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To see Sean at November, 2007 hockey game

June 18, 2008

Well it seems that we have finally come to an end, of sorts.  For us there may never be an end.  For Sean everyday will be a reminder of what the consequences are in making a wrong decision.  Its really sad knowing that things could have been different....its really sad no one will admit wrong doing, therefore no one will ever tell Sean they are sorry for changing the course of his life.  Everyday he deals with issues to his eye, issues with his lack of hearing and to this day, the surgery has not corrected his face, but we still have hope and we still have the support of our family and friends.   Love and peace to all. 


The shootings at Virginia Tech
Multimedia and ongoing coverage

Links to the news conference. Sound and PDF's seout by VA Attorney General's Office:


Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

Some Virginia Tech officials locked down their offices at least 20 minutes before Seung-Hui Cho burst into Norris Hall and killed 30 people — and even before a campuswide alert was issued about his first two killings in another building.

E-mails from the co-director of the university office responsible for its emergency planning showed her building was on lockdown and that some officials knew "there is an active shooter on campus" — while top officials were saying they saw no need to suspend classes or lock down the campus.

The e-mails were released today by lawyers for the families of several victims who agreed today to an $11 million settlement with the state. Among other things, the agreement calls on top university officials to meet families and victims and explain their actions during the worst campus massacre in U.S. history.

That e-mail was sent a minute before a campuswide alert urged people "to be cautious" after what it called a "shooting incident" at West Ambler Johnston Hall.

The alert had been toned down from an earlier draft that proposed disclosing that one student had died and another was injured, according to a memo released by the lawyers. Cho shot and killed two people at the dormitory.

And shortly after the alert went out, but before Cho chained the doors at Norris Hall and started shooting, the same official forwarded the official alert to colleagues at nearby public school systems and added:

"Unofficial word is that 2 people have died and the shooter is still at large. Tactical teams are staging in blacksburg. My building is in lockdown. Bombs, shootings. ... I’m moving to a smaller town."

Repeated efforts tonight to reach Tech officials for comment were unsuccessful.

Douglas Fierberg, one of the lawyers for the families, said one professor had phoned her husband shortly after he dropped her off at work that day — about an hour and 15 minutes before Cho started his rampage in Norris Hall — to say her building was on "quasi lockdown."

He said the families were upset that some university officials knew to protect themselves while allowing students and staff to walk into danger.

Shortly after the lawyers disclosed the e-mails, Joseph Samaha — father of 18-year-old Reema Samaha, who was killed in the shootings — spoke to reporters. "We are acting on behalf of the departed and the injured, to say: ‘Never again,’ " Samaha said.

He said the families thought the university should have given more-timely warnings of danger and more accurate descriptions of what that danger was.

The families also felt the school ignored the risks posed by Cho, by allowing him to return to the dorms after living off campus and by not taking action after he was charged with stalking female students and professors complained about his bizarre behavior.

In a key part of the settlement, Tech officials promised to meet with families and fully explain their actions that day.

Officials also promised a briefing on what they have done to improve safety, while the governor and attorney general will outline what they are doing in response to the massacre.

Former Virginia State Police Superintendent W. Gerald Massengill, who led the state task force that investigated the massacre, said he felt the university’s top officials waited too long to warn the campus and probably should have suspended classes and secured buildings after the first shooting.

He said the investigation focused on top officials and was not looking at whether other offices went on lockdown.

In yesterday’s settlement, the state did not admit any liability for the deaths or injuries.

Contact David Ress at

If you are new to this website, we welcome you to scroll down to the bottom and start at the beginning. There are many entries, sometimes daily, on Sean's recovery and current activities. Remember, beginning entries are at the bottom of this page, the most recent are at the top.

Special thanks to the group

"The Season" for driving their tour bus all the way from Nashville to donate their performance to this fundraiser! Thanks again to Kurtis Parks, Josh Kim, Jason Jolly, and Roadie Manager Nate Parks!

Sean McQuade is one of numerous victims eof the Virginia Tech Shootings. Although we grieve with the families of those who lost their lives, let us not forget those who suffered very serious injuries.

We know and Appreciate that a lot of you visit this page daily for updates on Sean's Progress. We will make every effort to bring this information to you as soon as possible, some times will be sooner than others. Again, thanks to all for your patience and support.

MARCH 27, 2008

All are invited to a night of "Poems and Music for Sean".
This benefit will be held in the Walls School Atrium
320 Grant Ave. Pitman at 7pm on April 22.
Tickets are $3 for adults and $1 for children under 12.
Laura Cheadle, local recording musician will be featured
as our headline singer and local poet and author,
Ron Block, from Rowan University will be our keynote poet.
Children from Pitman have written poems and will be
playing various instruments. Baked good will also be sold.
Don't miss it!
Contact Katy Hoh at 856-589-1316 or e-mail her at with any questions.


MARCH 18, 2008

Happy Birthday to my Dad, Chuck Forsman.

Love from your family. Jody


January 11, 2008
I truly welcome the beginning of a new year.  So many
things many families hurt.....still hurting.
Our holiday was wonderful although in my heart I was
feeling so very sad for all the families who lost a loved 
one. I was so close to being one of them.  Many times
I play over and over in my head the scans of Sean's 
injury and the comments made by so many doctors....
'you are a lucky boy'....there has to be a guardian 
angel watching over Sean.
We are trying to get some order back into our lives 
and start the new year fresh.....we have been 
spared the pain of loss so we will begin anew and
try to help those who need our support now.  
Sean started a video diary of himself
and the progress of his nerve graph.  
To date, there has been no change but he is 
not discouraged, not in the least.  He studys 
for his actuarial job on a daily basis - he has
applied to ING and AIG but we haven't heard
anything yet.  I still am amazed, and proud,
that anyone can love math that much....yuk!!   
At some point, I may be able to pursuade 
him to put the video diary on the website, 
but for now, my shy guy will just keep it to 
He's been spending a lot of time with his 
friends lately and its so nice to see him being 
accepted back into the crowd again.  Thanks
again to everyone for respecting our privacy 
and giving Sean time to deal with this in his 
own way.  
Hear, hear to a new year, Jody 
December 10, 2007
Nothing new on Sean to date.  I do, however, catch 
him staring at his face in the mirror to see if there is 
any movement.  We realize its probably too soon, 
but you can't stop wishing.  As I sympathize with 
many of my friends over the loss of loved ones, I 
truly count my blessings having Sean home for the 
holidays.  Sean studied faithfully everyday since 
October for the upcoming actuary test, but due to the 
move we made mid-November, his study guide was 
misplaced and unfortunately he didn't pass his 
actuary test.  He's OK with it because now he has an 
idea of what questions are going to be asked and 
what type of problems he needs to study.  He has 
applied for a job with ING in West Chester, PA and 
a friend, Lou McCall is submitting his resume to his 
company.  If you know of any actuary jobs available 
in the Philadelphia area, please let me know.  He is 
so ready to get to work.  Hopefully, you had a 
chance to see the Flyers (hockey) presentation on 
youtube.  I was so overwhelmed with happiness for 
Sean that I cried, especially when the entire 
Wachovia center stood up for him.  They treated us 
like celebrities and we had sooooo much fun.  After 
the game Sean went down to the locker room and 
met with some of the players.  He had a great time.  

Again, thank you so very much for your support and 
oxoxox Jody 

 Sean's Progress Report: 10-15-2007
WE ARE HOME!!  Hurray!!  No offense to  New 
York City, but living with a 23 yr. Old adult male....I 
love my kid, but WHEW, we  definitely needed some 
space.  Anyway I've  tried to start this message to you 
several times  but it seems to be very 
bittersweet.....kind of  like the end of a journey with 
all of you.  I may  not know all of you, but I know 
that if I needed  you, you were there.  For those who 
don't have  time right now for details, SEAN IS A O 

On Monday, I left him around 7:30 a.m. and  after 
finishing my 3rd novel (that's right, I read  3 books 
since arriving in NY) around 3:30 they  told me Sean 
was done.  It took until 5 pm  before I was allowed in 
recovery.  I walked up  and said, "OMG you look 
great, Sean".   Amazingly the cuts they made on both 
sides of  his face ran right in front of his ear, down 
under  his ear lobe, up behind his ear and down his 
 neck about 2".  I don't know what I was really 
 expecting to see, but my thought was way  worse 
than reality.  He stayed in recovery for  about 2 
hours, then we went to "Roosevelt  14B" which is the 
exclusive "hotel-like" floor  where a family member 
can actually stay in the  room with the patient.  They 
originally were  going to keep him in ICU for the 
night, but  apparently they were full and the doctor 
knew I  would be with him to oversee the situation.  
 After playing nursemaid for 5 days, my hat is  off to 
all nurses.....and you know  can have that job, 
I'll stay with real estate.  Sean  was quite 
uncomfortable the entire time....he  had drains 
behind his ears and on the back of  his leg and they 
didn't remove them until  Thursday afternoon, so 
basically Sean laid in a  prone position for 4 days.  
Because of the  drains he couldn't walk very easily 
even though  physically therapy was in the day after 
surgery.   What we didn't expect was the pain he felt 
in  his leg.  He has counted 50 staples up the back  of 
his left leg.  For those who don't know, the  Dr. 
removed the nerve in his leg to use in his  face.  The 
original plan was to stay in a hotel  suite generously 
donated to us by Kim  P.(THANKS SO MUCH 
KIM), surgery would  have been Thursday then we 
would have taken  Sean out of the hospital to 
recooperate in the  hotel and come home on 
Tuesday.  The plan  was great.  Well you know what 
they say about  the 'best laid plans'.  Having the 
surgery on  Monday just threw everything out of 
wack and  unfortunately we had to cancel the Flyers 
 Opening Night game that we were invited to.  It  was 
really great that I could stay with Sean at  the 
hospital and I know now that there is no  way I 
would have been comfortable taking him  back to the 
hotel. Roosevelt 14B was very nice and we had great 
 food and 'tea time' around 3 pm everyday, and  once 
again, we were living for hockey....any  hockey game 
would do.  If you remember,  hockey is what kept 
Sean from going totally  stir-crazy back in Virginia.  
Everyday, we  would start with 'do you think we can 
go home  tomorrow?' and 'is there a game on 
tonight?'   We wanted to get home, but we also didn't 
 want to have to drive back up to get stitches  out.  
They did take the stitches out on Friday  and because 
Sean was progressing  quickly.....from a walker to 
crutches, they said  he could leave on Friday instead 
of Saturday.   Dr. Costantino did a wonderful job 
with the help of Dr. Heltzig, however the success of 
this  procedure is not immediate.   It will take 
approximately 3 weeks for his leg to  heal fully and 
we may not see any results from  the surgery for 
possibly a year.  I promise to  update you with 
anything exciting, but I will  most likely try to get 
back into 'my groove' and  Sean will be working 
toward taking his  actuarial test and hopefully 
getting a job come  the beginning of the year.   I 
thank everyone,  again, for they're support, prayers 
and warm  wishes.  If you would like to contact me 
 personally, feel free to do so at  Live for the day and if 
it feels right, do it!! 

 Sean's Progress Report: 10-07-2007
For those anxiously awaiting the results of the 
operation.....there has been a change in plans.
Originally scheduled for Thursday, we were bumped
because Dr. C. had to assist with a patient with
a brain tumor and that surgery was taking longer
than expected. Sean was rescheduled for Friday
@ 1 pm. So Thursday from 9 until 1 we waited,
then Friday from 9:30 to 2 we
the operating room was not available at the Dr's
requested time & we could have waited but it was
getting late, and the Dr's preferred O.R. team
wouldn't be available after 3 we are
waiting until 7:30 a.m. Monday. Remember, both
days Sean was fasting from the night before & we
all didn't eat until after we got done waiting.
Sean will definitely make up for that this week-
end, I'm sure.
I know how you feel.  But rest assured Sean was
quick with his decision to wait until Monday...
he felt the odds were against him to do it today..
not that anything would have happened, but we all
feel better waiting until Monday. There's only
one problem now, opening night @ the Flyers game,
which we were invited to go, may have to be
cancelled. We'll just have to wait & see. It's
not that he can't go, its just that his leg will
have stitches and his face will be stitched and
black & blue...not going to be a pretty site, plus
I'm sure he will want to whoop & holler for his
favorite hockey team, so he'd rather wait....we'll
Update you on Monday....Jody

 Sean's Progress Report: 10-02-2007
We are getting ready to leave for NYC and before I forget, which
I personally will never do, I want to thank BOTTO'S ITALIAN LINE
RESTAURANT, Henry, Robert and the entire Botto family for the very
generous donation to Sean. We had a an extremely delicious dinner
and Sean had the biggest steak you can fit on a plate....ate the
whole thing! Thank you so very much.

I don't usually single out certain people, because I just couldn't
possibly thank everyone who has been a part of our lives these
past 6 months without missing someone, but this one person, Kim
Pallies, whom I have never met, has managed to arrange our entire
stay during the surgery in NYC. I will be thanking her for the
rest of my life for this extreme over-the-top contribution to make
our lives easier, just one less thing I had to worry about, not
to mention the financial burden this would have been. Thank you
so very much, Kim.

Just wanted to get this in before I go. I will be back on-line
once the surgery is over.....or possibly something else that may
happen...Dr. Constantino has requested a last minute consultation.
I won't even try to guess what this is about.

Check back with me soon, Jody

 Sean's Progress Report: 9-27-2007
To sue or not to sue....that is the question.
As I slowly progress through the reading of 
the entire report from the Virginia Tech 
review panel (if you want a copy just let me
know), I am constantly saying to myself 'they
should have and could have done it different'.
My daughter goes to Rowan University and they
had a fire drill the other day and sent everyone
a text message and e-mail so they wouldn't be
upset if they heard sirens or whatever.
older son is also in college.  You may have
guessed by now.....I'm on 'high alert' and my
anxiety level is peaking.  Honestly, if a
nuclear power plant can sound a siren of danger
throughout a 5 mile radius in seconds, how is
it that we can't notify students of impending
danger, whether real or suspected.
Sean and I occasionally talk about a lawsuit
and he has no real desire to sue anybody, just
so long as his medical bills are covered and,
at this point, no one is committing to that
resolve. I don't really care who did or didn’t
do something - the report shows that there were
mistakes made.....all I know is that these kids
were hurt or killed on their watch and they
should be responsible to do whatever it takes.
You know, I start everyday saying that I'm going
to do something for myself, and yet here I am... 
I just can't seem to find time to take away from
this 'new life' that we have been thrown into.
Its not that I'm obsessed or anything about the
tragedy, its that I need to be proactive about
handling make sure that he is 
getting the best that I can
matter what that is.  I have a lot of support
with family and friends, together with my new
friends born from just amazes me
the amount of energy and time this consumes.
To top it off, since the EMG came back negative
Sean wants to get the facial surgery over with
- its scheduled for October 4th – therefore we
are running around getting pre-op testing, chest
x-ray, blood tests, etc. and no more Sam Adams
'Octoberfest' after this weekend!
I actually had the 'coconuts' to ask ABC for a
Trip to Disney for all of the students and
families that participated in the interview.
In my mostly jumbled mind, I was thinking that
Superbowl winners get to go to Disney, shouldn't
these kids 'winners of life' go to Disney.
In my previous life, I would never have said
something like that, but lately I just seem to
say what's on my mind....not an endearing
quality sometimes.
Jeeze, I sound like a madwoman... I'm not... 
really. Just love my kids, that's all.
I will update you after surgery.

Sean's Progress Report: 9-10-2007
Its been a very anxious week since I last
updated you.  As I mentioned  Thursday was the 
EMG (electromyogram) which registers 
muscle/nerve activity  with acupuncture-like 
needles attached to a machine.  I know this 
sounds  weird but if the machine registers no 
sound then the nerve & corresponding  muscles 
are working correctly.....if you hear rain 
drop-like sounds, then  the nerve/muscle is 
abnormal.....unfortunately we heard rain drops.  
The  doctor tested several places and all 
registered the same sound.  Friday we  met Dr. 
Swartz at Wills Eye Hospital and had the gold 
weight sewn into his  eyelid.  I have to tell 
you, both Morgan and I had a very long moment 
of  fear seeing Sean struggle back from 
anesthesia.  But once he was awake, he  again 
became so very funny.  He has a very quick and 
clever wit about him  when hes semi-conscience 
and with no inhibition.  He "highly recommended  
(that the nurse have) a few Octoberfest (Samuel 
Adams) beers while watching  the Eagles 
game.....he wouldnt be disappointed".  When the 
nurse asked Sean  what he studied in school and 
found out he was a math major he asked Sean  
how a baseball field is mathematically 
constructed.  He hesitated for a  split-second 
and then went into a long dissertation about 
the configuration  of a baseball field.  
Today is Sunday and with the cold 
compresses and rest his eye lid looks good  ( I 
guess as good as an eyelid can look considering 
his got this hunk of  metal in it).  There's 
just a little bit of swelling so we can't 
really tell  if its working as we 
anticipate....but we'll find out soon enough.
Now to tell Dr. Constantino the EMG wasn't 
positive.....which means that we  have to start 
planning for the nerve graph face cross over 
operation.  My  heart fills with dread just 
typing those words, so I have to tell myself  
'he's just getting a face lift at age 23'.  
He's been through so much I just  pray everyday 
that the steps we take now payoff in the 
Sean is looking forward to the future.  
He was working on his resume and is  actively 
trying to contact Watson Wyatt who he briefly 
spoke with back in  March.  I have many good 
friends helping me to contact companies who 
have  actuary openings.  I think that if Sean 
can get a few interviews in before  the 
operation, he will have some good feelings of 
hope for the future.  
I realize and hear many 
times that its very hard for people to imagine 
what  we are going through.  I, too, can't 
believe all that is involved with this  most 
days - my home office, where Ryan has a bed, 
looks like a tornado  went through.....but I 
know where everything is.....amazing!
Thanks again for staying in touch with us.. Jody
Sean's Progress Report: 8-30-2007
Unfortunately we've been back to the eye doctor.. 
the abrasion opened up again.  Dr. Heisman 
referred us to a cornia specialist, Dr. Ringel,
whom we've seen several times in the last week.
He put a contact on his eye to act as a Band-Aid worked.  In less than a week the abrasion is 
healed.  So to further help protect  his eye, we
are seeing another eye surgeon to have a gold
weight sewn into his eyelid.  We met with Dr.
Swartz who is an associate of Wills Eye Hospital
and are going through with the surgery on his
eyelid.  The weight, which is designed like a
curved plate about 1/4 inch wide (I know its 
kinda big) will be sewn into a pocket the doctor
will created in his eyelid.  Gravity will pull
the eyelid down when Sean conscientiously closes
his eye.  It doesn't work if he just blinks...
he has to actually relax the muscle that holds
the eyelid up.  The main reason Sean wants to do
this is because the nerve graph surgery may take
another 6+ months to actually work and his eye
will be exposed that much longer if he doesn't
do this now.  And, of course, it can be reversed.
Even though the surgery is scheduled for Sept.7
and the nerve graph for sometime later this 
month, I still think of the dream that Laurie
Ellis had of Sean smiling... with his whole face,
not just half.  After today, that might just
happen sooner than we think.  He's scheduled for
an EMG (electromyogram)(sp?) to see if the nerves
and muscles are responding in any way. 
If they are...well I don't know what will happen
next, but it will be a happy day.
Gotta have hope!! OXOX Jody

Sean's Progress Report: 8-19-2007 
Sean and I have been at Virginia Tech
since Thursday night getting ready for
the ABC interview.....and thats the
last time I saw him.....until yesterday, 
Saturday.  It OK because I really
think being here has helped Sean have
a more normal end to his college years.
I wasn't sure how we would feel coming
back here but after driving around, I
understand, once again how truly awesome
this place is. I visited all the places
I went to throughout the years Sean was
here and its even better than it was. 
The buildings made of Hokie stone, the
stadium, the drill field... they are all
so impressive.
  There's an inspirational 'feeling' that
makes you really want to go to college
The interview was held off campus at a
gorgeous B&B called Rockwood Manor in
Dublin, VA (540-674-1328). Sara, her
husband and son, run the B&B and they 
made our day so very special.  Bob
Woodruff, Christine, Meena, Jim and all
the crew from ABC did a great job making
the kids feel comfortable and unpressured.
The interview, which will air on ABC 
Monday evening at 6:30, pm is a tiny... 
a very tiny... glimpse into what the
injured students have had to endure and
what they anticipate for the future. Little
pieces of the interview might be aired on
GMA Monday morning and there may even be
pieces on Sunday am & pm. I purposely tried
to hide and did not participate in the 
parent interview... then I heard chicken
sounds coming from Bob.
It was very heartwarming to see all the
students laughing and crying and hugging.
These kids didn't ask for the hand they were
dealt, but they are all so intelligent, and
they handled themselves so very well, I'm
sure they will all end up winners.  As for
me, I truly welcome the new friendships
that have begun today.  Putting a face with
the names has made such a difference. The
faces you will see in the interview are our
kids... just a few of the many who had to
witness this tragic event and for most, will
re-live it many times over in the future.
As they say, "Time heals all wounds" but
the scars will remain.
I wish them all the best and then some more!

 Sean's Progress Report: 8-16-2007
I had to trash the previous draft simply because
I was starting to rant and rave and there is too
much good news to be depressed today.
As you
may know, we went to NYC on Tuesday (jeeze I 
hate getting caught in all that traffic!)  
We met with Dr. Bovino who we asked to evaluate
Sean’s jaw joint and give us the "worst case
scenario" on what he plans to do during surgery.
He spent a lot of time poking and probing then
After consulting with Dr. Constantino, decided
there was no need to replace the jaw joint.  
WHAT?  you may ask... so did I.  The doc said
that most patients need replacement of this 
joint because of the lack of motion and the
fact that Sean can open and move his mouth
considerably more than they had anticipated... 
well, there's no need for that surgery. HURRAY!  
Then we met with Dr. Constantino, again, who will
be doing the nerve replacement surgery.  After
looking at Sean's xrays again, he turns around
and says "boy, you are so lucky to be alive". 
It’s truly a miracle... the path the bullet was 
on... well we'll not talk about that.   So the
doc just sits there looking over Sean's face and
says "I don't think I have to go into your 
'brain case' (aka skull) to attach the nerve".
Again, WHAT? you may ask....and I did, again.  
He said that attaching the 'trunk' of the nerve
back together wouldn't guarantee optimal results.
The best way is to do the face-crossover... 
Attaching each individual nerve with the 
identical nerve on the opposite side.  Doc said
it’s like an 8 - 10 hour surgery and he would
definitely need to eat his Wheaties that day!!
The downside... it may still take 6 months to
know if it actually worked.  
All in all it was a good day and there not this
dread hanging over his head worry about surgery.
The face-crossover is more like 'face lift 
surgery'. People do that every day.  He'll 
probably schedule that sometime in September.
ABC did film a bit of the doctors visit so you
may see it soon along with the injured student
Interview with Bob Woodruff coming up probably
on August 20th.
Sean's Progress Report: 8-9-2007
Last night was, again, one of those sleepless
nights where my mind just wanders back to the
beginning......when our nice quiet little world
        I pretty much have it down now and I race 
through all the events, remembering little things
that I had forgotten.  But mostly, I dwell on the 
gifts of the heart that have been presented to us
over this period of time and are still coming our
        Yesterday, a fellow realtor from Virginia 
(that I don't know personally), who has been 
following Sean's progress, remembered that Sean
liked Coney Island hotdogs.  UPS arrived at my 
office with a present for Sean.....dry iced Coney
Island Hot Dogs.  We sat around at dinner and had
a grand time eating hot dogs and remembering our
trips back and forth to the hospital and sneaking
Coney Dogs in.  We tried not to let Sean know we
had them cause his mouth was wired and he couldn't
eat, but he sure could smell them!
        Sean and I will be back in NYC soon for a
visit with the maxofacial surgeon that will be 
working on replacing his TMJ (jaw joint).  He's 
having a bit of trouble chewing correctly because
the muscles are lax and the joint isn't keeping 
his jaw in line.  He's very much into eating fish
these days since it's easy to chew and he feels
the "brain" food is good for helping to restore
his damaged nerves.  Dr. Harden from Virginia,
told Sean it could take up to 6 months for nerves
to regenerate, so before the nerve replacement
surgery, which we are preparing for and hope
doesn't have to happen, Sean will continue to eat
healthy with the hope that he can heal himself.
He does, however, like to indulge on Philly Soft
Pretzels these days.... or is it just me that
wants just a little bite?
Sean has started his own Chess Club in Mullica
Hill.Its only once a week but we have been 
having a great time and when players are late,
I get a detailed lesson on correctly placing 
my pieces. I'm by no means a good chess player,
but I can hold my own.....unless Sean's just 
giving 'ol mom a break....probably the latter.
I still drive Sean around to wherever he needs
to go since we sold his car, but his Grand-
father is spending a lot of time working on 
picking out just the right one when the time 
comes.  Sean is very adamant about getting
a vehicle that has good gas mileage.  He's 
always cutting me up about my Ford Truck, 
which he has nicknamed "the tank".  Can't fault
"the tank" too got me down to Sean,
through rain, and wind and all that mother 
nature threw my way that day.
Keep you eye on the news August 19 -21st. I
Don't really know when it will air, but you 
will see Sean and his fellow students in an 
exclusive interview with Bob Woodruff of ABC.
Bob says he's going to get me on camera too,
but we'll see about that!

Sean's Progress Report: 7-30-2007
 This weekend had all of us smiling for a change.
Thanks to Philadelphia's  IBEW Local 98, Sean
was invited to attend a Phillies baseball game
and as a  guest of honor, threw out a pitch to
the Philly Phanatic.  He really enjoyed  himself
and so did we.  
We just got back from a meeting in Trenton, NJ
with Ken Feinberg.  Mr.  Feinberg was appointed
to find out from the families of the deceased &  
injured, just how we feel about distribution of 
the Hokie Fund.  The meeting  did touch....
deeply & emotionally, I might add....on the 
disappointment of  how things were handled 
from the very begining. Mr. Feinberg did make
notations about how we felt, but my feeling 
is he already knows what they  intend to do 
and is just humoring us with the meeting.  It 
was even over  exactly when it  was scheduled 
to be ironic!  Our family has talked 
about what we expect should happen, but after 
today I don't believe  that Virginia Tech, which 
is a state college, or the State of Virginia will  
be helping us with our needs ....we're on our own.  
Tomorrow Sean goes back to the eye doctor and 
hopefully she will give us  good news.  He has 
been faithfully applying the drops every hour for 
almost  3 weeks straight.  Its been difficult, 
but he's a very good patient.  He may  have 
scarring on the cornia but hopefully the 
abrasion is healed.  
Wednesday we will have a  celebration.  Sean will
be 23 yrs. old and it will truly be a celebration
Thanks for visiting, until next time...

 Sean's Progress Report: 7-12-2007
Is it already the middle of summer!!  I can't 
believe how time flies.  Come Monday it will 
be 3 months since we began the long road to 
recovery.  Mostly everything has been fine 
since the angiogram came back OK.  We decided 
to  take a short trip to the beach and thanks 
to Joe Sheppard and his assistant,  Amy, we 
had a really good time.  
It wasn't until we returned that we encountered 
a "bump in the road"....well maybe not a bump 
but a bolder!
Inadvertently, Sean must have gotten something 
in his eye which caused a  severe abrasion (cut) 
on his cornea.  I have never in my life seen an 
eye  soooooo red.  A person with sensation and 
feeling would have felt severe  pain upon getting 
the cut, but Sean feels nothing so we didn't 
know that  anything was wrong.  We have been 
to the eye doctor everyday for the past 10  days.
Sean also gave in to my desire for him to have 
prescription  sunglasses....I had to fight with 
him over it because "Mr. Bargain Hunter"  didn't 
want me to spend the money.  I told him it was 
to protect his eye  from sun, wind,debris..maybe 
it can't protect eye but reduce the chances  for 
a problem.  We take so many things for granted 
with our eyes....Sean  doesn't even squint when 
the suns too bright....he can't.  Anyway, the
sunglasses look really cool on him and it hides 
his eye so I think he feels  better about going 
out.  Finally on Tuesday, Dr. Heisman said she 
felt the  abrasion was getting better.  It's 
taking longer than normal only because  the 
"healing" tears that are distributed when we 
blink....well we know that  doesn't work....yet.
I have some other stuff to tell you..won't be 

Sean's Progress Report: 6-26-2007
I am truly sorry I made you wait so long for this.
I just couldn't find the inner strength to be 
'up beat' when I didn't have anything good to say.
No, nothing bad has happened, so don't worry.
We went to NYC as planned but when we got there
they told us that Sean had a heart problem that
was discovered on the EKG and they couldn't do 
the angiogram until Sean got an echocardiogram. 
Remember, we're already in NYC and rescheduling 
everything was not an option... we were already 
pushing the envelope of time.  This angiogram 
was to determine if Sean was in danger of having 
an annurism.  Of course, I go on 'high alert' 
and try not to let the kids know how upset I was 
getting.  We're sitting in the waiting area of 
St. Luke Roosevelt Hospital and finally, I see 
Claudia from Dr. Constantino's office.  I am so 
relieved to see her I almost cried.  She took 
control of the situation, had Sean into the 
echocardiogram immediately, which allowed the 
angiogram to be done as scheduled. 
How do I spell relief.....clear angiogram & 
echocardiogram!!  Finally we have gotten to a 
point where we can truly give a sigh of relief 
and relax a bit.  The issue still remains 
regarding the reconstruction of the 7th nerve.
I point blank asked Sean what he wanted to do 
and his answer was definite... "wait until 
after the summer".  It has only been 9 weeks 
since Sean began the healing process and a 
mere 4 weeks since we've been home and working 
with rehab. Sometimes it seems like forever!!  
In case you don't remember or I didn't explain 
it properly, the 7th nerve runs out of the scull
(at the point where the bullet exploded into 
several pieces) and runs along the ear canal
(which is fractured) and then runs along near 
the TMJ (which is shattered).  
Basically the nerve could be severely damaged 
in 3 or more places and correcting this is 
basically 'brain surgery'.  Both Sean and I will 
never give up hope that one more miracle can 
occur.  He looks at me sometimes and just asks, 
"Mom, is anything I smiling?"  He 
has basically no feeling on the right side so 
he really doesn't know what's moving and what's 
not.  It so breaks my heart to have to say "No, 
honey, not yet..... just keep trying."  
And try we will....we will never give up.  
Until next time, 

Sean's Progress Report: 6-15-2007 (11:20 pm)

Today, while at rehab, I was thinking that everyone should have to volunteer and work with all the people, young and old, that need help, just like they do with 'jury duty'. Then we all might drive slower (after seeing a young person crippled from an accident), eat healthier (after seeing a middle aged person recover from a stoke), get rid of the guns (after we see a person try to get their life back after being shot). Being at this place is truly a humbling experience and I commend all the people who work there with their calm and positive attitudes. They all do a really great job with Sean, too, so most days when he's done all his therapy, he's starving and the closest place is Tony Luke's' Cheese-steaks. I think Mack & Manco Pizza's got some competition.
Today there was a special appointment with the psychologist who determined, after extensive questioning, that Sean is of sound mind and doesn't need therapy. That doesn't mean that we won't talk about things.... communication is extremely important no matter what the circumstances. The fact of the matter is, Sean doesn't have any memory of the horror that erupted around him. He was unconscious and I am truly thankful for that. Heck, I'm thankful for a lot of things these days.
Last night was really fun, though. I wasn't going to attend the Woodbury Country Club event, but after I saw that all of my family, friends, co-workers and high school reunion classmates were going, I just had to say THANK YOU TO EVERYONE for their support. Thank you especially to the the numerous friends who made last night a memorable event. I really enjoyed talking to everyone and finally meeting the band, THE SEASON, who created the song that melts my heart every time I hear it. I told the band members that the first time I heard their song was in ICU with Sean just across the hall. It's the one song that can make me cry instantly.
Once again this has been a very busy week for both Sean and I. While trying to juggle my regular job, show properties (which i love) and get Sean to rehab and the various doctors he needs to see.....well you guessed it....I'm pooped, but not enough to forget about you and this update.

Sean's Progress Report: 6-12-2007

Today I am just overwhelmed with so many things running through my brain about Sean, first and foremost, but also about everyone and everything. No one, save the one person I dumped on today (thanks for listening Joann) has any idea of all the plans that have to be made, all the questions that need to be answered....what does the future hold, for Sean, for me, for all of those affected by this tragedy. Most days I just deal with one issue at a time, but today....I need a break from my I went to my e-mail to pull up this prayer that a customer of mine sent. Thank you so much, Erma & Fortunato, for giving me this 'anchor' to hold on to.

Do you feel sometimes
That you have a broken wing

That you can't seem to make it
Because you can't do a thing

Do you feel sometimes
That the weight is on your shoulders

That the path you try to take
Is filled with rocks and boulders


You have a choice here
And it is called, PRAYER

The Lord is just waiting
For you to call upon Him

Yes, we must ask
Especially when all looks grim

Sometimes ....
We can't even talk, all we can say ....

"Please Help"

And He will send His Guardian
Right Away

There are myriads and myriads of Angels
All around

One will come right to you

And lift you up
When you are down!

God Bless You, Dear Friend!

Thanks to all of you for your special prayers, both written and felt. I didn't realize how much I would need you.


Sean's Progress Report: 6-11-2007

I am truly struggling with the idea that Sean needs to get out in the public eye. We sincerely appreciate all that everyone has done and is doing for us, but I just hate the idea that the media 'wants to see the kid from VT who got shot '. Why is it so important to be on TV? He doesn't look any different than he did except that he is wearing glasses again, not contacts. Friends, family, and our website followers, already know how he is doing. The majority may not have actually seen him, but know what his injuries are and have not infringed on his privacy. Sean is a very humble guy and is not out to look for sympathy nor is he inclined to meet the media. I hope this does not come off being intrepreted as 'selfish' but we just really don't want that kind of exposure. Is that wrong?

If Sean was ever to give an interview, it will be with a certain 'someone special' that we met in NYC. As I mentioned, this website was originally created for family, friends and co-workers to keep everyone updated and to keep the facts straight, since the media was getting it all wrong. I am absolutely sure that we have a whole new 'family of friends' from the website we may never personally meet, but I know that you are there....keeping him in prayer.

Thanks so much for understanding,


Sean's Progress Report: 6-8-2007

We finally made it to Wills Eye Hospital the other day. Detailed evaluation of his right eye revealed no damage to the optic nerve. We are so why is his vision worse than before the accident. I was watching while Sean read the eye chart and was having a lot of difficulty seeing the letters and then Dr. Savino rubbed his eyeball (with his eyelid) and to me was actually kind of hard, but I knew Sean couldn't really feel it so I guessed its was OK. He starts reading the letters he couldn't see just seconds before. I'm like....what's the deal? the doctor said that the medicine, Blephamide, that is supposed to be an antibacterial ointment, was loaded with debris and covering his eye so much that his vision was impaired
more than it actually was. I was also told that if you have a family history of glaucoma you should never use this medicine because it has steroids in it. I was very impressed with Wills and very happy to hear there is no damage to his eye. We will be visiting our family eye doctor for follow-ups and hopeully, when Sean is all better, he can get Lasiks. The graduation present I promised him was Lasik eye surgery....once all is OK he should be able to get that. When I got my eyes done 2 yrs ago, I was a bit nervous, but compared to what Sean has been through....Lasiks is a piece of cake!

Today Sean went swimming. I wasn't too concerned because my Dad's pool had a salt water conversion last year so there are no chemicals in the water to further damage his eye. Sean gave me a heart attack when he decided he would jump off the diving board. I suppose I will be a bit jumpy from now on about least for a while. I didn't jump up and scream or anything, but I wanted to.

He also said goodbye to his car. He really can't drive right now so there's really no reason to let it sit around. It was a great car, thanks to my Dad. I'm quite sure there are a lot of memories....probably ones I really don't want to know about! Funny thing is I always used to worry about Sean driving back and forth from Virginia. I would always keep calling to see if he was OK since the trip is 7+/- hours. My biggest fear was that he would get into an accident....getting hurt in a classroom wasn't even conceivable....


Sean's Progress Report: 6-4-2007

I still am amazed at how quickly life can change. I remember only 6 weeks ago, living a life of simple routine with a few property showings thrown in for variety. Wasn't really getting the quantity of good real estate deals....not like the past few years. Morgan and I really never sat down to dinner, we were on different schedules. It was almost boring....go to work, come home, straighten up, play with the dog and watch TV....everyday. Now, I feel like a race horse at the gate when I wake up, run around and around, and hope I cross the finish line completing the goals I set out to accomplish that day. I don't care if I'm really busy because it keeps my mind occupied....keeps me from dwelling on the question....'what would I do if Sean didn't make it home to me'. The minute the thought hits my brain I shake if off and thank God everyday for not having to be the parent whose kid didn't make it home.

I took Sean out to visit with some of his friends on Friday night. I think he really enjoyed himself. I got a little worried when it got dark because I remember Dr. Bigelow telling us that Sean will have problems in the dark. The typical person's vision is diminished because of no light so he could actually fall over because the eyes won't see the 'horizon' or something that will register in his brain that he is actually falling or standing up straight, for that matter. All of this because his equilibrium is off because of the broken ear canal. We were told it may take months for his brain to readjust to the new signals, or actually lack of signals.

Thanks to Mack and Manco Pizza for sending some up to us on Friday. Sean says "its delicious" and can't wait to get to the shore for more. This week we will see the doctor at Wills Eye Hospital for an evaluation and they have scheduled the angiogram for next week.

Keeping in touch, Jody




Assistance fund set up for Va. Tech victim from N.J.

Former classmates of Sean McQuade, the Mullica Hill man wounded in the Virginia Tech massacre, have set up a fund for his family, said Mike Camp, the 2003 Clearview Regional High School class president.

Camp, a friend of McQuade's, said the fund would cover the family's expenses as they spend time with McQuade at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital in Roanoke, Va., where he was taken after being shot in the face.

Camp said checks should be made payable to the Sean McQuade Alumni Fund and can be sent to the St. Edmond's Federal Savings Bank, 1893 Hurffville Road, Sewell, N.J. 08080, with attention to Beverly Matozzo. Checks may also be sent to Clearview High to the attention of teacher Tracy Matozzo, at 420 Cedar Road, Mullica Hill, N.J. 08062.

Carilion hospital spokesman Eric Earnhart said yesterday that McQuade remained in serious condition. - Cynthia Burton Philadelphia Inquirer

Let's Never Forget Those Who Lost Their Lives That Day

 September 1, 2007


3rd Annual Golf Outing
"The Big Bob Classic"
Monday, September 10, 2007 - 12:00 PM
Riverwinds Golf Course
West Deptford, NJ


12:00 - Lunch

1:00 - Shot gun start (Better Ball Play)

- Prizes
- Longest drive - hole #3
- Straightest drive - hole #14
- Hole in 1 on # 7 - Sponsored by Spirit- Chrysler Dodge, Jeep & Sprinter of Swedesboro, NJ
     Win a 2007 Dodge Charger
     Closest to Pin #17

**You don't need to have a Foursome

Hole sponsor donation - $200.00 includes a sign on the Hole

Golf Registration Donation - $150.00 includes:

- Prizes
- Giveaways
- Lunch
- Round of Golf
- Hor D'Oeuvres and Dinner for 2 at Botto's Italian Line Restaurant at 7:00 p.m. including live   entertainment

- 9:00 PM Texas Holdem Tournament

*Registration must be in by September 5, 2007

*For tournament information, please call (856 467-1570)

****Don't miss it**** Register Early****


To see the Bob Woodruff / ABC page with a condensed version of the interviews on video, go to the following URL:  

US Rep. Rob Andrews talks terror protection at Chamber of Commerce event

for more info click here:

Regarding the Yoga-thon benefit: Participants spent two hours doing yoga and all together we raised $500 for the “Friends of Sean McQuade” fund! 

Thank you.

Laura Bonanni


For more info on "The Season" and their beautiful song "Forever Changed", click on the link below:


Past Fundraiser Events 

Comedy Night with

Big Daddy Graham

A benefit for Sean McQuade and Family


Join us for a night of laughter at

Woodbury Country Club

467 Cooper St Woodbury, NJ  08096

June 14, 2007 Starts at 7pm

$29pp all-inclusiveIncludes two hour open bar 7-9pm


Comedy Show 8-9pm 

Chinese Auction starts after the show, Cash bar after 9pm

Big Daddy Graham has teamed up with the Woodbury Country Club and has offered his talents to help raise funds for Sean McQuade and his family. Sean is the son of Jody Forsman McQuade, a longtime resident of Wenonah and Mullica Hill. Sean was seriously injured in the Virginia Tech shooting and is still hospitalized in as of this printing. We are asking all friends, family and supporters to join us for the evening to help out Jody and her son, Sean. 


Advance ticket sales only- Contact Woodbury Country Club at 856-848-5000 ext 4 (Heather McCall) 

Chinese Auction donations – contact Vicki McCall 856-589-2774 orNancy Pinkerton 856-478-9564 ext 361 

Check out Sean’s website at  Or

Fund-raiser for injured Virginia Tech student Sean McQuade of Mullica Hill

1-4 pm, June 24

 Swanky Bubbles

482 Evesham Rd

Cherry Hill NJ 08003

All proceeds will be given to the family. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Cost: $30, adults; $15, children. For tickets, call (856) 223-0339, (856) 223-2890 or e-mail


Don't Forget to sign Sean's Guestbook before you go.


Sean stands 6-foot-5

and was a reliable varsity

basketball and baseball player

at Clearview Regional High

School in Mullica Hill.

He earned

varsity letters in both sports

during each of his four high

school years.

To view a beautiful slideshow click this link:

Cards & Letters 

Sean Doesn't want to miss a single card or letter so please address any cards or letters as follows:

The McQuade Family

 16 Chestnut Hill Court

Swedesboro, NJ 08085

Corrections from news reports:

Sean is 22 years old.

Sean was 6'3" in High School

He is now 6'5".

 By Bob Shryock


Sherry Lynn, who became comfortable singing in front of crowds while making the rounds of South Jersey karaoke bars, takes another step toward establishing her credentials as a country singer when she opens for the high-profile Sammy Kershaw Band at the Broadway Theater of Pitman Thursday.

"It's a big career boost, opening for Sammy," says the lifelong Gloucester County resident. "It opens another door." She also is on the bill for a Sean McQuade benefit concert May 19.

Sherry Lynn gets a big career boost this week when she opens for the Sammy Kershaw Band at the Broadway Theatre in Pitman.

"We Are Virginia Tech"

Sean's Progress Report: 6-1-2007

Well I made a little mistake today...I do that quite often these days.  I bought burgers and corn-on-the-cob not taking into consideration, once again, that Sean really can't open his mouth that wide.  Being the nice kid that he is, he would never complain about it....the other two did though.  Even though he has all his teeth, his jaw joint is shattered so he can't really open his mouth that wide.  But I must say he makes a gallant effort at stuffing as much food in as he can....making up for lost calories.  He basically lost about 25 lbs.  He thinks he was around 190 and when we got home he was around 162.  

We visited with Dr. Bigalow, the Ear Nose & Throat specialist at University of Pennsylvania.  I was totally surprised when we pulled up to the hospital and there were parking valets running around.  How nice was that!!  Can't tell you how worried I get when I visit a new place, especially in a big city, wondering where I'm going to park and how far is Sean going to have to walk.  I recently notice that Sean turns toward your voice and unfortunately, Dr. Bigalow confirmed that Sean is deaf in the right ear and since it was the ear canal that damaged, it cannot be fixed.  We really kind of felt he couldn't hear but we didn't want to let go of HOPE.  Sean appears to be OK with the situation.   He is such a brave kid.  I just hug him and he pats my head....he's so tall now.

More to come...Jody

 Sean's Progress Report: 5-29-2007

This weekend we are trying to get organized and settle into some sort of normalcy... if thats even possible.  We continue to receive cards and Sean reads every one. I am still finding stuff that was jammed into pockets and bags when we hightailed it out of Virginia.  We all have had to reorganize our closets since we actually had a 'change of seasons' while we were away and had to buy new clothes.  My Mom & Dad mounted Sean's diploma into this beautiful frame that Donna Radcliffe (our VT rep) got for Sean.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention something totally hysterical.  When we were with the doctor in NYC his cell phone went off a couple of times and guess hat it played.....still cracks me up..... the theme from Mission Impossible!!!

Hope you had a memorable Memorial Day weekend...Jody


Sean's Progress Report: 5-26-2007

Ok, you've waited long enough..... We were graciously invited to NYC to meet with a top neurosurgeon.... the same doctor that helped Bob Woodruff from ABC News.  I was so excited to be meeting a doctor that is held in such high regard.... Sean just came along for the ride.... he wasn't nearly as excited as I was.  So we rush up and run over to radiology for a special 3-D high definition CT scan.  With traffic and finding the hotel, and just navigating NYC, we were running late and inhaled some pad Thai noodles (not much Sean can eat from a restaurant).  Anyway, we find out, when we get there, that they forgot to tell us that he's getting an I.V. with die to enhance the images and you can't eat 4 hours prior to this or you could get sick and throw up.  So here I go..... Mom alert..... they kept trying to get us to do the scan by saying "most people don't throw up anyway" but all I can think of is the pressure on his brain if he does throw up and even with the trach hole in his neck....what happens to that area.  So I put my foot down and they reschedule it for 8 a.m. 

Scan goes well and we leave for breakfast.  We end up walking 2 blocks to 61st & Central Park East to a nice little cafe in the Pierre Hotel.  Sean's got on his Amon Amarth t-shirt, shorts and sneakers and, of course, I'm dressed-down, as usual.  They sit us well away from the rest of the patrons (which are mostly in suits).  We've got 3 waiters pouring and puffing and fluffing us.... and we just starting laughing.  Sean's drinking his coffee with a 'bendy' straw and trying to look sophisticated.  I did take his picture.... tooo funny.  We get the bill and its (with tip) $90.  So was the food good.... sure, but no better than Friendly's.... we just paid a boatload for 'atmosphere' as Sean puts it!!  I normally wouldn't even think about going into a place like that, but we were making a memory.... and the cost of that memory.... priceless. 

We visited FAO Schwartz and we're there when they rolled out the red carpet with the toy soldier welcoming everyone to the store.  We then went back to pick up the CT scans and off to the doctors office.  It’s the first time we've had good images of what happened inside.  The jaw joint is completely shattered and initial observations indicate that nerve #7 is not intact.... just don't know at what point it may be cut...that will take exploratory surgery, a nerve from his leg, and probably a plastic reconstruction of the jaw joint.  But first, the doctors met and decided a angiogram (?) of the main artery should have been done a long time ago to evaluate the integrity of the artery walls relative to the gun blast.  Back to NYC we will go for another procedure.  The doctors recommended this to make sure that Sean doesn't have an aneurysm (?) - I think I need to buy a medical dictionary. 

We don't have to decide on any surgery for quite a few more months, so we will probably just wait, for now.  We were hoping for much better news but even though things look grim, there sat Bob Woodruff with us, gave us a signed copy of his book, "IN AN INSTANT", and showed us pictures of how badly he was hurt some 16 months ago.  What he went through just made Sean's situation look kind of minor.

There were yet two more questions Sean had for the doc....what about my hearing and can I eat.  They treated us like VIP and had the hearing technician perform the test right then.... unfortunately the right ear is totally deaf.  That realization was a bit more acceptable when the doc told Sean he could eat.  He wanted the best pizza in town!.... 2 slices, in fact!So begins a whole different journey for us.  Remember, memories are priceless.


 Sean's Progress Report: 5-24-2007

I don't know if you have seen the movie 'Somethings Gotta Give' with Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson (I think thats the name of the movie) where she sits at her computer trying to write the play.....I can so relate to those scenes, except that I'm not in The Hamptons on the beach, and I don't have a 'playboy' actor in the other hoo for me!!  I so want to give you info that's good and real and exciting.  With all the prayers for my 'miracle child' I am praying that I will.....soon.

After visiting with the therapists, we had an informal visit with some local physicians just to give them some 'baseline' info on Seans condition.  You would've thought he was a celebrity or something.  Its really very flattering when everyone just wants to let you know that they were praying for you, but with Sean, his reality is only a couple of weeks old with no 'background' information, its really very hard for him to understand why he's so popular right now.

I did visit with most of my co-workers the other day and what a great welcome home...there were hugs for all.  I did go up to my work area and hesitated for a moment because the last time I was up there was when I couldn't find Sean.....anywhere.  I didn't turn on my little TV.... I never watch the news anymore (sorry Matt, Meridith, Ann & Al).  I did make it through the entire day, but that was short lived because there are so many doctors to see and appointments to make and thank you cards to write, so I haven't been back.  If you didn't get a thank you card from me, I apologize, and I thank you all so much for everything.  

Have a great Memorial Weekend.....memorialize something with your family.  Hugs and Kisses, Jody

 Sean's Progress Report: 5-22-2007

How do I begin to tell you how great Sean looks...and feels, for that matter.  He's truly a miracle. I know that you all had the same gruesome image of 'shot in the face' that I had, but to look at Sean today, if he isn't speaking, you probably wouldn't know that he was hooked up, tubed up, wired up and everything else only 5 weeks ago.  We go to rehab now and the OC (occupational therapist - who is really cute, by the way) asked Sean to read the eye chart.  He had a really rough time seeing it even with glasses, so I think we need to see a specialist about that.  Probably Wills Eye Hospital.

After rehab, I was watching him have a conversation with his college classmate.  Sean finally decided he 'needed to know what happened'.  I was chatting with the students' parents while Sean was hearing, for the very first time, all that transpired that day back in April.  I kept hearing stories about 'Sean the Hero'.  I couldn't quite understand how Sean was the 'hero'.  I've never seen the TV reports nor have I read the newspaper articles regarding the incidents of that fateful day, but it had crossed my ears a few times that Sean was a hero.  How?  Well, from the classmates accounting, when Sean got hit, he fell in front of the classroom door which in the eyes of many of the students, Sean actually saved their lives.  I didn't grill Sean on what he and his friend discussed (I grilled my other two kids about what Sean said!!).  I didn't really learn much from any of the kids, but that's OK, I'm just so glad Sean doesn't have to relive that terrible day unlike some other students who will remember vivid detail.  It's a very, very sad way to begin their adulthood.

I do have some very exciting news, though........but you'll have to wait for it!!!!


 Sean's Progress Report: 5-19-2007

Did you miss me?  I have missed corresponding with you too, but so many things to do and so much information to absorb.  I was trying to remember what I used to do on Friday night.  Its only been 5 weeks and yet it feels like an eternity and I can't even remember what used to be normal. 

I have been doing my homework on cranial nerve damage and doctors who specialize in that particular field.  Thank you again, and again, and again, for all of your input.  I chose three doctors to send the reports and images to and am awaiting their reply.

We have begun rehabilitation locally and will see how things progress.   As I was told on several occasions, there will be days where we see a lot of improvement and then there are those where we see none....or it could be that Sean is just too tired.  He likes to push himself and, of course, I worry....I can't help that so I just keep quiet and observant.  I am not discouraged in anyway and just thank God that Sean is here.  I know he is getting a little annoyed over my "loving care"....again, I just can't help it....but I will try harder to give him some space.  Right now I am making him a pumpkin pie and strata.  You know, the best way to a mans heart.......and then I'll rub his feet....he can't resist.  Am I spoiling him?   Absolutely!!  I apologize, in advance, to the next woman in his life.

Have a great weekend and spend some time with your kids.  Life can change in
an instant. 

Believe me. ..Jody

Sean, Jody , Morgan and Ryan McQuade request that all the news people respect their need for privacy at this stage of Sean's recovery. They will be contacting all interested parties to arrange a news conference as soon as the family feels Sean is comfortable. As such, let this publication serve as official notice that no pictures or video taken from this date forward of any of the above referenced McQuade family may be published or broadcast without the express written consent of Jody McQuade.  We understand that you all have a job to do, that Sean's supporters are entitled to be updated on his ongoing recovery, but that the emotional well being of Sean & his family must take priority.

Thanks in advance for your anticipated respect,

George Braun, family friend...posted May 18, 2007

Requests for press related information should be addressed to

Sean's Condition Report: 5-16-2007

Here we month to the day when....well you know.  But it was a great day with absolutely no reason to dwell on the past.  Three of Sean's professors travelled many miles to meet with Sean today and award him his diploma.  It was really special for Sean to meet with some of the people he has admired throughout his college years.  We had a great time!  Sean was even telling his teachers how he's not being challenged enough in therapy so Dr. Haskell, his math professor, offered to send him his final exam....Sean didn't offer any more suggestions after that!! 

They were working on Sean's shower and so we decided to take a walk to the cafeteria.  He has been promoted to using a cane.  He chose to 'mix it up' with his diet and tried a baked potato with nacho cheese sauce ....ummmm good. 

It won't be long until we are back to the Philadelphia area to be closer to home for continuing treatment.  Even though he looks good and is doing better everyday, there is still the nerve damage that so many of you have given me recommendations about.  We just need to be closer to home for the remainder of  this specialized care.  We're going to miss the wonderful people down here, the staff at Carilion's Roanoke Memorial Hospital have been tremendous....thank GOD they were here to help Sean. 

If the concensus is that no surgeries are required and that no corrective action can be taken, then we can live with that, but we need to be absolutely sure, for Seans sake.  Sean doesn't really want to deal with any more surgeries either but he understands that if a doctor can correct his facial paralysis, then lets do it. 

We're moving on and will keep in touch, Jody

 Sean's Condition Report: 5-13-2007

Thank you so much for responding to our cry for help. 

I have a lot of work to do thanks to all your wonderful recommendations.  You know, I was starting to get...well almost angry that things weren't continually progressing in a positive light.  I know everything can't be ' peaches and cream', but the docs that look at Sean all have a different opinion and make ominous statements. 

Remember my 'positive outlook' attire....its getting very worn.  Then I started reading all of the responses to our call for help (and there are a lot of them), and hearing wrenching stories of people who went through numerous brain surgeries.   You've sparked a 'light of hope' in me again.  Thank you for that....I needed it!

Graduation came and went without any regret. As I mentioned, Sean was never one for 'pomp & circumstance'.  We heard it was extemely moving and emotional.  We picked up the local paper and he read about the graduation and looked at the pictures.  I asked him, "would you have liked to have been there?" and his answer was simply "Nope."

When hes not reading or watching hockey hes asking questions....and more questions.  He's trying to piece together the past month of his life.  We are finding out that due to the drugs he was taking, he felt like he was on a train with one of his nurses, Ben....we called him Gentle Ben.....Ryans theory is he might have hallucinated based on sounds.  He doesn't remember a lot of the family being there the first week of his hospital stay...he doesnt remember too much of anything that has happened the last three weeks.  He does know that Ryan has spent nearly every night either down the hall or by his bed.  I truly believe that Ryan was the energy that made Sean fight just a little bit harder and Morgan was the 'police' that kept things quiet and under control in his room.  She even told doctors to be quiet!!

Today is Mothers Day and it will be another one I will never forget (my daughter was born on Mother's Day in 1986).   All of my kids are with me and I can't ask for anything more.... don't really want anything more.  I will be spending the day with all of them and taking Sean out, for the first time, on a little drive around the beautiful Virginia mountains and maybe even the Blue Ridge Parkway. (Stay tuned for how that goes!)

Last but not nearly least, I apologize for not being able to answer all of your phone calls.  From 8 am to dinner I usually spend all of that time helping Sean with his therapy of just hanging out and talking in his room, so I can't answer the cell when I'm in there.  I will welcome all of your  calls once we get past this and get settled into some sort of normal life that possible!?!

Keeping the faith,...Jody

 Sean's Condition Report: 5-11-2007

I have a lot of mixed emotions this evening.  Since last summer, I have been planning the graduation celebration, booking airline tickets, hotel rooms, ordering graduation announcements, so many things and just about this time, 8 pm, Ryan and I would have been arriving in Blacksburg for the big graduation weekend and also Morgan's 21st birthday celebration.  Morgan was planning on celebrating with all her friends on Thursday night back home, then she and the rest of the McQuade family would have been driving down Friday.  We had planned on staying at Smith Mountain Lake, having a big bonfire on the beach, and just kinda hanging out for a short weekend vacation....and in one split second of time, all that changed. 

Sean wasn't really keen on the 'graduation' thing anyway, he was doing it for the family.  I'm happy for the entire graduating class of 2007, yet its bittersweet....this was supposed to be a time for celebration and I'm sure in some way they will have it, but for us, going back to Virginia Tech for a celebration....well, its just too soon.  Sean will receive his diploma, just not the traditional way.

Thank God for NHL Hockey.  Sean would be so bored if not for the hockey playoffs.  He just loves hockey and today he received a Philadelphia Flyers jersey with his name on the back and signed by Robert Esche.  His response was "AWESOME".  Lets hope that the playoffs last a few more weeks to keep Sean occupied when not in therapy.

Let us not forget that, although our lives are forever changed, my son still has his life. My heart goes out to all the families of those whose lives were cut short on that horrific day.

Happy 21st Birthday, Morgan.  I love you...

 Sean's Condition Report: 5-10-2007

The team of therapists and doctors met to discuss Seans progress yesterday.  As a family, every little move he makes is progress to us, but to the "team" they feel that his reasoning skills are lacking....therefore we might be here much longer than we thought.  Oh well, I'll just have to suffer the gorgeous scenery longer?!?!?!

The doc also suggested putting a gold weight in Seans eyelid to keep it shut so "the windshield wipers work better".  Seans thinking about it but that means back to the operating room....I'm more afraid for him than he is about that.   I just don't want him to feel any more all. 

Yesterday, and Ryan asks him this everyday, on a scale from 1 to 10 how do you feel today.....usually its an 8 but yesterday it was a 9.  So if he's feeling so good why don't we go home?  we just want to make sure we have done everything possible to help make him....or better yet, help take him forward to being 100%.  Everyone says he will ultimately get there but it could take one knows for sure. 

Sean still needs to have someone around 24 hours a day....we just don't want him to lose his balance and crack his head on something.  When you're that tall its a long way down!  This is where the "lack of reasoning" comes into play....he thinks hes fine and we encourage
positive thinking, hes just not 'fine' enough to be an "out patient" which is the utlimate goal.

Ryan is in the process of trying to get Sean some tasty variety in his meals.  I mean, really, mashed potatoes, mashed beef, mashed zucchini, mashed peaches....everyone loves mashed potatoes but the look of beef &  turkey isn't pleasant.  As I sit here typing I smell chili cooking and its been cooking since last night.  I hope Seans ready for this?!?

Love to all...Jody

 Sean's Condition Report: 5-8-2007

Remember Yin & in walks the Ear,Nose & Throat doctor and immediately proceeds to cut off Seans teeth bands.  I'm kinda just standing there with my mouth hanging open simply because the doc came out of the clear blue and granted Seans one wish....with conditions!  He can eat, but he can't chew anything for 3-6 weeks, steak, no burger, nothing that involves chewing. Boo Hoo for Sean but I told him he better follow directions or the doc said he might have to get wired again.... that would blow his chances of Mack and Manco's Pizza this summer.  

So what does he get for dinner, mashed potatoes (good), mashed broccoli (not so good), mashed peaches (baby food), and mashed turkey (yuk).  So he wolfed down the potatoes and I made him a milkshake.  The other good thing was that Sean got to do his speech therapy outdoors.  The sun was shining and we took great pleasure just watching a little squirrel do his thing.  Its really terrible to admit that most of us are in such a hurry, we dont stop the enjoy the simple squirrels.  I, personally, am going to make an effort to slow down and enjoy the simple things.

Just a little recap....Saturday he walked a little bit with the walker and rode the wheelchair back, Sunday he walked almost twice as far with the walker and didn't use the wheelchair at all, Monday he walked to the Atrium with the walker and back, and today he walked to physical therapy and back without the walker and just the therapist making sure he didn't loose his balance.  Remember me telling you about the nerves 5,6,7, etc., doc says 5 & 6 are healed and 7 is a longer nerve and may take longer to heal.

Sean spent almost 3 hours with his different therapists and then had a challenging game of Scrabble in the Atrium with a patient (who also happened to be a Math major - she was in a horrific car accident back in March).  I also helped with the occupational therapy and was tossing the ball back and forth.  Goal #1 for Sean was to be able to throw a ball with his right hand.....oh he did it alright....right at my fingernail and I broke it.  OK, I admit its not his fault, I just can't catch.  I finally gave myself a hour of personal time yesterday and got a manicure.  But, guess what, I don't care if I broke a stupid nail, Sean threw the ball.

So as I am leaving to go back to my Virginia home, I walk out to my truck and just stand there.  I look up to see the clear blue sky, its like 70 degrees and slowly turn around to see mountains all around me....its just sooooo gorgeous here......and I thank God for all this and my kids, too!  I will thank HIM everyday, and all of you, for all that we have. 

Thanks for visiting with me once again... Jody

 Sean's Condition Report: 5-7-2007

He's truly amazing.....its all I can say!  And he is so funny.  I think the liquid diet is really getting to him because he's humming the Quiznos song "mmmmm......toasty"  He's making  a list too....when he gets  his teeth unwired hes eating a burger, a steak and a coney dog. 

Yesterday I told him he's too funny and "you crack me up Sean" and he says to me "I crack myself up" as he looks in the mirror at his 'pirate' eye patch.  He has to wear this now because his eyelid won't close over his eye all the way.  The doctor explains it like "his windshield wipers are working right".  Everyone is so funny these days...and laughter is good medicine.  Just a short time
ago, no one was laughing.

Yet only 3 weeks ago today....well you know.  We used to send our kids to school to learn, socialize, follow directions, get in line when the fire bell sounds and run on home when the end of school bell sounds.  Now we have to add 'if you hear a gunshot, hit the deck?'  How can we stop this?  Obviously if someone wants a gun they're going to get it....but should students legally be able to?  should students with visas be able to?  should anyone be legally able to buy a gun if its not for their occupation or hunting?  Make it harder....make the test longer with trick questions?  How can it be so easy to buy a gun?

These are the questions that have been going through my head for weeks now and obviously I will be happy when the laws change.  I'm sorry to be so down, but there are days when I can't stop saying, WHY....why did this have to happen to so many innocent kids....why my Sean.  Just the look in his eyes sometimes when he looks at me....I see the question that he never says....why me, mom, why me?


Sean's Condition Report: 5-6-2007

As I mentioned before, things are never going to be the same. 

Unfortunately, there is still a long road to haul for Sean, but with his great sense of humor and all of your support, he'll be fine but forever cautious simply because of the bullet fragments still remaining....a sad reminder of a tragic day he knows little about.  We're working on that too.  He really doesn't remember anything except the teacher saying "was that a gunshot" and went over and shut the door.  Nothing after that.  We're trying to keep him focused on physical healing so he's strong enough to handle the overall impact of what happened.  He knows how many died, just not who.    Some of them could be his friends.....we don't know yet.

I was talking to one of the super-duper southern cooks (boy I'm gonna miss them) from the New Hope Christian Church this evening and was telling her that Seans therapist are all quite amazed at how easily and accurately he answers or performs all the 'base' tests they are giving him.  He even got to the point with one therapist that he knew before she asked what he was supposed to do with the next set of cards.  Instead of walking 130 ft. today he went 200 ft.  What Im finding out is laying there for 2 almost 3 weeks straight just really zapped all muscle tone and then combine it with no food entirely for almost 4 days, then liquid diet thereafter, heck I think anyone would be shaky and weak.  The good thing is that Sean was a healthy eater and he worked out at the gym regularly, so they tell me with little effort he should be able to get those muscle back in shape in no time. 

The difference between Friday and Saturday is amazing.....can't wait to see how he does today.

Until next time....Jody

  Sean's Condition Report: 5-5-2007

 So much has happened since I last spoke to y'all (just can't help loving this southern living!).  Sean was moved from ICU to PCU for one day.  I have to  say I'm glad to not have to walk that long, clean, shiny hallway to see Sean anymore....however, it was sad to say good bye to all the wonderful people who took such good care of Sean. 

So, as a typical day starts, Sean and I were talking about everything...and nothing...and I mentioned about how I so quickly fell back into "realtor" mode when questioned about the real estate market.  I was so happy to talk to this lady about something I do know about.  I know that New Jersey & Virginia are hundreds of miles apart, but the knowledge of real estate sales basically remains the same.  As Im chatting away at Sean, he stops me to say. "So, did you tell her.....its LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!"   Well that had me laughing so hard I couldn't stand it.  Of course, Sean is laughing at me but can't really because his teeth are wired shut. 

No matter what all the therapists say, speech / occupational / physical, and whoever else has evaluated him, I believe his physical injuries have not affected the person that he is.   All that information is still in his head we just need to wait to get the teeth wiring removed so he can more easily express himself.  Go ahead, try keeping your teeth together, putting two fingers over the right side of your lips and talk.....kinda hard isn't it?

Even though it is Saturday, he has a busy day of therapy.  Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, he walked approx. 130 feet with the walker yesterday....made him really tired though.  My job now is to make sure he gets enough food so he has energy to keep up with this busy schedule.  Im constantly making him drink all day long, soup/Ensure/V-8 Fusion/water/tea, but I think he likes my milkshakes best.  The one thing he wants when he can eat again is Mack-n-Manko (??) Pizza at the shore.  It would probably be a good idea to rent something at the shore....then he can  have the healing power of the
salty ocean air and pizza!!...and funnel cake, too!  Hey, Joe Sheppard (great realtor in Ocean City, NJ), find us a place at the shore!! 

Until next time,


 Sean's Condition Report: 5-4-2007 (posted 5-3-07 7:00pm)

Sorry my previous message was so depressing.  After I wrote it I decided to changed into my 'positive outlook' attire and go visit Sean.....and guess what?  He was sitting up in a chair having breakfast! 

Later that morning he got up and walked out of his room (with assistance) and down around the nurses station.  He was a little dizzy at first and so very weak.  He had occupational therapy today and facial nerve therapy.....boy was he pooped out; could barely keep his eyes open.    Whew, Im tired too and I didn't  even do anything.

These updates may be getting farther apart as he progresses. 

Just remember, no news is good news!! and keep the faith... Jody

Sean's Condition Report: 5-3-2007

I am so excited for Sean.....he is totally 'unplugged' so to speak (monitors are still stuck to his chest - no big deal) and yet Im sad to know he will soon be 'exposed' and I'll have to tell him everything that's been going on.

Sean is not the type of guy who wants attention in any way and I know he is going to have a hard time accepting that he is a source of hope with connections to people he doesn't even know. 

As I sit here watching the sun come up in the beautiful setting of the mountains, I almost don't want to go back.  I know our lives will be "forever changed" (I love that song).  I almost want to stay here and keep Sean secluded.  He knows what happened, to an extent but doesn't know the magnitude of this tragedy. 

So here I go again, crying for the happiness of Sean going into rehab and for the sadness
of not being able to keep him sheltered.  I know....I know....I know.... hes a grown man, but in my minds eye I see his cute little chubby baby innocent face.

It so warmed my heart to see so many people, mostly people we don't know,  come out to support Sean at Dippy's Ice Cream. THANK YOU guys are all awesome!!!

Until we talk again...Jody

Sean's Condition Report: 5-2-2007
 So many great things today.... where do I begin?
As I mentioned, I get to the hospital early in the morning; however, my route was detoured because I was told to "get me some cappuccino, please" were Sean’s parting words.  Of course, I will get him anything he wants!!  So I get to his room and he's sitting up having breakfast (OK its only Ensure and coffee - which he gives me the 'thumbs down' on that).  He spies the coffee cup and says "cappuccino?"  So, I share the drink with him and he’s really doing everything all on his own, just a lot slower than normal.
Then the speech therapist comes in to give him some tests.... like “what day is it”, “when is your birthday”, “what is your moms name”, counting to 10, projecting his voice from his diaphragm instead of just out his mouth.  He did really well.
But the best news of all... is the CT scan is good, so that means the ventricular drain will come out!!  Then we'll be able to determine the extent of damage, if any, to his balance and fine motor skills.
Dr. Frazier was telling me earlier about the nerves 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12.... they all have some importance to facial muscle control and they may be severed or just bruised but its something that can be evaluated months from now.
Thanks for visiting, more news soon....Jody

LOCAL FUNDRAISER from MAY 2, 2007 Cool
Sean McQuade Dippy's Ice Cream Benefit
Dippy's Ice Cream (Rt 45, Mantua) across from K-Mart

Dippy's donated  10% of the proceeds of all sales from 6:00 - 9:00 PM, all the girls agreed to donate all of their tips from that night as well.
I was there, a HUGE turnout! Check out the pictures on the "Sean's Pics 2" page.
or for the News Video:

 Sean's Condition Report: 4-30-2007

Well its 6:00 pm on Monday and I can remember exactly what I was doing at this time two weeks down to see what had happened to my son.

Except for a few brief words with some hospital representative, I really didn't know the extent of his injuries.  I remember distinctly asking Mother Nature why in the world she had to give me a wind/rain storm to deal with in my 7 hour drive to Roanoke Virginia (so I wouldn't speed and get into an accident myself).  It doesnt feel like two weeks have passed and today , Sean is making excellent progress.

They are small steps to recovery yet, to me, he just climbed a mountain.  He is talking more clearly (mostly out the side of his mouth) and has been put on a liquid diet (already I cringe at stuffing a pizza in the blender for a mid-night snack for him!!).  He will be on a liquid diet for about 3 to 6 weeks.  I just hope I can get him to eat enough so he doesn't loose skinny kid cant afford it.  So we've all agreed that we shouldn't talk about food in front of Sean.  Do you know how hard that really don't even realize how many times your talking about it. 

Sean's doctor came in this morning and is so amazed at his progress he ordered the ventricular drain clamped off to see how he handles it.  As far as we can tell, he is doing great so he may get the drain out tomorrow.  OK, don't get too excited.....lets just wait and see and pray that all goes well.  I am told continuously that there is always the possibility of an infection.   It's like they purposely keep me teetering on the edge. 

My life is like Yin and Yang... with the good comes bad.  My boss' Dad passed away, God rest his sole, and my brother's sister-in-law , who has cancer was sent home with sad news about her condition.  I've been told that God only gives you what you can handle.  I want to be here for my son, home for my friend and in Connecticut for my do I handle all this? 

Everyone has been here to help me through this and I just can't leave, so I'm asking all of you to please send some prayers on the wings of the fastest angels to the Forsman family and the Riggs family. 

Regards, Jody

 Sean's Condition Report: 4-28-2007 everyone I know and to those I don't, thanks for being here with me through this trying ordeal.  I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to put into writing all the wonderful things that happened yesterday morning, but the afternoon's events overshadowed the morning's greatness. 

You really must know, though, after Thursday morning's exciting events, I was up early and rushing in to see what great accomplishments Sean would show us.  Dr. Edwards came in early and tested Seans neck to see if the brace could come off.  Sean gave a "thumbs up" when questioned by Dr. Edwards and off came the neck brace.  I could see relief in his eyes.

He didn't really say too much, at first, because I think he was a bit scared, but then, although a bit disheartening to me, Sean asked about the shooting at VT and if they caught the second gunman.  My heart dropped because I was hoping he would not remember (and I don't really know yet how much he does remember).  I got really close and told him that it was only one gunman and that he did kill a lot of people; he and his classmate, Derek, got shot.  I told him he's getting better everyday and he's safe and that Derek is OK.  He was sad, yet didn't ask anything else.  Of course, I will answer any questions he may have, when he is ready.  I have several friends collecting news about the incident....I just can't do it nor any TV coverage.

We watched TV and the doctors came in so I introduced them to Sean and he shook their hand and thanked them for taking care of him.  You know, you never really know if you raised your kids right until you set them loose and when they are respectful and appreciative to others....well I guess I did it right. 

Later I found out from Morgan that Sean was convinced he was a diabetic because he remembers the nurses coming in to check is blood sugar level everyday.  Around noon, they prepared Sean for the mouth wiring so that his jaw can start to heal properly.  I was told it was a relatively simple procedure and he would be back around 3 pm. 

Suffice to say, all did not go perfectly, but I feel Sean is in good hands. Sean needed another breathing tube....down his nose this time.

Needless to say, Friday evening had me in tears.  I was so angry.  Ryan kept watch over Sean after I left and from what I got out of Ryan, Sean was up....a l l   night  long, so Ryan got no sleep. 

Today, my anger has subsided.  He got the breathing tube out relatively early and this afternoon we watched NHL playoffs.  I left him sleeping, as I will leave you now, good night... until next time.


April  27, 2007

Please, let's all say a little extra prayer for Sean today.

I had a brief conversation with Jody this evening. It was a long exhausting day. As a result, Jody won't be able to have an update until sometime Saturday. Until then, I leave you with this link to a beautiful slideshow tribute put together by photojournalist, Casey Templeton.

Check this out, I thought it was beautiful....George

 Sean's Condition Report: 4-26-2007

First of all I would like to thank, again, all of the wonderful cooks at the New Hope Christian Church....they now how to cook!!  I didn't realize what a chore it really would have been if I had to also cook for my family....not that they wouldn't have helped but it just is one less thing I have to worry about.

Now for the really important stuff.  Today was a miracle day!! Yesterday I was headed downhill on this crazy roller coaster ride (I don't even like roller coasters!!) with depressing news that Sean may have to have some surgery to repair the skull fracture at the base of his head behind the ear....they were really concerned that Seans fracture wasn't healing. Needless to say I began this day very depressed, told my sister-in-law that I just couldn't update Sean's website and she would have to do it, but as the day progressed and Dr. Gilbert called me in the waiting room to come back for my first visit of the day with Sean, I came walking around the nurses station and all the assisting resident doctors were standing there, smiling, with Dr. Gilbert and she says "I have a surprise for you"..... "we just took out Seans breathing tube".  I didn't even hear the end of her sentence because I bolted into Seans room.  There he is elevated up in his bed with the suction tube in his hand to catch any bubbles that were escaping from his now TUBELESS mouth.  His eyes were very much open and he followed me as I walked around to the side of the bed.  I was sooooooo happy to see this..... you have no idea. 

He was still a bit groggy but was holding the suction tube and then cleverly hooked it on the edge of his neck brace, probably because just that simple move was tiring....yes in case I didn't tell you before, he has always had a neck brace because no one knows if he has a neck problem.  Soon he will be able to tell us.

So, as I'm standing there holding his hand, he starts doing the sign language stuff again and I'm getting very frustrated trying so hard to understand the letters he his making and having no success.  I'm guessing that Sean sensed this cause he motions with his hand for me to "come here", so I get closer and closer....then he puts his hand around the back of my head and holds his other hand up so that HE can give ME a hug.  Amazing... my child is laying in a bed with a neck brace and a drain tube in his head and he is consolling me.  Again, the tears flow.  I never knew one could cry so much for sadness and yet for happiness all in the same day.  So if you see me crying, don't ever assume its because I'm sad.  No one can bring me down today, not after that. 

I ran some errands then went back to say goodnight and just when you think it can't get any better....Ryan and Morgan were unjustly making fun of their Mom, they starting laughing at me guessed it....Sean cracks a slight smile too.  Made my heart melt.

Once, again, thanks for listening.......


Sean's Condition Report: 4-25-2007

I'll get right to the point.....Sean is doing SO well. 

The most recent x-rays show great improvement.  I just got back from sitting with Sean and speaking with his doctors and they are so impressed with Seans improvement. Didn't I tell you he was a fighter?

My sister-in-law has come down to help us understand all the "doctor lingo", but in layman's terms. Sean is doing so well now that they would like to proceed with correcting the jaw.  If I didn't mention it before, the bullet did shatter his jaw bone near the joint.  Since I haven't spoken with the ear, nose and throat doctor yet, can only say they want to wire his mouth.

Once again, my thoughts go to the extreme worst thought of 'how will they do that' and from what Ive been told its sort of like braces with the top part of his mouth being the 'cast' or 'form' they will model the bottom jaw to.  This really shouldn't hurt him in any way (which of course is what I want). 

OK, I know this is exciting, but there is still the issue of the drain in his head and the breathing tube, both of which are susceptable to infection if left in too long, however, they monitor his temperature and have given him antibiotics.  I've been told, the brain produces this fluid and is ultimately absorbed in an uninjured person, but Sean cannot absorb the extra fluid, hense the drain. The breathing tube will be relocated to his throat.  The drain and the breathing tube will only stay in as long as it takes to make sure that he can function normally without them after the jaw wiring is completed.  How long will the jaw be wired....again however long Sean takes to repair himself.....3 weeks, 6 weeks, who knows.

I was so down yesterday simply because I want positive things to happen now..... every single minute.  Watching him breathe....hoping he is not in pain....waiting for that small yet HUGE positive step.....ironically Sean has given me the strength to be strong.

The song you are hearing (Forever Changed) by Kurtis Parks and "The Season" was played for me yesterday by Sean's dietician.  I couldn't help it...I had to share it with y'all (I'm getting a little country!!)

Again, thank you to everyone for your cards, thoughts and prayers,

Jody McQuaide

Sean's Condition Report: 4-24-2007

Today is day 7.....exactly one week ago I was standing over my son with no idea what his condition was or what to expect.  All the doctors told us prior to racing down to the hospital was that he was shot in the face. Obviously everyone thinks the worst, like I did, but when I got here he looked just like my baby boy with little bit of swelling on the right side of his face and a bruise behind his right ear.  They had a small square bandage over his, to me I was thrilled it wasn't what I had imagined. 

The x-rays however, revealed something different....the bullet had entered his cheek shattered the back portion of his jaw (teeth seem to be OK) and then shattered into pieces that are lodged in the soft muscle tissue at the base of his scull.  His brain was swelling so they had to put a drain in his head and he still has a ventilation machine breathing with him, not for him, just to make sure that his airway stays open.  We feel so useless standing around waiting.  The nurses have allowed us to help with some physical therapy, moving his arms and legs so he doesn't stiffen up.  They tell me that every baby step is a huge accomplishment when it comes to dealing with brain trauma, although today I was sooooo excited when he signed M-O-M with his left hand, and did the "rock on" sign again for his brother Ryan.  Morgan keeps "guard" over him making sure that everyones doing everything right.  We've been told that Sean will have set-back days and I know that you are all waiting for me to say "he's fine" and I will,
...just not today. 

Again, thank you so much for your thoughts and
prayers...keep'em coming. 



Sean's Condition Report: 4-23-2007

I spoke with Chuck Forsman, Sean's grandfather, today.

Sean is by no means out of the woods. He is doing pretty good, in as much as his doctors are saying that he is progressing as well as can be expected. Additionally, the doctors were emphatic about stressing that Sean has a long, tough road ahead of him. He is making slight improvements virtually everyday.

Update from Sean's Mom, Jody McQuade

April 22, 2007

From the day Sean was born he loved to have his feet messaged. This week even though he couldn't tell me what he wanted, when I asked him if he wanted his feet messaged he would wiggle his toes. He's always done that even when he could tell me.

Everyday he does something amazing. Ryan and Morgan, along with Toni & sometimes Liz, spend nights at the hospital so I can catch a break and e-mail everyone activities of the day. Getting on the computer at night is my therapy. Today, Ryan was with him and asked Sean to give the "rock on" sign with his right hand and he did. We have his IPOD set up in his room with his favorite music and tonight when Ryan and Morgan changed the music Sean started tapping his toes against the footboard in time with the music and moving his left hand as if his was playing his guitar. I wish I was there for that but I have already seen some amazing things over the past few days.

I will keep you updated.

Love Jody

News Messenger - April 24, 2007

Eight of the VT injured remain hospitalized Friday

By Gene Morrell

Thirty-three students and faculty died in the Monday morning shooting spree at Virginia Tech, and a number of people were wounded or injured when they leaped out of classroom windows at Norris Hall to escape the gunfire.

Mark Foust, a spokesman for Hospital Corporation of America, said Friday morning that of 17 patients transported to Montgomery Regional Hospital in Blacksburg on Monday, five students remained hospitalized (four in the intensive care unit and one in the orthopedics unit). He said all five were stable and improving, and one or two may be discharged from the hospital within the next 24 hours.

"All five are up and walking, and that's encouraging," Foust said.

As of Friday morning, all five patients taken to Lewis-Gale Medical Center in Salem on Monday had been discharged, Nancy May of HCA said. (HCA owns Lewis-Gale and MRH, along with other hospitals around the country.)

Carilion Health System spokesman Eric Earnhart said Friday afternoon that two patients are still hospitalized and are in good condition at New River Valley Medical Center in Radford, and one patient remains hospitalized in serious condition at Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

On Monday morning, four patients were transported to NRVMC, with one of those later being transferred to RMH. Earnhart said two other patients were transported directly to RMH Monday morning, making a total of three at RMH and three at NRVMC this week.

Earnhart said one of the patients at RMH passed away earlier this week. A second patient was transferred to another hospital from RMH this week, and the family asked the name of that hospital not be made public.

In a statement made through Carilion Friday morning, the family of Sean McQuade, a patient at RMH, said, " There are so many people to thank for all of their kind words and support both in Virginia and back home in New Jersey. From the smallest little card to the flowers and blankets we have received, we cannot thank these people enough for their generosity, their sacrifice of time and personal inconvenience to provide us with comfort and hope. We truly thank you all."

"The Roanoke community and Virginia Tech family have been so understanding and extremely thoughtful with their wishes and much needed support. More importantly we want to thank all of the doctors, nurses and EMTs that were, or are, currently involved in the care of our son. We would also like to thank Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital for protecting and respecting our privacy," the family said.

"We would also like to extend our sincere condolences to the families who have lost loved ones during the events on Monday, April 16. The untimely loss of these bright and growing individuals brings us profound sorrow. We will keep you in our hearts and minds today and every day for years to come," the McQuade family said.

The McQuade family concluded the statement by saying, "We may never be able to rationalize what has occurred, yet we hope that everyone will be able to recover and grow stronger in mind, body and spirit. In God we trust."

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Local support comes pouring out for Virginia Tech

Friday, April 20, 2007
By Jonathan Vit

When Michael Camp heard that a former Clearview High School classmate was injured during Monday morning's bloody siege of a Virginia Tech education hall, he knew he had to do something.

"When I head it was Sean I was taken aback," he said. "I really wasn't expecting to hear his name associated with it because he is such a bright spot. That is why I knew I had to act fast."

With days of the tragedy, Camp set up a fund for Sean McQuade's family at a local bank, allowing community members to donate money to the family.

"What I wanted to do was have this fund be given to them to do whatever they want to with it," Camp said. "Once they come back from this whole thing and Sean recovers, at least they have something there."

According to Camp, the community's response has been outstanding.

"It has been non-stop," Camp said. "The phone has been ringing off the hook. I have had people already coming to my house and people I haven't been in contact with for the past couple of years have been contacting me."

Now a foreign language teacher at Kingsway High School, Camp described McQuade as the ideal student.

"I am a teacher now and he is one of the kids that you would want to have as a teacher," Camp said. "He had the kind of character that was really well-liked and respected by faculty and students."

Employees at Delaware Valley Wholesale Florist in Mantua Township are also trying to organize a bike ride to raise funds for victims' families.

Sales Representative David J. Stowe explained that the business has a small community of dedicated bikers that regularly participates in fund-raising rides.

"There are thousands of people from all around the Gloucester County area who come out to these rides," Stowe said. "We are trying to reach out to the people who organize these rides."

According to the McQuade family, Sean McQuade has been doing better since he was admitted to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

On Wednesday, hospital staff upgraded McQuade's condition from critical to serious and when he recognized the voices of his two college roommates, McQuade responded with a thumbs-up.

McQuade's immediate family has been in Virginia since Monday's tragic events.

Although Lynn McQuade has been updating the news media on his nephew's condition, he had not spoken with the family on Thursday.

"I think their nerves are shot," he said. "It is very trying day-to-day down there."

It is unknown if the school is covering Sean McQuade's medical expenses, but the family has been given a room in the hospital while McQuade is a patient, Lynn McQuade said.

According to Rutgers-Camden Spokesman Mike Sepanic, Rutgers University has "comprehensive health coverage" that would cover full-time students in the case of an emergency.

Virginia Tech officials were unable to answer whether Sean McQuade's medical bills were covered by the school.




You Can Help

Donations should be written out to the "Sean McQuade Alumni Fund" and mailed to St. Edmond's Federal Savings Bank c/o Sean McQuade Alumni Scholarship, 1893 Hurffville Road, Sewell NJ 08080-9900.

If you can help the employees of the Delaware Valley Wholesale Florist organize a benefit motorcycle ride, call David J. Stowe at 1-800-773-6872.

© 2007  Gloucester County Times© 2007 All Rights Reserved.

Behind the Scenes of Sean's Home Page

N.J. victim in serious condition

By Cynthia Burton
Sean McQuade was a varsity basketball and baseball player at Clearview Regional High School in Mullica Hill. He earned varsity letters in both sports during each of his four high school years.
Sean McQuade was a varsity basketball and baseball player at Clearview Regional High School in Mullica Hill. He earned varsity letters in both sports during each of his four high school years.
The condition of Sean McQuade, a Virginia Tech student from Gloucester County who was shot in the face in Monday's rampage, has been upgraded from critical to serious, hospital officials said today.

McQuade is receiving treatment at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, in Roanoke, Va., according to hospital spokesman Eric Earnhart. He underwent surgery Monday night.

McQuade, who stands 6-foot-3, was a reliable varsity basketball and baseball player at Clearview Regional High School in Mullica Hill. He earned varsity letters in both sports during each of his four high school years.

His mother, Jody McQuade, learned of her son's injury while at work at a real estate office on Mullica Hill's Main Street, according to a source close to the family.

Another person who works in the real estate office has a son at Virginia Tech, and that student phoned the office about 10 a.m. Monday.

Jody McQuade became anxious, wondering why her son had not called.

Once she learned her son had been shot in the worst mass shooting in American history, family members - including grandparents and Sean McQuade's sister - drove to Virginia.

McQuade's baseball coach and guidance counselor from Clearview High recalled how, after a visit to Virginia Tech, "his mind was made up." McQuade was going to go to Virginia Tech and study math.

Rocco Cornacchia, the counselor and coach, said he kept in touch with Sean's grandfather, Ralph McQuade, who said that Sean was looking forward to graduation and a job as an actuary for an insurance company.

"He was always focused, whether on the basketball court, baseball field, or in the classroom," said his coach.

He was the kind of player who used his intellect to solve strategic issues and "never lost his temper," Cornacchia said.

Fellow basketball player Anthony Cicchini remembered his freshman year, when the upperclassman McQuade took care of him. Cicchini said he felt intimidated around the older players.

"At first I didn't really want to play there because I felt like I would rather have people accept me than start in basketball. He really was a comfort. He told me not to worry about that kind of stuff. He said if I earned it, it was mine," said Cicchini, who is now a Temple University freshman.

McQuade, who became captain of the baseball and basketball teams, graduated in 2003, said coach Cornacchia.

Clearview High has had a run of horrific luck in the last few years. Daniel MacKay, of Mantua, was killed in a car wreck on I-295 in June 2006. And 2005 graduate John Fiocco Jr., who attended the College of New Jersey, was found dead in a Bucks County landfill in April 2006.


Contact staff writer Cynthia Burton at 856-779-3858 or

Inquirer staff writer Sam Carchidi contributed to this article