Chronological Posts

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July 18, 2008

Pat’s Accident – Days 1 and 2

On Wednesday, July 16, 2008, Patrick was riding his bike to go swimming before he started his day at nursing school (he only has a couple of weeks left of school until he graduates). Around 5:40 am, he was hit by a car (around 17500 Cleveland Rd). The driver did not stop. There were no eye witnesses. A nearby resident heard the crash and came out to investigate. The resident found Pat laying next to his severely mangled bike. The car was no where to be found. 911 was called. Pat had on strobe lights, reflective vest, and helmet. He […]
July 18, 2008

Day 3

This is Nancy, Patrick’s wife.  Firstly, please know that I am so completely grateful to all of you who are expressing your concern and support and prayers!  Your comments and emails are my lifeline.  I like to read about all the people who have known Patrick or have been influenced or touched by him in some way.  I want to personally respond to each and every one of you who have written to me, but I’m not so sure I will be able to, at least in the next few days. Patrick is a beautiful man and father.  It simply […]
July 19, 2008

Day 4, Early Saturday Morning

Patrick had a decent night last night! His head/brain pressure stayed within acceptable levels considering his condition. He did not need any additional medicines to keep it that way through the night. More later… Nancy
July 19, 2008

Marathon Event

I just received some excellent advice from Buzz, one of Pat’s paddling friends: Remember to pace yourself, this is a marathon event and you will need your strength later. Set your priorities and follow the plan. Patrick’s passion is competitive marathon paddling–endurance, strength, racing strategy–all trained abilities that are helping him in his most critical “marathon” event now.  All abilities I need to begin to learn now from my precious husband in my marathon event. The United States Canoe Association is having it’s huge week-long Nationals event in Bristol, Indiana this year–in just a couple weeks.  Patrick has competed in […]
July 19, 2008

Tribune Articles

Two good articles in today’s paper concerning Patrick and the bicycle safety issue: Erin Blasko: Bicyclists stress need tomake communities bicycle-friendly Joe Dits: Web sites help bicyclists find safer routes
July 19, 2008

Saturday Afternoon

Patrick’s nurse and physician are performing a delicate balancing act with his cranial pressure and blood pressure. His blood pressure has been too low, and his cranial pressure too high. Unfortunately, medical interventions to correct one problem can adversely effect the other. He is under superb care! My sister Mary and my father are standing vigil at the hospital right now while I attempt a nap. I have not been sleeping well at night. It’s difficult to stop my mind and emotions in their roller coaster ride. Nancy
July 19, 2008

WSBT News Story

Hello to all of you!  Thank you for your support. Today, WSBT came by the house and interviewed me concerning Patrick and bicycle safety.  The news segment was on at 11 p.m.  Right now, there’s a video clip on WSBT front Web page: http://www.wsbt.com/ I have heard absolutely nothing about the driver since Thursday.  The silence worries me.  I’d like to hear the details of the accident from him. This weekend, several of the closest family members have been arriving to be with Patrick and me.  Pat is the youngest of 11 children, so I know how hard it is […]
July 20, 2008

A Truly Wonderful Father and Husband

This is Mary, Nancy’s sister, and Pat’s sister in law, although I feel much more like Pat is a real BROTHER to me. I wanted to write to let everyone know about what a truly wonderful father and husband Pat is, what an awesome human being. Our entire family is very fortunate that Pat is a part of us, part of our daily lives, part of our hearts and part of our souls. We miss him VERY much, and look forward to him returning home soon! I don’t see it mentioned much in the stories about him, but he is […]
July 20, 2008

Saturday Update

Hi this is Mary – I visited with Pat twice today. He continues to sleep peacefully while his brain is healing. It can be difficult at times to balance keeping the pressure on his brain (ICP) down, while keeping his blood pressure up. The nurses are very attentive to him and are giving him excellent care. Like Nancy has said, it is very difficult to see Pat lying so still like this. He is the most active person I know, not ever sitting still for long. We are all on a roller coaster ride with our emotions right now. We […]
July 20, 2008

Sunday Morning

Things are a little scary right now.  Pat’s heart rate is up, his oxygen is down, and his pressure in his brain is high.  They sent Nancy out of the room.  Please pray.
July 20, 2008

Sunday afternoon, Day 5/Update

We had a tense morning with all Pat’s vital signs, but he is now stabilized!  His nurse is staying right on top of every single detail.  They needed to raise his blood pressure to keep his Cerebral Perfusion Pressure at an acceptable level.  I am now quite relieved. More soon… —————- This is Mary, Nancy’s sister.  When I arrived at the hospital earlier today, around 11:30 or so, we found that there were a couple of concerning issues going on.   It was a little scary for a while, but Pat has an excellent nurse and the doctors are easily accessible […]
July 21, 2008

Saddest possible news…..

I’m so sorry to have to say this  – My heart is completely broken, to have to tell you all that Pat passed away during the night, around 2:30a.m. Of all things, it was his heart that gave out….   We have no explanation for something like this. Nancy, Danny, Joey, Tommy and Laura need all of our deepest love and support right now and we are working hard to be there for them in every possible way we can. Pat dearly, DEARLY loves his precious wife and children, and ALL of his family and friends. We are incredibly blessed to be […]
July 21, 2008

It’s All Over

My beautiful husband, Patrick John Sawyer, is gone.  His heart simply gave out around 2:30 a.m. My heart… My kids… How????
July 21, 2008

Details so far….

I don’t know where to begin, we are all so very sad and broken hearted today.   We love and miss Pat tremendously, more than any mere words can even begin to express. This is Mary, Nancy’s sister.  I was with Nancy last night at the hospital and we wanted to let you all know what happened. At 11:45pm last night, Pat’s nurse called Nancy to tell her Pat was having some problems with his heart rhythm, and said she needed to come to the hospital.  She left immediately and was at Pat’s bedside within 10 mintues, by 11:55pm.   Meanwhile Mom […]
July 22, 2008

Funeral

Visitation will be Sunday, July 27th from 1-5pm. Hickey Funeral Home 17131 Cleveland Rd South Bend, IN Visitation will also be Monday 10-11am at Little FLower Church 54191 Ironwood Rd South Bend, IN Funeral at Little FLower Church Monday at 11 am Luncheon will follow where we will remember Pat. Everyone will have a chance to speak about Pat, to celebrate his life, to give words of remembrance. We encourage all those who have memories and thoughts to share. In lieu of flowers, please consider giving to the fund which is set up for the children: Danny, Joey, Tommy, and […]
July 25, 2008

Obituary

My fingers have seemed to come a bit out of the paralyzing grief I have found my entire body experiencing these last few days.  I’ve always been a rather sensitive person, easily feeling and crying for others’ sad plights–I thought I would be a bit prepared to deal with loss when it would come my way. How wrong I was! I was blindsided by the utter emotional and physical pain, the thousands of new stabbings to my gut and heart at a mere thought or mention of Patrick, the inability to eat anything at all, the weakness in my legs, […]
July 25, 2008

My Patrick

Mostly, it is too painful to even look at pictures of Patrick.  My wounds are so raw, and each healthy, vibrant picture I see is a new knife *stabbing* my heart, making me want to scream out that it just cannot be true! I have this picture, though, that I like a lot.  I was never as athletic as Patrick.  He was always pushing me to join him in all his athletic activities–my engagement ring was a scuba diving equipment for the both of us (that didn’t last too long–I got a ring), my first birthday gift was two baseball […]
July 26, 2008

Funeral Procession Bike Ride with Police Escort: Monday, 7/28 @ 9:30 AM

Henry Scott, Matt Mooney and many others have organized a police escorted bike ride on the morning of Patrick’s funeral. From bikemichiana.org: This will be a bicycle procession in honor of Patrick on the day of the funeral. We will have a police escort. This is a short and somber ride. This ride is meant to be slow in an attempt to show respect for our fallen friend. The idea is to stay together and remember Patrick. Additionally, we hope that passing motorists will realize the need to share the road and the responsibility they have as drivers. The ride […]
July 26, 2008

Voice of the People

I will try to put the South Bend Tribune Opinion articles on bicycle safety here: Cyclist’s death a tragic lesson on road safety VOICE OF THE PEOPLE On Monday the Michiana cycling community lost a good friend, Patrick Sawyer. My hope is that drivers will look at this tragedy and as a result slow down and pay attention to the task of driving. The number of drivers speeding through our town and neighborhoods seems to be at an all-time high. Add to this speed the number of drivers talking on cell phones, sending text messages and other forms of multitasking, […]
July 26, 2008

Thank you

I just want to thank everyone for all the support you have given.  MANY meals have been brought over, and ALL have been delicious.  We have had a lot of people in and out of the house and the meals being delivered were such a help.  Thank you to the Swanson swim team moms for remembering Laura’s birthday today and organizing a fun party for her.  All the gifts were not expected, but thank you for them.  Thank you David Schmokel for donating the flowers for all of Pat’s nieces and nephews at the funeral.  Thank you for all the […]
July 30, 2008

Pedaling For Patrick

Yesterday evening was simply amazing!  Although it was an extremely hot and humid day, I had the chills as I watched hundreds of people of all ages pedal for Patrick.  Patrick always tried to be involved in our community, so this memorial bike ride was simply a perfect tribute to him–his community truly gave to him.  God, I so wish he was there! I’d love to read comments from those who participated–what was it like for you? There’s a WNDU news video of the ride here. I truly feel the support of you all! Love, Nancy
July 30, 2008

Some of My Memories

Hi, I’m Tommy Sawyer.  My papa is Patrick Sawyer. I’m ten years old. What I remember was how Papa always bandaged me up from all my scratches and mosquito bites.  But now that I just got a bunch of mosquito bites all over my neck, I had to bandage them up all by myself, which I don’t usually do. What else I was thinking about was about his ashes and how we’ll probably put them in the St. Joe River and try to find some other place for them. The ashes were his body, so it’s a way for his […]
July 31, 2008

Tribune Articles

I am amazed, humbled, and profoundly grateful for this community–I am utterly astounded by the turnout for Tuesday’s bike ride!  I am receiving the most heartfelt, sincere, and supporting emails, comments, and cards.  I would be a curled-up mess in a shell if were not for all of you. I said in the beginning that I want something GOOD to come of all this.  This community is actively doing that.  Here are just three of the most recent articles regarding Patrick and bicycle safety: Bicyclists raise $15,700 for Sawyer’s children GRANGER — J.V. Peacock stood on a corner in the […]
August 2, 2008

Continuing

Wow.  Each morning I wake up with a renewed wound and fresh shock that my Patrick is not here.  He’s really not coming back, is he? Lots of painful reminders surrounding me: His piles of clothes as they come through the laundry. His textbooks and school folders stacked neatly in our small room. His well-known pick-up truck sitting on the driveway, naked without his “Destroyer” kayak on top The utter silence of his voice in this house each and every day His fitness training calendar/journal left unfinished with unmet sessions of running, paddling, lifting, swimming Even the darned toothpaste tube!  […]
August 2, 2008

Common Circle

This morning, an email to Patrick popped in my mailbox saying, Hello Patrick, Do you live to feel the sun on your face and the wind in your hair? Do you love to be active and outdoors, exploring in vibrantly beautiful natural settings? Does the prospect of sighting a whale, breaching off the coast in sparkling blue water, bring a smile of joy to your face? As a matter of fact, YES!  YES, he does love all that!  That little blurb came from regular newsletters from Common Circle Expeditions, an organization with the tagline: Intention + Presence + Permaculture Design […]
August 2, 2008

Tragedy Again

Oh my, God!  My family has just received news that my brother Mike’s stepson, four-year-old Carston, just died last night!  I am in utter despair for Mike and Amy, Carston’s mommy.  Amy was just here consoling me, giving me a book, “I Wasn’t Ready To Say Goodbye”. Oh, Amy and Mike, my heart simply pours out to you!!! We have set up a website in Carston’s memory also: www.sweetcarston.com
August 5, 2008

Remembering Pat

Hi everyone, This is Mary, Nancy’s sister.  Nancy has gone for a couple of days to spend some time at a lakeside house with our brother Joe and his family in Michigan.   I just talked to her and she and the kids are having a nice time.  It’s good that she was able to get out of the house for a little while. However, as expected, everything she does of course, reminds her of Pat.  Last time they were at the beach was when our whole big extended family spent a week at a vacation house not too far away […]
August 9, 2008

Funeral

Can I say that Patrick’s entire funeral service was one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve ever had?  Hundreds of people who Patrick has touched during his lifetime were present all at once to celebrate his wondrous, incredible life!  Every person there brought me so much joy. My children and some of Patrick’s nieces and nephews wrote letters to him that were closed in his casket and will be part of his ashes. In the next few posts, I want to include some of the eulogies that were given for Patrick. (If any of you spoke at the funeral without […]
August 9, 2008

Ted’s Eulogy

Ted Beatty is one of Patrick’s closest friends, one he has spent countless hours paddling together.  Ted so eloquently delivered the main eulogy at Pat’s funeral.  Here are his words: Patrick Sawyer July 27, 2008 Nancy asked that I take a few moments today to talk about what Patrick has given to so many of us. I knew Pat for less time than many people here—just the past 5 years—but as with many of you, Pat left an indelible mark. He was a friend to many of us, but Pat was also something much more: he was—he is—a model. A […]
August 9, 2008

Crying

I’m crying.  I feel like dying.  I want my Patrick.  I want him there for my four beautiful children as they grow and mature into 3 young men and a young woman.  I miss his voice.  I miss his smell.  The grief just drives me wild. I want to feel his strong, warm hands in mine. Just as I was feeling so low, I went outside to get the mail. My neighbor Judy happened to be riding her bike by me at that very moment. I burst into tears, and she was there to comfort me at the perfect moment. […]