July 17, 2004


I am sorry for the long interval since my last update.


Russ is enjoying his work at RVCC. He likes being outside and working again. He enjoys seeing everyone again.


Driving lessons have started again. After Russ switched teachers he only had one lesson left before his permit expired. In his circumstances he is only allowed to practice driving with a licensed instructor from Kessler in a dual control car. They renewed his permit and resumed lessons yesterday. The instructor was very positive. He said Russ has made improvements and is now going to take him into more challenging situations. George-Anne says the new instructor is more positive and personable and she expects things to work out well.


I don’t get as much feed back from therapy as I used to. Russ is on his own all day now. George-Anne drops him off at Kessler in the morning and picks him up in the afternoon. Even if we did stay with him we would not be allowed to watch his group sessions due to medical confidentiality for the other members of the group. He does not talk a lot about what goes on in the groups but we were not surprised recently to hear that he was elected moderator for one of his groups. He has always been an active participant in any group he belonged to. In the role of moderator he brings his fraternity gavel to keep order. He records sentences into his keyboard to be available when needed. Things like “Let’s have one conversation at a time” or “Let’s discuss that after the meeting”. His ability to speak may be hindered but his outgoing personality and tendency to lead a group he belongs to are not.


Russ met with Dr. Fellus recently. The doctor got a big smile on his face when he saw Russ. He said that he saw a new sparkle in Russ’s eye that indicated increased awareness. He reviewed recent events with GA and Russ and was very pleased with his progress.


We continue to search for and apply for all types of funding for therapy. There is a new program in New Jersey. It is call the TBI Fund. The fund is going to pay for brain injury research and to help brain injury survivors. The fund has a $15,000 cap on benefits per individual. We sent in the application for Russ this weekend. Russ is among the first people to apply for the fund, his application was number 61.


Russ is still on the waiting list for the TBI waiver program. That program does not have a cap on benefits but it is much harder to get into. There are only 250 slots in New Jersey. All the slots are now filled.


Thanks for following Russ’ recovery,