Aaron “Hix” Lee Medical Fund

$77,456 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 1,090 people in 4 months
Created October 6, 2018
Aaron "Hix" Lee - our favorite bearded, cowboy hat wearing, key-pounding, jalopy driving, band mate was shot in the stomach on the streets of Minneapolis on October 5th. 

While he and his girlfriend were walking back to their house, a car pulled up along side them. A man with a gun jumped out and demanded their phones and wallets. After immediately complying with the demands, the attacker decided to turn and shoot, and then drove away, leaving Hix and Kate in a terrifying bloody aftermath. Luckily, Kate had managed to conceal her phone from the attacker and was able to immediately dial 911. Hix was rushed to the nearest hospital and into surgery.

The bullet entered just below his belly button, nicking his colon and severing his iliac vein, before lodging in his leg, where it will remain for the rest of his life. It took an ambulance ride and two surgeries to stabilize his condition. He will need to stay in the hospital for observation for 1-2 weeks, and there will be an additional 2 weeks of at home bed rest.

Those of us who are lucky enough to call him friend and family, know that he has the biggest heart and is the most considerate person you will likely ever meet. You also know that if you are considered his friend, you ARE his family as well. He works hard, plays hard, and gives his heart and soul to his music and the people around him.

He is also a man of many hats! A musician in several bands at night, and by day; a commercial painter, as well as learning to be an electrician on recreational boats. Unfortunately, none of these hats come with Health Insurance or short term benefit package that will pay him a salary while he is recovering.

While Hix would give the shirt off of his back to someone who needs it, he would never ask for it if he needed one. So his family is asking for him. And while saving a life is priceless, there is a cost, and with no insurance to help shoulder the burden, once recovered there will be a very large medical bill for Hix to face.

Anything you can spare will help. Thank you for your support and love. Let's get Hix back in his hat and back on stage!

If you prefer to donate by cash or check directly to Aaron, there is now an account set up to receive funds directly. Please issue the check to Aaron Hix Lee and write "GIFT" in the memo. You can mail or deliver the check to:
MidwestOne Bank
3585 124th Ave NW
Coon Rapids, MN 55433
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It sure has been a long time since I wrote an update. That's good news as things have been going smoothly with the IV antibiotics and wound care for some time. Last week I had a follow up appointment with the Infectious Disease Clinic and all was going as planned, which was thrilling to hear! The Doctor ordered some more tests, but seemed confident we were on the right track to complete recovery.

There was a delay in receiving my latest shipment of antibiotic injections (weekly delivery in a big insulated box). I spoke with the on call pharmacist and was assured everything would arrive in time for my next dose Which it did, as they sent a courier out to deliver me a day's worth of infusions while I wait for the rest. Thank you Coram, your customer service is impeccable!

As I am getting dinner ready I take a short break to do my IV infusion, all goes well, but during this time I miss a call from HCMC. As it takes two hands and needs to be a sanitary process I was unable to answer the call, but figured it was just a machine confirming an appointment of mine. Just to be sure, I listen to the voicemail after I'm finished with my infusion and it's a message from a doctor from the Infectious Disease Clinic.

So, after returning the call and some confusion, I get on the line with the doctor and find out the antibiotic I am on, Cefepime, is negatively affecting my bone marrow and thereby limiting white blood cell production! Argh!! I only had ten more days of the antibiotics left to take! So the course now is to discontinue the antibiotic and remove my PICC line and wait. I have some follow up appointments and the best I can do is hope that it was enough to knock out that nasty infection I had. The white blood cells should return to normal within 36-72 hours of today, they say. In the meantime I'm on the lookout for a fever. The PICC line will be removed tomorrow and I'll be given a prescription for a G-CSF which is effectively a white blood cell booster most commonly used by folks going through radiation treatment. So I guess the white blood cell count is low enough to be pretty serious!

Initially it's very disappointing to hear, yes, but that's no reason to lose hope or optimism. There is a chance that the wound will heal just fine and I will be healthy and better without the antibiotics. My hope is the infection was eliminated thus allowing my healthy recovery and a return to normal life!

Now with this news and the recent changes I will keep you all updated as things change. Hopefully it's all for the better. Thank you for your continued support, encouragement, and prayers. Much Love to you and yours.
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It's day 4 in the hospital slurping up antibiotics with my veins. It's pretty chill here, but without all those pain drugs keeping my in la la land, it sure gets real boring!

I can't remember if the images end up at the top or the bottom so I'll explain those right away. So the one on the left is before treatment and the one on the right is after treatment. I know that may look a bit heavy so I've included the third image! WOOF!

So! As I mentioned in the last post; infection was evident in the drainage from the wound, that is those pretty greens and blues. Also in the before picture you'll notice all of the "angry" red skin surrounding the wound and causing additional swelling. In the second picture you'll notice the formerly swelled and reddened area outlined with marker. So! I'm doing much better than I was before. To the surprise of many of the nurses and doctors, I'm not in any additional pain. It's hurt about the same as it has for six weeks or so.

Cellulitis is what the nurses tell me is the painful infection that I have. Come to find out cellulitis is just a general term for an infection which is affecting your body on a cellular level. The actual infection seems to be caused by pseudomonas, which happens to be a very common and harmless bacteria found on your skin. However if it gets under your skin there's a problem. In my case, this little guy not only got into my wound but way deeper.

After a couple CT Scans and an ultrasound we found out just how deep the pseudomonas was able to make it. All the way down to the periosteum, which is the lining of the tibia and in effect the last line of defense before the bone! I'm very thankful it didn't get to my tibia bone and hope that these antibiotic treatments prevent it from doing so because that's another can of worms involving additional surgeries! The reason why this bacteria was able to get as deep as it did is largely due to the proximity of the shin bone (tibia) to the skin and the location of my injury. Whereas if this wound was in my thigh, there would be much more soft tissue for the bacteria to travel through before finding a bone to live on.

Anywho, after all this jargon and mumbo jumbo, here's the good news and the bad news:

The bad news is I'll be on IV antibiotics for about four to six weeks. This means even more hospital/clinic visits as well as having a visiting nurse, most likely. HOPEFULLY that does away with the infection and doesn't travel further into the bone.

The good news is I should be discharged from the hospital tomorrow! Which is great news in general, but also because my family Christmas is on Saturday!

Thank you for reading, thank you for your support, love, and prayers.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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Hello everyone, I know I don't post as often, but there is usually less to update you on, but here we go, I got some news for you:

...but first! I must thank everyone who came out to the show at Terminal Bar last night! Yet another extension of generosity from the community, family, friends and strangers. I'd like to give a big shout out to the boss at the bar for being as sweet as ever, you know who you are! Thank you for having us and thank you for your generosity! Thank you to Fulton and Madre Cactus Co. for your sponsorship, the shirts, the love, the beers for the boys in the band! Thank you! I'm not using names on account of privacy, but y'all know who you are!

The good news is the swelling is down enough on my foot that I can fit it into a shoe! Really, it's super exciting and encouraging to walk in a regular shoe rather than a boot or goofy open-toed Velcro shoe! The pain comes and goes, some days are much worse than others, so we must remember the good and positive things on the journey.

I was also fitted for an AFO (ankle foot orthosis), which is just a fancy word for a foot doodad that helps me walk more normal while my foot, leg and ankle are learning how to be themselves again. Exciting!

Well it was honey on the ole leg and then it was Iodosorp. It's an iodine-based topical treatment that is supposed to work better than that tasty honey they were slathering on me. I thought it sounded like something from another planet, but alas it's an earthly creation, which in conjunction of a couple antibiotics, is supposed to be my path towards bacteria free wounds. But! That was a couple days ago...

Today after my wound redressing at the Burn and Wound clinic, there was some concern about the drainage. Drainage is the stuff that oozes out of the open wound. Gross! Unfortunately some of the prettier colors like blue, green and bright turquoise are no good for me and that's what we found today. After a couple pictures sent to the doctor and my leg getting wrapped back up with that Iodosorp, I was sent home. About ten minutes after getting home I received a phone call from the clinic requesting that I admit myself back into the hospital for I.V. antibiotics treatment. Not sure how long I'll be here, but after two months of being out, I'm back!

No, I'm not really that excited about it, but looking on the positive side it's very nice to see all these nurses in the burn unit again. Yes, it seems a little much to have to go back to the hospital when I feel completely fine. Mainly I'm bummed because Katie ordered some Chinese food and I missed out on that! It may surprise you to know that the food here is not as good!

Thank you everyone. Thank you! Thank you!

Much Love!
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Well the orthopedic boot I was trucking around in broke so now I've got this funny little Velcro shoe! Also the antibiotics have been working their magic and it looks like my leg is healing properly again.

The new order from the doctor is, " stay away from bears!". I don't usually see a whole lot of bears, but I'll definitely be on the lookout now. I know, this probably doesn't make much sense, let me explain. So after the debridement and irrigation procedure my leg was looking great, then less as great, hence the oral antibiotics. They also changed from topical antibiotics to vinegar! After awhile it was decided honey should be used instead of vinegar (I hear bears love honey!). Sometimes I feel like they're just trying anything! Maybe they'll be spreading peanut butter or mayonnaise on me next! Hahahaha! All joking aside the folks and the burn and wound clinic have been doing a great job and I'm forever grateful for their hard work. Besides, I'd much rather smell like honey than vinegar, so I'm happy with that!

I just heard yesterday from my physical therapist that they'll soon be measuring me for an AFO (which stands for ankle foot orthosis). This should allow me to wear regular footwear again! Sounds good to me! Those boots do a great job at what they do, but it'll be nice to slip my foot into something that will keep my toes a bit warmer. After all, winter is coming.

I've been so grateful for all of the support from family and friends and folks I don't know at all, but hope to meet! They tell me I still have a long way to go with both the nerve regrowth, fixing my foot drop, and the healing of the wounds/skin grafts on my calf. From what I'm told it seems like I'm on the right track. It's difficult to have to limit my activities, especially during this time of year, but if the leg is to heal right that's what I've got to do.

Thank you for reading my updates and thank you to those who have encouraged me to continue writing. It becomes quite theraputic, perhaps cathartic is the better word, to write these things down.

Oh! Speaking of that I had my first trauma therapy appointment and it sounds like we're going to go forward with EMDR therapy. EMDR is an acronym for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. Sounds crazy huh? I'll do my best to explain how I've come to understand:

Basically after a traumatic event your brain can act a bit squirrelly. As a response to trauma, as I understand, your brain is firing on one cylinder instead of two. That is, your left or right side of your brain instead of the whole darn thing! At this point allow me to affirm the fact that this is how I understand it, I may not be explaining this perfect, so don't take my word for it. Anywho, the therapist stimulates each side of the brain independently, back and forth, through touch, sight, or sound stimulus. As this is happening you go over the traumatic experience and explore connections as they come up. This helps get the two sides of your brain to work better in tandem, as it should be doing, while addressing and taking care of the trauma. Sounds like quite a mental workout and to be honest I'm a bit anxious about it. I've never been to a therapist, but they have worked wonders for people and I'm confident they will help in this situation!

Uffda! This was meant to a brief update and I guess it got a little out of hand! Hope y'all are doing well! Thank you for being incredible! Keep it up and stay positive, we're all going through this life together!
Much Love. Be well.
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$77,456 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 1,090 people in 4 months
Created October 6, 2018
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