Our son, Adam Craig, experienced a horrific diving accident at Lake Monona in Madison, Wisconsin. He broke his neck & significantly injured his spinal cord. Doctors at the University of Wisconsin Hospital fused his C4 and C5 vertebrae, removed a bone fragment, and reconstructed the vertebra. Today, Adam remains paralyzed from just below the shoulders to his feet. He is completely unable to move his arms, hands, fingers, torso, legs, feet and toes.
This is our family. We have hundreds of pictures, just like this one, where we’re smiling, loving life and each other. This is the first one of us where Adam can’t move. Despite that, he is flashing his signature smile, along with Rachel, and Ronnie. Joni, our rock, couldn’t smile at the time this picture was snapped, but she’ll get there. We know her. We know us.
Like you and your family, we’ve experienced all the typical stuff to survive ~ family deaths, rough financial times, some broken hearts, hefty college loans, etc. But there were some extra things, too. Joni and Ronnie survived the death of an infant son before Rachel was born. As a family we survived Joni’s cancer when Adam and Rachel were still in elementary school. So, we know what we’re made of and we know, with time, we will land on our feet with this situation. As we always have in the past, we will manage this “new normal” with energy, commitment, faith in each other and in God, and with grace and gratitude.
And, believe me, asking for help in this way is not easy for us. Prior to this we have always found a way in whatever hard times we had to provide for each other and for whatever our children really needed. But the resources needed for Adam’s recovery are practically beyond imagination. They are certainly beyond our resources.
The next chapter of Adam’s life will be long and it will be costly. His recovery will happen at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), a world-renowned facility that specializes in spinal cord injuries. They are known for their capacity to provide extensive, challenging and advanced rehabilitation services. The medical team at RIC is pushing Adam to his limits and challenging his body to heal.
Unfortunately, Adam’s health insurance does not cover the costs for inpatient or outpatient rehab at RIC. Out-of-pocket costs are almost $5,000 per day. A low estimate of what our final bill for this next necessary rehabilitation period will be is $300,000. Easily, it could cost 3 times that.
To make this level of rehabilitation care possible for Adam, we need your financial help.
Prior to the accident, our 26 yr. son had big plans. He and his amazing girlfriend Jayne were headed to Los Angeles in August. The plan was for Adam to support Jayne while she studied to become a Physician Assistant in the program she had just been accepted into; then he would blend his love of music with his Loras College psychology degree in pursuit of an advanced degree in music therapy. Woven into their dream were plans for marriage and children.
Jayne placed her PA studies on hold. She has been with Adam everyday since the accident. She is committed to helping him recover as he works through every part of his rehabilitation at RIC.
As a family we didn’t think we could love Jayne any more than we already did. But we do. Our eyes water as we watch her intensely track his every communication and jump to help him with nose itches and other stuff he can’t do yet.
We know he’s our son, but we’re not alone in thinking he is super special. One day at the hospital, Ronnie looked around a waiting room of disheartened friends and family and commented, “I think think the
only one not feeling bad for Adam is Adam.” He’s right. Adam woke up one day at the hospital and told Joni that he had dreamt of a great song for Rachel and her fiancé to use at their upcoming wedding. He
joked with another couple that he was looking forward to doing some wheelchair dancing at their wedding. He looked at a group of us one vening and said, “Look at all of us just loving all of us.”
We have only seen one break in his upbeat attitude since the accident. It was 4 days after the accident when the doc spoke bluntly about his condition. The doc left and Adam looked at us with sorrow and said, “I wanted to be able to hug my children.”
The truth is this: with Adam’s attitude, with advances in treatment, and with the knowledge and skills of the experts at RIC, Adam holding his future children is a distinct possibility.
To fulfill his dreams, he needs your help and we kindly and humbly, on his behalf, ask you for it. 100% of all donations will go directly to Adam’s rehabilitation needs.
Ronnie & Joni