Due to a near-drowning, Oct.15, 2008, Michael sustained a significant brain injury and medically speaking was not expected to make much of a recovery. Michael’s doctors and probably many people who meet him, consider him permanently and severely disabled. Most doctors in the interest of being “realistic” try to remove all sense of hope from families; we, like most families in our situation, refuse to succumb to hopelessness. Through love, prayer, dedication, alternative therapies and most of all the grace and goodness of God, Michael will recover. Updating this “story” as time goes on, I have a slightly different sense of recovery but still believe complete recovery is possible in this lifetime. To me, it is an obvious fact that when he graduates from this life, of course, he will receive perfection through the Resurrection!
We began Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments (HBOT) on 11/24/08. By the end of January 2009, we finished our first session of 40 HBOT treatments. While it is difficult to say how much it helped, we know from our therapists and others who are familiar with near drowning survivors, that Michael is doing well physically. We took a break from HBOT and the did about 30 more treatments before September of ’09. We also began seeing a Neuro Developmental Training certified Occupational therapist, Roz Mazal, on 11/26/08. Sometime in mid-January ’09, we began to see Robbie Dunn, another occupational therapist who works with Michael’s oral/motor skills. From 10/2010, we went to Roz’s 3X a week for 2 hours and Robbie 2X a week for 2 hours. We’ve met some other wonderful therapists along the way (Selena, Kim, and Josh) but Roz and Robbie were there for us from the beginning and what a blessing! For awhile in the fall of 2012, we saw Selena once a week but there was a scheduling issue, now I just need to get us back over there, hopefully a couple times a week. As of Jan. 2013, we are unable to see Roz due to insurance issues, this has been quite a blow to us. We are still hoping for resolution for claims not paid and looking for funding from non-profit sources. Four months after the accident, Michael was much more alert than he was two months post accident. He could move both arms purposely. He was also able to lift his head from certain positions. Sometimes he would sustain eye contact. He makes grumpy faces. Once I wrote, “At times he cries.” For quite some time, Michael cried most of the time. For sometime, he hardly cried at all. Now, 4+ years, he still has episodes, at least every week or two of inconsolable crying for an hour or so. We are not sure if he cries from pain or sheer frustration but it exercises his lungs apparently very effectively! We have experienced seizures and they have abated. Michael has this way of going to his “happy place” and grinning from ear to ear! We don’t know how he does this but it’s beautiful! Seizures still come and go but not very often. In the fall of 2011, we went through quite a bout of them and again in the fall of 2012 though not nearly as severe. We catch him smiling in his sleep. It’s beautiful to see his face transformed and actually see the happy little boy is still with us somewhere deep inside himself. Now in 2013, Michael smiles randomly and sometimes in response to us. His daddy can really get him going because he likes to rough house. Not everyone is quite so comfortable playing that roughly with Michael but we know what boys like!
How has Hope4Minds helped:
– neuro developmental therapy visits
– a special needs stroller
– nutritional supplements
– Compression garments
– Surgical consultation and casting services