Focusing on six words: Helping government do its job better The 09.16 Marty Wagner update

with 2 comments

I know many of us keep Marty Wagner in our thoughts.

New readers to the Dorobek Insider may not know about Martin Wagner. It is a story that I have been following closely and Wagner is somebody who somebody that the government IT community is keeping in its collective thoughts.

If you don’t know Wagner — I know him as Marty — he is the government IT thinker. As I said earlier this year at FCW:

Wagner has a remarkable combination of talents and skills — he is remarkably honest, and yet never comes across as arrogant, prickly, or in people’s face. That gives him a remarkable ability to question people on issues, and yet not make them defensive. Yet through his questions and by pressing them, he spurs people to go beyond where they could have gone otherwise. He thinks, ponders, and he puts those thoughts into action. Heelicits loyalty, and he builds teams.

So if you don’t know him… get to know him.

Unfortunately, on July 6, Wagner fell off the roof of his Arlington, VA house and has essentially been in a coma since then. Back in July, I wrote how Wagner was only the latest illustration that there is, in fact, a community.

And Wagner’s case has also illustrated the power of the Web to bring people together — and share information.

The family is using a wonderful Web site called, part of Steve Case’s Revolution Health initiative. Care Pages lets people get updated on the status… and I was actually getting a bit concerned because there hadn’t been an update in awhile. But… just as I was getting worried, there was an update…

Martin continues to make some small improvements that are noticeable to visitors and, we hope, are an indication of more to come. The removal of his arm splint and, last week, his cervical collar are definite steps in the right direction. His therapists have focused on helping him develop neck control. This helps since he has been turning his head from side to side for the past few weeks. He is doing well on breathing on his own with histrach plugged. He is building up his endurance and is expected to soon be fully weaned off the trach tube in his throat. He will probably move to a different floor at the Woodbine facility, since he will no longer need supervision by respiratory therapists. His beard is now gone and he looks a lot more like his old self as a result. Small but clear movement on his left side now routinely includes the leg and foot. Staff and visitors alike note that he often seems to track his left eye to voices and commands. Nothing is 100% consistent, however, and his alert periods come and go. He needs a lot of rest in order to heal. His nurses are trying hard to combat the bed sores that come from ten weeks of coma in bed. To the many of you who have visited Martin, thank you so much. The encouragement your presence gives him is highly valuable to his recovery. I also appreciate the observations you provide in emails and notes in his guest book–they help us monitor his condition.

Please keep Wagner in your thoughts. It really does help the family. And it is particularly important now. There was almost too much attention immediately following Wagner’s accident — the family was overwhelmed. But your thoughts now — just a simple note — would be greatly appreciated, I am convinced.

I will continue to be a funnel. You can send something to me at Federal News Radio. The address is here:

Christopher Dorobek
for Martin Wagner
c/o Federal News Radio 1500 AM WFED
3400 Idaho Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20016

I’ll make sure it gets to the family.

And our thoughts are with Wagner’s wife and kids. Hang in there!

Written by cdorobek

September 16, 2008 at 11:00 PM

Posted in Circuit

Tagged with ,

2 Responses

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  1. […] a comment » I’ve been tracking the condition of Martin “Marty” Wagner fairly closely. On July 6, Wagner fell off the roof of his Arlington, VA house and has essentially been in a coma […]

  2. […] had a serious accident in July and has been in something akin to a coma since then. [Previous posts here… and here.] But… Marty Wagner’s family posted what could be some good […]

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