Sunday, November 21, 2010

11.18.10 - The First Bite

After 19 days of not eating a bite of solid food and talking very rarely, Rachael was able to do both with great joy. Due to her tracheotomy, which helps her breathe easier, she was not able to do these basic things for nearly 3 weeks after the accident. A new valve combined with her determination gave her another victory on her road to recovery. When I asked her about what it was like to speak again she said, "I started getting to speak this week... it feels good. It is nice to be able to talk and make fun of everybody... helps keep my mind off things."

Rachael's days are long, full of a busy schedule of doctors and nurses coming in and out of her small, window lit room. Sometimes they are there to run a basic test and explain things to her and sometimes there are just there to check in and say hello. If you would like to visit, Sundays are best, as those days are often more flexible with nothing planned. Weekdays from 4-6pm are also a good time to pop in for a chat.

For her first meal Duncan, her father, brought some soup from the hospital cafeteria. Rachael described her first meal as, "some weird soup contraption... a turkey, ham cracker thing." Rachael and I both agree that is it nearly impossible to take a flattering image of a person eating so you can just picture her smiling as Duncan serves up some soup, spoon by spoon. Maybe a Duncan's Pizza from the Cachagua General Store (named after her dad) will help with our unphotogenic food dilemma.

Another huge triumph is that Rachael, with the help of her nurses and family, is able to get into her new 'sports car' as Duncan calls it. She is beginning to cruise around in a motorized wheel chair and heading down to the gym to "lift some weights and get all buffed up," she says. She was able to go outside and feel the light on her face and the fresh air on her skin. Being able to eat and communicate is a huge step in the right direction and Rachael is looking forward to continuing her progress everyday.

"Thanks to all my friends who have been coming by and sending their love. It helps... It helps a lot. I do love looking at the pictures and the colors, because this room is definitely... ugly. But it is better than the Stanford room with the crooked television that looked like it was going to fall off the wall." - Rachael Elizabeth Short

***Any donations can be sent to Rachael Short at her P.O. box 161 Big Sur Ca. 93920***

***************You can view Rachael's photographs at***************


  1. I'd like to comment on how brave and beautiful Rachael is. I think I already knew this but after this accident and watching her and the family go through this... well it certainly makes you think about things in a whole new way.
    But what I was struck by when I spent time with Rachael was her quick smile. This girl I am honored to be a part of her life.

  2. Thank you for creating this blog! Rachael, you have been on our minds and in our hearts. We are thinking, praying and pulling for you! It is incredible to see your beautiful spirit and mischievousness still in tact.
    We love you ~ Diana and Michael (salon beija vu)

  3. Beautiful blog, thank you so much for sharing this journey with us. Rachael, you are in our thoughts & prayers...
    Much Love,
    Kat & Jim Denton
    (married at Post Ranch Inn October 7)

  4. Rachael- I have been thinking of you non-stop since I heard of your accident. It is so fitting that you start a blog to document this journey. You are such a strong person and a huge inspiration to me, Keep it up!! Meg Skaggs

  5. Thank you Guru..this helps so much when I can't be physically with her. :)))

  6. I love being able to look at this

  7. Rachel: We haven't met yet. You were going to take our family's picture on Nov. 8. I wanted you to know that this website is named correctly: You are a light. And that is our son's first word, light. You will meet Tru some day and take his photo. You are kindred spirits. I'm honored to know of you and to follow your journey. With love, Courtney

  8. Dear Rachael,
    I, as well as several hundred friends & family think about you every day and know if anyone can rise above it, you will. If there is ANYTHING that we can do as artists & (photographer friends) to help in regards to your benefit, please let it be known and we'll manifest our time for you.
    With respect and care,


  9. Thinking of you and sending all of my love everyday. You are such an amazingly strong, inspiring person.

    Wishing you all the best,


  10. I just heard of your accident, but am not surprised to see you smiling from a hospital bed! It's been a while, but the Rachel I remember always found a way to laugh and smile in any situation! Keep up the hard work, my thoughts are with you!!
    ~Karen Clark

  11. Hi Rachael

    I am so happy to hear about your first bite because I am coming to see you in a couple of weeks and want to bring some cookies. Every time I make those cookies I think of you yelling "Melanie's cookies!" You are the inspiration for my blog name. Your beauty and light in these photos has been the inspiration of some poetry in my classes lately too.

    Can't wait to see you. Will be in Big Sur starting December 11.

    Love you, Melanie