Josh Chandler Update

Saturday, March 03, 2007

UPDATE!!! (3.1.07)

The fam at Christmas!!
Dixie and Sandy!!!
Josh and Dixie
Josh at Christmas!
Hello to all!!! I know, I know that you probably think that we have fallen off of the face of the earth - I apologize for my extreme delay in writing an update since last year. It has not been that I have not wanted to write, but in the hustle and bustle of daily life good intentions get left behind somedays. I guess I kind of take it for granted because I see Josh on an everyday basis and I forget that not everyone has that luxury. So I would like to try and give you a clear picture of what is happening in Josh Chandler’s life now. Friday marks nine months since Josh’s accident.
Josh is doing well. He finished up his outpatient rehab on Dec. 20, 2006 and was looking forward to his “Christmas break”, but unfortunately that break has lasted up until the present. He was supposed to transition into a vocational rehab program, but due to government paperwork and now the fact that the rehab building is closed for remodeling - Josh has not had a structured therapy since December. That does not mean that he isn’t progressing, just a minor setback until we can figure out what is the next best step.
Right now I believe that Josh’s biggest setback is his physical strength. Josh’s legs are still fairly weak, so his endurance is not where he wants it to be. He walks with a cane now (even that is only when he leaves the house) and that is more for him to occasionally lean on to help him keep his balance - which is an issue that he has minor difficulty with. He still has very mild tremors in his right hand, so he hates writing, but even that is not bad - you can still read his handwriting. The tremors only seem to get worse when he is tired, but hey, who doesn’t have bad handwriting when they are tired!!
Josh’s speech is doing fine, but Josh gets very frustrated with this (and a little self-conscious) because sometimes it is difficult to understand him (mostly when he tries to talk too fast) and we have to ask him to repeat himself which is annoying for him. His speech is definitely not where he wants it to be. I believe in a lot of ways it has gotten a little better, but as with his tremors it is a little worse when he is tired. I know that the more he works at it, the better it will get, but Josh is a NOW kind of person and it frustrates him when he doesn’t speak as clearly as he used to speak.
The most recent news with Josh is that he has moved in with me. I know many of you may think that this is crazy, but so far it has worked out fine. I think it gives Josh a whole lot more independence which he needs right now. Because goodness knows that I am not going to do everything for him now since he can do so much on his own!!! He can get up, fix himself a sandwich or a drink, do his laundry, clean his room, let the dogs in and out, etc. It’s a win-win situation because I am not home by myself and I have help with the dogs. Also it helps mom and dad out by giving them back their “freedom”. Josh decorated his room in, yep, you guessed it, DUKE colors. You would think he was obsessed or something! Really the one thing he is not doing yet is driving. Even he said he isn’t ready for that yet. Another thing Josh is doing to help him get back into the real world is going to work a few days a week with mom. He helps another lady in the office by doing data entry into the computer (which is good exercise for regaining dexterity back in his fingers) and sorting invoices. He only goes in when they have work for him to do, which is not everyday. It breaks up his week a little and I think it is good for him. Granted he doesn’t want to do this for the rest of his life, but for now it is okay.
Josh turned 25 on this past Saturday, February 24th. A milestone that I am so very thankful he has lived to see. Eight and a half months ago his future was uncertain, but God miraculously saved his life and I know He has great things in store for Josh. To celebrate his birthday Josh and mom traveled to Pensacola, Florida to see many of his friends still at school. I think this really lifted his spirits to see old friends and some kids from the youth group when he assisted there a couple of years ago. Not that he doesn’t know that he is loved, but it is occasionally nice to be reminded of it from time to time. Seeing as how he was in a coma for 2 months I don’t think Josh completely realized how many different people’s lives he has touched in one way or another. Thank you for loving my brother and please continue to keep him in your prayers. He still has obstacles to overcome, but with God’s help and our encouragement I do not believe that it is out of reach.
If you would like to encourage Josh personally his address is now
121 Montclaire Circle
West Columbia, SC 29170
Or email him at:
Love to you all,
P.S. I will try not to let months go by before the next update. Have a wonderful week!
I hope that you enjoyed the pictures.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Apology and Reminder (1/4/07)

Friends of Josh,

I am sorry to not have posted in a long while. I can explain...

In the road to recovery, Josh went from 0% - 70% pretty quickly, relatively speaking. Now, he is in the cumbersome process of fine-tuning all of his movements and reactions back to normal. Because of this, 'new things' are not happening every day. Also, in a way, life has gone on for the Chandler's as they are trying to adapt back to normal life. I know Josh is ready for that day!

Anyway, I had the chance to visit Josh last weekend at his home in Columbia, SC. He looked so much better. Even though he would disagree, he had come a good ways in progress since I saw him last in Charlotte in August. (I will be posting a picture later, hopefully with an official update.)

Please keep praying for Josh. When tragedy strikes, many people want to 'be there' for the family. However, after the initial shock goes away, many times the people do the same....they go away. Josh and his family still need your prayers. The challenges keep coming for them. I don't mean to portray them as if they are in despair every day, because they are not. But be careful to remember them in your prayers and in your actions. Calls, visits, and cards mean more now than they did 4 months ago!

In Christ,


Monday, October 16, 2006

New Update! (10/16/06)

Hello to all. I know, I know, it's about time that I write an update. I want to apologize for my lack of speediness in continuing to keep you updated on Josh's condition. However, Josh is doing well. The above are pictures of the family (mom, dad, Cari & Josh) taken on Sunday morning October 8, 2006. This past month and a half that we have been home has seemed to fly by. Where to begin again? Well, we came home on August 31st but it wouldn't be for a couple of weeks before Josh got set up with all of his outpatient therapy. So, he got to rest for a little while, but in mid September he jumped back into therapy on an outpatient basis at HealthSouth. Josh was able to get a scholarship for one month of therapy (hopefully they will be extending that scholarship for another month or so - praise the Lord!). He goes to therapy from about 9am to 2pm Monday thru Thursday. Thursday is just a play day really - they go to different places in the community to help them get back into socialization. So far they have been to the museum, a fun park, a Greek festival, and next week they are going to the State Fair. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday Josh still continues on with his Occupational, Physical, and Speech therapy, and he has little activities of daily living classes that he goes to. He isn't always thrilled to go to therapy, but he does it non-the-less because we make him and he knows it is the right thing to do right now.
Let's see, for his progress - Speech therapy. One of the things that I am most thankful for is that Josh still has his mind. Granted he may forget a thing or two, Josh is becoming very much his old sarcastic and witty self. For example, a couple of weeks ago mom was having to take Josh to therapy by herself for the first time and she was a little nervous about transferring him into the car by herself (now he does it all on his own). So she had a good friend of ours and our federal congressman's wife there for moral support. Needless to say it was raining that day, imagine that! Mom had the bright idea to take Josh down the back wheelchair ramp and wheel him around to the front to the enclosed garage to get out of the rain faster. Well, we live on a VERY steep hill/driveway and mom didn't make it into the garage with Josh. Mom lost control of the wheelchair, but she hung on for dear life!, and they both went down the hill, mom skidding in her shoes and Josh holding the umbrella yelling - heading straight for, you guessed it, a tree! Thankfully they missed both trees and ended up safely in the road. First thing Josh told me on the phone was that mom was trying to kill him! He said "I made it through the accident and rehab only to have my mom kill me!". It is a very comical story now; I don't think mom will live that one down for quite a while. Meanwhile back at the ranch ~ As far as his speech is concerned Josh is doing pretty good. He still has some volume to get back (bet those of you who knew Josh before would never have thought that would be a problem!). The louder he talks, the clearer his voice is - if that makes any sense? Sometimes he talks too fast and you have to ask him to slow down and repeat himself, but actually it is easier to carry on a conversation with him now than it was a month ago. He likes to practice by talking to his friends on his cell phone in the evening when the minutes are free.
Physical and Occupational therapy - they both work with Josh on strengthening his arms and legs. They stretch him out, because his muscles are very tight in some respects, but he is beginning to loosen up. He is not walking on his own YET, but he is very close. He has walked with a walker and with some help (mom and I cried the first time we saw him walk), but his legs are still very weak and give out on him rather easily. He has also been going through a process of serial casting to the left foot due to an inward rotation of his foot, but hopefully tomorrow he will get this cast off for good. They have been casting it the last several weeks to get it back into proper alignment. On Monday he gets the cast off, a mold taken of his foot for a brace, and then later that day he goes back to have it fitted. If all goes well, the brace will work and then Josh can really concentrate on walking again because the cast seems to throw his balance off when attempting to walk. Josh still has a little ways to go in his fine motor skills, but as with everything else it is getting better with time. He still has mild tremors to the right hand, but it is limited pretty much to his thumb and pinky finger. If he is really tired it goes up into his shoulder as well. The bad part about this is that he is right-handed so it is very difficult for him to write because of the tremors. He is standing for short periods of time and he pretty much can transfer himself from the wheelchair to car/bed/recliner - mom, dad, or I are really just there for guidance. Once he is walking steadily Josh will pretty much be doing everything for himself.
As for the rest of us - dad is back to work full time and going strong. He travels several days a week to Greenville, Charlotte, or Charleston. Mom is almost back to working part-time. She tries to work while Josh is at therapy. I work 3, 12hr days a week and on my days off I will take Josh to and from therapy or stay at the house with him. Josh has ventured out to a couple of restaurants with the family and he has gone to a few little league/high school/college ball games. I think it really helps him to get out and do things. Even though life is not quite back to normal, it much better now than it was a month ago.
I want to again express my extreme gratefulness to all of you who helped Josh in his road to recovery. I know that God has ultimately healed Josh, but he used such incredible people (the doctors, nurses, and therapists in Chapel Hill and Charlotte and now HealthSouth) to work a miracle in my little brother's life. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts; words cannot express our gratitude. Thank you to all of those who have prayed and are continuing to pray for Josh and our family. Thank you to those who sent cards and letters of encouragement in a time when it was needed most. Thank you to those who came to visit Josh throughout this journey in his life. Thank you to those who have given their time, gifts, friendship, and love to us. We love you all! You will forever be in our hearts.
With much love,

Tuesday, September 05, 2006 Last! (September 1)

Hello to all. It is with great pleasure that I am writing to you from HOME - I have been waiting to say that for a very long time. That's right - Columbia, SC. Josh made it home safe and sound on August 31st. That marks 90 days since the time of the accident. My how time flies when you are having fun - NOT!!! We are just so thrilled to finally have Josh home!! In true Chandler traveling fashion, Tropical storm Ernesto made sure that we traveled in the rain (that seems to be our lot in life), fortunately God kept us all safe and we made it home just fine. Josh did not even seem a little bit nervous riding when in the car for the first time in quite a while, even though we took an unintentional tour of Charlotte prior to our journey back to Gamecock country.
Josh is doing well. He is very thankful to be home. Fist thing he did was just take in all the sights of home. He relaxed in his wheelchair, played with my Dixie for a little while (she really missed him!), and rested. He will be chillin' for the next few days until we can get all of his outpatient therapies set up. Today (9/01/06) we went and met the physician who will be taking over Josh's care here in Columbia. We all really liked him. We also have an appointment set up for Thursday the 7th to meet the new rehab doctor and get things in motion to continue on in Josh's road to complete recovery. Don't worry, he won't be skipping out on any therapy. We will just do things with him at home until all of the outpatient appointments are in place. I will make sure to all of that!!
Before Josh came home we were able to get a lot of the little stuff taken care of like have a wheelchair ramp made for the back (thank you to Bobby and Stephen), get the house cleaned up a little (thank you Teresa, Mallie, Alex, Michelle, Starling, and Irene), and become semi-organized to help make the transition to a newer environment a little easier. I am sure there are some details I am leaving out, but please forgive me.
Josh told a few people prior to leaving Charlotte that his goal was going to be walking a little about 3 weeks. I like the sound of that. Josh still has a ways to go, but he can do it. His memory is fine, he justs gets confused on occasion with very minute, insignificant areas. Like arguing with you whether or not the wheelchair is in the room or not. Thankfully all true family memories are still very much intact and it is nice to reminesce on these from time to time. As far as Josh is physically concerned we are continuing to work on stretching out the fingers to his right hand. His left arm is moving a good bit, it is just very weak. The right leg remains his strongest extremity. I can tell a huge difference when we transfer from last week to the present because it is sooooo much easier to transfer him yourself. The left ankle is still turned in a little bit, but I am hoping that this will soon relax and he can go back to leading a somwhat normal life. Josh still remains patient with mom and I as we transfer him. We finally got the cast removed and Josh is faithfully wearing his new splint and doing exactly what is aksed of him. Josh still has lots of mediations that he is taking, but hopefully over time it will decrease. He was also able to get his feeding tube out this week. I know that he is sure glad for that.
Please don't stop praying for a complete recovery. I know that he can do it, and I am sure that he will thank me later when he realizes why I have been so "pushy". Josh is still getting up a lot during the night so mom isn't getting a lot of sleep right now. Story of all our lives, we're tired! hehe!! Josh still has his sense of humor though, he tries to cheat if he can when doing certain movements.
Anyway, all is well on the home front. We are very thankful for every step of progress that we see. Josh told me to tell you that he IS home and that he is doing fine. All feels like it is right in the world when you have days such as these. Thank you again for your continue love and prayers. We truly would not have made it through this without our friends and family all over the world. God's family is very big. We love you all.
Love ya,
P.S. Notice the "Cameron Crazie" t-shirt. Josh wore it in honor of all his new friends at UNC!! Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Target Date: Thursday! (Aug. 29th Update)

Okay, baring no bumps in the road Josh will be coming home to Columbia, SC (a.k.a. mom and dad's house) on Thursday morning August the 31st. Please pray that all the little final details get worked out so we will have everything ready to go come Discharge day!!!!! Thank you for you continued love and prayers.

August 27th Update

Josh Chandler - August 20th - Just chillin' with his new haircut
~~~ Josh and Cari ~~~
Hello to all. I bet you thought that I had forgotten about the updates, but no, I have just been a little busy. I hope that you like the pictures. I know it is easier to see progress when you can sortof see it for yourself. Josh is continuing to do well at rehab. This past week he has been working a lot with his arms and strengthening his legs.
Let's see. In speech therapy Josh has been working on making his speech slow and clear - annunciating his words. If he tries to say too much in one breath or if he is very tired it can be difficult to understand him. Also in speech therapy they have been working with Josh and his memory. Josh's occasionally gets a little confused with his timeline from about two weeks prior to the accident and on. For example he sometimes can't remember what he did the day before in therapy. But, his memory prior to the accident is still very much intact (in fact, he has corrected me on details from the past on several occasions!).
In occupational therapy Josh has really been working on his arms. He is whooping up on the little old people who have had a stroke when he is in his reachout therapy group. This is when they play checkers or stack blocks or something of that sort to help with their motor skills in their weak arm. Lisa has been focusing on working with his right hand; it is still a little tight to the point that he cannot extend his fingers all the way out. He still wears a splint to that hand and he follows a schedule of when it comes on and off. He doesn't really like it and is very happy when it is time to come off. I think he is about due for the splint to be changed this week which means they will make a new one that will extend his fingers out just a little bit more. He still has a fair amount of tremors to that right hand also. This contributes to his difficulty to try and use that right hand a little bit more. The doctor has been increasing his medications to try and alleviate this problem - some days you really notice the tremors and some days you don't. It is just playing a game of trying to figure out the right combination of medications that will help control the tremors.
In physical therapy they have been continuing to work with Josh's legs. They recasted his left ankle again on Wednesday and it is beginning to get back into alignment, but it is also causing Josh a good deal of pain. He doesn't sleep well because he can't seem to get comfortable most of the time. This is just something he is going to have to deal with for the time being. I thought that his ankle looked pretty good this week. Before they recasted the ankle they put Josh on the tilt table and put him up to an almost standing position for thirty minutes. Josh said he felt like his legs were giving out on him (obviously his legs couldn't give out because Ben and Amy were helping to hold his ankle and he was strapped down to the table), but he made it. Josh also worked on standing up and he was able to stand (with Ben's help) for about 5 1/2 minutes. He was also able to go from a lying down position on the mat to sitting on the side of the mat by himself this week. He was a little wobbly but he made it on his own. I can tell a big difference in his strength from last week to this week.
Okay now the big news. We have a TENTATIVE discharge date of this Thursday, August 31st. I stress tentative because they could decide to keep him just a little bit longer due to the fact that he is continuing to make pretty good progress. We should know tomorrow, Monday the 28th, after they (doctor, nurse, PT, OT, ST, & case worker) have their weekly care team meeting and discuss Josh's progress. I will let you all know with a quick update tomorrow on our possible discharge. They have been training mom, dad, and I on how to transfer Josh from the chair to bed, etc. They are just trying to get us prepared for home. I am very excited that home is in the near future, but we are all in agreement that if they decide to keep Josh a little longer it is okay because this is where Josh needs to be right now. If they decide to let us come home, then HOORAY, I think we could make it just fine. Josh really wants to come home this week, but home is all in God's timing.
Oh, I almost forgot. Josh is getting his feeding tube removed on Monday or Tuesday of this week. They watched what he ate for a couple of days (i.e. calorie count) and decided that he is eating enough by mouth and does not need the feeding tube anymore. Josh is very excited to get this out. He told me to tell you all "hey". Josh is in pretty good spirits most of the time, but he does get easily frustrated. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to be so dependent on everyone for practically everything you do. He has his good and bad days. Josh had several visitors this week and it really seems to lift his spirits to see familiar faces besides mom, dad and I. It won't be too long until we get back home and Josh can see friends and church family on a more regular basis. My Dixie (yellow lab) is gearing up to see him as well. She will probably lick him to death because I know she misses him! Anyway, that is about it for this week. I look forward to telling you that we are on our way home. Have a wonderful week. We love you all.
Love ya,

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Continued Improvements! (Update: Aug. 19)

Greetings to all. I hope that everyone is having a pretty good August so far. I am sorry that I haven't written in a little over a week, but right now weekly progress seems to be the best when updating.

Josh is doing fine. We got the news on Monday that Josh's stay has been extended until August 31st - that means HOME! Josh was a little bummed about it because he wants to go home now, but it is good news in the fact that he is indeed making progress. They will continue to work with him as long as he is progressing. This August 31st date could also be extended so we will just have to wait and see how it goes.

Josh continues to eat on his own and only occasionally needs to be fed through his tube. His appetite still could use a little work, but I believe it will come in time. He is trying to feed himself, but his right hand tremors a lot so it is difficult for him to do this. They are still trying to adjust his medications to help with the tremors. Some days are better than others. Please pray for the tremors to stop and stiffness to his right hand to get better. In occupational therapy they have been working all week with Josh on feeding himself, brushing his teeth, and washing his face etc. They are trying to get better movement with his arms. They also having him using the arm bike to help with strengthening.

Speech therapy has been working with Josh in math and reading comprehension this week. He does pretty well. He was only off by $1 when he was adding up the money in his head. He also reads a paragraph and answers questions appropriately on what he has read. His speech is still doing pretty well as long as he remembers to slow down. If he gets to trying to say too much in one breath it is difficult to understand him. He still is laughing a good bit though (thanks to dad) and that is always nice to see.

Physical therapy has been working a lot with Josh on his legs. This week his left ankle was recasted on Wednesday. When the cast came off on they felt like his ankle was beginning to give a little. Praise the Lord. It hurt Josh a lot, but if it will get his ankle back into alignment it is just something he is going to have to put up with. They will recheck the ankle again on this Wednesday and hopefully he will only need one more cast until they can begin working on strengthening that ankle. This week Josh almost sat up from off of the mat by himself - he was so close. Also this week, Ben with PT, had Josh stand (with help of course) for 5 minutes. It hurt Josh's legs to do this but it was great to get weight into his legs. This gets the muscles firing so they can get used to this motion. I am hoping by the end of next week that Josh will be able to sit up to an upright position on his own and stand for maybe 10 minutes.

Please also pray for Josh because he is getting a little frustrated with himself at times. He knows what he used to be able to do and a lot of times I think he feels trapped in his body right now. It is only temporary, but at times it is difficult for him to see the end of the road of rehab. Josh has had several visitors over the past couple of days and I know that it helps to cheer him up along with several phone calls from friends. This week Josh also got a haircut from yours truly (my first one ever!). I think it looks very good. I will have to get a picture of it out soon. Dad liked it so much he had me cut his too! Josh will be mad at me if I do not tell you all "hey". I forgot with the last update. Thank you for your continued prayers, love and support. We love you all.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


- the whole Chandler gang!

- Josh and Cari (sister)

- The sign in the background reads, "Please call me Josh... and yes I'm a Duke fan!" (Very helpful when he was at UNC Chapel Hill!)

- Josh and dad

- Josh and mom...any resemblance???

- just chillin' ... (hopefully at home in a few weeks!)

- the vintage smile!