An Update on Andy's Condition
The media has reported many things about the shooting that occurred on April 1st. The shooting that has had Andy laying unconscious in critical condition in the hospital. Not many have been positive in any way.
Well I have some good news to report today. Andy has regained consciousness. He can't talk very much, still needs machines to help him breath and still has not gained feeling in his arms or legs. But he is awake, it is a step toward his recovery.
I walked into Andy's room yesterday and was able to communicate with him. Not quite talk but communicate with him. He had tubes coming out of his throat, a neck brace keeping his head stable and his arms and legs were completely motionless.
I didn't expect Andy to be awake. I actually walked in to the room to find him laying by himself. His mother had stepped out to take a break after being by his side for so many hours. I can understand, she needed a break from the emotional stress caused by seeing her son in the state that he was in.
I thought I was just going to stand by him for a few minutes and leave. Then I saw his eye twitch, I didn't think very much of it, then I see his eyes open. Honestly it scared me and made me take a step back.
I gathered my composure, called out his name, asked him if he knew who I was and if it was OK for me to be in his room. He struggled to remember who I was. We had only seen each other a handful of times so I didn't expect him to remember me considering what he had just been through.
I told him my name and who I was. I asked him if I it was OK to ask him some questions. He very slowly nodded yes. Before I started asking him questions I relayed all the well wishes from friends, family and from strangers who have submitted them via the Internet. I told him he had the support of alot of people. His eyes teared up.
"How are you feeling?" I asked him. Andy shrugged his face and mouthed the words OK. I wanted him to feel comfortable. I noticed the T.V. was on the cartoon network and asked him if he would like me to change it. He quickly nodded no. I later found out from family members that he loves to watch cartoons.
We talked a little bit about his wounds. We didn't get too much into the details. I didn't know if he was aware of the whole situation.
I told Andy we would do everything we could to help him and that we were all on his side. I was talking about his friends and family. I told him that I had written a piece about him on my blog and that I wanted to keep writing about him. I wanted to do whatever I could to help.
I didn't want to overstep any boundaries so I asked him "Will you let me help you?" Andy's lip quivered, his eyes teared up and he nodded yes. You guys just don't understand what they felt like.
Andy can't even complete a full sentence yet he told me so much with his response. I saw the pain, the anger and the confusion in his eyes. He was laying helpless in his bed yet I could see how strong he really was. He asked me to call his mother. He struggled to mouth her telephone number. I called her from the lobby.
I was able to meet with his mother at the hospital later in the day. Talking to a mother about her son that is laying in a hospital bed is not exactly the easiest thing to do.
Andy's mother was surprisingly strong. "I have to be strong for him and for my daughter." "I can't show him I'm upset." We talked outside in the hallway outside of Andy's room. I asked her to tell me what Andy had told her, how he felt about what happened and what he knew or didn't know.
She told me that he didn't really know much about the event but that he had asked her"Who shot me?"
It had been four days since the shooting took place and Andy didn't even know there was an officer involved!
That raises some very important questions. Didn't the "shooter" say he had identified himself as a police officer? Did he really identify himself or did he just say that because that is what he was supposed to have done. Did everything happen so fast that he didn't have time to identify himself? Did everything happen so fast that he can't remember if he did or didn't? He had a very short time to make that decision. DID HE IDENTIFY HIMSELF BEFORE HE PULLED THE TRIGGER?
I asked Andy's mom to give me her take on what happened.
"He took his life and rights away"
Andy is alive but he will never be the same. Andy is going to have a second surgery to try to repair damage done by the bullet that was lodged in his neck. There is a chance that Andy may never walk again.