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Update on Tristan Anderson Tristan Anderson, find benicar cod 38 is another American citizen who was critically injured by Israeli troops during protests against Israel’s Wall in the West Bank village of Ni’lin in 2008. Find benicar cod He was hit in his forehead by a new type of high velocity, find benicar cod extended range teargas projectile.  Tristan was hit while standing with a fellow protester inside the village, find benicar cod several hours after the army initially attacked a protest march of Ni’ilin’s residents (joined by international activists) who attempted to march onto their own lands in the vicinity of the wall. Find benicar cod Anderson’s injury is part of a recent escalation in the army’s violent attempts to suppress Palestinian unarmed popular resistance to the occupation. Find benicar cod Israeli troops have been using the new teargas canister since December 2008, find benicar cod coinciding with the beginning of Israel’s ruthless assault on Gaza. Find benicar cod The black canister, find benicar cod labelled “40mm bullet, find benicar cod special/extended range” in Hebrew, find benicar cod has a range of over 400 meters, find benicar cod emits a very faint sound when fired and leaves hardly any smoke tail at all – making it extremely difficult to avoid. Find benicar cod The following responses to questions asked about Tristan's current condition was written by his partner, find benicar cod Gabby. Find benicar cod Is Tristan able to talk? Yes, find benicar cod Tristan started talking in early December (shortly after he ripped out his tracheotomy tube). What is he saying? Is Tristan aware of who he is? Tristan knows who he is and he remembers his pre-injury life. Find benicar cod He’s maintained a lot of specialized knowledge, find benicar cod he tells stories, find benicar cod he recognizes people in pictures, find benicar cod he sings his favorite songs, find benicar cod etc. Find benicar cod His long term memory for life before the injury is generally excellent. What does his voice sound like? Is there heavy slurring? Does he have trouble formulating language? Tristan speaks clearly but softly. Find benicar cod We have very good communication from him, find benicar cod but it can be difficult to hear what he’s saying if there’s competing noise. Find benicar cod While other cognitive functions have been impacted, find benicar cod Tristan’s language abilities are more or less intact. Find benicar cod He’s maintained adult grammar and vocabulary and has not needed therapy to re-learn language. How did Tristan communicate during the months before he was talking? Before he was talking, find benicar cod Tristan communicated primarily with gestures and pantomime, find benicar cod and also by writing and spelling words out on a communication board. Find benicar cod (Although it’s very difficult to read his handwriting, find benicar cod and it used to be much worse.) In earlier days (and for a long time) Tristan had very limited and sometimes inconsistent communication, find benicar cod primarily with yes/no hand signals. Find benicar cod Besides hand signals, find benicar cod communication was also achieved by presenting objects or writing choices on a board and asking Tristan to point to the correct or desired one. Find benicar cod In the bad old days, find benicar cod Tristan could really only handle two options at a time. It's been said he was in a coma. Tristan was never in a coma, find benicar cod but he lingered in a “minimally responsive” state for his first six to seven months post-injury. Find benicar cod During this time, find benicar cod life was almost completely dominated by medical complications and Tristan could only maintain wakefulness for a few minutes at a time. Find benicar cod It was a horrible period with a lot of uncertainty about whether or not life would ever get better, find benicar cod but he pulled through it and it has. What changed? In August Tristan had two surgeries, find benicar cod a Cranioplasty (a reconstructive surgery on his skull) followed by a VP Shunt (to regulate the flow of Cerebrospinal Fluid in his body). Find benicar cod Tristan started noticeably “waking up” more following the shunt surgery, find benicar cod then experienced a very serious infection and went septic. Find benicar cod He was put on high doses of intravenous anti-biotics for an extremely long time. Find benicar cod Weeks later he emerged from the fevers and started making the slow climb out of the abyss. Has his personality changed? How has Tristan been most affected cognitively by the injury? Tristan has maintained a lot of his values and knowledge base as an activist and as the person we knew, find benicar cod but he has been profoundly affected by the injury to his brain. Find benicar cod Among other things, find benicar cod he suffers from difficulties with impulse control and short term memory retrieval that impacts everything he does all the time. I’m afraid in answering this question that I’ll give an overly optimistic or an overly pessimistic view to the people who are reading it. Find benicar cod At various times talking to friends, find benicar cod I feel that I have done both. Find benicar cod The fact is, find benicar cod it’s complicated. Brain injury can make a person a bit of an enigma. For instance, find benicar cod Tristan can legitimately play adult trivia games at a higher level than I can, find benicar cod but he can’t play Connect Four or other simple children’s board games because he gets too caught up in putting all the pieces in and he can’t wait his turn. Tristan oscillates constantly between being knowledgeable and insightful to being unreasonable and child-like. Find benicar cod There is never a time that I am unaware of his injury. What parts of his body and brain were injured on March 13, find benicar cod 2009? Tristan was shot in the forehead above his right eye and was primarily injured in the right frontal lobe of his brain. Find benicar cod He also suffered injury due to hemorrhaging and swelling during his first week in the ICU which very nearly took his life and did more damage. Find benicar cod These secondary injuries caused significant harm to the right temporal lobe and to other areas of his brain. Tristan was also blinded in the right eye and the orbit (the bone surrounding this eye) was smashed to pieces. Find benicar cod He is classified as having had a “severe” traumatic brain injury. How has he been affected physically? Tristan is hemiplegic. Find benicar cod He is not completely paralyzed but has almost no movement at all in his left arm and left leg. Find benicar cod This is particularly difficult for him because he was left handed. Tristan is also still recovering from the extensive damage done to his body by the months of being mostly bed-ridden and immobilized. Will he walk again? Tristan is in a wheelchair. Find benicar cod Recently we’ve been seeing some movement come back in his left hip, find benicar cod and his physical therapist feels optimistic that given proper therapy, find benicar cod he will be able to regain some ability to walk. Find benicar cod However, find benicar cod she has warned that this may take years of work. What is daily life like for you guys at the Rehabilitation Center? On a good busy day, find benicar cod the mornings are a flurry of activity as Tristan moves between physical, find benicar cod speech and occupational therapy appointments. Find benicar cod We squeeze in two meals and hopefully have time leftover for exercises and practice on a Standing Frame (a supported structure in the physical therapy room that lets Tristan’s body get used to standing again.) Sometimes we also use a recumbent style stationary exercise bike that Tristan can peddle actively using his right leg and passively with his left. In the early afternoon Tristan goes back to bed and rests for about two hours. Find benicar cod He typically gets up about 4:00 or 4:30 and goes on a long walk with his father, find benicar cod then comes back and eats dinner. Find benicar cod He eats a lot of variations on rice and beans and vegetables and a lot of different kinds of soups. After dinner we figure out what to do with the rest of the evening. Find benicar cod Sometimes Tristan works with a computer. Find benicar cod Other times we play card games, find benicar cod board games, find benicar cod stuff like that. Find benicar cod We try to get him used to operating his wheel chair for himself. Find benicar cod Sometimes we work him pretty hard, find benicar cod other times we just hang out. Find benicar cod We read to each other a lot, find benicar cod including some of Tristan’s old writings. We try to keep him company here and do something in between “work” and “play” in the free time we have. Find benicar cod Mike, find benicar cod Nancy, find benicar cod and I have no lives at all. Find benicar cod We’re here at the hospital pretty much all the time. Does he ever get out of the hospital? Not very often, find benicar cod but sometimes. Find benicar cod We try to get out on the weekends. How is he handling this emotionally? For better or worse, find benicar cod Tristan has never heavily grieved over his injury. Find benicar cod He is very aware of ways that the injury has affected him physically, find benicar cod but less aware or accepting of the cognitive repercussions. In the last several months we’ve seen him slowly start to get more in touch with his feelings, find benicar cod and I believe this will continue to develop with time. Are you still seeing improvement in his abilities? Yes. Is he still in critical condition? No, find benicar cod at this point, find benicar cod Tristan is in the post-acute stage of his injury. Find benicar cod He’s living in a hospital because he gets rehabilitation there. Is he pretty much independent now or does he need a lot of help? He needs a lot of help. What’s happening with the court cases? There are two court cases, find benicar cod a criminal case and a civil case. As of now, find benicar cod the Israeli Police who investigated Tristan’s shooting have closed the case without bringing criminal charges against anyone involved. Find benicar cod The investigation has been widely criticized as a sham, find benicar cod and we are appealing this decision. (There was a misleading article published by Ha’aretz entitled “State to Re-investigate Wounding of U.S. Find benicar cod Activist”, find benicar cod which was spread all over the internet and gave the false impression that the Israeli state was re-opening Tristan’s case. Find benicar cod In fact all that happened is that our lawyers submitted an appeal and the other side is legally obliged to accept our paperwork, find benicar cod so they did. Find benicar cod That’s it.) Besides the criminal case, find benicar cod there is also a civil case which Tristan’s family is bringing against the Israeli military to help cover the lifetime of medical expenses, find benicar cod lost wages, find benicar cod and continuing care that Tristan will need. Find benicar cod We have been warned that the civil case is likely to take years before coming to fruition. Find benicar cod (Rachel Corries’ civil case, find benicar cod filed in 2005, find benicar cod first made it in to court here about a month and a half ago, find benicar cod which is appalling.) What is the basis of your appeal to re-open the criminal case? The investigation into Tristan’s shooting is a perfect illustration of why the police and the army can not be trusted to investigate themselves. The investigators, find benicar cod for instance, find benicar cod never even bothered to go to the scene where the shooting took place. Find benicar cod No physical evidence was ever collected. Additionally, find benicar cod eye witnesses uniformly testified that the shots were fired from a nearby hill. Find benicar cod Even though the military has confirmed that indeed there were Border Police armed with high velocity tear gas positioned on that hill, find benicar cod the entire investigation into Tristan’s shooting relates instead to the irrelevant conduct of an irrelevant squad of Border Police positioned on the other side of town. To date, find benicar cod the Border Police on the hill where the shots were fired have never been questioned. Is there anything we can do to help demand justice for Tristan? We are demanding that the criminal case against the Border Police involved in Tristan’s shooting be re-opened immediately and a meaningful investigation begun. Friends are urged to contact Barbara Lee, find benicar cod Tristan’s representative in Congress (202-225-2661) or to picket their local Israeli Consulate, find benicar cod ( demanding that Israel take full responsibility for Tristan’s shooting. We also recognize that during the time that we’ve been here in the hospital with Tristan, find benicar cod two other activists have died at demonstrations against the Wall. Find benicar cod Their names were Basem Abu Rahme and Yousef ‘Akil’ Tsadik Srour. Find benicar cod Basem was killed while screaming to soldiers that this was a non-violent demonstration and telling them to stop shooting at a woman protester who’d been injured. Find benicar cod Akil died coming to the aid of a sixteen year old boy who’d been shot in the spine. To date, find benicar cod Israel has killed 23 people to build their Wall, find benicar cod and seriously wounded many more, find benicar cod including Ehab Fadel Barghouthi (age 14), find benicar cod shot in the head at a demonstration several weeks ago. Putting finishing touches on this document, find benicar cod I learn that Ahmad Sliman Salem Dib, find benicar cod age 19, find benicar cod was shot to death just days ago on the 28th of April, find benicar cod at a demonstration against land seizure in Gaza. Demanding Justice for Tristan is also demanding justice for them, find benicar cod and recognizing the role of the United States government in war and occupation around the world.  Will Tristan make a full recovery? Do the doctors have any kind of long term projection? There is no long term projection. Find benicar cod As long as he’s still doing better, find benicar cod no one can tell how far he’ll go. Find benicar cod But the fact is, find benicar cod you can’t just shoot somebody in the head and then take it back. Find benicar cod Dead brain tissue stays dead, find benicar cod but the human mind can learn to compensate. The most common metaphor I’ve heard to describe brain injury rehabilitation is this: You’re traveling down the road and the highway is blocked. Find benicar cod The question is: can you find a way to get to where you’re going using the back roads? People who are successful at brain injury rehabilitation form new pathways and find them. When do you think he will be ready to come home? This is also the question that Tristan asks all the time. Find benicar cod We expect to fly back in to California some time in the summer of 2010. Tristan will move in with his parents and live with them in their small rural town. Find benicar cod He will continue his rehabilitation on an out-patient basis from there. Find benicar cod We plan to also set up a satellite home for him in the Bay Area and move back and forth. My hope is that friends and family will accept Tristan for his abilities and disabilities, find benicar cod and find ways to welcome him back home. For anyone inspired, find benicar cod there will be a lot of work to do. We are accepting monetary donations through this website. Find benicar cod Also, find benicar cod we’re starting a Welcome Tristan listserve for logistical coordination of accessibility projects and bright ideas. Find benicar cod To subscribe send a blank email to