Opening day 2011 changed the life of one Giants fan and his family forever. Bryan Stow, 44, a former paramedic from Santa Cruz and father of two – children ages 14 and 11 — was brutally attacked in a parking lot outside Dodgers Stadium, leaving him in a coma and with permanent brain damage. Stow will need ongoing care for the rest of his life as a result of the vicious beating.
His recovery recently had a setback.
As has been widely reported, the Stow family’s insurance stopped paying for Bryan’s recovery from his severe brain injuries at a live-in care facility in Bakersfield, and he was forced to return home early last May. The family spoke out about Bryan’s struggle with the lack of care last June.
"Due to a huge cut in therapy coverage, Bryan has physically experienced a big setback. We do what we can at home, but he needs the 5 days a week that he grew accustomed to. We just don’t know how to get that for him.”"
In an update from the Stow family on July 31st, they reiterated Bryan’s need for continued care, and that complications from his injuries and subsequent treatment continue to arise.
"We are still figuring out about Bry getting all of his much needed therapies. We found out recently that he needs immediate attention on his nerve damage that is in his left arm, which prevents him from being able to lift it or open his hand. Additionally, he still needs to have the surgery for the extra bone growth. It’s been very frustrating and painful for him that he has all these physical problems and we just hope that none of them are permanent.His memory is still unpredictable. Several times recently we have had to tell him that what he feels on the side of his head is a shunt and that he will have that forever. Every time, he acts like it’s the first time he’s been told. Sometimes he remembers about being a paramedic and other times he doesn’t. “"
In a report from USA Today, the Stow family attorneys estimate that Bryan’s care has cost upwards of $5 million at this point, and that the ongoing care he will need will range in the “tens of millions” throughout his lifetime.
The two men that are accused of attacking Bryan — Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood — remain in custody and are awaiting trial in Los Angeles. A civil suit claiming inept security allowed for the attack to happen was filed by the Stow family and the city of San Francisco against former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, the Dodgers organization, and Blue Lands — the company that controls the parking lots — and is pending trial.
April 13, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; Tyler Stow, son of Bryan Stow (not pictured), throws out the ceremonial first pitch with the San Francisco Giants players standing by before the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at AT
It’s impossible to say what will become of the civil trial, and if it will help provide Bryan with the care he needs. With the nature of the court systems as unpredictable as they are, it could take quite some time before any long-term solution is secured.
Giants third base coach Tim Flannery isn’t waiting around for that. He recently teamed up with the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir and Jerry Jeff Walker to put together an album entitled Outside Lands. According to Jay Paris of The Coast News, the album is “…a tale of the Giants’ amazing journey last year, when they survived six elimination games to win their second World Series in three years, this after going 56 seasons without one”.
All proceeds from sales go to help Bryan Stow. The release date is set for December 21st and according to the report, many Giants players have agreed to match anything donated from Outside Lands.
“All the money will go to the Stow Foundation,’’ Flannery told Jay Paris. “He’s run out of insurance money and had to be taken out of the rehabilitation centers and brought home. But they don’t have what they need to take care of him.’’
“Bryan can talk a little, but the short-term memory is gone,’’ Flannery said. ”He was getting all these treatments, all these exercises and having access to amazing rehabilitating services and the insurance ran out. And they just sent him away.’’
In addition to the album Flannery is putting out, he recently put together a series of concerts with Weir that helped raise over $200,000 for Stow.
For updates on how to purchase “Outside Lands”, you can follow Tim and his band on Facebook.
There are other ways you can help too. The San Francisco Giants organization will be holding a fundraiser for Bryan and the Stow family on September 24th in the season’s final home series against the Dodgers to help with his care. Below is the flyer released by the organization for that event:
If you can’t make it to the game, or would simply like to donate to help Bryan, you can always visit http://support4bryanstow.com/. In addition, the site provides periodic updates and news on Bryan and his family.
An attack like this is endlessly tragic. One can hope that it helped raise awareness around all of professional sports, and that it will help lead to a safer environment for everyone around the world attending entertainment events. In the end, we are all just fans. Rivalry is fine and can be fun and healthy. There is absolutely no need for tragedy such as the Stow incident.
Even faced with personal challenges I cannot begin to comprehend, Bryan remains a staunch supporter of the black and orange, “My name’s Bryan,” Stow told USA Today on June 25th. “I’m a big Giants fan.”