Transcript Of Press Conference In Chattanooga

Caleb's Dad ~ 29th December 2010

Here is a transcript of what I said December 8th, 2010 at the press conference in Chattanooga. Blessings!

Well first I want to thank everyone for being here today.  I want to thank Jason McKeag, Brian Smith, and all those who have helped put this reception together.  I want to thank all those who have prayed for Caleb, for those who have stopped by to visit, sent flowers and cards, who have helped us in so many ways get through the last 2 months.

On an October weekend nearly 2 months ago, my wife and I, and two of our sons, Colby and Caleb went on what was supposed to be a weekend camping trip.  It was the very first camping trip that my sons were to experience.  And on that first day after sleeping in a tent, we woke up the next morning and had a blast together as family.

Later that day we decided to go and take a trip to the bottom of Fall Creek Falls.  And on October 16th, 2010 our lives changes forever.  The story that you all know is the story about a rock falling some 250 feet from above, and hitting our son Caleb in the head as he was being carried by his mother.

And though it was that rock that made the news, that spread Caleb’s story to the entire nation, it was another Rock that has brought all of us here today.  And that Rock is God himself.

Prayer has been such an integral part of this story since the very beginning.  By the time Caleb was in his third and fourth day in the PICU at Erlanger, at T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital, in the most critical part of the time when his brain was swelling, already thousands of people across this nation were praying for him to make it; and to survive.

It was prayer that kept us going through that first part of this journey, as God labored through the hands of the doctors and the nurses who brought Caleb back from the edges of death and nursed him back to life.

It has been prayer that has gotten us through this second part of the journey, as we made our way down to Atlanta, GA and spent nearly the last month there. We have seen, literally, miracles happen on an almost daily basis as the therapists have worked with Caleb.

And now as we begin this third and final part of the journey, we also believe that it will be prayer that will get us through this as well.

As many of you know, as you have heard updates on the news and updates on Caleb’s web site, Caleb has come a long way in the last 4 weeks.  When he first arrived at Scottish Rite, he could barely hold up is head, he had almost no use of his left side, he couldn’t walk, couldn’t talk, he could barely see with his eyes, and he had only just barely smiled at us about two or three times.

I never will forget the first day we were there at Scottish Rite, when the doctor who evaluated Caleb said, developmentally, Caleb was about the same as a 5 month old. But, then we began therapy, and the people who had fallen in love with Caleb continued to pray.

And immediately we began to see Caleb excel in everything the therapists worked on. By the end of the second day, Caleb was already starting to hold himself up, paying attention to his toys.  By the end of the third day, he was smiling more, playing more, and interacting more.

And by the time we got to the end of the first week, Caleb had gone from a liquid diet through his g-tube, to eating on his own, regular table food—no longer needing the use of the g-tube.

And now as we stand here with you today, Caleb has met and exceeded most all of the goals that his physical, occupational, and speech therapists had laid out for him.  His sight has improved dramatically, as you have seen today he can walk with assistance, he loves to play with his toys, he has started saying a few words (our favorite of course has been mama and dada), and overall he is much more the Caleb that we all know and love.

And though we are so thankful and so joyful about going home today and seeing our other two children, of going home and actually being back in our home for the first time in two months now, and bringing our family back together…we also know that the journey is not over yet.

Caleb still has lots of rehabilitation still ahead of him. As one of our therapists mentioned a few days ago, in the course of 4 weeks, Caleb has gained about 13 months in terms of his development.

But Caleb still has lots of challenges. His eye sight, though it is better, is still intermittent. Caleb also has a long way to go with his fine motor skills—in his ability to pick up and place things, and do specific things with his fingers and hands.

He also has a way to go before he can learn to walk on his own (although we are very encouraged that we may see him do that pretty soon…one thing that we have seen recently is that he is very motivated to walk again…he loves it).

He also has a lot of work to do on his speech.  One of the things the therapists believe about Caleb is that he still knows all of the words that he knew before, but that the part of his brain that helps process speech and allows him to speak has been damaged, and it’s just going to take time and more therapy for him to be able to walk again.

Where We Go From Here
So where do we go from here?  We plan to leave here in about 10 minutes, head on over to T.C. Thompson and see some of the doctors and nurses that were so much a part of our lives for that first month then we were there, and then we’re going home.

We will have evaluation meeting with the therapists at Vanderbilt on Thursday and Friday, and that will determine the next approach in Caleb’s therapy, how often he will go to outpatient therapy, what he will need, etc.

We will go home and work out a new routine with Caleb and our other two boys, we will work out a new normal for our family, we will continue praying, and we will continue working with Caleb at home…until he has regained everything that he lost.

Before I open it up for a few questions I did want to take just a moment to say “Thank you.” From the bottom of our heart, thank you, to all the people who were there that day at Fall Creek Falls, who worked to help save our sons life, to Michael Tagert, to all the people at the top of the trail…

…to the people who prayed with us and prayed for us as we waited for help to arrive and afterward, people like Jamie Walling…

…To all the people who worked on our son as he was flown to Erlanger. To all the staff at T.C. Thompson who saved our son’s life more times than I will ever know, as he struggled to survive those first couple of weeks…

…To the amazing therapists at Scottish Rite, who lovingly worked with and adapted all of their techniques just to fit Caleb…

…To the now near 9,000 people who follow Caleb’s progress on a day to day basis, to the hundreds of churches, and to the countless thousands of people across the world–who have all not ceased to pray for him.

We want to say God bless all of you, and thank you again…from the bottom of our hearts.

As I said earlier, this journey is not yet over. We still have a long way to go.  And as we begin this third and final leg of this journey of faith, I would ask you to please not forget about Caleb, please continue to pray for him and for his progress…and if you want something to do, please join Project Prayer For Caleb and spread the news about praying for his healing.

And finally, people all over have asked us if we are going to continue to give updates on Caleb’s progress, and the answer is yes, we do plan to give updates and write about his progress, again, until he is fully healed.

And so if you would like to follow him progress, if you want to join Project Prayer For Caleb, you can do so by going to

Thank You.


094Would you consider adding Caleb to your church and personal prayer lists? Also a fund has been set up to help offset Caleb's ongoing medical expenses and related costs. Thank you for your love and support! Donations via PayPal can be made by clicking here: 


1 Comment

  1. B.H. and Judy Collins

    December 29th, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    Tim and Tiffany, it was so good to meet your family. Thank you for the update today. We will continue to pray for Caleb and your family.

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