Here’s the latest update on the Ewart Family. In the early morning on Tuesday, December 20th, fire destroyed their Valencia home. Six family members were in the house at the time, three were seriously injured and sent to the Grossman Burn Center. Since the fire, our Valley has jumped in to assist. This is the latest update courtesy of neighbors, Josy and Steve Block.
Tonight's (Sunday) lengthy update is from Mary Berg (from David's Church, Newhall Church of the Nazarene). There is a lot of information here, regarding David. Rather than paraphrase, we thought it best for you to read the entire email in its whole:
Earlier before church I called Duncan and asked if today was a good day for a visit. He said that David had been a little depressed and tired, so to call him tomorrow and we would see then. So I was surprised and elated when he called us after church and invited us down! We went right away!
David, I am told, had a hard day yesterday, but today he was his old self. First of all, as you have heard, he looks great! But what was wonderful was to see his personality shine through. Although he speaks in a whisper, he was joking and talking quite a bit. I kept thinking it was time to leave, and he kept asking us to stay! The occupational therapist was there and you could tell the therapy is painful for him. But after she left, he told us how much more painful it was yesterday...and how good it was that we were here during the session because it took his mind off of it and it didn't hurt nearly as much!
I asked David if he remembered my coming with my son, David and Lisa Tenorio and visiting through the window last week. At first he kind of turned away...and I thought he just didn't hear me or just didn't remember. Then, I realized the reason he turned away was because he wanted to tell the therapist all about the visit! He told her how these "3 crazy people were jumping up and down and dancing." He remembered it all!
But he DOES NOT remember much of the tragedy. The psychologist has told the family that no one should bring it up to him. He will ask when he is ready to find out, and right now, it would be too much for him to know. He will learn gradually that all is lost, including the violin. His greeting cards, etc are all being read through first before they are given to him. He knows there was a fire and he jumped...but that's all he knows. A tear went down his cheek today when we were telling the nurse, who lives in Saugus, how loved his family is. She, of course, shared what a great community this is, etc, and the emotion of the moment really got to him.
Someone told me a while ago that this whole thing reminds them of Jimmy Stewart in "It's a Wonderful Life." It truly is that! And all of these blessings, I know, will be so important in balancing out all he will be dealing with in the weeks and months to come.
Visitation will begin tomorrow. There will be 2 half hour visits a day to start, one in the late morning to early afternoon, and one in the evening. (The morning visit is already taken). Two people can visit at a time. The visits will be a half hour, but shorter if you can see that he is tired. Once again, don't go if you are not feeling well. You will be required to put on a surgical gown and gloves. We want to keep the possibility of infection far away!
When you visit, it is very important to keep the conversation light. PLEASE DO NOT BRING UP THE FIRE, HIS HOUSE, HIS VIOLIN, EXTREME HOMEMAKEOVER, SCRAPBOOKING, OR ANYTHING ELSE IN REGARD TO THE FIRE. Please don't take any of the newspaper reports to show him. They are being saved for him and he will see them when the time is right.
I am told that when he is ready to know, he will ask. It is my opinion that if he were to ask, I would redirect the conversation. That conversation should be up to the family.
Be aware that you could get to the hospital and you won't be able to see him. He may be in a procedure or bath or any number of things. You may have to wait a while. You just never know...
If you would like to visit, please email me or call and I will put you on the schedule.
If all goes well, David might be home in approximately one week! We are looking to help the family out with round the clock care once he is home. I imagine this will be less and less as time goes by, but the first week or 2 it will be a huge need. A few nurses have already donated their time to help both Michael and David...but more needs to be done that is non-medical. Just sitting with him, and making sure he is comfortable, etc. Think about if you are interested in helping with that and send me an email, and I will keep an interest list for that, as well.
MICHAEL - Michael is thrilled to be home - didn't Jonathan do a wonderful job on the website yesterday?!
* Thanks to the DAILY NEWS for running the article about "Outpouring of Help, Love for Family" today. We so appreciate the newspapers doing these follow-up stories every so often. After most of the articles run, we usually receive several phone calls or emails from people who want to help, so the articles are doing exactly what they are supposed to do - get people involved.
* Thanks to the SIGNAL for running their article on Saturday, "Hart Students Raise $8K for Schoolmate Burned in House Fire". Again, our deepest appreciation for keeping this story in front of our wonderful community members. We are so blessed to live in this amazing town and we love how the people truly CARE for this family in need.
* Restaurant Donations - A few restaurants have offered to give gift certificates to the Ewarts - we are hoping that there are some restaurants that might offer a specific night where a portion of the proceeds would be donated to the Ewarts. If anyone out there owns, works at, or knows someone who owns/works at a restaurant, please let us know if this is something you could do.
* Furniture Donations - THANK YOU all for your tremendous response to furniture needs. Shelly is our coordinator who is scheduling pick-ups of furniture and delivery to our storage facility in Castaic. If she hasn't gotten around to calling you yet, it is because she is afraid our storage facility may be full by the end of the week. She has two more pick-ups scheduled this week -one on the 17th and one on the 20th. One of those pick-ups is for an "apartment full" of furniture. We are going to put a call out for a secondary storage facility (below). Thank you again for your patience in this matter.
* Benefit Comedy Show - Here's how to get your tickets! Please send a check for $20.00 per person in your party. Checks should be made payable to "David Ewart Catastrophe Fund" - be sure to write the account number in the memo section of your check: 8606-155136.
With your check, please include the following information:
* names of all the people in your party
* your preference of early show or late show
* Will you be coming for the 5:30 dinner/show, or just the 7pm show or 9pm show
*Return address for us to mail your tickets to you.
Please mail checks to: Imagination Station, PO Box 220983, Newhall, CA 91321, ATTN: Josy . NOTE: Even if you contacted us to be placed on the interest list, we will not be able to send your tickets until we receive the above information. You will, however, have first choice as to early show or late show.
***** REMINDERS OF UPCOMING EVENTS: ******
* Thursday, January 19, 2006 - Blood Drive - from 8:00am to 8:00pm at the Small gym at Hart High School. Everyone is welcome to come. 17 year olds are allowed to donate with a signed parent permission slip that they can pick up in the ASB Office, and obviously anyone 18 and over is welcome to donate blood.
* Thursday, January 19 and Friday, January 20 at 7:00pm at Hart Auditorium - Hart Show Choir "Cabaret" Show. $10/premier seat, $8 for regular seats and $6 for students, children, seniors & all others. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Ewart Family. Tickets may be purchased by Hart Show Choir members, or at the Choir Room from 9am to 1pm on Saturday, January 14, or you can contact Gail Hart at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for tickets.
* Sunday, January 22, 2006 - Blood Drive (for the Ewarts and Ryan Baker) and Bone Marrow Registry for Ryan Baker. Newhall Church of the Nazarene - 23857 The Old Road, Newhall, CA 91321 (661) 259-5272 - Peggy is the secretary
* Monday, January 23, 2006 - 10am to 12pm - KHTS AM-1220, Santa Clarita's Hometown Station is planning a 2-hour community radio program devoted to the Ewarts. The program will be live from the Westfield Valencia Town Center kiosk.
* Saturday, January 28, 2006 - Free Community Scrapbooking event at Remember When...Scrapbooking, located at 23407 Lyons Avenue in Valencia from 5:00pm to 10:00pm. There are 8 spots available. A Professional Scrapbook Designer/Teacher will be available for consultations if you are new to scrapbooking. Products will be provided for you to work on pages for the Ewart's Scrapbook and/or you can bring your own items. Please BRING PICTURES of the Ewarts.
* Tuesday, February, 7, 2006 - The Musicians Union, Local 47 is organizing a Blood Drive at the Local 47 Auditorium from 10am until 5pm. It is located at 815 Vine Street in Hollywood. The Providence Blood Donor Center will provide everything, right down to juice & cookies. And every donor will receive a coupon for a free "pint" of ice cream from Baskin Robbins. Please call (323) 993-3159 to sign up. Walk-ins are available and soon there will be a web site available to sign up electronically.
* Saturday, February 25, 2006 - Vince Falzone's CD Release Party at SCVARTS. Tickets are $8.00 per person if you pre-purchase, and $10.00 per person at the door. You can pre-purchase tickets by e-mailing: Music@MusicByVince.com with your request and you will receive detailed instructions. 50% of both pre-purchased and door ticket sales will be donated to the Ewarts' fund. CD's are $12 regularly (on the website and retail), but $10 at the show. The website is: http://www.MusicByVince.com . SCV Arts' website is: www.scv-arts.com . They are located at: 27737 Bouquet Canyon Road, #113, Santa Clarita, CA 91350 (in Telly's plaza).
* Sunday, March 19, 2006 Benefit Comedy Show at J.R.'s Comedy Club at Marie Callendars. "G" Rated comedy for the whole family. $20.00 per person - the entire show amount is to be donated to the Ewart Catastrophe Fund. Dinner (optional) at 5:30 - cost $22 or $29. First Show: 7:00pm to 8:30pm, Late Show: 9:00pm to 10:30pm. Please email me if you would like to be added to the interest list.
*** HELP WANTED ***
Storage Facility - We have had such an overwhelming response for donated furniture that our 10 x 10 facility at Castaic Lake Storage will probably be filled by the end of this week. We still have nearly 20 other pick-ups ready to be scheduled. Is there anyone out there that has a storage facility available? Extra space in a garage? Part of a warehouse? We estimate we will need this facility for 6 months, give or take a little.
*** HEARTFELT THANKS ***
* Thank you to "The Hart High Dugout Club" (Baseball Booster Club) has made a $500 donation to the Ewart Catastrophe Fund.
***** ITEMS NEEDED *****
We need items to be used as raffle prizes at the Comedy Night at J.R.'s on Sunday, March 19th. Please send us an email if you can offer a service, gift certificate, basket or gift to be raffled off with all proceeds going to the David Ewart Catastrophe Fund.
Pictures - we need more pictures of the Ewarts to be used for our Scrapbook projects. Please send pictures to: Imagination Station, PO Box 220983, Newhall, CA 91321 Attn: PICTURES. OR, you can bring pictures to either of the planned Scrapbook Events...OR you can email them to this email address: Blocktalk@pacbell.net
Stories - We are hoping to get more stories of how David or the family has touched your life...made you laugh...inspired you...or anything else. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, and it doesn't have to be long - even just a paragraph or a few lines. Just drop us an email - we are hoping to include these stories in a memory book for the family.
Many thanks for all your continued support and prayers!