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At 6:44 PM 4/21/97, Mike Orton wrote:
>I will post more information after 9p.m. P.S.T.

The full details: This afternoon, Richard was being routinely checked for
responses by one of the physicians, during a visit by his riding friend,
David, who had been with him at the time of the accident. Richard's eyelids
were opened to check pupil responses. The physician walked out of the room,
and David noticed that Richard's eyes were still open, and he could follow
David around the room with his eyes. David started talking to Richard, and
his mouth and throat started moving to try to form words. He even tried
hard to crack a smile. David called in Joe, and Sabina, RT's parents, who
were waiting outside CCU, and once again, Richard open his eyes in response
to his Dad asking him to do that *in Polish*.

Anna Terpilowski immediately called around, including Editel, to let me
know, and I got to the hospital at a little after 4pm. Richard is clearly
reacting,but is very tired and as sick as a dog with the lung infection,
and a high fever. I managed to get a few mouthed responses, and his eyelid
briefly opened a little. According to David, he was quite alert earlier on,
but the effort has clearly tired him. He also reacts more to *female*
voices, which is surely the Terps we all know and love.

Now the hard work really begins. We as yet have no sense of how he has made
it through the coma, nor will we until he is well enough for a complete
neurological assessment. The main thing is that he is making purposeful
reactions to stimuli, and so he can begin the process of rehabilitation.
how long this wil take, and what will be the outcome, is anybody's guess at
this stage.

Right now, by the grace of God, he seems to be back among us, and I know
everyone will join me in giving thanks for his return.

The mailman brought no fewer than seven checks today to Editel for the RT
Trust Fund. I was not able to write down all the names of the people who
had sent them before I got the good news and literally ran out of the
There is a renewed sense of being able to help, as Terps' family are
determined to stay and see him through his rehab. One of the features of
the Northridge Rehab, Center is that the family are trained to help the
patient, so that the best use can be made of every moment to regain as much
lost time as possible.

I want to thank the seven, as yet unknown, donors; and rest assured, as
soon as I have identified you all, I'll be thanking you personally. The
fund will go towards meeting his family's living expenses while they are
here for Richard, and I'm sure that RT himself may be faced with some hefty
medical expenses, after 15 days in ICU to date, even with a good health
insurance plan.

With the infection and pneumonia, RT's condition is still classified as
"acute", and he underwent a series of CT scans today to try to locate any
injury which may be causing or exacerbating the infection. While I was
there, one of the CCU nurses placed a cooling blanket on Richard to try to
bring down his body temperature.

So to recap: our boy is a sick puppy, but he's back with us !

Lastly, thank you all for your continued thoughts, prayers and messages. If
ever a friend needed help it was in the last two weeks, and we are not yet
out of the woods. But to continue the metaphor, Somebody Up There just lit
a signal beacon.

God Bless You All

Mike Orton

| "I do not distinguish by the eye, but by the mind,      |
|   which is the proper judge of the man."                |
|         Seneca. 8 B.C.- 65 A.D.                         |

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