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December 07, 2011

Traumatic Brain Injury Results in the Spirit of Giving

Guest Bloggers: Andrea Kuskie and Sydney Kuskie

I wanted to give everyone an update on Sydney since it has been almost a year now since her accident. Considering what Sydney has been through she is doing amazing. Thanks to Craig Hospital’s high school teacher and volunteer tutors Sydney is on track to graduate in May with a 4.0. She is applying to colleges which offer medical programs as she wants to be a nurse anesthetist.

Sydney has always been extremely athletic- playing soccer since Kindergarten, snowboarding since 2nd grade, and wake boarding since 8th grade. Unfortunately she will not be able to participate in any of these sports so she has taken up weight lifting and golf.

The part of Sydney’s brain that had the most damage was the part that controls her emotions. Before the accident Syd was extremely outgoing and very funny. She has become much more quiet and introverted, she would rather hang out at home then go out with friends or to school sporting events. The biggest challenge for her has been trying to figure out who she is now and where she belongs.

Through all of this Syd has remained extremely positive and when you ask her what the worst has been she will tell you nothing, “more good has come from the accident than bad”. She is truly an inspiration and through this ordeal wants to help other families that are or have been in similar situations, please see the attached letter. I feel that by Sydney putting together this fundraiser for Craig Hospital is a huge step in the right direction towards her healing process.

Everyone has been so generous to Sydney and I and so kind and caring. We appreciate your continued thoughts, prayers, and friendships.

ANDREA KUSKIE

Some of you know my family and I personally but for those of you who do not here is my story. My name is Sydney Kuskie, I am a senior at Dakota Ridge High School. On December 13, 2010 I was pulling out of the High School parking lot to head home for lunch when I was t-boned on the driver side by another vehicle traveling at 45mph. I was transferred to Swedish Medical Center where over the next few days they discovered I had broken my pelvis in 3 different areas, my pubic bone, my sacrum, a rib, bruised my lung and my kidney, had paralysis on the upper left side of my body, and was bleeding on 5 different areas of my brain. Within 3 days of my accident I was fortunate enough to be transferred to Craig Hospital as an inpatient, which I called home for the next 2 months. I had numerous roommates whose families weren’t from Colorado. One of my roommate’s parents would fly in to Colorado to stay with their daughter, while the other would be home in Texas with their son. They would switch back and forth every few weeks. The dad had to quit his job so that he could take care of his daughter. Another boy my age was from South Dakota. His mom stayed with him for 6 months while his dad stayed back home to take care of his brothers. They would travel to see him every few weeks.

The majority of inpatients at Craig hospital ate the cafeteria food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; while I had the luxury of family and friends bringing me home cooked meals since they all lived in the area. It didn’t phase me as much then, but now I think about it and cannot imagine being thousands of miles away from my home with no family or friends to be by my side supporting me and bringing meals to help my mom out. Craig gave so much to my family and I and I want to be able to give back to them somehow. The best way for me to give back is to help those families from out of town. My goal is to raise money so that we are able to help these families pay for travel expenses, buy food at the local grocery stores, buy gift cards for restaurants and coffee shops in the area.

As a non-profit acute care and rehabilitation hospital governed by a volunteer community board of directors, the Craig family is dedicated to delivering the highest quality of catastrophic injury treatment available anywhere. The Craig foundation provides for members of their community to give hope to patients and their families. Because of the generosity of these donations my mom was able to stay by my side 24 hours a day 7 days a week for the next four months.

I am writing this letter in hopes that you or your company will become part of helping me help the families in need at Craig Hospital. They have given so much to my family and I and our community, I would like to help give back to them.

Anything helps. Your contribution is tax deductible. Please send checks made out to the “Craig Foundation” to: Sydney Kuskie, 10921 W. Brittany Dr., Littleton, CO 80127. I would like to deliver these to the hospital Friday December 30th.

Your support is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Sydney