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Let's Start at the Beginning...

2007 was one of the most memorable years of my life. I moved into a condo with one of my mission buddies. Shortly after that one of my best friends, Josh Featherstone, moved in and we had sooo much fun. In May, Josh and I made an agreement that if he'd come to my mission, I'd go to his. In June we bought plane tickets to Tonga! We started making preparations for it. We were going for 3 reasons: 1- to be present for the temple re-dedication, 2- to have a fun vacation that allowed Josh to go back to his mission, and 3- to serve the people by raising $, clothing, candy, crafts, and other things. We asked our ward to pitch in and donate anything they could so we could take it with us. We raised some $, lots of clothes, and candy. We had so much stuff that we couldn't fit everything in our bags so we decided to the same thing in Tijuana, my mission. That way we could fulfill our pact. We planned the trip to Tijuana for march '08 over spring break. Josh started teaching me basic Tongan and I actually caught on. So now I'm tri-lingual! :) I was on the activities council of our ward and I had to plan the July activity. I asked Josh to help and we planned a luau-type activity that was so much fun. Both he and I put a lot of time and $ into it. He even invited some local Tongans to come dance for us! It was a huge success.

Josh left on Oct. 16th '07 and arrived on the 18th. I left a week later, the 23rd, arriving the 25th. On my flight was Carole Mikita, a local news reporter and widely recognized local icon, and her videographer, Bob Brown. They bought me dinner in the LA airport and we became fast friends. Upon arrival, Josh picked me up and told me we didn't have any particular place to stay. No plans set in stone. We just kinda "winged-it". It was 2 of the best weeks of my life. 3 of his. :) We had a place to stay each night, we hitch-hiked for rides, and were able to go see some amazing people in some pretty amazing places. It all seemed to fall into place, perfectly!

Carole and Bob accompanied us to some of the homes we took things to. It was awesome! We also had connections to get tickets to be inside the temple the Sunday of the re-dedication but that didn't happen so we watched the first session in the stake center across the street. It was awesome! Afterwards, we went to take pics of the temple and the people and ran into Carole and Bob. She asked if we were going to be in this session, cuz I had told her we would, and invited us to stand in line with them. We told her our dilemma and she whispered, "no worries, we know the right people to pull the right strings and let you in." We both were shocked! So we waited in line with our newly found "saviors" and enjoyed ourselves, the spirit, and the people. When the time came to go in, Carol told of our dilemma and we were led to a room and mini-interviewed and told we could go stay. We watched from the baptistery. It was incredible! Elder Nelson rededicated it.

When the time finally came to leave, we were both saddened. So many WONDERFUL and LIFE CHANGING events took place on this trip. Click here to watch a news clip that Carole Mikita did with Josh & I in Tonga.

In Feb '08, we were asked by Danielle Tudman, from our ward, if we'd be willing to do a fireside in St. George. Dani gave me Cris', Ward Young Women's Pres. and her mother, contact info so I called her. We were asked to do a fireside and speak about our experiences and feelings in Tonga. Josh and I agreed to it and we drove down after work on Monday Feb 11th and stayed at my grandparents home that night. The next morning we arose and made plans for the day. We had a lot of time to kill so we decided to go long boarding in Snow Canyon. We started at the top and headed down. About a quarter of a mile into our journey I passed Josh and said, "tulo", which is Tongan for excuse me. There was a left hand turn which went around a hillside. I must've been going pretty fast cuz when Josh got around the turn, I was on the ground already. I was bleeding so josh called 911. There was a Dr. that was riding a bike up the canyon who stopped to help. The ambulance came, loaded me in, and took me to the St. George hospital. They did some MRI's, x-rays, and ct scans. It was determined that because of the extent of my injuries they couldn't do anything for me there so they opted to life-flight me to the new hospital in Salt Lake, Intermountain Medical Center or IMC where I underwent a 5 hour brain surgery to remove pieces of bone from my brain. I won't get into the names or words of all that happened to me right here or a day-by-day history so as not to waste any of your time. I was in a medically induced coma for 4 weeks and didn't come out of it for another 2. I woke up march 25th and thought it had been 3 days since the wreck. I went through extensive therapies consisting of speech, occupational, and physical. I had to re-learn how to walk, write, and communicate again. Carole later found out about my accident and came to the hospital to visit and do a spot on my progress. You can view that HERE.

It has been a very difficult road but I am grateful for this trial and know I have much greater blessings that await. I wish this blog to be a way to inform everyone not only of my progress, but also of TBI's (Traumatic brain injuries). I've learned a lot during these past 10 months and want to "share the wealth".

Comments

  1. well, thanks for sharing. I am glad you are doing well. And I hope life is good for you. you are still in our thoughts and prayers!

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  2. Deven and I love you Dallas and we so happy you are here to be with the family!!! Keep it up you are a great example to everyone!!!

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  3. Holy Cow you've been through a lot! I miss your guts and hope all is well! You need to keep me updated in other areas such as the future Mrs. What's going on in that department? It's been too long since we talked! I've been a bad friend! Remember when you came to visit me all the time when i had my surgery? Ya I definately slacked in that area? Anyway I sure love ya and hope all is well! I'll put you on my bloglist so we can keep in touch! thelaaambs.blogspot.com!

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  4. Dal-face, this is such an amazing story, I am so glad you have posted it here! I certainly have kept you in my prayers and I hope your recovery continues.

    Lots of love,
    heidikins (HT 2001)

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  5. Hey Dallas! I'm glad you got a blog put together! I've been wondering about you. You have and will do amazing things still! You're so positive!
    Happy Holidays!

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  6. Dallas,
    What an amazing story. You are such a strong and faithful person! I hope only the best for you!! I hope we can keep in touch, I blog a lot so take a look if you want.
    www.kyleandval.blogspot.com
    Valerie (Randall) Ford

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  7. Dallas, hey Buddy! We are so glad to hear from you. We are excited that you have a blog. Its such a fun and easy way to keep in touch with everyone. Sounds like you are doing good and we wish you all the best. We love you. Janey, Darin and Colter

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  8. Dal,

    I can't believe it's been 10 months. WOW it feel like jsut yesterday i was in sitting next to your hospital bed talking to you! : ) I loved having those talks it was so fun! We laughed A LOT!!!! Good memories i will never forget. Dallas you are an amazing guy you have made a huge impact on my life and i am will never forget the things you've done to strengthen my testimony and help me grow as a person as well! I miss you a lot!
    Love you,
    Danielle

    ReplyDelete

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