Nettie and Diane

To send cards and letters:
Nettie Carey
C/O Diane Blair
10920 Lubbock Drive
Dallas, Texas 75238

Nettie Carey

A brief message from Gail...

Thank you DFW Dancers!!! You are amazing!

Friday's Benefit for Nettie a HUGE success. It proved that when a great need arises, the DFW Dance Community can come together , step to the plate, and give generously to meet that need.

It is impossible to get an accurate count of how many people attended. By using the sign in book which was at the front door (and many did not even know about it , or sign in) we can safely say there were between 450 to 500 people that came through the doors!

If you were one of those who came out to Sokol Friday night, you know there were many there who you haven't seen in years and it was great to see them again.

If you are new to the DFW Dance Community you are probably still over whelmed with what you saw.

 At the end of the evening the money was counted and we came out just under $20,000. This total does not include money that has already been mailed in or that is yet to be mailed in. Email is still coming from people who couldn't attend the Benefit and are asking where to send their checks.

Friday's Benefit was a great show of love for one of our own, Nettie Carey.

Gail Kemery

There are still animals that need a home

What follows is a day by day history of Nettie's progress.

November 16

Hello family and friends,

First let me say a HUGE THANK YOU to the dance community in Dallas and elsewhere. You are the BEST and MOST GENEROUS people around. For those of you who didn't get a chance to go to the benefit dance held in Nettie's honor, it was a tremendous outpouring of love and support and a rousing success. I raise a toast to you all and you have my heartfelt thanks. The money raised will go into a trust to be used for the extraordinary expenses Nettie faces as she battles back from her injuries. God only knows what is in store for her, but with your kindness and generosity she will have a better chance for enhanced quality of life. Bless you.

Now, some housekeeping issues. Dad and step-Mom are back in town. It is good to have them here.

Nettie will be transferred on Thursday to Baylor Rehab to begin more intense and focused therapy. Once she is transferred she will need some time to get into Baylor's routine. I will let you know what their schedule is and when it is time to visit. She continues to struggle with the dizziness and nausea she has experienced since her injury. I sure hope the doctors can find out why this is happening.

Thank you for all your prayers and loving support. God bless you.



November 5

Hello Family and Friends.

This praise report is long overdue.  There is so much to tell. 

Nettie has been working hard to get back her strength and balance.  Every other day she is up on the tilt table which moves her into a semi-upright position and puts weight on her legs.  This plays havoc with her blood pressure, but hopefully she will get more control of that as she moves on.  She now has movement not only in her upper arms but in her wrists!  The exercises her therapists are pushing are those that will strengthen the muscles in her arms such that she will eventually be able to feed herself.  Her voice grows stronger by the day and the trach tube is out entirely as of an hour ago!  Praise God!  She was very afraid of that whole procedure, but as it turned out it was no big deal.  She will have a little scar, but the hole should close in about a week.  She had a few health setbacks along the way so her progress was delayed.  With the removal of the trach and getting her constant nausea under control the doctors say they expect her begin to make rapid progress in her physical therapy. 

Thank you all for your continued prayers.  We wouldn't be so far along if it weren't for you.

God bless you all ! ! !

Diane Blair

October 26

Nettie is totally off the ventilator!!!
They've removed it from her room.

October 25

Here's a short update to tide you over for the weekend.  Nettie got to go outside yesterday on a portable oxygen tank.  She was all smiles!

I love you all.

October 21

From Diane, Nettie's sister:

Hello dear Family and Friends,

Thank you for your continued prayers.  Please also pray for the son of a friend of a friend of Nettie's who was involved in a motorcycle accident.  He is in his late 20's and his name is Heath Teague.  He injured his spinal chord at C3 and he and his family are facing the prospect of a life of paralysis even worse than Nettie's.  Please tag on a little prayer for Heath and his family every time you pray for Nettie.

Nettie sends her love to all of you.  We had some action packed days yesterday and today.  Yesterday the docs "scoped" Nettie's throat to get up close and personal with her non-functioning vocal chords.  What they found was very encouraging.  Her vocal chords are fine.  She even moved them when she coughed.  The problem appeared to be that her trachea was just very small and was hugging the trach tube and not allowing any air to get to the vocal chords.

Today I went by early on my way to work and the physical therapists were getting her out of bed and into a chair.  They sat her up with no problems and monitored all her vital signs.  She continues to tolerate the upright position very well and says it is easier to breath that way.  Next the speech therapist came by to test her on the one-way valve trach tube.  They swapped this one for the regular valve, which is constantly open.  The one-way allows her to breath in, but then closes when she breathes out, thereby forcing the air up and out across her vocal chords.  Once they had the valve in place they asked her to cough and we heard it!  Then they asked her to try to talk and she was able to whisper!  We could hear her just fine!  Among other things, she said my name.  I praised God and continued to listen to her every word.  The doctors are going to change her to a smaller trach tube which should make it even easier for her to talk more and more.  Even after the therapist took out the one way valve she was able to whisper "around" the trach tube.  You could see the joy just dripping off of her.

I also got to feed her some peach yogurt, which she thoroughly enjoyed until the respiratory therapist made us put some blue food coloring into it.  They do this so that when they suction her they can monitor whether the food or liquid is going into her lungs.  Once that yogurt was blue I had to hide it from her sight.  I have to agree it did look yucky.

This afternoon she will be up in the chair again and maybe out in the atrium for some fresh air.  More later.



October 19

From Diane, Nettie's sister:

Hello friends and family.

This has been a busy few days, and Nettie has made great strides. The docs gave her a swallow test on Monday which she passed with flying colors. That paves the way for her to begin EATING! Her first request was a diet coke, which they gladly let her try. She thought that was Heaven.

The physical therapists also did and "edge of bed" test. This began by bringing her upright and swinging her legs over the edge of the bed. They closely monitored her blood pressure, pulse and oxygen levels. She did remarkably well in all areas. The therapists then forced her to lean on her arm on each side, each time supporting her from all sides. She said that was really scary and she felt like a Weeble (you know, Weebles Wobble but they don't fall down.). Next the therapists forced her to lean on her elbows on each side. This whole exercise was very tiring and disorienting, but they assured Nettie that each time it will get easier.

Nettie asked me to relay to each and every one of you how much she loves you. I told her about the fundraising efforts and she was blown away.  I am attaching a picture of Nettie and me in happier times. I keep it on my desk and it gives me comfort that together we can get through this trying time. I thought some of you might want it too.

God bless you all ! ! !


October 14

From Diane, Nettie's Sister

As you know from the last update, Nettie moved from Parkland to LifeCare down the street. What a difference that made! I visited her yesterday for about an hour and a half. The pulmonologist came by while I was there and said that Nettie was making great progress with her breathing. In fact, the whole time I was there she had been breathing on her own and I didn't even know it! He said that she was just receiving a little positive pressure to breath around the trach, but she was doing all the work. He thinks she might be weaned off by this weekend! God is so good! Next we had a visit from the dietician. Nettie was complaining that the  food they were pumping into her stomach was making her nauseous. The dietitian said that they would give her a swallow test next week and see if she could begin EATING REAL FOOD! Blessings and more blessings! 

After all the docs had left, Nettie told me a little secret that she had yet to tell her doctor (he was due to visit at 7:00 p.m.) -- she has feeling down to her elbows and the back of her neck and her back, between her shoulders ! ! ! !

All this goes to show that our prayers on Nettie's behalf are being heard and answered. Keep it up. God is performing miracles. Let's get rid of that pesky infection so Nettie can have visits from her friends.


October 12

From Diane, Nettie's sister: 

Sorry I've been out of touch for a while.  Nettie had the second part of her surgery last week . She will be so much more comfortable. This was a stressful weekend and Sunday we just had to high-tail it for the  lake to decompress. With Dad still in town we were able to get away for a bit. 

Nettie had some scary episodes where the doctors thought she might have  thrown a blood clot to her lungs. This turned out NOT to be true. Thank God  and thank you for all your prayers. The doctors still don't know what  caused the episodes, but they think it might have been anxiety. You'd be  anxious too if you were conscious of all the goings on in Parkland's ICU.  So much grief and many people in life threatening situations.  Nettie says it is just crazy at night.

Dad and Gail supervised her move to LifeCare down the street yesterday.  There they will try to wean her off the ventilator and begin  rehabilitation. Don't know what that will consist of, but we're standing  by. She's still in isolation due to the infection that she hasn't been able  to shake, so sorry, no visitors yet. I promise I will let you know.

A bit of bad news for all of you who sent cards and stuffed animals. They  all had to be destroyed when she was moved. The infection she has is  transmitted by touch, so everything in her room had to be sent to the  incinerator. I read them all to her over the past three weeks, so your  messages got there. Please send more. I won't take them into her room until  we have this infection under control. I'll copy and read them to her. I had  not taken any tapes in yet, so those are all okay.

Thank you all for your loving care and support.

Diane Blair

October 7

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers! I spent a good hour with Nettie today. She sends her love to all of you. She seems to be tolerating the trach tube, although it seems that she is still uncomfortable. She is having awful dreams and is reliving the accident and her long wait for rescue. This was too, too, sad for me to think about. I had to change the subject to a more up-beat discussion about her animals. She asked me some hard questions like "what will I do?" I had to hedge and say that she had a long rehabilitation ahead and we would see from there how things went.

We are now navigating the muddy water of social services and insurance. I have an appointment with Social Security on Monday, October 18 at 9:00 a.m. to discuss things with them. I am becoming the reluctant "expert" on all these issues. There was a very scary but "to-the-point" article in the Dallas Morning News on October 3rd about the issues we are facing -- housing, long-term care, social services, in-home care vs. nursing home care, etc. I recommend reading it if you have a loved one facing the possibility of long-term nursing care. I have decided to create a huge chart so that I can understand how these things impact each other and Nettie. Please pray a specific prayer for me to find the abilities within myself to deal with these very confusing, but very important issues and make them all work toward enhancing Nettie's long term quality of life. If you are an expert in these areas, please call me. If you know someone else who is, please forward their contact information to me.

We have found a home for Gracie, the gray cat in my bathroom. 

Thanks to all who volunteered.

Diane Blair

October 6

From Diane, Nettie's sister

Hello Family and Friends,

Nettie had 1/2 of her trach surgery. The doctors did the breathing part, but not the feeding part. They discovered some infection when the made the incision, so they stopped short of doing the entire procedure until they got the cultures back from the lab. She is uncomfortable so the docs are giving her medication to take the edge off the pain. Her spirits are up and down, as you might imagine. Please send your pet pictures so I can finish the collage. Keep the cards and letters coming, as well as the jokes. They make her smile. I tell her every time I see her that you are thinking of her and wish you could be by her side. She understands this and is working hard to be in a better position to receive your visits.

I love each and every one of you.

Diane Blair

October 5

From Diane, Nettie's sister
Hello everyone.

Nettie should be in surgery right now getting the tracheostomy. This shouldn't be a long surgery. Please pray that God will guide the doctors' hands and judgments. We will see her today after her surgery. I saw her yesterday and had a good, long "talk" with her about the animals. I explained where each one was and that they were all in good hands. I told her some stories about her bird, Kuka, which made her laugh. She told me some foods to try on Kuka (she needs a balanced diet, after all). She asked for coffee, and I had to tell her I couldn't give her any.

I told her that her friends were beaming lots of love and encouragement her way and burning up the prayer-ways. She was scared about the scheduled trach, so our step-mom, Gail explained all that to her again and she seemed to calm down about it. She sends her love to all of you and understands why you can't be with her right now. The doctor told us that they had her off the ventilator for an entire hour yesterday morning.

She's making some good forward progress, so keep up those prayers. I will let you know when she can have visitors. That will probably be after she is transferred to the "step-down" facility and is deemed by them to be stable. One more thing, I found another cat ! ? ! ! ## ! Actually, two, but we can't catch the second one. The one we caught is a sweet little gray number
-- female. She is very talkative and wants attention.  She is currently living, unhappily, in my bathroom. Please, please, if you want to do something for Nettie, take this puddy and give it a good foster home. She is a real sweetie.
Thank you for all your prayers and good wishes.

All your cards are being read to Nettie, when we catch her awake and alert. She seems to be getting a little of her old spunkiness back, so send bad jokes. She rolls her eyes and wrinkles up her forehead when we tell them to her.


October 1

We were all due for some good news, so here it is. Yesterday was a very good day for Nettie. The docs say she is over the hump with the pneumonia and beginning to recover from it. She is still in isolation due to the infection. Our sister, Karen came in from DC to see Nettie and had her LAUGHING! Nettie was very alert and was able to explain to Karen, using the letter board, how to find a Starbucks downtown. The pulmonologist has the breathing machine back to the setting where Nettie starts a breath and the machine finishes it. This is a giant step back in the right direction!

I attribute this turn-around to all the prayers that have been going up on Nettie's behalf. You are truly an amazing bunch and God is hearing your prayers!

The two cats from my bathroom have new foster moms as of last night. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have a special request to all of you who have been so generous to open your homes to Nettie's animals. Please take a picture of yourself with your adopted furry friend and send it to me. I would love to put together a giant collage of photos to hang on Nettie's  wall. She loves you all and even more so now that you are caring for her babies.

Please don't ask to come see her yet. The doctors are still advising us that visitors tire her out and she needs ALL her strength to learn to breath on her own. This is TOP PRIORITY for her recovery. Her future quality of life depends on her developing the skills she needs to breath on her own. Please know that we are not keeping you away for any other reason. We continue to pass along everything you tell us by email and by cards and letters.


September 28

I feel I must tell you that Nettie has had another serious setback. On top of everything she has contracted a particularly antibiotic-resistant staff infection. Please pray with us that her immune system will be adequate to fight the infection where the drugs cannot. She is in isolation in ICU and the family must put on gloves and gowns to even enter the room. We need all your prayers.


September 27

Nettie has developed pneumonia and a pressure sore on the back of her head. They are treating the pneumonia and keeping an eye on the sore.


The accident...

September 15

Nettie Carey was taken by Care Flight to Parkland Hospital early on the morning of Sept 15th, with serious injuries resulting from a one car accident.

She had a fracture of the 6th and 7th vertebrae, which has caused a complete spinal cord injury. The doctors say the cord is not severed, but their prognosis is the same. They have stabilized  her spine by fusing it with bone from different parts of her body.

They did this not to fix the spinal cord, only to stabilize her for rehabilitation. They can't fix the spinal cord. They say she might regain some movement up to two levels lower, but not her legs.

Care of the Animals...

The person who was going to take the orange tabbies backed out at the last minute. They are mother/daughter and we want to place them together. The foster home they're in now already has 6 other cats who show their dislike for the 2 tabbies. Please see the attached photos.

Thanks! Barbie

Click here for a photo of Darla

Click here for a photo of Ginger.

Don Duncan is assisting in coordinating a fund raising effort for Nettie. Please contact him privately at

A Second Raffle is now being held...

One of our dance friends is a cosmetic surgeon and he has offered to donate his services to help our attempts to raise money for  Nettie.  Raffle tickets are $10 each and the winner receives his or her choice of ONE of the following procedures:


1.  Laser hair removal (valued at $500)-- does not work for blond or gray hair
2.  Permanent eye liner -- includes free touch-up
3.  Permanent lip liner -- includes free touch-up
4.  Permanent eye brow -- includes free touch-up
5.  Hair transplant (100 grafts valued at $1,000)


1.  Laser hair removal (valued at $500) -- does not work for blond or gray hair
2.  Hair transplant (100 grafts valued at $1,000)

The Fine Print:

1.  The drawing for the winner will be held on November 1, 2004 at Fairfield's.  Winner will be notified by phone if not present. 
2.  The winner's certificate is transferable, so you may give it to someone else or use it yourself. 
3.  The winner's certificate MUST BE REDEEMED BY December 15, 2004. 
4.  The surgical office is located in Tyler, Texas, and your procedure must be performed on a Saturday. 

If you would like to purchase "cosmetic" raffle tickets to go along with the "airline" raffle tickets you have already purchased, please contact Lori Hayner or me.  We are at Fairfield's every Monday and Wednesday evenings (and occasionally other places during the week). 

If you would like to help sell cosmetic raffle tickets, please contact either Lori at 214-566-1260 or me at

If you would like to purchase cosmetic raffle tickets and don't see Lori or me, you can send your checks - payable to Diane Blair -  to me at P.O. Box 860901, Plano TX 75086-0901.  I promise your ticket will be added to the raffle. 

Sherry Ittel

If you would like to add to this page, write me.
- Ron