Please Help My Dad, Gary!
Earlier this year my dad, Gary Suydam, was riding his bike home from work and was hit by a car and run over by another. Because of this accident, he is now learning how to live as a quadriplegic. He spent a month in the ICU on life support and will be at a rehabilitation center for three months. We are all learning how to help him maintain his independence so he can come home. The time he has spent in the hospital and the adjustments that must be made to our home carry some hefty expenses. This is why we are asking for your help.
December 2, 2017
We are all so humbled to see all the outpouring of love since my crash. We want to thank all of you for your kind words, support, meals, help around the house, donations to our elevator fund, and even your prayers.
I want to take a moment to give everyone an update on my progress:
For those of you who may not know, I rode my bike every day to my job in Golden from Denver. No matter the weather, you’d always find me riding to work. It was my favorite part of my day.
On Friday evening, January 27, 2017, I collided with a car that turned in front of me; that driver has since pleaded guilty, is serving community service, and lost her driving privileges for a year. She has shown remorse and has promised us that she will commute by bike during that year.
A second driver ran over me while I was lying in the roadway; that driver had fake plates, no insurance, and fled the scene of the accident. That driver was later captured and found guilty at his trial.
I spent 32 days on life support at Saint Anthony’s hospital, followed by 3 months at Craig rehabilitation center, with a week at Swedish for an inflamed gall bladder, and another few days at Saint Joseph’s hospital for a blood clot that traveled into my lungs.
I’m home now and in fairly stable condition other than the complications of trying to keep my blood pressure up and managing my muscle spasms. I’ve returned to work, although now I do it from home. I do pretty well with a mouth stick mouse and voice recognition software. I miss the commute but maybe one day we can get an FES Bike that would allow me to simulate riding again.
We finally have a home health worker a few mornings a week and that has helped tremendously. When she is not here one of our children; Garrett, Hunter, or Lilly are here to help. They have made a care schedule so that someone is here every morning and night to help Lisa get me up or to bed.
We are still working on our goal of an elevator and an accessible bathroom but hopefully it won’t be much longer. I’m still limited to the first floor, so sleeping in the dining room and limited to sponge baths. We’ve looked at moving into a ranch house but haven’t found anything accessible and frankly, we have an amazing network of neighbors that we’d hate to lose.
We are sure that I’ll continue to get better and regain some skills. We know that it may take years, but we know it will happen. I have added a joystick to my wheelchair so that I can progress from the sip and puff chair to hand driving.
So thank you again for being there for us. We are lucky to call you friends.
August 11, 2017
Thank you all for your continued support. We have amazing family and friends. More friends then we ever knew we had. Gary is doing great and is home now. He’s even been able to return to work. We are however still a long way off to making his home comfortable. Right now he’s rolling around the bottom floor of our home, where he sleeps, eats, works… We’re working with the city to approve a variance for an elevator to give him a bedroom, office and a bathroom. Wish us luck.
December 12, 2017
Gary, you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. To see you smiling in your picture just reminds us all of the indomitable spirit and strength you have always possessed. You are a shining light in this world. May God bless you and heal you and show you reminders along the way that, although your friends may be far away, we are all thinking of you and your family and sending our love and prayers every day.
Marybeth (Norris) Oddo
September 21, 2017
You got this, Gary! You are a strong spirit that will overcome. Love you guys!
June 24, 2017
Hey Gary, Hope this helps... wish I could donate more. You're in my thots & prayers for a speedy recovery!❤ =^..^=
June 1, 2017
Gary, my grammar school friend! So sad I had no idea of your accident. I will keep you in my prayers and forward your story to more who need to know. Big hugs and may God heal you to your fullest extent
Kathy (Magnuson) Chamberlin