NewsJuly 30, 2023 6:45 AM ET8,724 views

Year Of The Knife vocalist Madi Watkins speaking again with the help of a device

Year Of The Knife

Year Of The Knife frontwoman Madi Watkins has been exhibiting positive signs of progress since the severe van accident the band experienced last month. Initially placed in a medically induced coma, Madi's condition was uncertain. However, there has been significant improvement since our last update.

Last week Brandon Watkins, Madi's husband and bandmate, informed fans that she had been transferred to a long-term acute rehab facility in Salt Lake City. This facility focuses on various forms of rehabilitation, such as cognitive, speech, and physical therapy. After a short time there, she started communicating via hand signals. Moreover, she began visually tracking and making eye contact.

"Madi's now at KPC promise hospital in SLC This is a long term acute rehab facility. She'll be here til she's ready for the U of U acute rehab program. Here they work on just about every kind of rehab you can think of, cognitive, speech, physical etc. things are moving really fast. She's been able to communicate to nurses periodically through different hand signs like thumbs up or three fingers out. Today she's tracking visually looking at us and looking in my eyes. I swear she's been mouthing B when she looks my way. She's also in an agitated state from all the pain and confusion. The doctors say it's just part of waking up. It's hard to see your loved one in pain. But things will only get better, as they have been, from here. The road ahead is a long one but we owe you all a huge thank you for keeping us going."

Following a few days at the rehab facility, Madi began using head movements to convey a "yes" or "no" response. 

Brandon shared:


Due to the tracheotomy she underwent while in a medically induced coma, she remained unable to speak, an understandably frustrating experience to go through. 

The next day, doctors placed a speaking valve in her trach, allowing her to finally speak. Despite the initial difficulty in hearing her clearly, Madi was able to tell Brandon she loved him. Physical therapy sessions also afforded them the opportunity to share a hug. 

A further update from Brandon noted:


The atmosphere lightened later on as Madi joined in on the jokes with Brandon and their family:

"We asked madi if she was being bad last night cuz she was tearin shit up and she said 'I'm just a baby' hahahhaha

She doesn't communicate very clearly yet, but when she does, it's pretty good"

During the course of the week, Madi has made tremendous strides. She continues to express her love for Brandon and apologized for the burden her condition has imposed on the family, acknowledging their frustration. 

Brandon gave an update yesterday saying:

"Madis been here at KPC Promise (long term acute care facility) for a little over a week. Since she's been here she's done a lot of general therapy. She's even been talking a lot of it is indiscernible but she's still talking. Huge strides have been made since she's gotten here. She talks to me and tells me she loves me, I even got to hug her during one pt session. It's been hard to see her suffering. She said "I'm sorry it must be so frustrating" even in her current state she's worried about us. She's incredible. It's been so relieving to see her start to come back to us. We've been out just over a month. Still have no idea when we'll leave which is terrifying."


While the news is positive, the path to recovery remains uncertain. Brandon and the family are unsure of how long they will need to stay in Salt Lake City or the financial toll this journey will take. Given that, the GoFundMe launched by friends of the band is still accepting donations. So we encourage you to skip your Sunday coffee and throw a few extra bucks their way.

Our best wishes go out to Madi as she continues on the journey towards regaining her health.

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