RIC early times…

Pat Horan

The RIC!!!!! Well that is a big word and they put me back together. I was at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC). It was a great time for me. (I think so?)

After two months in Bethesda, NNMC, it was time to try the next venture. On August 23, 2007 Patty woke me up at 5:00am. The Air Force was going to give Patty and I a private airplane medivac to Chicago, RIC. But it was a bummer, I never was good in the morning. I made it. We went to Chicago. Patty and I were the only people on the airplane. I had to lay down the whole time.

I really don’t remember about the first day in RIC. Patty has told me that it lightning big-time. They close the curtains for me. I wasn’t scared. I was a sleep. I was there for 4 months. Sleeping was good! My brain needed to take a break. Oh yeah for those four months I was missing my left brain/skull. The doctor to help me was Dr. Zollman. She was about 4 feet 8 inches tall. She brought two or three interns every morning to look at me. She really knew what she was doing.

In the morning I had a nurse help me. Her name was Carolyn. She was one of the greatest people ever. Her husband was Air Force and every morning she threatened to dress me in a tacky tucedeo t-shirt my friend Tarin sent me. At 6:00 am Dr. Z came by to see me. But I was sleeping. So she woke me up every day. After Dr. Z left, Carolyn told me to go back to sleep. She woke me up at 8:30 AM. One thing she used to do for me was strange in the beginning but it is funny now. I would be sitting in bed watching TV. She would walk in and see how I was doing. Then she would open some oil and put it in my feeding tube. It took me months to figure out why. Now I can realize I was so weak when I was in the hospital that I couldn’t eat well. I didn’t know how to eat.


I will tell you about PT, OT, speech later. They are interesting stories!


This is what saved me, my family, my friends and some doctors. So many friends came to Chicago to see me. When I got hurt in Iraq they got rid of my clothes. When I went to Chicago I still didn’t have clothes. These are some things that happened while I was there. I got clothes, cards and got to get outside. But I had to wear my protective helmet.

Patty was with me the whole time. My mom showed up the first or second day I went to Chicago. My brother Chris showed at least five times. My dad showed up many times also. My sister Megan showed up many times. My older brothers showed up. That was incredible for me. Then I will have to tell you quickly some funny stuff while I was there. Because of my friends;) Here we go: It was the first time I tried to laugh because of hot dog, swimming in Lake Michigan, my mom bundled me up, special dogs on Wednesday, Contemporary Art Museum, went to “eat” at Elephant & Castle, Uno, went to Patty’s hotel, Dunkin donuts, went to an aquarium, David, acupuncture, Jasmine anniversary, Michigan Street (I was on the wheelchair) and my friends that showed up. My friends could tell you more funny stories.

That night the nurse gave me flu shot. It was November 13, 2007 at 3 o’clock in the morning. Patty woke up. I was having a grand mal seizure. I will tell you about my questions now later.

On December 10, 2007 I went back to Bethesda, MD. Patty and I went to the airport. There was snow all over the place. My dad was still there. He put all of our box in the mail. He came back home the next day. He barely made it home. The snow had gotten worse and worse.

I finally realize what had happened for my birthday. It was August 23, I really had a great time in Chicago.


Pat Horan
Pat Horan

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