Recent Beaton News & Status Updates

Alex Suffers Setback

Note: Updates on Facebook and on this page. Check back often.

October 28th Update

Dear Fellow Beatonites,

Alex is being discharged from the hospital today.  He will be going home until arrangements can be made at either the VA hospital or at one of the local physical rehab facilities for follow up care.  Hopefully, that could come as soon as next week.  Alex’s trach and feeding tube were removed last week.  His diet is restricted to pureed food for now, but at least he has something he can taste.

As always, both Alex and Linda are grateful for the love and support that they both have received during the past seven weeks.  There are many factors that have contributed to his recovery and she is sure that your support has had a major impact.

I think we can all finally rejoice in what is nothing short of miraculous.  My thanks go to Linda, the medical staff, all of  you and the good Lord for pulling our friend, Alex, through this most trying time.

Just shows what can happen when you Keep the Faith,


October 23rd Update

Hey everyone — I am very glad to report that this afternoon they took Alex’s trach out!! I spoke with Linda and she told me that he finished his IV antibiotics on Tuesday night. Yesterday they started him on pureed food and he enjoyed some cream of wheat for breakfast. She said dinner was “mystery meat melt with a green .” I think that is code for roast beef and beans.

Linda is still working with the VA trying to get rehab covered for Alex. There are, of course, hurdles because insurance doesn’t want to pay for rehab unless there was some ‘event’ like a stroke or accident. In my opinion, the events of the last 7 weeks in the hospital should be enough. Linda thinks they will move him to a new facility by next Tuesday if not before.

Thanks for all the prayers and well wishes. He has come a long way and the support of his close friends and family has been a real blessing to both of them.

Much love to you all


October 16th Update

Dear Fellow Beatonites,

I talked with Linda tonight and Alex is progressing in his recovery. They are on day eight of his fourteen day treatment for his infection. The antibiotics have also helped his pneumonia. Linda said his lung x-ray from Monday showed good improvement over his initial x-ray. He still has considerable congestion and they continue to work to reduce it. His respiratory doctor performed a swallow test today and Alex passed it. However, both Linda and the doctor agreed that it would be best to continue on no solid foods to now.

They are anticipating transitioning to a rehab facility, probably next week, but that is not certain at this time. She is hoping to get him in the VA facility where he should be able to get OT/PT and Speech Therapy. Assuming that the doctors feel he has recuperated enough to leave the hospital, he will get much more rest in a facility where they aren’t bugging him 24 hours a day.

I feel that Alex has now reached a point where we can all again start breathing. Though he still needs all of the support you can give him.

I’m headed off to the Stone Mountain Games this weekend. I know that Alex and Linda had planned to once again attend until he was hit with this latest setback. Hopefully, by the time I get back I will have some news on his discharge from Barnes-Jewish.

Keep the faith,


October 4th Update

Alex has been moved from ICU to a step down unit and Linda seems very pleased with this. They moved last night and the new room has a couch for her sleeping and a bathroom with shower! A great view from Alex’s bed completes the new accommodations. Linda said it was like being in a hotel compared to the ICU room.

She told me the new medical staff made a good first impression. They did a baseline evaluation of Alex before he left ICU and then had a plan they presented to her when the got him moved to the new room. She said it was much more quite at night and they both slept better.

Alex is doing his best, so far. She said she thinks he will be there another couple of weeks and maybe go to a rehab facility from there. Sounds a lot like he is going to recover and for that I give thanks!!


October 1st Update

He remains in ICU but has actually had 2 good days. For the last several days, they have been getting him into his wheelchair during the day and letting him breathe on his own (not using the Vent). Then at night putting back on the Vent (for pressure support only – like a fancy c-pap machine). Linda said that he was talking a lot yesterday and is actually starting to retain things he is told. He actually said to the doctor “I just learned I have pneumonia.” He is watching some TV and listening to music. Linda said they have actually had conversations together, during the time he is off the vent, where Alex is expressing his thoughts of different things. Of course, this is all good news.

He continues to have several health issues that concern Linda –his pneumonia, his weight is up over 30 pounds (mainly fluid), blood pressure still low at times, he still has a feeding tube and he is not getting enough physical & occupational therapy. But, I think he has moved back into a recovery status and they are making long term plans to address these issues.

Thankful for the progress but still hopeful for more —-


PS: Linda reminded me that tomorrow will be one month since Alex came in for the original vocal cord surgery. That is a long time for them both!

September 29th Update

I talked to Linda a earlier today and she sounded much more encouraged. Alex has had a better day today and Linda credits much of that to his “Music Therapy” from yesterday. Scooter Muse and Jil Chambless went to visit him last night with guitar and flute in hand. They played and Jil sang for them. Alex mouthed the words and tried to sing along with Rare Ole Times and then He perked up during River. Linda said at times he just shut his eyes and got lost in the music. Then on These Are My Mountains he got teary eyed. Lots of emotion from him…..emotions from a man who is among the living, not lost in a semi conscious state. That was a wonderful gift of music to a man who has given so much music to the world.

Linda said he had been asking for some Celtic music. The picture of Alex, Eric and Alasdair (That is on the back of the live in concert CD) is in the room and Alex good upset when nurse placed something in front of it and he could no longer see it. It seems as if he is drawing strength from his music. The respiratory therapist told Alex that every doctor, nurse, therapist and tech on the had looked him up on the internet and was listening to his music!

Medically, they disconnected the vent from his trach for a few hours today to let him breath on his own. He managed that well and they will be doing more of that tomorrow. Overnight, he will be using the vent to help him out. He was up in his wheelchair today and was much more alert. Linda actually left the hospital today and went back home because she had left her computer there yesterday by mistake. I really take that as a good sign because there were several days that she was afraid to leave him. Linda said she just hopes he doesn’t have another set back because she doesn’t know how much more strength he has.

All and all, I think this has been a good day for the Beatons and the power of music is making a big difference for Alex!


September 27th Update

Dear Fellow Beatonites,

For those that have not heard, Alex is back in the ICU. They had originally moved him to an ENT step down unit but, after discussion, thought that he would be better in a Pulmonary unit. However, shortly after moving him to his new room, there were some complications and it was felt that it would be in his best interest to move him back to ICU.

The doctors are not sure what is causing the complications and continue to look into a number of factors. I’m sorry that I don’t have more information at this time.

With the progress that he made earlier this week, I know we are all saddened by his setback. However, we should all continue to offer support for him so that he will pull out of this latest setback.

Keep the faith,


September 23rd Update

Dear Fellow Beatonites,

I received word from Linda today that they moved Alex to a step down unit yesterday (Mon) evening. For those that would like to send him an email { } his new room number is 6203. He slept well last night and this morning. In the step down unit, he should be able to rest more since the nurses aren’t in the room constantly yanking tubes and yanking on Alex. And, of course, shaking him and asking their favorite question “Are you asleep?”

Linda feels that his condition has improved to the point that she can leave him for longer periods of time. She spent the night at her son, John Pat’s, house, which is nearby, and I’m sure she slept better than in the hospital room “recliner”. She has been putting in work via her laptop from the hospital when she can but she now plans to put in some time at the office.

Linda was not able to tell me what the protocol is for visitors in the step down unit as far as number and time allowed. However, I know that what he needs most is rest and he will finally be able to get it now that he’s out of ICU. I would say that those that are planning to be in St. Louis this weekend for the Scottish Games and were hoping to see Alex, I am not sure that you will be able to. I hope to speak with Linda again before this weekend and, if visitation is allowed, I will pass the details on.

This is all good news that Alex continues to improve. I think we can all be glad that whatever efforts we have expended on his behalf has been answered.

Continue to keep the faith,


September 19th Update

Dear Fellow Beatonites,

Just a brief update that I received from Linda. Alex is off the ventilator (and she personally removed the device from the room). He has been sitting up in a chair yesterday and today. This should help clear his lungs which are still quite congested from the pneumonia. I understand that he is breathing on his own although the trach is there if he needs it. And, of course, he is receiving supplemental oxygen.

He remained asleep/groggy from the anesthesia until early this morning. Alex has been slow to come out of the full effects of anesthesia in the past so this is not abnormal. Linda reports that he is quite frustrated that he cannot talk. This is caused by the trach though he can talk if the trach is covered.

His still has pneumonia in both lungs, with the right worse than the left. Linda says they’re even talking about moving him out of the ICU to a step-down unit, possibly tomorrow (Sunday).

All of this is good news that things are finally be moving in a positive direction.

Keep the faith,


September 17th Update

Dear Fellow Beatonites,

I just returned from St. Louis and apologize that I have not been able to get back with you before now. Much of what I have to report may have already been posted to his web site.

Alex’s situation remains quite grim. While I was there he was up and down. On Sunday, they discovered that he had a blood clot in his leg (DVT for those in the medical know.) While this is very serious, it also has its good side. Blood clots can be eliminated with medication without requiring assistance from the patient. That is, the blood clot will eventually dissolve from the medication without sapping Alex’s resources to fight it. Though it continues to pose problems until it dissolves, it could be a major contributor to his edema and elevated white blood count. They considered placing a filter in the major vein from his legs (the IVC for the medical folks) but decided that, in his condition, it could cause more harm than good. The doctors remain confident that they can deal with the clot problem.

The doctor’s greatest concern continues to be his pneumonia. The pneumonia is bacterial and was caused by aspiration last Thursday after his vocal cord procedure. His lungs suffer from partial deflation and the medical staff, because they did not have his VA records, initially thought he had deflated lungs. Fortunately Linda was there to set them straight. However, his lungs remained quite congested and, to help keep his lungs clearer, he was placed back on a vent on Sunday. This allowed them to suction a great deal of mucus from his lungs. Though still quite congested, his lungs are now much clearer.

He has been on a mild sedation since Sunday. He can be easily roused by the medical team or Linda, but he goes back to sleep almost immediately. This reduces the strain on his body from anxiety and allows his body to fight the infection.

The doctors had been considering a tracheotomy that would allow them not only to remove the vent tube but also give them better access to drain his lungs. And with the removal of the tube he would be able to talk. Beth and I left late yesterday afternoon and we got a call from Linda a little before midnight that they had completed the tracheotomy with little complication and Alex was back in his room resting well. They were going to let him rest through the night and remove the vent tube this morning. Linda was looking forward to talking with her man.

While Sunday was not a good day for Alex, he looked much better on Monday though his edema was still rather severe. However, with the treatment for the clot, I could tell a marked difference in his color and reduction in his swelling before we left on Tuesday.

Though Linda has full confidence in Alex’s medical team and they have expressed confidence that they can pull Alex through this, there are still major obstacles to hurdle. Now is not the time to let up on your support for Alex and Linda.

Linda says that Alex has received email cards from many people. Though she opened some of the first ones, she is saving the rest to share with Alex when he can better appreciate them. She has also received personal email asking for information and even that she call to update them. Please understand and her time in the hospital, which is basically a 24 hour job, is taken with care for Alex, talking with the medical staff and monitoring their treatment (and take my word for it, in a 5 minute visit with Alex, the staff is constantly in and out changing/adjusting meds, respiratory treatments, etc.) and when she can, she remotely puts time in on her job. So please accept her apology if she is not able to personally respond to your request.

While it was good to see Alex and talk with Linda, it also brought home to me a full appreciation for just how dire his situation remains. However, the steps taken these past few days certainly gives me hope. This week will certainly be critical and I will keep you informed as I can. If you do not do Facebook, you might also check Alex’s website at for updates.

Keep the faith,

George Flew

September 14th Update:

Alex has had a difficult day. After a series of set backs, he is back on a ventilator but stable and resting now (with the help of some meds). They found a deep-vein thrombosis (DVT)in his right thigh. This could be causing a lot of his problems. They will be starting him on a therapeutic level of blood thinner right away. Wish I could thank each of you for the love and prayers!!!

Beth Arnold

Update September 13th

Pam and I are at the hospital with Linda, Beth Arnold and George Flew. Alex is still in ICU and continues his slow recovery. He is now breathing on his own and is conscious. Every day continues to be a fight. There is long road is ahead. Alex and Linda appreciate all your love, support and prayers.

Merv Forney (AKA Administrator)

September 10th Announcement:

My dear fellow Beatonites,

Alex is currently in the ICU in St. Louis.  He went into the hospital on Thursday for a relatively simple procedure on his vocal cords.

I understand that he might have had some minor complications during the procedure, but Linda told me that night that he was looking excellent after coming out of recovery.  However, later that night his oxygen level dropped drastically and Linda was called back to the hospital.  It was at that time that he was moved to ICU.  He has continued to have complications.

Linda is currently at his side.  Her son and their good friend, Millie Slack, have accompanied her when they could.  Alex’s situation is quite grave and I would be misleading you to say otherwise.  At this time Linda is focusing on Alex’s care and working with his medical team and she is not in a position to take phone calls as much as you may wish to comfort her and Alex.  However, she has kept in touch with family and their good friend, Beth Arnold, and Beth and I have been in contact all day.  I will pass on any information that I have as I get it.  You might check Alex’s Facebook to which Beth is posting.

I know that Linda would ask that you pray for Alex’s recovery.  And I would add that you also say a prayer for Linda for the strength to see her through this.

For those that are hearing this for the first time, I apologize for being the bearer of this dire news.  However, Linda wanted Alex’s many friends and fans to be aware of the situation.  Please feel free to pass this on.

Keep the faith.

George Flew


There are 37 comments .

Terrill Lambert —

My prayers are with Alex, Linda, and all concerned. Much love,
The Lamberts

Dena Shewmaker

Sending our prayers up for Alex and the family.

Gloria Oliver —

Praying for both Alex and Linda.

BobbyPerry —

Any word on Alex’s condition. Would like to know our prayers are working! Thanks

Bonnie Marshall —

Healing thoughts going your way, Alex, from the Marshalls.

Kim McRae —

Healing thoughts and love to Alex and Linda.

Rowan MacTaggart —

Alex, you have given us all so much joy with your music, your smile, and your generosity. I suspect there are thousands of us praying for your health and well being. Thank you for all the joy you have given to so many people. Rowan MacTaggart

Terrill Lambert —

Alex and Linda, you continue to occupy a dominant place in my thoughts and prayers, I check here several times a day looking for any word on a change in condition. My hearts prayer is that throughout this setback you will have peace, strength and comfort, and that God will be glorified even in the adversity.
As you have shared joy with so many, may you have Joy in spite of the situation. May He hold you both in His hand.
Much love,
Terrill Lambert

Mason Curl —

Dear Alex & Linda,
May the Good Lord give you Guidance, Strength & Healing Power. My Thoughts & Prayers are with You. God Bless, Mason

Terrill Lambert —

We love you guys.
God bless.

Just Keturah Stewart —

Sending you love and keeping you both in my prayers. You are always in my heart and never far from my thoughts. You are loved.

Rita —

Have not been in contact for many years as I have been experiencing health issues and have been semi-bedridden since 2001. Was properly diagnosed at Mayo and was beginning to go back to normal activities when I fell last April. Am still in physical therapy and was feeling sorry for myself tonight when something told me to Google Alex Beaton. I am so sorry that you are going through such terrible times. My sisters and I have prayed for you since the 1980s with hopes that you are still practicing the faith of your McKenzie grandmother. I am praying for you and particularly for your wife, Linda. You are very blessed to have her by your side at this time.

Jessie —

Please, is there an update?

jacqui —

- often in my thoughts. Alex received a special mention at the Pleasanton Games this year. Just before the accident Violette, my daughter & I drove to Ventura to see Alex – private concert.
- think of the Scottish vote & smile for distraction.

Love, Jacqui

Don Tibbits

I’ve been following Alex’s health challenges and am very sad for what he is going through, yet hopeful he will fully recover and be able to sing and play again soon. He is my favorite singer and I’ve been to all the Mesa Highland Games to listen to his beautiful music and have talked to him many times. I’m listening to his ‘Lover’s Heart’ album now (and next ‘From the Sea to the Shore’). Both of which I just received. I’m thinking of him. Get Well Soon Alex .. Don

Kennetha and Brad Marshall —

Dear Alex, Your music has entertained and comforted us for years. The wonderful times on 2 of your Scotland tours are special memories. You touched out hearts with more than just your music. Your spirit and courage is an example for all of us. It is our hope that this knowledge and God’s special hand continue to sustain you and Linda through this difficult time. May God Bless You!

Sheila Hoffman —

Have followed you for years and have all your c.d.s. Praying for you and your family.

DeLane Califf —

My family and I continue to lift up Alex, Linda and the rest of his family. It’s been many years since we’ve seen you Alex and all of my babies, including the last one I was expecting when we first met you at the Virginia games in Alexandria, are grown. William, who used to come to all the games with me and who you once called your “clone”, is now 28, living in Alabama and working in politics. He still loves all things Scottish! Both daughters, Adelaide and Lizzie are through college and working. And young Charles Stewart is 20 and in his second year of college. We listen to your music and sing along often. Please know that ALL of us, pray for God’s hand on you and for improvements in your health. Take care, friend.

holly stewart —

Alex and Linda,
my thoughts and prayers continue to flow, i just wanted to add that at our house of scotland meeting in San Diego i gave an update on Alexs’ condition to those who haven’t seen or heard anything via facebook. So they too have included you in their prayers and our membership including the house of scotland pipeband will see the update in our minutes

rebecca willett —

Dearest Alex & family..You are in my prayers…I keep your singing & songs with me everyday..I send love & good health your way.
..Godspeed, Rebecca W.

Terrill —

It’s the little things that we often take for granted that really have value. A smile, a whisper, scratching an itch, the taste of fresh peaches with home made ice cream, the smell of coffee, the sound of a familiar voice, the well worn feeling of a favorite tee shirt. Crisp morning air in early fall. Sunsets over water. The smell of someone burning leaves across the meadow. A touch, .the warmth of a hand, a walk to the mailbox. Reading a letter from a friend. Crickets and tree frogs singing on a late summer night. Fireflies twinkling in the gloaming. A kiss, a pat, a hug. Snicker doodles in the cookie jar. A faithful pet curled in your lap or at your feet. Music in your heart. Sharing the music in your heart. The joy of hearing music shared from someone with music in their heart. Love.

Thank you Alex for helping us all appreciate love and life a little more. Thank you for sharing the music In your heart. May we never undervalue that gift. May we never take it for granted.
May the Creator be glorified in your gift. May we see a glimpse of His glory, goodness and love shining in the live that is you and in the gift that is your music.May we love Him more because of your music.

Choose Joy.

Nurse Melissa —

Alex, you remain in my thoughts and prayers. Seeing pictures of you outside the hospital and reading your story has been inspiring. I hope you continue to recover. You and your wife Linda have remained so strong throughout this experience and all these obstacles. God Bless.

Beth and David Reed —

Thank you so much for your updates! Prayers continue from Indiana.

Terrill Lambert —

Wonderful news. Prayers of thanksgiving.
Much love,
God bless you,

The Lamberts

Georgia and Harvey Lawrence —

Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Alex, and your family at this time. Keep getting better so you can begin to really live again. We miss your voice and listen to your CDs almost daily. Keep fighting. We love you.

Terrill —

You know I’m in your corner! Be well.
Prayers for you friend.

Aurelle —

Dear Alex, I am holding you and Linda in my heart and praying for your recovery every day! So glad that Scooter Muse and Jil Chambless were there to share their gift of music with you. If you would like to hear some more Scots music and have internet access, Orkney musician Ivan Drever has put his repertoire online, and I have found his sound to be very healing. With love and thanks for your wonderful music always, Aurelle

Terrill Lambert —

So glad to hear you have been improving. I thank God for you and for the inspiration you have been to so many. Be well, be strong.
Much love,

Choose joy.

Sandra Zaninovich —

A previous commenter said he was sure there were thousands of people praying for Alex and Linda, and that is a certainty! Everyone who has ever heard or met Alex has had their life impacted so positively and unforgettably, that this turn of events for him is extremely painful for us all. I send my prayers and greatest and most positive wishes, that he can recover and go home as soon as possible. Hang in there, Alex, you have so much love and support coming your way that you don’t even know about.

Terrill —

Alex and Linda,
I am hoping here that no news is good news. Have not seen an update in some days, I pray things are going well and that you are continuing to improve in health and in spirit, and that we will soon be hearing of your return home. God bless you. You remain in our hearts and in our prayers.

Choose joy.

Annette Cheney —

We attended the Scottish Highland Games in Ventura, Calif. for the first time on October 11, 2014 and in our wanderings came to a booth displaying your music. Though I had not heard of you before, I bought “Personal Favorites” from the man selling them to help with your recovery. I am so pleased with these CD’s that as soon as I am done with this note, I am ordering some more from your collection. As we listen, we are sending up prayers for your full recovery. Prayer is the best “medicine”. Praying that you will soon be making many more recordings.

Terrill —

It is encouraging to hear such good reports! I will continue to trust in Christ for strength, grace, and provision for you and your needs.

In all sincerity,

Terrill —

Best wishes fondest prayers for a November that is second to none! This is the one you’re going to have a great month on! The best in ages!believe it,andillbelieve it with you!
Much love,


My picture did not get icedulnd I tried to post it in the last post it is in the flicker group but not here… wondered if I could get some help with it. Even though I did vote for Carrie P`s she has made my most favorite designers with some ingenuity involved.

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