Help Jan Recover Fund

$6,222 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 70 people in 15 months
On March 14, Jan Hatt was shot by her husband and then he took his life. 

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The family is devastated and confused. Such a horrible tragedy. Jan has 8 entrances or exit wounds which has left her incapable to feel anything from her waist down or use her right hand. Her body is healing but this has given Jan a lot of challenges that she is going to have to face. She has insurance and she has applied for disability but the doctors are telling her that the costs of her rehabilitation and care are going to go way above any insurances.

Her family and friends are looking to help in any way they can. Any donation will help, no matter how little, and prayers are vital. The giving so far has been small but still appreciated. We have collected over $250 the first day. What I am asking is that you take this and share it to your friends and your Facebook friends. If we all work together we can help Jan.   And of course, your prayers are still appreciated. She has come a long way but has a long way to go.

Thank you!

Jan was sedated for about a week while her body healed. They did several surgeries during this time. One went into her right shoulder which fragmented.  She can't lift that arm right now but hopefully that is temporary.  She also had damage to her T14  (Thoracic Spine) so she is paralyzed from her waist down.  Her left calf so was shattered and she has a rod in her leg.  There were other injuries but these are the most serious.

This picture was taken about 2 weeks after.   She is with Sheri and a couple of other friends. 

4/21/2018 Jan's friend Sheri brought a friend that cut Jan's hair.  Jan says she is having a great day. She is feeling all dolled up and feeling perky.  

This is how Jan gets in and out of her wheel chair.  Jan is now getting in her chair every day. It is part of "getting around".   On a normal day she has about 5 hours of different physical therapies that she works on.   Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Regular Physical Therapy are among those she does daily. She also sees a physiatrist three times a week.  She continually amazes  me on how she is progressing.  Each day she shares something else she has been able to accomplish.
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A Week of Firsts

This week Jan asked if we noticed that she had a lot of "firsts." Of course, we did! Here's what she has to share:

"I made an outing of an errand downtown to the Social Security Administration.

I went in the office not having my bowel program and having to get myself ready (out of bed, bodily fluids managed, dressed by herself).  Good thing it wasn't a shower day. The aide didn't show up again - that is four weeks in a row."

Jan took iRide, which is a handicapped transport company similar to the GoBus in Grand Rapids – and equally rough (no shock absorbers). They conveniently pick her up at her door. But, it takes her a couple of days to recover from the excruciatingly painful rides.

"Since I was right down there, I paid my property taxes and went out to lunch at one of my favorite stops…Max and Emily's. This was my first restaurant outing on my own. My first errand paying bills on my own. A lot of firsts this week."

Sheri took Jan to church last week. Sheri said, "It really made me get all choked up & teary today when we went to church in Edmore, and the guy making the announcements welcomed Jan and said they'd all been praying for her!  They were overjoyed to see her.  She knows a lot of people!!"

Health Status

Jan saw Dr. Ho a couple of weeks ago in Grand Rapids. He said she looked good, but Jan was disappointed that she didn't get a better recovery verdict from him.

She is experiencing more toe movement in the right foot and lots of tingling in both feet. Her left foot is moving on its own. She has constant muscle spasms in her back and abdomen and is taking nerve blocker meds for that.

The House is Sold

The house and 10 acres of her property have sold! Escrow closes October 1, 2018. Jan will be removing all items from the home that she wants before the auction, which means getting a truck and some able-bodied people to make that happen to complete that job before the auction.

There have been so many people that have helped keep the farm looking good for this sale. Relatives and the neighbor mowed the lawn on a regular basis, someone weeded (without pulling out the plants and flowers that belonged there), and other general maintenance activities. Jan is so appreciative of all the time friends spent at the farm.

There is a Personal Property Auction set for Friday, September 28, 1 pm. Here's what is for sale:

·       Auto

·       Antiques/collectibles

·       Implements

·       Guns

·       Tractor

·       Household

·       Shop tools

·       Lawn & Garden

Here's who to contact if you are interested:  Jason, 989-621-7194, PioneerAuctionService.com.

Thank you for your continuing thoughts, donations, and prayers. Jan is proud to share her accomplishments with you.

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Necessity is the mother of invention

Challenges in Apartment Living

In the last month, Jan has been settling into her routine in her handicapped-accessible apartment. Note that I did not say handicapped-equipped. She has made modification requests, which have been approved. Now, it's just getting them completed.

Working in her kitchen is complicated. For example, to access the contents of a cupboard, she drives her wheelchair straight into the kitchen, opens one cupboard door, then backs out of the kitchen, turns around, backs into the kitchen and opens the other cupboard door.

Jan has devised a way to use the stove. She raises her chair as high as it will go, turns on the electric stove burner, lowers herself, does the cooking, then is able to use her reacher to turn off the burner. While she prefers a gas stove, in this case, it's probably better that she is not reaching over an open gas flame to turn off the burner.

Sleeping hours are based on the neighbors overhead. Jan's apartment is on the first floor, which is good for accessibility. However, apparently, the neighbors above are noisy and keep her awake until they settle down for the night. When one is used to living out in the country as Jan did, adjusting to city apartment living imposes a new, unwelcome wrinkle in her life.

Jan usually goes to bed around 7 pm. She looks forward to getting out of her wheelchair after 12 hours. Tucked in with books and Bible to read, her cell phone, and an app with mental exercises, Jan usually gives a safe tuck-in text, so the family knows she is okay.

Notice I say "usually" in the above paragraph. She missed the tuck-in text the other evening because her phone ran out of juice and a flurry of texts flew back and forth between remote family members. Ben, a local stepson and Jan's first line of defense, was brought into the text thread. He informed us that Jan's cell phone died and she was unable to respond. He made some disparaging remarks about "old ladies" worrying and generally qualified himself for a spanking. A discussion ensued about getting more than one phone charger.


The proverb, "Necessity is the mother of invention" appeared in dialogue by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato. A primary driving force for inventions is a need. Due to extenuating circumstances (both medical and personal), Jan needed to accomplish the tuck-in procedure alone at night. This procedure includes bodily fluids handling, undressing, sliding into bed with the slide board, and placing pillows to avoid bedsores. An alarm is set to wake her up during the night (every four hours) to change the pillows position, again to prevent bedsores. Jan is quite proud that this process only takes about 15 minutes now. It used to take half an hour. Because the need became imperative that she do this herself, she was forced to achieve it and, thus, she found the way (and determination) to do it.

Terror in the Night…or…when do you push the button?

As you know from a previous update, Jan wears an Alert 1 pendant around her neck. This allows her to signal for help in case she falls and can't get up or needs assistance. The first responder is Ben, then the call goes to 911 for the EMT's.

Ben, who lives close by, accepted the responsibility to be Jan's first responder. In fact, the location of her apartment was chosen based on Ben's proximity. He has been Jan's legs helping her with business and personal tasks. She has told me countless times how grateful she is for his help. Ben has his own health issues and often has ten mouths to feed in his home. She doesn't like to add more burdens to his life but appreciates everything he does for her.

This weekend the alert went off three times on its own. For no apparent reason. There was no accounting for these incidents.

Recently, there was a ruckus on Jan's patio after she went to bed and before midnight. Someone had rung her doorbell to be let inside the building. She, of course, didn't/couldn't answer it because she was already in bed. (If you recall, the going-to-bed routine takes 15 minutes.) Shortly after that, she thought she heard noises on her patio of a vindictive person tossing and breaking her potted plants. Frightened, she lay in her bed, heart pounding, gripping the cell phone, hesitating to call for help. She also had the Alert 1 around her neck. Still, she waited.

Has that ever happened to you? Some disaster is happening, but you don't acknowledge it for what it is, you can't believe your eyes, you hesitate to call for help, you don't want to look foolish or cry like a girl.

That has happened to me more than once in my life, so I understand what Jan must have been feeling.

The next morning, the first report was that the neighbor was moving out in the middle of the night. Jeez, really?! A follow-up report stated that several vehicles were broken into items were stolen. Yikes!

In the next update, we will share doctor reports and further progress.

I will end this update by thanking the generous donors to the Help Jan Recover fund. Anonymous or named, Jan is eternally grateful for your thoughts, prayers, and contributions.
Jan being independent..
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Antibiotics, Tuck-In Coverage, and a Visit to the Farm…

As you may know, Jan was on high doses of antibiotics for several weeks before being released from Mary Free Bed and for a couple of weeks after she moved to her apartment in Mt. Pleasant. A PICC line was installed for the liquid transfusion. The purpose was to avoid any more abscess in her leg and to save it.

The PICC line was removed Wednesday, July 11 and Jan is now taking oral antibiotics. She has to have a blood test every week to check for liver damage caused by the new medicine.

One of Jan's angels, Lyris, made the trip into town to pick up the new meds and delivered them to Jan. Lyris did this one day after her own hand surgery the day before. Amazing and dedicated!

Another one of Jan's angels, Sheri, arranged for tuck-in service while Ben was on vacation for a week. Several volunteers from the 7th Day Adventists congregation in Mt. Pleasant took a turn making the evening visit to help Jan get into bed and settled for the night. Sheri knows the pastor and his wife who are new to the area.

And, yet even one more angel, Debbie, marshaled the troops to complete the preparation of the farm for sale. Relatives and friends mowed lawns, pulled weeds, cleaned house.

Debbie arranged Jan's first visit to the farm. The photos were posted here right after the tour. This is what Jan had to say. "The farm was peaceful and serene. I just wonder how anyone could be depressed all their life and not see the beauty in nature at our place. I got the message by seeing it all yesterday from the universe and God that I am going to be okay.  I will be able to create another place of beauty."

The farm is listed for sale and the first offer received on July 31.
See the board? she uses to scoot..
Scoots to her bed.
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She slithered out of the chair and the disaster of Alert One…

Jan's biggest fear is falling – out of her wheelchair or falling in the shower (although she has an aide to assist her every-other-day shower routine in her Mt. Pleasant apartment).

Jan experienced a slip/fall the day before she was released from Mary Free Bed and it took several hours for her to calm down afterward. She was transferring from chair to bed, and the slide board (the wooden device that allows the patient to slide across) slipped. Jan caught the side of the bed, the aide grabbed her and called for assistance. It was her first "fall," and she didn't even hit the floor. It took three people to get Jan into the hospital bed.

Now, fast forward to the apartment in Mt. Pleasant. This "handicapped" apartment was selected because it is close to her stepson, Ben's, home. Ben accepted the responsibility to do the "tuck in" at night.

You might be envisioning right now that there are chocolates on the pillow, the bed covers invitingly turned down, the lights low, music softly playing. That is far from reality. There are bodily fluids to manage, medical equipment to set up for nighttime, clothing adjustments, cell phone close.

We discussed what the scenario would be if she fell while alone in her apartment. With an aide coming every day around 7 am for two hours, she has coverage in the daytime. With Ben (or someone else) coming around 7 pm for the tuck in, she has coverage in the evening. So, if she fell (she is utterly unable to get herself off the floor – not enough strength in her upper body yet), she might lay there for a few hours but knows someone will be there eventually to come to her aid. She can maneuver her body to avoid damaging muscles and bones, which she did on Friday the 13th.


"Help! I've fallen, and I can't get up!" We all recite the commercial before we think of the name of the emergency alert company name, First Alert. They've done well with their branding.

The day Jan ordered what she thought was her First Alert device (Friday the 13th?), she believes she jinxed herself. That day, she was getting ready for bed and placed her cell phone (she usually keeps it on her person) on the nightstand, then proceeded to make the transfer from wheelchair to bed. The slide board slipped, and she slithered to the floor. Jan described it precisely as "slithered."

As she arranged herself on the floor, Jan was mentally willing Ben to come early. She couldn't reach her phone, and her mental telepathy wasn't working. About 30 minutes later, Ben arrived. Not wanting to shock him by being prone on the floor, she called out to him asking if he could lift about 150 pounds. Between the two of them, Jan got into bed that night.

Keystone Cops

First Alert is not the only alert company on the landscape. Their name is Alert One competitor's (less expensive). Jan thought she was ordering a First Alert device, but alas, it was purchased from Alert One.

Two nights in a row after placing the order, both Jan and Ben received calls from the alarm company responding to alerts from Jan's device – in the middle of the night. They also received text messages warning that the battery was low.

When Jan contacted First Alert, they had no record of purchase or service ordered. Upon further investigation, Jan realized she made the purchase from Alert One, and that the alarm had been set (by accident?!) when it was packaged for shipment. They tracked the device to someplace en route by mail to Mt. Pleasant. The pendant arrived active on July 17, in a beaten-up box.

While we had a good laugh after the fact, this is quite a serious situation. Just trying to make the best of it.

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$6,222 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 70 people in 15 months
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