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Open letter from Hugh and Elizabeth McCutcheon

BEIJING — Elisabeth “Wiz” Bachman, daughter of Todd Bachman, who was killed in Beijing Saturday, and Barbara Bachman, who was seriously injured, issued an “open letter” Monday morning in Beijing. She wrote it with her husband, U.S. men’s volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon.

The letter came as doctors upgraded Barbara Bachman’s from critical to serious, but stable.

The letter was released by the U.S. Olympic Committee.

It reads:

“During this tremendously difficult time, we have been blessed to be surrounded by a tremendous support system of caring individuals and organizations. We are extremely grateful for the outpouring of assistance and generosity that we have received and hope to convey our appreciation to everyone who has supported us and kept us in their thoughts and prayers.

The long list of people who have offered their assistance, kind words and prayers to us has been incredible. This letter cannot do justice in acknowledging the love and support we’ve felt. However, to begin with, we’d like to express our deep gratitude to the following:

First, we’d like to thank our family and friends, who have been ceaseless in sending their prayers and love to our families.

We’d like to thank the talented and caring staff and physicians at the local hospital that is working around the clock to attend to the recovery of our Mom.

We’d also like to express our gratitude to the officials from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Mayor of Beijing, and their staff members who have been with us here at the hospital.

We’d like to thank President Bush and Ambassador Randt for their kind words and strength. We also thank the U.S. Embassy and its staff for everything they’ve done.

We’d also like to thank the USA Volleyball family for their never-ending support. It is a close-knit family that is close to our hearts and close to the hearts of our parents, Todd and Barbara. We’d like to thank the United States Olympic Committee for their immediate assistance and willingness to attend to all of our needs, and for being with us here at the hospital throughout.

We’d like to thank the generous sponsors who have made their resources available to us without question, specifically Johnson & Johnson.

We’d like to thank the FIVB for its flexibility and support of our coaches and athletes. We’d like to thank the International Olympic Committee and the Beijing Organizing Committee for their support throughout this tragedy.

And finally, we’d like to thank everyone who has kept our families in their thoughts and prayers throughout our difficult time. We send a special thank you to the people of Beijing, the people of New Zealand, and of course, the people of America. We have been lifted up by the outpouring of support and love we’ve received from around the world.

Hugh and Elisabeth McCutcheon

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