There’s No Place Like Home, There’s No Place Like Home… Terry and Traumatic Brain Injury headed to Oz, 9/26

Faye took the Yellow Car and headed home through Yellowstone, Old Faithful and tourists.

After taking it to mat with Regence Blue Shield, we are going home. Our insurance says they will only pay to transport Terry to the nearest rehab center-which is in Denver, Colorado. Not very useful to have him there, we might as well stay in Montana. I am beginning to understand the bitter truth about insurance companies now and it’s not pretty.

Terry in the hospital in Billings the day before we flew home. Its hard for me to look at these photos and its five years later!

The good news is we will be going home to Olympia and the Emily Gamelin Pavilion and Rehab center at St Peter’s hospital.  The hospital is only a mile or two from the house so I will be really close by; the rest of the bad news is to get Terry home I have to cough up a $3000.00 down payment out of my own pocket for the life flight.  I’m pretty sure his insurance will recover that for me, he’s a firefighter and thank God, the fire service is amazing about looking out after their own.

Packed up and ready to leave for home and rehab

He has passed the swallow test, he can eat with help, he can get up with a walker and sit in a chair. He’s still a complete froot loop and his short term memory is non-existent. He has no idea where he is or why for more than about three minutes. I wonder if that is as horrible for him as it is for me?

I’m so excited we are are leaving for home in the morning.  Faye took my car and drove it home a few days ago via Yellowstone, so we’ll flying out on a small plane and actually landing at the little airport in Olympia. Terry’s firefighters got special permission to cross into another jurisdiction with their rig and they will be picking us up at the airport in Tumwater. Every time I think about that I tear up, it’s such an amazing honor. I know they want to see him and bring him home.

Headed home form the Billings airport, a smiling nurse is already in the plane.

Going Home: The Life Flight Nurses were men. They were the two nurses who picked Terry up from Livingston right after the accident and flew him to the trauma center in Billings. They were astonished and happy to see him.  They told me they didn’t think he would make it when they picked him up the first time and here he was going home!

In the plane in the airanother shot of the plane

We got to fly around Rainier and I took pictures. I used to be so terrified of small planes but this was a wonderful experience.

Yes, that is Mt Rainier off the wingtip of a very small plane.

I could see the fire fighters rig, that is what they call their truck/ambulance/paramedic thing, from the air. When we landed some of the guys Terry knows best were there to take him gently from the plane and bring him to the rehab center. I started crying when I saw them, not sobbing, just leaking tears and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one.  Terry’s recovery to this point was nothing short of a miracle and miracles call for tears in my book.

The Lacey fire fighters met the plane and put Terry into their rig to transport him.

Terry's riding partner Don Bowman is on the left. Don's a paramedic with Lacey and he was with Terry when he crashed. It was a wonderful homecoming!

I hugged the flight crew and thanked them from the bottom of my heart for the care they had given Terry–twice. I took their picture on the tarmac before they climbed back in the plane to fly home to Billings. The flight cost $6000.00, but it was worth it to be home again. 

I will be forever grateful and thankful to this crew. They met Terry twice and sped him on his way twice. I hope the universe showers them with blessings!

Tonight, I get to sleep in  my own bed and the next leg of the journey back starts now.

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