Today marked a big day for Jennie...she was accepted to move up to the full rehab program at the Shepherd Center! She has currently been in a more acute rehab program that has included 1.5 hours of therapies per day. Starting tomorrow, she will receive a shower every morning, 3 meals of real food, and 3 hours of therapies. I’d like to take a moment to explain just how awesome our God is and how truly miraculous it is that Jennie is at this point *already*.
In order to move up to the full program, Jennie had to be considered a level 4 on the Rancho Los Amigos Cognitive Scale (highest being 10). Before leaving Wilmington, Jennie was a strong 2 on this scale. Back on the Thursday before she left for Atlanta, December 31st, when we first met the liason from the Shepherd Center (also named Jennie!) we would learn that there were some hiccups with insurance since we were dealing with another state and this wasn’t going to be an easy acceptance. The liason told us that Jennie could have a strong chance at getting a scholarship due to her young age so we could bypass the insurance issues, however, she would have to be a Rancho 4 in order to qualify. Her advice was to wait the LONG weekend and hopefully she could qualify at a 4 on Monday. This made our hearts sink because we couldn't even imagine that being a possibility within 4 days and maybe not a possibility at all. I am so proud of my sister to be able to sit and write tonight that even though she didn’t make it to a Rancho 4 and get a scholarship, a clause in the law allowed her to remain on her insurance and make it to Shepherd and she has now skipped right on over being a 4 before they had the chance to reevaluate her today and is now considered a Rancho 5!! For those interested in reading the full details of this scale here’s the website: http://www.northeastcenter.com/rancho_los_amigos_revised.htm
Some fun things that have happened in the last couple days: Yesterday, Jennie received her first "real" shower and loved it! That has got to feel great after weeks of sponge baths. She also has started trying real food - she had some fruit loops and is trying different liquids such as 7up and Ensure. She still has the feeding tube and will continue to have this as backup but as part of the new program, she will have 3 meals a day. At this point, she isn’t showing much interest in eating. Hopefully with introducing some different types of foods and drinks over the next week, she will gain some more interest and enjoy real food once again. She has also been mouthing words and has said a few out loud. Last night she said the word “cold” to indicate that she felt cold. The past couple nights she has tried to talk to my mom but is speaking too quietly to understand just yet. She continues to laugh at jokes, is still working on using both arms, and is quite mobile in her new wheelchair using her feet. I cannot wait to see Jennie in person next weekend! I could continue this entry for much more, but I will rest for now and update with more exciting news soon!