Matt Dawson to leave for Denver to continue treatment

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Matt Dawson. Image from City of Lubbock.

The following is an update from Chanda Dawson via Lubbock Fire Rescue:

We got the green light to leave for Denver, Colorado Monday. Aerocare has reached out and wants to fly us. I will be able to accompany him as well. The facility is called Craig. They specialize in TBI’s (Traumatic Brain Injury). They are the top facility for this injury and we are extremely blessed to be going there. Matt will be there around 6-8 weeks. He will have 5-6 hours of therapy M-F and rest on the weekends. Craig is passionate about family interaction during therapy, so that they can also train us on how to care for him when he comes home.

The fire dept. will continue to have a group of guys rotating coming up to be with us during all of this. I still cannot find the words to describe how thankful I am for the huge support system Lubbock Fire Rescue has been throughout all of this. When you hear that the fire dept. is a brother/sisterhood, they truly mean it.

I want to share a few things about Matt’s progress, which may be confusing to some, so I encourage you to research some of the terminology I will be using. Matt is in a stage called Post Traumatic Amnesia. He is able to wake up, he is able to talk, but it doesn’t always make much sense. During this stage, the brain starts to re-wire. He counts a lot, asks questions that do not make a lot of sense, and mixes up numbers and words. This is very normal for a TBI. There are times where he recognizes people and times he doesn’t even remember me until I remind him, he knows he is fire/medic, will talk about fire and medical terminology, and other things that lead us to believe he is going to have an amazing recovery. It’s just all bouncing around and out of order at the moment. When a person has a traumatic injury to the brain, the brain will typically not store the accident that caused the injury. Also, with Post Traumatic Amnesia, the brain cannot store new memories right away. These are things the Craig facility can help with. He has also been able to eat ice, small amounts of applesauce, and drink small spoons of water. Matt has made amazing improvements and we are very ready to see what Craig can do for him!

We have decided to have his bone flap surgery in Colorado. They have a CT scan that will measure his head and an artificial bone flap will be made using a 3D printer. Craig is connected to a hospital that they use for surgeries.
He has also had his trach capped for 4 days. The pulmonologist would like to go ahead and leave the trach for transport, and he should have that removed in Colorado as well.

I’m always being asked what we need (thank you all so much!!) And for now our need is prayer. We ask for prayers for our travel, the specialist and nurses at Craig, for the safe travels of our fire team as they go back and forth, family travels, for Preslee as both parents are away, and for Matt to have a full recovery. We have seen Gods work throughout this entire journey, and know that he will continue to walk with us.

“For the word of the LORD is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness.” Psalm 33:4

(This is an update from Chanda Dawson via LFR)

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