Stu Shiffman has been unresponsive since a fall suffered in October caused a recurrence of swelling in his brain. Tom Whitmore told followers of Stu’s Caringbridge page on November 19: “Unfortunately, this kind of swelling is hard to control. So Stu has an open place in his skull, which means he’s wearing a protective helmet. And it means that he’s likely to be unresponsive for a while. The standard estimate, to be safe, is 90 days.”
The fanartist suffered a stroke in 2012 and had made gradual but good progress til his recent setback.
Doctors plan to close his skull again in February. “This has been known to result in a return to responsiveness of unresponsive patients,” adds Whitmore. “It’s very possible that Stu will regain a lot of the function he had regained before, and possibly more. It’s also possible some good things will happen during that 90 days — we don’t know.” All Stu’s friends look forward to his taking that next step in recovery soon.
Let us take you back to those thrilling days of yesteryear…when the Hugos were presented at Pacificon 2, the 1964 Worldcon. A memo containing that year’s Hugo voting statistics has been discovered by Tom Whitmore in the records of the late Alva Rogers.
Kevin Standlee has posted a copy [PDF file] on the official Hugo Award website.
Standlee notes that the 1964 awards were decided by a plurality of voters – Way Station won Best Novel with just 24% of the vote. Later the rules were changed to require ranked voting and an elimination runoff, insuring winners would have the support of a majority.
No wonder voter support was splintered all to hell that year – look at the nominees in the Best Novel category, listed in order of finish.
- Here Gather the Stars (alt: Way Station) by Clifford D. Simak
- Glory Road by Robert A. Heinlein
- Witch World by Andre Norton
- Dune World by Frank Herbert
- Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
The winner, Way Station, has long been one of my favorite sf novels.
Herbert’s Dune World, defeated in 1964, was the version serialized in Analog; a longer fix-up novel incorporating this material would win the author a Hugo in 1966 and go on to be recognized as a classic in the field.
Despite the plethora of good work, 7 people voted No Award! Good grief, what were they waiting for?
Congratulations to Andi Shecter and Stu Shiffman who became engaged on July 18 in a ceremony at the rehab facility where Stu’s been staying. Tom Whitmore reported on CaringBridge:
Stu was fetching in a panama hat, and Andi was her usual dapper self. Rabbi Jessica K Marshall officiated, and a very pleasant time was had by all. This was Stu’s first trip outside in a very long time (aside from being transported from one facility to another). The weather was completely cooperative, warm with a slight breeze and very clear.
As Andi and Stu explained last month:
We have been together for 25 years. On June 13, 2012, Stu suffered a serious stroke from which he has recovered to a major extent, although he still has more healing to do. In March of 2013, Andi turned 60 years old, while Stu will have his 60th birthday in February of 2014. We feel that we have good reason to talk about love and commitment.
They will be married next June.
Nearly a year has passed since fanartist Stu Shiffman suffered his stroke and his accelerating improvement is encouraging. Tom Whitmore wrote in a new post for Stu’s Caring Bridge page:
Stu’s been on the speaking valve pretty much every day, which means he’s getting more chances to talk. He’s been talking to his family on the phone, including his sister; and people are having no trouble understanding him. He sounds a lot like himself at this point — a bit quacky, perhaps, but the phrasing and pauses are classic Shiffman. He’s eating pureed foods regularly, and getting lots of visits from therapists. They’re always glad to work with him because he’s doing so well. For now, there’s no big news, but lots of positive small news.
Ten months after suffering a stroke Stu Shiffman is regaining his speaking ability reports Tom Whitmore on Stu’s Caringbridge page —
Stu is now doing almost all his communication by speech (rather than spelling things out). He’s still a little croaky, but only a little difficult to understand. He’s also continuing to work out a couple of times a week at the gym upstairs. He still can’t stand or walk, but they’re working on keeping his muscles in shape.
This is very fine news!
Fanartist Stu Shiffman’s recovery from last June’s stroke has entered a new phase. Tom Whitmore reported on Stu’s CaringBridge page that he’s managing to talk for several minutes at a time (despite still having a trache in place) –
A bit over a week ago when I was visiting, he managed clearly to say the number 6 while counting to 10 — according to Andi, he can now manage a lot of words in a row. We’re all very excited about this. His speech and respiratory therapists are continuing to spend more time with him just because he’s so responsive.
On Stu Shiffman’s birthday — February 12 — friends celebrated both the date and his continuing, gradual recovery from last June’s stroke. As Tom Whitmore told followers of Stu’s CaringBridge journal —
Stu is continuing to be off the ventilator for a part of each day — it varies a lot depending on how much therapy he’s had, and he’s the one who has to decide when he’s going to be on or off it. Which is pretty cool. He’s forming words well now with his mouth, and he’s starting to be able to write again — the words are sprawled and a bit difficult to recognize, but he’s using a normal pen and I could read a couple of the words Andi showed me from Sunday.
Stu Shiffman is almost ready to move onto the next stage of his recovery, says Tom Whitmore on the Caring Bridge journal – this time it’s a literal move, to a skilled nursing facility.
Within a day or two Stu’s expected to be transferred to Health and Rehabilitation of North Seattle. See their FAQ for visiting hours and parking information (it’s free). Andi Shecter and Astrid Bear visited and met some staff and residents already. Stu’s stay will be covered by Medicaid.
Tom cautions, Stu’s still not speaking well, so no phone calls. When they know his room number it will be posted on Caring Bridge so that it can be included when addressing letter.
Update 08/13/2012: Stu’s room number is 110.
Andi Schecter says Stu Shiffman is doing much better. She told Tom Whitmore, who maintains Stu’s Caring Bridge journal, Stu has returned to the best level he’s been at since his stroke in June. Yesterday he tried writing, and managed to hug Andi using his right arm (the one affected by the stroke).
Today doctors will x-ray Stu’s kneecap to learn whether it has properly healed from the break and, if so, they will take the immobilizer off his leg.
Stu Shiffman continues to make progress since his stroke in mid-June and the surgeries that followed.
Earlier this week doctors did an MRI and ran a 24-hour EEG to check for seizures, finding no signs of any.
On June 28, he was given a tracheotomy and the breathing tube removed. (There is still a nose-tube for feeding purposes.) Having been sedated through that, he was not expected to be responsive ‘til sometime today.
Tom Whitmore, who writes Stu’s journal at CaringBridge, anticipates Stu will be able to try talking soon.
There’s also an appeal for funds to help Andi Shecter’s transportation expenses back and forth to the hospital – for details, see the CaringBridge journal entry for June 27 at 6:12 p.m.