subclinical seizures and they will be addressing that tonight.  They splinted his arm and he will have surgery on it in the next couple of days. 

Many have asked how we can help the Fraziers and currently donating to this GoFundMe Campaign would be most helpful.  We will be putting a meal train together in the next week, or so, once Heath stabilizes. Luckily they have family support to help care for the kids, while Angela is at Heath's bedside, but this will be an extended recovery and we will need many helping hands. We are unsure what the future holds for Jug Creek Distillery, but we will update you as plans unfold.
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Day 66- Today has been a hard day. I've cried more than I haven't. Damn my emotions, once I start I just can't stop. I have tried to be diligent of updating about Heath's progress along the way from the beginning. I do this for myself, as well as family, friends, and those we have never met that may find hope or support in our story. I haven't shared a lot of my most personal feelings on here, only trusting those to written pages or the few people in my life that have to bear all my innermost fears and tears. I have thought long and hard about my post tonight and whether to share it with my friends. We have had such support that have rallied behind us in times of frustration at lack of progress, facility and insurance issues, and even greater support during times of progress. But this recovery isn't always pretty. I don't think most people have a clue how difficult it is and that's what prompts me to share, because while recovery can be beautiful and uplifting, it's also ugly and hard, with the end date and outcome indeterminate. My friends with their own personal battles have helped me to realize that strength can come from transparency and admitting we are all broken in some way, shape, or form.

My husband choked me today. Three days ago, he slapped me and grabbed my shirt. We have been married 10 years, and prior to this, Heath had never laid a hand on me in anger. I'm not going to lie. This is the hardest shit I've ever been through. I get texts daily, " how are you doing" and "are you taking care of yourself". How do I answer this. Most days, I'm ok, staying busy taking care of him and trying not to dwell on the past that was or future that could be. Today, I have felt desperation, hurt, fear, and just raw pain that is indescribable and makes me want to crawl in a hole and disappear until my real life returns. Want to know how I am? Pull up a chair and clear the next 3 hours of your schedule, make sure to bring some whiskey and tissues with you.

Let me fill in the blanks by explaining what happened today. He was frustrated and hurting today because occupational therapy was stretching his spastic hand which is done several times daily and is extremely painful. So rather than lashing out at the person doing it that he doesn't know well, he put his hand around my throat... the person he loves and trusts the most. This is extremely common, with brain injuries or not, we are most likely to hurt the ones we love the most. This inability to control his impulses and frustration is directly related to his frontal lobe brain injury. I stepped back, walked out, and attempted to process rationally what just happened. When I came back about a half an hour later, he looked at me with his innocent eyes and asked why I was crying. He had already forgotten his actions. I explained that I was hurt because he choked me. He looked at me as he processed that information and pulled me to him saying sorry over and over. He said he loved me and asked for kisses. And hurt as it does, I immediately forgive him, because none of this is his fault, and it's not him I'm angry at, but this situation that we are in. It's not fucking fair, but that's a topic for another night. I can only hope that with coping strategies, therapy, healing, and time these impulses will be controllable again. Tonight though, I sat in a booth by myself at the Mexican restaurant down the street and wrote while trying to wish our situation away with cheese dip and a margarita. Taking that time for myself to reset my emotions and refocus my energy. Then I returned to my brain damaged husband whom I love so much, kissed his forehead while he slept, and covered him back up with his blankets. Tomorrow is another day.

***For those following our story on here that have noticed no recent updates, please see my Facebook page (Angela Thornton Frazier) or Instagram @itsheathfromjugcreek for more frequent updates! They allow for easier sharing and more pictures of his progress***
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Short update on here because I know not all of our loved ones have FB or Instagram. I have created an Instagram page to follow his journey that allows me to share more pics and updates easier than this platform, but we will leave this going for occasional updates and for donation purposes. Follow us on Instagram @itsheathfromjugcreek

He was finally cleared of the C-collar today! It took much longer than it should have but we are so glad to be done with that! He also got a haircut today bc he was pretty damn shaggy. The hope is that the trach will come out this weekend or at the latest on Monday.

Our insurance has agreed to reconsider a single patient agreement to send him to Shepherd Center for rehab now that he is ready to go. We anxiously await and pray often that we will receive positive news next week.
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Ten years ago today, Heath and I went to a train park on a week night with his two kids, our Nanny, her husband, and her grandfather who was a minister. He was dressed in a white shirt and slacks, and I had purchased that day a simple and timeless dress that I hoped to keep for my children one day. We stood on a platform at the train park and exchanged vows to love and honor each other until death do us part, in sickness and in health. I was joining an incomplete family, stepping up as a second mom to two great kids who I adored. We had only been dating 7 months when we moved to Arizona together, and 11 months when we exchanged vows. Sometimes when it's right you just know it, and we did.
The years to follow were filled with the normal ups and downs of a marriage. New jobs in a new city, a new house we still call home, four more college degrees, two more beautiful baby girls, and the endeavor of a new business allowing Heath to pursue his passion and dreams. We define our lives and measure success by many of these moments, although most of them are accomplishments or things, not the biggest thing that matters, that is people and relationships.

We thought when Addy was born that was the hardest thing we could imagine our marriage facing. Handing our baby over to surgeons on three separate occasions to save her life is something we never imagined going through, but we came out together and stronger on the other side. She defies the odds and is the most amazing child, full of compassion, curiosity, and a special understanding of the world that children shouldn't have.

Then came our Olivia, so opinionated yet sweet at the same time. The baby of the family, and treated as such, she was born at the same time as one of the next most chaotic times in our lives so far.
We put our our entire lives on the line for Heath to pursue his passion of opening Jug Creek Distillery. It was a passion that would free Heath from working in an environment that continuously intensified the internal struggles of our experiences with Addy's illness and allow him to find happiness in life and work again. In this pursuit, it would both take us on a whole new emotional journey with fear of failure, sacrifices, exhaustion, and also to new depths of happiness in seeing it grow and thrive like one of our own children. It was a test of our marriage but once again, our marriage withstood. Heath had been given a gift that not many in this world possess. It was a gift to be able to create some of the best artisanal flavors in the alcohol industry, but also to see the potential for success where others didn't and the ability to share and transfer that passion of his to everyone else that met him. Those who met him or already knew him could immediately see that this was his true calling and a gift from Him. While he was damn good at medicine, this was our future and were so excited to see it grow just like our children.

And then in a moment that all changed. A moment not his own fault and that no one thinks would ever happen to them. A moment that if any of us had seen coming, we would have done anything to prevent. It's been six weeks + 1 day since he was involved in a car accident that nearly killed him. A dear friend and one of the best men I know went home to be with our Savior in that accident, but for some reason Heath's life was spared. I mourn for Carl, and for Kendra, who is trying to figure out how to live each day without the love of her life. I mourn for all of our lives to be just as they were before that moment. As it happened and by His hand, I was the first to Heath's side that night as he laid in a field nearly dead, no EMS on scene yet. There are not sufficient words to describe the depth of horror, despair, and desperation that flooded my body when I saw my husband lying on the ground unresponsive beside the crumpled car, but I will be reliving that for the rest of my life. I begged him not to leave me and through my sobs I helped the first EMS stabilize him until more help arrived and they separated me from him. Since that time six weeks ago, there have been very few times that I have left him voluntarily. Maybe that helps some people who tell me I need to take a break understand why it gives me physical symptoms to talk about leaving his side. As I stood behind the ambulance while they worked on him, I rocked, sobbed, and prayed for Heath to be spared. It would be almost 8 more hours before I would know the extent of his injuries, even after news of the accident had spread like wildfire I was still to waiting for the team to tell me my husband's fate. Let me tell you, those were the longest hours of my life.

Today is our 10 year wedding anniversary. I celebrate it by sitting beside my husband in a hospital, waiting and praying for him to hit the next milestone until he is ready for rehab, which will bring the next set of hurdles. There will be no date night or special dinner to celebrate all of our good years past and to come, but I did crawl in the bed with him for a few kisses. I told him what today's date is and that it's our anniversary. He repeated it and also some incomprehensible words. While he is talking more every day, his current state still makes it hard for him to communicate, even if he does understand what I'm telling him, on average we can now understand 40-50% of what he says when he really tries. We don't if he will ever remember this day, week, or month. So this milestone anniversary kind of sucks, and I am sad today, I have cried more than thrice today, and a little angry that this has been taken away from us... but I'm so thankful that we will have more anniversaries to come, even if we don't know what those will look like. Till death do us part, in sickness and in health, I'll love you to the Neverlands moon and back a thousand times Heath.

"And once the storm is over, you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm's all about."―Haruki Murakami
Lots of kisses for me.
He agreed to an anniversary selfie.
We were such babies...and skinny!!
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Heath had a good session with his speech pathologist today. With some prompting to stay on task, he was able to recall the days of the week, the Pledge of Allegiance, and was able to identify objects and state their uses. These are great signs that his difficulty with communication is just temporary and that he will be able to recall his long term knowledge of at least basic things and retain his verbal skills! At the same time, because he is able to do these things, he is obviously starting to be able to follow commands much better! As he progresses, we will see how much of his higher level knowledge, particularly of medicine and most importantly of distilling be retains, but this gives us much hope! One suggestion given by the SLP was to work on getting him to sing simple songs that everyone knows. She has tried several times with no luck, he just looks at her. I have a playlist of some of his favorite songs that I have been playing for him since his accident. I haven't played it in a few days because he has had so much other stuff going on. He was agitated this morning (and pretty much all day) so I turned the music on and immediately he started singing along to the songs! I guess he just didn't want to sing Happy Birthday to himself!

Not much else new today, he was very restless all day and didn't get PT/OT so I'm hoping he sleeps well tonight! Pray for my sanity as we go into the weekend when he gets no therapy to wear him out!
Weed, Whiskey, & Willie
Ring of Fire
Starting to look like his smartass self!
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$19,390 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 219 people in 3 months
Created August 12, 2018
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