February 27, 2006

Michael's pulse-ox went off several times last night due to a noisy signal.  This can be due to just about anything.  I reset it and eventually turned it off.  He
does not really need the pulse-ox, but it helps me sleep better.  When I shut it off, I sleep very lightly, listening to his baby monitor for anything out of the
ordinary. People say that I look tired, now you know why.

He was lying on his mat at school in front of the TV when I visited him at lunch.  I layed down with him and watched TV and talked to him for awhile. I'm not
sure what we were watching, but it some sort of cartoon character teaching us about mountains and geysers.  I could have fallen asleep, but I had to get
back to work.  I gave him the chance to tell me that he wanted to go home before I left.  Not a word from him.  It will come, I have to believe that it will
happen.  I will never give up on him or believe that this is the best he will ever be.  

March is fast approaching.  Michael will turn 15 on March 26th.  His 14th year was pretty much spent in his present condition.

We received the G-tubes and will be going to Nemour's Clinic on Friday.  Heather will teach me how to replace it.  This should be interesting.  

One of our friends have fallen.  A lot of people have counted him out, but I haven't.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Dan and his family.
February 26, 2006

Michael slept well through the night. He did not go to sleep until 10:00 PM, but that's ok, it is the weekend.  

It's Sunday, the day I use to get ready for the week. It is my least favorite day of the week.  It is the day that my heart hurts badly for Michael.  He is 14 years
old and he cannot go out and enjoy the day.  I do what I can to make it through the day; then again, that is like every other day. I think that I am pretty good at
hiding my pain, but inside I'm dead.  Watching Brenda hurt when she looks at Michael kills me, this is not the way it is supposed to be.  That is our child that
is lying there wasting away.  We may be divorced, but he is a bond that we will always have; he is a part of us.  

I read Jerrall Rich's website when I get a chance and I am so impressed with how much he loves Debbie.  He is one of those nice guys that makes the rest
of us look bad.  I have  tremendous respect for him and his family.

February 24, 2006

I think that I fell asleep before Michael did last night.  He  woke up before I did this morning. When he is awake, I can hear him moving around via the baby
monitor; he can be quite noisy. Bet he naps today.  

Today at school they are having the Special Olympics. When Michael was younger I used to go to kite day, track day, and all the school
activities.  I don't think I will watch him today.  He cannot control his body and is in a wheelchair, he may not even know that he is in any
events.  I don't think he will win any medals, unless they have one for determination.  

The outlook for the weekend does not look very good.  There is a 100% chance of rain on Saturday, which leaves out any outside activities.  
It's not like we would have went to the beach anyway.  Last time he went, he died.  He is not a member of the protected class, I guess.

I am still working on answering those emails.  

Ursula, I need your email address.

You can keep up with the legal front by visiting  www.clerkofcourts.cc . Go to "Public Records".  Next go to "Criminal Records".  Accept the
terms.  Do a search on case number "2006 AP 000727 S".  

February 22, 2006

Michael is starting to sleep through the night, so he seems a little more rested these days.  After school, Brooke took him to a park.  He was
agitated, so she took him home and gave him a bath.  That seemed to calm him down; he was very relaxed when I got home after work.  He
has PT, OT, and ST today; a full schedule.

As I was touching his feet today, I noticed how soft the bottom of them have become.  He used to run around without shoes and his feet
were tough. He used to be able to walk across pavement in the middle of summer without blinking an eye. Now, his feet are as tender as a
baby's. The little things rip my heart out.

I  told Brenda when Michael was at CHOA, that in time the memories of how Michael used to be would fade, and  would be replaced with the
new Michael.  I was only partially right, not a day goes by that I don't think about the "old" Michael.  Not a day goes by that I don't think about
the way he would joke around and laugh.  I think about seeing him walking, talking and eating.  He loved to eat.  I loved the old Michael with
all of my heart and that has not changed with the new Michael.  He is still my son and I need him as much as he needs me.
February 21, 2006

Michael slept well through the night.  He went to sleep at 9:00 PM and did not wake up until 7:30 AM.  The little guy must have been tired.  Not
much happened at school.  I showed up at lunch to give him a chance to tell me that he wanted to go home; but he didn't say the words.

Michael had speech therapy this afternoon.  He did not do much, but the therapist said that  he moved his left arm to knock her hand away
from his face. He gets mad if anyone touches his head. It is easy to tell that he doesn't like it from the expression on his face and the way
he resists.   Fight the power, boy!  

It seems that we had a visitor from Clear Channel Communications in San Antonio today.  Ordinarily, I would welcome a member of the
media to this site, but I have a feeling that this person did not stop by to check on Michael; his concerns lie elsewhere.  This site is for
Michael;  I have another site for other issues.  

I am once again behind on my emails.  I will answer every one of them as soon as I get a chance.  I really appreciate all of your support.

Ursula, I need your email address.

You can keep up with the legal front by visiting www.clerkofcourts.cc . Go to "Public Records".  Next go to "Criminal Records".  Accept the
terms.  Do a search on case number "2006 AP 000727 S".  

Don't forget to visit www.debbierich.com
February 20, 2006

Michael woke up at 1:30 AM to do some voicing and some laughing.  He grew tired of this and went back to sleep. This seems to be his new
routine. He did not have school today, so Brooke took him to a couple of parks. The weather sucked, so they could not stay long.  We
missed speech today, we just forgot about it.

This has been going on for close to nine months with no end in sight. We will be in and out of court for the next couple of years.  Unless you
have been in a situation like this, you cannot imagine how emotionally draining it is. Until you go to the store to buy diapers for your 14 year
old, or talk to your child wondering if he understands you, or load your once healthy child into a handicapped equipped van to take him to a
special needs school, you will never know what it is like.  I never asked for any of this; it was thrust upon me on June 7, 2005 and I'll be
damned if I will ever back down until it's over.

Our bartender has filed for an appeal. You can keep up with what is going on by visiting  www.clerkofcourts.cc . Go to "Public Records".  
Next go to "Criminal Records".  Accept the terms.  Do a search on case number "2006 AP 000727 S".  
February 19, 2006

Lately, Michael has been waking up early in the morning, around 2:00 AM.  He moves around and voices, then back to sleep. He has been
making some different noises these days. I'm not sure what he is trying to say, but he has a little smile on his face.  

Tomorrow is President's Day, so Michael does not have school.  Brooke plans on  taking him to the park; I'm sure that he will enjoy being

Sorry there is not much of an update, but not much happens on weekends.  Weekends suck.

The legal saga continues: Visit www.clerkofcourts.cc . Go to "Public Records".  Next go to "Criminal Records".  Accept the terms.  Do a
search on case number "2005 MM 002892 S".  

Don't forget to visit www.debbierich.com

Take care,

February 17, 2006

Michael slept well last night.  He had a busy day at school with occupational therapy and speech therapy.  Lauren, one of the speech
therapists at Silver Sands School, sent me a few  pictures of his day.  Since Michael can no longer talk, they are trying a device called a
"Big Mac Switch" to get him to communicate.  This is basically an oversized switch that can be used to control whatever is plug into it.  
There was a fan plugged into the one Michael was using.  Lauren said that he was able to push the button by himself.

We put Michael in his stander today; he tolerated it very well.

This is a quote from Jerrall Rich about his wife Debbie.  I know exactly how he feels. www.debbierich.com
Every where I looked it reminded me of how much I miss Debbie.  I feel better taking Debbie with me no matter how difficult it is.  When we
are together I think how lucky I am, not what I have lost.  

I told Michael to make sure that he could trust the people that he let into his life.  I should have listened to my own advice.

February 15, 2006

We went to Nemours Children Clinic in Pensacola yesterday to see Dr. Lewis.  Nemours is physically attached to Sacred Heart Hospital, but
is a separate entity.  What they do share is the same caring and compassion for their patients.  

Dr. Lewis was the surgeon that put Michael's G-tube in while he was at Sacred Heart back in July.  I remember the day that she put the tube
in . I  wheeled him downstairs and sat with him as they were about to prepare him for surgery.  Seeing him on that gurney broke my heart.  I
had to walk out in the hall, because I was about to break down. I had to fight back the tears.  We all know that any surgery has risks and
since I had lost him a month earlier, on June 7th, I knew that I  could not lose him again.  I needed him as much then as I do now.

Anyway, yesterday was ok.  Vince and Sue, Michael's Grandparents, greeted us at the door.   Donna, our friend, who works at Nemours,
came down off of her mountain of paperwork to spend a little time with us.  Heather, Dr. Lewis's nurse, was a saint.  She was not only a
great nurse, but she set up everything with insurance to help us out.  Dr. Lewis is one of those people you like when you first meet them.  
She is a very good surgeon and is always smiling.  She has a quick wit, which I enjoy.  She cauterized around Michael's G-tube and
determined the proper size of the new one, which is on order.  She will put the new one in when it gets delivered.

We went over to Sacred Heart to see a few friends.  We ran into Kathleen, who is kind of like the cruise director at the Hospital.  We went
upstairs to the PICU and talked to Neina, Leticia, Diane, and Don.  These are the people that took great care of my son and made us feel like
we were part of the Sacred Heart Family.

The smell of the PICU brought back all kinds of memories. It is the hospital smell, but a little different.  I will never forget that smell; I will
always associate it with my world coming to an end.

It was a long day for Michael, he was in his wheelchair for many hours which is hard on him.  He was glad to get home and lay down.  I was
glad to get home, too.

Rich K., I have known you for 20 years.  I was just a kid when we met and you were..., well, old.   You are still the best scheduler that the
company has ever had; bar none. Take care, buddy, I wish you the best. Tell Ernie I said hi.
February 13,2006
Michael slept well last night.  He woke up when I touched his arm at 5:45 this morning.  After school, he and Brooke went to the park.  He
had a bath and was sitting in his recliner when I got off of work.  Brooke takes such good care of Michael; she is a Godsend.  

Turns out that tomorrow is the day to get his G-Tube replaced.  We will head over to Pensacola in the AM and see if we can get his baclofen
pump turned up prior to the G-Tube procedure.  If we have time, we will visit the folks at the PICU.  

I'm sure the memories will be flowing tomorrow.  I will never forget the night of June 7, 2005, as Dr. Patterson told us what he was doing to
save Michael's life.  I will never forget the pain that I felt that night; it is the same pain that I have had every day for the past 8 months.
Michael was restless last night.  He  went to sleep late and woke up at 1:00 AM laughing.  He was amused by something, probably the fact
that he woke me up. He finally went back to sleep and slept until noon, just like old times. He woke up bright eyed and active.  He has been
going ever since.  He has been thrashing around and vocalizing all day long; nonstop; continuously; on and on.  I repositioned him, held him,
talked to him, and everything else I could think of trying to calm down.  I am exhausted; he is still going.  

When we were in Atlanta, the therapists would roll him on his side and tell him to roll onto his back. He did not do well at this. They would be
proud of him now, it is almost impossible to roll him on his side.  He fights this and immediately rolls onto his back.  

We will be going to Sacred Heart on Wednesday to have his G-Tube replaced.  A simple procedure, but I will not watch as I am a coward.  

Thank you to all of you that keep up with Michael's story.  

February 8, 2006

I am going to try  to decipher my scribbled notes that I took while in the court room today so please bear with me.  All of the witnesses  that  
were to be called were sent out of the court room, three girls,  C.  and Brenda. Thus the reason for my writing this instead of Brenda.  A S.
was called first and she told of how she, C, Michael and D. were "hanging out at the beach and then R. showed up later with a black gym
bag.. She saw a bottle of "what looked like" Vodka. but  didn't know how much etc.  She then had to go back to work.  The States Atty barely
said anything to her, nothing of consequence anyway. Next was K. She also said they were "hanging out" drinking beer that was in a cooler
and R. took Vodka out of the black bag..  She said Michael had 1 beer before the Vodka was brought in. She could not be sure if the Vodka
bottle was full when he brought it. after about 15 mins. D. took R. to his physical but left the Vodka. This witness was the only emotional one,
when asked when was the next time she saw Michael,  she  was  crying softly and said"when  he was pulled from the water". Again the
States Atty really had nothing much to say.

I'm not at all sure about this next name, J. She was asked if she and R. discussed Michael and she said it was a
couple of  months later. Evidently Michael supposedly  drank the Vodka when he and C. were not there.  She was asked if she was on
medication and she said she was. Her attorney asked if it might affect her recollection and she said yes.  Again, very little from the State.  
He spoke in a quiet voice , did not seem at all sure of himself and I can't for the life of me remember one thing  he asked. C. was next and
he  said they were at the beach with the girls and there was at least 2 6pks of beer. He said Michael drank 2 or 3 and he had 7 or 8.  He too
saw the black bag with the Vodka in it.    C. and K. then went into the water. D. and R. left for the physical. Later C. saw the Vodka bottle
empty and after looking for Mchael, saw  a crowd gathering. He was asked if they all went to the hosp. to "get their stories straight"  and he
said yes. He admitted that he did not tell the truth for 2 months.

This is where my notes are really jumbled as I was trying to understand what the Judge was saying.  

Count 1- Not Guilty ...it supposedly was Not  proven that  R.  provided Michael with the Vodka.  

Count 2 - Guilty  The state Did prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was Vodka in the Vodka bottle and not water.

Count 3- Not Guilty  no testimony as to R. age (if I understand it right, because the States Atty did not tell the court that R. was 16 yrs. old....
it's assumed that he brought it there legally and nothing was shown that he gave it to Michael.) The States Atty admitted "he dropped the
ball on that one"  and when I asked if he could not have brought R. age   up in court he said  he could not, it was too late.  

I have to tell you , I am  just a grandmother but even I  would  have asked questions  in court today. This man is a nice man but far too timid
and needs a fire set under him.  This is only my opinion, but after  8 months of seeing Michael the way he is, I'm entitled.  The defense atty
was litterally telling them  how things happened that day and of course they agreed.  If any of this is not accurate, it certainly  isn't
deliberate on my part.  Court is never  pleasant,  today it was  very painful to sit there and look on the opposite side of the  room and see
that they have brought in about 30 people . I'm not sure if they were there to support R. or to intimidate Michaels family and friends but I
assure you  it is not the latter.This is the longest "post"  I've done.  I think alot  but am not prone to "putting it out there" for all to see, but I
was asked , because I was in the court room and Brenda and Dave were not, so I was happy to.  I hope you can get some sense as to what
went on today...not much from our  side but "Justice will prevail for  Michael" ...........  

Michaels Maw Maw

March 8, 2006 - Sentencing day.
February 7, 2006

Court Day. 12:30, Okaloosa County Courthouse Annex, Shalimar, Florida. This is for the teen that is charged with contributing to the
delinquency of a minor, possession of alcohol by a person under 21 YOA, and providing alcohol to a minor.  His plea is "Not Guilty."  I wish
Michael had the chance to stand before a judge and plead his case. I wish Michael could stand and tell the truth about June 7th.  I just wish
Michael could stand.

February 6, 2006

Michael's did not go to sleep until after midnight.  I finally had to give him Geodon to allow him to relax.  It was a little rough getting him up
this morning, but then again, it was hard for me to get up.  His day at school was uneventful.  He pretty much lied around with AFO's on his
feet and a brace on his arm to combat atrophy.  Brooke did not take him to the park due to the weather.  He fell asleep at 6:00 tonight and is
resting comfortably.  

I worry about things like if Michael was being bitten by ants or a spider,  he would not be able to brush them off of himself, get away from
the pain, or call for help.  He is totally defenseless. What if he is cognitive enough to know what is going on, but does not have the motor
skills to do anything about it? Imagine his terror.

Whenever I hear about a child that gets injured or killed, my heart hurts.  I feel for their families and friends. It is not because I am a caring,
compassionate, person;  I'm not. It is because I am human.  The last thing in the world I would do is contact the grieving family and make
idiotic comments about their child.  This holds especially true if I did not have the facts of the incident.  As you can tell by some of the
comments posted on this site, not all people feel as I do.  Case in point, Carlah Bronson.  I bet she is the type of  person that feels that the
people devastated by Hurricane Katrina deserved it because they chose to live on the Gulf Coast.

I do have the facts of June 7, 2006.  I have the police reports and statements of most of the people at the beach. I have the false statements
that were originally given and  I have the recanted versions after the arrests. I know who brought the alcohol.  I know who left the alcohol at
the beach unattended with minors.  I know who worked out a lie.  I am not a disinterested third party in this; I am Michael's Father and I am
right smack in the middle.  My son was taken from me and I have been pushing for justice for 8 months.
February 6, 2006

Michael was wound up last night and did not go to sleep until 2:00 AM.  I gave him 1 mg of ativan to calm him down and it helped.  He was
awake by 6:00 AM and has been going strong all day.  I think he has days where there is more brain activity and it fires him up; today was
one of those days.  

He went to the park for a while today, but did not seem to enjoy it much.  Maybe he is just tired of that damn wheelchair.  I hope he is
starting to get mad, maybe this will trigger some speech.  I am sure that he has a lot to say, and by God, I am ready to listen.  I have been
listening to everybody else that can't quite decide on what happened at the beach that day.  I have to sift through the lies and finger pointing
to try to figure out the truth. Michael knows the truth and I would love to hear his side of it.  

One truth that we all know is that somebody provided alcohol to a barely 14-year-old boy. Due to their actions, he drowned and now has
severe brain damage. All the attorneys in the world, all the adjudications handed down, and all the appeals we have to sit through will never
change the truth.  My son was killed that day, bottom line.  Everyone at the beach that day should thank Deputy Jeff Morgan for bringing
Michael back from the dead.  If he was not on the scene, the charge would have been at least manslaughter. No longer a misdemeanor.
We're talking a felony, kids.    11 months 29 days; accept it and be thankful that is all you received.

February 8th, another day in the beautiful Okaloosa County Courthouse Annex.  Let's see where the vodka came from.  

Received a beautiful letter from a very special lady the other day.  I have never met her in person, but I hope to soon. Thank you, Mary.

February 4, 2006

We use the EZ Bathe system to give Michael a bath.  Believe me, there is nothing EZ about it. Having to roll an inflatable tub under him,
inflate it, hook up a drain hose, connect the water supply, slosh water all over the floor, try to bathe him as his is slipping all over the place,
and then dry and put everything  away is not EZ. I am in the process of making a roll- in shower for him. I think Jerrall, Debbie's husband is
doing the same project. I need to hurry because Colleen, our wonderful wheelchair lady, has already received  approval from Cigna to get
us a bath chair. This is basically a waterproof wheelchair.  Rolling is easier than lifting, trust me on this one.

As most of you are aware, this website is visited by many people, including the families and attorneys of the defendants.  www.
justiceformichael was even brought up in court and in a letter supposedly written by one of the mothers.  Of course, this is not one of their
favorite sites. It is not one of my favorites either.  I would much rather be visiting a site with Michael instead of a site about Michael.
February 2, 2006

Michael woke up at 3:00 AM, so he is tired today. It rained cats and dogs this morning and I got soaked loading him into and unloading him
out of the van.  He stayed dry because he was wearing a poncho. I would rather get wet than wear a poncho; I'm sure Michael would too,
but he did not get the choice. He was active at school, he was moving all over the mat. I visited him at lunch again.  I hope that one day he
will be able to sit at the table with the other kids and eat real food.

The weather prevented Michael and Brooke from going to the park, so they did not get any outside time. She brought him home and gave
him range of motion and oral care.  He was very relaxed, sitting in his recliner when I got home.  He looked good.  

Imagine your worst fear. Imagine having a nightmare that you never wake up from.  Imagine pain so deep that it consumes you.  Imagine
watching your child die a slow, silent death.  Imagine not being able to do anything to help him.  Imagine living in a world that is dark and
gray.  Imagine living June 7, 2005 over and over, every single day for the past 8 months.  I don't have to imagine it; I live it.  You're right, 11
months 29 days is an unjust punishment; it should be much longer.  

To see what the latest is on the legal front, visit www.clerkofcourts.cc . Go to "Public Records".  Next go to "Criminal Records".  Accept the
terms.  Do a search on case number "2005 MM 002892 S".  You can see what motions are filed, when the next hearing will be and many
other things.

If you get a chance, check out this site.  It is ran by a very dedicated husband. It is a very touching site.   www.debbierich.com

Take care,

February 1, 2006

Michael slept well until 4:00 AM.  He must have thought it was time to wake up, so he did.  Nurse Heather at the school treated the blisters
on his back.  She is a great nurse and a very sweet person.  

I drop Michael off at school in the morning and visit him at lunch.  I have mixed emotions when I go to Silver Sands School.  Unloading my
once healthy son from a handicapped equipped van is always rough. Entering the school, we are greeted by the receptionist with a hearty
hello and a big smile.  Going through the hallways, the kids greet us and the staff is always friendly.  It is always a bittersweet visit.  I always
look forward to the visit, but I always leave with a heavy heart. Hopefully, you will never have a child that attends Silver Sands, but for those
of us that do, we are very fortunate that Silver Sands is there.

I've heard people say that instead of putting the people in jail that caused Michael to be in this condition, let them take care of him.  Let them
feed him, change him and do all the other daily chores.  My response to that is that if these people caused this much damage to a healthy
14 year old, what would happen to him now that he cannot defend himself?  I do not want these people near my son. Jail is the answer, not
community service.  11 months 29 days is a walk in the park compared to Michael's sentence.
Past Updates
February 2006