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SmokyOkie
11-20-2009, 10:36 PM
A lot of you know of Mr Spikowski. He has been instrumental in the inception of The Q Joint. He saved us from our first ( and only, knock on wood) major crash, and has been most helpful behind the scenes as we have grown.

His daughter Athena is in dire straits. She has succumbed to H1N1 flu and it's complications.

She seems to have survived the worst of it but has a very difficult uphill climb left.

There has been a web site set up to keep up with her progress at www.athenagurno.info. I would encourage any of you that have the time to drop by the site and leave a message of encouragement, whether or not you know them. At times like this folks need to know that many are paying attention and care.

thank you all, and I am sure that your kind words will be much more appreciated than you know.

californiasmokin
11-20-2009, 10:59 PM
Done!

PigCicles
11-21-2009, 10:07 AM
Please keep this bumped up and keep Athena in your thoughts and prayers. She is fighting hard and needs the support of as many people as she can get.

SmokyOkie
11-21-2009, 04:33 PM
Bump!

Bassman
11-21-2009, 06:45 PM
One more added.

Butt Lover's
11-21-2009, 07:45 PM
Athena is in my families prayers and I will visit the blog!

smokinok
11-21-2009, 08:39 PM
Consider it DONE................

californiasmokin
11-22-2009, 12:22 PM
:bump:

PigCicles
11-23-2009, 07:37 PM
John is keeping up with the daily updates and Athena is making very good progress. Please visit the blog and show The Q Joint support for Athena and family as they are fighting with her.

John Spikowski
11-26-2009, 12:30 AM
I would like to thank everyone here for your support and prayers. Athena has been in the ICU since Oct. 9th fighting H1N1/ARDS and is still on a ventilator. She is out of a coma and interacting with staff and family. Her progress is slow but she is a fighter and has shown amazing endurance to win this battle.

http://www.athenagurno.info/pictures/Athena.jpg

http://www.athenagurno.info/blog

The hospital is 85 miles away and I'm spending 4 to 5 hours in the car with travel expenses of $40 for gas, parking and meals. I have setup a PayPal (http://www.paypal.com) recovery fund account if you are in a position to help out with expenses till I can return back to work.

Athena's PayPal Account: support@athenagurno.info

John Spikowski (Athena's Father)
Q Joint Support

SmokyOkie
11-26-2009, 01:16 PM
Many of us have been checking your updates John. WE are glad to see she is doing better.

Once again folks, John has done a lot of behind the scenes stuf for us and continues to do so. Please help him and his family out if you have a little extra to spare.

John Spikowski
11-26-2009, 08:37 PM
Thanks Tim ! You have been a good friend over the years and I can't thank you enough for all your kindness.

Athena Update:

When Beverly (mom) and I arrived at the hospital, I noticed something strange, the ventilator wasnít making itís usual breathing noises. I was informed that Athena was breathing unassisted by the ventilator for over two hours. Athena lasted another half hour before Beverly and I wore her out and she started having shortness of breath. I had no idea that the ICU team was going to start breathing tests so soon. Athena is now on her eighth day of a ten dose Peramivir course and has shown a major turnaround since restarting the treatments. This is Athenaís second round with Peramivir as the first five dose course didnít complete the job or wasnít enough to protect her from getting it again. Patients as sick as Athenaís should be given a minimal 10 dose course IMHO. Iím sure the aggressive antibiotics plan helped a great deal as well. She is no longer running a fever and all her vital signs are good. Iím not sure how much of her right lung is contributing but I should know more in a few days.


Happy Thanksgiving to all Athenaís friends and family that have been tracking her recovery progress.


John

SmokyOkie
11-26-2009, 09:52 PM
Thanx for the update John, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and Bev.

TX Sandman
11-27-2009, 06:24 PM
Thanks for the update, John. Glad to hear she's improving.

californiasmokin
11-28-2009, 05:17 PM
keep up the good work Athena!:thumbs up:

John Spikowski
11-29-2009, 02:41 AM
Thanks Paul for your donation to help out with expenses.

I'm trying to get some billable work done so I can make another trip to the hospital. The holiday hasn't helped so it looking like next week sometime.

If anyone on the forum is in a position to help out till I can get back on my feet, it would be appreciated in a big way.

nascarchuck
11-29-2009, 04:50 AM
I hope that your beautiful daughter makes a speedy recovery.

I would most certainly help you if I was in a position to do so. I lost my job a couple of weeks ago and am still waiting on unemployment to kick in. Things are very tight right now and I just cant spare even a dime.

Once I get back on my feet I will try to send a little help your way.

Prayers sent and best of luck!

PigCicles
11-29-2009, 10:24 AM
There's no need to appologize for not being able to help. If some can send some that's great. Send what you can, as you can. But always offer your thoughts and prayers for her recovery.

SmokyOkie
11-29-2009, 12:30 PM
I donated $100.

Any ten of you care to go together and match me?

John Spikowski
11-29-2009, 02:14 PM
Thanks Tim !

That $100 was used for a past due payment to keep the lights on.

Joe made a $60 donation which is allowing me to visit Athena today in Seattle. Two days without seeing her now that she is awake was driving me nuts.

Your kindness and friendship is appreciated and it won't be forgotten.

John

PigCicles
11-29-2009, 02:38 PM
Glad you get to see her today John. Let her know we're all here and thinking of her. Enjoy your day with her buster.

SmokyOkie
11-29-2009, 06:32 PM
Thanks Tim !

That $100 was used for a past due payment to keep the lights on.

Joe made a $60 donation which is allowing me to visit Athena today in Seattle. Two days without seeing her now that she is awake was driving me nuts.

Your kindness and friendship is appreciated and it won't be forgotten.

John

People doing for people is what life is all about isn't it?

Anybody else got even just a little to spare to help out?

Remember guys, John is instrumental in keeping this fine site up and running.

He is the one that brought it back from a near fatal crash a couple years ago.

Reach inside and pull out a little Christmas spirit if you can.

If you wish to remain anonymous, just request it.

John Spikowski
11-30-2009, 02:01 AM
Athena did a great job with her breathing trials and went 10 hours today. She started three days ago with her first breathing trial of 10 minutes. She was interactive with me today and held her vitals in line the whole time.

Thanks Tim for your support along with Joe, Rob and Paul for making a great trip to Seattle possible to see Athena.

John

californiasmokin
12-03-2009, 05:10 PM
Athena did a great job with her breathing trials and went 10 hours today. She started three days ago with her first breathing trial of 10 minutes. She was interactive with me today and held her vitals in line the whole time.

Thanks Tim for your support along with Joe, Rob and Paul for making a great trip to Seattle possible to see Athena.

John


John,
I couldn't imagine my daughter or a loved one being ill and not being able to see them.I am happy Athena continues to make progress.I look forward to the day you are able to take Athena home!:thumbs up:

TX Sandman
12-09-2009, 10:59 PM
:bump:

Athena needs your prayers, folks. She was progressing well, but has since hit a rough patch.

SmokyOkie
12-10-2009, 03:08 PM
Thoughts and prayers are hers!

californiasmokin
12-10-2009, 03:25 PM
She was doing so well.I know she will fight just as hard as she can.
Thoughts and prayers sent!:thumbs up:

PigCicles
12-10-2009, 04:07 PM
Stay strong John. Go be with her as much as you can. Let her know she has friends that she's never met and we are all with her in thoughts and prayers.

I know it's a hard time of the year but please keep John in your thoughts and give support any way you can. It's been a long road for all of them and the financial strains are very hard on a man's mind. Imagine, if you will for one moment, that this were your child. If you can please help them by sending a few dollars. If you can't it's okay - we all understand.

californiasmokin
12-11-2009, 11:01 PM
Keep fighting Athena!

BluDawg
12-11-2009, 11:24 PM
Hang tough Athena YOu can Whoop it Girl!

BigAL
12-12-2009, 07:27 AM
We're all pray'n for ya, Athena! Stay strong.

John Spikowski
12-13-2009, 02:26 PM
Last Tuesday morning Athena took a turn for the worse and the ICU team put all their resources to save her life. They are still unsure of what happen but one theory is toxic shock from bacterial infection caused initially by the H1N1 virus. She is beginning to come out of her unconscious state and moving her limbs and follow basic commands. (squeeze hand, blink, ...) This last hit Athena took was really hard on her and took all the energy she had.

I have been spending a lot of time at the hospital due to her critical state. If your able to help out with a donation to help cover basic expenses till Athena is a bit more stable it would a greatly appreciated.

Athen's Recovery Fund

http://www.PayPal.com (credit cards and electronic checks)

PayPal Acct: support@athenastatus.info

If you would rather send a donation in the mail, here is my address.

John Spikowski
POB 1435
Anacortes, WA 98221

Notice:

The URL to Athena's site has changed from www.athenagurno.info to www.athenastatus.info due to her husband moving on with his life. This has put an additional level of stress on me as I'm now without any backup support.

John Spikowski
12-14-2009, 07:39 PM
I need to make a trip to Seattle to meet with doctors for a procedure they want to do on Athena to help determine the reason for her neurological issues and vital signs taking a nose dive last Tuesday morning. I don't have enough funds to cover gas and parking for the trip and I'm asking if my friends here on the Q could chip in and give me a hand with a small donation so I can make the trip in the morning.

Thanks in advance for your support.

As soon as Athena becomes a bit more stable, Tim has given me a list of items that he would like done for your forum.

John

californiasmokin
12-16-2009, 09:57 PM
Athena is doing a little better today!:thumbs up:

PigCicles
12-17-2009, 11:26 AM
Thanks for the update Paul. I've been so busy the last few weeks I haven't had much time to pop in on the blog.

John - be there as much as you can bud. She really needs the support. I hope when she gets stronger she will look back through your blog and see all the friends she has that she doesn't even know about.

californiasmokin
12-22-2009, 05:16 PM
Athena is back on the right track but still needs our support!

You go girl!!!:thumbs up:

californiasmokin
12-24-2009, 09:11 AM
John posted a picture of Athena.She recently required some more surgery.It really hits home for me how fortunate I am to have my family at home and healthy .

John,
You are in our prayers.

John Spikowski
12-27-2009, 08:33 PM
I'm trying to make it through the holiday season till I can find some work. I need to cover critical past due utilities/services. If anyone on the forum is able to help out, it would be greatly appreciated.

Once I get back on my feet, I plan to repay the folks that have donated to help our family out.

John

http://www.athenastatus.info/blog

PigCicles
12-27-2009, 08:50 PM
Let's keep John and Athena in our thoughts and prayers. I know times are tough all over. I continue to send a little money as I can. No one is asking to send more than you can afford. Even $10 or $20 is a help. It all adds up in the end.

John Spikowski
12-27-2009, 09:17 PM
Your support at this time is really appreciated as I'm scraping bottom.

$30 covers a trip to the hospital (90 miles away) and pays for gas, parking and coffee.

$146 covers a critical electric bill that I have a disconnect notice on.

$255 covers a Comcast bill that is threatening my access to the internet to work and support the Q Joint and other projects that are potential income to get me out of the hole.

This H1N1 nightmare is now going on three months with no end in site.

Thanks for your kindness and please look at your donations as an investment and will be repaid in the near future when things start turning around.

This will be my last post asking for donations as I don't want to upset TQJ members when your here for outdoor cooking.

John Spikowski

PigCicles
12-27-2009, 09:33 PM
So 50 people with $10 a month would be a huge help until Athena can get strong and go home.

I'm game - we just need 49 other people to chip in. I consider more of forum support since John is doing the IT work here.

californiasmokin
12-27-2009, 09:48 PM
I have been sending a little at a time.Sent a little bit more tonight.

californiasmokin
01-03-2010, 01:14 PM
Athena seems to be turning the corner for the better.John posted that there is a possibility that she will be released from ICU in two weeks to start weening from the ventilator and begin physical therapy.

I try to pop in and let them know we are still supporting them.It sure does help to know that you aren't alone .

Jake
01-03-2010, 09:26 PM
omg i will try to go and give some on the link, you are in my prayers, get well soon

Jake
01-03-2010, 10:07 PM
how do i do it with out using a credit card? :blushing: electronic cheq?? i did not get the option for, what i miss

gt2003
01-04-2010, 10:35 AM
Wow, I just caught this thread. I'm sending a little love your way. You and your family are in my prayers. Best of luck!

californiasmokin
01-07-2010, 10:37 PM
They are trying to wean Athena off of some of the more Addictive sedatives she is on.This must be very hard to deal with on top of the physical ailments she has.

Jake
01-07-2010, 11:01 PM
thoughts and prayers form here

Joneser
01-29-2010, 08:56 AM
LAtest Update from this morning.
Great News!

At last, Athena catches a break. She is no longer on any IV drips and all the IV pumps (8 at one time) have been silenced. Her last and most troublesome IV was her blood thinner. When Athena arrived at Harborview, her bodyís ability to prevent clots wasnít working. This can become a debilitating outcome as she would have had to be on a drip for the rest of her life as I understood it. This issue wasnít in the foreground and getting her lungs working and infection free was the primary goal with saving her life. When Athena was in trouble and the ICU team didnít know which way things would go, the long term blood thinner issue would come up as a quality of life issue. Iím happy to announce that Athenaís body is now working properly again and she was taking off the blood thinner IV today.

Athena did 4 hours on her breathing trials and spent about 3 hours in her chair. It shouldnít be long now before Athena is out of the ICU and on to a ventilator weaning & physical therapy facility.

Shows that prayer really works.
John, I'm so glad to read that your Athena is beginning this difficult recovery, God Bless!
Brian

SmokyOkie
01-29-2010, 04:32 PM
:thumbs up:

californiasmokin
02-01-2010, 11:30 PM
Athena is leaving ICU!!:cheer::cheer::cheer:


She still has a long road.
I was unaware that she had a daughter.
http://www.athenastatus.info/blog/?page_id=3


Please, Help these folks in any way you can.

BluDawg
02-01-2010, 11:53 PM
THAT"S GRRREAT!!! I was wondering about her progress last night. Thanks Paul.

John Spikowski
02-03-2010, 10:07 PM
:sign0092: for all your prayers and support!

Miracles do happen. Athena still isn't home yet but this is a HUGE step forward. (4 months in the ICU) She has a long way to go yet to get back on her feet. (literally) She is in the best facility possible to get her off the ventilator and out of bed and walking again.

http://www.athenastatus.info/blog (updated daily)

John

SmokyOkie
02-03-2010, 10:52 PM
:thumbs up::cheer::cheer:

californiasmokin
02-18-2010, 04:04 PM
Here is the latest.If she gets off the ventilator she can start speech therapy and drinking if I understand correctly.

http://www.athenastatus.info/blog/

BluDawg
02-18-2010, 09:50 PM
She has got a long road back. Se sure is a fighter with a strong will!! #@$!

californiasmokin
02-23-2010, 09:58 PM
Here is the latest.If she gets off the ventilator she can start speech therapy and drinking if I understand correctly.

http://www.athenastatus.info/blog/


Athena spoke for the first time!:cheer::cheer::cheer:

SmokyOkie
02-23-2010, 11:02 PM
:thumbs up::thumbs up::thumbs up:

PigCicles
02-24-2010, 01:14 AM
That is GREAT news! Glad she is on her way back.

John - How are YOU doing?

Joneser
02-24-2010, 10:21 AM
That's GREAT news! I'm so happy to hear this.

John Spikowski
03-15-2010, 12:50 PM
Forum Members,

Athena had a setback and is back on the ventilator. The care team had put her in a coma to try and flush her system of the narcotics used in the early days of H1N1 to save her life. Her right lung is 60% destroyed due to the H1N1 virus. This is a constant source of infection and till she is strong enough for lung surgery, it's a battle to stay off the vent.

It's now been over 6 months of Athena in the hospital and it's become almost impossible to cover month to month living expenses. My utilities are in danger of being disconnected and I'm unable to make the 200 mile round trip to see Athena.

If you can help out with a donation to Athena's recovery fund, you would be helping a family in dire need.

Thanks for kindness and understanding!

John Spikowski
The Q Joint Support Team

Athena's Recovery and H1N1 Awareness Blog

http://www.athenastatus.info/blog

PigCicles
03-15-2010, 12:54 PM
Thank you for the update John. When I'm able to more time I will send you a little money to help you out. Athena is on our minds and we are with you and her as she fights to recover.

Browneyedgolden
03-15-2010, 10:23 PM
Wow,that really put tears in my eyes. She looks about the same age as my daughter. I hope the very best for her,you and all of your family!

BigAL
03-16-2010, 06:58 AM
Thanks for the update, John. Could you repost an easy way to send money thru paypal or an address?

Thanks. Take care. You are all in our prayers.

smokinok
03-16-2010, 11:16 AM
JOHN:

I just sent a donation via PayPal as per the web site [ www.athenastatus.info ].

There is a direct link on page 4 of this posting that should link one to a site to get updates on Athena and her day to day status. I have also copied his mailing address in WA for anyone that would rather send directly to him.

Based on his posting of yesterday they are making a little headway but she is still in an induced coma but they are pumping the mucas, etc. from her lungs and hope to get her out from the ventelator on a fast track basis as she has been able to breather on her own until this bout.

HOPE SHE IS DOING MUCH BETTER AND THAT THE DONATION WILL ALLOW FOR SOME GASOLINE MONEY.

John Spikowski
POB 1435
Anacortes, WA 98221

John Spikowski
03-16-2010, 05:54 PM
Hi everyone,

TMI I was asked to tone down this post asking for help. The pressure got the best of me. Sorry! If your able to help out, THANK YOU !!!

www.PayPal.com (http://www.PayPal.com)

PayPal Account: support@athenastatus.info

Athena's Blog: www.athenastatus.info/blog (http://www.athenastatus.info/blog) (donation button above Athena's picture)

Thanks in advance for your help and kindness. I never thought I would ever have to ask strangers for help. There is no way anyone can prepare for almost 6 months of acute hospital care. PLEASE get your H1N1 and seasonal flu shots. This can happen to anyone.

Joneser
03-17-2010, 06:02 PM
I posted this and a link to the blog on the facebook page. If those of you could click Share under the post, and post it as your status, maybe we could get the word out, if nothing else, raise awareness of H1N1.
John, you and your family are in our prayers.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Q-Joint-The-Premier-Website-Dedicated-To-All-Forms-Of-Outdoor-Cooking/225278854721?ref=mf

John Spikowski
03-17-2010, 07:22 PM
Thanks Joneser for your efforts. The goal of Athena's blog was to keep friends and family updated with her status and help save others from going through this or dying. Since H1N1 is so new, many ICUs don't have a clue how to fight this as most of their patients never get by the first couple weeks on a ventilator. There are a dozen or so well known hospitals that follow Athena's blog on a regular basis. Treating Athena was medicine on the fly for the most part.

Athena was lucky as she was only one of five patients in the world that was given an experimental drug called Peramivir (anit-viral) that stopped the H1N1 virus from spreading. She also happened to be in a research hospital that is a primary member of the ARDS foundation. Athena is probably one of the worse H1N1 critically ill patients that is still living today. The battle isn't over yet and there is still no clear picture when she will come home.

John Spikowski
03-22-2010, 02:36 PM
I know this site is about the joy of outdoor cooking and I can't thank the owner of this site FatBoy enough for allowing me to add the donation reminder on the sidebar.

I have exhausted all my resources and basic services are being threatened for disconnection. If you're able to make a donation of any amount to help our family out, it would be truly appreciated in a big way.

Athen's Recovery & H1N1 Awareness Blog (http://www.athenastatus.info/blog)

zafira
03-22-2010, 03:44 PM
Donation sent.

John Spikowski
03-22-2010, 04:02 PM
Thank you so much for your donation!

I hope to be back on my feet soon. If anyone needs help with a computer/software question, please send me an e-mail to johnspikowski@yahoo.com and I will try to help. It's the only way I'm able to give back at the moment.

californiasmokin
03-23-2010, 10:28 PM
A little help is on its way.:thumbs up:

Browneyedgolden
04-05-2010, 07:21 PM
Bump!

BigAL
07-16-2010, 02:03 PM
bumped

PigCicles
08-21-2010, 10:54 AM
:bump::bump:

Keep up the great progress Athena!