Monday, November 5, 2012

1 Year Ago Today

Right now it is 4:30pm on November 5th  2012.  A year ago today, in about 2 hours, Ethan will call and ask to spend the night at a friend's house.  I will feel like saying no (because we're having lava cakes for dessert) but will say yes instead so he can hang out with his friends.   I can save him a cake after all.  At about 7pm tonight we will get a call from the police.   And so begins the evening that changed our lives.  Changed it. In negative and positive ways.  For about 2 weeks now this day has been lingering, coming closer, and bringing back lots of memories both good and bad.  I'm glad it's almost over and I'm hoping the general anxiety we have been feeling will pass with it.  After all, things are going great.  Ethan is doing great in school; he has good friends and is really enjoying his freshman year.   I think all the questions about why he wears a brace and how he got his scars have passed.  He has settled into school and things are pretty normal.  He is still in physical therapy but he has made outstanding progress.  He ran the mile in PE at least 3 times, although lately his leg is bothering  him when he does.  Today we went to the doctor and discussed his next surgery which is tentatively planned for July 2013.  The surgery will give him an artificial artery and even out the wound site.  I think he has pushed his collateral veins as far as they can go; he needs a real artery to get the blood flow to his leg so that he will be unlimited.  Unlimited is a perfect word because Ethan truly will have no limits.  He is alive today and can do anything he sets his mind to do.  And for that we are profoundly grateful.  But it was a long road.  And it left us all a little scarred.  I think we were pretty paranoid to start with, total helicopter parents, and now we really struggle to just let him be a kid.  I'm nauseous every time he gets on his skateboard.  I worry every time my 11 year old rides his bike to school, every time my daughter gets in her car to drive.   But then I take a breath and move forward.  My husband will calm me down or if it's his turn to freak out I try to do the same.  Life must go on and none of us really know how long we have.  The best lesson we learned from this incident was to cherish each day you have with your loved ones.  Everything else doesn't matter...and I mean everything.  I remember sitting in the hospital thinking I wouldn't care if my whole house burnt down, if every material possession was gone, as long as I had my family.  Ethan was unconscious at the time and every time he did wake up he wasn't really coherent. I was desperate for him to wake up and recognize me, to know I was there.  It was the simplest thing...just wanting to spend some more time with the person you love.  And we did get more time, so now our goal is not to waste it!  And to fight the fear that will cripple us if we let it.  To enjoy our children and family and friends.  Ethan fought hard this year.  He fought to live, to stand, to walk, and to run.  And even though we fought to be normal again we also have to fight not to forget the lessons we have learned.  And isn't that what life is all about?  To love, be grateful, and to learn and be the best we can be. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Ethan, Madison, and Zack at Firestation 60

We had a great day today.  We got to visit the station who responded to Ethan's emergency call.  We had lunch, rode in the truck, sprayed the hose and got to try on the gear.  We all had a great time.  Thanks guys!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Recovery Continues

Ethan with his physical therapist Cori

This is my first post to the blog as both Lisa's have taken care of things up until now.  Ethan continues to make progress.  He is working hard in physical therapy and he is also doing volunteer fundraising for Phoenix Children's Hospital.  It's our way of giving back to the hospital who has done so much for our family.  There is going to be a telethon on April 11th on Channel 15.  I'll provide more information when I have it.

We recently learned that Ethan is going to need an artery replacement within 10 years.  This was somewhat expected.  I guess the vein that is in there now is just not getting a lot of blood flow and will eventually get calcified.  He will also need artery replacements about every 10 years which was kind of hard news.  We knew he would need a vascular surgeon all his life, but we were not expecting major tune ups every ten years.  However as time passes and medical technology advances who knows, right?  In the meantime we are trying to get back to normal.  Ethan is in school full time (with brief breaks to the nurse's office).  He was back on his board (no tricks yet) and rode a bike for the first time since the accident.  He is looking forward to graduating the 8th grade in May!!!  And then off to high school!  We are very excited for him.  I also wanted to thank everyone for their support and donations.  It has really helped us cover immediate medical expenses and we are starting to save for future surgeries.  I am also going to keep this blog going with future updates.  Ethan would really like it to focus on gun safety, as this accident was preventable.  Look for more to come on that in the future.  Thank you for being our friends.  Please feel free to post or send messages, we love getting them.  Be SAFE!


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Quick Update!

Just a quick note to let you all know that Ethan is out of the hospital after his colostomy reversal and is doing very well! We are so happy to have that taken care of! :) He continues to go to Physical Therapy and work hard at his rehab which is going as well as can be expected. Anyone who has ever been through a physical rehabilitation knows how HARD and painful it can be...we are just so proud of Ethan for being strong through this whole experience, it's more than any 14 year old should EVER have to go through.
Our next BIG GOAL is to get Ethan back to school, at least part time. He misses his friends and classes...fortunately, Ethan has always been a VERY good student and that has paid off for him, he is able to keep up with everything from home and he should still be on track for graduating and going on to high school next year. YAY!!!
Again, thank you for the well wishes, support and donations...the generosity of our friends, family and even the wonderful strangers out there is humbling and appreciated more than you will ever know.
Much love from all of us to all of you!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Thank you PRO-TEC!!!!

I asked our friend Ariel Pe, the marketing director for PRO-TEC,  for a few skate helmets for an upcoming promotion.

Well Ari hit it out of the park and hooked us up with 15+helmets!!! IMG_0766

Over the past month, I have recruited some of the top painters to donate their time and give each helmet a one off paint job. I’m humbled beyond words for their generosity and I will be introducing you to them over the next week. We will be auctioning the helmets off and 100% of the proceeds will go towards Ethan’s medical bills.

If you would like to paint a helmet, please send me a email to

Big thanks to PRO-TEC for the helmets, you guys rule!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

No news is GOOD NEWS!

Just wanted to give you all a quick update on our guy. He continues to amaze us every day by walking around the house, using his walker less and barely needing his wheelchair. His Physical Therapy is difficult and sometimes he is not a fan of it BUT he's working like a little trooper and getting it taken care of. He will be going back to the hospital in a few weeks to have his Colostomy bag removed (yay!!!) and he will be staying for about a week but this is a wonderful you can imagine he wants this taken care of asap. All in all we are just sooooo proud of him for his strength and courage and we feel so lucky as a family to be blessed in a thousand ways!
We (the Lamb/Younger/Ballard clan) still can't believe how such a horrible tragedy could have such a wonderful silver lining for a crazy way we were given a gift through all of this...we have a renewed love and appreciation for each other, we are in love with our old and NEW friends that have come thru for us in so many ways and we've all gotten a big dose of "don't sweat the small stuff" that we really needed. So again, THANK YOU...everyone....for being the compassionate, loving people you've been to us. Someday we hope to pay it forward, backward and every way we can.
Love and hugs,
Ethan and Family

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Our buddy Taber rocking Ethan's Shirt. 
Thanks for the order and support!!!
Rob just informed me that shirts are still available through his site,