Dear Friends and Family,
As you know, Carl Schwartz has been an exceptional athlete and fitness enthusiast his entire life, running competitively through college and then recreationally well past retirement. He has completed numerous marathons, hiked the trails of the Pacific Northwest, walked every square inch of West Seattle, and still found time to weight lift in his garage. His latest passion though was cycling. He regularly went on long distance training rides, cycled on his stationary bike, and threw in a century ride (100 miles) every couple of weeks just for fun. His dedication to exercise was unmatched. Unfortunately his running, hiking, and cycling days have come to a devastating end.
Carl was involved in a life-changing accident on March 13, 2017 while riding his bike on a path in Seattle. He suffered a C2A spinal cord injury leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. He is confined to a wheelchair and relies on a respirator to assist his breathing through a tracheostomy. With the help of extensive training, he learned to speak and eat some foods. After spending three months at Harborview Medical Center, both in ICU and Rehab, Carl was discharged on June 14. Just as she did while Carl was an avid athlete, his wife Sherry has been by his side every minute of this heart-breaking ordeal.
What we are learning from this experience is Carl’s quadriplegia has dictated major adjustments to every aspect of the couple’s life. Early on they determined their house in West Seattle would not accommodate his disability and decided to relocate to Spokane, WA. Their new home will require the installation of a vertical lift and accompanying non-electric wheelchair, as well as a long list of specialized equipment, including a patient lift, custom bed, electric wheelchair, and a mobility-assist van that serve in his daily routine. He presently requires assistance beyond what Sherry can provide, such as transfers from bed to chair, grooming and bathroom care, feeding, and continual monitoring of his breathing. Soon he will be involved in regular rehabilitation sessions.
While Carl and Sherry planned well for retirement, there was simply no way to predict the deep impact to their finances this accident would have. His annual care will be very expensive due to the level of attention he needs and the dependency on the respirator. Our family is reaching out for your help. A donation in any amount is greatly appreciated and will be put directly toward Carl’s current and future medical expenses.
December 14, 2017
Truly exciting news! Carl’s trach/passy muir valve has been permanently removed. He is breathing completely on his own. This is no small feat as his original team of doctors told him this would most likely never happen. Way to go Carl!
November 21, 2017
November 20, 2017
As we near Thanksgiving, we would like to thank God for all of the hidden blessings we have received this year. It has been a rough one, but the love of family, friends, and even strangers is unbelievably powerful. On November 3, Carl and Sherry bravely drove to Portland, OR to watch their grandson Luke’s last high school football game. It was going to be a complicated journey, made even more so by the fact the game was an hour outside of Portland on a wet, cold night. With the help of the away team’s amazing Athletic Director and Assistant, Carl and Sherry were allowed to drive their van onto the track and watch from literally right underneath the field goals posts. It was a very special night for all of us (picture in the gallery). We hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving.