Guy Lunardi's blog

So much for that...

Imagine yourself pretending to be a family friend and remaining 850 miles away enjoying Monterey, California.

When Tim called at 8:45pm, it was so difficult to hear the tone of his voice and even more so what he had to say. We were already close to 2 hours away from Oakland at that point. I remember not being able to say anything for a while there. Maria then called Sophie a few minutes later. We spent a grand total of probably 25 minutes in Monterey.

The decision of turning around was easy. Driving 14 hours was certainly one of the hardest thing we ever had to do but we were convinced it was nothing, a walk in the park, compared to what Tori was going through. Not knowing how she was doing was the most challenging part.

We saw many shooting stars on our way to the hospital. Evidently every single one received the same wish...

But enough about that, it's all behind us now and so is that night for Tori. She is back in a greatly decorated room on the 3rd floor. Those birthday banners are awesome and I have to say, Kara, your photo album is great and it was such a thoughtful idea.

Now onto the purpose of this blog entry:
Up late again on Sunday night but this time I wasn't alone, usual suspects were online as well (Shaid and Tim!).
But others joined us in a chat: Heather was telling Tim how her and Eddie got t-shirts for him. We came up with this: a Photo Contest! Terms and Conditions can be found here (pdf) (html) for more information.

Let's start brainstorming, come up with great ideas to show your love for Tori. If you need any help, drop me an email

Good night everyone,

PS: Since most of you probably do not know this: I hate driving with a passion. Road trips are definitely not my thing. Tim and I would always joke that even Las Vegas is too far for us. Let Maria and Sophie drive, they can come pick us up at the airport :-)

"By Believing, One Sees"

Hello everyone,

I have been wanting to send this introduction out for many weeks now and tonight is the night. A few days after Tori's accident a book was given to me by a family who knew Tori. They had received the book from the daughter of the author, Ann Stephens. "By Believing, One Sees" is truly inspirational and in all honesty has been one of the great, guiding forces behind all of our efforts. The book chronicles Ann's personal experiences with her son Camron's Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

I read it the first time after I received Tori's 72 hour Glascow score of 3 which indicates the most severe brain damage possible and still at that point, Tori was not supposed to survive due to her extremely damaged lungs. The impact that Ann's book had on me was immeasurable at this very critical juncture and without a doubt, it is one of the primary reasons we are even at this point in Tori's recovery.

I have read the book numerous times since then and the parallels
of Ann's experience and ours is amazing. I have personally witnessed many of the positive and negative scenarios and discussions Ann describes and I was prepared for many of them just because I read her book. Tori has even had several of the same PCMC doctors that Camron had. Ann's personality also matches mine in many ways as I am stubborn, impatient, focused, extremely driven and I never like to give up!! Thankfully, Tori shares many of these characteristics as well.

"By Believing, One Sees" truly has made a huge difference
to me personally and to my family as well. I would like to encourage everyone to visit Ann's website and to perhaps order her book. It would greatly benefit and prepare everyone for the challenges ahead of us concerning Tori.

I have also personally conversed with Ann since Tori's accident and will continue to do so and she is a frequent visitor to as well. She would be happy to know how you discovered her book so please let her know if you end up ordering a copy. Ordering instructions are available on her web site and the book itself is only 112 pages long so it is a quick read.

Dance Attack Thank You

It has been a couple days since the very emotional Dance Attack final ceremony in Park City and this has given Maria and I some time to recollect on the night and compile our thoughts. Words alone cannot express our gratitude towards everyone who attended the event. Tori is truly blessed to have the amount of love, prayers and support she is receiving and we are so blessed as well. Thank you everyone for making this event so special for our family. We will remember it forever.

We would also like to especially thank Sheryl and Chris Dowling from The Dance Club, Connie Sallomanno from The Winner School of Dance and Kandee Allen from Dance Impressions for being so caring and generous in devoting this event to Tori.

Additional thank you's go to the awesome dance instructors Jacki Ford, Jason Parsons, Andy Blankenbuehler, and soon to be Eddie and Heather Barcello. They are all amazing and truly talented people who also donated much of their time at the event to Tori.

More thank you's for the Dance Club employees Michelle Galbraith, April Snow, Bethany Bayles, Allison Thornton, Lisa Stoddard, Michelle Robey, Emily Hoover and Emilee Wright. They were all instrumental in running the Dance Attack event flawlessly.

And finally, a truly heartfelt thank you to dance moms Marilyn Hess, Michelle Boyack, Heidi Sobieski and all of the Dance Club girls!! You have done everything you possibly can for Tori and her family and we love all of you soooo much!!


Tim, Maria, Tori, Whitney and Brendan

Happy 15th Birthday to our beautiful angel!!


We love you so much and will always be here for you!! We will fight for you forever girl!!

You are always in our hearts and minds.


Dad, Mom, Whitney and Brendan

PRAY4TORI Bracelets

The bracelets are in!!

I arranged for a large quantity of orange bracelets to be made and they have arrived. They read "PRAY4TORI".

We also used a member of Tori's stuffed animal 'strangling squad' to demo the bracelet :-)

The master plan is to give the bracelets away for a small donation towards the Tori Schmanski Fund. All of the Dance Club team members will be out and about looking for donations this weekend (August 4th-6th) at the Dance Attack in Park City, Utah where the Park City Arts Festival is being held as well. Posters and other items are also being prepared for this and other events.

We are going to come up with other creative ways to dispense the bracelets so don't worry all of you who will not be in Park City this weekend. More information will be coming soon.



Sunday, July 31st - Day 42 (evening update)

The 3rd floor waiting area got crowded tonight and Tim isn't sure he is going to be able to post an update soon.

Well, after posting a pretty positive update this morning, I am sad to mention that her afternoon didn't go as well as we all hoped.

She received a lot of visitors today. This is not an exhaustive list but Ryan and Melanie were there. Amber and April came in the morning. Marilyn brought Kenzie and her half-sister.

Starting around 2:30pm, Tim said that Tori showed signs of agitation. Around 3pm she started to vomit. She doesn't have anything in her stomach so it was probably bile. She looked quite uncomfortable and Tim asked that Tori get medication to help her cope with the pain. Her respiratory rate was really high and she was flexing her muscles (arms up to her chests and flexing her feet).

Maria, July, Sophie, Whitney, Brendan, Tim and I had dinner at the Noodle Company. Grandpa and Grandma were kind enough to keep Tori company while we ran out for dinner. I know that Grandma was hungry and despite that she chose to stay with Tori.

I very much enjoyed sharing my dinner with Whitney. She just has a way to make me feel better. Whitz, if you ever read this: you are just the coolest – I love you.

If anyone wonders, Whitney and I shared Pasta Fresca and Pesto Cavatappi. Whitney, Brendan and I all agree that after trying a few dishes there, the Pesto Cavatappi is the best one.

Tim was joking today about us needing to invest in Kleenex. Tori has been downing the boxes of everyday regular facial tissues (brown color).

As we were leaving tonight, Tori's temperature was a little high. Her nurse ordered blood samples to be taken. Hopefully her temperature is not related to another infection. The blood cultures will tell.

Both Tim and Maria decided to stay with Tori tonight.

Thank you,

Sunday, July 31st - Day 42 (mid-day update)

Got a chance to talk to Tim on the phone briefly today:

Todd and Tori Schmanski spent a quiet and peaceful night together. We would like to thank Todd very much for spending with Tori. It was very considerate and brave of him to stay by himself.

She only received two doses of Valium to help her relax and sleep. Last night again, suctioning her seemed to have helped make her comfortable upon signs of agitations.

It is worth reminding that Tori is being repositioned every 2 hours to help prevent pressure points and more simply because we all move and she needs to as well. Switching from one side to being on her back to the other side. They also continue to put her hiking boots on several hours a day. At this point, Tim and Maria managed to provide Tori with one of the funkiest socks collection there is (Elton John would be jealous).

Tim and Maria made it up to the hospital fairly early. They gave Tori a bath and washed her hair. When I talked to Tim, he mentioned that they were trying to get her to nap. They would like to sit her on her chair if she is up for the challenge today.

Amber made it to the hospital this morning and was able to visit Tori for a while.

Thank you,

Friday, July 29th - Day 40 Update (mid-night update)

Tori is having a really decent night tonight so far. I am crossing my fingers and so is grandma Schmanski.

After giving Tori a dose of Valium at 9:30pm she has been sleeping soundly.

Her respiratory rate monitor is a little defective and it triggered an alarm at 1:10am. That woke her up but she managed to calm herself down and went back to sleep.

She coughed once and we used the catheter once to suction her.

It's now around 2:30am on saturday morning. We just got done repositioning her. She was given another dose of Valium because it was available and we didn't want her to interupt her good night of sleep.

Grandma was able to lay down on the coach for a few minutes but I do not believe she slept much.

That's basically it for this short mid-night update. Since I couldn't sleep I figured I would let those who can't either know how Tori is doing.

We hope that she continues to rest.

Good night,

PS: as I sending this, a bunch of people just ran across the mezzanine above my head just a few seconds ago. I can now hear the helicopter coming in. Best of luck to whoever it is they are bringing in...

update at 6am: Grandma finally felt aslept around 4:45am this morning. That's actually when Tori woke up for a little bit. She got a little agitated. 15 minutes later, the RT came in and suctioned her. She relaxed after that and went back to sleep without requiring any medicine.

update at 9am: We bothered Tori for about an hour. A bed sheet were wet so we changed all of it. She is still very relaxed and resting. her nurse did her hair as well. She slept a few more hours since the last update and we can only hope that her nights continue to progress this. Grandma did awesome. I have to admit that I was a little worried at first but Tori made it really easy for us and on herself.

Thank you Tori!

Tori just graduated!!!

A very brief note to let everyone know that Tori has just left the Pediatrics Intensive Care Unit. For those of you who had a chance to visit her, it may seem like she didn't go very far. Still on the 2nd floor. She now has a private room in the Neuro-Trauma Unit (NTU).

What a great feeling it was for her parents to see her go through the double doors of the PICU.

Today was a busy day, between the car wash fundraiser and now the graduation, Tim will have a lot to report tonight.


Car Wash for Tori Update

Despite the overcast weather, the girls convinced plenty of car drivers to stop by and donate a little of their time and money to get their car washed this morning.

At 2pm, they already had taken care of 31 satisfied customers.

The Pleasant Grove Grease Monkey is all geared with very talented professionals available to service your car...
...and today there also was a bunch of super exicted dancers!!!.

You will find many of the pictures taken during this day here.

We would like to thank Grease Monkey for their great support today!

Of course, none of this would have been possible it wasn't for Tori's amazing friends. You did awesome today and should proud of yourselves. Tori is blessed to have such dedicated and loving girlfriends.

To everyone who donated time and money: thank you very much. The hearts of Tori's family are warmed by the support you have provided today.

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