Two Steps Forward, One Step Back, One Step Back

This blog post was written by Matt’s brother, Russ Foushee:

Matt and his brother Russ

Matt and his brother Russ

Over the course of previous two weeks, Matt has been showing signs of slowly reaching higher levels of awareness.  His agitation was increasing.  His head was localizing towards the sources of audio stimulus.  His eyes were open, and tracking on people and objects.  If you held an object in front of his face, he would reach for it and take it from your hands.   He is becoming increasingly aware of his own discomfort and pain.

Hugs for Matt's sister Amy

Hugs for Matt’s sister Amy

Last Wednesday afternoon, October 9th, Matt had a breakthrough day.  Matt reached the highest level of coherence and cognizance yet since his accident six weeks ago.  He was responding to commands, shaking people’s hands, and giving hugs to people.  For a period of about 8 hours, there was no doubt he recognized his loved ones and friends, and appreciated their support and presence.  His agitation levels were minimal.  He would see friends and family enter his room for the first time since his accident, smile in joy at their arrival, and then tear up and start to cry in happiness at the support around him.  He smiled in response to jokes or funny comments that were made.  There was awareness and recognition in his eyes.  It was a special night and a night of promise for all who were present to witness it.

Matt having a very emotional moment when he saw his friend Ryan Selway walk into the room.

Matt having a very emotional moment when he saw his friend Ryan Selway walk into the room.

Since Wednesday night, Matt has unfortunately regressed a little bit.  He has not shown quite the level of awareness he did that Wednesday afternoon and evening.  His agitation levels have once again increased, the vacant stare in his eyes has returned with more frequency.  He has responded less to commands over the last couple of days than he did on Wednesday night.

Wednesday night Matt gave us a gift, and further strengthened our faith in his recovery.  Matt showed us his inner strength and potential Wednesday night.  He showed us the promise of what he is capable of.  Everyone who knows Matt understands his drive and determination to be the best at whatever he sets his mind to.  He reminded us of that Wednesday night, and has since retreated within himself to rest, recharge, and replenish his strength.

Matt's friend Selway brought a picture his daughter drew for him of Matt with a surf board.  Matt Stared at the picture for a long time and became very emotional looking at it.

Matt’s friend Selway brought a picture his daughter drew of Matt with a surf board. Matt Stared at the picture for a long time and became very emotional looking at it.

Meanwhile, Matt continues to be surrounded with unbelievable levels of love and support from all whom he has touched in his life.  He continues to make baby steps in his recovery.  We patiently wait for the next time he graces us with his impish grin.


Be sure to visit his fund-raiser page.  Matt will need the support of all of us to get the rehabilitation he needs.

Thank you, thank you to everyone who has been following his story and offering their love and support.

One other update: The doctors have requested that Matt only receive 2-3 visitors maximum at a time.  There is a sign posted on his door to remind people and there is another sign with some tips on the best ways to interact and communicate with Matt given the stage of healing he is in now.  Because he is still agitated much of the time and not getting a lot of restful sleep, it is important that if visitors come they allow Matt to rest if he needs to.  Please do visit, just take turns going in if there are other visitors present.

Also, If anyone has stories about their visits with Matt I would love to hear of them so they can be shared on his blog.  Let me know if there is anything you want to share, even if it’s something small, an experience or moment that you think others might be interested in reading about or that Matt would be interested in knowing later on, and they can be worked into his updates.  Feel free to email:

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