Tragic accident please help family
Hi folks my name is Sonny Vincent. Some of you may know me from my music, tours and albums. . Most don't know my real name, it is Robert Ventura Jr. I need help. On Sunday January 2, 2016 our family was in a tragic accident. My son Rob, Sarah Ventura, and their son ( my grandson) Cayden Ventura (Age 9) were in a gas explosion that ignited into a blazing fire. Their injuries and the burns are extensive, The burns are 3rd degree and emcompas 50% of Robs body,50% of Caydens and the Mom suffers with 80%. They are each currently in the Burn Intensive Care Unit at Winston Salem Medical Center, and are on life support struggling for their lives. The explosion/fire destroyed everything they owned. There are several family members who are here supporting them. I despreartely need urgent assistance in taking care of them.
Please help and share this.
For now I am still taking care of Cayden boy 24/7.
He is such a lovely kid. Taking care of him for the past 3 1/2 years has warmed my heart. Helping my family through this tragedy has been the hardest challenge imaginable but it has had many beautiful moments.
Soon Cayden has a new appointment with his Surgeon at the hospital and we will be working on a schedule for future surgeries.
Could you guys help us get through the comming months. I look forward to becoming self sufficient in the future but for now its still difficult for me. I've always been self reliant and I never was comfortable asking you guys for help. But this situation could never have been anticipated.
Please donate and help me get down the road a bit more. Any amount is greatly appreciated. Without you guys this story would have been very different. Thank you so much for being there. Lots oc Love from Sonny
Please read all this if you can! We just celebrated Caydens 13th birthday yesterday.
Lately I've posted photos of Cayden doing normal activities. I post the ' fun activities ' photos so our supporters and donaters can see how their support has helped Cayden's progress.
Not to minimize the massive challenges we still have ahead and will have for some time. During Cayden's childhood he is going to need many more surgeries. He has already had about 40 surgeries or more and because he has skin grafts (over 51% of his body) he will need many more reconstructive and graft surgereries. Cayden's body grows (he is 12 now, he will be 13 next week on April 19th!!)) but the cells of the grafts dont grow. His hands, face, arms, legs, feet and back are grafts and as he grows the grafts contract and twist and deform his body.
After critical contracture he needs another surgery, where he must undergo intubation and anesthisia. They have to take skin from other parts of his body and stitch the skin to where the contracture occurs. He almost lost total use of his hands because of this problem of contracture.The massive amounts of surgeries, therapies, home bending, stretching and Cayden sleeping with the moving, noisey CPM machine rigged up to his fingers was what saved a good portion of the 'range of motion' but he will never be able to function as he would have had there been no tragic fire.
The parts of his body that are twisted and knarled cause him pain. Even brushing his hand against objects such as a table or a chair causes him sharp pain.
After each surgery I have to change his dressings constantly, I must debride his wounds, I have to keep his wounds clean and away from any kind of infection. A panicky example is if his fingers get infected he can lose them. I stopped my whole life and I devote myself to helping little Cayden through this tragedy. After each surgery we are in military operations modus. It's a big responsibility and complex. I have to decide when to remove dressings and let stitched areas air dry. I must remove metal pins that go through his bones. There is no set time or duration medically advised as to when those metal pins are supposed remain in his bones, a week? A month? I have to just feel it out and 'intuit' when I think they should come out. Same with the casts they out on him. There is not any precise information or data. Advise but nothing is certain. I have developed an organic,hands on intuitive process to make many of these decisions. Of course at first making decisions I felt on very thin ice but now because of my experiance I'm confident, but I never take risks and always seek consultation when something is foreign to me. A big ' process',, I must choose when his wounds are healed up enough to go back to school. I must be careful about exposure but also I must weigh a balanced view of his need for socialization.
So many levels of advocating, I can't explain it all, it would be a book!! When he is not in the hospital he has to have many physical therapy appointments after school. Even directly after the graft release surgery I have to keep his body moving ,even if the stitches break and wounds open, because although they put on new skin everything is prone to quickly contract again. The whole challenge for people this severely burned is overwhelming but Cayden works hard and he is a happy boy.
We are checking the options and timeline for his next surgeries. That is so stressful and heartbreaking. Research has proven that for children, if they have too many sessions of anesthesia as well as the medicine coctails they give for surgeries, it's been shown that it can cause learning disabilities. Cayden is on the A/B honor roll at his school so we are always going crazy with his physical therapy to limit as many surgeries as we possibly can.
I work Cayden hard to keep his skin stretched, keep him active to have the least amount of surgeries. But we now see that we can only limit some of the surgeries because the contracture is so profound that only regrafting can release the contractures.
Sarah (my daughter inlaw) is near the hospital (150 miles from here). Because of the accident they had to amputate both of her legs above the knee. Rob (my son) goes there to help Sarah. What Rob has gone through boggles the mind. He lost everything in the fire, he is permanently injured and never will be the same. He also suffered 3rd degree full thickness burns on 53% total body surface burns to his body. Now he helps Sarah often with her wheelchair and everyday personal care. But they both are taking care of each other. What I'm trying to say is that even though Rob has been through hell and back and he is walking around completely injured he has to caretake for Sarah and she has to caretake for him. They're so brave and courageous it's incredible the two of them leaning on each other to make it through this tragedy. Sarah has to be close to the hospital because of the extent of her injuries and she is going through a whole series of trials with prosthetics. It's very tough because the prosthetics rub her skin and she gets more wounds.
Sarah is a real miracle. 90% of her skin was burned off, 3rd degree full thickness.
Sarah had to be very strong. Many times she she was teetering on the edge of certain death, Rob too. He has had to be super strong to survive all this. I remember in the hospital he flatlined twice, I was there crying and praying. That's only a small part of all he has been through. It's been very very hard for both of them. And like Cayden they also have a long road in front of them. Just a few weeks ago Rob had a contracture release surgery. Discharged with metal pins in his finger, and a cast with lots of pain. For people who were severely burned as they were, the challenges are 'life long'.
Cayden has grown out of all his clothes (again!), everything is too small! I grab him items but has already grown out of all the Christmas clothes you guys sent him!! When I arrived at the hospital he was 9 years old! On April 19 he will be 13!!
I must mention also that I have costs his Medicade does not pay, all those costs plus the monthly bills. And because of the clinic appointments , Cayden's therapies ,school stuff, Boy Scouts ,etc , I've put over 90,000 miles on the ole' car. Around 30,000 miles per year, a lot of gas and repairs!!
Can you help us again to get through another month? It's so needed and very appreciated. I can't wait till you guys meet Cayden when I someday take him on tour with me!
You are our heros! Thank you!
Lots of Love from Sonny
P.S. The photos are current. His poor hands will need surgeries again.
Please remember us, it's not easy for me, all this, but you can be sure I remain a warrior! Well, a warrior filled with lots of Love and dedication!! Please share.
P.S -Verifications of wepay the 'processor' for gofundme are getting more stringent, when sending a donation please make sure all the information in the form is correct. They constantly fail donations when folks use gift cards and they return the money. And they constantly fail donations from people because they might have typed something a little bit wrong or used a nickname or old address.
Please type the correct information.
A tedious element that I have to mention which somehow takes away from the emotions and challenges of this tough journey we're on!
So I have gone from being a wild rocker that tours the world to being a guy that is at the trampoline park, horse riding, hiking, Boy Scouts, you name it! Everything to keep his body moving and stretched so he can have less surgeries.
He definitely will need surgeries throughout his whole childhood but keeping him moving and bringing him to his PT/OT therapy sessions lowers the amounts of graft release surgeries he must have.
I don't know if you can see it but in one of the photos he's holding his A/B honor roll award he got from school! This is a major accomplishment since he misses so much school because of Medical appointments he and must do a lot of homework to keep caught up! It's not easy but he does it!!
Rob just went in for another surgery and Sarah has a new wheel chair. Sarah must stay near the hospital because of her many appointments and Rob is up there for his recent surgery and follow up appointments.
I try to keep my appeals for help to a minimum , I really know how to conserve and be quite frugal but I need to ask for help to make it through. You guys have been so wonderful keeping us floating while I help Cayden through his recovery. I'm having difficulty paying our monthly bills this time and hope you can continue to donate and support us through this tough time. I had to go to the Vets Hospital for counseling because this whole experience has left me with PTSD. No worries, I'm fine, I just worry a lot and have difficulty sleeping. The therapy is helpful showing me breathing techniques etc.
It's good that I went in because I must be in top shape taking care of this energetic 12 year old! As you can see from the photos we are very active and busy doing all the things I can do to help Cayden in his recovery and I have him involved in many activities kids Love. I'm a long way from the Rocknroll stage and lifestyle I had before. But what I do now is so important to my Grandson and I do it with Love and show him my excitement to be close in his life.
I know the picture of his hand looks pretty gruesome but that's just the reality I'm faced with. His whole body is grafted and I must keep it moving so that he retains range of motion.
It's been a long tough road, I have been brought to my knees in tears so many times throughout this journey. But they all survived and the help from you guys has humbled me in a very profound way. Please continue to donate. Specially now because we need to pay many bills.
I know I've said it before but without you guys we would have lost this fight. If I had not shown up and received all the support you guys have given me this story would be completely different now. Please share my joy in helping Cayden. One of these days I'll take him on tour with me and he can thank you himself! Sonny
Cayden has had many appointments and I'm still always under stress advocating and making sure he achieves the best recovery possible. Lots of driving to Doctors appointments, therapies, and keeping a very tough schedule. While at the same time offering Cayden the best harmonic life experience I can !
How did I go from a wild rocker to a guy perfecting the perfect 'Fluffernutter' sandwich with all the goob brought to the exact edge of the bread as per Cayden's request?
Sarah and Rob are doing better but still have their challenges. Rob is going in for a surgery soon. But they are doing better each day.
I'm often sad inside these days because it's all taken a toll on me. But I always internalize my sadness and provide Cayden with a progressive, positive, fun, home atmosphere. I already reached out to the veterans center for some counseling, I just hope I dont wind up in a Yoga group! Keeping myself fit is important because
Cayden deserves the best quality of life possible, after all he has been through and I'm dedicated to help him through all his changes and challenges.
And the good news is that he IS a very happy resilient boy.
Wait till you meet this kid!!
Last weekend him and I rode horses on a trail! The trail boss said the horse really seemed to like Cayden! It was a beautiful sunny day!! It gets pretty cold and grey here in North Carolina but this was like a glorious spring day!
Cayden also got on the honor roll at school! Lots of extra homework goes into that since he misses school for his medical appointments! So proud of him!!
And the biggest most recent event was this morning he got braces on his teeth!
Unfortunately his Medicaid insurance would not pay for that. Blue hair, blue braces ! This kids has got it going on!!
We are still currently struggling to make ends meet. There has been some talk about getting all my albums re released which would really help, but for now that's not actualizing. Soon my friend Hugo and I will release a tribute/ benefit album. Some distributors will take it on and I will offer it here as well. 76 very cool bands contributed songs. Hopefully some copies of that will sell. But it's all in process, artwork is underway, songs are mastered. Please help us get through another couple of months. Any donation helps. Thanks so much!
Thanks for caring about us. Please look at Cayden and share my joy and appreciation that without you guys we really would have never made it this far! - Sonny