Monthly Archives: February 2012

DAY 105.0

Dear Friends,

So we have passed the 100 day mark…. Well, Phil has been improving so there is joy in that. The most recent news is that today the doctor came in and pulled out Phil’s feeding tube, so Phil officially has no wires or tubes in him any more!

Apart from that, Phil has been improving in other areas. Today Phil was working on standing up with Megan, his Physical Therapists. He was originally in a harness to help support some of his weight but Megan took him off it because he was doing so well. She was still helping him some, but it is good to know he was doing a lot of the work.

Phil also continues to improve in his speech. He is becoming more consistent in answering yes/no questions verbally and has improved using more and more words. He still mainly communicates without words, but is doing better. Continue to pray that Phil will improve in this area.

I have not seen too much of the action recently because I have been sick and did not want to get Phil sick as well. I didn’t see him all day yesterday, but was feeling better in the evening today, so I visited with him around dinner time. Thank you for all who have prayed for me.

I want to continue to thank you for praying for Phil, while at the same time urging you to continue in your petitions. Also: don’t pray just for Phil. God loves hearing your requests, but he wants more than that. I want to remind you that Christ wants to hang out and talk with you. He can do that in big groups, but he also wants one on one time with just you, his beloved. Don’t forget he has feelings, and the biggest one is love for you.

— John —

Advertisements

DAY 98.0

Dear Friends,

I write to you happy to let you know that Phil has been granted another two-week extension by Shepherd Center.  The therapists are excited about Phil’s progress and really think they can do a lot of good work with Phil, so he is staying put for now. 

In other news, Phil was walking this week.  He did the treadmill yesterday and looked great.  Today he walked in a harness which was only holding 30 of his pounds, which is an improvement.  Phil does better each time.  He still needs to work on his posture while walking, as he is sometime hunched over or not fully over his feet. Pray for improvement in this area.

In speech therapy Phil has been continuing to work on getting full words out, like cat, bat, mom, tom, bad, sad.  These are good so he can work on getting the ending right as well as the beginning.  Today he also said phrases such as; “Hi, my name is Phil.”, “What is your name?”, and “Nice to meet you.”.  These are all great phrases so when Phil goes into a group therapy session he can talk to people. 

The goals for Phil this week is that he learns to tell us when he needs to go to the bathroom, so that we can get him there quickly beforehand.  Pray for improvement in this along with improving his ability to transfer from a chair to the bed.  

All is going well with Phil and we continue to thank God for all he has done for us, and all he has blessed us with.  We have been rejoicing with each little hint of Phil we see coming back to him, his humor and mischievousness are evident to all.  We praise God from whom all blessings flow, and continue to look to him in the midst of Phil’s recovery.

–John–

DAY 95.0

Dear Friends,

Phil has continued to improve and we are excited to see his improvement to come.  This week Phil has walked every day.  This is with the help of a harness holding some of his weight, but he is able to walk smoother and smoother each time.  Megan (Phil’s physical therapist) said that next week they will focus on Phil standing up from a seated position, since he needs to work on that too.  Phil worked a little bit on that yesterday, and it was good to see him stand with the help of the harness.

The coolest new news for us is that Tristen, Phil’s speech therapist, put Phil in a cognitive group.  This involves asking the patients questions about where they are and what day it is to see if they are orientated in their surroundings.  Tristen was excited to tell us that Phil was really the best in this group of patients.  He knows the month, year and that he is in Atlanta at the Shepherd Center.  This is really good, as it shows Phil has good short-term memory.   Since Phil’s speech is not good Tristen prints out a page of multiple choice questions, and asks Phil questions.  One time Tristen had not put the right year (2012) on his answer sheet so when asked, Phil indicated that it wasn’t on the sheet of answers and pointed to the white board where 2012 was written.  This was exciting to see as this is normally difficult for brain injury patients.

Another big step that Phil has made this week is that he is telling us when he needs to go to the bathroom.  This was a goal for the week, and it makes it easier on whoever is caring for him.  Phil has also been able to indicate when he wants something more and more.  For example, last night he pointed to his sleeping gowns and the casts that he wears at night, indicating he was ready for bed.  This is also very cool because it means he knows his schedule, which is a positive thing in the recovery process.

We are very greatful for tech Rodney who knows how to make Phil laugh.  Thanks to him and others Phil has had a very joyfull and happy morning today, and just now has went to watch the rugby tournament hosted at the Shepherd Center. 

Continue to pray for Phil’s speech as he is working on saying full words and focusing on the ends of words, as he is able to pronounce consonent-vowel combinations well.  This is when he is prompted, he still has not really been able to speak his own thoughts well.

Thank you for praying and being faithful to the end.

–John–

Feb. 15 Day 92.0

Dear Friends and Family,

I am always encouraged to hear from the many people who continue to pray for Phil and for all of us. Today marks 3 months since Phil and John’s accident. Life really changed in an instant. A special thank you out to the many coworkers and friends who donated sick days so that I can continue to care for Phil. You are all amazing.

Philip still struggles so with his speach. Tonight, when we were leaving for dinner, he was trying to communicate something to us and became so agitated because we did not understand him.  Please pray for Phil in this area.  He is working on it.  In a lighter note, yesterday in speech therapy, Tristen (our great speech therapist) was working with Phil and was trying to help the muscles around his mouth with her fingers to take the right form. Phil does not like her putting her hands on his face.  He moved her arm away and then pinched her lips with his hands.  Tristen laughed and said, “I guess I won’t be doing that again.  I don’t like it either, Phil.”

We praise God that Phil is able to weight bear on both legs now.  He has been working on walking on several machines – in a harness type brace to help support some of his weight. As he becomes more familiar with each place and machine, he becomes calmer and can concentrate on working and doing what needs to be  done.  Today he “walked” in a different gym with electrodes on his calf and thigh muscles to stimulate them.  He was really worn out after that.  Tomorrow he has 2 sessions of “walking”.

We also thank God for the mild winter that Atlanta has had so far. It has been easier going to the hospital without winter coats and gloves. Today we sat outside for about an hour and a half with just a light sweater for warmth.  I even saw some tulips blooming today!  The down side to the weather is that I have been sneezing lots!  I heard that spring alergies will be bad especially due to the mild weather.  I usually have more trouble with fall alergies, but know lots of things are blooming out there.

Last night John was working with Phil to stretch his arm and shoulder muscles. It was very difficult for Phil – especially on his right side.To say the least, Phil was not happy.  When he was finished, John grabbed the UK bear “pillow pal” that Phil’s little sisters Maddie and Morgan had sent him for Valentine’s Day.  He told Phil that it was his “happy pillow” and he needed to smile for it – which Phil did. Thank you to Morgan and Maddie for the pillow pal that has helped Phil.

Thanks again to everyone for your love and support. We need you so much!   Janet

Photos of Phil

These are some photos taken over the past week. The one with his bible is a little bit older. Phil is doing incredibly well. I praise God often for the advances he is making. Keep praying and praising!

God Bless,
Kimmy and Julie!

Kimmy has the awesome phone, Momma took most of these photos.
20120212-205125.jpg John helping Phil walk.

20120212-205136.jpg hanging out with the Joey.

20120212-205146.jpg walking on a treadmill with his awesome PT Megan.

20120212-205156.jpg This one is about a month old, but Phil and I were reading from the bible and Phil kissed his bible. This man, through everything Loves Jesus.

Day 88.1

Dear Friends,

This is Julie again. Apparently John and I both have news to share.

Phil played multiple games of “Crazy 8s” today. This game is basically UNO but with normal cards. He was able to follow the rules, and choose correct cards and lay them down on the table by himself. Phil was also able to pick up cards from the deck as he needed in the game. Phil also dealt the cards for one of our games. And Phil looked like he was having fun. Not only was Phil playing a card game with his friends, he was working on fine motor skills(laying individual cards on the pile), and using his brain to categorize cards(playing a heart on a heart), and adapting to change.(switching suits when someone laid a 8, which are wild.)

Then Phil chose to lay in bed and watch Shrek. Which of course was a good time as well. Phil continues to laugh. Please pray that Phil continues to find Joy in life and is not bogged down by the long road ahead. Phil is looking foward to the UK basketball game tonight as well.

Keep praying.

DAY 88.0

Dear Friends,

I was just reading the blog and I realized that we never posted on here that Phil has gotten a two-week extension! His new release date is February 28.  Phil is still able to get extensions in two-week periods, but this is nothing certain, so don’t expect anything.  Phil is doing great though, as you can see from my sister’s excitement.

Phil has walked more this week and has done better and better, being able to move more smoothly and carry more of his weight by himself.  Along with this Phil is improving in his speech therapy as well, being able to say many series of consonant-vowel combinations.  He is also very intrigued by the computers when he works on them.  He is able to use the touch screen and is also able to type a bit.  He can easily type his name and also seemed to tell a few jokes when asked to answer some questions by typing. 

All is well, Phil is improving and also laughing a lot more these days.  We are trying to surround him with love and joy, so that he can do the best that he can.  We love him and Christ is always with him, so he is doing great.

Keep praying.

–John–

Day 87.0

I’ve never been this happy in my life. Hello friends, this is Julie. Kimmy, Ashley and I are here in Atlanta with Phil, John, Aunt Emma, and Momma this weekend. I am amazed at what God does and is doing. It has been over 3 weeks since I saw Phil last and so much has changed. So I wanted to update the blog and share all the good things that I saw tonight. We had a pizza party for dinner because Phil has been asking for pizza for several days now. He only managed to eat one piece but we sure did party. (He had lots of other food; Chicken, corn bread, mashed potatoes, yellow squash, applesause, fruit punch drink, milk, diet coke, and a strawberry ensure…) Needless to say, Phil is not going hungry. Now back to that list.

1. When I arrived, I asked Phil for a hug, he immediately unfolded both his arms and extended them in a hug position. It was the best hug I ever got.

2. Phil was able to pick up his cup of diet coke in his left hand and drink his diet coke through a straw then put the cup back on the table.

3. Phil was able to pick his pizza up off the plate, bring it to his mouth, take a bite, and put the pizza back on the table.

4. Phil is able to communicate “yes” and “no” in several ways. First of all, Phil puts up his index finger to mean yes ( a 1)  and his index and middle finger for no (a 2). He can also say yes and no occasionally. A simple yes and no makes communication so much easier. Phil is also able to point to specific things that he wants.

5. Philip can unfold his glasses and put them on his own face.

6. Phil no longer has a trac and soon his feeding tube will come out. He is not getting any food through his tube but is relying completely on eating for his calories and nutrition.

7. Phil responded well to our dog joey and pet him as Joey sat on John’s lap.

8. Phil sang along when John and I played some guitar and Kimmy and Ashley sang.  He didn’t always get out the words but he hummed along.

9. Phil made the “John face” when he was asked. Phil put two fingers up and said “deuces”.  Phil stuck out his tongue at Kimmy. It seems that Phil hasn’t lost any of the crazy things that make him Phil.

10. Philip laughed for about 15 minutes at his insane sister. laughing so hard, his whole body shook. You know the good kind of laughter. Especially when I told him about my upcoming trip to Chucky Cheeses. Apparently he approves.

As I look forward to what tomorrow holds, I am so thankful that God is here with us. He is here in the mess, He is here in the pain, He is here when all others leave us. He has promised us his Son. He has promised us everything. He has promised us a Kingdom that never ends, a kingdom where there is no pain, no car crashes, no evil. Tonight, watching my brother laugh gave me a glimpse of how much God has given us, how much He has promised us, and how much He has given. Oh, how He loves us.

I ask that you continue to pray for Phil. We know that God hears our prayers, He cares about our pain, and He hates when his people suffer. He wants us. He is Jealous for us all. He is jealous for Phil. Please pray for Phil:

  • That he is able to verbally communicate at a higher level. (He still has trouble speaking and being understood.)
  • That he will gain more control over the right side of his body, including fine motor skills. (He was hit on the left side of his brain therefore greatly affecting the right side of his body.)
  • Continued success at his therapies.
  • That God would continue to write His story and use Phil for His Glory.

Feb. 6 Day 83.0

Dear Friends, This is Janet, Phil’s mom. Since John has gone home for a few days to Lexington, it is my job to update the blog. A few weeks ago, I was here with Phil by myself, and slacked on the assignment. Hopefully I will do better this week.

I have read some of the comments you all have made to the blog and want to thank you for your uplifting thoughts and prayers. God is definately at work. I told a friend today that while I would never choose something like this, especially for my child, it is amazing to be able to watch God work. We have had so many blessings.

Today, Phil was able to sit on the edge of the therapy mat (raised like a table) by himself without support. That was a first. Megan, the physical therapist was very excited – as I was of course. He is making progress and reteaching his muscles. At first I was praying for him to be able to transfer by himself, but now I have decided it was better to ask big and pray that Phil walks out of this place!

Phil is continuing to work on his speech. He has made progress on some sounds, but they don’t always get out in the right order when he wants or needs them too. However, his mouth muscles continue to improve – and he has been eating alot. That is something he has always enjoyed!

This past weekend, Rodney – our favorite tech – taught Phil how to work the call button. Then Phil called him 5 times in one afternoon. Rodney said he may have created a monster – but he was laughing and very happy that he was able to do that. While Phil and I were watching the Super Bowl, he changed the channel during the commercial.(The same control as the call button.) I teased him that the commercials were why I was watching the game with him! He also called the night tech – not Rodney – twice during the game. Since Phil has to sleep with his arms and legs in braces (casts) I said that might save the techs some steps.

While we are on the subject of sports, I must ask, “How many hours of sports does it take until 2 young men get tired of it?” If anyone knows, please let me know. Since we don’t have cable at home, I was never aware of how many ESPN stations there were. I guess one never has to watch anything else!

Thanks again for your prayers and support. We could not be doing this without you. Janet

Day 81.0

Dear Friends,

Phil has been doing well recently.  The coolest news recently is this story.  I was hanging out with Phil listening to music on my computer and I decided to see if Phil would wink at me.  So I got him to wink.  He was able to do this, which was encouraging.  Next, Phil decided to take his glasses off.  He proceeded to put them back on, but they only got on partially and were halfway down his nose.  Phil then looked at us and started to laugh.  This made Mom, Emma, and me laugh as well, as he then fixed his glasses.  It was good to see him be so light-hearted and goofy.

Later after a PT session we were telling Megan (the therapists) about this incident and Phil realized what we were talking about and he began to laugh again.  Megan then messed with his glasses and he laughed even more.  It is great to see such good emotion from Phil, as the only emotion he normally shows is either upset or calm.  It is good to know that he can tell what is going as well.  He is a goofy guy.

The next good news is that Phil walked again in a therapy session, this time not on the treadmill.  Phil was strapped into a harness connect to a machine in the ceiling and had stimulation on his muscles in his legs.  With the help from the stimulation, harness and the therapist, Phil was able to walk for a bit.  This time with less help and bearing more of his own weight.  This was good to see Phil continue to improve his coordination and smoothness in his step.

The next news is that Phil has gotten a new wheel chair.  This is a smaller one that will enable him to wheel himself around once he is able to with his legs or even his arms.  It is also nice for us because it weighs less and makes it easier to maneuver him.

Phil is continuing to improve his coordination in his left arm though he does not have similar control in his right arm.  His right leg is less coordinated as well.  Please continue to pray for coordination and control in the right side of his body.

Phil is doing well in speech therapy as well; he is able copy more sounds from Tristen (the therapists), though he still has trouble getting out words that he wants.  Please continue to pray that he is able to connect the words in his mind to his mouth and that he is able to communicate.

Phil is still unable to sit up straight on his own, he leans back and to the left.  Pray that he gains control of his trunk and continues to improve his balance.

We continue to thank the Lord for the progress we have seen and for his great love for us.

–John–