Thursday, April 14, 2011

Finally...New Update!

Hey PB supporters:

If you're not one of the lucky folks Paul has been phoning regularly to share a few of the many new jokes he has learned, you've probably been wondering what he's been up to lately. Paul has been working on learning Braille with the Commission for the Blind. He's mastered the alphabet, numbers and some short words. About a month ago, he began working with a trainer at the gym three days a week.

Paul and his amazing,unwavering childhood friend, Ryan Horner, flew out to Washington state this week to visit friends and attend a wedding. This is the first time Paul has traveled since he came home from Australia a year ago. He had a few trips planned that he cancelled, so this is a considerable feat and we are very excited for him!

Again, we want to thank you all for your generous donations which have helped us pay Paul's hospital and rehabilitation bills from Australia and here in the U.S. We continue to feel blessed and supported by all of your thoughts, prayers and actions. We also want to thank Paul's friends who continue to stay in touch with him regularly. We feel this is essential for his well-being and recovery.

Paul is looking forward to sharing his West Coast stories on the blog upon his return.

Much love,

The Baileys

Monday, October 18, 2010


Tomorrow, October 19th, marks one year since Paul's accident.

As many of you know, Paul’s life changed forever while he was rock climbing at the Grampians Mountain Range in Australia. Paul was a very experienced, safe and avid rock climber. Climbing was not just a hobby; it was very much the essence of his life. He loved the physical and mental challenge, the continuous problem solving and the sense of accomplishment upon of reaching the top of the mountain. Something unforeseen happened while climbing on October 19th that caused Paul to fall over 50 feet. The efforts of Paul’s climbing mates, rescue crews and hospital staff saved Paul’s life.

In the United States, someone suffers a Traumatic Brain Injury every 21 seconds resulting in 50,000 deaths per year. Of those who survive, 5.3 million Americans struggle with subsequent disabilities. A traumatic brain injury can happen while driving a car, climbing a ladder, playing a sport, riding a bike, or from a random act of violence.

Every 21 seconds a life changes forever.

I have heard victims of Traumatic Brain Injury compare the experience to taking a million puzzle pieces and tossing them in the air. The pieces fall to the ground in a littered mess. Victims of TBI often have difficulty completing everyday tasks that you and I take for granted. They have trouble putting thoughts, words and memories together as they are often jumbled like puzzle pieces in their mind.

All of Paul’s supporters represent a piece of his recovery puzzle. Collectively with love, support and faith we will help Paul piece his life back together. Words cannot express how thankful we are to have such thoughtful, loving family and friends.

Considering the new obstacles Paul faces: cognitive impairments from the brain injury, Celiac Disease, wrist injuries, permanent blindness, and other afflictions, Paul is doing remarkably better than ever expected. He survived the crisis and is persisting through many surgeries and rehabilitation. Although Paul’s life is much changed, his memory and speech are outstanding; he loves to reminisce about good times in college and travels with friends. His mood and general outlook overall is also very positive.

His progress is a testament to the resiliency of the human spirit.

From the words of Christopher Reeves, “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”

Paul, you are our hero.

Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.

The Bailey's

Monday, September 20, 2010


We are happy to share that we have so much progress to report!

On September 9, Paul had procedure called a Cranioplasty in which they placed a Titanium plate in his forehead. The surgery went well and even with a shaved head Paul is back to looking handsome as ever.

The gluten-free diet has resolved all of his stomach issues. A nephrologist found that the thirst hormone in Paul's pituitary gland was damaged from the accident and was causing extreme, excessive thirst. As a result, Paul was drinking too much fluid. A nasal spray was prescribed which regulates this hormone and since then Paul has been sleeping through the night without getting up to wee every hour!

On October 6, he will have another surgery to remove metal from his right wrist. He will have more physical and occupational therapies following this surgery.

With all of this good news, Paul has been in high spirits and energy. He has been calling friends, socializing, joking around and sleeping much less. He's been going outside again for short walks and went to lunch at PF Chang's - which has a gluten-free menu.

Our family continues to be grateful to all of you for your prayers, positive affirmations, donations, letters, gifts and phone calls. Homemade gluten-free cookies and cakes are much appreciated and still welcome!

The Baileys

Sunday, August 15, 2010


It's been a while since I've been able to update the blog. We unfortunately haven't had a lot of good news to share lately and we've all been busy taking care of Paul.

Paul has been struggling with persistant stomach issues for a few months now that have been very debilitating. It looks like he may be diagnosed with Celiac's Disease, but we are not completely sure yet. He's been eating gluten free for a few days now to see if his symptoms improve.

He has not been very motivated lately and has missed a lot of wrist therapy sessions. He sleeps a lot and is irritable at times. He also is very sensitive to noise and hasn't wanted to leave the house other than to go to medical appointments. He previously liked to go out to dinner and for ice cream so it's been disappointing for us to see this change in mood and behavior. He continually says he wants to call people back, but can't seem to find the energy do it regularly. Last weekend, Amanda and Will from Warren Wilson and Jeff stopped in for a visit - Paul was in great spirits then - he really enjoys when his friends visit. Kelsey is in town this week and Paul has been enjoying her cooking - he's been a little down since she is leaving tomorrow.

He is scheduled to have surgery to put in a Titanium plate in his forehead on September 9th. He also still has to another surgery on the right wrist. He has many upcoming medical appointments with different specialists - he has a long road ahead of him and we've hit some bumps in the road as of late, but we hope that everything will come together in time.

Please continue to call him or write letters. He greatly appreciates it!

Thanks for your continued love and support,


Saturday, June 19, 2010


Paul had surgery on his left wrist this week. He had a rough few days following the surgery due to side effects from the anesthesia, but is feeling better today. He is scheduled to have surgery on his right wrist in 6 weeks and then will have a titanium plate put in his head in July to replace where the forehead bone is missing. Overall, he is in good spirits. He has a specialist from the NJ Commission for the Blind that has been teaching him Braille and she says he is doing really well with it. He's been a bit bored lately. He hasn't been able to go to therapy in a while because he couldn't do much with his wrists. The surgeon hopes that these surgeries will increase his mobility and ability to tolerate therapy.

Paul's dog Bear has been with us for a while now. Paul enjoys having him around; however, their relationship has changed since his accident. The other day, Paul told me that he was thinking about sending Bear back to Washington with Joe. He said Bear doesn't acknowledge him or respond to him anymore. He understands that he's a dog and that he is unable to care for him right now, but he's worried that Bear may be happier there where he has the freedom to roam freely. It broke my heart to hear him say that, but Bear appears to have adjusted well to life in NJ. We just hired a dog walker so that he could get out while I am at work. My Mom is going to install a large fence in the backyard so that he has some room to run and we won't have to worry about him wondering into the road while hunting rabbits! Bear and Murphy, my parents dog, have become best buddies - I take them on frequent hikes which they love. I enjoy hiking with Bear, his sense of adventure and fearless spirit remind me a lot of Paul. I feel like Paul's by my side when I have Bear with me.

I hope to post some pictures on here soon. While Kelsey was visiting we took some great photos of Paul in front of the Rocky statue at the Art Museum in Philadelphia. Paul and I plan to attend his friend Kesi's 4th of July Party as long as he's feeling physically up to it; right now, he's really looking forward to spending time with his friends and I'm looking forward to taking him there. He really loves having visitors and reminiscing with friends, so please come when you can!

xo Tara

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Hello Everyone,

Paul and I just finished a big omelette breakfast. I just told him we would write this entry together because it's been ages since I've updated the blog. I'm trying to recall the date while Paul is singing along to the local classic rock radio station. Listening to classic rock and the Phillies games have become regular hobbies of his these days. I tell him that I have no idea what the date is and Paul states, April 25th, and tells me he wants me to check it to make sure it is right. "You can't write the wrong date," he says, so I check my phone and he's right on. I am glad someone knows what's going on! He also knows more of what is going on in the game than I do and he can't even see it. He knows the batting order and he updates me about what's happening play by play.

Paul has been going to therapy at Magee Rehab three days a week. In between his therapy, he has been going to various doctor appointments and has been entertaining many visitors. Paul is looking forward to his friend Joe bringing his dog Bear to NJ on May 5th. Paul has been in good spirits and has the same fun sense of humor, his memory is great and his main disibilities are his vision and wrists. He is still completely blind and has had various tests at Wills Eye in Philadelphia. We are waiting for another follow-up appointment from his last test. At this point, we do not know much about a prognosis.

Paul would like to thank everyone in Australia: the surgeons, nurses and therapists who helped him while he was going through a rough time. Paul is also thankful for everyone who has supported him through this experience: his friends and parents who stayed by his bedside in Australia and to all the friends and family who helped back at home.


Paul & Tara

Paul Bailey Jam - Asheville NC Benefit




Asheville, NC – Friends of Paul Bailey will be hosting a benefit to help offset Paul’s recently incurred medical bills. Paul graduated from Warren Wilson College in 2006 and was active in the Western North Carolina climbing and outdoors community. He suffered a severe traumatic brain injury while rock climbing in Australia in October 2009. He was airlifted to a hospital in Melbourne where, over the course of six months, he underwent multiple surgeries and received physical therapy. While Paul was covered by traveler’s insurance, his coverage maxed out at $35,000 which will barely cover his first days in the hospital.

The Paul Bailey Jam will take place on Saturday, May 8th, 2010 at Pisgah Brewery at 150 Eastside Drive in Black Mountain, NC. The Paul Baliey Jam will feature performances by Firefly Revival, Juan Holiday and guests, The Ram and Benny Duo of the Trainwrecks, and Pierce Edens. Food will be provided by Hardcastle Hotdogs and
Laurey’s Catering & Gourmet To-Go. In addition to musical entertainment, there will be bocce ball, root ball and corn hole tournaments starting at 5:30pm, as well as a silent auction and raffle. Doors will open at 4:00 pm with a ticket price of $10 for the general public and $5 for Warren Wilson College students with student ID; this is an all ages event.

All proceeds will go to the Paul Bailey Recovery Fund of Marlton, NJ.

For more information regarding Paul’s accident and current condition, please visit For more information regarding the benefit and ways you can get involved, please contact:

Ellen Graves – 540.661.8553

Kathryn Skelley-Watts – 440.567.7147

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Hello Everyone,

Paul and my parents are home safely. He is currently at Magee Rehab in Philadelphia where he is receiving three hours of therapy per day: physical, occupational and speech. Paul has been improving a lot since he returned home. His appetite is exellent now and he has been asking for a Philly cheesesteak. He spent some time on the phone with a couple of friends last night (Joe Kennedy and Katherine). His long-term memory is excellent. He does not forget anyone and has enjoyed reminiscing with friends and family who have visited. He struggles at times with short term memory and word retrieval, but overall it is good as well. His wrists are very sore and still do not have much mobility, but he is working on that in therapy. We took him to see a neuro-opthamologist a few days ago. He will have a couple of studies completed to determine the damage to the optic nerves. He is still unable to see, but the doctor said his pupils did have movement in them which is a good sign and we should find out more about his visual prognosis in the next few weeks. We will also find out when he will be discharged from the Inptatient Rehab today. When he comes home he will likely go to a day program 3-5 days/week where he will continue his therapies.

Thank you for all of your love and support,


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Paul in the News

Many thanks to Kevin Riordan from the Philadelphia Inquirer for taking an interest in Paul and writing about him! See the link to the story below:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Paul's Homecoming March 16th

It's finally official! Paul and my folks will be coming home on March 16th, next Tuesday!

After landing, Paul will be going to Jefferson Hospital for evaluation before transfering to Magee Rehab in Philadelphia for short-term in-patient rehabilitation services. I know everyone is excited to see Paul, but please contact someone in my family before showing up. Paul may not be able to tolerate a lot of visitors right away. I will keep you all posted on his progress.



Tuesday, March 9, 2010

3.9.10 Paul in the Philadelphia Inquirer

Paul's story will be featured in this Thursday's Philadelphia Inquirer! We are honored to have so much support from the community. My parents and Paul hope to be back home on March 16th which is right around the corner! It's not finalized yet, but I should know for sure by tomorrow and will keep you posted.

Many thanks to everyone for all of your kind words, thoughts, prayers, efforts and donations. Paul will need all of your support and encouragement during his recovery process at home.


Friday, March 5, 2010


Paul got his Peg (feeding) tube removed yesterday because he is eating well on his own now. He is officially medically cleared to fly back home and we are looking into flights for him and my parents. Our hope is that they will be back mid-March.

We got to see Paul and talk to my parents via Skype last Sunday night. He looks pretty good and was able to make small conversation with us before he left to work with the Occupational Therapist.

I will let you all know when we have a date!


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Friday, February 26, 2010

Fundraiser Tonight!!!




Tuesday, February 23, 2010


It's been awhile since the last update and I'm happy to report some good news. Paul has been making alot of progress lately. He has started to eat regularly and gained a healthy amount of weight. He was very underweight for a while due to his lack of appetite. The doctors will clamp off his feeding tube for a few days and see if he maintains his weight on his own.

His mood has also improved significantly, he has been pleasant and has been walking to the dining room for dinner and has been cooperative with his therapies.

I recieved this email from my Dad a few days ago and wanted to share with everyone:

Hi Tara,
This morning I made Paul a blueberry pancake breakfast. He ate 4 of them!! He also had a glass of juice. We walked to a kitchen that was outside of his building and he sat there while I prepared it. This morning when we arrived, the nurses said he had not eaten and was waiting for us to come and make the pancakes. (We had talked about it the day before).
Miss you and looking forward to coming home.

Hope to see many of you at the fundraiser this Friday!!


Monday, February 15, 2010


My folks had an appointment with Dr. Rosenfeld, the main neurosurgeon, yesterday. He was away on vacation and not present for the previous meeting with the other specialists. Although Paul was cleared to fly by other surgeons, Dr. Rosenfeld
reported that he saw a small amount of air still present after his review of Paul's scan from Jan. 28. He recommended that Paul have another CT scan and MRI before flying to be safe. It looks like these scans will scheduled for the end of February.

We were not expecting this news and my parents were really hoping to be home by the 26th for the fundraiser.

On an up note Paul has had some very good days cooperating with therapies, having increased appetite and leaving his room to eat in the dining area.

The fundraiser is still on for February 26th at 7pm. Please buy your tickets ASAP. We will have tickets at the door, but would appreciate you purchasing them ahead of time!!

Much love,


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Paul's Homecoming

Paul has been medically cleared to fly back home! We are in the process of making plans for his flight home. I don't have anymore details at this time, but we are hoping he will be back by the end of the month.


Monday, February 8, 2010

We Love You Paul Bailey Beef & Beer

Hi Everyone,

If you plan on attending the event on February 26, please have your money in for tickets by the 23rd! We will have a limited number of tickets available at the door, but we hope that you will pay in advance so that we can get a head count on how many people will be attending. This will help us determine how much beer and food we need to provide.


Friday, February 5, 2010


Please buy your tickets by February 19th for the fundraiser. Make checks payable to Paul Bailey Recovery Fund!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

1.28.10 1st Annual 'We Love You Paul Bailey' Fundraiser

We will be holding a fundraiser at Camden Catholic High School in Cherry Hill, NJ on Friday, February 26,2010 from 7pm to midnight. The proceeds of this fundraiser will help offset the costs of Paul's increasing medical bills and the high cost of his medical transport home.

Tickets will be $25.00 and MUST be purchased in ADVANCE of the event. This includes food, DJ, beer and wine. There will also be a silent auction/raffle.

Please send checks with your name and number of tickets to:

Lauren Snyder
1100 Collings Avenue Apt. 3B
Haddon Township, NJ 08107

For information on how you can help or questions, please contact:

Joseph Bailey at 856.952.1045 or


Lauren Snyder at

If you cannot attend, but would like to donate, please send to:

Paul Bailey Recovery Fund
120 Dutch Rd
Marlton, NJ 08053