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Another Chapter In Our LIves- And I Am Questioning Why?

Greetings Edtech Leaders,

I am blogging tonight as I am traveling to Saskatoon, Canada and I have a story to tell, and hope you can bare with me. I have a scheduled technology keynote on Friday, Aprill 11th and a full day planned of hands-on workshops with some of the most inspirational teacher leaders, administrators and library media specialists in all of Canada. This journey has been in the works for over 18 months, to plan and prepare for this engaging technology event. But at the same time my family journey has taken a different route and the recent occurances have not been planned so well, and to prepare us for the next chapter in our lives. 

We received a call on Saturday evening that our 18 year old son who is in the US Army was in a severe motorcycle accident. This was the most heart-wrenching call a mother and father could receive- and at the same time we received this from our new daughter-in-law, Heather, of only 10 months. She was overwhelmed by what was about to take place and the new direction that this accident would now change their lives for their future. *Jake was just stationed with the US Army in El Paso, TX after his basic training and AIT training from summer of 2014. 

Our Jacob suffered sever and intense trauma to his entire body- almost every bone is broken in his body, and he has sustained a brain injury. Yes, he was wearing his helmet and full suited with his US Army required clothing/gear, but nothing could prepare and protect his body for this type of beating. I am not going to go into the detail as you can only imagine, but I ask for your prayers and reflective thoughts to support Jacob and Heather and our entire family during these trying times. 

It has been four days since this event as occurred and we were advised to find a healthy family and work balance to continue on to maintain our health and strength for Jacob and Heather. It seems implausible to do such a thing, but Jeff and I run our own technology company where we have to continue to run the business to pay the bills. I was committed to a major event in Saskatoon, Canada from April 10-12 as being the technology keynote speaker and workshop presenter, and this was the normalcy we were told to follow through on to keep a routine up to support our kids and find a healthy work and family balance. I am committed to provide the best professional development for my Canadian teacher friends and will stay true to my commitment.  Jeff is staying back with Heather to help guide, support and make the critical decisions needed and necessary for Jacob's well being.  

No one ever expects that a life threatening accident would occur in one's family. How does one prepare? How does one find balance? How does one not feel guilty leaving their child behind to go to work?

I am so very thankful to Tim Nielsen, our main EdTech consultant for our company.  He picked up the scheduled trainings that were planned, without missing a beat. He stepped up in high gear to take the lead on finalizing our May events and June summer Tech Splash events. Without him, it would have not have been possible to continue to run our business- Jeff and I are forever grateful.  

As soon as I am done in Canada, I will be flying back to TX to join my husband, Heather and her mom in caring for Jacob mentally as his body and brain heals. He still has not woken up from his accident, but they have him heavily sedated to eleviate the pain and to reduce any kind of pressure to his precious brain.  We will not know what his final physical condition will be until he wakes up- and we pray to god he does wake up. The brain scanning monitor shows that he has good brain movement and there is possibility that he can hear us.  

We are only thinking positive thoughts for him and Heather, and can't wait until the day he can come home so we can care for him in Minnesota. In the mean time many of you have reached out to me and Jeff and have asked what can you do- we have since set up a supportive "Project Hope" website to keep all of you in the loop of Jacob's progress. Heather will be incurring many expences with travel /food cost traveling to and from the hospital daily. There will also be additional family hotel and airline/travel expences, so we have set up a donations portal on the Project Hope website for this purpose if you feel inclined to support our families immediate and future needs with Jacob. The website is located here:

Thank you for your time and effort to read my blog post today, and to support our family through prayers and kind thoughts during this very trying situation.


Anonymous said…
My thoughts are with you and your family. Godspeed.
Chad Kafka said…
Naomi - I'm so sorry to hear this news. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you work through getting Jake back to full health. Stay strong and have faith...
Keith Schroeder said…
Our thoughts and prayers are with you, your son and your family through this trying time. May God give you the strength you will all need to make it through this trying time. God Bless You All!
Carolyn Gardner said…

Please know that all of Colorado are praying for your son and also for your entire family. Let me know how I may be able to help in any way, even it it's just a listening ear. I kind of know what you are experiencing because of our daughter's accident. Please feel free to call or email at any time.
Prayers and hugs sent your way.
From the Waunakee Business Ed Department in WI...we are so very sorry to hear about this accident. Your entire family is in our thoughts and our prayers as Jake goes through his healing process. God Bless you all.
Velvet Holmes said…
Prayers to your son for a speedy recovery! Mother's hold their child's hand for a moment and their heart for a lifetime. It's sometimes heart-wrenching, hard work to stay strong and carry on. I am sure Jake would want you to continue to be the strong, positive leader he knows you as. My heart is aching for you my friend. Take care of yourself and reach out if you need anything.
Dean Phillips said…
Naomi, so sorry to hear this news. Your entire family is in our thoughts and prayers. We hope that the time you spend with Jake and Heather aids in his speedy recovery and brings you and your family closer together. Take care of yourself and your family.
Naomi Harm said…
I can not thank you enough for all of your well wishes for our son during this very trying time in our lives. It is going to be a very long road to his recovery. We so appreciate your gestures of kindness to sooth the pain that we are enduring emotionally as an entire family at this time.

Jeff and Naomi Harm
Maggie Vonck said…
Thinking of your family, Naomi.
Sue Gorman said…
Prayers being lifted up for your son and your entire family my friend. Please know we are all here for you. God Bless. Sue Gorman
Heidi Catlin said…
You and your family have been in my thoughts and prayers. Stay strong and know that we are all with you in spirit as you walk through this next chapter in your life. God Bless Jake's recovery!
Tracy Woodward said…
Naomi, Jacob and your family will remain in my prayers. Love to you all. Tracy
Michele Green said…
My prayers go up for you, your son, and your family. Wishing only the best for recovery.
Jon Tanner said…
Naomi and Jeff,
I'm so sad to hear this tragic news. I'm praying for your son and your whole family.
Stacy Fisher said…
Naomi - I am so sad to hear of your son's accident. I will be thinking of your family and wishing the best for Jacob during his recovery.
Anonymous said…
I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
yvonne ramsden said…
Our thoughts and prayer are with you and your family. Yvonne and JR

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