About

A billion, seemingly random events all led to this instant in time.  Monday, May 24th, 2010.  9:49PM.

My brother, Chris, closed his laptop at 9:38PM, putting it away in his messenger bag, and donning his motorcycle helmet for the short three mile ride home from the University Hospital Starbucks.  He had been studying for his GRE exam on June 1st, and also doing a little coding work on Nexus, a tablet PC sketching application for his employer.  They had a product delivery deadline that Friday, and Chris was catching up on some bugfixes (Chris had attended his supervisor’s mother’s funeral earlier that Monday morning).

At 9:48PM, Chris would be approaching his apartment complex at Babcock and Lockhill Road.  Two more blocks to go.  Only two.  At 9:49PM, a 20-year-old underinsured girl would be turning left from Babcock Road onto Hollyhock Road.  According to the police report, she saw the motorcycle approaching, but initiated the turn anyway.

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Babcock and Hollyhock intersection in San Antonio, May 24th, 2010 at 11pm.

SAPD Officer from the Prue Substation on the scene at 10PM.  Chris was admitted to the University Hospital Emergency Room at 10:22PM.  Transferred to the Surgical/Trauma Intensive Care Unit at 2AM.

I found out the next day from Chris’s coworkers, by 11AM concerned that he hadn’t shown up for work.  They found a news story about a motorcycle crash near his apartment, and eventually determined that it was indeed Chris who was the victim in the crash.

My parents were already en-route to Texas to spend time with us for Memorial Day weekend, a family gathering that would never happen.  I can still vividly remember meeting my parents at the University Hospital main entrance, where I completely broke down and without any words signaled that Chris was not at all OK, and that this day would be the worst day of our lives.

Chris spent the next month in intensive care at University Hospital.  Ventriculostomy to reduce intracranial pressure, a ventilator breathing for him, orthopedic surgery on his shattered wrists.

 The brain injury is severe:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diffuse_axonal_injury

 

San Antonio's University Hospital, June 20th, 2010

San Antonio’s University Hospital, June 20th, 2010

With the help of Chris’s friends and coworkers at Apex Software, and my coworkers at UT, we packed up Chris’s life as a software engineer in San Antonio on Saturday, June 26th, 2010.  My dad remarked that Chris’s garage was “a shrine to Christopher”.

The most painful thing in the world for a father, packing away his son’s life in boxes.


 

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My brother and best friend, Chris, was truly the most genuine and caring person you could ever meet.  28 years, and only just beginning his life.

We haven’t heard a peep out of the despicable, inhuman person who did this to Chris.  She quite intentionally deleted her MySpace account immediately after the accident, and never bothered to inform her mom’s car insurance company about the accident she caused.  Her return to social media a few months later had her bragging about being high, and her friends making fun of her ‘bad luck’ with automobiles.  It’s astonishing.


About Chris:

A few things about Chris, as I think of them: Chris graduated from the The University of Texas at Austin in 2003 with a degree in Computer Science.  He moved to northwest San Antonio shortly thereafter for work as a software developer. Chris enjoyed building and riding classic motorcycles.  He became a vegetarian a few years ago, but deeply missed barbeque.  Chris volunteered at the humane societies in Austin and in San Antonio.

Chris is a native Texan, through and through.

Chris played soccer and baseball growing up in El Paso and Germany (we’re Army brats). He played on a super social softball team in San Antonio, and occasionally subbed for my softball teams up in Austin.  Chris was an avid runner – we’d always go running together on the Leon Creek Greenway in San Antonio, or on Town Lake in Austin.  Those hours spent running would have the two of us invariably solving the world’s problems!

Chris got me into riding motorcycles, too.  I can’t imagine anything more special than brothers riding motorcycles together in the beautiful Texas Hill Country.

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FM2325

Chris is the “real deal”, hands down.  He is absolutely the most authentic and genuine person I have ever known.

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Thanksgiving 2004, in front of the UT Tower

Updates:

Update – December 2010: After being forcibly discharged from a south Austin rehab hospital due to a clerical error at UnitedHealth (!!!), we’re at a nursing home in north Austin now, awaiting the “next step”, whatever / whenever that is…

Update – March 2011: We’ve reached the “next step”, and it’s at HealthSouth RIOSA, back in San Antonio (a rehabilitation hospital).

Update – June 2011: Chris is now at my folks’ temporary apartment near HealthSouth RIOSA (we were unfortunately transitioned into outpatient therapy only).

Update – September 2012:  Chris finally made it to TIRR in Houston.

Update – September 2012 to now, 2014:  Chris was able to go back to TIRR in Houston for a second round, which was absolutely outstanding.  Unfortunately, that funding ran out, and he now lives with my parents in Alabama, where they continue to take care of him 24 hours a day.  Chris is still unable to speak, eat food, move:  he continues to rely on my parents for 100% of his daily needs.

Update – October, 2016:  My brother passed away – absolutely unexpectedly – on May 14th, 2016, in the early morning hours at my parents’ house in Alabama.  My family remains devastated;  there are no words to describe what we’ve been through, nor any words to describe the sense of loss.  My brother, my best friend.

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18 Responses to About

  1. Emma Scoggins says:

    Thanks Robert!

  2. Sandy Ledbetter says:

    Robert your words brought me to tears. Chris has the warmest personality and he is one of the strongest people I know. He’ll overcome this and be a true strength to everyone he meets. Love you Christopher!

  3. Cindy O'Hara says:

    Wow! Chris is so lucky to have such an amazing big brother! Please give your parents all our love. We pray for Chris & know that one day he will come out of this. Miss you Jackie…lots of people ask about you/Chris & wish you all the best. Love you all!

  4. Ann Allega says:

    Robert you are a truly amazing brother! I am so honored to know both of you. Chris you’re right is just awesome! He helped us at least twice read Scholarship applications for the San Antonio Texas Exes, in order to grade them to award approximately 10 Scholarships. We started with over 300. He never complained, he stayed to do as much as he could and I remember thinking, “this is a really cool guy, passionate about his University and just someone you can count on.” We are all praying for him and want to come see him soon! Keep up the good work!

  5. d_eggman2 says:

    Thoughts and prayers headed your way.

  6. Gene Anderson says:

    I am very sorry to hear about Chris.He is a member of our motorcycle forum and we just received the information about his tragic accident.Please know that our thoughts and prayers go out to Chris and his family.Keep your faith in God he will guide all of you through these trying times.We will be thinking of you all and you will remain in our prayers.

  7. Debbie Wilson says:

    I, too, just learned of this accident through a motorcycle forum I belong to. I’m so, so sorry to hear of this! Chris and family are in my prayers.

  8. maxime says:

    I also just heard about chris’s accident on a forum he was frequenting (XLF).
    I’m trully sorry his road met one of such a carreless driver and hope for his recovery.
    Lots of courage to you all and I hope that the mear support we can offer at XLF will help a little.
    Maxime

  9. Jake Buganski says:

    We’re pulling for Chris! Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers…

  10. Charles Henry says:

    There are many of us in the motorcycle forum who are agreeing with you in that Chris will beat this. The word is just getting out. Faith prevails. Keep the faith.
    Prayers sent for your mother and father. I have two sons…I can’t imagine.

  11. Matthew Miller says:

    All your friends here at the XLF Are pulling for you my friend.. Never Give up !!

    Your in my thoughts and prayers today ! God Bless !!

    Your Friend,
    Matt

  12. Paul Hughes says:

    Just here to offer my condolences to you and your family. And to wish Chris the very best in his recovery. He has a lot of people pulling for him- from family and friends to strangers that knew him online like myself. Thank you for sharing, and sorry that you have to do so.

    Godspeed.

  13. Sportyblue says:

    I too just heard about your accident on the XLF. I am so sorry to hear about this. Prayers are sent to you Chris as well as your family. We’re pulling for you.

    Godspeed.

  14. justin martinez says:

    Hey Chris,
    I miss ya at the tattoo shop, I found out about all of this through Roberts phone months ago, I still want to come see ya. Chris is an awesome dude…Always liked this fella.
    I hope for only the best, always the best.
    justin

  15. Ida Ulloa says:

    I am Veronica’s mom. She and Chris were very good friends when they were in high school and had recently reconnected. I know he was coming to visit her right around the time of his accident. I was very, very sad to hear about his accident. Please know that I pray for Christ daily. I also pray for you and your family. I wish there was more I could do. I know he will come through all of this one day. Your blog helps me to keep up with his progress. God bless you and your family and God bless Chris.

  16. Anne Waddle says:

    Chris, I’ve only seen you twice in my life and that’s strange considering that are mothers are so close! After my mom would get off the phone with your mom she would update me on you and Robert and your two Beagle sisters :). So in a way I feel like I know you better even though we have only talked twice! And I feel like I know enough to say this…you will get through this. You are determined and motivated and are surrounded by a wonderful family and great friends. You are in my thoughts and prayers. God bless.

  17. amyjaneuk@yahoo.com says:

    rob your an amazing big brother. I’m blessed to have u as a cousin. your mum and dad are amazing. just wish I wasn’t all the way in England. big hugs to u and of course Chris. love all u guys. xox

  18. Pat Shingledecker says:

    Thank you for sharing, Robert. I found out about the accident a while after it happened through a friend of mine who knew your dad. Because I had not kept in touch with your mom I felt like I didn’t have the “right” to inquire. I really have felt tormented at times thinking that your mom might think I don’t care. I think of you all often. God’s blessings on you and your mom and dad.

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