Saturday, October 10, 1998
October 10, 1998
This is the medical update for Matthew Shepard as of 9 p.m. October 10.
Since the previous medical update (at 3 p.m. today), three new items
information have been added to this web site. The items can be
summarized as the following:
1. Poudre Valley Hospital releases details of Matthew's major injuries.
2. Matthew's parents release a statement to the media.
3. An e-mail site has been established where you can send electronic
get-well cards and messages to Matthew. The address is
Read on for more information about these three new items and the rest
of the 9 p.m. medical update:
The following 9 p.m. October 10 medical update was given by Rulon
Stacey, President and CEO of Poudre Valley Health System. This was
distributed to members of the media present at the time at Poudre Valley
Hospital and will be FAXed to reporters as they call until the next
medical update is distributed at about 9 a.m. October 11.
Since our last medical update at 3 p.m. October 10, Matthew Shepard
has remained in critical condition.
Matthew is in the surgical-neuro intensive care unit in our Regional
Neuroscience Center located within the hospital. He remains in critical
condition with severe head injuries. Respiratory support continues to be
provided. He remains on a ventilator.
Matthew came to us on October 7 from Ivinson Hospital in Laramie by
way of ambulance. He was admitted in critical condition at
approximately 9:15 p.m. October 7. When he arrived, he was
unresponsive and breathing support was being provided.
The following is medical information from Poudre Valley Hospital. It
was released by Rulon Stacey at the medical update at 3 p.m. October
Matthew's major injuries upon arrival consisted of hypothermia and a
fracture from behind his head to just in front of the right ear. This has
caused bleeding in the brain, as well as pressure on the brain. There
were also approximately a dozen small lacerations around his head, face
Matthew has a massive brain stem injury. The brain stem controls vital
signs, such as heart beat, body temperature and other involuntary
Matthew's temperature has fluctuated over the last 24 hours, ranging
from 98 to 106 degrees. We have had difficulty controlling his
Hospital actions have included the surgeon inserting an intraventicular
drain into his brain to relieve pressure by draining spinal fluid. The drain
remains in and functional.
We are also continuing to control Matthew's temperature. He remains
on a ventilator which is assisting his breathing.
Matthew's parents arrived at 7 p.m. October 9 and are now at his bed
side. The parents and other family members who are present strongly
request no interviews with the media and they ask that their privacy is
The following statement from the parents was read to members of the
media waiting outside of the hospital at 6 p.m. October 10. The parents
chose not to read the statement, so it was read by Rulon Stacey,
president and CEO of Poudre Valley Health System, at their request.
"First of all, we want to thank the American public for their kind
thoughts about Matthew and their fond wishes for his speedy recovery.
We appreciate your prayers and good will, and we know they are
something Matthew would appreciate, too.
"Matthew is a very special person, and everyone can learn important
lessons from his life. All of us who know Matthew see him as he is, a
very kind and gentle soul. He is a strong believer in humanity and human
rights. He is a trusting person who takes everybody at face value and he
does not see the bad side of anyone.
"His one intolerance is when people don't accept others as they are.
has always strongly felt that all people are the same-regardless of their
sexual preference, race or religion.
"We know he believes that all of us are part of the same family called
Humanity, and each and everyone of us should treat all people with
respect and dignity, and that each of us has the right to live a full and
rewarding life. That is one lesson which we are very certain he would
share with you, if he could.
"Matthew also feels strongly about family. He is a loving son, brother
and grandson who has made our own lives much richer and fuller than
what we would have experienced without him.
"Matthew's life has often been a struggle in one way or another. He
born prematurely, and he struggled to survive as an infant. He is
physically short in stature but we believe he is a giant when it comes to
respecting the worth of others. We know that he thinks if he can make
one person's life better in this world, then he has succeeded. That is a
measure of success which Matthew has always pursued.
"Matthew very much enjoys the outdoors and camping, and he has
always loved acting in the theatre-he started acting in community
theatre at the age of 5. Acting and the theatre arts are skills at which
"He knows he's not the best athlete in the world but he has a very
competitive spirit. One time he participated in the Wyoming State
Games. He had a respectable finish in a running competition and then he
decided to compete in a swimming event. He did this even though he
knew he would likely finish last. Which he did. Afterwards, he
acknowledged to us that he knew his chances of winning were far from
good but he wasn't going to let that stop him from trying. That's
Matthew's lesson for all of us-it's lesson that we hope everyone takes
"Matthew has traveled all over the world. He speaks three languages:
English, German and Italian. He loves Europe, but he also loves Laramie
and the University of Wyoming. We feel that, if he was giving this
statement himself, he would emphasize he does not want the horrible
actions of a few very disturbed individuals to mar the fine reputations of
Laramie or the university.
"Finally, we would like to thank the sheriff's department of Albany
County, Wyoming, and Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins for their
very professional efforts on Matthew's behalf.
"We also have a special request for the members of the media. Matthew
is very much in need of his family at this time, and we ask that you
respect our privacy, as well as Matthew's so we can concentrate all of
our efforts, thoughts and love on our son.
"Thank you very much."
Approximately two to three dozen calls have come into the hospital from
people in Colorado and around the nation who have extended offers of
donations and other support, such as legal and counseling support. The
parents extend their very sincere thank you for these offers of support.
We have also received many phone calls from Internet users who asked
that an e-mail site be established so they can send electronic get-well
cards and messages to Matthew. We established the site at 10 p.m. on
October 10. The address is "email@example.com."
Well-wishers have also sent many flowers to Matthew. Again, the
parents extend their sincere thank you.
The parents ask that, in lieu of sending flowers, people contribute
fund that was set up October 9 in Matthew's name. Donations can be
Fund for the Benefit of Matthew Shepard
c/o First National Bank
P.O. Box 578
Fort Collins, CO 80522
Account No. 1926083.
Matthew's current medical condition and selected information from this
web site are also recorded on voice mail: (970) 495-7032. We ask that
people, including the media, rely on the web site and the voice mail to
track Matthew's condition.
PLEASE GIVE US FEEDBACK...
We would like to hear comments from users of this website to find out
this communication tool is useful for you. Please return to the first page
of this site and click on the "Feedback" icon at the bottom of the page.
This will take you to a short survey that is easy to fill out. There is also a
comment section (at the end of the Feedback survey).
If you are a member of the media, could you please let us know in the
comment section (at the end of the Feedback survey) the name of your
organization and if this is a good way to keep you informed? Any other
comments are appreciated, too.
Thanks very much!
# ©Poudre Valley Health System. All Rights Reserved.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 10 Oct 1998 21:54:40 -0700
From: "Fred Bradford (Los Angeles / Monterey Park, CA)"
To: QueerPolitics list ,
QueerPlanet list ,
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Subject: Matthew Shepard Medical Update (10:00pm MDT) - <LONG>