The Josh Hoffman and Heather Lovell Update Page
With permission from Josh and Heather, these updates
will be posted on this page for all to follow. Keep them
in your thoughts and prayers
July update.

Hi all, Sorry for the delay in this update!

Anyway, got some MORE good news!  Our "groundbreaking" for our home has been scheduled!  Mark
TUESDAY, AUGUST 19 on your calendars!  I will be sending a map and invitation out as soon as I
receive it.  :)  This will begin the building of our house by HFOT (and of course, all the volunteers,
donators, etc!)  It's amazing and unbelievable... I literally still cannot believe it's happening.  I mean, we
talk about it... and I've seen the land and the floorplan and everything, but it's still not real to me!  Not
that it makes it ANY less exciting though of course :)

As for Josh, he is in the hospital again... pneumonia AGAIN!  They're sending him home tomorrow to
finish-up his antibiotics, but he still says he feels like pond scum.  I'm hoping he'll start feeling better
soon!  Other than that, he's doing AWESOME in his therapies at MFB!!!!!  He's working tremendously
hard and is learning how to drive his chair (and is getting darn good at it!).  They started standing him up
on a bed/table, and he's handling it well.  The first time he was almost directly upright and the therapist
asked him "how tall are you?" He told him "6 foot" (mouthing, of course), and the therapist goes "so am
I..." and Josh was looking him squre in the eyes.  Josh's face lit-up and when I asked him if it felt good to
be eye-to-eye with a 6' man again, he nodded a VERY distinct "YES!"  Speech is going great as well!  He
is getting better and better with speaking and the therapists believe he is totally ready for a swallow study!  
Only problem is convincing Josh to let them stick a tube through his nose during the study!  He was
pretty angry about that... but, he has made the decision that it just may be worth it :)

As for me, I'm currently sitting in the Denver Airport waiting to fly home to be with my man.  I was
invited to go on a Caregiver Retreat put-on by the Wounded Warrior Project.  I spent 3 days at a
beautiful resort in the mountains of Beaver Creek, Colorado and enjoyed relaxing spa treatments and the
company of about 20 other amazing women!  It felt good to laugh and cry with women who could
completely understand one another in our situations... I think that, above all things, was by far the best
thing that could have happened to me this weekend.  I missed my man, but I am totally looking forward
to wrapping my arms around him as soon as I get home!!!!!

Side note: I got my phone stolen a couple of weeks ago.  I have my new phone and the same phone
number, but i lost all my old numbers... so if you call and I sound confused and ask who you are, please
don't be offended!  Unfortunately I dont' have everybody's numbers memorized... thanks to technology
and the wonderous "speed dial" :)

Talk to you all soon!
Heather

August update.

Hi, all!  As you know, we just had the groundbreaking ceremony for our new home!  Josh and I are
ecstatic!!!!!! It's so surreal that it's already here... But now that it is I can hardly sit still at the idea of it!!!

The last few days Josh has been in and out of the hospital.  We couldn't figure out what was going on with
him... my gut was telling me he didn't have pneumonia or a UTI... but he could hardly breathe.  No temp,
no extreme physical pain, NO signs of infection other than his blood oxygen level was too low and he was
requiring oxygen, and he was having difficulty breathing.  We took him in Wednesday afternoon and they
changed his trach and cleared him to go home.  Later that evening his wheezing started back-up again and
he told me in the morning it was hard to breathe.  We took him back in again on Thursday evening and
after several tests and a few hours in the ER, they declared there was nothing wrong and no explanation as
to why the wheezing had been occuring (though at this time it had stopped).  Since then he has been
breathing fine!  They think a small fold of skin in the trachea area flapped over and covered part of his
cannulla for his trach.  I am pretty sure all of it was anxiety/stress related... because as soon as he's at the
hospital he stops it, and hasn't done it again since the doctors checked everything out and he turned out
to be healthy as a horse!  :)

His therapies are going REALLY well!!!  He is driving his chair all-over, now... and his strength in his neck
is AMAZING!  They work him to the bone there... they don't let him stop until he is literally going into
tears.  He is wiped out every night, but is noticeably getting SO much stronger!  His speech is becoming
more clear, he's blowing in whistles, eating applesauce (only in therapy), and chomping on ice cubes.  We
are working with the Occupational Therapist on trying to get his pain level down, and they are trying-out
different techniques on him to help with that!!!  He rarely says no, takes as little of breaks as possible, and
tries his hardest in his therapy.  You can see how bad he really wants this everytime we go... no matter
how tired he is!!!  I'm really so proud of him... I didn't know how much he would actually TRY at Mary
Free Bed, but I see now I certainly didn't give him enough credit!  He's always done such a good job of
trying to do minimal in his therapies... or trying to get out of them altogether.  However, even at home
now he is saying "yes" to things he really doesn't want to do.  He sees how much better he has been
getting and even though our fears tell us something is wrong and it's not - he's going through his longest
stretch of healthiness!!! (Knock on wood)

We haven't been able to get him weighed, though I am going to do that today.  He looks like he's been
putting on some weight again - and he looks really healthy and good!!! I would still definitely like to see
some more meat on him, though... his back is still pretty skinny.
Enjoy!!!
Talk to you all soon!Heather