Rallying For A Friend In Need

by Jon Niebling on June 16, 2009

Rallying For A Friend In Need
Fundraiser for Rich Marsh

A tragic event has changed the life a beloved Napa local, a fellow diver, and our friend. On May 20, 2009, Rich Marsh suffered a massive stroke that has left him paralyzed and fighting for his life.

Rich has Locked-in syndrome, a condition in which a patient is aware and awake, but cannot move or communicate due to complete paralysis of nearly all voluntary muscles in his body. It is the result of a brain stem lesion in which the ventral part of the pons is damaged.

He is slowly regaining movement in his limbs, but has a long battle ahead. Rich has the will to live and wants to continue the fight to regain his life. He is incredibly strong and determined to beat this, and he has the love of family and friends by his side as he takes on the challenge of rehabilitation. More

We are asking for all that know Rich and all that want to support him in his journey, to make a contribution to help pay his mounting medical bills. A bank account has been set up under Rich’s name at Wells Fargo. Anyone can walk into any Wells Fargo and deposit a donation into the account. The account is under Rich Marsh’s name and the account number is 9663064120.

We have heard Rich’s dream to create and sell his artwork for others to benefit from their beauty, we have heard his goal to become a Master Diver, we have heard his plans to teach our children in the coming years ahead. His work is not done here, so today and everyday our wishes, hopes and dreams are with him as he aspires to become whole once again.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Colleen Topper June 16, 2009 at 7:22 PM

Update on Rich

Rich has been moved to Care Meridian which is a rehabilitation facility in Fairfax (Marin County) specializing in brain & spinal rehabilitation injury. He is slowly getting movement back in his toes, limbs, and his fingers on both hands. Progress is slow, but Rich has taken on the challenge to regain movement. He is able to communicate with visitors and he enjoys seeing friends and family, which gives him the encouragement he needs to make progress. We’re right there with you Rich, keep getting better!

Colleen Topper June 30, 2009 at 10:56 AM

Update from Lili Marsh (6/30/09):

Well, the latest is that we had a care conference yesterday, with all of Rich’s therapists. They are very happy and hopeful that Rich is progressing so well in such a short time. The physical therapist said that the term “Locked In” no longer applies and that is a “sentence” that we can let go. Pretty cool.


Colleen Topper June 30, 2009 at 11:25 AM

Great news! We’re all cheering for you Rich. Hope to see you Sunday after the 4th of July.

ashley ryan (napa high student in his class) August 9, 2009 at 9:42 AM

Well I’m happy, I’m glad he can do all this stuff. He is the best teacher I’ve had. I enjoyed his class, he was always in an up beat mood. I’m happy there is a way i can check up on him.

Sherry Vattuone August 9, 2009 at 10:56 AM

Hey Marsh…don’t know if you remember me. Old time dispatcher from the past. I want you know how much you are in my prayers. I know how strong you are and know you will beat the heck of this. Wish I could do more but know I am keeping you in my thoughts. Keep up the good work.

Dave James August 9, 2009 at 11:32 AM

Hey Rich, been a very long time. I’m sorry to hear about the stroke, but glad to hear that you are beating it. Not surprised, you have always been a guy that finds a way to get it done. I just pulled up the Napa Valley Register and read the article, had no idea what was going on, but will check back and send email to say hello, and keep track of your amazing progress. Keep pushing!

Roger Bartley August 9, 2009 at 3:47 PM

Rich: As a traumatic brain injury survivor, I can relate to your long journey ahead. The docs said I would never walk or talk, but now I ski 50 days a year and bike 2000 miles a year on my road bike. I also volunteer every Monday at ADS. Lili must be on the hospice side. My accident was 18 years ago and I think I get better every year. Be tough and your sprit will see you through. If you ever want to talk (707) 252-4542 or communicate via email: rbart123@aol.com, please feel free. Roger

Colleen August 10, 2009 at 3:51 PM

To all of Rich’s friends, fans, co-workers, and students,

Keep the comments coming in for Rich. He is reading them and it is giving him the inspiration to keep getting better. His family appreciates all of these great words of encouragement!

Thanks so much.

Sheila and John Doyle August 10, 2009 at 6:04 PM

Hi Rich,
I work with Lili and we want you to know that you both are in our prayers and we send positive thoughts your way,
The Doyles

Margaret Hager August 16, 2009 at 7:03 PM

Rich and Lili,
I’m not sure if you remember me, but we shared some games of golf together at the Yountville course, and put our shares of divits in the course too! Your sense of adventure, spirit and obvious love for each other was so very inspiring and memorable. I know it will carry you through this.


Colleen August 17, 2009 at 11:45 AM

I went to visit Rich again this past Saturday and he has made amazing progress once again. He is now able to stand up with assistance and very soon he will try to walk. He is working on building up leg strength before attempting to walk.

Rich is able to speak now, and although it’s a bit difficult to hear everything he says, I could definitely understand what he was saying. It’s so great to see our friend being able to communicate again, and his sense of humor has returned.

Rich knows that he now has a future ahead of him and a home waiting in Napa. His birthday is September 25th, so hopefully he can come home for his birthday! It would be the best gift ever!

Sherry Vattuone August 17, 2009 at 12:37 PM

I love getting Colleen’s reports because it means you are getting better. I am so glad you are doing so well. WOW. Keep up the good work and of course I will keep you in my prayers. You are absolutely incredible. You just know how to get it done.


Sherry Vattuone September 17, 2009 at 8:22 PM

Have been busy fixing up my house so I have not forgotten you. Hope you are doing well. Want to hear you will be running soon. My thoughts and prayers are with you and I just wanted you to know that. Much love Rich.

Colleen Topper September 27, 2009 at 12:00 PM

David & I went to visit Rich at Queen of the Valley Hospital on Rich’s birthday, September 25th. He is scheduled to come home on Tuesday, September 29th! He will be doing out patient rehabilitation for some time still. Rich & Lili will need some time to settle back to a “normal” life. They are very excited that Rich has been given a second chance. We welcome them back home and wish them a smooth transition!

The Rich Marsh Passion for Life auction is being held on November 7th from 6:30-9:30pm at Artesa Winery. Tickets are $50 in advance or $60 at the door. A website for Rich is under construction at http://www.richmarsh-passionforlife.com where tickets will be sold very soon.

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