I guess this will be the defacto clearing house for info about Rick’s injuries for the next while. Welcome to old real-world friends who haven’t been here before (and my mom, if the satellite is working). The site is chronologically arranged. You can add comments to a posting by clicking on the ‘x comments’ link at the bottom of each post.
Some distressing news from the Bearman this morning Korea/Australia time, via email :

I talked to Rick’s cousin Derek today, and found this out: he burned about 40% of his back (arms too, I think) and an artery[‘s been] severed, causing bleeding in his brain. He’s on life support, and they think if he comes out of it there’ll be brain damage.

They said the same thing about our pal Oliver when he had meningitis, about the brain damage, almost exactly a decade ago, when Rick and I were in London with him, and Ol’s OK…
A prayer for him, if you’re a praying person.
I’ll keep you updated.
Update : More detail from The Bearman via Rick’s cousin, and it’s good news!

Rick has burns on his back and probably his arms. An artery was severed and he suffered bleeding in his brain, which caused a stroke. He was put on life support for a while, but is off of that now. They are keeping him sedated because of the burns. It seems at one point they thought there would be brain damage if he survived, but they’re more optimistic now.

Update 2 : The incredible Google news has started to index news stories with Rick’s name. Click here to check on the latest.
Update 3 : For what it’s worth, it looks like a Canadian government official leaked Rick’s name to the press, against his wishes.
Update 4: Fairly detailed piece on Rick.

“He’s tough,” Dick Gleason said in an interview just before boarding a plane for a flight to Australia. “I’m not sure if I raised him to be tough, but I know that he is. That when it comes down to it, he has the toughness he needs.”
Gleason said his son, who has four degrees, including one in economics from the University of B.C., is extremely intelligent and speaks five languages.
“He went to school completely on scholarship,” Dick Gleason said. “He’s just one of those people who has always done well in everything.”
Rick Gleason had just completed a contract with a financial services company and decided to travel before finding another job. The former naval reserve officer is the second oldest of six children.
Gleason said he is comforted by the image of his son from a favourite photograph.
“He’s in his naval uniform and he looks great and proud,” Gleason said.

Odd to read about him this way. This is the first I’ve heard about burns to his face, and trauma to his heart.
I’m going to bed.


Join the conversation! 39 Comments

  1. My apologies for the email, Chris. I got a phone call from Derek as soon as I returned from lunch.
    Here’s my latest email:
    I’ve been in contact with Rick’s cousin Derek today, and what a roller coaster ride… I’ll cut to the most recent news. Rick has burns on his back and probably his arms. An artery was severed and he suffered bleading in his brain, which caused a stroke. He was put on life support for a while, but is off of that now. They are keeping him sedated because of the burns. It seems at one point they thought there would be brain damage if he survived, but they’re more optimistic now. I also got a phone call from his Mom as well, saying only that he has been seriously injured. I wish I could tell you more, but that’s it for now. I’ll email you all as soon as I know more.

  2. Shit, that’s fantastic news, mate! I’ll update the post accordingly.

  3. Hallelujah! Good thoughts going Rick’s way today. Yours too, Stavros.

  4. Good news about the more optimistic outlook, especially him being off life support!
    Still sending strongest hopes.

  5. Great news!
    When I spoke to the hospital yesterday, my heart sank at the tone the nurse used and now I know why. Sounds like he is battling through, though and is on the way up.

  6. Rick will battle through! When I met him in Australia, we both agreed that life is easy there! He’s back there and he will be okay! I’ll have to go see him and take him out for a few beers when he gets well!
    Young Derek – no offense to less young Derek

  7. Rick will be okay! Aus is his place. We agreed everything is better there when we met there 7 years ago.
    Young Derek

  8. Hey Young Derek. That’s been my go-to-sleep mantra the last three nights – ‘Rick will be okay’

  9. Mirror of my latest spam:
    Hi everyone,
    Well, Rick’s in ICU with 40% of his body burned. He’s better today than yesterday, but it’s still day-to-day. Each day he’s still with us improves his chances. I don’t think brain damage is an issue at the moment, so that’s good. Tomorrow I think he undergoes another operation (skin graft). Oliver talked to Jamie (Rick’s brother) and got this new info. We’ll keep ya posted as best we can!

  10. 40% of his whole body? Fuck.
    Is Old Derek in the loop as well? I included him in my mailing, but I wasn’t sure if the address was correct…

  11. Sending good thoughts your way.

  12. dear stavrosthewonderchicken:
    Please e-mail realjanetkagan via mefi.
    I’ve turned up two friends in Melbourne who’ll deliver any message to Rick at the Alfred Burns Unit that you want delivered. If they can’t deliver it directly to Rick (sounds like the hospital wouldn’t let them), they’ll give your message to whatever family member is there so the family member can pass it on when they think he’ll hear it best.
    E-mail me what I should ask my guys to tell Rick for you. (I know what you mean and I know what I’d say if I were there, but if you’ll pass it in your own words, Rick may hear it better.)
    I apologize for posting this openly but I wouldn’t be paying any attention to my throwaway e-mail address at a time like this either.
    From our extended family to yours—all our best wishes.

  13. Chris, my thoughts are with Rick … and with you and your mates … hoping the worst is over. Those of us that know and love the wonderchicken appreciate the updates.

  14. I am an old acquaintance of Rick’s from his days in London. I now live in Melbourne and work virtually next door to his hospital. I only found out about him from a mutual friend this afternoon. I will try and make contact with either Rick (if he is conscious) or his family tomorrow and offer whatever local support I can. I will keep you all posted of any news.

  15. Thanks Janet and Aaron.
    Janet – I guess since Aaron knows Rick (via our mutual Kiwi friend Ian (Skip), Rick’s ex-roommate from our days in London) and since he’s right there next door, the easiest thing to do would be for me to get in touch with him via email. Thanks so much for the offer of help though, and thank you Aaron too.
    I’ll send through an email to Aaron as soon as I can think of something cogent to say to Rick other than ‘Get better soon, or I’ll kick your ass!’
    You folks are fantastic. I wish Rick knew how many people out there (a truckload of whom have never even met him) are pulling for him.

  16. http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/0,1113,2-7_1271980,00.html
    My thoughts are with your friend and a South African from Cape Town, both at the Royal Darwin Hospital.

  17. Farrago – I’ll say a prayer (although I keep repeating that I’m not a praying man) for your countryman as well, tonight.
    To clarify, though (just in case), Rick has been moved to Royal Alfred Hospital in Melbourne.

  18. Sometimes one just needs to talk the universe.

  19. I really hope your mate pulls through ok. The Alfred is a good hospital with a great rep., they will look after him.

  20. CK – what everybody said. Forza.

  21. Bosco et al., Venus and I send our best to Rick via the most expedient means possible and hope he will be capable of Tube-surfing again in the near future.
    CBC BC morning news did a short piece about him this morning, and having read the preceding, I understand how/why.
    Coincidentally, my aunt and uncle flew out of Bali the morning after the blast–didn’t hear about it until they landed in Hong Kong. In any event, they’re not the club-going types, anyway.
    Best of the best….

  22. Stav, sorry to hear about your friend being in the blast — my thoughts and wishes go out to him, his family and friends.

  23. MeFi thread seems to be past its sell-by date, so I wanted to let you know I’m still thinking of you and checking for updates on Rick. Take care.

  24. i’m reminded again how tragedy can bring together people from all persuasions.
    it’s been enlightening (for me at least) to read about rick. i’m sorry this happened – i just can’t say that enough – but from what i’ve read, rick is a determined guy who’ll pull through with the love and support of his family and friends. i feel so deeply for everyone who’s been effected by the bali bombing. my thoughts are certainly with you all.

  25. Any word on how Rick’s doing? I’m not really a religious/praying man, but for what it’s worth, I’ve asked a church I went to in Ottawa to say a prayer for Rick. Please update me if anyone knows anything not already posted.

  26. I too am pulling for your friend, and all those injured, the dead, and their families….

  27. Derek – everything that we’ve heard about his condition, I’m posting here as we go. To sum up, though, as far as I know at the moment, and this of course may not be completely correct :
    He’s burned on about 45% of his body, primarily the backs of his legs, his arms, and his face. He had a stroke as a result of heart trauma, and there may be some damage (shrapnel?) to his chest and neck. The doctors feared brain damage (I think resulting from the stroke) but this fear has apparently diminished. He was taken off life support (yesterday, or the day before, I’m not sure) and was upgraded to serious condition yesterday (our time, here on the east coast of the pacific). He will be going in for skin graft surgery today.

  28. Hi all,
    I just spoke to Rick’s hospital. As I am not a family member they won’t give me too many details. They told me he is sedated (and unconscious) and in a “serious” condition.
    I have left messages at the hospital for Rick’s parents to phone me when they get there.
    I will try agin this afternoon.

  29. Thanks for that, Aaron. To clarify – Rick’s family haven’t arrived yet? I was planning to try and speak to one of them today on the phone, if they had arrived…

  30. In the absence of an sense from the Hospital’s phone staff. I walked over to see if I could find out anything more.
    I spoke with Rick’s ICU Nurse who was really helpful despite me not being family. Rick is still heavily sedated/Unconscious. He had skin graft surgery yesterday. The good news is that Rick does/did not have a severed artery. The seizure/heart trauma was due to microbubbles in his blood stream . Apparently this is a common syndrome experienced by blast victims. The blast somehow forces the bubbles into the blood and mimics decompression sickness.
    Rick’s father had not yet arrived at the hospital. The hospital said his flight had arrived though (it is about 30-45mins from the airport). Rick’s Mother is due to arrive tomorrow. His nurse will pass on my details to Ricks Father when he gets there. I will let you know when I make contact.
    He is likely to be in ICU for weeks yet.

  31. Thanks so much for the update, Aaron. We owe you, man. Keep us updated, please. And thanks again.

  32. Thanks, Aaron. (You’re right, of course, Stavros. Better we leave this to somebody who knows Rick, but I’ll keep my guys on tap for when he’s conscious and recovering and bored as hell from having nothing to do and then I’ll send them to entertain and amuse him, okay?) As long as there’s somebody on the spot chatting up the ICU nurse for the real info, I feel much better.
    I wish Rick (and all the others) the best of doctors and the best of luck.

  33. This is one of the odder things, to have read your original post about an anonymous “Ricard” and then to come back a few days later and find out after all, that it was your brother in arms. I’m flabbergasted. My thoughts are with you and yours, and everyone else in this twisted, uncertain world.

  34. Thanks for keeping us posted on Rick’s condition, Stavros. Thinking of you both.

  35. I will hope for news of your friend’s continuing improvement. It is very hard to comprehend what your friend and his family face in recovering from his injuries. I hesitate to recommend this (NOT meant to be a commercial plug), but I just finished reading a story about the recovery of a woman (Lauren Manning) who was burned over 82% of her body in the WTC bombing. The story, consisting of daily emails, is makes the nature of such injuries all too real. Her recovery was inspiring. It may help others understand what your friend faces. Thanks for providing a way for people who have come to care about his fate can help financially, at least. “Love, Greg and Lauren Book Info

  36. The degrees of separation are becoming narrower and narrower. I saw the link at http://www.scripting.com. Our thoughts and prayers are with Rick, his family and friends. We’ll take good care of all of those who were injured.

  37. Don’t know you but hang in there Rick!
    Tried to think of something profound to say but what your experiencing is beyond my comprehension.
    You’re in the care of some very worried friends who sound like they got unfinishd business with you. GET WELL, live long and prosper!

  38. Just a short note on an article in the Age on the weekend about the burns unit at the Alfred, where Rick is “visiting”. It seems that the senior surgeon there, who’s name I can’t remember, is a german gentleman, who was a surgeon at a nearby hospital when there was that really bad air-show crash a few years back. Thus he has LOTS of experience with this type of trauma, and his reputation suggests he’s the best burns guy in the world. So Rick, and his co-patients, seem to be in the best hands possible.
    Here’s to everyone making it fit and well…

  39. Blessings and blobs of goodness for Rick and all concerned.

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