Michael and David Ewart continue on their road to recovery after the devastating fire that destroyed their Valencia home on December 20, 2005. Six family members were in the house at the time, three were seriously injured and sent to the Grossman Burn Center. David and Michael Ewart were in the most serious condition. David was the final family member to be released from the Grossman Burn Center, weeks after the fire. Since the fire, Santa Clarita has jumped in to assist as the Ewart’s recover. This is the latest update courtesy of neighbors, Josy and Steve Block.
Ewart Family Continues Recovery
We hope you have been enjoying the warmer weather! We are now going to be sending updates out on an "as needed" basis – that is whenever there is something newsworthy to report.
MICHAEL is settled into a routine of physical and occupational therapy, and exercises and stretches at home. Jacqui probably spends about 1-2 hours a day stretching out Michael’s scars and trying to break up the scar tissue. His pressure garments are still not ready.
On Thursday, 5/11/06, Michael had an appointment with Dr. Grossman. Overall, Dr. Grossman is pleased with Michael’s progress, but obviously he wants to get full function back in his arms ASAP. He gave him some temporary silicone lined pressure sleeves to wear until his pressure garments arrive. They are having a lot of trouble getting the pressure garments to fit over Michael’s bent arms. In a nutshell, here is the scoop from Dr. Grossman:
* Hopefully Michael will not need surgery on his right arm
* In about 1-2 weeks, Michael will go in for cortisone shots to both arms (he will be put under general anesthesia but will go home the same day).
* One month after the shots, he will go in again for additional shots to both arms. If the scar bands on his left arm have loosened up enough, then they will perform surgery to his left arm at that time – if not, they will have to wait another month. So, the surgery on his left arm will either be at the end of June or the end of July.
* The surgery on his left arm will most likely be z-plasty. This is where they make a "z" shaped incision to open up the elbow area and switch good tissue for bad tissue. This is a less drastic surgery than a total re-grafting.
Overall the family is pretty encouraged by this and hope it all goes as planned. Dr. Grossman also wants Michael to start swimming ASAP. Now that all the rain is over (hopefully) and Michael’s AP tests are over (yeah!), their pool is being heated as we speak!
DAVID continues with his grueling physical therapy sessions several times a week. The hot weather we have been having is torturous to David as he must wear his pressure garment under his clothes at all times. This garment is skin tight and covers his entire arms & chest/back area. If you think YOU have been hot…just imagine having to wear an extra thick, long sleeved, rubber-like contraption under another shirt. Not fun at all. But, David being David doesn’t complain & simply does his best to follow the doctor’s orders.
On Sunday, April 30th, we had the immense pleasure of attending the "Go the Distance" Benefit Concert at the Performing Arts Center at C.O.C. It was an amazing evening featuring local artists/musicians with talent that was nothing short of spectacular! There were several highlights to the evening, among them, hearing & seeing David, Jacqui and Duncan (David’s brother) "wow the audience" on their violins!! We were charmed by the mesmerizing voices of Lisa Tenorio and Leslie Garman and were entertained by the many musicians that are too plentiful to name individually. For those who attended, it was most definitely a night to remember!! There were just about 300 tickets sold!! All proceeds, of course will benefit the Ewart family.
On May 9, 2006 the Demolition Team came in to demolish David’s house. The crew arrived at 8:00am. David was happy as this is symbolic of moving forward. The neighbors seemed pretty happy as well. The plywood boards covering all the doors/windows were removed and put aside. A few last minute items were removed from the garage. Jacqui, though not fond of heights, braved a wobbly ladder to climb into a second story window to observe the kids’ rooms for the first (and last) time. While inside, she found a few items to salvage, including her graduation cap, diploma and some pictures & artwork. Within minutes of entering the house, the construction crew was ready to begin, so everyone had to exit the building. Bit, by bit we watched as the single bulldozer strategically banged & crashed against various parts of the structure, bringing down sections in a very meticulous fashion. They started with the cement pillar located at the front entryway of the home. As that pillar came crashing down, they proceeded to the next section and began a systematic approach & retreat pattern to continue along the front, then right side of the home. During every phase of the demolition a pressurized hose was aimed at the debris to keep the dust levels to a minimum. Onlookers were amazed to see how quickly a house can come down. The living room was flattened in no time. After many cracks, crunches and smashes, they were 1/2 way done around 9:30am. David had to leave for a while to perform for a group of Mothers of Preschool kids group at the church. Meanwhile, the house continued to get flatter and flatter. It was amazing to see entire walls come crashing down with a single "bam" of the bulldozer. The roof was virtually indestructible! By 10:50am, the entire house was reduced to a pile of rubble. An entire lifetime of memories laid before the Ewarts – it was unbelievable – almost surreal. Happily, the crew was able to save the Tree house…and also a few young trees that the Ewarts had planted not so very long ago. Within the next week or so, the debris should be moved and the next phase can begin.
Next Saturday, May 20, 2006, is a fun event at Wiley Canyon Elementary School. The Girl Scouts are sponsoring a BLOOD DRIVE and Fun Festival for family and friends of the community. There are a couple of bands that will be performing for your entertainment. The Hart Show Choir will be performing and there will be Karaoke, local kid-talent and much, much more! There will be food vendors, such as Newhall Coffee, Jamba Juice, Krispy Kremes, Lampost Pizza, Dip N Dots and more. There will be a cake & ice cream walk & and a few activities for the kids. The event begins at 10:00 am and will run until 4:00pm. As soon as a flyer is available, we will post it to the website at www.EwartAid.org. 100% of all proceeds will benefit the Ewart family!
We thank you for your continued support of the Ewarts!!