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Prayers for Former Cubmaster

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Brian Donnelly was my son's first Cubmaster when we started in Cub Scouts (2002).


Original e-mail from Tuesday (6/16) afternoon, slightly edited:

Please say immediate prayers for Brian Donnelly and his family. They were on vacation...at the Outer Banks with friends their son (Matt) & his friend (Brooks) got caught up in a riptide. Matt had an asthma attack but Brooks is a strong swimmer so was able to hold Matt up and try to swim back in. When Brian...saw what was happening he ran into the ocean to help along with others. Brian is not a strong swimmer and got caught up in the currents. The boys made it to shore but Brian didn't. He was blue by the time they got him to the beach. They worked on him and were able to revive him. They medivaced him to Norfolk and his wife went with him. He has not regained consciousness yet. He is in the Neurological ICU and he his brain may have been deprived of oxygen for too long. It is not known yet. Matt went by ambulance to a hospital at the Outer Banks but was released to his sister Christie. All of them are currently in Norfolk.


As I hear more I will be sure to update you.


Please pray for the entire family.


Update from just after midnight last night (6/17):

Brian had some eye movement today when Matt was talking to him but they don't know if it means anything or not yet. He can breathe on his own, but very shallow, so they have him on a respirator. I'll let you know if I hear anything more.


Please keep Brian and family in your prayers. He's a great guy and loved working with the boys. Even after stepping down as Cubmaster, he made his home and wood shop open to scouts to work on Pinewood Derby cars and other projects.

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Great news...


...Brian is off the ventilator and breathing on his own which is great news. I guess when they brought him out of the sedation his sister asked if he wanted the tube out and he nodded his head vigorously to say yes so they took it out. She also asked him if he knew who she was and he nodded yes. So he is understanding what they are saying. Patty said that he has not moved his arms or legs or anything yet but one step at a time.


Please continue to keep him in your prayers.




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Prayer is an amazing thing. Great news from Brian's daughter! Thanks to everyone!


Hi everyone-


Dad is doing very, very well today. He started talking late last night and hasn't stopped. He currently thinks "this totally sucks" he wants to go home, he wants a "freaking coke"...he's feisty with a great sense of humor and doing great. He's sleeping and really tired, he stayed up most of the night just kind of hanging out after we agreed that we would go to bed if he did around 3am. We came back at 7:30 this morning and the nurses said he had been asleep for about 20 minutes - the rest of the time he kind of looked out of his door and waved at the nurses and stuff. This morning he was mad when we weren't giving him unlimited ice chips (risk of more water in his lungs which could develop into pneumonia.) But the doctors came in on rounds 10ish and asked him how he was doing - he said ok, that he would like some ice cream and the doctor asked "any particular flavor?" Dad said "whatever." And did all of the things they wanted him to do - touching his nose, answering questions, etc. The doctor said to get rid of the feeding tube and to start him on physical therapy, get him on regular food, have him sit in a chair for a while, etc. Basically he is all systems go to work on being strong enough to get around on his own. His memory is a little frustrating for him right now, he kept asking "what the hell happened" and then saying "wow, what a trip" and stuff like that.


So today he has gotten his bottle of coke he kept asking for and gotten out of bed with help from the PT girls, marched in place, sat in a chair for an hour, and talked a bunch. He rejected lunch but had some ice cream and last time Matt told him what happened and what day it was Dad said "holy crap, no way..... you owe me." He also went to look at his watch just now and was annoyed to realize he wasn't wearing one.


Sorry for the scattered update, I keep stopping to talk to people in person and then forgetting where I left off. That's what I've got right now. Doctors were asking about what kind of car we have with us and how far the drive is -- sounds promising for a trip home much sooner than we were thinking, quite possibly with Dad chilling in the back seat of the Acura. No plans for any CT scans or EEGs right now because it looks like everything is there, he just has to figure out how to get to it. He knows who everyone is and smiles and says "sweet" when I tell him about emails, calls, etc.


More later, much love. Super tired.


ps dad says the apple sauce here is "the worst apple sauce in the world" so if you're ever here don't go for the apple sauce.

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This will likely be my last update on Brian - which is good news!


An update from Brian's daughter from Sat. night:


Hi everyone-


Sorry for the long gap between updates, Dad has been keeping us busy with PT, meals and starting to walk around!! He is, as he says "basically recovered" but has some physical therapy to work on and some memory to get back. The doctors say all of that will just take some time.


I asked him for a description and he said "wobbly but mobile, disconnected from all machines, little cough, practicing to dance."


He has started eating meals but is still pretty reluctant - we're working on it :) He claims to be coughing up kelp...we doubt it.


He appreciates all of the well wishes and hopes to head home early this upcoming week sometime!


Mom has perfected all of her nursing skills, though she did not want Dad to be her first patient! Matt has been helping Dad walk around and we have all adjusted to hospital life over the past 5 days. We can't wait to stop eating hospital food! :)


I can't thank you all enough for all of your support, concern, thoughts and prayers over this surreal past week. Dad has a lot of hard work ahead of him before he is at 100% but at this rate he'll be feeling completely normal before we know it. He has astounded everyone at the hospital with the progress of his recovery and his great sense of humor - but I'm betting nobody who knows him is too surprised by that!





And his son updated today to say that Brian was being released TODAY!

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