If you would like to donate to Team Gary, contact Jimmy Burk @ firstname.lastname@example.org and I will forward you address of his sister Debbie to forward check to.
|Total Amount donated:||$1,745.00||List of Donors as of July 11|
First Letter & Check sent to Gary's family:
Gary Holmes, long time FedEx IT employee was hit head on by a vehicle while bicycling with a group in Santa Barbara, California. Gary has been a triathelete for many years. He received multiple injuries including collapsed lung, two broken arms, two shattered knees, and injuries to his brain.
Barbara Geater posting/facebook
Gary's family let me know that they do not have anything planned for Gary for Thanksgiving. It will just be him and his Dad at the house like any other weekday.
Oct 30th Facebook Posting from Gary's sister, Debbie Jones:
The following is a copy of my letter that my dad and I chose Eileen Okerblom to read at the sentencing. Eileen was chosen because of the many things she is trying to get done in California to protect cyclist on public roads. This was a strong issue for us and Eileen has been thru much worse than we have because she actually lost her son, we still have Gary.
Santa Maria Times Article on Sentencing of Person who hit Gary Holmes & Su Chang by Samantha Yale Scroggin
The pictures accomplished what words alone couldn’t convey about how a Los Olivos woman’s decision to drive after taking anti-anxiety medicine destroyed the life of an avid athlete from Tennessee.
Deputy District Attorney Wes Meyer projected two pictures side by side on a large screen Wednesday in a Santa Maria courtroom where Alicia Gilbert was sentenced to four years and four months in state prison.
In one picture, a beaming and triumphant Gary Holmes stood on a podium after completing a triathlon. In the other, Holmes stared vacantly toward the camera, an oxygen tube in his nose and his head resting listlessly on a pillow.
The second picture shows how the 57-year-old Holmes appears today after he was nearly killed when Gilbert, 32, plowed her vehicle into a pack of cyclists March 15 on Foxen Canyon Road near Los Olivos. Holmes had been riding with the pack as part of a cycling camp.
Holmes suffered serious brain and other injuries in the collision, and another cyclist named Su Chang from Washington was also injured to a lesser degree.
Gilbert pleaded no contest last month to felony driving under the influence causing injury.
For sentencing purposes, a no-contest plea is treated the same as a guilty plea.
Gilbert must serve 85 percent of her sentence before she is eligible for parole, per sentencing guidelines.
The conviction counts as a “strike,” meaning another felony conviction will bring her double the usual punishment.
Gilbert’s prison sentence of four years and four months was agreed upon as part of the plea agreement that resulted in other charges being dropped.
Meyer has said that Gilbert was under the influence of prescription anti-anxiety medication when the crash happened.
At a sentencing hearing, victims and their supporters are invited to make statements before the court.
On Wednesday afternoon, anti-distracted driving activist Eilene Okerblom read a statement written by Holmes’ sister, Debbie Jones, who did not attend the hearing. Several friends of Holmes were in court for the hearing, and were moved to tears.
Jones wrote that Holmes was so seriously injured she doesn’t know what intelligence the once extremely bright man still has. He remains in a semi-comatose state and is unable to walk or talk.
“He is not fully aware of his surroundings,” Jones wrote.
Among his injuries, Holmes suffered broken ribs, two collapsed lungs and a shattered pelvis, his sister noted.
“We do hear him laugh, but as reality sinks in, we hear his sobs much louder than any other sound,” Jones continued.
She said her elderly father worries that he won’t live to see his son return to his former self.
Only she and her father maintain hope that Holmes will recover, Jones said.
Her comments also addressed Gilbert directly, and Gilbert listened with her head turned away as Okerblom read the statement.
“Make the most of this time to get well. Remember what you have done, and change your life, and say no to the drugs that alter your mind. I hope that you come out of this ordeal and use your experience to be an advocate for those who have suffered the way my brother has,” Jones wrote.
“He was not just someone on a bicycle, but he was Gary Holmes from Memphis, Tennessee, who was loved by many.”
Meyer displayed photos of a smiling Holmes swimming, bicycling and running over the years, and juxtaposed the images with ones of Holmes expressionless in a wheelchair or in a hospital bed hooked to medical equipment via tubes.
“These photos are showing what he loved to do. It’s not just exercising, it’s a way of life for him that he did for many, many years,” Meyer said. “And he will never be able to take a part of that again.”
Meyer handed Gilbert a photo that contained the image of the triumphant Holmes alongside the picture of him staring vacantly.
“I would ask that you take it to prison with you and put it up on your wall so you look at it every single day,” he said, adding that he hoped she remembers Holmes and changes her life.
Gilbert then delivered a brief but emotional speech, apologizing to the Holmes family.
She said she agreed “100 percent” with what Debbie Jones said, and wished she had the money to make the family restitution payments every 15 days like Jones asked.
“I wouldn’t take anything else away from him that he deserves,” Gilbert added.
“I am truly sorry,” she said.
Received Sept 12 via email:
My name is Nora Wallace and I'm a reporter at the Santa Barbara News-Press. I thought you might like to know, though you probably already do, that the driver who hit Gary Holmes and Su Chang pleaded no contest today in Santa Maria Superior Court. She'll be sentenced Oct. 24 to four years, four months in state prison.
from Terrapin(Gary's bicycle club)facebook postings:
Is Gary Holmes watching the Olympics and will he be watching the triathialon tomorrow? I sure hope he is able to enjoy it. Tell him that I said "Hi".
I have been out to visit him several times during the games. Thanks to David Rhea Gary has a beautiful, and functional, ramp to get him into his sunken living room right in front of the TV to watch the games! He has been watching quite a bit. It's hard to tell how much he is taking because he still is not talking. His eyes do seem to be following the action!
Thank you Barbara
He has such good friends and I am sure he realizes that.
posted by Barbara Geater on Facebook on July 5th
Reposted from facebook:
Question(Leda Page) Fantastic. Is he able to operate his chair?
Answer(Barbara Geater): No, he does not operate it on his own. He is responding to very basic commands and facial expression to what is going on around him. Still very limited abilities. But it is nice to have him up in the chair & getting out of the house!
Has anyone been to see Gary since he got out of rehab? What is happening there?
The IMFL girls sang him Happy Birthday June 4 - almost looked like he was about to cry while we were singing :) He's moving quite a bit, including his right side. I don't know all the particulars about his medical status or how he's settling in though
I saw him yesterday afternoon and he was more alert than the week prior. We did some passive range on his lower extremities and a lot of work on his right hand to reduce the pitting edema. He is moving more purposefully, as he attemtped to wipe the drool from his moth with his left hand, but movement is still pretty limited in general. He has a new wheelchair but he was not in it when I saw him. We are trying to coordinate with the home health PT & OT for positioning needs, a 24 hour positioning schedule, and 24 hour splinting schedule to prevent contractures and preserve skin integrity. I will be seeing him once a week as a consulting OT and will provide MFR tx as I can.
Thank you all so very much. I'm in FL so don't have any direct contact with Debbie or Jackie. It's good to see that there is a little improvement and that he has good friends looking after him.
To be honest. Julie helped his pain greatly. He wasn't too keen at first.But she kept working with him, and he seemed to calm down.Thanks Julie. I know he must have been hurting. You helped him a lot....
from David Meyers via fb
I went to see Gary today at his house. We competed in many triathlons together in the same age group for many years. It was great to see him. Thanks to his family and friends for being so nice. He has a long road ahead but he has the endurance to overcome this obstacle. My family and I will continue to pray for a speedy recovery and give our love and support to Ironman Holmes.
from Gayle Minard/facebook
reposted from facebook/may 28
Mark Hughes: Is Gary conscious?
Leda Page: Mark, he isn't. He responds to questions by squeezing your finger but doesn't make sounds to my knowledge. He will be going home from rehab on 5/31, his RN sister will be staying with him, and I suppose his father will be too. He will be getting therapy at home for the time being. Not much more to report that I know of right now.
A second check was forwarded to Gary's sister in the amount of $650.00; thanks to you all for your generous contributions.
Note from Gary's sister/facebook(May 25):
Thanks so much we are bringing Gary home May 31st he has hit a plateau we will continue therapy with home health and when improvement starts back up he can reenter rehab. This will help we are getting together at his house with a few other helpers to get his house straightened up and fixed to be healthy enough for him tomorrow. This money will definetly help with this process.
from Gayle Minard/Facebook
from the Solvang Triathlon Camps facebook page:
Gary has started to focus a little on DVD's so we thought he would love to receive some messages from all his Spring Fling friends and fellow athletes. Gary loves to chit chat, so anything you would like to share with him, training stories ...or any stories would be great. We are going to compile these messages into one DVD to send to Gary. Send to info @ solvangtriathloncamps dot com. Both video or audio messages work! Thanks...
from note attached to TeamGary donation:
We send our thoughts and prayers to Gary and his family. Rachel and Curt Arthur
Paula Holmes Miller/facebook
Had a fun day with Lela Page yesterday. Sarah and I picked her up from the airport and then went to visit my cousin, Gary Holmes, in rehab. He is doing so well! Miracles at work there! You could tell he was listening to our conversations and started trying to move his leg when we were talking about genealogy and old family stories.
from Debbie Jones(Gary's sister)
Gary had a pretty hard working day today at Health South, He was placed in a special wheelchair and he pushed with his feet up against therpist chest as asked. He also did several other commands as asked. They think he is just at the edge of waking completely up. Thank all his co-workers and friends for all they have done for Gary. We will probably use the money towards things he needs to aid in his recovery while at Health South as well as any extra expenses that occur. Visiting hours are 9am til 8pm visitors are welcome.
Talked to Gary's sister Sunday afternoon. We are sending her a check for a little over $1,000 that has been contribute to help Gary and his family. I'll keep the bank and paypals accounts open for anyone else who wants to contribute over the next few months.
The therapist told Debbie that they can tell that Gary is very close to waking up. He makes noise when they aren't paying attention to him. Likes it when they exercise him and brush his teeth. They are putting him in a fancy wheelchair tomorrow and give him 3 hours of therapy a day. His family also exercises him, when thye are there.
I visited with Gary today. The speech therapist came in to do her initial assessment. He kinda, sorta swallowed with her command...it wasn't a swallow like we do, and it took a second, but you could darn near see him thinking about it...he did squeeze his Dad's hand. I saw it too!!!
If anybody wants Gary to know anything..post it. I'm going to try and visit with him and read his FB msg's from his friends...unless someone else is already doing that..
Lee, tell Gary that his cousins, Leda Fay and Paula will be visiting him on Wed. 5/9. I am flying into Memphis, Paula is picking me up at the airport and we are going to visit with him. Looking forward to it.
Update/Facebook from Gayle Minard
Visiting hours (as opposed to visitting hours above!), are 9 AM to 8 PM. Of course when he is having therapy, that comes first. Program is for a month, and if he improves could go longer! Debbie working on financial angle.
Gayle Minard/Facebook posting
Gayle Minard/Facebook posting
from Facebook/Gayle Minard posting:
from a Facebook exhcange:
Jim Lukanich : Does anybody know yet the status of the person who hit Gary?
Surely someone knows by now who she is and what her story is?
Gayle Minard: They know who she is. Possible charges pending. For sure
"crossing the center line"
Jim Lukanich: Seems like such a small charge for such a catastrophic event.I have
an 8x10 of Gary and I crossing the finish at IM Canada together.
I have it out and look at it often to remind me to keep Gary in
Gayle Minard: They're still investigating, I suspect there will be more charges.
from Gayle Minard (Via Facebook) 2:30pm Thurs Apr 12
Gary is off the ventilator!!! He opens his eyes spontaneously. I can't get him to move much yet. We would like to get him audio of Ironman and StarTrek for him to listen to, either on CD or iPod.
|Apr 12||Amy Roberts Woods: Went to see Gary last night(Tu Apr 10)...maybe wishful thinking, but he seemed to have more eye movement when Keith was talking about racing. We told the nurses some good stories. Met Gary's dad & uncle...they are a hoot!|
|Apr 10||from Gayle Minard via facebook:|
Thursday April 5, 2012
I stopped by the Med and visited with Gary, his sister, dad and uncle early this morning.
Gary is in good care. He didn't wake up, but has opened his eyes at times and responded to some of his family's commands. Swelling in his face had gone done. He just needs time to heal, physically and mentally. He has rods in both legs above the ankles, and rods in both of his lower arms. His collapsed lung is in good shape now. He has some pins in other places. When Gary was impacted his frontal part of the brain shifted in his skull and then shifted back. One side shifted back slightly more than the other, so there was some damage there. Debbie they think that might impact short term memory. The family is getting power of attorney for someone to take care of his affairs; and FedEx is processing the short term and long term disability paperwork. The Santa Barbara doctor said that they have put his body together so that he could do triathlons in the future after healing.
I asked about the driver that hit Gary and the other lady bicycler. She was 24 years old with a child in the back seat. According to a witness, she actually accelerated to run into the bicyclers. The Police have not completed the accident report; but they were told that she originally said that it was the bicyclers that crossed the center line...then the Police told her she needed to go back and think of another story because that one wouldn't fly.
They've also been told that the person may have had anger issues in the past and some pill abuse in the past.
|Apr 3||Talked to Gary's sister Debbie. Gary kept his eyes open 15 minutes and they are pretty sure he can hear them; he does respond to pain. His racing club Terrapin is going to clean up his house and organize it, and get it ready for whenever he can come home. He is in the Trauma ICU and can have visitors two at a time at 9am, 1pm, 5pm, and 9pm; His sister encourages people to visit and keep talking to him.|
|Apr 3||Gary is at the Med; they are weaning him off the ventilator|
|Apr 2||Gary is being flown by Air Ambulance to Memphis, scheduled to arrive around 7pm Memphis time. He will be in the Med ICU.|
On Thursday March 15th, Gary Holmes from Memphis TN (Terrapin Racing) was cycling in a small group in Solvang California when a car traveling in the opposite direction crossed over the center line and hit Gary and another cyclist. Gary suffered major trauma and multiple broken bones. He is currently in Santa Barbara Cottage hospital under the care of top surgeons and trauma specialists. Amongst his injuries he has broken both legs, both arms, his pelvis, lumbar vertebrae, 11 ribs and currently has a brain injury as a result of the accident. If he wasn't the tough Ironman guy that he is, he probably wouldn't be with us.
Gary is known by many in the sport due to his ability to make friends wherever he goes. A benefit fund has been set up in Gary's name to help with his medical bills and with the goal of flying Gary home to Memphis to be near his family and triathlete team for rehab. He has a long road ahead, but as those that know Gary say; he is a fighter, he is strong and he is not a 30 X Ironman finisher for nothing. Come on Gary!
If you are able to help out this fellow athlete with medical rehab expenses, please send contributions by check made payable to 'Gary Holmes - Team Gary' to:
Rabobank c/o Gary Holmes/Team Gary,
2222 Bath Street,
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Donations to 'Team Gary' may also be made in person at any Rabobank.
Please note donations are not tax deductible.
Please help us spread the word about 'Team Gary'
Thanks to all who have contributed to TeamGary:
|Apr 3||Jimmy Burk|
|Apr 3||Brett G Bonner|
|Apr 4||Brett B. Bonner|
|Apr 4||Carla Moore|
|Apr 5||John Phillips|
|Apr 5||Jim Moore|
|Apr 10||Mike Farrah|
|Apr 11||Steve Froschauer|
|Apr 12||James Golden|
|Apr 12||Emily Harwood|
|Apr 13||Steve Baggett|
|Apr 26||O.P. Skaaksrud|
|May 1||David Butler|
|May 12||Owen Tabor|
|May 12||Rachel Best & Curt Arthur|
|July 11||Gary Pantlik|
Letter forwarded to Debbie Jones:
Woman reaches deal in collision with cyclists
September 13, 2012 5:50 AM
Alicia Ann Gilbert, 32, pleaded no contest Wednesday to a felony charge of driving while under the influence of a drug, with an enhancement of causing great bodily injury.
Ms. Gilbert was driving along the rural highway on March 15 when she apparently veered across the road and crashed into a group of cyclists taking part in a biking camp, critically injuring two.
Washington state resident Su Chang suffered a broken arm and leg in the collision.
"She wants to take responsibility for a very tragic situation for everyone involved," said her attorney, Public Defender Brian Kazmin, after Wednesday's hearing.
Mr. Kazmin asked Judge Kelly if Ms. Gilbert could be released for three or four days on her own recognizance, so she could clear up issues with her bank accounts, post office box and to say good-bye to her family. "Ms. Gilbert is going to be in custody for a lengthy period of time and she would like some time to take care of things," Mr. Kazmin said. His client, he said, "has significant ties to the community and has lived in Santa Barbara County all her life."
Deputy District Attorney Wesley Meyer objected to the request.
According to the page, in late July he was "responding to very basic commands and facial expressions to what is going on around him."