Remember that if/when this post falls off the front page at Fastpitchwest, you can always find a link to Dave Blackburn updates over on the sidebar on the right hand side of any page.
The new Fastpitchwest blog permits readers to post comments, at the bottom of the this post. Due to the length of this blog post, you have to scroll all the way to the bottom, or hit Control-End. Some nice comments posted already, feel free to add your notes to Dave.
Previous Updates below. (scroll down)
As shown in the photo at bottom, Dave also received a “King and his Court” jersey from friend Rich Hoppe. I can see these photos becoming a recurring theme, as Dave builds up his closet of clothes for the day he goes home from the hospital. He could sell advertising, like the NASCAR guys do Who’s next ?
Note that you can sign up for email updates, and post notes in Dave’s guestbook as well.
We’ve tucked our earlier updates below the jump. (Rather than multiple postings, we’ll keep it all here in one, so that people with the link can return to it easily)
Editor’s note: We’ve set up an email address for friends wishing to pass along a note to Dave and/or Ronnie:
Yourfastballfriends (at) fastpitchwest.com
(Send your email to that address, and we’ll pass the notes along to them. We’ve already mailed off a good size batch from many of you who took the time to write, something I am sure will lift their spirits, so keep those cards and letters coming)
If you are on Facebook, you can post a note here. (and we’ll pass it along)
We regret to report that our friend, Dave Blackburn, Executive Producer of the ISC broadcasts was injured in an auto accident near Phoenix late last night. I spoke with his brother Jay this morning, who advises that Dave is in stable condition in ICU at a Phoenix hospital, suffering broken ribs, broken pelvis, broken sternum and multiple fractures to his legs and a broken wrist. We will update as additional information becomes available.
The road from Phoenix to Prescott is about a two hour drive, much of it two lane highway, winding through the Arizona desert, up into the more mountainous, mile high city of of Prescott. Prescott is a “cowboy town” of sorts, hosting many fastball tournaments over the years, and favorite to So Cal players.
Update 1: 11:30 am Friday Aug 27
Details about the accident are sketchy, but the report I received as that Dave was air-vac’d to the hospital in Phoenix. Dave’s Maccabi team was in Arizona for the ASA 40-and-over tournament this weekend, enroute to Prescott, AZ. The team is/was scheduled to play at 6pm tonight.
Update 2: 12:30pm Friday Aug 27
A teammate of Dave’s confirms that Ron Rupp was in the car as well, suffering “a few broken bones” and is in stable condition at the hospital.
I don’t have much info and I am writing from my cell phone but David Blackburn was in a very bad car accident last night. He is in critical but stable condition. Ronny Rupp was injured also and is in stable condition with a few broken bones. It happen last night driving to Prescott AZ to the over 40′s. When I get more info, I will let you know.
Update 3: Friday, August 27, 2010: A note from Tony Kahan:
I just left dave and ronny rupp at the hospital. Mostly we are all thankful that they are still alive. The upshot is that Dave has broken legs, a broken pelvis, a broken wrist and possibly other internal injuries. He is in critical condition but stable. Ronny Rupp has a broken wrist, broken ankle, and ribs. Thankfully neither has any head trauma and with luck they should both be ok in time. Please let the fastball world know that Dave and Ronny could use all of the positive thoughts and prayers that this community can give them. It is a very bad thing that happened but for what occured, these guys are doing as well as anyone could hope.
Update 4: Saturday, Aug 28, 2010:
On Saturday, we heard from Larry Silfen, a third player who was in the back seat of the car, riding with Dave Blackburn and Ron Rupp who were in the front. He reports that he is ok, and that Dave and Ron are critical, but stable. He spoke with Ron, while Dave was resting in ICU. (Ironically, I had emailed Larry Friday about the news of the accident, not realizing he was in the car with them. ) Larry joined his Maccabi teammates in Presott on Saturday, then will head down Phoenix on Sunday to see Dave and Ron.
Update 5: Sunday, August 29, 2010:
A Maccabi teammate of Dave Blackburn’s reports, “He’s still in ICU… but doing better”
Update 6: Monday, August 30, 2010 11:00 a.m.:
Larry Silfin reports that Ronnie Rupp is due to be discharged in an hour or two (Monday afternoon) and that he and some teammates are driving Ronnie back to Los Angeles. Dave remains in ICU, in critical condition, receiving 24/7 care, and is expected to remain so for some time still.
Update 7: Monday, August 30, 4:30pm
The family of Dave Blackburn has been overwhelmed by the support they have received from the fastball community and thanks everyone for their thoughts and prayers. They asked me to pass along a request from the ICU at the hospital Dave is in. They have requested that only immediate family come to the hospital as Dave’s condition does not allow him to receive visitors at this point. Once he is out of the ICU, he will be able to have as many people as the hospital will allow. It is hospital policy not to provide information over the phone, so best not to contact the hospital. The family appreciates the outpouring of concern and prayers from all of you, and will provide updates when possible as we know all of you are pulling for Dave’s recovery.
Update (8): Tuesday, August 31, 2010: Larry Silfin (who was in the car) advises:
Corey Angel, another Maccabi player brought me and Ronny home from Arizona this evening. We both have some healing to do but all of our thoughts are with Dave. Dave is resting , his blood pressure has stabilized and on Monday they start to determine the orthopedic procedures.
Update (9) – Tuesday, August 31, 2010, 11am: Dave’s brother Jay reports:
Nothing much has changed since yesterday. Dave is heavily sedated. The doctors are working to keep his oxygenation levels up. Our brother Ray will be there for the next 2 weeks so I should be able to get better and more at length updates.Then the rest of the brothers will take turns from there.
Update (10): Wedneday, Sept 1, 2010, from Ronnie Rupp’s daughter Jenny:
My dad wants to thank all those who have shown such an out pouring of love and support for him. He is still in terrible condition and will respond to each of you individually when he is well enough to do so. Also, he is being re-admitted back into the emergency room in Torrance. He is very shook up about Dave’s condition and asks for all to keep him in your prayers. Thank you all so much.
Update (11): Thursday, Sept 2, 2010 from Dave’s brother Jay:
The entire family is more than touched by the outpouring of affection for our brother .We all appreciate the web postings as this gets so much info out to the community that Dave loves and has so many friends in.
Update (12): Sunday, Sept. 5, 2010
Note that you can sign up for email updates, and post notes in Dave’s guestbook as well.
Update (13): Sunday, Sept. 10, 2010 from Dave’s brother Jay:
Dave’s condition seems to be getting more stable.
He did well on his second surgery on his colon to clean up a post accident infection.He is having problems with his blood pressure now but the doctors feel they can keep this under control. He is of course still under heavy sedation. The orthopedic physician stated they felt they can start doing the surgeries on Dave’s legs to place the rods and pins needed for setting and healing as early as Monday.If they begin the surgery series this of course then means they feel Dave is doing well enough to withstand the rigors of the proceedures. Our family has been greatly heartened by the outpouring of good wishes ,support and prayers for Dave during this time. These will all be instrumental during Dave’s long recovery and rehabilitation
Thanks from the entire family
Update (14): Tuesday, September 14, 2010 from Dave’s teammate, Larry Silfen (who was in the car with Dave):
Breeder is out of surgery. The surgeon told his brother that they were only able to do his legs but it was a long surgery. The sentiment among Team Breeder is that this is positive news as Breeder is strong enough to handle the surgery. This is just the beginning but so far so good.
Editor’s note: “Breeder” is, of course, Dave’s nickname.
And tonight, a note from Dave’s brother Jay:
They did Dave’s surgeries on his legs yesterday and he seems to have come through well. Apparently they put rods and pins to hold the broken bones together. The orthopedic physician told my brother Ray that if he does well Wednesday they will do the surgeries on his wrist and ankle Thursday. He is still in the ICU under heavy sedation but I am very heartened by the fact that they feel he is strong enough to undergo the trauma of surgery.Keep your fingers crossed .
Editor’s note: Not much to report, as Dave is still in ICU. We wish to respect the family’s need to focus on Dave’s recovery, so I expect the updates will be more sporadic as Dave’s long road to recovery begins.
Update (15): Friday, September 17, 2010 from Dave’s brother Jay:
Yesterday Dave had surgeries on his ankle and wrist.This past Monday he had rods and pins placed into his broken legs.The doctors at this time are going to let his pelvis knit together on its own.The broken ribs and sternum are also going to be allowed to heal on their own.I understand this is a normal proceedure for these types of breaks.Dave is still heavily sedated and being assisted in his breathing.A decision will be made as to when he can begin to be aroused and if a tracheotomy will need to be performed to assist in breathing.He is still on a breathing tube as of now.
A new problem is starting to occur and that is the breakdown of skin due to pressure spots and the accident trauma.They are monitoring it closely.I suppose the major concern is staph or MRSA.
I don’t know if any further orthopedic surgeries are to be planned.The major aspect I am heartened by is the the physicians felt he was strong enough to undergo these surgeries at this time.
All the best
Update (16) on Sep 25, 2010 from Dave’s brother Jay:
In the last week there hadnt been much change in Dave’s condition. He is running a fever that they haven’t isolated a bug from. His oxygenation level is better as of today. They did a tracheotomy on Monday and he is breathing better and resting better with it.
The big news is he has awakened somewhat. He can respond to commands and listen on a telephone held to his ear. He got a big smile =when Brian walked into his room today.
I know there is a long way to go but maybe just maybe there is progress in his condition. Hopefully Brian will talk to the trauma surgeon tomorrow and get a better update as to the fevers, lungs, abdominal infections etc.
I will be there starting Wednesday so I can send updates directly from the hospital. Thanks for everything that you guys have been doing
All the best
Update (17) on Oct 1 , 2010 from Dave’s teammate, Larry Silfen:
Just wanted to update you on Dave as with him in Phoenix. He looks much better and truly improving on a daily basis. I spent a few hours with him and caught him up on all the happenings in Fastpitch and how the whole community is pulling for him. Dave smiled several times during our visit and we all know the Breeder grin speaks volumes.
Also, Ronnie Rupp is doing much better as well. Saw him this week and will see again this weekend.
Thanks again for keeping everyone up to speed. We all appreciate it very much.
Update (18) on Oct 7, 2010 from Dave’s brother, Jay:
I just got off the phone with the ICU.The nurse said everything was about the same from the last update.He did have surgery Monday to place an external fixator on the broken ankle because the boot wasn’t holding his ankle in place like they needed.He has dead skin on his foot and they are using a wound vac to keep the dead skin off and promote healing.
The good news is his fever is down to the 99 degree range and they seem to have found the right combination of antibiotics.
I asked what is still keeping him the ICU and it is the oxygenation.He is breathing some on his own now but still at times needs to rely on the ventilator.He is doing some talking now but the nurses do not encourage it.
I did get to talk to the orthopedic nurse and she is encouraged by his progress.His nurse today had Dave several weeks ago and remarked at the difference in his appearance.He is much more alert yet still well sedated.
The nurses are aware of mom’s passing and are letting anyone know not to mention it as of yet.I understand since Brian left there hasn’t been much visitation . They arent encouraging it but wont keep someone from visiting.Biff and I will be out there a little later this month.
Keep up the good thoughts,
Editor’s note: It had been over a week since the last update. Somehow “bored” sounds like good news. Read on.
Update (19) on Oct 17, 2010 from Dave’s brother, Jay:
I am just loading this on top of a previous email.I just got off the phone with the ICU.Dave is pretty much stable .They let him breath on his own for awhile but it gets tiring for him but the point is he can breathe on his own.Tey are giving minimal assist when he needs it.Lowgrade fever that occaisonally spikes but they seem to have it under control.He is bored silly and wants to get up but of course he can’t.
The biggest news is I actually talked to him Wednesday.The nurses only let him say a few words but to say it took a bit to regain my composure is an understatement.Paul Rubin was there and held his phone up to his ear so there was actually direct communication.
My brother Robert and I will be out there next week.Until then if anyone is in the area or even has a friend in Phoenix that might be able to drop by and say hi I know Dave would appreciate the company.Once his lungs are ok , they can get him in the regular hospital section where he could talk on the phone . I know that will do a lot to lift his spirits.Until then we will all work our way through this.
On behalf of Dave thanks for everything
Update (20) on Oct 21, 2010 from Dave’s teammate and friend, Larry Silfen:
Hope you both are well and thanks for the continued support of Dave / Ronnie. This is the latest and will be calling Paul Rubin in a bit to see if anything new. This is right off the Caringbridge site.
Ronnie and I will be out at the Panteras Halloween Tournament to see all Dave’s pals.
Dave is still resting a lot and awake / aware more each day. While he is recovering physically you can imagine how frustrated he is cooped up and not being able to talk freely, yet. We all know “Breeder” loves to converse and Maccabi USA fast pitch is his number one topic. Dave’s Maccabi USA mates play their first game at 8 AM Saturday. Won’t be the same without # 7, but he will get updates all day from Ronnie.
Tuesday night update: Big news ! Dave is being transferred to hospital in Los Angeles this week. More info when available.
Update (21) on Oct 26, 2010 from Dave’s brother Jay:
Just a quick email about Dave.My brother Robert is there now.Paul Rubin has been a regular visitor and Terry Marcus was there today and I am sure others also. I will be out there Thursday ad looking forward to it to spend time with Dave.Anyone who hasn’t seen him in a while is amazed as to how much better he looks.There is some communication and as said before he can talk a bit. The lungs and abdomen are still issues at this time.They did a proceedure today in which he had a CAT/scan to help place a new drain in his abdomen.His lungs had to be drained again due to fluid build up.He can breath on his own but only at stretches.There are still problems with sores healing on his body.
His vital signs are within normal ranges which is great news. He was told today about our mother’s passing so anyone who visits or talks to him doesn’t have to dance around the subject.
Thanks to everyone for their support.
Brother Robert adds, “He is talking much better today”..
Dave being moved today from Phoenix hospital to Los Angeles hospital
Dave Blackburn is at the Kaiser hospital in Los Angeles, and can see visitors, and receive mail. You can send your letters or cards to:
Kaiser Permanent Los Angeles Medical Center
4867 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles,CA 90027
At this time Dave is in room 6541
Map of/to Kaiser Hospital:
Update (22) on Oct 28, 2010 from Dave’s brother Jay:
I called the Phoenix ICU at 1 pm central time.Dave has not been moved but they are planning on him being transported at noon Phoenix time and being in LA at the Kaiser Hospital. He is supposed to be settled in by 3 pm. figure it is safe to assume you can add a few hours either way since it is seldom everything goes as planned. I will send another email blast when I know Dave is settled in. Also I will be checking on visitation policy.
The family of Dave Blackburn has been overwhelmed by the support they have received from the fastball community and thanks everyone for their thoughts and prayers. They asked me to pass along a request from the ICU at the hospital Dave is in. They have requested that only immediate family come to the hospital as Dave’s condition does not allow him to receive visitors at this point. Once he is out of the ICU, he will be able to have as many people as the hospital will allow. It is hospital policy not to provide information over the phone, so best not to contact the hospital. The family appreciates the outpouring of concern and prayers from all of you, and will provide updates when possible as they know all of you are pulling for Dave’s recovery.
Dave Blackburn Arrives from Phoenix, Now at Los Angeles Hospital
Update (23) on Oct 28, 2010 from Dave’s brother Jay:
Dave is in LA at the hospital free to get cards and letters but to try to keep phone calls down to a minimum of people.Dave cant answer the phone anyway or even speak more than a few words at a time. I will send out a more disseminated email tomorrow with the hospital’s address and a request that please no phone calls for a while.
Editor’s note: Probably best to let him get settled and medical staff to tend to him before trying to call or visit the hospital. We’ll post a note re: further details of future visitation. My understanding is that he’ll still be in ICU in Los Angeles.
Update (24) on Nov 1, 2010 from Dave’s brother Brian:
Just got off the phone with Mike Orloff (Longtime Friend and â€˜85 Maccabi team mate) he and his wife Karen just visited Dave at Kaiser sunset. Mike said Dave seemed to be doing very well, and seemed quite comfortable (Temp was 98.7F very good!!). Mike and Karen thought that from what they could see, Breed was getting great care. He seems to have gotten settled since the trip from Phoenix. This was the first time Mike saw Dave since the accident, but does understand how far he has come in the last 10 weeks. They visited for an hour and Dave was attentive and communicating his feelings and emotions. He also said that Larry and Ronnie were visiting about at the same time, and it was quite emotional because it was the first time Ronnie saw Breeder. I have been waiting for this day, especially after visiting Ronnie Long Beach when I was in LA in September.
I got the feeling after talking to Mike, and from Larryâ€™s , Coreyâ€™s and Kennyâ€™s recent txt and emails, Breeder is getting very good attentive care at Kaiser Sunset. When they said they would move Dave from Phoenix to LA last week, I was very nervous. His care at John C Lincoln in Phoenix was the best, and was afraid that Dave would slip back. He seems to be recovering, and now has a larger community of friends in LA area to keep his spirits up.
Thank you all for your prayers,
Update (25) on Nov 4, 2010
Dave Blackburn is now at the Kaiser hospital in Los Angeles, and can see visitors, and receive mail. You can send your letters or cards to:
Los Angeles Medical Center
4867 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles,CA 90027
(323) 783-4011 â€Ž
Update (26) on Nov 11, 2010, from Dave’s brother Jay
DAVE BLACKBURN IS OUT OF ICU !
Just a quick update on Dave.I will be going out there this Friday thru Tuesday and will have a more comprehensive report then. Dave is doing better ,friends that have visited have noted a remarkable improvement.The good news is he is out of the ICU finally after 74 days or so.They have movied him to room 6541 if any of the LA people were planning to visit. He is supposed to be in good spirits so that is great news.
I know all of you send their best and I will let hm know of the outpouring of good wishes and prayers for his complete recovery.A real long way to go but he looks to be on his way.
And more from Mike and Karen Orloff, via another of Dave’s brother’s Brian:
It has happened… Dave was moved today to the step down unit. I hope you’ll believe me, there was noticeable improvement from when we saw him on Sunday. He can now speak as they changed the device in his trach. He speaks clearly. Dave still has IV lines in place, but there were no meds being administered.
He is off the respirator and he was actually comfortable today. He said he wasn’t in much pain. As a matter of fact, he said his legs didn’t bother him just his stomach was uncomfortable. He said it felt like he had to take a leak badly and that he also felt like he needed to take a shit.
He ate a meal at lunch and he is drinking liquids ie. water and apple juice. I’m sure that when Jay comes to see him tomorrow he will be amazed at how far Dave has come. Your brother is amazing! Like so many who have prayed for his recovery, he is proof that prayers are answered. Don’t get me wrong, he has a long road ahead, but the path is getting more straight with each day.
He was moved to know just how many people have written to ask about him. He is so loved. I am sending a copy of this to your wife Dawn on Facebook as we don’t have her email.
Wishing you the best and May God Bless The Blackburn Family. Have a safe trip back home.
Latest Update (27) on Nov 21, 2010, from Dave’s brother Jay
Just got back from LA visiting Dave. To say it was an intense moving experience is the understatement of the year.
First of all it seems like he is in a nice clean modern facility.The staff seems very attentive.I only saw 2 MD’s but was only there for one weekday so maybe more come the rest of the week.Dave can speak very well, a bit raspy but can carry a fine conversation.His memory is very good though maybe if you say something he might not remember it a few minutes later.This is probably due to the atavan and pain meds.He was feeling a great deal of pain in his legs especially the feet one of the days there.It is hard to fid a comfortable position to lay in the bed.Needless to say its tough for the nurses to position him and lift teams need to be called. The MD’s couldn’t /wouldn’t give any prognosis as to how the healing is going and future prognosis.There definitive plans to remove the fixation pins in his right leg but I couldn’t get the surgery date from them.His hands and legs are rather swollen.It is hard for him to close his hands around an object.The movements in his legs is slight if at all.The physical therapists I saw were two asian women both no larger than one of Dave’s legs.They worked him like a rented mule.It hurt me to see the pain he was in during the exercises, but I knew they were necessary for his recovery.I suppose the most difficult thing was to see how little he could raise his arms.Thinking that he has rotated his right arm 360 degrees around his shoulder what? maybe a million times over the years and seeing him in such pain just getting his elbows about even with his ears was tough.He did his exercises though and didn’t ask for mercy once.This was encouraging but I expected no less.They want him to exercise on his own so when anyone visits please encourage him to do some of his exercises and he can be helped by you.
He gets such a big grin on his face whenever anyone walks in to visit.Believe me that he appreciates seeing his friends.If and when you might visit, Dave will get very emotional and that’s good because it will help him deal with the long term ramifications of his rehabilitation. We shared a lot of laughs and tears over the 4 days I was there. A quick system review for Dave is as such.The lungs are getting better everyday. He is breathing room air albeit humidified.A respiratory therapist gives him breathing tratments every 4 hours. Even with the trache tube still in he feels much better.
The ribs,sternum, pelvis, wrist and femurs are healing well.The big problem will be the right ankle.It was broken severly and still has fixation rods.The leg and arm muscles are very sore from the accident and inactivity. There are several skin issues due to the accident, bed sores and abdominal infections.He has several wound vacs in place which should help.Being diabetic is a complicating factor though.
Neurologically we are hoping that any loss in sensation is due to swelling and accident trauma.
Kidneys seem to be working well,appears t be producing adequate amounts of urine.
He is on lots of meds so lets hope the liver is doing its job properly.
There do not seem to be heart issues though he did have an EKG and electro cardiogram while I was there.The results weren’t ready before I left.
One thing he really enjoyed was having the postings from Caring Bridge read to him.He was really moved deeply.If people could still send a posting there occasionally it will be real good for him.I am not good at posting links ,Jim and Al have links on their sites.I go to www.caringbridge.org On the top banner there is a spot for visit.Click on that and type in DaveBlackburn (no spaces ) and his web site will come up.
I know a number of you forward these emails so feel free to edit as you wish.The whole tone of this email is basically Dave is getting better and would love to hear or see from you all.Please believe in the power of prayer.
The address is
Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center
4867 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles,CA 90027
At this time dave is in room 6541
All the best
Update (28) on Nov 4, 2010
Dave Blackburn is now at the Kaiser hospital in Los Angeles, and can see visitors, and receive mail. You can send your letters or cards to:
Los Angeles Medical Center
4867 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles,CA 90027
(Editor’s note: I doubt that any of us take great photos while lying in a hospital bed, but it was good to see him smiling, so I decided to post it. It said to me “the big guy’s OK”.
Update (29) on Thanksgiving day, November 25, 2010 from me
I had a chance to visit Dave at Kaiser hospital last night and am pleased to tell you that he is getting great attention and care from his nursing staff and continues to mend. Considering the situation back in August, his progress to date has been remarkable.
One of the first things I noticed in his room were all of the cards, letters and photos from family and friends taped to the wall in his room. When you consider that his world for past three months has consisted of four walls, those kind of things mean a great deal to Dave, and give him the strength to endure the long process ahead.
He has an iPad near his bed, a gift from his Maccabi teammates, though he is still learning how to use it, and with his hands still healing, it may be a while before he is able to send e-mails, though I think he is able to receive and read them, or have them read to him. He’s in pain and discomfort from time to time, but it was reassuring to see him and hear that familiar voice. On this Thanksgiving day, I am grateful for friends like Dave, and to know that all of you are making a difference for him.
If any of you in the Southern California area have been considering a visit to see Dave, I am sure he would appreciate it. The hospital is easy to get to, just North of the 101, near Vermont and Sunset. (exit Vermont, and go a mile or two north (towards the mountains) to Sunset, turn left, and the hospital is on your immediate right. Due to construction at the hospital, it is easiest to park at the “4715 Sunset” building parking, and walk over to the “4867 Sunset” building where Dave is staying. The hospital takes up the entire block, but the parking driveway for the “4715 Sunset” building is on your immediate right as soon as you make the left turn from Vermont to Sunset. (Bring your drivers license, as they will ask you for it to get a visitor pass).
If any of you would like to record a message to be relayed to Dave, you can leave it on the Fastpitchwest voicemail, 562-726-3004, and I will play it for him at one of my next visits.
Likewise, if any of you would like to video a greeting for Dave, and send me the file, I will play it at one of my visits. Email to: jim (at) fastpitchwest.com
Update (30) on November 28, 2010 from Mike and Karen Orloff
Breeder said today that he is “getting better and on the road to recovery”. Today while Karen & I visited him, he was very up beat and he seemed stronger than we have seen him.
We stayed for over two hours and he talked with us the entire time. His temperature was 98.5! His BP was better than ever at 123/60. Today we had to wear a gown & gloves to protect Dave from infection. The next step is an open MRI which should take place in the next few days. He was glad to know that all of you saw his Thanksgiving photo. He asked us to pass this picture on to all of you. Please keep Dave in your thoughts and prayers as he still has a long road ahead.
Mike & Karen Orloff
Editors Note: The ” King and His Court” jersey was a gift from Rich Hoppe, who toured with the King (Eddie Feigner). Rich is a longtime fastest pitcher, having also played alongside Hall of Famer Kevin Herlighy with the Lakewood Chameleons in the 1980′s. The smile on Dave’s face says it all.
Update (31) on December 1, 2010
Dave Blackburn displaying the Oregon Ducks Women’s Fastpitch warm-up jacket. A wonderful gift from Michael White and the team. Dave was doing well today. With concentration and determination, he had slight movement in his right leg today for the first time. Keep the prayers going as it’s working and miracles do happen.
No doubt Rob Gehrke is enjoying the latest photo, with Dave in Oregon Ducks gear.
Update (32) on December 5, 2010 from Dave’s brother, Jay
It has been a bit since my last update .Any update would have been Dave has been getting a little better each day.Also at various times other updates have gone out with good news,pictures etc. As some of you might already know Dave has had trouble moving his legs. Initial CAT/SCANS had shown no breakage in the spine but due to swelling from the trauma of the accident it would be easy to have a false positive. As time has gone on Dave had not been able to move his feet or toes.His MD’s were concerned there may have in fact been a tear in the spinal chord.Due to Dave’s size and need for supplimental oxygen a place had to be found that could provide the open MRI and have the oxygen.The wait was longer than expected but yesterday he had the MRI.
The great news is the spinal chord is totally intact and Dave has just begun to move his toes a bit.He was crying real tears of joy when he called me .Well both of us were.The movement problems are related to the tremendous trauma and subsequent swelling .Every day as those muscles get therapy the nerves should respond more.There are still plenty of issues but this was a biggie! He said with such conviction that “I know now I am going to walk again”. Thanks everyone for your cards, calls, prayers and so on.I know many of you forward this news on to others and this is such good news to pass on.
All the best everyone have a great holiday season.
Update (33) on December 20, 2010
Today, Dave’s brother Ray is coming to visit him for a week. Like his brothers Jay and Brian who have come and visited him in the past few weeks, Ray will see a how far Dave has come on his road to recovery.
A few days ago, the trachea was removed and his voice is back clear as bell. He is getting physical rehab almost daily. Dave wants you all to know how much he appreciates all of your kind thoughts and prayers.
Best wishes during the holidays and have a Happy New Year!
Update (34) on December 22, 2010 from Dave’s brother Jay
Just got off the phone with Dave. As of this evening they are moving Dave from Kaiser hospital to
Hancock Park Rehabilitation Center
505 La Brea Avenue
Hancock Park ,CA 90036
Dave would prefer to receive phone calls on his cell at 310 -266-7803. I guess the other rehab centers did not want to take care because of his wound care needs. Now at least he can start receiving physical therapy.My sense is the PT will increase circulation to his legs and feet and help the healing.Hopefully this is a good place and will give him the care he needs and deserves.There is a question if there is WI-FI available so I will let you all know later.
Please forward this to anyone on your list.This is good news things are progressing.Our brother Ray is out there now to spend some of the holidays with Dave.
All the best to everyone for great holidays. Believe in miracles.
Update (35) on December 24, 2010 from Jim Flanagan
I had a great visit with Dave on Tuesday night, Dec 22nd at the Hancock Rehabilitation Center in West Los Angeles. Dave has made dramatic improvement since my visit last month. The trach is out, and he’s able to sit up and carry a regular conversation. It’s the same old booming voice that you all know. His brother Ray was in from Chicago keeping Dave company, and helping him get settled in to his new digs. (he’d only arrived the night before). Still working on a wifi connection for Dave at present, so his iPad is out of commission for the moment. As you can imagine, that internet connection is important to Dave, as his line out to the world, including his many fastpitch friends. Speaking of his friends, Dave asked me to convey to all of you how much it has meant to him to receive the cards, letters, and emails from all of you. It has been overwhelming to realize how many people are looking in on his well being, some of whom have not met Dave, but know him through the incredible reach of the ISC fastpitch broadcasts worldwide. He got choked up when telling me, and I know he speaks from his heart when he says that. So….keep those cards and letters coming (his current mailing address below). For the time being, you can telephone him on his cell at 310-266-7803. or email him: daveablackburn (at ) gmail.com.
Dave will start getting physical therapy at the rehab center, so some work ahead, but progress as well. Dave’s goal is to be able to be up and walking for his ISC Hall of Fame induction in Quad Cities in August of 2011. It is a goal that will serve him well in the months to come.
If you have a moment, you might drop him a line; he had a stack of letters in his lap that night, and enjoys hearing from all of you.
Update (36) on January 10, 2011 from Dave’s brother Jay:
I talked to Dave yesterday and he was in good spirits.The big news was he stood for the first time last week and each time he tries he can stand a little longer(with the use of those parallel bars). He is very encouraged by that. Hopefully after his sores and ulcers heal they will be able to transfer him to a facility where he might even be able to get more P.T. and rehab. He is still in the Hancock Park Rehab facility 505 LaBrea Hancock Park ,CA 90036. LIke I said before it can’t be fun being in a facility where he is essentially the youngest person there but “you got to do what you got to do” to get better and walking. Cards, letters, phone calls,visits are all appreciated by Dave. There are still many issues with healing and becoming mobile to be dealt with but Dave is working very hard in PT to over come the problems.
Now that Dave is alert I will probably be sending updates less frequently. Please feel free to call Dave at 310-266-7803 to talk to him.More than my meager words can express I can’t tell you how much the family appreciates all the concern that all of you have shown for Dave these past few months.
Thank you so much
Update (36) March 31, 2011:
Dave has moved out of Hancock Rehab and is staying with a friend. We’ll post an updated mailing address shortly, but in the meantime, you can still email him, or find him on Facebook.
Editor’s note: It has been some time since we posted an update on David Blackburn, and his recovery and rehabilitation from the severe injuries suffered in a car accident last August. When we last reported, Dave had just been moved from the hospital to a rehab center, and started the arduous process of recovering from the injuries. It is the nature of the process that progress is slower, with peaks and valleys, but more often a long plateau. We are happy to pass along an update from Dave’s brother about one of those peaks:
Latest Update (36) on March 6, 2011 from Dave’s brother Jay:
I just talked to Davey, he is very excited, only just 1 hour ago and for the first time, he pulled him self out of bed (sat up on his own without assistance from 3 people typically), he was able to swing his feet over the bed, and stand up with his walker, use the walker to go to a near bye chair and sit his big Tuchous in the chair. Now this can open a whole new world for him going into the Hall way, and even go into someone car. This has the added benefit that he does not need a ambulance service for him going to other rehabs. Etc. Outside of his place now.
This is a huge step please put this message out on Face book etc. I will put on my wall too.
Editor’s note: These first steps are no small thing. Dave’s own words give you an idea as to what it means to him:
I am being inducted into the ISC Hall of Fame in August at the ISC World Tournament. It is a very humbling honor. My goal is to be able to walk across the stage unaided to receive my induction award. I am currently taking my first steps with a walker in my physical therapy sessions.
Update (37) on April 12, 2011
Dave had checked out of Hancock Park Rehabilitation Center at the end of March, and moved into the home of a friend nearby, but he wound up back at Kaiser Hospital instead, for the next six weeks or so while doctors treat a foot infection. I’m checking on his room number and will post when available. In the meantime, you can still continue to email Dave, or find him on Facebook.
Dave is actively participating in the organization of the Best of the West tournament and still hoping to be in Santa Barbara for tournament in June. He is also making preparations to be in Moline, Illinois in August for his ISC Hall of Fame induction.
Update 38 -April 20, 2011
Some good news to pass along on Dave Blackburn. After being re-admitted to Kaiser hospital recently to address a foot infection, his stay turned out to be a short one, as he was discharged this past Saturday – just in time to head over to Santa Fe Springs, to watch some SCIFL games with friend Ronnie Rupp. Dave is back staying with a friend in Los Angeles, and can be reached by email.
Update 39 – Sept 6, 2010
Article in Northwest Indiana Times By Al Hamnik
Local Softball Legend In Fight For His Life
Update 40 – July 26, 2011
Follow-up Article in Northwest Indiana Times by Al Hamnik
Recovering Softball Legend Taking It One Day At A Time
Update 41 – July 30, 2011
Dave Blackburn is Guest on PJ’s SportsTalk Show on Clearwater, Florida’s TAN-TALK AM 1340 Radio Station (18 minutes)
YouTube Video of Call-in Interview by 8 year-old Host P.J. Whitaker, and 9 Year-Old Co-Host Howard Glickman
Update 42 – August 13, 2011
Dave Blackburn – Game Changer and ISC Hall of Famer
Book Chapter written by Jim Flanagan and Published on Eve of Dave’s ISC Hall of Fame Induction appearing in Bob Otto’s New Fastpitch Softball Book Titled “We Play It Fast”
Update 43 – August 14, 2011
Hall of Fame Induction Video
FlipCam Video shot by Jim Flanagan (23 minutes – Converted from HD to .WMV Format)
YouTube Video of Paul Rubin’s Introduction And Dave Blackburn’s ISC Hall Of Fame Induction Acceptance Speech
Update 44 – August 22, 2011
Community Profile Section – Cover Story On Monday August 22 Edition of Santa Monica Daily Press Newspaper
“From The Brink of Death To The Hall of Fame”
Update 45 – December 19, 2011