Editor’s Note: Stoney Bird has contributed 25 articles to Whatcom Watch. Seventeen were a series on capitalism. Five recent articles promoted ranked-choice voting.
by Mouse Bird
I am organizing a fundraiser for my father, Stoney Bird.
On the evening of 11/21/2022, I got a call from my brother who told me that the paramedics were on the way because he had come home to find Stoney in the dark at the bottom of the stairs, his face smashed up against the wall, unable to move, confused, with blood pooling at his head. The paramedics took Stoney to the emergency room at St. Joe’s in Bellingham and he was then flown to Harborview in Seattle. We learned that he had fallen down the stairs, broken his neck, and been paralyzed with an incomplete spinal cord injury. At Harborview, he had surgery to fuse cervical vertebrae 2 through 6. The injury and surgery left him nearly completely immobilized, without the ability to swallow, breathe well, and move anything aside from his left leg. He lost 40 pounds during his stay at Harborview.
He was at Harborview for seven weeks of intensive care and acute rehab. Midway through January, he was moved to a skilled nursing facility in West Seattle. He has been able to recover motor skills in both legs and his left arm, with nearly no improvement in his right arm. His breathing has improved and he has reclaimed the ability to swallow. With his left hand, he can manage his digital devices, feed himself (with assistance), and brush his teeth. Most of the day he is either laying down or resting in his wheelchair, with visits from physical and occupational therapists. With assistance, he can get out of bed, stand, walk, and climb stairs. He is gaining strength and dexterity. It is unclear how long he will be living in a wheelchair.
When he leaves the nursing facility, he will be returning to his three-story duplex in the York Neighborhood in Bellingham. Because Stoney has Medicare with no supplemental insurance, the family has set up a GoFundMe page for him. Click here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/stoney-birds-medical-expense-and-caregiving-fund. Thank you, everyone!