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Days Turn Into Weeks After Hunter’s Accident

Its hard to believe it has been almost three weeks since my sons motorcycle accident. I have been at the hospital all day every day and although at times each minute seems like an eternity, at other times I cannot believe it has already been 20 days. My life has turned upside-down and I am looking forward to some sense of normalcy returning. But every time I think of complaining, I think of what Hunter is enduring with stoic bravery.

Hunter had major surgery last Saturday to rebuild his very broken face. It took 10 hours and the results are remarkable. Other than some bruising and swelling and a not-so-pretty scar that goes eartoear, his face looks fantastic. The maxillofacial specialist, Dr. Daniel Esposito, and his team did incredible work. He showed me the post-surgery CT scan and although he face is full of titanium plates and screws, it is beautifully symmetrical. Hunters jaw will be wired shut for another week, then rubber bands after that. As long as he still has his jaws wired, hell need to stay on a trach, to protect access to his airway.

Although Hunter has struggled all week to climb out of the anesthesia and druginduced fog he has been in, today he is beginning to see some clear sky. They down-sized his trach today so that he is able to talk around italthough it is hard and very tiring for him. The good news is that he is able to put together words and sentencesno easy feat for a brain-injured patient.

In the next few days, we are hoping that Hunter will be moved from the ICU to the neuro floor. From there, hell move on to re-hab and I am hopeful that it will go well. Hes a very strong, brave and determined guy.

Hunter has received many kind cards every day, both from friends that are familiar to us and some that only know us through this blog or the TV show. In all cases, they mean a lot to both Hunter and me and I am very touched by your kindness, your stories and your encouragement. A very kind soul even sent me several books on coping with brain injury and I have been devouring them. Thank you so much.

I yearn to be at home again with my husband and my dogs at my side. I miss the smell of horses and the sweet sound of them chewing on hay. I miss watching them romp and play during their morning turnout and the sound of their beckoning at feed time. I know that day will come soon, when I get to go home. Next week, in fact, when I leave Hunter in the capable hands of my sister, nurse Cathy, while I go home to get my horse and gear and head up to Granby, CO, to teach a clinicthe yoga and riding retreat. If I ever needed yoga, its now! I cant wait to sit on a horse again.

I have managed to get some writing done and work on the promotion for the release of my new saddles  by Circle Y which are debuting this month. My newsletter will be out soonworking on these things has been a blessed distraction.

Until next time,


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  1. My family has known its share of heartbreaking motorcycle accidents too Julie. I will pray for Hunter and you as you go through this trial. God Bless you both. Gayle Decker

  2. Julie,

    I only now found out about Hunter’s accident. You and your family are in my prayers, and I will add Hunter to our staff prayer letter. God holds us all.


  3. Dear Julie,

    I’m a faithful follower of your show and want you to know that my healing thoughts and prayers are for a full recovery for your son and rest for yourself.

    Please advise again an address to send a card to him, and to you! I’m not sure the address you supplied would still be a good address if he has moved from ICU and I’d love to send one to him as well as to you.

    I’m thinking of you both!

  4. Dear Julie
    Your presence and faith in Hunter’s recovery gives him exactly what he needs. A young man in our community fell out of a pickup truck and suffered a TBI some time ago. His progress has been nothing short of miraculous–slow, sometimes even in fits & starts–but amazing. His Mom has been his rock. My family holds you in our prayers. Believe.

  5. Dear Juile,
    I did not know about Hunter and, given all you are going through, you still answered a question for me. That was so kind. Now that I do know, I can tell you that I have a 29 year old son who lives in California and loves his motorcycle too. I am so sorry you got that call – the same one that I dread.
    I guess they are entitled to their own passions but it is very hard to accept, isn’t it? You and Hunter and your family will be in my prayers and I am glad that he is improving.

  6. Thanks for keeping us posted on Hunter’s progress! I sure am glad that he is moving forward every day. He has a lot of folks cheering him on for a steady recovery! Your friends at the CHA conference missed our “Julie fix” but we are very happy that you are able to be with Hunter! Hang in There.

    Peggy Adams

  7. It will get better especially when the rehab begins. Its just a matter of time. Trust me I know I to am the parent of a child who got a brain injury in an auto accident. You are in our prayers

  8. Julie, It is my 1st time on your website…where I came looking for help with my wild mustang. Instead I find myself in tears over your son. As a mother of a 28 year old son, I can only imagine your pain. Sounds like he is doing remarkably well, as are you. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Park City, MT

  9. Oh, Julie, I have been busy on my real horses and neglected my online horse blogs and buddies. Please know that you and Hunter are in my prayers. With three kids and lots of time in hospitals, I empathize and know you need the smell of horses and the feel of hugs, and most of all, the smile of your son. May God hold you all gently, BJ

  10. I can’t believe that it’s already been 20 days. I’m glad that he’s doing better and will continue to progress. Our bodies are pretty incredible machines 🙂

    Enjoy your retreat, he’s in great hands and you could probably use some equine therapy.

  11. God Bless you and your family.
    It will get better with time. I remember the shock and fear for weeks when my 12 year old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
    But you do get stronger with time, for the sake of your kid.
    Take care of yourself.

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