After her time in Roseville I knew that we needed to move Hannah closer to where Tim and I lived so we could be together and I could have some help. We found out about an amazing rehabilitation center in Denver called Craig Hospital they were known for taking young adults with brain injuries and helping them recover and find all the support that they could. Although Hannah did not have a traumatic brain injury she did have a non -traumatic brain injury that caused lesions to form on her brain with no known cause. I spoke with Craig Hospital and they refused her because she was out of state and very complicated and they couldn’t do a proper evaluation of her. So. . . I knew Craig hospital was the best place for my sister. I spoke with my husband Tim and he asked his band mates if he could borrow the “band van” and take Hannah by van from California to Denver. Hannah was still not moving and was on tube feedings. Together we made it happen, a friend of mine Jane flew out from Denver and drove back with us and we drove Hannah from California to Denver with out stopping over a two-day period. We were able to get her into an acute care rehab center near our house where she was evaluated and two weeks later was transferred to Craig hospital.
Hannah has a daughter named Hailey who was 8 at the time all of this happened. I remember at first we didn’t want to tell Hailey what happened because we thought maybe Hannah just needed a few days and then she was going to be ok. We held off as long as we could but after a week we knew we needed to tell Hailey. It is one of the many moments that still truly breaks my heart when I think about it. It is the moment I saw such intense pain in such an undeserving child. It was the moment I hated the world and hated God and hated to bring such pain to this little being who was finding out way to early how hard life could be. Hailey began to cry as soon as we began speaking because of course she knew that something was really wrong. My sister Sarah and I sat with Hailey and cried and did our best to help her understand all that we did. Hailey moved in with her dad and spent a lot of time traveling to the rehab center to be with Hannah both in Roseville and Denver. Hailey is why it was our goal to get Hannah back to Nevada as soon as possible so that they could be close to each other.
Hannah spent 4 months in Craig Hospital and transformed during her time there. Mentally she is now 100% my sister only a little slower and uses an IPad to communicate. She is in a wheelchair and needs assistance to move and transfer but she is able to use her hands to type on her IPad and to feed herself with assistance. She is back in Nevada and just moved out of a nursing home into her own apartment with around the clock care. My Aunt Patty, Caroline, and Jess are her main support in Nevada. I am looking forward to spending some time again with everyone during Christmas. Hannah continues to struggle and have complications but everyday she surprises us daily with new things she is learning to do on her own. She is in speech therapy again and it is so good to hear my sister try to speak.
Moments that I shared with my sister became the basis for what You & Me is ultimately all about, intimate or close encounters with another that remind you of who you are, why you matter, why we need one another and how beautiful the world really is even in the face of tragedy.
Here is a short video showing a little look into our time at Craig hospital. It is to the song Hannah wanted to hear over and over again. =)