Monthly Archives: August 2012

August 29

Dear Friends,

Today I am happy to tell you of all Phil’s progress and therapy this week.  Many good things have happened since last time I wrote.  First, Phil was discharged from the hospital on Friday.  He was happy to finally be coming home.  Yes, we are not at Emma’s anymore.  Though we miss it at times, it is good to see Phil back at the Duff house.  Phil was so happy to get out of the hospital that he walked all the way from his room to the car.  I was extremely pleased with his walking, as it was at ten in the morning and I normally walk with him after his therapy when he is tired.  He did great walking the whole way. 

Next, on Monday he went down to the Wesley Foundation to hang out with the college students who go to their Monday night worship.  I was unable to attend, so Ashley brought him home.  I could tell when I talked to him that he had a blast.  He really enjoyed talking with all the people and hearing all the stories about himself.  He was ecstatic about the fact that he remembered a few of his friends, because he doesn’t remember much before the accident.  Phil was beaming with joy when I talked to him about it. 

So many exciting things have gone on and the next is that yesterday Phil and I went up to church at St. Luke to walk a bit.  We walk in the hallway around the gym.  His improvement was huge.  One and a half months ago Phil walked one hall in 6 minutes, yesterday he did the same distance in two minutes.  Also, Phil walked all the way around the gym in 9 minutes and 30 seconds, which he had previously done in about 30 minutes.  On top of that, Phil ended up walking all the way around 3 times in a row!  This was a great day.

In addition to that, we went up to church again today to walk and he walked the first time around without the walker and his hands down at his side.  I was holding on to him to help balance, but this was definitely a step beyond walking with the walker.  Phil continued to walk around two more times with the walker.  He is definitely motivated.

Today was also exciting in that we went and visited the ICU nurses at UK that had helped Phil for his first 3 weeks after the accident.  Terry and Jean were so happy to see Phil doing so well.  Jean nearly cried and said it made her month that we came and visited.  We brought them flowers and a card in which Phil wanted to thank them and God for blessing him with so much care.  It was good to allow them to see the way in which their work paid off in Phil’s life.

I end with a note of reminder that we all are incredibly blessed.  Phil sings one of his favorite songs : “How blessed are we!” and knows that he is blessed to love and be loved by an awesome God.

–John–

August 22

Dear Friends,

Since you haven’t heard from me lately, I am happy to tell you that Phil is coming home this Friday. That is home home, the good old 1419. Phil and I will be rooming back in the blue room which we lived in together for about 11 years of our lives. Pretty crazy but cool too. And yes, if you noticed this week was Phil’s 4th at Cardinal Hill, as the team had asked to let Phil stay an extra week from what we originally thought because he was working so hard and doing so well.

Phil has been doing great recently and it is exciting to see him start to walk some without the walker. This is only in therapy and in between the parallel bars so he can grab onto them if he feels the need. The therapist or I will stand behind him and hold his waist while he walks, he definitely needs help, but it is cool to see that he is able to do this.

His speech has also improved much while at the hospital. We were happy to see that Phil had made friends with the other patients and he enjoys hanging out with some of them. He laughs with some and makes sure they know where they are (those with short-term memory loss), and prays for all of them. Phil also enjoys reading his big print bible some, which he had asked me to get him. He does well reading and sometimes spells out words for me to help him with. He also likes to write out scripture and then read it back to himself.

Phil has been working hard these days and does extra ‘exercise’ with me when I come after his therapy session and even works on the Nu Step machine in the gym if I am not there. He also works with the weights and is trying to improve his strength in the left side of his upper body, as it is weaker than his right.

Please pray for Phil and his family as he transitions home. We aren’t really sure what Phil’s next step of therapy will be like, though it will be with Outpatient care, so pray that this will be sorted out soon. To God be the glory forever and ever.

–John–

August 10

Dear Friends,

It is good to see Phil work so hard in the hospital. He has enjoyed getting the extra therapy and takes advantage of every moment he can. He told me the other day, “They say I am a work-a-holic.” He is very determined.

One improvement I have seen is in his ability to stand up from sitting position. He is doing much better, and can almost do this by himself. He still needs a little help getting his upper body over his legs, but I can see a big improvement. I have also seen a good improvement in his ability to walk for longer periods of time. I couldn’t tell you if he is going faster, but it seems as though it is coming along well.

The therapists ordered Phil a brace for his right leg. This is used while he is walking to help his right knee from locking. This is one of Phil’s problems and I am happy to see we have a brace that we can keep. It does help a lot and I hope it will enable Phil to continue to build strength and endurance in his legs.

Being in Cardinal Hill has enabled Phil to talk to other patients there. One friend that he has made, Tony, is going home today. Last night I came in the room to see Phil doing his weights while talking with Tony. Tony is in his thirties, but still probably the closest person to Phil’s age on the unit. It is good to see him making friends, and seeing them laugh. They like to laugh a lot, which is good, and enables Phil to practice communicating and social skills. He is doing great.

I can also tell a big improvement in reading and writing, and so can Phil. He was working on an assignment which involved looking at a picture and writing a sentence about it. He said, “I like this because I can tell I am getting better.” Phil is learning to sound out words and is now working on harder words, as he can normally spell five letter words ok. One thing that he does have trouble with is when we are helping him, he if you get to far ahead, like if I say “C, H” right in a row, he will get the C then ask again what is next. This is not abnormal that he can’t connect the two letters, but pray that his ability to process more than one thing improves. (If I didn’t explain that well, sorry).

Just yesterday Phil and I were talking to another family whose son had an accident about a month ago. To see where he was reminded me how far Phil has come. It is good to remember each milestone he has reached with hope of continued improvement. This journey has been crazy, and it has been a joy to see Phil’s ability to overcome adversity. “Count it all joy my brothers, when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” Sometimes while we walk through hard times, it cannot be said that we, ‘Count it all joy,” but sometimes we do look back on it and say, wow, what an experience, God really got me through that. What a wonderful Savior.

I would also ask that you pray for my mom as she works on getting back to school and my sister, as she starts her new job. Continue to pray for Phil.

–John–