Mom’s Perspective

The day that Marty got hurt last August was every family’s nightmare. When your child gets hurt, you always want to swoop in and make everything better. Even if a trip to the emergency room was involved, you depended on the expertise of the good doctors to repair the cuts or broken bones and then took your child home knowing that he would heal in a few weeks. This time, there was no easy fix. Marty’s spinal cord injury seemed to be an indomitable foe. We were all devastated, confused, and frightened.There was nothing to do other than look inward to muster more strength than we knew we had to be able to offer Marty support and look upward and pray to God that He would guide us on this journey toward recovery. But let me tell you that there has never been one day that I have not believed in my heart that MARTY WILL RECOVER. Anyone who knows him well will acknowledge a drive that he has possessed since he was a child to push himself beyond what is expected and never accept less than his personal best. His attitude in his therapies and throughout his most frustrating days has been one of courage and determination. If anyone can conquer this, he will, and we will work relentlessly to support him in that endeavor. We have done our best to make the most informed medical decisions regarding his care and therapies. We have tried our best to insure that his invaluable support system remains intact–his angel, Jessie, his friends, family, and business associates. We have all assumed roles in our family structure that are focused on providing what he needs on a daily basis and researching what direction his care should take in the future to provide the maximum results. With our immediate family located in four different states, this has not been an easy task. Kristen and Katie and their families try and time their visits to insure maximum one on one time with their brother. I’m trying to hold down the fort in Florida and get on a plane at every opportunity that my work schedule permits and agonize when I have to get back on that plane again. Lauren, with the help of Josh, has been an absolute rock for both her brother and her dad in CA. My wonderful husband has assumed the role of caregiver and advocate for Marty in California. What a blessing in disguise it has been for our road warrior dad to be able to spend so much time with the son he adores (although Marty lovingly has threatened to write his own version of the book Sh** My Dad Says:)) We count the blessings that we have every day and forge ahead…What we have found is that the most frustrating part of an SCI is that the progress is agonizingly slow. We have celebrated every twitch of a muscle and newfound sensation as Marty’s nervous system repairs itself. There is no prescribed pathway that any patient should take because each person’s journey towards recovery is different and research in this area is in its relative infancy. So just when you feel overwhelmed by the costs and uncertainty of it all, something wonderful happens to lift us and provide renewed impetus in this mission–and that was the beautiful event that took place on Saturday. The love and support that flowed so generously and freely from all of you took my breath away. My heart is so full of gratitude–my words cannot possibly describe the emotion that I feel. There was an energy in that room that surrounded my son that will carry him forward and provide him with peace knowing how many people care about him and support him every step of the way. God has always been on our guest list and He certainly showed up on Saturday and brought you all along. We all felt the power of your kind words and deeds.I want to thank the team that worked so tirelessly to put the event together as well as everyone who came to be there for Marty. We feel that doors have been opened for him that offer new promise on his journey, and for that we will be forever grateful.
My love goes out to all of you,



4 thoughts on “Mom’s Perspective

  1. Dearest O’Connor family, our heart, thoughts, and prayers go out to Marty and the entire O’Connor family during your most difficult time. We pray recovery comes swiftly and as complete as possible. You are a strong and loving and supportive family and you WILL see this through with God’s help.

  2. Maaaaarty!!! I am so sorry I couldn’t make it to your fundraiser, I was out of town, but thank you for the invite. I will keep cyber-stalking you to look for the next one. Your videos from Goodwill Gym are AMAZING! Look at that trunk control!!!! You have come a long way in the last few months since I’ve seen you, my friend! Keep on keeping on…we think of you often at St. Jude and I am always asking Val how you are doing and if she is kicking your butt:) Say hi to the fam for me – you are ALL fabulous!:)

    Right arm,

  3. marty and judy,
    i have always known the o’connor family to be inspirational, but your son’s courage and determination is totally palpable through the videos! know that my husband and i keep him (and all of your family) in our prayers daily.
    rebecca bracken- marley

  4. I have a friend who has recovered from the same injury that Marty is dealing with. She wrote a beautiful inspiring book about her journey back. She has shared copies with me for me to share with others. Please contact me so I can share one with Marty.

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