To centralize all of the current news, information, and medical status regarding writer/producer/story editor Roger Slifer, we have started this archive section. The top will always be the most current information.
** ROGER MEDICAL UPDATE & GRAPHIC NOVEL NEWS 8/14/13 **
Hello to everyone again from Indiana! It’s Connie with an update.
Roger is still holding his own. When I go to visit I take him out to the gazebo when I can, and take his helmet off so he can feel the summer breeze in his hair. One day a couple other families were out there asking questions about him. He was alert and I swear he knew we were talking about him-chest even popped out a little when I told them of his accomplishments. I still work with him with his letters, scrapbooks, balls etc. Some days are better than others and still not always consistent.
One thing that is fairly consistent is when I ask him if he wants to hold my hand while we sit and 9 times out of 10 he does. That seems to comfort him. He is still in a facility in Greensburg but they treat him well and like family. Ironically he has a roommate now temporarily. His last name is Ailes, the same as my kids and my ex. An Ailes and a Slifer in the same room again. What were the chances? Haven’t found out if this gentleman is any relation but he is from the same vicinity.
I still would like to get Roger to Morristown Manor but nothing available yet. Greensburg is still closer than LA so I’m not complaining, but it would be nice to get him 5-10 minutes from home instead of 35.
My plan is to continue the effort on repairing his skull. Because of Elmer, I’ve met a couple brain surgeons here lately, but that’s another whole story. Maybe it will help me get my foot in the door though so God definitely has a plan.
Keep Elmer in your prayers-he has battled nose bleeds since January and we’ve bounced from dr to dr and no one can figure it out. Meanwhile he is anemic and has little to no energy. They thought he had an aneurysm but we had a angiogram yesterday and there is a “slight” dilation but nothing that we need to be concerned with. Now if we could just fix the nose bleeds…..
We bought Roger a minibarn to hold his “stuff” that we moved from CA and have been storing in a friend’s barn. Think of that-Roger owning a minibarn! But we have 5 acres and this way I can sit it on our property and keep a better eye on it. The comic books are elsewhere where there is some climate control. Roger was not a hoarder, but definitely a pack-rat, but we’ve found some interesting stuff along the way.
Bryan Sullivan, a friend and associate of Roger’s, became a good friend and tremendous help to me. Bryan is an attorney and I may have mentioned before he helped me through the hoops at the LA court house. He and Roger were in the middle of a graphic novel when the accident happened. Bryan has completed the novel and I have included his instructions below on how to purchase it. With your help he can get the rest of the novel published. As this could be one of Roger’s last works, please help me support Bryan in this effort. Bryan will be getting married soon too so congratulations go out to him! Here is the information:
” We published Bloodlust on pulpfreepublishing.com. I’d appreciate it if you could post this on your facebook page and ask Roger’s friends to re-post it as well. Here are the directions to get the app and the comic. Hopefully, we can generate enough buzz to get the rest of it published. “
Once you have the Pulp-Free app installed on your iPhone:
– Tap the icon to open the app
– You will find Bloodlust at the top/left of the screen (first featured position)
– Tap the cover to Preview the title and read the description entered on the website
– Tap the .$99 Buy green button to purchase (you will need your iTunes Username and Password to purchase the title)
Keep praying for Roger. They keep telling me the brain is still a mystery and miracles do happen!
** ROGER MEDICAL UPDATE 5/25/13 **
Hello everyone, it’s Connie with the latest news……
So Roger has been a Hoosier again for about 6 weeks. He spent a month at Hook Rehab center in Indianapolis. They were very kind to him. Part of the criteria is that he has to be responsive enough to withstand 1 1/2 hours of therapy (not necessarily all at once). He goes in cycles–he might be bright eyed on one visit, and sleep the next time. He also still had the rash while he was there, but we think we finally got it under control and his skin looks 100 times better.
On May 14, we moved him to a small nursing facility in Greensburg Indiana. Ultimately, I want to move him to Morristown Manor in our small town, but they didn’t have a Medicaid bed available. He is on “the list”, but until then, he is hanging out in Greensburg. I had 2 to chose from and thought he might get more one on one care at this facility.
One of the nurses commented Sunday that he was definitely more “in there” than she was led to believe from the hospital transfer report. He lifts his head to help her put his shirt on and off, and tracks with his eyes sometimes. He likes to help with the toothbrush when they clean his mouth. He responds in many ways-I rubbed his shoulders the other day and you could see the smile on his face. When I ask him to wave to me, he doesn’t do it, but multiple times I’ve
asked him to shake my hand and he raises his hand to do so. He will also reach out if one of us is leaving the room-he doesn’t want us to go. But then the next time I go, he might sleep through the whole visit, so we’re looking for more consistency. Hook Rehab tried not to mislead us with big dreams. They rated him as a 2 on a 10 point scale and didn’t know if he would ever get better. The brain is a still a mystery to all of us and only time will tell.
We have decorated his room with pictures of family & friends, and Spiderman, Superman, Iron Man and Lobo are there too. He is kind of a novelty both for the staff & the other patients-my California friends are used to famous people showing up different places, but in Greensburg, Indiana, he’s one of a kind. The nurses are googling him and learning more and more about him. One of his male nurses is a big comic fan so he is going to speak “comic” to Roger as much as he can. My sister reported today that Roger was grabbing at his trach and trying to hang his leg out of his bed; not behaving his best. They finally got him out of bed into a Gerry chair and he evidently calmed down. I think he likes to be up when he can and is starting to show more of his likes and dislikes. Agitation can actually be one of the stages.
Barlow Respiratory Hospital where he spent 2 months (up by Dodger’s Stadium-what a bus trip that was!) contacted me the other day. It was a gentleman named Charles from the Barlow Foundation. He has sent me some information on a DynaVox EyeMax that some patients can use to communicate with their eyes on this machine just by looking at it. I don’t know if it will be an option for Roger, but if he can never communicate with us the normal way, it would be a blessing. I will continue to research it to see if it would work for him. Chuck also sent me a couple bears and squeeze balls to replace the ones Goldstar lost at their
facility, as well as a few other goodies. I was surprised to hear from them after all this time, but they are kind enough to do followup with their past patients. He also gave me the name of another patient who was there the same time as Rog and is now back to work.
In our local paper last week, there was an article about a 5th grade teacher who helps teach her students to read with comic books and related material. She is having her first “comic-con” next Weds, 5/29/13. (Shelbynews.com-May 21st or 22nd article) I called her yesterday and told her about Roger growing up in Morristown and how he began his career in comics. We left it that I am going to bring some of Roger’s stuff to her convention to bring a local flair, and reinforce to the kids that dreams can come true. I think I have one of his story boards, lots of convention material that I found in his office, and Jim McLaughlin from Hero Initiative is sending me some of their material too. It will be on a much smaller scale than your Comic Conventions, but I hope they will enjoy it.
I am also going to contact Jason Olson, the detective who handled Roger’s case, to see if he can put something out in the media for the 1 year anniversary coming up of this unfortunate accident. (6-23-2012). If any of you California friends have any media connections, feel free to try to get the word out. Maybe the guilty party will have a conscience and come forward if they realize the kind of damage they did.
Thank you all for keeping him in your prayers. It may take years instead of months, but we will still work with him and get the best of Roger back!
** ROGER MEDICAL UPDATE 4/14/13 **
Roger flew home to IN Saturday and got here about 4 pm. He is at Hook Rehab Center in Indpls. Today (Sunday) they had him up in a special wheel chair. There was a smile immediately on his face! He’s been in bed almost 10 months and I’m sure it felt good to him!
On the down side, we didn’t get the surgery done because of the infections, rash and high heart rate. On the up side, they are much better. We’ll just have to give it more time and try again once Indiana Medicaid is in place.
Hooks Rehab looks like they will do good things for him. Unfortunately, Goldstar seemed limited on what they could do, blaming some of it on Medi-Cal. It was heart wrenching to watch him just lay there. But this facility promises to get him back as far as they can so stay tuned for the next exciting chapters!
Thanks again for all your prayers!
** ROGER MEDICAL UPDATE 3/28/13 **
Connie Carlton here with the latest.
Roger is still at UCLA. We had everything set to go for tomorrow’s surgery. Tonight the surgeon called and said they had done blood work today on Roger, and his white blood cell count is up to 16000. He has fought infections throughout this journey. They don’t know where the infection is, but they do not recommend surgery now. If the infection somehow got in to his brain or the skull piece, it could have serious repercussions.
Of course, I have to live with their decision. Bummed? Big time. There’s got to be a reason. These are the times when our faith is tested so keep your prayers coming for Roger & for me that I can make the right decisions for him.
In the last month I’ve been doing additional research regarding where to place him in Indiana. A couple people, one a cousin and the other a nurse in my church suggested Hooks Rehab in Indpls. I’ve been going to go tour it, but just hadn’t worked it in yet. Last Saturday, while we were having an estate sale for my aunt who passed away in November, THE person I needed to talk to at Hooks happened to come to the sale and we made a connection. Who knew she lived 15 minutes away from me and saw the sale ad in the Shelbyville News? I am to tour the facility on Weds. They specialize in brain injury patients and she has given me great expectations of what they might be able to do for Roger.
I found out today from the case manager at the hospital that possibly the reason Goldstar hasn’t done a whole lot of rehab is that Medi-Cal doesn’t pay for it. I will verify that with Goldstar tomorrow. If true, I know I need to get him out of there sooner rather than later. The dr has told me he could travel without his skull fixed, but I have wanted to have it put back in CA by the same dr that took it out, as well as with the Medi-Cal benefits that are finally in place. I will have to start all over again with Indiana Medicaid once I move him. The case manager is also checking into alternative ways to fly him home, possibly at a reduced cost. In that respect, the whole trip has not been a waste. I learn more each time I come out but it’s starting to get costly. These are the things I will continue to pray about and hope I can do the best for him.
So keep the prayers coming and I’ll keep plugging away. I said a long time ago I wish I had a crystal ball to see how it will all turn out. God is in control.
** ROGER MEDICAL UPDATE 3/26/13 **
Hi All, Will Alovis here. At last,Tomorrow, Wednesday 3/27/13 at 8:15am PT, Roger will finally be having the surgical procedure to replace the piece of his skull which had been previously removed to alleviate cranial pressure.
The surgery will take place at UCLA Hospital in Westwood, CA, and is scheduled to take 4 hours. He will then need to stay at UCLA for between 3-10 days to recover from this procedure that his neurologist says can sometimes foster dramatic improvement in these cases.
Please keep Roger in your thoughts during this critical time and let’s all focus on it making the difference he so very needs.
Roger’s sister, Connie Carlton, and her husband, Elmer, will be at the hospital during the surgery and we’ll be updating here as events warrant.
Thanks again for all your thoughts and prayers!
** ROGER MEDICAL UPDATE 3/9/13 **
Hello everyone! Connie Carlton again with this month’s update.
Visited Roger again the last week of February. Jennifer, my niece traveled with me this time. The first couple days, Roger wasn’t with it much and they determined he was fighting another bout of pneumonia. They did put him on antibiotics right away, and the end of the week was much better. The last 3 days he stayed awake the whole time we visited. I had taken him a “squeeze” ball and we practiced transferring it from the right to left hand. His right hand is slightly curved, and I feel it helps stretch those muscles when I put the ball in his hand. He transferred from right to left and back again. He even dropped it at one point between his elbow and wrist and before I knew it, he had worked it up his arm back to his left hand, then his right, then back again, then handed it to me. We also looked at his baby book some pictures that I had found at the apartment. When we got ready to leave on our last day, I asked him if he could wave goodbye and he didn’t comply. I asked if he could shake my hand and he raised his hand to do so. Then I asked him to shake Jennifer’s, just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke, and he did it again. I asked him if he wanted to “blow this joint” and come with us, and he raised his head and shoulder up off the pillow, reaching out, conveying the message “yes-take me with you!” It seemed he was more able to follow commands and that was encouraging.
Some friends I met out there told me of similar stories like Roger’s, and even though it could be years instead of months, gave me more hope. My frustration is it still doesn’t seem like they work with him a whole lot from a rehab standpoint. Hopefully when I get him to Indiana I can put him in a facility that will.
This trip, we packed up the apartment and moved his “stuff” to Indiana. The truck arrived yesterday and we placed it in storage, as well as putting the comics and bedroom suite at Daddy’s. He had LOTS of comics! We hired Mayflower in Santa Monica to take care of things and it all went smoothly. On the California end Shaene Siders and Mark Ortiz helped us pack up, and Matt Mulleniux, a friend of Mark’s who had contacted me in the early days of the accident, showed up and make 3 trips to Goodwill for us in his Yaris. He arrived just as the moving trucks left and we appreciated all that he and Mark & Shaene did to help. Neighbor Lolly took care of some details for us too. Ed graciously took the food from the freezer which helped us both. Will & Courtney also helped with getting us boxes, as well as keeping us entertained. Don’t know what I’d do without them! Hero Initiative paid for the entire move so a huge thanks to them & Jim McGlaughlin at Hero for his help in setting things up. I’ve not told Roger specifically that the apt is closed but that I was taking care of everything, so if you visit him, please keep that in mind.
On our end, Daddy, sister Linda and her husband Tony,& niece & nephew Jennifer & David Hickman helped with the unload. Some went to LInda’s, some went to Daddy’s, some came to my house, and we filled 2 10 x 10 storage areas. My husband helped supervise, but can’t lift yet. Daddy went home between trucks (there were 2 straight trucks) and made yummy chili to warm us up.
Next up, the surgery for Roger has been rescheduled for the end of March. Hopefully nothing will happen this time to get in the way. Then our hopes are to bring him home in April where I can keep an eye on him & Elmer. We won’t be staying as long this time as we gave up the apartment, but Elmer is going to come with me. We can take a shuttle from the motel to the hospital so there won’t be as much walking involved. I’m looking forward for Elmer to meet as many of Roger’s friends as we can.
Will place another update after the surgery. Thanks again for your continued support!
** ROGER MEDICAL UPDATE 2/15/13 **
Hey everyone. Connie Carlton here with some updates.
Roger went to the Derm on Monday and they recommended he wait 3-4 weeks more to do the surgery, but said if the Neuro dr was ok to do it sooner, they did not feel the rash would be a problem and it is getting better. I put the Derm in touch with the Neuro yesterday and trying to see what I can work out in the next few weeks.
We are finalizing plans to close up Roger’s apt by the end of the month. It has been 8 months and time to let it go. Hero Initiative is going to take care of the cost of the move from CA to IN and I want to publicly thank them for their generosity. There is no way financially we could do this without their help. I also have some friends from church, Hubert & Carolyn Blackford, who are going to let us store the items in their facility.
I still have some ongoing issues with Roger’s car. I can’t locate the title and it still shows a lien on the registration, even tho he paid it off in 1998. He just never had the need to go to the bureau to get the lien holder taken off the title. I am trying to get a duplicate but the friendly people at the DMV have not cooperated yet. Hopefully with one more side step in the process, I can prove to them that the lien holder has gone out of business, and they will
let me get the title transferred. I have 2 people in CA that are interested in purchasing it. If I can’t get the solution I need, I will need to bring it home also, as when we give up the apt, we give up the parking space. If any one out there has any pull with the California DMV, please let me know.
When I was with Roger in January, the facility was trying to wean him off the trach. There is a valve on it now that would allow him to speak, if he can do it. He does growl like a bear from time to time, and on 1 occasion his lips moved at the same time as he growled, but we couldn’t hear what he was saying. Probably “let me out of here!” I sang “Jesus Loves Me” and Barry Manilow’s “It’s Gonna Be All Right” to him on our last day. Then I sat next to him to write some notes to the nurse. With no prompting, he reached over and took my hand in his. I really feel he has more potential than what they are giving him credit for at times. He communicates with me more than what a Dr can put in a report. By getting him home within driving distance, we can visit him more often and work with him. I haven’t seen much Re in rehab, but it is the nature of the beast.
I did go back to LA court on my last visit (that in itself is an experience!) and got the conservatorship extended to July 12th. I am working on setting up a guardianship here in IN and have to go to court for it March 5th. Many thanks to the work Bryan Sullivan is doing to help me through the court system in CA. I would be lost without him. He is an attorney who is a friend of Roger’s, and also Roger was working on a graphic novel for Bryan. We happened to meet the first day i went to see Roger at UCLA. The Lord works in mysterious ways. He knew I needed Bryan.
Every time I go out to CA, Will & Courtney Alovis treat Linda & I like royalty. They take us anywhere we need, and we’ve enjoyed many a meal with them. God broke the mold when he created them and they are one of the many blessings that have come from this experience. We have also spent time with Brittany Alexander, a close friend of Rog’s, and Luke Dietz, Roger’s friend and ex room mate. Also, Ed Klauky, the friends at the Coffee Bean at Main & Ashland, Lolly, his neighbor, Alma, his landlady, and his neighbors on 4th street……Shanae who helped pay the rent early in the beginning….Like many of his friends out there life was a roller coaster and you never know where that next job will come from, but if friends could be counted in gold, Roger was a very wealthy man. I can only hope you friends will visit him in Indiana once I get him settled. We hope to be able to life flight him home once my Aunt Ruth’s estate is settled-that will be her gift to him.
Every day is another mountain to climb, another hurdle to jump, but I’m not in this alone. Along with my family, I have made a ton of new friends, not to mention spending part of my winter in 70 degree weather instead of 5 degrees, so it hasn’t all been negative. There are lots of positives that have come from this experience!
2 days after I got home from my last visit, my husband, Elmer went in the hospital and had Gall bladder surgery, along with some colon repair. He hadn’t felt good for a long time but has had many medical issues. He is home now, and I finally got my suitcase unpacked a week later. Keep him in your prayers also. He’s had some liver issues going on too from all the medication he has had to take in the last few years, but we have a wonderful surgeon named Dr Carlos Viera that is going that extra mile to get him some long term answers that should give him a better quality of life. Dr V has also offered his time and resources to helping to put together a fund raiser for Roger in the future. He doesn’t even know Rog, and is a very busy Dr., but wants to help.
Sorry I’ve rambled, but I had a lot to say. Fingers crossed that the next chapters in Roger’s life go smoothly!
** ROGER MEDICAL UPDATE 1/25/13 **
Hi, it’s Will Alovis again. Extremely disappointed, frustrated, and angry to have to tell you all that Roger DID NOT have his surgery today. He went to UCLA as scheduled and when the surgeon saw him, declined to do the procedure. Roger has had a rash the past 3 months he’s been at Goldstar Rehabilitation, that the facility’s Dr was treating w/ antibiotics.
There was no improvement in the rash and sores as of 2 weeks ago. Why the facility’s Dr didn’t take a step further to aggressively treat him or do biopsy/cultures to see why it wasn’t responding to the antibiotics is beyond our comprehension. And they also neglected to notify his neurologist about the rash/sores as well. Incredibly mad about this.
His neurologist today ordered a dermatologist to do the necessary biopsy/cultures and Roger has been returned to Goldstar to await further developments. We’re hoping that now that he’s finally having these tests they are doing on him, they will finally get the rash under control and can reschedule the surgery to have his skull replaced and hopefully move forward.
Whether the MediCal authorization for the procedure will now need to be reapproved & the process started from scratch again is unknown. Not the news we wanted to share or any of us was hoping for today & we’re p***ed.
Thanks again for all your support, prayers, and good thoughts on Roger’s behalf. We will post again as more information is available.
** ROGER MEDICAL UPDATE 1/24/13 **
Hi All, Will Alovis here. Tomorrow, Friday 1/25/13 at 11am PT, Roger will finally be having the surgical procedure to replace the piece of his skull which had been previously removed to alleviate cranial pressure.
The surgery will take place at UCLA Hospital in Westwood, CA, and is scheduled to take 4 hours. He will then need to stay at UCLA for between 3-10 days to recover from this procedure that his neurologist says can sometimes foster dramatic improvement in these cases.
Please keep Roger in your thoughts during this critical time and let’s all focus on it making the difference he so very needs. Roger’s sister, Connie Carlton, will be at the hospital during the surgery and we’ll be updating here as events warrant.
Thanks again for all your thoughts and prayers!
**ROGER MEDICAL UPDATE 1/6/13 **
Hi! Connie Carlton here with an update on Roger.
Will pretty much summed it up in his last post. Roger continues to get stronger every day, but still has the trach and the feeding tube in. They have explained they have to time the weaning of the trach just right or they could set him back. We’re not seeing a whole lot of new progress, but trying to be patient. I am trying to get his surgery scheduled to put the skull piece back in the end of January. I think we finally have the Medi-Cal in place to take care of it, and I’m working with the Drs to try and make it all happen. We continue to work on packing up his apt and Jim McGlaughlin at Hero Initiative is working with me helping to plan the move. I have to go back to court Feb 1st to extend the conservatorship since we don’t have him home yet. Bryan Sullivan, a friend of Roger’s who is an atty, has been a huge help with the conservatorship.
We do finally have the trust set up for Roger here in Indiana. If you have wanted to help but didn’t know how, the Roger Slifer Special Needs Trust is available. Checks can be made payable to the trust and sent to me at 815 E 1000 N, Morristown, In 46161. Mostly it has been used to pay attorney bills locally to set up the trust and the guardianship in Indiana. Hopefully we can build it up over time to give Roger something to get started again after he is back on his feet. We don’t know if it will take months or years, but his family and friends are with him all they way!
Some of you know our Aunt Ruth passed away November 18th. Roger does not know yet. She helped to raise us in the summer as Mom worked so Ruth was like a second mom to us. It was an unfortunate blow to the Slifer family on top of everything else, but she is looking down on us now. She had just sent Roger a birthday card the week before.
That’s pretty much it for now. Hopefully I’ll have more to report the end of the month, if we can get the above things to happen. Still keep him in your thoughts and prayers. They have gotten him this far. Hopefully I can get him back to Indiana in the spring so we can be more involved in his recovery. Then once he gets past the hurdles in front of him now, we can send him back to California a whole person who’s ready to return to the work he so loved.
Latest report from Will Alovis concerning Roger Slifer
**ROGER MEDICAL UPDATE 12/22/12**
Hi All, Will Alovis here. Visited with Roger yesterday but he wasn’t very responsive. Overall, his condition really hasn’t changed since Connie Carlton’s most recent posting. His trach tube still hasn’t been removed, so we still don’t know if he’s capable of speech, though at times he does move his lips & mouth in such a way that makes you think he’s trying to speak. Additionally, he shows no interest in using the magnetic letters his sisters brought for him to form words. Also, MediCal still hasn’t approved the surgery to replace the piece of his skull which was removed immediately after the hit-and-run in order to alleviate his cranial pressure.
It’s been a few months now since Roger’s Dr suggested replacing it — and explained that simply doing so can sometimes lead to dramatic improvement in recovery – but the red tape involved with getting this authorization has been excruciating. We’re all hoping that approval gets worked out in the very near future. The delays and seeming lack of urgency regarding this by the MediCal bureaucracy are really distressing. In a few days, it’ll be 6 months since the accident. Hard to believe but true. So please, while you’re spending the Holidays with your loved ones, take a moment and send some good thoughts Roger’s way. He still needs them. Thanks again to all of you for your support, love, and concern. Roger is lucky to have so many people who care about him. Praying for better news to share soon and Wishing you All a very Merry Xmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.
** ROGER MEDICAL UPDATE 11/19/12 ** Connie Carlton
Roger still doing well. Is to be weaned as the respiratory therapists see fit, but don’t know how long a process it will be. My UCLA patient advocate think we will have a ruling with Medi-Cal soon. Then we’ll know if we can get the surgery rescheduled to put the skull piece back in and move a step closer to getting him home. There have been lot’s of barriers along the way moving him this way but there must be a reason. I’ll see him again in a couple weeks and will let you know more after my Dec trip.
Latest report from Will Alovis concerning Roger Slifer
** ROGER MEDICAL UPDATE 10/8/12 **
Hi All, Will Alovis here. Appropriately enough, yesterday (Sunday, 10/7) was Canadian Thanksgiving and I’m very grateful that for the first time in a long time, I’m writing to share some Good News. As Roger’s sister, Connie Carlton, previously mentioned in her comment of 9/29, Roger was recently moved to a sub-acute care facility, Goldstar Rehabilitation Servic
es, located at 1340 15th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404.
Roger’s local friends are very glad that he is now back in his beloved Santa Monica because it makes it so much easier for us all to visit him more often. On the surface, this alone seemed cause to celebrate, though when Courtney and I visited him last Monday, 10/1, his condition didn’t seem any different or at all improved from how he’s been since the accident; he was completely non-responsive. After nearly 3 1/2 months, we found it incredibly disheartening and depressing.
That said, three days later – on Thursday evening, 10/4 – I received a call from Roger’s friend, Luke Deitz, who said that he’d just left from visiting Roger at Goldstar — and that Roger’s condition had changed, that he was now extremely responsive, much more so than he’s been at anytime since the accident. Praying that it was true, but also extremely anxious and fearful that we wouldn’t see what Luke had, Courtney and I headed directly over to Goldstar to check on him.
To our immense joy, from the moment we arrived, we found Roger was indeed responsive and (for the first time since the accident) had the glint of alertness and recognition in his now-clear eyes.
We’ve held off on posting about this for a few days to see whether he maintained this level of alertness, and now, after 4 days in a row of multiple visits from Rog’s friends (Luke, Ed, Barry, Courtney, and myself), and all of us experiencing the same thing, I’m extremely happy to share with you that Roger has undergone a significant positive change in his condition.
Right off the bat, I have to report that Roger is still not able to speak due to his having the trach tube, and although he sometimes seems as if he’s attempting to say something, we honestly at this point don’t know (even if the trach tube were to be removed) if he can.
Very significantly, and for the first time since the accident, Roger will now follow directions and when asked to will move his left hand and arm, as well as both legs, and his feet and toes. Also, for the first time since the accident, Roger will follow you around the room with his eyes and by turning his head.
Each day I show him pictures of himself, his family, and his friends, as well as a Lobo comic, and he looks at them with great interest and seeming recognition.
Every visit I take time to explain to him once again where he is and why, and whenever he furrows his brow in confusion or upset, share with him how his many friends, loved ones, and fans all care very deeply for him and are pulling and praying for him daily. I tell him about many of you by name, particularly his longtime comic book industry family, Marv W., Jim S., Ed H., Dave K., Paul L., and many more — and he seems to get energized and more animated when I do.
Roger still has an incredibly long road of recovery ahead of him. He’s currently in Private Isolation (Room 225) due to a lung infection, and those who visit him must first suit up in a surgical gown, mask, and gloves before entering. Also, though he was scheduled to have the piece of his skull (which had been previously removed to take the pressure off his then-swollen brain) replaced on 10/17, this procedure has been postponed indefinitely due to some bureaucratic red tape. Hopefully those issues will be resolved soon, and within the next 4-6 weeks he’ll finally be able to have that procedure, which his neurologist said can sometimes greatly help the brain’s process of healing and recovery.
All in all, much to give Thanks for.
A little over two months ago, one of the nurses at UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Neuro Intensive Care Unit told me (unsolicited) that in all her 20+ years in that job, she’d never seen anyone recover from an injury like Roger had suffered, that in all that time she’d never seen a “miracle.”
I believe that the love you all have shown Roger, and the prayers that have been offered for him, have indeed led to this positive turn of events, this “miracle”, and that he needs our support and prayers even more now than ever before to help him continue on this path of healing and recovery.
What tomorrow will bring we don’t know. But for the first time since the accident we now feel there is cause to be cautiously optimistic about Roger’s recovery.
So please keep Roger in your hearts, thoughts , and prayers, and please ask others to do so too. I’ll definitely post again when there’s something new to share. Thanks again for your love and concern!
** ROGER MEDICAL UPDATE 8/16/12 **
Please head to Hero initiative for complete details.
A new report from Will concerning Roger Slifer
** ROGER MEDICAL UPDATE 8/5/12 **
Hi, Will Alovis again. Courtney and I visited Roger today at Barlow Respiratory Hospital in LA and found things to be a bit different from what I’d previously reported on Friday. First of all, Roger was more physically responsive today than we’ve seen him be since before his bout with the seizures several weeks ago. He still isn’t opening his eyes, but when we touched his arm he would move around in reaction to it. Which brings me to the next difference from what I’d previously reported: When Roger was moving, we observed that he was moving BOTH his legs as well as BOTH his arms and hands. So, contrary to what had been reported earlier, there was no evidence of his body being flaccid on the left side. Overall, today, his behavior was similar to how he’d behaved several weeks ago — before the seizures had wracked his brain. The only substantive differences being that today he didn’t open his eyes and that his movements now seem less agitated than they did back then.
Additionally his nurse told us that the process of weaning him off of the ventilator is going well and that they expect to start having him fully breath on his own for a few hours at a time starting tomorrow (if all goes as planned).
Overall, we came away from our visit more encouraged than we have been the past few days, since in the ways I mention above Roger seems to be gaining ground.
Whatever prayer and good thoughts people are putting out there for Roger seem to be helping & we are eternally grateful to any and all who have been kind enough to share them. Please continue to do so, and ask others to as well. I’ll definitely post again when there’s something new to share. Thanks again for your love and concern!
KJEM Radio has received a medical update on Roger Slifer. Close family friend Will Alovis provided the details below. Our thoughts and prayers for Roger, his, family and friends.
** ROGER MEDICAL UPDATE 8/3/12 **
Hello, Will Alovis here again. Saw Roger’s sisters, Connie and Linda, yesterday and they shared the following. Roger’s first week at Barlow Respiratory Hospital didn’t go as hoped. The Doctors and staff there had intended to begin weaning him off the ventilator but due to recurring pneumonia and his running a fever they weren’t able to start the process (which they said, once begun, could take 15 or so days). They’ve now been treating Roger with a different antibiotic and consequently his temp has gone down, meaning they can now begin getting him off the vent, which has been, intermittently, breathing for him when his lungs haven’t been doing their job and supplementing their efforts when they have been.
More importantly, Connie spoke with Roger’s neurologist who gave the family some very tough news, which they’ve asked me to share with you, Roger’s friends, loved ones, colleagues, and fans. Each day that Roger remains in his coma and unresponsive makes it that much more unlikely that his brain will recover from it’s traumatic injury. Whereas in the weeks just after the accident his limbs were all functioning, the left side of his torso is now, according to his family, flaccid and unmoving. Since he’s been at Barlow, the Doctors have no longer been monitoring Roger’s brain function or activity, as they feel they’ve done everything they can for his brain. He is no longer hooked-up to an EEG or any other such monitoring equipment. The neurologist’s prognosis was not positive or encouraging.
There is now and official site, and Pay Pal account set up to help out comic book writer, and writer Roger Slifer. To find out how to help please visit THE HERO INITIATIVE Web site for complete details.
MEDICAL UPDATE: Roger Slifer – 7/27/2012
From: Will Alovis
Hi, Will Alovis here. This evening Roger was transferred from UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Neuro Intensive Care Unit in Westwood, CA, to the Barlow Respiratory Hospital, which is located at 2000 Stadium Way, near Dodger Stadium just east of Downtown Los Angeles. How long Roger will remain at Barlow is unknown. Barlow is what is referred to as a Long-Term Acute Care Hospital and is reported to be expert at weaning patients off of ventilators. Roger has been hooked-up to a ventilator from when he first arrived at the hospital after the hit & run. It has been assisting his breathing 24/7 since then and the time has come for them to help him get back breathing fully on his own again.
Additionally, for the past couple weeks Roger’s brain was relentlessly plagued by seizures for which he required high doses of sedatives and anti-seizure meds. Thank Goodness, in the last few days these seizures have finally abated and now his doctors felt it was safe to transfer him. Over the past few days, we’d personally observed that Roger’s caregivers have dramatically decreased the number of IV’s that he’s been hooked-up to. I’d say there are about 1/3 the number of them compared to what he’d had previously — which we take as an encouraging sign.
Still, while his condition is now more stable than it had been, he is still described as being comatose and non-responsive. The doctors say he could remain in this state for anywhere from another week or two to potentially six months or a year – or longer. Nobody knows.
Roger still needs all the prayers and good thoughts that people can send him. His sisters, Connie and Linda, will be coming to Los Angeles this week to handle his affairs and personally check on his care in the “new” facility. I will definitely post here again once there’s something new to report.
Thanks very much for caring and keeping Roger in your thoughts.
As KJEM Radio has been following the developments about writer/producer Roger Slifer, his good friend and colleague Flint Dille has created a Facebook page to centralize news, updates, and details about Roger’s current condition. If you have a Facebook account, are a fan of Roger’s work (Jem, The Transformers, GI Joe, etc.) or wanna keep up to date about Roger’s condition we highly recommend liking the Facebook page.
UPDATE: As of July 5 2012 the driver nor the car that hit Roger has not been found.
UPDATE: The car in the photo might be a Subaru or Priza
Hit and Run Felony – Auto vs. Pedestrian
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 26, 2012
Contact: Richard Lewis, Sergeant
On June 23, 2012, at 12:57 a.m., the Santa Monica Police Department responded to the intersection of 5th Street and Colorado Avenue regarding a hit and run traffic collision involving a vehicle and a pedestrian. The initial investigation revealed that the driver of the suspect vehicle was traveling eastbound on Colorado Avenue approaching 5th Street. The pedestrian, who was later identified as victim Roger Slifer, was crossing 5th Street in the north crosswalk of Colorado Avenue when he was struck by the suspect vehicle while the vehicle was making a left turn onto 5th Street. Mr. Slifer sustained major head and body trauma and was transported to a local trauma center, where he is currently in critical condition. The driver of the vehicle failed to stop for the collision and continued northbound on 5th Street to Broadway where they turned right and continued eastbound out of sight. The suspect vehicle is described as a late 1990’s to early 2000 sedan, white in color with a sunroof and tinted rear windows. The vehicle may have damage to the right front corner. At this time, there is no information regarding the driver.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Investigator Jason Olson at (310) 458-8954 or Sergeant Phillbo Rubish at (310) 458-8950 or the Santa Monica Police Department (24 hours) at (310) 458-8495.
If you wish to remain anonymous, you can call WeTip at 1-800-78-CRIME (1-800-782-7463), or submit the tip online at www.wetip.com. You will remain completely anonymous and may be eligible for a reward, up to $1,000.00, if your information leads to an arrest and conviction.
Or, anonymous tipsters can contact Crime Stoppers by either calling (800) 222-TIPS (8477) or by visiting their website at www.lacrimestoppers.org. To text an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers; please view their webpage for detailed instructions. If the information leads to an arrest, the tipster is eligible to receive a reward up to $1, 000.00.
Sergeant Richard Lewis
Santa Monica Police Department
333 Olympic DriveSanta Monica, CA. 90401
BREAKING NEWS: June 26, 2012
KJEM Radio learned earlier today that the 80s TV series Jem and The Holograms story writer, Roger Slifer was the victim of a hit in run last Friday in Santa Monica, CA. The driver who hit Roger is still unknown at this time.
The Information below is from a writing colleague, and friend of Roger’s, screenwriter Flint Dille (via Facebook).