HELP MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN
ANDREW GALLUP’S LIFE
Our 25-year-old friend, Andrew Gallup, was in a devastating motor vehicle accident on April 18, 2015. As he was riding his scooter home, a car coming from the opposite direction turned into Andrew’s path. Unfortunately, the driver who hit Andrew had very little insurance. Andrew was severely injured in the accident and suffered a severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). After more than three months in trauma centers and rehabilitation hospitals, he was air ambulanced back to his parent’s home in Olney, MD.
Andrew is now technically out of the initial coma but is considered to be in a minimal state of consciousness. He has progressed slowly, fought several infections and is trying to regain the ability to do the most elementary tasks such as speaking, eating and standing. We are so proud of his will and effort. However, Andrew is severely restricted and cannot stand, care for himself, turn over, sit up, bathe, walk, etc. He needs intense care 24 hours a day since he is totally disabled. We believe he has the ability to recover, but we know it will take a long time.
With injuries like Andrew’s, early and continued therapy substantially increases his prospects of recovery. The cost of Andrew’s current and future care is exorbitant. For example, physical therapy currently is $85/hour and 24 hour/day in-home attendant care costs between $17 and $35/hour. Andrew has received excellent treatment for his condition and has made some notable improvements. However, without this continuing therapy and in-home care, we risk losing substantially all of his progress.
To help with the financial burden of Andrew’s uninsured expenses, a fundraising campaign in his honor has been established with HelpHOPELive, a trusted non-profit organization that has been providing community-based fundraising guidance to patients and their families for more than 30 years. All donations are tax deductible, are held by HelpHOPELive in the Mid-Atlantic Traumatic Brain Injury Fund, and are administered by HelpHOPELive for injury-related expenses only.
Our goal is to raise $100,000 each year. We hope that, some day, annual pledges will no longer be needed as Andrew reaches full recovery. As you contemplate your year-end charitable giving, please consider a tax-deductible donation to Andrew.There are several options:
For credit card contributions, please click the yellow Donate Now button or call 800.642.8399. (Note: a 3% administrative fee is withheld for credit cards contributions)
Make checks payable to:
Note in memo section:
In honor of Andrew Gallup
Please send to:
2 Radnor Corporate Center
100 Matsonford Road, Suite 100
Radnor, PA 19087
Thank you so much for helping. Andrew’s family will be grateful for whatever anyone gives and they will especially appreciate your prayers and notes of support. Be sure to check this HelpHOPELive campaign page as well as weekly updates at caringbridge.org/visit/andrewgallup.
If you would like to volunteer to help with Andrew’s care or fundraising, or if we can answer any questions, please feel free to contact one of us. One of the best ways to help is to spread this appeal to others – especially via social media.
The Committee For Andrew
Steve Balistreri – Managing Partner – Blackthorne Partners, Ltd. 262-786-4700
Samantha Stuart – Andrew’s Friend 240-731-6412
January 18, 2018
There is no news yet on the reinstatement of nursing. We continue to work hard on the application for a Medicaid Waiver that will get his nursing and nursing assistance turned back on. Until then we are holding our breath.
This past week Andrew had some good alertness with his speech therapist where he recited the days of the week loud enough and clear enough to be understood – so progress there. One of his PT/OT sessions was really good also – he stood in the power lifter and (with some assistance) took several steps. We will continue to work on leg strengthening and encourage this. I’ve attached a video of his speech or you can see it here: youtu.be
Prayers please for a positive outcome on his Brain Injury Waiver application.
November 21, 2017
Update for November 17, 2017
Journal entry by Tom Gallup — 11/17/2017
Some very interesting and exciting progress this week as Andrew has responded more to his therapists! In speech he has demonstrated he can “hit a switch” consistently so we have ordered a large bluetooth switch that can act as a kind of mouse to coordinate with an ipad that we have clamped onto his wheelchair. Hopefully he will be capable of working with some great new communication software that our speech therapist has downloaded.
And today Andrew had a good time curling up with his dog Lokie on the new, extra-wide workout mat we have set up. But more importantly he made it clear he wanted to sit up before we asked him and started to on his own. Then he made it clear he wanted to stand. And he did – his best efforts yet. No sling just holding onto the stander’s control bar. Usually he is very hunched over when standing on his own, but today he made great efforts at straightening up.
So we are really looking forward to keeping this momentum going!!
September 19, 2017
Andrew had a good week and is making slow but steady progress standing up in his new device. We have had him stand for up to 20 minutes at a time and we’re confident it will only get better. OT/PT Diane has devised a way for him to start lifting weights (see video) which is a beautiful thing to watch. It seems to be helping the spasticity in his right arm. She has found, and is encouraging, muscle movement in his left arm and leg – something we thought impossible not that long ago. He is getting used to the very awkward, very heavy new shoe/leg braces that were made to help him stand. We think his first steps could be soon, although they will take much time to develop.
Aside from some skin irritations, he is healthy – and for that we are grateful.
Prayers please for more speech during his alert periods.
September 18, 2016
From our recent Caringbridge post: Andrew was injured on April 19, 2015. I used to report how many days ago that was – today makes Day 515. As I was creating a summary of every hospital or rehab admission we’ve had (for emergency purposes), I added up the total days we’ve been in institutions – 207 so far. There have been admissions for rehab, emergency surgeries, infections and (of course) the initial trauma. That means 40 percent of the last 17 months have been spent in institutions. Whew….we are hoping that is it for awhile!!
Two days ago we concluded that, once again, Andrew has a UTI and we are treating it. Yesterday was a recovery day as his antibiotic started to kick in. I’m pleased to report his alertness today has been good. He answered questions with (somewhat) audible responses and he shook his head vigorously yes when asked if he was feeling better.
This past week we had a great visit from Andrew’s friend Katie who he hadn’t seen in a little while. He really perked up for that.
Many heartfelt thanks to the folks who have signed up (or are regulars) to sit with Andrew while we run errands, attend meetings, etc. The sign up at: mealtrain.com/trains/39qm78 seems to be working pretty well (Ok maybe a glitch here and there) but it is such a help. Thank you all.
A quick reminder of the fundraiser breakfast for Andrew at Oakdale Church on October 1 sponsored by the United Methodist Men. If anyone is interested, I will be sharing a little about our journey to the Men’s Group at their September 27 dinner meeting (7:00-8:30pm). If you would like to come out and be a friendly face in the audience, please do [but please email me so I can give them the extra head-count: [email protected]).
August 13, 2016
From our August 6 CaringBridge entry: This past week presented two challenges that could have landed us in the hospital. Last Sunday morning Andrew knocked or pulled his feeding tube out of his abdomen! Apparently the inflation device holding it in place had deflated slightly and it came out much easier than it should have. We made a quick decision to reinsert it on our own and reinflate the balloon to its proper amount. A visit to our gastroenterologist later in the week confirmed that we followed appropriate procedures and that the tube was properly placed – but it was a little scary for those few minutes!
Then on Tuesday, Andrew started minor storming during an OT session. We had to start our drug routine to try and bring him back to normal. This is always an anxious time since we often cant figure out a cause and we never know if it will escalate to a 911 call or whether we can bring him back with meds here at home. Thankfully, the meds worked – it took about 6 hours but we could breath a sigh of relief by about 9:00pm when Andrew had finally returned to his baseline.
Thanks to everyone for their prayers and contributions of time and resources this past week. Please continue to pray for recovery, no matter how small the gains are!
June 21, 2016
Having been at Moss Rehab Hospital for three months in Philadelphia, we are glad to be back home now and getting back into a routine. Andrew has made some progress and we are very hopeful that a return to regular therapy here will help him continue his gains.
We will try to post some video soon on caringbridge.org/visit/andrewgallup.
May 2, 2016
Andrew has been recovering well from his latest surgery and we just got word that we have been approved to move back to the Moss Rehab Unit here at the Einstein Campus in Philadelphia. We are looking forward to restarting all his therapies and moving toward regaining some speech and communication skills as well as additional arm and wrist movements. We are awaiting transport from the PCU unit here on the second floor to the Moss unit on the fourth floor. More details are on the caringbridge site
February 24, 2016
We are home after 10 days in the hospital for UTI and bowel problems!!! Really glad to be out of the hospital. Hoping to stay clear of it for awhile. We have some new training and knowledge that might help us stay home next time and treat the storming here (regardless of the cause, which can be difficult to determine). Thanks to everyone for their well wishes. Tom
January 11, 2016
January 11, 2016 (See www.caringbridge.org/visit/andrewgallup for daily updates)
I apologize for not updating this site for almost two weeks – Andrew has been in serious condition in several hospitals but, as of last night, we have some good news to share – Andrew’s lungs are both clear now and he needed suctioning only once yesterday (early on and not after that). His GI system is back to working and he does not have c. diff. So there is much to be thankful for right now. We look forward to going back to Washington Hospital Center today to possibly discussing moving out of ICU soon.
Our family wants to thank everyone for their generous contributions to Helphopelive and to Andrew’s Special Needs Trust account. We have raised over $25,000 so far – which will dramatically help defray the out-of-pocket costs of his medical and rehabilitation care. Thank you!!
December 26, 2015
Merry Christmas to Everyone. We’ll be trying to celebrate Christmas today since Andrew had an emergency trip to the hospital yesterday. It all started around 8:00am when we noticed he was bleeding slightly from one of his permanent abdominal penetrations (he has 3). After a quick ambulance ride to our local hospital, Emergency Department testing determined he had intestinal dysfunction relating to some surgery that was done back in July. Long story short, a portion of his colon was dying and we had to get him into surgery fast. After a 2 hour procedure from 5-7pm, they were able to successfully repair and reconfigure his abdomen. Needleless to say, this whole episode has taken a lot out of him and he will need to be in the hospital for several days.
It was long and emotional day for Suzanne and I. We were given some pretty grim potential surgical outcomes at one point. It was a huge relief when the surgeon came out of the operating room with a smile on his face. It was probably the best Christmas present ever to learn that the surgeon was able to obtain the best outcome possible. We were certainly lifted up by messages from many friends and a visit from daughter Meghan and her fiancé Chris. But we must say a special thanks to Bill Nullmeyer who, when he heard of our situation around 10:00am came to be with us immediately and refused to leave our side until we all went home at 11:00pm last night. He sacrificed his entire Christmas day including visits from his two adult children (who brought us all a plated Christmas dinner around 10pm). If you know Bill, will you please reach out to him and shower him with thanks – he is too modest to hear it from us (although we try and tell him constantly). And we also need to do the same for his wife Nancy, who had the grace to let Bill be away with us while she prepared and served a large family meal. Bill and Nancy are the definition of Good Samaritans.
Prior to all this happening Andrew was making really good progress. Here is a video link from a good session in his standing frame just the day before our hospital visit: www.youtube.com
Although his recuperation from this surgery will probably be long, we will try and get Andrew back to working hard at the physical recovery and alertness he had before this surgery. Please pray with us that this is nothing more than a temporary set back. Tom
December 20, 2015
Its hard to believe its Christmas time. Its hard to believe how much our lives have changed in the last nine months (today is the nine month anniversary of Andrew’s accident). Its hard to believe how much Andrew has been through. And its hard to believe how much recovery he has gained.
Many people would look at our boy and think there hasn’t been much recovery at all. But when you have watched your son stare straight ahead for 8 ½ months, any improvement is a godsend. With the first few doses of Ambien, we found Andrew was still “in there”. Its just a matter of getting him to come out – and stay out. This wont be easy, but now that we know he is an Ambien responder, we have a new tool to work with.
We need to make an effort to un-hook the link of our moods with his level of emergence. On days when the Ambien isn’t working that well, our moods sink to all time lows. And then they re-set the next day when he is participating again. So we have to get used to these ups and downs.
This Christmas season has made us aware of how fortunate we are in many respects. There have been several tragic deaths over the last few weeks here in our community. Instead of getting ready to make funeral arrangements for our son, we get to make therapy appointments and debate what the next step toward recovery will be. Our hearts break for the families that don’t have those choices.
We are trying to be lifted up during this season of Good Will, and I know people probably get tired of hearing us say it, but we need to. We need to say Thank You to every person who has shown us a kindness that we wouldn’t have seen if it weren’t for Andrew. People we haven’t seen in years, people we’ve just met, people we didn’t know before, old friends and new friends, close family and distant family – all have extended gestures of food, visits, sitting, contributions, notes, cards, emails, and support that we never would have expected. When we first returned from Atlanta, we thought there would be no way we could get through this. But we have with your support and by the Grace of God. Thank You. It would take a long time to list everyone by name and surely I would leave someone out. But please know that your support overwhelms us; we think about you often and your kindness brings us to our knees!
Andrew is doing some interesting new things this week – including wiggling his eyebrows. This one is huge because it shows that his sense of humor is still in there. For those of you who knew him well, you remember he was one of the funniest kids ever. I was afraid we lost the humorous side of his personality – now I have hope its still in there. Please pray that there is a lot more to come. This week coming up we go to NRH for an evaluation to get him in a walking machine. The machine will do most of the work, but the process will hopefully trigger even more awakening. Please pray that this works out for us. Tom
December 13, 2015
Another week of progress. As we continue the Zolpidem we have seen Andrew start to follow commands more clearly. He is making progress with a few simple words and gestures. He is also gaining endurance. Its hard to gauge exactly – maybe 30-45 minutes at a time. At times Suzanne and I get very excited with his advances and then there are times when we wish it were more. I guess this is how it will always be. Often we find ourselves asking if we are doing enough – researching enough, finding therapies hard enough, etc. But we have to remember that Brain Injury has its own schedule and we have our own limitations. No matter how hard we push, to a certain extent, things are going to happen when they happen. We cannot work 24/7 on Andrew, although we often feel like we do or should
We were recently reminded of the quote by Maya Angelou: “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” We were well trained in basic care for Andrew at Shepherd. We were not that well trained in advanced speech, language and occupational therapy. Partly we are winging it (buying our own tilt table, accepting a gifted standing frame, working on speech and language). Partly we have picked up things from watching others. But we know how far its possible for a brain injury patient to advance. There are some amazing examples out there and we will continue doing everything we can to bring Andrew as far as he can go. Please see the video we just posted for his most recent advances: youtu.be
Thanks to everyone for the support this past week. Due to the patient nudging of our biggest cheerleader, I got over the preconceived notion that fixing our mobility van’s stuck handicap ramp would be prohibitively expensive. I made the appointment and took it in. I almost fainted when they told me it just needed a minor tune-up and would only cost $180.00!! We now have a working ramp again.
Please pray for continued perseverance for Andrew to make gain’s in speech and occupational therapy. Tom
December 5, 2015
Andrew has made some good progress in the last week. It started out a little rough as we thought he might have another Bladder infection. From Sunday to Tuesday we held off on giving him the new drug that is helping him wake up. On Wednesday we learned there was no infection (his pain indicators are very hard to read at times) so we returned to daily doses of Zolpidem (also known as Ambien). Zolpidem is normally prescribed as a sleep aide but has the paradoxical effect on some brain injured patients of waking them up.
His reaction to the drug is amazing. For about 30 minutes after each dose, he becomes very alert and “tunes in” to whatever is going on around him. He follows commands and responds to questions. His whole appearance changes to a more “normal” look – the old Andrew. We posted a video clip on Andrew’s caringbridge site that shows him saying Mom (he has since said “Pops”), puckering up for a kiss and sticking out his tongue (youtu.be We have also gotten him to grasp a ball and release it when asked. The speech isnt always clear, but its getting better.
This new activity is amazing since, for seven months, we had almost no recognizable interactions or movements from Andrew. Our goal is to push for more endurance and to try and get him to the point where he can participate for 45 minutes, then an hour, etc. We don’t know where this will lead or how it will progress – we know that plateaus or even steps backward are possible. But we remain prayerful and hopeful and positive. We will ask his doctor for more speech and language and physical therapy prescriptions. There is a walking machine (Locomotor Trainers which are body weight supported treadmills) that we will try and gain access to. There is one at Shady Grove Adventist Rehab, which is about 30 minutes away.
It would be hard to keep going like this if it wasn’t for the support of our friends and family (especially our church family). Thank you for all the visits, calls, emails, texts, food, and sitting. Please join us in praying that this new awakening is just the first part of a full recovery! Tom
If you would like to learn more about Andrew, please go to: caringbridge.org/visit/andrewgallup.
November 28, 2015
Andrew had a good week and a nice Thanksgiving. But the big news is that we saw some wonderful new activity – Andrew spoke yesterday! We have started him on a trial of a new brain stimulant drug. Around 11:00am as we were getting him ready for a tilt table session, he started to silently mouth some words. His lips moved like he was getting a sentence or two out, but no sound was produced. Then he said very clearly “Mom” three times – Suzanne and I both heard it. We were encouraging him on and later again he mouthed speech of some sort for a few seconds. Suzanne and I both bent close to hear but no sound was coming out. We know that it is common in brain injury patients to speak very softly or without sound at first.
He also gave us a “thumbs up” and a “thumbs down” on command which is another first. This could be the beginning of some significant awakening, but we don’t want to get our expectations up too early. We will certainly be discussing this with our Psychiatrist (our next appointment is Monday) and figuring out what to do next – a visiting speech therapist or maybe visits to Nat’l Rehab Hospital’s out-patient therapy department. In any event, we were given renewed hope by all this and we are thankful to all the people who have been praying for Andrew.
We hope that everyone following our blog here had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I was able to get up to have an early meal with my Mom in Pennsylvania – her first alone since my Dad passed away in June. Andrew’s sister Meghan and fiancé Chris were over to make us a fantastic dinner. Our lives are very different now than they were before Andrew’s accident on April 19, but we are all very grateful for Andrew’s survival and that he is with us.
We have several old friends (and some new) scheduled to visit over the next few weeks and we are very thankful for the people who have gone out of their way to help make our lives a little easier. We are also thankful that Andrew’s HelpHOPELive campaign is off to a good start. Tom
November 21, 2015
This week we recognized that seven months have passed since Andrew’s accident. We have had him home now for 4 ½ months. It has been a time of many ups and downs. When I look back, I know we have accomplished a lot: we navigated the social security maze and Andrew now gets a very small monthly benefit (reduced for food and housing since we provide it, which is baffling to me); we navigated the Medicaid maze and we now get some in-home nursing care (not as much as we would like, but we’re grateful for any help at all); we navigated the court system to gain guardianship and decision-making for Andrew (more on that later); and we put together a fund-raising campaign for him.
There are things to celebrate – First, the amount of support from family, friends, neighbors, church members and people we wouldn’t have come to know otherwise has been truly amazing. It has restored our faith that we are not alone in this. Several people we sort of lost touch with volunteered to reach out with fund-raising for us. Second, (and most important) Andrew is alive and continues to heal. His storming is well under control by the Baclofen pump and we are making progress in the battle against wrist and ankle contractures. Although he does not yet speak and his eye-blinking communication is still inconsistent, we have learned to read his body language and can tell when he is in pain or distress. We have several excellent doctors and we have created a good environment for his brain to heal and for him to work on emerging from his lower level of consciousness. We pray this will happen soon.
This week we were granted Guardianship over Andrew by the court, which allows us to make all the necessary decisions for medical treatment, finances, etc. One of my oldest friends – a Chevy Chase attorney named Nat Finkelstein – accomplished this for us Pro Bono. This was a lot of work including a court appearance and we are very grateful to Nat. He incorporated my business many years ago and has written our wills. He is a very successful litigator. If anyone reading this needs legal work done, please consider using Nat (his no. is 301-951-8400).
Our new fundraising campaign officially got underway this week and we are thankful for the friends and business associates that have volunteered their time to help spread the word about Andrew’s financial needs. Its against our nature to ask for charity – but I have to remember that we are speaking for a young man who may have many years of significant therapy and care requirements that we would not be able to handle on our own.
Thanks to everyone who helped us get through another week with your kindness and compassion. Tom
November 11, 2015
The Committee For Andrew: Steve Balistreri; James W. Cornelsen; Michael P. Fitzgerald; David Gallup; Sara E. Harris; Ronald D. Paul; Peter H. Plamondon, Jr.; Samantha Stuart; H.L. Ward and Martha Foulon-Tonat; Douglas E. Metz & Cynthia A. Pehl;
November 11, 2015
Please see our blog about Andrew’s progress at www.caringbridge.org/visit/andrewgallup
Photo Galleries (1)
October 10, 2019
you're doing great. Keep up your strength, will and faith...!!
September 30, 2019
God is with the Gallup Family. They are amazing in their care for Andrew, who is a beautiful child of God. It is a great to see Andrew and his family at church.
December 10, 2016
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Andrew as the New Year approaches. Hopefully, 2017 will bring hope and improvement in Andrew's condition.
Rich and Muriel Owens
December 5, 2015
Suzanne, Tom and Andrew, The video on Caringbridge is wonderful!!! So glad to hear the Ambien is helping to draw Andrew out. YOu all continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. Our love, Jud, Kathy and TJ
December 1, 2015
Prayers continue for Andrews full recovery.
Love, The Mullings Family
November 28, 2015
Ed and I will be praying for more good news and progress. Praying for peace and encouragement to your family.
Ed and Marlene Groth
November 23, 2015
All of you continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. Love y'all,
November 20, 2015
Praying for you Andrew- your beautiful smile and amazing sense of humor always bring me amazing memories. I have faith in a full recovery bub
November 13, 2015
Praying for Andrew's continued progress and full recovery.
Mail a Check
Make checks payable to:
Help Hope Live
Note in memo:
In honor of Andrew Gallup
Help Hope Live
2 Radnor Corporate Center
100 Matsonford Road
Radnor, PA 19087