The Barker Family

$60,694 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 438 people in 2 months
Created January 1, 2019
35826102_154635696314129_r.jpegDear family and friends, On Christmas Eve Emily Barker (daughter of Wendy and Jeremy Barker of Hobe Sound, FL), one of the sweetest , kindest and smartest young ladies you could hope to meet was involved in a very serious car accident on Christmas Eve.  She was trauma hawked to St. Mary’s hospital in West Palm Beach with a shattered jaw, broken ribs , broken collarbone and traumatic brain injury.  Emily was in her sophomore year studying  at the University of South Florida to become a speech therapist, she is a talented piano player , an incredible older sister to two brothers (Alex and Oliver) and a genuine friend to many.
We the friends of the Barker family have started this Gofundme campaign for Emily as we know this will be a very long and expensive process to get her all the extensive care, treatments and therapies she will need to get her back on track for the life she deserves. Please share and keep our dear friends in your thoughts and prayers!!
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Today is exactly 80 days since Emily's car accident and she continues to progress very well. The outpatient rehab program is really working her hard with a well rounded schedule that includes cognitive training, group communication, memory training, group exercise, physical therapy, bio feedback and psychological counseling.
After 3 weeks in the program she is walking very well and now training on uneven surfaces for balance and agility. Her test scores for the memory & cognitive skills improve significantly week over week and she has been set a graduation date of May 1st to leave the program in Jacksonville.
She did get to come home for the first weekend in March and her brothers surprised her by putting up the Christmas tree so she could belatedly celebrate and open her gifts. She was as surprised by the gifts she bought us as the gifts she received because she had no memory of buying and wrapping them!!! We had a great weekend at home with her and can't wait to have her home for good.
We continue to be amazed by her strength and determination to heal. It has been an emotional journey for her, but we see her personality emerging more each day.
We truly appreciate all the continued encouragement, prayers and support.
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Today, February 19th, is Emily's 58th & last day in hospital. Her progress has been so rapid that she will be discharged on Wednesday morning & enter the Brooks Rehabilitation Intensive Neuro Day Program.
This will be 4 to 5 weeks, 9am to 4pm, Monday through Friday intensive therapy in Jacksonville. She is very excited to be able to stay in a hotel each night & also get the weekends off.
Emily's speech, cognition & dexterity have all increased tremendously in the past 5 weeks. Significant work has to be done still on her walking & memory but most importantly her attitude is incredibly positive.
High lights of last week include a significant increase in her appetite resulting in the removal of her feeding tube later this week & also the untangling of her hair which required a total of 6 hours of work by a stylist to unpick the 'birds nest' created during the 3 weeks in the ICU. She is so happy to have saved her long hair!
Just 5 weeks ago after being T-boned by an 8,000 lb pickup truck Emily left St. Mary's Medical Center stable but virtually unresponsive & yesterday she managed to play 'Ode to Joy' on a grand piano. Miraculous!
Beyond all our expectations she continues to beat the odds for survivors of severe 'diffuse axonal' brain injury.
As always we truly appreciate all the thoughts, prayers & support for Emily's well being & recovery.
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On Tuesday of this week Emily had the wires removed from her mouth and jaw. She later in the week successfully passed the sip & swallow tests, meaning she was then allowed to drink & eat soft food. After 48 days of not eating or drinking she selected a Starbucks caramel machiatto as the first test for her taste buds!
She also passed her sleep test for blood oxygen saturation this week and late this afternoon had her trach removed. A lot of positive improvements for one week!
Her walking is slowly improving & her cognitive functioning & clarity is improving by the day although she is disturbed that she cannot remember anything about 2018 & she struggles with short term recall.
The next goal is to get her oral intake of calories to a sufficient level that the feeding tube can be removed.
In just over 3 weeks at the Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital she has made tremendous progress and we are so thankful to all the professionals here & the support we have received to make this happen.
We feel so very fortunate that Emily is progressing so well considering the extent of her injuries & the gravity of the accident. We are truly blessed that all the thoughts & prayers have worked in Emily's favor.
A very big thank you to all who are rooting for her.
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Emily has been at Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital in Jacksonville for 2 weeks exactly today.
Her progress has been remarkable! She is now talking (even with a wired jaw), she is texting on her phone and is doing really well on the cognitive tests she has each day. She still struggles with post traumatic amnesia but is improving by the week.
The incredible staff at Brooks have her on a busy schedule, beginning with occupational therapy, then physical therapy and rounding out the morning with speech therapy. This schedule repeats after a lunch break (which she does not get to enjoy because she is still fed through a tube into her stomach).
At the end of the afternoon sessions she gets to enjoy some recreation therapy which has included arts, crafts and music. She even got to try her hand on the piano keyboard, not quite the level of piano she used to play but she did remember a few chords.
Walking is still a work in progress and she requires a lot of support to stay upright & a lot of help to get her feet in the right place. We are hopeful that the wires will come out of her mouth early next week and then her dream of tasting food again after 40 days will be fulfilled.
We are so appreciative of all the help & support we have received to get Emily to this point & will keep posting a weekly update on her journey of recovery.
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$60,694 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 438 people in 2 months
Created January 1, 2019
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