Sitting Up

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 at 1:00 am 16 comments

Hey gang,

I'm very glad to report that yesterday looks to have been just a minor lapse. Doug's up, he's moving, he's responding to people, things look good.

The tracheostomy was done this morning. However, later in the day Doug started breathing on his own and as of tonight was not supported by a ventilator. What largely prompted this was him intentionally pulling out the air supply tube to the trach. Earlier this afternoon he also apparently got tired of the pressure booties they've kept on him to keep blood moving through his lower legs and took those off as well.

People speaking prompts a definite response much more frequently now, usually turning toward them. Mid-afternoon he spent a while sitting on the edge of the bed and was able to nod yes/no to basic questions about how he felt. Doug's also been opening his eyes without prompting today, which he hadn't before. However, he still doesn't seem to be making an effort to speak. However, he did give Jen a hug, reached up to grab Dan's hand, and even gave Zach a low-five at one point.

Long story short, he's still making progress. There will probably be more up/down cycles like this weekend, but hopefully the trend will remain upward. I'm still laughing that he pulled off his tubes and booties. That's definitely Doug: A pain in the ass.

That's about it for today. There aren't any planned surgeries or anything like that, just watching to see how he does and trying to help him bring back his memories and start really communicating. There's still a call out for videos from cycling, robotics, or other events to play for him. Personally I'm looking forward to playing video from that time some of his older and clearly more responsible cycling teammates let (encouraged, really) some deer wandering through our campsite eat his food.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) there still won't be any visitors so he can keep rebuilding energy and making progress. I've gotten a few questions about cards and flowers, so here's the address. Just send them to:

Doug Markgraf
Rhoads Building, Room 5-0-18
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
3400 Spruce St
Phila, Pa, 19104

After I finish a few finals early this week I'm going to post a photo page here. If anyone has some really choice ones, send them on to me at

Talk to you later!

– joe


Entry filed under: update.

Racing High Five

16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Shannon Farley  |  Tuesday, June 13, 2006 at 2:57 am

    I cried… that’s all i can say… I’m so happy. Doug will return!!!!! Oh man. I’m soooo happy!!!!!!!! I got a 100% on my chem lab today and thought about the time he told me that he hadn’t bought his chem book yet and that he was just going to “wing it” Oh man Doug… you are awesome.

  • 2. Haroon Ahmad  |  Tuesday, June 13, 2006 at 4:09 am

    Yeah Doug, Thats the way to go. keep it up!

  • 3. Susan Macaluso  |  Tuesday, June 13, 2006 at 8:03 am

    Prayers are a mighty thing.
    My thoughts and prayers are constantly with
    you all.

  • 4. Caitlin Bjellquist  |  Tuesday, June 13, 2006 at 8:06 am

    I probably made your dad go deaf by screaming with joy last night… sorry Mr.Markgraf. This is one of the first steps on the road to recovery, but you’ve made it and hopefully you keep me around for the rest =). You’re in my thoughts and prayers…

    You stay classy San Diego!

  • 5. Steve Bronstein  |  Tuesday, June 13, 2006 at 9:10 am


  • 6. Nancy B. Claflin  |  Tuesday, June 13, 2006 at 9:13 am

    Hey Doug…
    Keep up the good work! I have so many people praying for for you, including nuns, monks, priests, and even a bishop (I know people in high places!). True, medical intervention deserves much credit, but let’s not rule out the power of prayer (also known as Divine intervention)!!!!
    Love, peace, and prayers,

  • 7. Catherine Tuttle  |  Tuesday, June 13, 2006 at 11:13 am


    That’s Doug for ya.

    Doug, that’s absolutely amazing. Everyone at the Tuttle house is so so so proud of you.
    Bonne chance mon ami!
    xo Cat

  • 8. Patricia Exley  |  Tuesday, June 13, 2006 at 11:54 am

    Not surprising that Doug will inspire and impress throughout his recovery as he did everyday prior to this! I know Doug through my daughter who is a
    long time friend.What I recognized upon first talking with him,as a fourth grader, was his ability to connect in a sincere personal way wih anyone,parents of friends, little kids, teachers etc ….our 1st converstion, he was about 10, was about politics and the environment. HEY, Doug for President !!!
    For those of you who have the time/interest in doing something more, please consider supporting the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia (
    and Both organizations are working to raise awareness and support biking as a safe tranportation alternative.
    Many thanks to Joe for updating us and creating this site. I’m sure its a great help to Jen and Dan .
    My thoughts and prayers go out to you all .

  • 9. Andy Evensen  |  Tuesday, June 13, 2006 at 12:54 pm

    alright time to get out of bed, we’re got riding to to, its crazy nice out

  • 10. DBs  |  Tuesday, June 13, 2006 at 2:20 pm

    there are no words for my joy. I was thinking about putting ‘way to go’ or ‘yea douggie!’ or some other horrah, but they just don’t work. Instead I simply say, We Love You, Douggie.

  • 11. Liz, Dennis, Jenna, Kenny and Grandma Ann,  |  Tuesday, June 13, 2006 at 3:49 pm

    Mr. Markgraf is not the ONLY person to go deaf from Caitlin’s screams of joy…her family is happy to have lost their hearing for such awesome news! Everyone’s prayers are being answered!

  • 12. Steven Markgraf  |  Tuesday, June 13, 2006 at 4:08 pm

    When I spoke with Dan on Sunday I could hear the stress and agony in his voice, so this posting left me teary with joy. I’m sure there will be ups and downs, but this progress seems huge.

  • 13. Angie  |  Tuesday, June 13, 2006 at 6:17 pm

    i saw doug on saturday and sunday. he looks so good! moving all around. he sat up and put up the peace sign fingers! his mom was rubbing his foot and he pulled away lol i guess he didnt like that. he has so much control of his arms and legs. im so proud of him!!! keep on truckin doug!!! see ya soon!

  • 14. Connie Fiorentino  |  Tuesday, June 13, 2006 at 6:52 pm

    Moving around, sitting up!! This is great news. It’s always a good sign when a patient starts pulling tubes and wires off. It means first, they are awake enough to be annoyed and second, have enough strength and coordination to remove the annoying object. A good sign that Doug is on his way back.

  • 15. SAB  |  Tuesday, June 13, 2006 at 11:09 pm

    Hahahah. You pulled tubes and wires out? Man that reminds me of cliched action movies where the hero will do something like that an go fight evil! Except Doug is way cooler than cliched action heros. For real.

  • 16. mert bryson  |  Thursday, June 15, 2006 at 5:50 pm

    it was so good to see you,jen on wednesday,you do look a little tired,for doug’s sake,you and dan need to take care of yourselves too. again i send my love to all, and my prays too. mert


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