Eighth accident update

Written by: Bobbye Jean Manzari

Hi Loved Ones,

You have all gathered around us and made our transition into this new life as blessed as it could be under the circumstances. We have felt God’s love in the most touching ways through all your support. Constantly we witness the kindness of our close friends and family, as well as the kindness of distant acquaintances and complete strangers. I simply wish there was a way to put our gratitude in adequate words.

We have been home for a month and a half and have slowly gotten a routine down of dressing changes and therapy. He has been doing well in therapy and diligently working on all the exercises they give him to stretch out his scar tissue, though it hurts him with a pain he can’t describe. His wounds are closing up daily and even though some of them break back open from time to time, his skin grafts are doing well overall. His ears and sternum are getting weekly treatments of Silver Nitrate, which burns the hypergranulation down and helps the skin to heal in a proper manner. We have seen huge results from this treatment and they are now talking of not even needing to do grafting! Because of his dread for surgery, he endures the pain of the Silver Nitrate treatments to his ears. This pain leaves him shaking and screaming, but he pushes through! His head exit wound has also been healing rapidly. The open area is now less than half the size of what it used to be! His left wrist is still limp from the nerve damage, but after some testing, it seems that his nerve might be regenerating! We have a long way to go to see how much it will regenerate, but there seems to be hope from his therapists.

The biggest struggle is the consistency of pain. Matt has an incredible determination to get through where I think most of us, including myself, would just find it too difficult. He puts on a good front when he is with people and he does not walk around complaining, but his reality is harsh. The doctors have told us that his nerve regeneration causes pain that is indescribable. This pain is not only intense because of the amount of nerves growing back, but also a strange pain that makes your body feel “weird.” This is the cause of his intense insomnia. There are good days and bad days. Some days he cannot get out of bed, whereas other days he is running around like the old Matt. He has weaned himself off of his medicines enough for his doctor to approve him to drive. This step was a huge one for Matt to feel independent and normal again. With that being said, his lower levels of pain medicine make the bad days that much worse for him, and we are continually working to find the balance that he needs at this time.

I am 30 weeks and my pregnancy is continuing to go well! The baby seems to be in great health and I have not been dealing with any hard pregnancy symptoms on my end. I’m very grateful. I know we will have an active one on our hands because he is moving ALL THE TIME! I still cannot wrap my mind around the fact that a little person will be entering our lives in 10 weeks.
I must say, Matt is one of the strongest men in the world. Yes, I am biased, but I also see his daily struggles and can truly appreciate how strong he is. He is strong enough to push towards God in the midst of an exhausting physical recovery. He continually seeks after God’s will for this new version of life and he humbly accepts the help that he needs. I see that it is hard for him to be incapable of certain daily tasks, or the inability to move furniture in the baby’s room etc. This is not the way he pictured life. He wants nothing more than to be the strong young man he was at the beginning of this year, but he knows that God is using his new body for an even better purpose.

We are constantly stopped and asked what happened. People see his scars and are riddled with concern and curiosity. These conversations have given us opportunities to hear other people’s stories and pray together in the middle of parking lots, grocery stores, and restaurants. You never know what people are going through or have gone through, but Matt’s struggle is worn on his arms. The visibility of his hurt allows people to feel safe sharing their hidden hurt, and Matt is doing ministry without even trying to. God amazes me with His ability to use bad things for good.

Your continued prayers are appreciated, as the struggle does not end when one gets out of the hospital. The healing process is a rollercoaster and your prayers have blessed us through it! We love you all! Thank you!

Matt Manzari