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We are David Ritchie's backbone!

$32,160 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 324 people in 1 month
37195076_1550603132905123_r.jpegDavid is my oldest nephew and an amazing young man who is one of the most compassionate people I know.  David  was in the Domincan Repulic with his girlfriend Teegan and 8 other couples for a sun filled week of fun when suddenly his vacation turned into an effort to save his life.  On Friday February 8th, 2019 David dove into the pool and misjudged the depth which caused him to hit the bottom and be rushed to the hospital where he had emergency surgery to remove and replace 2 broken vertebrae.  He spent several days in a coma with Teegan and their friends by his bedside hoping and praying for the best after having this life changing surgery.  When they woke him from his coma he was responsive in that he could blink when asked and move his eyebrows when asked but was very sedated and of course hooked up to a ventilator and other necessary machines.  He spent several more days in the Dominican hospital where his Doctor and the nurses there took amazing care of him and did everything they could to get him ready for a one hour flight to Florida on the night of Wednesday February 13th.   Since arriving in Florida, the team there have done CT scans and MRI's.  Cleaned out and inflated his lung because he had pneumonia when he arrived there, put a filter in to prevent blood clots and currently have him scheduled for a tracheotomy and PEG so they can take him off the ventilator.  This will be a major step in bringing him home because he will be able to breath on his own and hopefully start the long road to recovery very soon.  Overall he is doing just OK.  His mother has been with him since arriving in Florida.  She has said the Doctors and nurses are doing everything they can to take great care of him and to make sure she is aware of everything they are doing along the way.  Thankfully his brain scan was good and he is able to understand everything being said to him and respond by shaking his head yes or no.  He does have some movement in his arms but as I write this, he has no feeling in his lower limbs.  David will need extensive therapy when he comes home and his recovery (hopefully full) will be long and slow but we are all committed to helping him as much as we can.  I am reaching out to you now because David will need financial help for his personal bills and any medical expenses that are not covered by insurance.  He will be off work for a minimum of 6 months to a year and with your help, however big or small, David can focus on his recovery and on himself without worrying about his financial situation.  
Thank you so much for your donations, your support and for your prayers for David. 
 On a personal note, I would like to thank his amazing girlfriend Teegan for all that she has done and is going to do for David.  Also, thank you to his awesome friends that were in the Dominican with him and who supported both David and Teegan #18strong.  A big thank you goes out to the Canadian Paramedic, Canadian Firefighter and the Asian Doctor who were poolside and immediately stepped in to help when David was pulled out of the pool.  Lastly, on behalf of David and his family, I would like to say a great big thank you to all the terrific medical staff in the Dominican Republic and in Florida who have done everything they could to ensure he is getting the best care possible and for keeping him  comfortable while we wait for him to come home.  Come home David, we are waiting!
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It was definitely a "Good Friday"!! I just wanted to send you a couple of pictures of David's first time outside and his grandmother and I were there for one of his "firsts".
He was very happy to be outside even if it was for only 5 or 6 minutes. Thank you to his awesome nurse Julie for taking every precaution today and giving him the chance to get some fresh air and a little bit of rain on his face. So proud of you David.
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Happy Easter Weekend Everyone! We have been on a good streak since my last update. David has been doing well and progressing so I want to share with you the update that Teegan posted yesterday on her FB page:
Another amazing week for David William! Today Dave had a swallowing assessment (something he had been looking forward to since he woke up - as it meant he could FINALLY have water). He passed the swallowing test & was not only capable of drinking liquids, but also had his first meal tonight! His nurse told me he had asked her a couple days ago if was anything he could do to prepare for the swallowing assessment lmao! What a guy!! They can now stop his feeding tube and remove it. Yay!! No more protein burps!
Dave has been off of the vent for 30 hours now - he has been on high flow oxygen and oxygen with a speaking valve. However, at 2:10 today he did 8+ hours of breathing ON HIS OWN! No high flow, no oxygen - NOTHING!!! They ‘corked’ his trache and he was able to breathe & talk on his own with absolutely no assistance. He plans to go tonight on high flow and then go tomorrow with no support. Once he has completed 48 hours straight, off of the vent, they will downsize his trache.
Again, his nursing team has went above & beyond. One nurse knew Dave had been asking for orange juice weeks ago and went down to the vending machine and purchased some once his assessment was complete. He even had a nurse call in tonight while we watched the leafs game to rub it in that Boston was winning.
I can’t get over his progress over the past 2 weeks. He continues to remain SO positive and motivated! I can’t wait to see the amazing things this man will do ❤
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Hi Everyone,
Sorry it has been a few weeks since my last update but that was because David was struggling with a few things and it seemed that when we saw some progress there would be a huge set back and he would have to start all over again. Well that has changed dramatically in the last 2 weeks and he has made some incredible advancements toward his recovery. He has been completely off the sedation for a week or so now and is fully aware of everything going on with him and around him. In the last 2 days he has been able to sit up both in his bed and in his wheelchair. The staff will put a voice box over his Trach periodically to allow him to say a few words and to use his voice so he can strengthen those muscles and gradually be able to talk on his own. They have been taking him off the ventilator and using the high flow to help him breath on his own and today he was able to do that for 45 minutes which is the longest amount of time he has done so far. We are so proud of him and the determination he has shown recently. He has had some emotional moments but for the most part he is in good spirits. He is very grateful for all the support everyone has shown. For all the cards, the well wishes, the amazing words of encouragement and of course for everyone’s generosity. The staff and medical teams at the hospital have been incredible as well. They are doing a great job of taking care of him and are so invested in David’s recovery that some of them have been in tears watching these milestones this week. We are so grateful for them and will never be able to thank them enough. It seems that it is onward and upward for David from here and you are all a huge part of that so thank you very much. We can’t wait to see what David is going to do next and I will update again soon.
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Hi Everyone, Happy St. Patrick's Day!!
Hope you enjoyed your day where everyone gets to be a "wee bit" Irish. Granny and I spent a good part of today with David. Teegan and her mother were there and Caroline took a much needed day off. It was wonderful to see his face and to be able to see him smile. He opened his eyes quite a few times albeit for a few seconds each time but thankfully we saw his beautiful eyes and he knew we were there. He has been doing just OK this week and is adjusting to his Trach so he is still somewhat sedated. He tries to mouth words to you and he is able to shake his head yes or no when you ask him things but he will most likely need speech therapy in the future because of the ventilator being down his throat for so long. But don't be fooled, he has no problem puckering his lips to ask Teegan for kisses LOL.
He has a good day and then a bit of a set back, a good few days and then a bit of a set back but the Doctors and Nurses at Soldier's are awesome and they are on top of things ready for anything his body has to throw at them. Please know that we are thinking of all of you and know how much your support means to all of us.
Here is an Irish blessing from our homes to yours and please continue to keep him in your thoughts and prayers.
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