Last update:
May 25th
2000

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The Five Days of Agony

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October 7 1998 - 9:15

Matthew arrived at 9:15 p.m. in critical condition.

Matthew arrived at Poudre Valley Hospital on October 7 from Ivinson Hospital in Laramie by way of ambulance. He was admitted in critical condition at approximately 9:15 p.m. October 7. When he arrived, he was unresponsive and breathing support was being provided.

Matthew's major injuries upon arrival consisted of hypothermia and a fracture from behind his head to just in front of the right ear. This has caused bleeding in the brain, as well as pressure on the brain. His skull was so badly fractured that doctors could not operate. There were also approximately a dozen small lacerations around his head, face and neck.

Matthew remained in critical condition during his entire stay at Poudre Valley Hospital. During his stay, efforts to improve his condition proved to no avail.

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October, 10 1998 - 3 p.m.

Matthew has a massive brain stem injury. The brain stem controls vital signs, such as heart beat, body temperature and other involuntary functions.

Matthew's temperature has fluctuated over the last 24 hours, ranging from 98 to 106 degrees. We have had difficulty controlling his temperature.

Hospital actions have included the surgeon inserting an intraventicular drain into his brain to relieve pressure by draining spinal fluid. The drain remains in and functional.

We are also continuing to control Matthew's temperature. He remains on a ventilator which is assisting his breathing.

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October 10, 1998 - 9 p.m.

Since the last medical update at 3 p.m. October 10, Matthew Shepard has remained in critical condition.

Matthew is in the surgical-neuro intensive care unit in our Regional Neuroscience Center located within the hospital. He remains in critical condition with severe head injuries. Respiratory support continues to be provided. He remains on a ventilator.

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October 11, 1998 - 9 a.m.

Today, Matthew Shepard remains in critical condition with severe head injuries.

We would like to release information about one of the suspects, Aaron James McKinney, who was in the hospital at approximately the same time that Matthew Shepard was here on October 7 and October 8. Mr. McKinney had a fracture on the left side of his skull when he arrived by ambulance and was admitted at 11:30 p.m.

We were notified by the sheriff's department in Albany County, Wyoming, that Mr. McKinney was a suspect in the Matthew Shepard case. The Albany County sheriff's department informed us that they intended to arrest Mr. McKinney that evening. Until the sheriff's officials arrived, the hospital had its security officers maintain a surveillance on Mr. McKinney's room. This is our routine procedure in cases where law enforcement notifies us about possible impending arrests. The Albany County sheriff's department arrested Mr. McKinney at the hospital at about 11:30 p.m. on October 8 and returned with him to Wyoming.

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October 12, 1998 - 4:30 a.m.

At 12 midnight on Monday, October 12, Matthew Shepard's blood pressure began to drop. We immediately notified his family who were already at the hospital.

At 12:53 a.m. Matthew Shepard died, his family was at his bedside.

Matthew died while on full life support measures.

The family was grateful they did not have to make a decision regarding whether or not to continue life support for their son.

Like a good son, he was caring to the end and removed guilt or stress from the family.

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Matthew's mother said, "Go home, give your kids a hug and don't let a day go by without telling them you love them."

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