Welcome

The family and friends of Cpl. Daniel C. W. Riley, USMC, welcome you to join in as we celebrate and support the life of an incredible young man, friend, son, and brother. It is with great love and with many prayers we know that Daniel will move on to great and wonderful things. God has big plans for him! Daniel was born in Victoria, BC, Canada. In 1999 his family (Dad, Mum, brothers Tristan and Aaron, & sister Elizabeth, & cat) moved to Denver, Colorado, where his dad began working for the Episcopal Church in Colorado overseeing work with children, youth, and young adults. Daniel started high school in 1999 at Columbine High School. After three years at CHS he finished his high school at Brentwood College in Canada in 2004. After which he did some college and worked in the US and Canada. Daniel enlisted (still a Canadian citizen) in US Marine Corps in 2008 to serve his new country and to help pay for a future college education. On July 4, 2009 Daniel swore in as a US citizen before the Vice-President in Sadam Hussein's old palace in Bagdad, Iraq. In September 2010 he was sent as a combat replacement for the 2/6 Marines in Marjah, Afghanistan. On December 16, 2010, Daniel was severely wounded by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). He primarily suffered severe wounds to his legs, left arm, and left lung. There were many times he was close to not making it. He has since had both legs amputated above the knee and three fingers amputated on his left hand. His lung and other injuries are healing well. Before this event and for many years to come, we know Daniel to be a loving, caring, intellegent, humourous, giving, adventurous, and deep thinking person. Keep praying! And use this blog to share your thoughts and encouragement.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Heading out on the road

Hey everyone. Just a quick update. After a quiet and low key time back in Colorado, Daniel is on the road back to San Diego. He is travelling in his new vehicle with mum, dad, and brother (Aaron) and making a few stops along the way. We will keep you all up to date on the trip. Should be back at the hospital April 2nd.

Dad

Thursday, March 17, 2011

March 16, 2011 - Three Month Mark

December 16, 2011 to March 16, 2011 - Daniel has got to the three-month mark from his injuries!

It has been three months now and we are so very proud of all that he has accomplished since that day in December. He has recovered faster than medical personnel, family, or friends had even hoped.  He is a determined young man with a big heart, keen mind, and deep spirit.  These have helped greatly in his healing.   We are grateful to the Lord, our family, friends, and the now greatly increased support network around us.

Way to go, Daniel!

Mum and Dad

Here he is on on his three-month "anniversary" taking a little walk around the neighbourhood with his brother, Tristan, and sister, Elizabeth.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Back Home.

Finally made it back to Colorado yesterday (only 186 days, 4 countries, 3 states, 7 Hospitals, 19 Surgeries if any one is keeping track)!!

It was great to be able to fly home to such a welcome. Greeting me at the airport were not only my family but 200 other friends and supporters. Even the local news was there and put a piece on that night. The welcome was more than I could have ever imagined and have to thank everyone who was there, especially the Patriot Guard Riders (a group of veteran bikers) that escorted me all the way home from the airport. Over the next couple weeks I will have a chance to rest and relax for a bit. Just being away for a hospital has been good enough, although I could trade for San Diego's weather.

Daniel

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Coming home

Daniel has been approved for some leave - a couple weeks of rest away from the hospital environment. Yah! He will coming back home for the first time this Saturday!

Saturday, March 12th - United 0342; arrive Denver International Airport 2:50pm

Come to DIA and welcome him home.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Friday, March 4, 2011

Walking!

March 3rd marked a huge milestone in Daniel's recovery ..... up and walking for the first time.  Yah!



Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Set For His Stubbies

Daniel got "casted" for his prosthetics yesterday.  A member of the prosthetics team (Peter) put plaster on his legs.  The plaster casts were removed, hardened, and will become the basis for his first set of sockets for his prosthetic legs.


The next step for Daniel is to get up in his "stubbies".  These are short "legs" put on the ends of the sockets that he then sets himself into and does his first walking.  The first stage with the stubbies is to get him familiar with the motion needed to walk and to make sure the sockets are fitting well (making adjustments as needed).

He gets up on his stubbies tomorrow - REALLY EXCITING!

Stay tuned ... I'm hoping to get video of this and then post it here.

An "Average" Day

It is hard to imagine an "average" day.  It is even harder to imagine a "normal" day.  We are constantly reminded throughout every day that what we see and experience is anything but "normal".  Daniel comments often how we are now in the midst of a new "normal".  Regardless, I thought it might be helpful for you all to have an example of an average day.

0545 - Dad wakes up
0600 - Daniel gets up and is given his first round of medications
0715 - Be at "formation" with the other marines here in the building (some are here from other bases with a variety of ills) to meet with the squad leader and getting any "word" on anything.
0830 - first appointment of the day (usually primary care doctors, nurse practitioners, etc.)
0900 - check in with Medical Case Manager
0930 - get a coffee (Dad gets his tea) at the outdoor coffee stand
1000 - appointment (perhaps with Occupational Therapy for 30-45 minutes)
1100 - appointment (could be prosthetics, wound care, otolaryngology)
1200-ish - lunch and hopefully a nap or go see the Recovery Care Coordinator
1330 - Physical Therapy appointment (working out in their gym - especially core exercises)
1500 - afternoon formation
1600 - doing errands, maybe napping, other meetings, or recreation therapy
1800 - dinner (Dad and Daniel will be sharing the cooking) then free time reading, computer, TV, or the Liberty Center
2100 - Evening Meds
2200 - final meds and bed time (exhausted!!)

Daniel generally get himself around in his powered wheelchair with dad trying to keep up behind him.  When we leave the base Daniel transfers to a manual wheelchair.  He hopes to get his own custom manual one in April.

We live in the "barracks" here at the facility.  It can be equated to college dorm rooms. The two of us have our own rooms and share a bathroom and common space with fridge, sink, cupboards, and microwave.

Dad

Today's mail

Hey everyone.  Thanks for the mail that you have been sending Daniel. He loves getting it.  Today was a good candy day - a box arrived from the Huntington's in Littleton with some great cookies, candies, and letters; also got some Roger's Chocolates (yummmy, thanks Lynne and Joyce).

Daniel also pointed out that he loves the Swedish Fish candy partly because they are made in Canada.  =)

Just an FYI - the mail that arrived today into his eager hands were all sent from the 23rd to the 25th of February.

Dad

Danielathlon

Hey everyone. Some good friends of Daniel are setting up a family day of fun and games in celebration and support of Daniel. Those on Facebook can find It under "Danielathlon". It is planned for June 4th at a park in the Littleton area. Stay tuned for details either on Facebook or on this blog.