Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Article from Global Post featuring Justins Battery

This article was written about Justin's battery before he was injured, and there is a picture of him in the article!

In the meadows of Afghanistan, an endless search for IEDs

Cpl. Justin Crabbe turns from the flames, which are oppressive in Helmand's 115 degree heat. Aug. 6, 2011.
(Ben Brody - GlobalPost)

KAJAKI, Afghanistan —

Marines from Echo Battery, 2/12 Field Artillery, are what is known as provisional infantry.
They are trained for something else, in this case firing huge howitzers at distant targets. However, with the military stretched thin, they are required to patrol and fight on foot as infantrymen.
And like most infantrymen, they find themselves operating as a provisional bomb squad.
The area around the Kajaki Dam and hydroelectric power plant is seeded with old Russian mines, and local Taliban fighters make improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that are just as deadly and often more difficult to detect.
The Marines carry sophisticated electronics to try to find or disable the IEDs, but often it comes down to having sharp eyes, and spotting a bit of wire poking through the soil.
The artillerymen, based at Forward Operating Base Zeebrugge, have lost one Marine and had several terribly wounded in the few months they've been at Kajaki. Local children have also been killed by IED. A little boy rode his bicycle over one recently.
The meadows are littered with shrapnel from 30 years of war, which makes the metal detectors difficult to use. The knee-high grass also hides bones of IED and mine victims.
Marines make the grim discoveries from time to time, finding a leg bone from one of their fallen comrades picked clean by ants or a shredded piece of body armor.
Songbirds chirp and flutter about Kajaki's verdant meadows without a care, but a creeping fear hangs over anyone who sets foot in the grass, soft and deadly.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Status Quo

This is Kathie, reporting for Maureen and Cliff.  It has been some very long days for Justin and they are all exhausted, so Maureen asked me to post something to let you know that they haven't forgotten about the blog.

Justin is still in the ICU and hasn't slept much.  There isn't much more to report at this point, but we will make sure to keep you updated with new news when there is some.

Keep the prayers coming!  Thank you all.

Justin Crabbe 5k/10k Run Walk POSTPONED (not cancelled)


Due to an overwhelming response to the Justin Crabbe Walk, the city of Arcadia is not prepared for the number of people expected for the event on October 1st, therefore did not provide a permit for that date.

A new date will be determined some time next week and will be communicated as soon as we can.  Please share this information with anyone and everyone that you know that was interested in this walk so that we reach all participants.  Thank you for your support and participation.  Stay tuned...

Justin’s Journey

Cpl. Justin Crabbe is a US Marine, who was critically injured while proudly serving in Afghanistan on August 26th 2011. Born in 1988, he was just 22 years old when his in-juries occurred. He was born and raised in Rancho Cucamonga, Cali-fornia, graduated from Los Osos High School in 2007, and enlisted shortly thereafter into the Marine Corps.
Due to the extent of his injuries, he has a very lengthy recovery process ahead of him in Bethesda, Maryland. His family is a very strong, close knit unit and is there for him throughout this whole or-deal, which doctors consider some of the best medicine.
Justin was awarded the Purple Heart.

JUSTIN'S Journey
Justin was raised in a very patriotic family, spearheaded by his grandfather, who served as a US Marine, and was one of Justin’s biggest influences growing up. The patriotism that the family had for our country was proudly displayed every day of the year. Justin was immersed in God, country and duty from the start, so it was a natural fit for him to join the Marines to support his belief that in order to maintain freedom, sometimes you had to fight for it. Justin proudly joined the Marines during wartime to protect his family and his country. His plan was to serve in the military, then when his tour was up, he would return and train to become either a firefighter or a police officer. Justin is an avid hunter, enjoying trips to the desert with his father, close family friends, and his dog “Boomer”.

Justin will spend a great deal of time recovering from his injuries in Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland. He will have to relearn how to walk, write and do ordinary, everyday tasks with his new limitations. He is looking forward to going back out hunting one of these days, as well as figuring out what his new future and career opportunities hold for him. He has a very positive attitude and is confident that with his family by his side, he will accomplish great things.

Our hope at The Justin Crabbe Fund is to raise money through fundraising and donations to provide Justin and his family with the peace of mind that the financial obligations associated with the recovery, as well as Justin's ability to move back in to day-to-day life are supported. Once back in the swing of things, The Justin Crabbe Fund will be used to help other military families that find themselves in the same situation as the Crabbe family unfortunately knows so well.

Semper Fi!

c/o 9500 Cleveland Avenue, Suite 300
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730

Phone: 909-224-4424
Email: godinhsr@sce.com
Blog: http://thecrabbereport.blogspot.com/

Monday, September 19, 2011

Late Night!

Today was a hurry up and wait day. Justin was supposed to go for surgery at 10 am this morning, but didn't end up leaving his room until 3:30 pm. Since he is doing well and is not in CCU anymore other patients who are critical get first priority. Justin was not happy that he couldn't have anything to eat or drink all day. We spoke to his hand surgeon tonight who said everything went well and they placed a cement spacer where he was missing a metacarpal in his hand and also moved a nerve. Wednesday he is scheduled for his long 8-9 hour surgery for flaps for his hands, but this may be postponed until Friday or next week. The plastic surgery team and hand surgeon both need to be there and its a long surgery and they may have another case on Wednesday which may push it back.

Overall today was a good day! Justin asked me to shave him, and wash his hair so ironically he was looking very nice when a recently retired Sergeant Major (highest enlisted marine in the Marine Corp) stopped by to visit him. I think this brightened Justin's day. He also had a visit from a New Jersey Congressman. Today was a busy day with visitors plus the frequent visitation of doctors and nurses all day. This afternoon before surgery we watched a movie until Justin fell asleep and then he was off to surgery.

Mom and I are currently just sitting in his room waiting for him to return. Even though he will probably be out of it we promised him we would be here when he got back from surgery. He also had a second request to make sure we brought him oreos. (Justin is still on a pureed diet but thinks soaking the cookies in milk will be okay and solve this problem) I am pretty sure when he comes back he is going to be out of it, but we still brought the oreos anyways. Justin is trying to get all his chocolate and caffeine in now because after he gets his skin flaps he is unable to consume any of these for awhile.

Thank you everyone for the continued love, prayers, and support! We cannot thank everyone enough. We also can't brag enough about this hospital!! It is amazing and filled with wonderful people working here. Being in the medical field I have never seen medicine practiced like this before. On top of it everyone has excellent bedside manners! These doctors and nurses treat us like family. The Marines have also taken care of us and have gone above and beyond. I have never seen support like this. There is so much love, support, and positivity filling this hospital, which is a huge inspiration!

Well just got word that he is coming back up from the recovery room. They kept him longer because his heart rate decided to increase again. It is finally coming back down so they can send him to the floor. Oh Justin likes to make the doctors practice the art of medicine. In regards to surgery everything went well!

Goodnight from Bethesda Maryland!  This is what hangs on Justin's door! This was taken in his CCU room but we moved it to his new room!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

First full day in Room 462!

Justin survived his first night on the 4th floor, or I should say my mom survived because Justin did well by himself without a one on one nurse. Justin's pain today was under control except for his left hand. We had another good day! One of the guys from Justin's battery was injured in early June and stopped by with his wife. All the guys were excited to see him. He made rounds with his wife visiting the four Echo Battery Marines. The only major thing that happened today is that Justin got a new bed. The bed is pretty awesome, its called a "sand bed." It constantly moves and blows sand so bed sores don't occur and the sand feels like a massage. (When Justin gets better and is out and about I am going to lay in it to see what it feels like.... Shhh don't tell him jk). Justin got pretty tired this afternoon and actually fell asleep on a few visitors, so we tucked him in early and headed to get something to eat around 7:30. He is making progress everyday and we are hoping that maybe both chest tubes will be coming out either tomorrow or Monday!

Here is our address for all of you that have asked. Here is the catch, if mail is sent Fed Ex or UPS it gets here faster. If sent US mail it takes anywhere from 1-4 weeks depending on how slow the base is processing all mail. Mail has really slowed down because of the hospital merge with Walter Reed. Just a heads up for everyone. Justin does not have an address yet but here is our address at the Navy Lodge.

Bethesda Navy Lodge
C/o Cliff and Maureen Crabbe
Room 221
8901 Rockville Pike Bldg 52
Bethesda MD 20889

Hope everyone is doing well and thank you again for all the prayers and support!!! We can feel it!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Moving on up!

We have moved out of CCU and finally made it to the 4th floor. Today marks exactly three weeks to the day Justin was injured. Moving out of CCU is great in terms of Justin's progress, but we will miss the one on one nurse patient ratio. Plus the ABSOLUTE  wonderful care we received and the friendships we have made with the doctors and nurses! The move upstairs was bitter sweet to say the least! 

On Justin's transfer outing to the 4th floor, we met his friend who was just flown in tonight from Germany. Thankfully he is stable and as far as we know  has a tibia and fibula fracture. He was lucky enough to bypass the ICU and is two doors down from Justin's room. Watch out 4th floor because there are four 1/12 Echo Battery Marines who are all friends. I know once these guys are feeling better in the words of Justin's friend Mike "4th floor Shenanigans will be occurring!" 

Justin was all settled in tonight in his new room. We didn't make it up there until this evening and he was pretty wiped out from surgery. Surgery today went well and he slept most of the day (Good thing because he wasn't able to sleep the last two days since being off the vent). We now need to learn the new routines for example: I need to call and order his room service breakfast. Didn't think about it because he hasn't eaten in 3 weeks. He isn't thrilled about pureed food, but is eating the jello and yogurt. He knows he has to eat because if not he doesn't get to remove the feeding tube. Mom and I were able to hunt down an electrical razor (he can't use a real razor because he is on blood thinners), thankfully the Red Cross came to the rescue so now he is all shaved up and looks handsome! 

Today was a good day and Justin's doctors and nurses are so impressed with his progress. His head trauma doctor and nurse said today, "wow look how far he has come." We were all scared to death because he was making a huge turn for the worse last week. He still has a huge of recovery ahead of him, but has excellent medical care, family, friends and God on his side to help him. He is learning to adapt to change and can't wait to get out of his bed and see a change of scenery. Yesterday when the doctor talked to him about moving to the 4th floor today he says, "that sounds like a good idea I need a change of scenery." I looked at him and said you have only been awake for two days and your bored. We have been here for two weeks in this room! Actually the CCU room had an amazing view and the new room just faces the opposite side of the hospital. That's okay more encouragement to start getting stronger so he can move around. 

Thats all from Bethesda Maryland today! I am going to sleep because I need to be there to help him with his breakfast in the morning and make sure he gets a "cold gatorade."  

Thursday, September 15, 2011

48 hours off the vent!

Today was another good day for Justin. He was in good spirits for most of the day! He was even making jokes with the doctors. The chest tube that was removed yesterday needed to be replaced today with a smaller chest tube because the pneumothorax didn't completely resolve. The doctor came in and told Justin he would be putting "a pigtail" in. Justin's response: "Pigtails went out of style in the 80s". (A pigtail is the type of catheter used.) The doctor, nurse and I could not stop laughing. Justin also spent an 1 1/2 hours with his good friend Mike who is also in his battery and was injured in early July. This was the first time they have seen each other (well that Justin remembers.. Mike came to visit but Justin was on the vent and sedated) since being in Afghanistan together. Justin is on heavy medication so tonight he was really tired and a little confused. Which is to be expected with a certain medication he is on. Overall today was great! He wanted to read some of his messages on facebook and wanted us to respond for him. His is unable to really use his hands right now because they are in bandages. Today he also made another improvement he semi-passed his swallow test. This means he is allowed to eat pureed food and thick consistency water and gatorade. 

We are trying to work on updating this daily. Sorry the last two weeks have been an up and down roller coaster. We are so busy all day and then at night we are mentally and physically exhausted. Now with Justin awake and talking are days are busy with him. Thankfully we are finally getting a routine down and should be able to update daily. 

I know many of you do not know the extent of his injuries, but for now we will not be posting it until he says its okay. Its only been 48 hours that he has been awake so everything is settling in. Overall he is improving daily especially compared to last Wednesday when we were scared to death. Justin's heart rate was between 155-165 (normal between 60-100) and Justin's normally is probably really low because he was very well conditioned. This went on for 5 hours with his blood pressure between 80/40 (normal 120/80). Just to give you an idea that it is frightening when 10 doctors/medical personnel (no I am not exaggerating) are standing around his bed trying to figure out what was going on. Only three days before that the head trauma doctor told us "Justin is very sick, we expected him to get a little worse, but not this bad and the next 72 hours are very critical for him." When you hear that the resident slept in his room in a chair, thats normally not a good sign. THANKFULLY the GOOD LORD has blessed us with a miraculous week and Justin making a HUGE turn around. Even so well there is a small possibility we may be leaving CCU (critical care unit) and heading to the 4th floor (which is the goal because when you make it to the 4th floor your not as critical) tomorrow after surgery!! 

We will try to keep this updated and continue to track his progress. THANK YOU again for all the love, prayers, and support! We can't thank everyone enough!!!! 

Please excuse any grammatical errors: # 1 its late here, #2 there are two of us updating this and I am not an English expert (hence why I went to PA school) # 3 this is updated sometimes from phones and Ipads so proofreading is not always perfect if not being able to use a real computer! 

Goodnight from Bethesda Maryland!! 

What a difference 24 hours makes!

It has been 24 hours since we got Justin off the vent and wow has a lot happened! Today he had surgery for wound wash outs, took out his central line, arterial line, left chest tube, put in a pick line, nerve blockers for his arm and leg, had a swallow test, sorry he failed that! Maybe tomorrow he will pass the swallow test. We are weaning him off his heavy pain meds and we might graduate out of CCU tomorrow! Whew, what an awesome day! Justin says thank you to everyone for all the love, support, and prayers.

The three of us took a tour of the two bedroom apartments where he will stay during his outpatient therapy. They are brand new and beautiful! They are furnished with brand new appliances, three flat screen TVs, and two computers. Outpatient is still far away but at least we know where he will be staying. Two days ago we saw then state of the art rehab facility and met with the physical therapists and they were awesome also.

For now we are waiting.
Well we did not get this sent out yesterday as planned! Update, tomorrow we have an 8 hour surgery to do flaps on his hands. We will stay in CCU for the weekend. We are making progress, baby steps!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pizza Fundraiser!

Come to Shakey’s Oct 6, 2011 from 6p...m-9pm. A portion of the proceeds that night will be sent to the Justin Crabbe Fund.

Take-Out is also included, which will be helpful for people with busy schedules. Make sure when you call or order at Shakey’s that you mention it is for the Justin Crabbe Fund.

Where: Shakey’s Pizza Parlor
12455 Victoria Gardens Lane #110
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91739
Phone Number: 909-899-5000

When: October 6, 2011
Time: 6pm - 9pm

Let’s come together as a community and help Justin and the Crabbe Family. Donations can also be sent to The Justin Crabbe Fund C/O 9500 Cleveland Avenue, Suite 300, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730.

If you have any questions, post them here.

Keep him and his family in your prayers.

Please repost the feel free to share this event on Facebook or through e-mail. Everyone is welcome!

Huge Update!

We received word today that Justin is off the ventilator!!!!!
Wooooo Hooooooo!
He's tired and can't really talk, but this is a huge hurdle and step toward his recovery and gettinmg out of CCU!!

Donate Button

You may have noticed a Donate button on the side bar of the blog. Please do not feel obligated to give, as this was added at the request of some of our supporters who wish to support the Crabbe family with a monetary gift.

The Crabbe Family have all traveled from their West Coast home and are staying on the East Coast where Justin is hospitalized. Our goal is to help them stay with Justin until he can return to his home.

The Justin Crabbe Fund Inc. has applied for Non-Profit Status with the US Government, and we will keep you updated on the status of that. It is our wish that this Fund not end when Justin is fully recovered, but that it lives on to help other soldiers and their families.  

Friday, September 2, 2011

Justin Crabbe 5/10K Run Walk Event Fundraiser

When: October 1, 2011

Where: Fitness Factor
24 N. First Avenue
Arcadia, CA 91006
(626) 487-6010

Check In: 7:30 a.m.
Start Time: 8:00 a.m. sharp

$35 (includes a T-shirt, food and a drink)
Checks will be accepted (please make payable to the Fitness Factor)

Money is due by September 12, 2011, so that T-shirts and food can be ordered in a timely manner.

A hundred percent of the proceeds from the event will be donated to the Justin Crabbe Fund

Edison Employees:
Please pony your checks to:
Margaret Arellanes – CTAC 6020 –M Irwindale
Cindy Watkins – RCRO, 1st Floor, 180N
Cesar Bojorquez - LBRO 1st Floor

Non-Edison Employees: Please call Cindy Garcia @ 909-942-8059 for PayPal payment information.

A special Thank You! to Fitness Factor in Arcadia for sponsoring this event!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Welcome & Background

Justin is a U.S. Marine deployed to Afghanistan to help defend our country. While serving, Justin was critically injured.

This is a place for family and friends to stay connected to the Crabbe Family, share updates, send well wishes, and cheer Justin on!