Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Many thanks to Brian's latest donors!

Barbara G. (Ireland) - $10.00
Tracey S. (N.Y, USA) - $50.00
Natasha B. (Ireland) - $50.00

Every penny that everyone contributes goes to Brian and his care and is received with the utmost gratitude and appreciation!

At the moment, we're basically just waiting for the time to come for Brian to head to China for his stem cell therapy. It will be quite an adventure! We'll be leaving Ireland on Lufthansa airlines for Beijing on July 17 for 3 weeks of treatment. Beike informed us that instead of Shijiazhuang, he will be treated at a brand-new facility in Beijing City! This comes as a pleasant surprise, because he won't have an additional 4 to 6 hour ride to Shijiazuang after a 20 hour plane trip! You can see the website for the new facility here: http://en.yandahospital.com/en/.

The plan is Brian will leave Ireland and travel to China with his brother Shane, his sister Grainne, and Grainne's husband Sean. Sean is a Registered Nurse and will carry some sedatives to help Brian sleep and relax during the long flight. You probably know how irritating a long airplane trip is; you can imagine how unsettling it would be for someone with blindness and a brain injury!

One of our group will stay with Brian in his hospital room while the other two spend the nights in a hotel which is attached to the hospital. Brian will have a busy schedule of tests, physical therapy, and of course stem cell injections. There are plans for a variety of injection methods, including intra-arterial, intravenous, and via lumbar puncture. The doctors in China will be evaluating which methods will be best for Brian.

After a couple of weeks in China, Brian's brother Jonathan and his sister Nevis will come to Beijing and act as "relief" for Shane, Sean and Grainne. Everyone is looking forward to the sights, sounds, and especially trying new food! Sean will be particularly interested in the nursing methods used there. The brochure we read advises Westerners to not be surprised if symptoms like pain or nausea aren't immediately treated with medications. Apparently, medication is used as a last resort. Instead, techniques such as massage, acupuncture, music, therapeutic touch and other non-pharmaceutical interventions are primary methods of controlling discomfort. That should be fascinating to learn! And of course, everyone is eager to see what results the stem cell treatment will have on Brian. Any sort of return of vision or mobility will be a huge blessing!

Brian's treatment is expected to continue until August 7, after which we'll all travel back to Ireland and Brian will no doubt have a new regimen of physical therapy and sessions at Headway Ireland, who have been absolutely stellar in working with him. There's no doubt that Brian will continue to require care, so your contributions via this website or Brian's fund in Ireland will continue to be a vital part of his recovery! Again, many thanks for previous donors and future ones!

Also, if you know anyone in the media who might be able to publicize Brian's case, feel free to forward them this website to get the word out there! Corporate sponsorship of Brian's treatment and recovery is also welcome, and a great opportunity for a positive "P.R. image"! So if you or someone you know might be able to help in that way, by all means, encourage them to do so!

Keep checking here for more updates! We'll be keeping you informed frequently on what's going on while we're in China!

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Final Countdown!

Brian and his brother Jonathan Hogan.
Hello all!

The customary apology for being a slacker goes without saying.  Let's not beat a dead horse, though.  Life just got in the way!

Exciting things happening for Brian.  He's no longer at Beech Lodge.  It served it's purpose, but he's much happier in his new "habitat" (as he calls it).  He's now in Clare Castle. The facility is a type of group home for people who have suffered a brain injury.  It's an amazing place, and Brian is keeping everyone entertained!  It's also close to the airport - in case he decides to run away!

Brian has been doing really well.  He attends "Headway" 2 1/2 days a week (Mon, Tues, and half day on Wed). He's receiving continued education.  He's way too smart (and hyper) to sit in one spot for too long, and as he says "my mind races all day long - might as well give it somewhere to go"!  Sleep isn't on his agenda, unless it's bed time.  "You can sleep when you're dead" he says.  True, true.  Brian has also been busy visiting schools and talking to young people about his experience.  You'd be hard pushed to find a dry eye in the house.  He said "when I hear them snivel and blow their noses - I know I've done my job

Our originally planned stem cell treatment in the US (close to New Orleans) didn't work out, so we're going somewhere else.  We're super excited, and hope you will send good thoughts Brian's way.  We're off to Beijing, China!!

We leave Ireland mid-July, and return around August 7.  Thanks to everyone who contributed to fundraising - Brian will receive several stem cell infusions in that 3 week period.  Thank you all!

A lot of our friends have been asking "what can we do to help".  Well - a million dollars and private jet would be very helpful, but we're shooting for the attainable here.  How about a "letter to Brian".  That way - we can read a letter (or more) a day while we're out of the country.  Just something encouraging, something funny.  Brian loves to have letters read to him.  I'm sure he'll ask for them to be read over and over.  Receiving any kind of treatment is scarey, so if you could encourage him, that would be much appreciated. 
If you can - shoot me an email, or drop me a note for Brian.  I'll be keeping everything until we're at our destination.  We'll also be keeping a blog while we're away, so be sure to check it out as much as possible.  Remember - mid-July to the first week in August will be the treatment dates.  That's a lot of days.  There are over 200 people on this email list.  Surely we can gather more than a letter a day!  We'll have internet access while there, so if you want to email while we're in China - go for it!

Remember - if Brian can do it - YOU CAN DO IT!

Much love,

Hogan Family

P.S.  My address in the US:

326 Olivier Street
New Orleans, LA 70114

I'll be in Ireland from July 5, if you want to send a note to my parents address:

82 Russell Court