Where has Erik Been?

24 Jul

Dear readers,

You may have noticed I’ve been a bit absent from the blogosphere (or maybe you haven’t in which case I need to do a better job πŸ˜‰ ), I felt I need to explain what’s been going on.

I was on vacation at the beginning of July and upon getting back and then catching up with my work, our family suffered a very tragic accident. My aunt and three of her daughters were on a cross-country road trip from Pennsylvania to California. An adventure of a life time.

Beth, Lizzy, Savanna and Sequoia in California.

Sadly, in California, they had a terrible accident. The driver of their SUV fell asleep. The car ran down an embankment, hit a pole and overturned. My aunt and one of my cousins did not make it.

My cousin Savanna and Aunt Beth

My other two cousins were seriously injured. My uncle and his eldest daughter flew out to California to be with the girls.

Uncle Aleko, Lizzy, Sequoia and Cousin Tessa at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Eureka CA

After some negotiating, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia sent 2 ambulance jets out to California to bring the girls back. They did this free of charge through Wings of Grace.Β  Our family is eternally grateful to them.

The girls are back on the East Coast now and can be with our family. We finally got to go visit with them yesterday. The girls (Lizzy, 14 and Sequoia, 17) are incredible strong. I could believe they can manage a smile after what they’ve been through. Their bodies are broken, but are in superior medical care at CHOP. Their spirits remain unbroken even in the face of the loss of their mother and sister.Β 


Lizzy has Urinary Retention, a
Pelvic Fracture,
Pelvic Hematoma,
Subarachnoid Hemorrhage,
Compression Fracture,
Pulmonary Contusion,
Right Foot Fracture

Sequoia has a Pelvic Fracture, Lumbar Spine Fracture, Pneumothorax, Right Cervical Spine Fracture, Bilateral Pulmonary Contusion, Closed Right Tarsal, Navicular Fracture, Internal Carotid Artery Dissection, Elbow Fracture, C6 Nerve Root Injury

Our entire family is in mourning but staying strong for Lizzy and Sequoia.

I am sorry for bringing all of this sad news on a Monday. I just wanted to let everyone know what was going on so you don’t think I gave up on my blog. I just haven’t had my heart into it – or even opening emails. After seeing the girls yesterday, I feel a new sense of strength and resolve.

If you would like to help, please send positive thoughts and prayers for the girls (they feel it!) and/or my cousin, Monique has set up a Go Fund Me account to help with the girl’s medical needs – click HERE to go to it

They have additional surgeries to go through and a long recovery period – and that’s just the physical part.

My blog will return to its normal schedule and I will be working at catching up. Thank you all for taking the time to read my posts! I appreciate all of you!

101 Responses to “Where has Erik Been?”

  1. The Story Reading Ape July 24, 2017 at 12:26 pm #

    So sorry to hear about your Aunt Beth and cousin Savanna, Erik – Lizzy and Sequoia are obviously hurting physically and mentally, but determined to stay brave and smile. ❀️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Genevieve Petrillo July 24, 2017 at 12:35 pm #

    OMGoodness, E. What a thing for a family to have to go through. We are astounded at the courage of Sequoia and Lizzy. We said prayers for your whole family to have the strength to heal from this. We also said prayers for the doctors, nurses, and caregivers to be wise and compassionate as they walk through this with all of you.

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake and Mom

    Liked by 1 person

    • ThisKidReviewsBooks August 28, 2017 at 6:41 pm #

      Thank you Cupcake and Ms. Petrillo. Your prayers are much appreciated – and, apparently, well-received; the girls are out of the hospital and are currently recovering in their older sister’s house. πŸ™‚


  3. Joanne R. Fritz July 24, 2017 at 12:41 pm #

    Erik! So very sorry about your loss. Thoughts and prayers for your cousins as they recuperate from their ordeal. And no worries about blogging. It’s not important compared to your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. rnewman504 July 24, 2017 at 12:43 pm #

    Erik, I’m so sorry. My thoughts and prayers are with your family. πŸ’œ

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Debbie Dadey July 24, 2017 at 12:47 pm #

    So terribly sorry! I will keep your family in my prayers, Debbie

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Darlene July 24, 2017 at 12:54 pm #

    I am so terribly sorry to hear this. I am sending positive thoughts to you, your family and especially your two cousins who are showing incredible bravery. Sending many hugs and prayers your way. Keep us posted. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • ThisKidReviewsBooks August 28, 2017 at 6:45 pm #

      Thank you very much Ms. Foster – we all appreciate you sending all of that positivity our way. πŸ™‚


  7. Ali Pfautz July 24, 2017 at 1:11 pm #

    So sorry to hear this news Erik! Thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Danielle Smith July 24, 2017 at 1:17 pm #

    Oh, Erik. In behalf of everyone at Walden Pond Press I want to express our deepest and most sincerest sympathies. This kind of loss and hardship is so difficult and is so worth your time away. Please know we at WPP are all thinking of you and sending our love, thoughts and good energy to you and your extended family. – Danielle, Debbie, Jordan, Sophia and Kara xx

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Christine, HappyAtHome July 24, 2017 at 1:35 pm #

    Oh. My. Goodness. I am so sorry your family is dealing with this. I’m sorry for your loss. My positive thoughts and prayers are heading everyone’s way, especially for your uncle and surviving cousins in their family – but, truly for everyone. No one should have to experience this. I’m happy to hear the positive spirit Lizzy and Sequoia have, it will make a huge difference in their healing and ability to move forward. {{{hugs}}} and, yes, I did miss your posts. May your family all find some comfort and peace in the difficult days ahead. Thank you for sharing with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ThisKidReviewsBooks August 28, 2017 at 8:06 pm #

      Thank you so much Mrs M – that means a lot to me. Luckily, the girls were moved out of the hospital and are now living with their older sister. Also, I heard that they are getting the rods and whatnot out of them soon. πŸ™‚ Also, how has Felicia been, if you don’t mind my asking? I haven’t heard from you guys in a bit.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Christine, HappyAtHome August 28, 2017 at 8:08 pm #

        Thanks for asking. We miss you all. She started her first day of college, today, (moved into the dorms last week). In Virginia. :0) She is loving it so far. Did you start school yet, this year?

        Liked by 1 person

      • ThisKidReviewsBooks August 28, 2017 at 8:24 pm #

        That’s awesome! What is she majoring in? And yes, we started school last Wednesday. I like my classes this year – about half are for juniors, and I like the people in their grade better. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • Christine, HappyAtHome September 11, 2017 at 6:01 am #

        So funny, I’m bad about looking at comments. πŸ™‚ Right now majors are Studio Art & Political Science. Almost three weeks in, and she’s barely contacting us, so things are good. :)Congratulations on the class make-up! It makes a huge difference. So happy for you!


      • ThisKidReviewsBooks September 20, 2017 at 8:33 pm #

        Hahaha – it turns out I’m no better at looking at comments! πŸ˜‰ I’m glad Felicia’s doing fine – what is she thinking of doing career-wise? Please send her our well wishes! πŸ˜€ School really going well for me, and I enjoy my classes so far. Have a nice rest of your week!


  10. Caroline July 24, 2017 at 1:39 pm #

    Oh I’m so sorry. Stay strong and positive with your family. I’m sending good thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Bish Denham July 24, 2017 at 2:31 pm #

    I can’t even imagine what your family is going through. Sending lots of healing thoughts and prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Patricia Tilton July 24, 2017 at 2:32 pm #

    Erik, I am so sorry for your family loss. Sending prayers and love to your entire family, especially Lizzy and Sequoia as they deal with both physical and emotional healing. It is always difficult to deal with tragedy and loss, but I’m glad you are doing so as a family. It warmed my heart to know that there are organizations like Wings of Grace who so generously flew your cousins home to Philadelphia. Thank you for sharing with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ThisKidReviewsBooks August 28, 2017 at 8:22 pm #

      Thank you very much Mrs. Tilton – Wings of Grace was so generous, and we are grateful to their willingness to do good. πŸ™‚


  13. Victoria Zigler (@VictoriaZigler) July 24, 2017 at 3:27 pm #

    I’m sorry to hear of the loss of your aunt and cousin. I hope your other two cousins are being kept comfortable while they heal, and that they make a full recovery.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. mfearing July 24, 2017 at 3:31 pm #

    So sorry to hear. There’s not much else one can say is there? All my best to you and your family in making it through this. I’ve had my share of hospitals since April and I know it’s trying. Be well. – M

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Julie July 24, 2017 at 4:03 pm #

    Oh Eric, your family are in our prayers. So heart broken for the girls.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Alan Tucker July 24, 2017 at 4:04 pm #

    Heartfelt condolences for your family’s loss, Erik. Sending positive thoughts for a speedy recovery to your two cousins!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Anonymous July 24, 2017 at 4:12 pm #

    Hugs and ❀️ To you and all of the Weibel’s!


    • ThisKidReviewsBooks August 28, 2017 at 8:28 pm #

      Thank you for your anonymous well-wishes – we appreciate them very much! πŸ™‚


  18. Michelle Isenhoff July 24, 2017 at 4:34 pm #

    I’m so sorry to hear this, Erik. What a tragedy. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ThisKidReviewsBooks August 28, 2017 at 8:29 pm #

      Thank you for your prayers Mrs. Isenhoff – we are really grateful for them. πŸ™‚


  19. jama July 24, 2017 at 4:45 pm #

    Very sorry to hear this sad news, Erik. Sending love, prayers, and deepest condolences to you and your family. I’m glad Lizzy and Sequoia are now back on the East Coast with all of you to help them on their road to recovery. Thanks for letting us know and explaining your absence. Of course we missed you; do take all the time you need to feel emotionally ready to blog again. Meanwhile, know that we’re all thinking of you and wishing for the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Diane Tulloch July 24, 2017 at 5:10 pm #

    I am so sorry and saddened to hear this news, Erik. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and especially for Lizzy and Sequoia. I’m glad to hear the girls are now with family and I know you will be strong for them to help them in their healing over the next trying months. We love and miss you. As Jama says above, don’t hurry back till you are ready. We are always thinking of you. Hugs from kiwiland.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ThisKidReviewsBooks August 28, 2017 at 8:31 pm #

      Thank you very much Ms. Tulloch – we are grateful for your thoughts and prayers. πŸ™‚


  21. Angela Brown July 24, 2017 at 6:14 pm #

    Praying for you and your family during this time of mourning and transition. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Joanna July 24, 2017 at 6:21 pm #

    Erik, I was so very sad to read this tragic news. I am very sorry for your family’s loss and send Lizzy and Sequoia and their sister and dad my best thoughts. I am grateful there is love and care in your family and also for organizations like Wings of Grace.

    Of course we missed you, but family health and healing is far more important. We will be here whenever you need us.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. maliaann July 24, 2017 at 6:23 pm #

    Reblogged this on Writing for the Whole Darn Universe.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Lisa Orchard July 24, 2017 at 7:33 pm #

    I’m so sorry to hear this, Erik. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Jilanne Hoffmann July 24, 2017 at 7:52 pm #

    I’m so sorry, Erik, for your family’s tragic loss. Sending best wishes from across the miles. Don’t worry about your readers. We’ll still be here whenever you do return. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Kit Grindstaff July 24, 2017 at 8:55 pm #

    oh Erik, that’s terrible news. I’m so so sorry for your family’s unimaginable loss. Sending prayers for Lizzy and Sequoia, and their dad and sister, and condolences to you all.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Laura Miller July 24, 2017 at 9:04 pm #

    May God bring healing to their hearts and bodies and strength for the days ahead. May he also comfort all of you in your sorrow. Amen.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Wynne Marshall July 24, 2017 at 9:56 pm #

    I’m so very sad to hear this, Erik. My deepest condolences for the loss of your aunt and cousin, and my prayers for the continued recovery of LIzzy and Sequoia.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Diane M. Robinson aka spirthill99 July 24, 2017 at 10:09 pm #

    Sending love and prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Donna Earnhardt July 24, 2017 at 10:22 pm #

    I’m so sorry, Erik. I pray your cousins will all find peace in the midst of their recovery… and health and joy in the hard days to come.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Meg July 24, 2017 at 11:26 pm #

    I’m so sorry this has happened. Definitely sending prayers and positive thoughts for all. Praying for speedy and complete healing for your cousins. Prayers for hearts to be eased in this time of sorrow. I can’t even imagine how hard this is. Big hugs to all. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • ThisKidReviewsBooks August 28, 2017 at 8:41 pm #

      Thank you very very much for your prayers Ms. Miller – we are grateful for each and every one of them. πŸ™‚


  32. S.W.Lothian | Author July 25, 2017 at 4:22 am #

    Erik, it’s terrible to hear such bad news. My thoughts are with you and your family. Sending positive vibes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • schmelzb July 25, 2017 at 7:03 am #

      Of course we missed you. I thought I had a computer glitch when your blogs did not appear regularly. I know you will spend the time with your cousins holding hands and maybe reading to them from your great recommendations. I loved the adventures in Gordon Korman’s Masterminds series of books. The characters are realistic and show strength in times of conflict! All my best to you and your family. Beth

      Liked by 1 person

      • ThisKidReviewsBooks August 28, 2017 at 8:44 pm #

        Thank you Ms. Schmelz. πŸ™‚ I read the first book of that series, and you are right – the characters are great in times of adversity. πŸ™‚


    • ThisKidReviewsBooks August 28, 2017 at 8:43 pm #

      Thank you very much Mr. Lothian. πŸ™‚


  33. Lynn A. Davidson July 25, 2017 at 7:15 am #

    Erik, dear, I was stunned by the news when your mom told me. It’s so tragic there are hardly words … so please know your family is being loved and prayed for which is all I can do.
    On another note, yes, I wondered about your absence, and – like others have said before me – just take your time. As great as books are, they can wait.
    Much love to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. randomlyreading July 25, 2017 at 10:36 am #

    I have wonder where you have been, but assumed it was on a wonderful vacation. Your news was indeed stunning and I am so, so sorry for the tragedy that has befallen your family. The photo of the four beautiful women at the beginning of your post really brings home the magnitude of your loss. My heartfelt condolences go out to you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Debbie Brown July 25, 2017 at 10:58 am #

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss, Erik. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. One Man Book Club July 25, 2017 at 10:58 am #

    Prayers for your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Rhonda Paglia, Children's Author July 25, 2017 at 3:54 pm #

    Oh Erik, I’m so very sorry to hear about your loss and the tragedy. My heart goes out to you and your family. Sending you love, prayers, and special healing angels to surround you all. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Renee LaTulippe July 25, 2017 at 6:48 pm #

    Erik, I am so deeply saddened for your family’s tremendous loss. There are simply no words. All I can do is send healing hugs, my deepest condolences, and all my heartfelt wishes for your cousins’ and family’s recovery. ❀ ❀ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Beth Stilborn July 25, 2017 at 7:40 pm #

    Oh my. Erik, I am so very sorry to read this. My heart goes out to you and your family as you go through this heartbreaking time. May you all, and especially Lizzy and Sequoia, know strength and courage through this time of grieving and healing. As others have said, take your time about getting back to blogging. We’ll be here for you whenever you’re ready. And our thoughts are with you now.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. ccarpinello July 26, 2017 at 12:44 am #

    So sorry to hear of this tragedy. Praying everyone stays strong.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. yvettecarol July 26, 2017 at 12:56 am #

    My sincere sympathies, Erik, to you and your family. What a sad story and yet such a tribute to the human spirit.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. fleurbradley July 26, 2017 at 10:17 am #

    All best to you and your family, Erik. How sad, but how strong they are.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. donnagalanti July 27, 2017 at 2:27 pm #

    Erik, I am so truly sorry to hear about this terrible tragedy in your family. I truly hope they recover quickly and have much support around them now to help them through – and you too.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Oh my goodness! I’m so sorry for your family, Erick. I will be praying for them!

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Anonymous August 1, 2017 at 10:33 am #

    Dear Erik, Thank you so much for your wonderful work putting all this together. Love, Bur Bur

    Liked by 1 person

    • ThisKidReviewsBooks August 28, 2017 at 9:14 pm #

      I love you Bur Bur, and I am sorry I didn’t have more time to spend with you, or even play a few rounds of Words with Friends. I was even going to ask Mum Mum for your username. I am glad we got to see you, and I hope that you can read this from up above. πŸ™‚ You are loved and I cannot wait to see you again when my time has come. Dad tells me how you are his favorite aunt, and all of the stories he has of being with you. I hope you can hear the best classical music, all of the Mozart and Bach and Tchaikovsky and Beethoven, upstairs. We will miss you, yes, but it is more of the “waiting-to-see-you-again” type of missing you. I know you made it up there – we have no doubt of that down here. We all love you Bur Bur, and I hope you and your husband are having a great time together. πŸ™‚


  46. Richa Jha August 14, 2017 at 11:42 am #

    Dear Erik, I hope your cousins are beginning to gradually bounce back now. Sending the warmest wishes from the other end of the world…


  47. Sue Morris @ KidLitReviews August 18, 2017 at 3:44 pm #

    Erik, I am so sorry. I’ve been away with my own surgeries and missed this post. A month has past and I pray that in that time your cousins have improved measurably. Healing the body will be very difficult for your cousins. I pray the pain is minimal and the professionals helping them are kind, motivated, and great at their chosen profession. Healing the spirit may be harder and I hope your entire family get everything each of you need to handle such an awful tragedy. I am deeply saddened and will keep you in my prayers.


    • ThisKidReviewsBooks August 28, 2017 at 9:32 pm #

      Thank you Ms. Morris – your comment means a lot to all of us. πŸ™‚ And yes, they are doing better – they are out of the hospital, living with their sister, and are supposed to get the braces off pretty soon. πŸ™‚ How have your surgeries been? I’ve missed you on the blogisphere too.



  1. Funny How The World Doesn’t Stop… | This Kid Reviews Books - October 15, 2017

    […] in California (they live in Pennsylvania, where I do). My aunt and one cousin did not surviveΒ  (Original Story). My other two cousins were left in critical condition. This lead me to be less than regular on my […]


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