seabecksession.jpg Updates: June 14thJune 16thJune 17thJune 18thJune 19thJune 23rdJuly 1stJuly 2nd

I received an email from Rob Robinson about a half hour ago informing me that Rick Meigs (who blogs at The Blind Beggar, is behind Friend of Missional and is one of the seven Missional Tribe instigators) has been in a motorcycle accident and is in critical condition. Rick is an avid motorcyclist, and was at the Hells Canyon Motorcycle Rally. an email I received from him earlier this week said (in part),

300+ mile to get there, then another 500+ miles of riding over the weekend. Another 600+ miles on the return trip because I’m going to try to make it over to Eagle, Idaho, and visits some of the missional order folks there. There is nothing better than dancing with the wind on a sunny warm day.

The forwarded note I got from Rob indicated that he was clipped by a vehicle that “crossed the center line and clipped him head on. It was a hit and run. He is in critical condition with two collapsed lungs and a ruptured spleen. His wife Fran is in Texas and trying to get to Baker City before they fly him to Boise.” This information is a few hours old now, but please be praying for Rick and his family. I’ll post updates here as I can get them; if anyone has more current info, feel free to post it below along with your prayers.

btw, the photo above is from the Allelon Seabeck Missional Order conference in 2007. I’m sitting on the far right, and Rick is sitting beside me. Below: a photo Rick posted yesterday from the Blue Mountains.

Update: Sunday June 14, 2009

rick-meigs.jpg On Saturday, June 13th, Rick was riding his beloved motorcycle with some friends from church, when he was hit by a truck. The truck kept going and Rick went flying. When he landed he had two broken ribs, each of which punctured a lung leaving him with two collapsed lungs, internal bleeding, ruptured spleen, and a broken arm. He was taken by ambulance to Baker City, Oregon, where they had to perform emergency surgery to stabilize him. Once stabilized he was then flown by LifeFlight to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise Idaho, where he is now, in critical condition. Your prayers are appreciated for Rick as well as Fran, his wife, Ryan and Chris, his sons, and Marisa and Brenda, his sisters. The family is on their way to Boise now and will arrive tonight and tomorrow morning.

Rick is in stable but critical condition, and has an uphill battle ahead. His right humerus (arm) is fractured; Doctors have removed his spleen, and this morning did an MRI of his brain and neck. They’ve found no brain or spinal cord damage! Please continue to pray for Rick and his family. You can see further up-to-date information here (thanks, Steve), and I will continue to update this page periodically.

Update #2:

Rick’s immediate family is in Boise now — I’m sure is a relief for everyone to be together, but as the adrenaline rush of last-minute travel plans subsides, pray for peace as they grapple with the severity of the situation and the rebound exhaustion that will surely hit soon. It does appear right now that Rick will survive this tragic accident, though his recovery will take a while. Thanks be to God for the good news of his condition thus far — no brain damage and no spinal cord damage even though this accident was quite serious. He does have four broken ribs and a broken collar bone as well as a broken right arm. He has a bit of fluid buildup around his lungs (in addition to the punctures) and is in and out of conciseness due to the meds. He is still in ICU, but they are going to try see if he can breathe without the ventilator.

We can be adding some thanks to our continued intercession for Rick, Fran, Ryan and Chris.

Update #3:

If you review the above, the list of Rick’s injuries may seem incomplete or contradictory — this is because there’s a list of about 20 injuries from the accident, which means it can be difficult to take them all in during a verbal report from the doctor and then see them relayed fully. His injuries include a broken right arm, both clavicle bones, both bones under his shoulder blades, several ribs, a bone in his left leg, several ribs, several vertebrae, both cheek bones and a fractured left jaw. When the EMTs got to the scene, Rick had flatlined. The EMTs were able to bring him back and stabilize him enough to transport to the hospital in Baker City where they removed his spleen, where he was bleeding internally. This operation saved his life before his transport to Saint Alphonsus in Boise. He is still on the ventilator and is still in-and-out due to the meds, but when he does wake up, he recognizes everyone. His liver is fine and there is no paralysis, nor is there expected to be. As you can appreciate, all of this information serves to illustrate just how serious the accident really was. Rick is in stable but still critical condition.

As serious as the accident was, God is more merciful — first in sustaining Rick’s life thus far through this ordeal, but also in other “small” details. His current doctor is a Christian, as was his nurse last night. Mutual friends Mark Priddy and Rickard Bjerkander visited “St. Al’s” this afternoon and meet with Fran, Ryan, and Chris. They were able to pray together and offer the support of their community. To be enduring a tragic event like this in a city away from home must be very disorienting, so I’m sure that to find fellow believers in key places and a support network nearby with Rick’s friends will be a meaningful addition to the care and support of their faith community back in Portland.

It appears there’s a long recovery road ahead, but what a relief to be looking at it when the alternatives were so unthinkable. And still, to be able to see God’s grace and mercy — for which we pray a continuation, and peace.

Update: June 16, 2009

rick_accidentscene.jpg Anyone interested in the ride that Rick was on can check reports like this one, where I found this photo of the accident scene showing the double-yellow line that the unidentified truck crossed in order to clip Rick’s bike.

Continue praying for Rick, joining with others around the world. I think Africa and Antarctica have yet to check in, but otherwise every continent has people praying for him now. Some of the current prayer needs include financial provision — Rick’s family is having to pay for hotel stays and meals to be with him in Boise, definitely not a planned expense. Along this line, if they can get an air ambulance, Rick would be able to go back to Portland ICU within a week — if not, he will be in Boise for two weeks at least, then to a rehab facility where he would spend several weeks before he could be transferred by ambulance back to Portland. Needless to say, funds for an air ambulance would be more than welcome, and has become a matter of prayer. Also pray for Rick’s business, which (for those who don’t know) is (I believe the largest) 401K information site, and without him and his expertise to tend it, things tend to grind to a halt. Of course, keep praying for Rick’s recovery as well, and for strength for Fran and his family gathered around him. There are a lot of details to juggle while many decisions are made, and with the obvious stress, this is a grueling and exhausting time for them.

Medically, Rick’s doctor is positive on his prognosis. He has a fracture of C6&C7 vertebrae and is in a collar to keep his neck immobilized until they can address it. His left clavicle is fractured and will probably need surgery to put a plate in when he is more stable. He is in acute respiratory failure, so will remain on the ventilator a while longer until his lungs can heal (and after two upcoming surgeries). While the ventilator is still in, it was turned off at 8:00 this morning and he has been breathing on his own! Fractures of his spine will be addressed later, and they will continue doing CT scans of his abdomen. There is fluid buildup near his liver and duadenum; the former is thought to be alright, but the latter may be damaged. He has a fractured left knee, but it won’t require surgery; eventually they’ll put a brace on that leg. He has acute blood loss anemia, so he is being given blood, and is very swollen due to the large amounts of fluid he received when he flatlined. The swelling should peak soon and then begin to dissipate.

Rick is emerging from chemical-induced paralysis, but they don’t think he is or was in a coma at all. He has begun wiggling his hands and feet when asked to see if he recognizes the person asking — very encouraging to see! In fact, Rick smiled at discussion of Starbucks and is able to nod for yes/no questions. He has begun to cough as well… a good sign, but very painful for him. He is apparently more aware of the pain now as well (another item for prayer). Rick also squeezed Fran’s hand and held on, and this morning he grinned and gave Patty a thumbs-up signal when she told him that his helmet had left a ring around his head that looked like a halo, with a reference to him being angelic. All I can say is that he must have had angels around someplace! Reading between the lines, it’s pretty clear that the doctors are prioritizing what to address, and there will be multiple surgeries to patch him back up. I’m sure we all realize this is not the kind of accident that many people recover from, and as I said in a previous update, we have much thanks to mix in with our prayers.

Having Rick able to move a little, communicate, and breathe on his own is fantastic, but at this stage the pain can start to take its toll and be felt more acutely. Keep praying for him, and realize that our prayers will be needed for a while longer yet.

Update #1:
The head trauma surgeon has said that Rick was doing “excellent” and believes that he has turned the corner. (Definitely a cause for thanksgiving!) He has given the go-ahead for surgery on Rick’s right arm, and they’re hoping to do this tomorrow.

A few people have begun asking if there’s anyplace they can make an online donation… thank-you to those folks. Everything will help, even the cost of a single meal. We’re looking into this right now and if there isn’t anything yet, we’ll set it up — keep watching here for that update as well as @bromaynard.

Update: June 17, 2009

Africa has checked in now, so we’re up to 6 continents of people praying… and it’s having an effect! Rick has made it past the 72-hour mark (and then some), and the doctors’ focus seems to have shifted from if he’ll make it and moved onto treatment of his various injuries. These treatments had been put “on hold” until he was much more stable than at first.

Pray specifically for matters relating to Rick’s lungs, his cough, and the ventilator. They are spraying saline into his lungs so he can cough up the mucus, but this is very difficult on him and it feels as though he is suffocating during some of these procedures. Rick had a rough evening last night and was put on the ventilator again overnight, but was better rested this morning and ready for the surgery on his arm.

He’ll be having another surgery on Thursday for his jaw. Two titanium plates will be put in, and they will do a tracheotomy. The surgeon is unsure yet if they will need to wire his jaw shut or not (they may be able to just put bands on his teeth to keep his mouth shut).

There seem to be some shenanigans going on with Rick’s sisters and the painting of his toenails in various colours… apparently there are photos, but they’ve yet to be leaked to the public. Rick also seems to be wanting a Harley tatoo…

The police have not finished writing up the accident report, but they have identified the owners of two vehicles involved and spoken with them. Information is still being gathered concerning the air ambulance (possibly through Life Flight), so keep praying about that. An account is being set up at Bank of America to receive donations — I’ll publish info on that as soon as I get it, and we’ll try to make sure there’s a way to donate online once the bank account is ready.

Update: June 18, 2009

Rick’s surgery yesterday went very well. Surgeons put in a plate in that runs from his shoulder to his elbow, attached with 15 screws. It will take 3 months before he regains basic movement and a full year to regain almost full range of movement. (He won’t have complete ROM again.) He will remain on the ventilator until after today’s surgery on his jaw, which takes place this afternoon.

Rick had a rough night mostly owing to the tubes; He was awake from 1:00-4:30 this morning coughing and gagging, which is very tiring. Fran was there holding his hand, and someone is in the room with him 24×7. They have worked out some sign language for Rick to communicate what he needs, and he really wants the tubes out. Pray for patience and peace for Rick as they wait until his breathing is more reliable and it is safe to remove the tubes. He is still in pain, and will be even more so after the jaw surgery. During surgery, they will do a tracheostomy to continue the use of the ventilator during the surgery and then decide if it needs to be left in afterward, since his jaw will be wired shut. Hopefully he can be weaned off of the ventilator in the next day or so — he breathes on his own during the day and they turn it on at night so he can rest.

Police are to start finishing up the accident report today. They have spoken with one of the owners of the other two vehicles and are looking for the second owner. They have several witness statements but have not determined fault, if any; they examined Rick’s bike and found no paint transfer.

The Bank of America account setup will probably take a few more days, but we will look at setting up a PayPal account right away so you can donate online.

Update: June 19, 2009

The surgery on Rick’s jaw went better than expected, and they did not have to wire or band his jaw shut. They were able to put in a plate without major trouble and realign his teeth so they meet. They did to the tracheostomy and he is still on the ventilator, but the tubes are out of his mouth so you can see his face — and he’s gotten a shave now. Rick was looking good after the surgery and can now mouth words: he’ll actually be able to talk once the ventilator comes out. There are no more surgeries scheduled, so next on the list is some healing time. Rick is doing well today after another bad night again, so he is exhausted, but he can rest today, just another CT scan to check his progress internally.

Marisa, Brenda, Ryan, and Chris have to leave today to return to Portland, and leaving is of course difficult. Fran or Patty will stay with Rick around the clock now, so pray for strength for them as well. Fran posted a note on the Caring Bridge site which Patty is updating with Rick’s progress and notes can be left. She wrote,

Hi Everyone, First time I’ve been able to go on website, but have had the wonderful comments from all read to me. We are doing well, and God is upholding us. I don’t have acccess to Rick’s or my e-mail accounts away from home and am using our son, Ryan, or friend, Patty Stark’s, laptop. Words can’t express our thanks to each of y’all (remember, I’m from Texas) :). I was at my sister’s in Littlefield, TX when the accident happened and was going on a trip to NYC with her. There will be many needs later that we can try to address. Joanie Nutter is charge of arranging care for Rick’s garden, The Beautiful Garden of Eden. I will let Patty know that people are asking, and maybe she can mention the contact again. Thanks for all your prayers from the east coast to the west and many, many countries. Rick is progressing well, but it will take a longggggggggggg time. Much love, Fran (Frances)

Nothing further on the setup of the bank account yet, but we’ve gone ahead and set up a PayPal account for donations. Anything donated here will go directly to immediate needs (hotel, food, etc.) or otherwise at Fran’s discretion. If you’d like to post a donation button on your blog as well, send me an email and I’ll get you the code to paste in.


Donate to Rick Meigs’ Recovery Fund

To obtain information about making a donation through any branch of the Bank of America, email meigsdonations {at} missionaltribe {dot} org an immediate automated response providing the necessary information.

Update: June 23, 2009

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Sorry I haven’t done an update in the past couple of days. There’s a bunch of good news and then an urgent prayer request (keep reading). Before I forget though, Bill Kinnon has “widgetized” the recovery fund donation, as shown on the right, so now it’s very easy to set up on your own blog. Updates won’t be quite as frequent here, but I will continue to publish them as things develop. I’ll try to summarize the past few days, somewhat in order.

Rick has not had any further surgeries, and none are scheduled — mainly just rest and recovery time so he can heal. His liver seemed to be doing better (though see below). On Saturday, the respiratory therapist fitted Rick with a speaking device for the Trache, and he was able to wear it for 15 minutes, during which they asked him basic questions. He thought that he was in Portland, but found out he was in fact in Boise. He didn’t remember the accident, but his memory of it will likely come back a little at a time. He wanted to know how long before he could go home to his own bed, and was told what had to be accomplished first… to which he responded, “Well, then, lets get crackin’!” There was talk about moving him out of ICU soon.

Rick had a good night on Saturday, and they removed the chest tube on Sunday morning, as there hasn’t been much fluid in his lungs the past few days… as Steve (Stark) put it, that’s “one less thing sticking out of him and one more step on the road to recovery.” One of the IV lines was also removed, and they did a chest x-ray. The big news on Sunday is that the physiotherapist came and got Rick up out of bed. He can’t put weight on either arm or his left leg, but standing up was a huge boost and a great encouragement. He was fitted with a valve for the trache so he can speak for 15 minutes at a time. Rick was very pleased to be able to communicate, and many details got discussed concerning finances, work, and so forth. It was a great relief to Rick to have these taken care of, and he spent some time with Steve going over what needs to be done for his business.

Rick is now able to use the call button on his own (at first he didn’t have the strength) if he needs the nurse, so he won’t need Fran or Patty to sit with him through the night. Yesterday his condition was changed to serious but stable, and he has been doing very well… it’s difficult for those close to him to imagine that a week earlier they weren’t certain he would pull through. Not to devalue the work of the medical staff in any way, but much credit is going to the prayer network around the world that has been activated so quickly on Rick’s behalf.

There is some concern with Rick’s gastrointestinal area. His bowels have essentially gone to “sleep” and nutrition from the tube isn’t being absorbed properly into his bloodstream, so the protein his body needs is coming from his muscles rather than fat reserves, as he is in “acute starvation stage.” Another IV line was put in to help address this.

His chest is doing well — the right lung is almost completely open, and the left is much better than the first x-ray. The oral surgeon has released Rick, saying his jaw was perfect, the stitches would dissolve, and he didn’t need further followup. He was fitted with a splint for his right arm so the muscles will heal in the correct position, and they need to work with his right hand, opening and closing it to keep it working and try working out some of the swelling (he is still quite swollen).

Also as of Monday (yesterday), he is able to be transported, which requires some significant red tape, but they’re starting to work on it. He will be weaned off the trache over the next two weeks.

For practical prayer needs, they have been trying to get financial power of attorney and are meeting difficulties with the notary — getting this resolved will lift a big worry from Rick’s and Fran’s mind. Pray for continued stamina during wearying days for those around Rick, as well as for God to attend to Rick during times of boredom when he wants to get moving… Rick is too much a “get-it-done” kind of guy to sit quietly and just wait to heal. The accident report needs to be finalized so that insurance matters can be cleared up — this one of the prerequisites for transport. Pray for the logistical and financial details of transport to be cleared up quickly as well.

Medically, Rick’s bowels need to begin functioning properly. The urgent matter as of today is that Rick is having a difficult time. The CT scan now shows that his liver is not functioning properly, and the tube to his stomach is blocked and needs replacing. They think one of the issues may be his gallbladder, and are doing tests to determine the issue further.

In the midst of this latest setback, it is difficult for Fran to see Rick suffering — pray for peace and calm for both of them right now.

Update: July 1, 2009

Sorry it’s been a little while since I’ve updated. I may drop back to weekly updates, depending on how things progress. Rick continues to receive prayer from all of us around the world as well as those who have been able to visit in person, and he’s been anointed with oil a few times now. Rick’s recovery will be a regular matter of prayer for a while to come. Patty has now gone back to Portland, so it’s just Fran with Rick now (except over the weekend when Ryan, Chris, Marisa and Brenda visited).

Rick’s attitude remains mostly positive, and it seems he can keep everyone else laughing when he has the speaking valve in. Last week they were were able to move some money around and cover some upcoming bills, which “only” took a letter from the hospital, financial power of attorney, a notary that does house calls, a fax machine, and a banker at the B-of-A in Tigard named Justin.

Continue praying for the truth to come to light concerning the accident. The final official decision as to the cause remains unknown, and this needs to be resolved in order to proceed with transport to Portland and which insurer to bill. While that was transpiring, they found out that Lifeflight won’t transport Rick back to Portland because it is not medically necessary, and they don’t do it just for convenience. To pay for it privately is prohibitively expensive. It is still a matter of prayer for details to align for Rick to return to Portland.

Physio continues, as Rick’s body continues to need to “wake up” all of its normal functions (mainly bowel issues; another matter for prayer). For a while he had an elevated temperature and blood pressure, and his kidney functions are picking up. The big news is that Rick has been transferred out of ICU. He is now in room 8210 — cards can be directed there, but the phone has been unplugged. Obviously, this is a huge boost and a sign of Rick’s ongoing recovery.

Update: July 2, 2009

Well, this seems sudden, but it’s great news — Rick will be back in Portland today (Thursday July 2nd) at OHSU. If you’re in the area, please wait a few days before going to see him, but obviously if he’s been given the green-light to be transported, that’s a huge answer to prayer and another positive indicator of his continuing recovery. Forget the last update about where to send cards… you can send them to the Meigs’ home address now.

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