Condition update: Jay Ruckelshaus '15

Posted at 11: 30 PM Tuesday
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As Loyal Readers know, incoming freshman Jay Ruckelshaus suffered serious injury when he dove into water only three feet deep. He's quite a guy: said no to Harvard, no to Yale, no to the most prestigious scholarship at his home-state Indiana University, and was coming to Duke as an AB Duke Scholar. Athlete, 800 on his math boards, nearly as good on his verbal, precisely the kind of guy the AB's are designed to attract. Duke has assured him his scholarship offer will remain open.

His recovery will be long and slow. And the outcome uncertain. Doctors seem to have controlled fevers that vexed him for a while. They weaned him off a respirator, gave him a trach tube, and now have replaced that with a smaller one, which is more comfortable.

For the first time, we have words from him. Dictated and transcribed:

I hardly know where to begin. I feel I must apologize for the heat wave. My fevers have been out of hand.

I would be remiss to report a rose colored recovery. My body lies dormant and frustrated. But it is not vacant. Each day I choose not to tune my psyche to the cacophony of beeping heart monitors and ventilators. I choose instead to use you.

I lied about the heat wave, I think instead it stems from the multitude of your prayers and support. I have learned that personal connections transcend those of my weak neural network. They are the polish with which I shine my shield in this battle.

I remain extraordinarily humbled and appreciative. I ask for your continued support as I fight this battle. The path that lies ahead is winding and uncertain, but, hopefully, the heat wave will continue to soften the blows. I love you all very much and I thank you! Your friend, Jay

Jay is in Methodist Hospital, Indianapolis, affiliated with Indiana University. His parents are looking at medical facilities where he will get the next stage of treatment.

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