Monday, February 15, 2010

Huge Milestone!

I just couldn't wait til my usual weekly update to tell everyone about this! Last night, Jennie said her first sentence. :) Our mom was hanging out with her and talking about their plans for Jennie's last day in the inpatient program. The day before patients are discharged is considered family training day and involves a day-full of following Jennie and her therapists. Jen said the name "Ashley" a couple times, her recreational therapist, and then continues to tell our mom that "Ashley has eyes like you." How awesome that she was able to make that observation, remember it, and then speak it into a sentence! Just a little later, I called and told them I wasn't feeling well. After hanging up, Jennie says, "She's sick," referring to me. She is truly catching on to what's going on around her and is really trying to communicate. She even said "mom" for the first time yesterday...what a nice Valentine's present. :) Her eyesight is also improving as she is showing more accuracy when grabbing objects, using her fork to spear food, and also when walking. By the way, she walks everywhere now and is keeping her eyes looking up. She only uses the wheelchair when she is going to another floor or when she isn't with someone as a safety precaution. Please be in prayer for her and our mom as they move in together tomorrow morning.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Last Weekend...

as an inpatient! Jennie will move into the Shepherd apartment with our mom on Tuesday. The apartments are very nice, very accessible, and are one step closer to working towards moving home. This will be the beginning of the outpatient Pathways rehabilitation program that she will go to 5 days a week from 8:30-2pm. This program will last roughly two months. The plan is for her to get everything she can out of that program before the next step of moving back home to NC. That will be just in time for warm weather and trips to the beach! Once she returns, she will still continue to receive therapy while living at home.

Jennie went on her first outting yesterday with other Shepherd patients to the Mellow Mushroom for lunch and ate pizza. She was able to leave her wheelchair on the bus and walk all the way in to the restaurant! She has been speaking more this past week. She does well to repeat words one at a time back to you and is still working on her ability to say responses on her own. She is consistently able to answer "yeah" when talking in conversation with her and can also say "hi" on the phone when we call her. This past Thursday, Jennie's therapists all got together, grabbed her radio and recent "Best of the Grammy's" cd and had a dance party in the gym with her. She was up on her feet dancing along and even moving her hips a bit! She has definitely become one of their favorite patients and are all sad to see her go but excited for how much progress she has made in just 5 weeks. The nurses and staff at Shepherd have been so positive since the minute she arrived. They helped to renew our confidence that we have all been fighting and praying for a reason and it has truly made a difference.

On that note, thank you so much to all who have helped Jennie along the way; EMS guys, surgeons, doctors, nurses, case workers, and especially family and friends who have been so supportive and not given up hope. Hundreds of people have been involved in Jennie's recovery and I am certain that each of them have been guided by the hand of God who has truly performed a miracle in her sweet life.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Jennie had another big week of improvements. On Thursday, my mom called me and gave the phone to Jennie and she said "Hi" to me clear as a whistle! She has been up until this week shaking her head for "no" but finally came out and said "no" loud and clear for my mom when she was trying to get her to push the button to open the door. It's so exciting to hear her saying more words! Another huge step this week, she had her feeding tube removed yesterday. The doctor has given her the go-ahead to eat anything she likes. Tonight, I received a picture message with her best smile yet...turns out she was eating a burger. :) This week she has done well picking up utensils on her own. She is also no longer having to take blood pressure meds. Jennie has also started parking her wheelchair and began walking more. She is working on keeping her head up and staying balanced. She wears a belt around her waist that the therapist can grab if she loses balance, but overall she is doing well to walk along on her own for short distances. More work has also been done to help Jennie identify words on paper. She does a great job distinguishing between yes and no and was able to find her name today. One specific prayer request is for her eyesight which may be giving her some double-vision making it difficult to distinguish between similar looking words and also confidence with walking. Hopefully, that will get better with time as so many other things have. In just a couple weeks, she will move into the apartment with our mom and start the outpatient program. At that point, she will be able to go anywhere as long as she is up for it. How exciting to taste that freedom! If only the weather in Atlanta was better...bring on spring already!