Donnie Waddell, 58

taraco
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taraco
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Joined: February 23rd, 2004, 5:37 am

July 2nd, 2018, 8:39 pm #1

SAD NOTE: Donnie Waddell, 58, passed away on Sunday, July 29, after suffering a stroke and being hospitalized for weeks.  This thread was begun during that hospitalization. Comments and memories can be added, and new information will be added as it comes in.

Here is the story of Donnie's final days...

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For those who don't know him, Donnie Waddell is a longtime monster fan and Rondo winner who was instrumental in helping the WonderFest Convention tilt toward horror fare as well as its primary mission, garage-kit modeling.

Donnie is also one of the funniest guys on the planet -- truly -- with a pantheon of voices and imitations that you don't usually hear: Forrest J Ackerman, Ray Harryhausen, Tom Weaver (!), and many others. Just hysterical.
schowdonnietim.jpg
David Schow, Donnie, Tim Lucas.

Sadly, as many of you know, Donnie had a severe stroke a week or so ago and is fighting to recover in a Louisville hospital. He is only intermittently semi-conscious, although things have improved a bit.

His brother, Darrell, has been posting updates on Facebook. Here's the latest (I've interspersed a few photos):

Hello to all of Donnie friends. I wanted to send out an update and also give you some additional information regarding the day Donnie had his stroke.

Donnie's condition is still listed as critical but stable, his stats are good except for his blood pressure which tends to go up and they have to constantly tweak it with medication. They have him on lesser sedatives and he is more alert at times than he was previously and it does appear that he knows people and can acknowledge with his head and can still follow directions as far as doing the thumbs up and a hand squeeze, etc.

Again, he did suffer a major stroke in the area of his brain stem and currently his left side is paralyzed, although there have been subtle movements on that side but we do not know if he's trying to do that or if that's involuntary reflexes.

With regards to the day of the stroke, there were two things that occurred that you could not possibly think of to make a movie about. Donnie, ironically, was about to go to the doctor's office for his regular checkup. He was late and he called the doctor's office and told them that he was running late.

Either right after he made the phone call and got in the car, or whether he was already in the car at the time they made the phone call we do not know, but we do know this, he made the call and apparently right after the stroke hit him like a lightning bolt and he laid over on his side across the console and into the passenger's side and with the car being parked in the driveway no one could see him in the car. The key was not even all the way in the ignition when he was found by my son.
clubdonnie.jpg
In the Old Dark Clubhouse at an early Monster Bash: Gary Prange,
Ron Adams, Kerry Gammill, Joe Busam, Todd Livingston, Robert Tinnell

and Donnie.

Since Donnie lives alone, he goes and comes as he pleases, and although we do touch base at least once a day, there's not a certain time that we have to talk to each other. Around 9 p.m. that night I felt that I should contact him, knowing that not only was he supposed to go to the doctor that morning, he had other places I knew he was going to go, but I had not heard from him all day, so I attempted to call him and after multiple attempts that's when I asked my son to go check on him and then that part is pretty much known as far as what happened from then on.

After Donnie's stroke and him laying over in the seat and no one knew he was in the car unless they were right up on it, so he spent the next 12 hours in that condition before he was found by my son. By this point the stroke became a secondary issue and the primary issue was the hyperthermia he suffered. His vital signs were all severely low and his breathing was shallow. His core temperature was 108 degrees when he arrived at the ER. The only saving grace was on that day it is laying off and on and it was around 10 degrees cooler that day that it was the previous two days before.

Even with that, the doctors still do not have any idea how he was able to remain alive after suffering a major stroke and basically in a hot box for 12 hours with very little air coming in and no medical attention given. It is fortunate however that he did not have this occur when he was actually on the road, for he could have caused serious injuries or even death to others as well as himself.
lindadonnielarry.jpg On Dr. Gangrene's set are Linda Wylie, Donnie and Larry Underwood.

Now where do we go from here, tomorrow they are going to do a tracheotomy because he does need some assistance in breathing although he is doing the majority of it himself the ventilator tube although it was out for about a day is something they cannot stay down his throat forever. He had a PICC line put in his arm which ran through to his chest today and they removed the one that was in his femoral artery. If it's some point he can fully breathe on his own without assistance then they will reverse the tracheotomy, but for now they want to focus on his breathing and his body healing as much as possible.

Also, the tube going down the nose in which they're giving him nutrients through will most likely be removed at some point this week and if he cannot take anything by mouth they will have to put in a feeding tube until he is able to take nutrients in orally. Rehab is not even in the near future since he still has a long way to go with his healing both because of the hyperthermia and the stroke.

Once they feel that they have gone as far as they can go with that and that he can move some then they will start doing some rehab awesomely transfer him to a rehab facility later down the road, but we're not really at that part yet. He Still Remains a very sick man and his recovery will be a long time and in baby steps and not leaps and bounds.

I cannot express what I feel by all of the kind words and support and all the wonderful things you have said nice about Donnie. At the same time some of the comments about him being a very gentle person took me aback, because being the only sibling I can recall days past and gone when he was not that gentle person that you all refer to, but that's how brothers go. We've butted heads many times over the years and it's apparent that you all got Doctor Jekyll and I got Mr. Hyde, but as I've told people in the past, they can say anything they want about me but they can't say anything bad about my brother or they will answer to me.
donniesalute.jpg Donnie stands for the Universal Fanfare.

Well I've rambled on long enough and I pretty much have told you all in the past few messages everything that I know and giving you the additional information regarding the amazing feat of spending 12 hours in a hot car.

I would ask that you continue to remember him in your thoughts and prayers and again right now it's best that he not receive any visitors for they're are hospital staff constantly going in and out of the room so he is constantly being monitored and right now he needs to get his recovery is what is most important now. perhaps maybe this week I'll see if my son can take a picture of him once he has had his tracheotomy and is alert and up for a photo to share with you all.

Darrell

We all at the CHFB wish Donnie the very best in his long road to recovery.  He is in ICU at University Hospital in Louisville, 6th Floor West, although visits not yet encouraged.

This has hit everyone who knows Donnie very hard.  But we know he's a fighter.

david
donniedavid.jpg
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JohnMGM
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Joined: December 10th, 2004, 12:59 am

July 2nd, 2018, 9:33 pm #2

With apologies to all those who I have met through the CHFB, Monster Bash and Wonder Fest, Donnie is the nicest, funniest best all-around mensch I know in fandom.

I was absolutely floored when I got the news of Donnie’s situation and have been sending out as many good vibes and prayers as I can for him, his family and caregivers.
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amanaplan1
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Joined: February 9th, 2013, 2:18 am

July 2nd, 2018, 9:47 pm #3

Sending good vibes...
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TomWeaver999
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Joined: November 22nd, 2004, 3:38 am

July 2nd, 2018, 10:39 pm #4

<< With apologies to all those who I have met through the CHFB, Monster Bash and Wonder Fest, Donnie is the nicest, funniest best all-around mensch I know in fandom. <<

I couldn't have said it better. I first met him when he picked me up at a Kentucky airport, when I went to my first WonderFest. I liked him in five seconds and was halfway in love with the guy in five minutes. SO friendly, so funny. A lovely guy.
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Wich2
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Joined: September 12th, 2007, 10:09 pm

July 3rd, 2018, 12:03 am #5

Prayers from here.

>imitations that you don't usually hear: ... Tom Weaver (!)<

(You just don't GET that kind of impersonation info at other Monster Boards!)
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Rakshasa
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Joined: March 14th, 2005, 9:48 am

July 3rd, 2018, 2:08 am #6

Best wishes to Donnie. So sorry to hear. He sounds like a great guy. 
Hey, how much for the Buick?
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TomWeaver999
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Joined: November 22nd, 2004, 3:38 am

July 3rd, 2018, 3:23 am #7

Anybody who's got the ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN MARVEL Blu-ray can hear Donnie do commentary on two chapters. I'd once interviewed Bob Burns about the Republic serial guys he knew (including CAPTAIN MARVEL veterans) and wanted him to talk about them on the commentary, but he wasn't 100 percent and couldn't do it. So I had Donnie (who does a great Bob Burns imitation) read all of Bob's transcribed quotes.
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Crow T Robot
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Joined: May 16th, 2007, 11:28 pm

July 3rd, 2018, 3:42 am #8

Sending my best wishes and thoughts to him and his family.  Hoping for a full recovery.

And I hope that Bob Burns is doing well, himself.  He, too, is a GREAT guy.  
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HalLane
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Joined: October 16th, 2005, 5:18 am

July 3rd, 2018, 4:24 am #9

Terrible news. Donnie will be in my prayers. I don't know him, but from everything I've read here about him over the years he sounds terrific. Love the pic of him saluting the Universal fanfare. As someone who's had both trache and feeding tube myself this past year my heart goes out. Thank goodness he's alive. All hope for a full recovery.
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ryanbrennan
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Joined: December 5th, 2004, 2:56 am

July 3rd, 2018, 4:38 am #10

I don't know Donnie but I sincerely hope he pulls through and enjoys many more years of Monsterkiddom.
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sillyhuron
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Joined: July 23rd, 2011, 2:09 pm

July 3rd, 2018, 1:21 pm #11

Peace, rest & recovery.
"Graverobbing in Texas is this hour's top news story"
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blufeld
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Joined: March 21st, 2017, 4:34 pm

July 3rd, 2018, 1:45 pm #12

Get well soon, Donnie.
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sthorntn
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Joined: January 19th, 2005, 1:57 am

July 3rd, 2018, 4:11 pm #13

I met Donnie a few times at WonderFest and Monster Bash and I concur with all the good things that people have already posted.  He's funny, friendly and a true blue monster kid.  I'll keep him in my thoughts and prayers.
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Wolfman Joe
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Joined: February 10th, 2005, 5:17 am

July 3rd, 2018, 4:20 pm #14

I have not had the good fortune to meet him, but anyone who stands and salutes the Universal fanfare is someone I know I would like! Best wishes to Donnie - may Ramboona smile upon you!
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Tboneator64
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Joined: September 20th, 2016, 7:09 pm

July 4th, 2018, 11:15 am #15

Get well soon, Donnie!
"I never....drink wine!"
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spfx
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spfx
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Joined: December 30th, 2009, 5:12 pm

July 5th, 2018, 4:11 pm #16

Sad to hear. Get well soon Donnie! :-(
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thehorrorboy
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Joined: November 23rd, 2005, 5:12 am

July 5th, 2018, 8:56 pm #17

Any time ONE CHFBer is seriously ill, we are ALL diminished, in a way.  Get well soon!
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taraco
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taraco
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Joined: February 23rd, 2004, 5:37 am

July 10th, 2018, 3:20 pm #18

Here's an update on Donnie's condition, which has shown some improvement, from Donnie's cousin Darrell:

Hello to all of Donnie friends.

 I wanted to give you a short update on Donnie's status. He's being moved to Kindred Hospital this evening. For those who may not know where that is it's where the old St Anthony's Hospital used to be located at 1313 St Anthony's place here in Louisville.

He will be in room 505. But I would at least wait a few days before anyone goes up to seeing him, because just the moving alone will probably take a lot out of him. You may want to call me before you decide to go and I can see if it's a good time or not depending on his status. My number is 502-448-5989.

The good news is he's well enough to be transported to a rehab facility, which is something a little over 2 weeks ago we never thought whatever happen, for we really didn't know if he was even going to make it or not.

He remains paralyzed on his left side and although he can move his right side he has no coordination, which I'm sure that's something that Kindred will be addressing. He also has a tracheal device in his throat to assist him in his breathing but his overall breathing is slowly getting stronger, so at some point they will try to wean him off assisted oxygen. 

He appears to know everyone, although he does not remember what happened to him but it was explained so he understood why he was worried was and I don't think he really remembers anything that happened that day.

He can 'mouth' words, but he cannot speak because of the tracheal and he also has a feeding tube that will have to remain in at least 8 weeks before it can be removed, don't ask me why, that's what the doctors tell me. I can only assume that the body has to heal with the tube in before they can remove it.

I do want to thank those who have contacted me and asked about Donnie's condition and all the good friends that he does have, it is so very overwhelming. I also want to thank my son Jarrett, and his wonderful wife Kayla, who have been working almost non-stop to help move Donnie's things to a storage facility. Our Mom and Dad bought that house in 1960 when Donnie was only 6 months old, so there's a whole lot of memories, there's also a lot of physical memories that require a lot of time and effort and they had done an outstanding job. Also thanks to Jarrett's friend Joe, and Donnie's friend Shawn, who also pitched in and helped out.

Donnie's vital signs still remain good and apparently he has been watching a lot of TV, mainly ESPN since that's the channel that they are leaving it on, so maybe he'll come out a expert poker player from watching the World Series of Poker at night, and we'll all be rich someday.

I know I said that this was going to be a short update but when you start thinking about all the things to update it becomes a little longer than what you anticipated. If you read Jarrett's post from last night, he has a wonderful idea that hopefully will lift Donnie's spirits, so if anyone is interested please feel free to contact Jarrett.

Again thanks for all the comments, the thumbs-up, the prayers and well wishes from everyone, it's certainly been uplifting to us during this most difficult time and we're hoping Donnie's rehab will be far shorter than what we think it may be.

I'll try to update his status as things progress and there's any major news to report, and please continue to keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

Darrell
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taraco
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taraco
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Joined: February 23rd, 2004, 5:37 am

July 10th, 2018, 3:20 pm #19

Also, this from Donnie's mom:

For those who want to send Donnie any get well cards, please send them to my son's address, and he will make sure that they get to him. His address is below:

Jarrett and Kayla Waddell
6805 West Pages Lane, Apt. #103
Louisville Kentucky 40258 - 4009
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JohnMGM
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Joined: December 10th, 2004, 12:59 am

July 10th, 2018, 3:53 pm #20

Encouraging news! My continuing thoughts and prayers for Donnie and his family.
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