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Richard Terpilowski



To the Group:

During a business trip to LA last week, Peter and I had debated whether to
visit Richard Terpilowski.  Our hesitation was based mainly on a selfish
reason...as we did not know what to expect and quite honestly we expected the
worst.   Not only have we known Richard from a business perspective for
several years...we are very fortunate to know him as a friend.  We were not
sure if we were prepared to handle seeing him any other way than his upbeat,
witty self.  However, after a bit of encouragement from Mike Orton...we
reluctantly headed for Northridge Hospital last Thursday.

When we arrived, Richard was sitting outside his room having lunch.  He
looked up at us and for a brief moment, it appeared he was concentrating to
figure out who we were.  Then, his eyes widened and a smile came across his
face...an obvious display that he recognized us even though he tried
speaking, it was very difficult to make out what he was saying due to the
Trach.  He would, however, nod to acknowledge various things we said to him.
 The important thing is that it strongly appeared he understood everything we
were saying.  For example, we did inquire as to if they were working him hard
in Therapy..  He was quick to shake his head NO and to voice the same.  By
this reaction, it was our impression that he is frustrated that he is not
coming along quicker than he thinks he should (typical Richard)..  
Richard even showed a bit of his humor in his response to one of our
questions (not a proper time to go into the specifics).

Even though one of the hospital staff was feeding Richard, he was sitting up
in the wheelchair by himself and had full control of holding his head up on
his own.  I did notice a slight shaking of his hand and arm.  But, Mike has
explained this in a previous progress update.

It would be very misleading to say that Richard is near being 100%.  However,
Peter and I only see Richard an average of a couple of times per year.  Thus,
for him to recognize and respond to us the way he did does truly support what
Mike and Richard's family perceive..our dear friend is "there", it's just
going to take time..  Richard is (affectionately) know to be a determined
person and this will be one of his strongest attributes in over coming the
obstacles that he now faces.

We encourage those of you that know Richard and are (or  have the chance) to
be in the LA area to please make an effort to visit with him.  Now, more than
ever, he needs your support and to know you are there to encourage him along
in his Road to Recovery.  Peter and I are certainly glad we made that
stop-over at Northridge....it definitley gladdened our hearts.

Donna
OPTIONS Int'l

+++
Thanks to Martin Parsons for support of the TIG in 1997
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