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Update on Tristan Anderson Tristan Anderson, find clozaril 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 clozaril cod He was hit in his forehead by a new type of high velocity, find clozaril cod extended range teargas projectile.  Tristan was hit while standing with a fellow protester inside the village, find clozaril 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 clozaril 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 clozaril cod Israeli troops have been using the new teargas canister since December 2008, find clozaril cod coinciding with the beginning of Israel’s ruthless assault on Gaza. Find clozaril cod The black canister, find clozaril cod labelled “40mm bullet, find clozaril cod special/extended range” in Hebrew, find clozaril cod has a range of over 400 meters, find clozaril cod emits a very faint sound when fired and leaves hardly any smoke tail at all – making it extremely difficult to avoid. Find clozaril cod The following responses to questions asked about Tristan's current condition was written by his partner, find clozaril cod Gabby. Find clozaril cod Is Tristan able to talk? Yes, find clozaril 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 clozaril cod He’s maintained a lot of specialized knowledge, find clozaril cod he tells stories, find clozaril cod he recognizes people in pictures, find clozaril cod he sings his favorite songs, find clozaril cod etc. Find clozaril 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 clozaril cod We have very good communication from him, find clozaril cod but it can be difficult to hear what he’s saying if there’s competing noise. Find clozaril cod While other cognitive functions have been impacted, find clozaril cod Tristan’s language abilities are more or less intact. Find clozaril 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 clozaril cod Tristan communicated primarily with gestures and pantomime, find clozaril cod and also by writing and spelling words out on a communication board. Find clozaril cod (Although it’s very difficult to read his handwriting, find clozaril 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 clozaril cod primarily with yes/no hand signals. Find clozaril cod Besides hand signals, find clozaril 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 clozaril cod In the bad old days, find clozaril 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 clozaril cod but he lingered in a “minimally responsive” state for his first six to seven months post-injury. Find clozaril cod During this time, find clozaril cod life was almost completely dominated by medical complications and Tristan could only maintain wakefulness for a few minutes at a time. Find clozaril cod It was a horrible period with a lot of uncertainty about whether or not life would ever get better, find clozaril cod but he pulled through it and it has. What changed? In August Tristan had two surgeries, find clozaril 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 clozaril cod Tristan started noticeably “waking up” more following the shunt surgery, find clozaril cod then experienced a very serious infection and went septic. Find clozaril cod He was put on high doses of intravenous anti-biotics for an extremely long time. Find clozaril 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 clozaril cod but he has been profoundly affected by the injury to his brain. Find clozaril cod Among other things, find clozaril 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 clozaril cod At various times talking to friends, find clozaril cod I feel that I have done both. Find clozaril cod The fact is, find clozaril cod it’s complicated. Brain injury can make a person a bit of an enigma. For instance, find clozaril cod Tristan can legitimately play adult trivia games at a higher level than I can, find clozaril 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 clozaril 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 clozaril 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 clozaril 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 clozaril 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 clozaril cod He is classified as having had a “severe” traumatic brain injury. How has he been affected physically? Tristan is hemiplegic. Find clozaril cod He is not completely paralyzed but has almost no movement at all in his left arm and left leg. Find clozaril 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 clozaril cod Recently we’ve been seeing some movement come back in his left hip, find clozaril cod and his physical therapist feels optimistic that given proper therapy, find clozaril cod he will be able to regain some ability to walk. Find clozaril cod However, find clozaril 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 clozaril cod the mornings are a flurry of activity as Tristan moves between physical, find clozaril cod speech and occupational therapy appointments. Find clozaril 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 clozaril cod He typically gets up about 4:00 or 4:30 and goes on a long walk with his father, find clozaril cod then comes back and eats dinner. Find clozaril 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 clozaril cod Sometimes Tristan works with a computer. Find clozaril cod Other times we play card games, find clozaril cod board games, find clozaril cod stuff like that. Find clozaril cod We try to get him used to operating his wheel chair for himself. Find clozaril cod Sometimes we work him pretty hard, find clozaril cod other times we just hang out. Find clozaril cod We read to each other a lot, find clozaril 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 clozaril cod Mike, find clozaril cod Nancy, find clozaril cod and I have no lives at all. Find clozaril cod We’re here at the hospital pretty much all the time. Does he ever get out of the hospital? Not very often, find clozaril cod but sometimes. Find clozaril cod We try to get out on the weekends. How is he handling this emotionally? For better or worse, find clozaril cod Tristan has never heavily grieved over his injury. Find clozaril cod He is very aware of ways that the injury has affected him physically, find clozaril 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 clozaril 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 clozaril cod at this point, find clozaril cod Tristan is in the post-acute stage of his injury. Find clozaril 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 clozaril cod a criminal case and a civil case. As of now, find clozaril cod the Israeli Police who investigated Tristan’s shooting have closed the case without bringing criminal charges against anyone involved. Find clozaril cod The investigation has been widely criticized as a sham, find clozaril 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 clozaril cod Activist”, find clozaril cod which was spread all over the internet and gave the false impression that the Israeli state was re-opening Tristan’s case. Find clozaril 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 clozaril cod so they did. Find clozaril cod That’s it.) Besides the criminal case, find clozaril 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 clozaril cod lost wages, find clozaril cod and continuing care that Tristan will need. Find clozaril cod We have been warned that the civil case is likely to take years before coming to fruition. Find clozaril cod (Rachel Corries’ civil case, find clozaril cod filed in 2005, find clozaril cod first made it in to court here about a month and a half ago, find clozaril 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 clozaril cod for instance, find clozaril cod never even bothered to go to the scene where the shooting took place. Find clozaril cod No physical evidence was ever collected. Additionally, find clozaril cod eye witnesses uniformly testified that the shots were fired from a nearby hill. Find clozaril cod Even though the military has confirmed that indeed there were Border Police armed with high velocity tear gas positioned on that hill, find clozaril 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 clozaril 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 clozaril cod Tristan’s representative in Congress (202-225-2661) or to picket their local Israeli Consulate, find clozaril 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 clozaril cod two other activists have died at demonstrations against the Wall. Find clozaril cod Their names were Basem Abu Rahme and Yousef ‘Akil’ Tsadik Srour. Find clozaril 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 clozaril cod Akil died coming to the aid of a sixteen year old boy who’d been shot in the spine. To date, find clozaril cod Israel has killed 23 people to build their Wall, find clozaril cod and seriously wounded many more, find clozaril cod including Ehab Fadel Barghouthi (age 14), find clozaril cod shot in the head at a demonstration several weeks ago. Putting finishing touches on this document, find clozaril cod I learn that Ahmad Sliman Salem Dib, find clozaril cod age 19, find clozaril cod was shot to death just days ago on the 28th of April, find clozaril cod at a demonstration against land seizure in Gaza. Demanding Justice for Tristan is also demanding justice for them, find clozaril 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 clozaril cod As long as he’s still doing better, find clozaril cod no one can tell how far he’ll go. Find clozaril cod But the fact is, find clozaril cod you can’t just shoot somebody in the head and then take it back. Find clozaril cod Dead brain tissue stays dead, find clozaril 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 clozaril 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 clozaril 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 clozaril cod He will continue his rehabilitation on an out-patient basis from there. Find clozaril 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 clozaril cod and find ways to welcome him back home. For anyone inspired, find clozaril cod there will be a lot of work to do. We are accepting monetary donations through this website. Find clozaril cod Also, find clozaril cod we’re starting a Welcome Tristan listserve for logistical coordination of accessibility projects and bright ideas. Find clozaril cod To subscribe send a blank email to