Archive for February, 2010

WOW! Jack can run!

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Friday 7:30am

Watch Jack in action!  We are SO proud of him!

Click the link:  “Jack Running at Bloorview

He has made great progress again this week and his coming home for the weekend.  He is moving more and more and making great strides.  He still has a really long way to go with his speech and he is still tiring very easily, but every day he is stronger!

Jack relaxing at home for the weekend!

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

Sunday 12:00

Jack is back home for the weekend and he is having so much fun with Christopher.  They have been having movie nights and we even went out to Chapters and Licks yesterday.  It is amazing to watch how people treat you when you are pushing a child in a wheelchair.  I’ve described it as being like the parting of the red sea!  Every time someone stares, I feel like saying “He’s OK.  He’s so much better now after his operations and he’s going to walk again!”  And at first I was a little sensitive about everyone staring, but I now realize that they are looks of compassion.

Jack has really made remarkable progress this week.  He is walking more, relying on his wheelchair less, taking less naps throughout the day, and starting to speak more.  He is even playing on the computer this weekend, so his fine motor skills are really coming back.  Overall, he is still weak and experiencing a lot of weakness on his right hand side, but he is getting stronger every day.  And the best part is that we have not seen a seizure in 26 days!  It is so incredible and makes all of this worth it.

Jack and I are headed back to Bloorview tonight and will next return home again on Friday.

Please continue to pray for Jack that he continues to be brave and that he has the determination to persevere throughout his gruelling daily therapies.  Despite my half marathon training, I don’t know if  I would have enough energy to handle his packed schedule – it’s tough!  🙂


Look how far he’s come!

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Wednesday 7:45am                    

Looking at this picture with Jack in the ICU, where he had part of his skull off of his head for six days between surgeries and was unable to breath on his own following the second surgery, I am in awe of his recovery!  He is so unbelievable resilient and he continues to make progress every day.

The picture of Jack with the stuffed animal was at a Valentine’s Party at Bloorview.  They had cards, a photo booth, and other special activities for the children.  Jack had so much fun and really felt special there.

I can see more and more of my little sweet Jack returning every day.  He had a relaxing weekend at home and at one point when Christopher tried to wrestle with him, Jack hopped off the couch and chased him down the hallway!  He quickly sat down right afterwards, but it was the first spontaneous burst of energy and running that we’ve seen!  It nearly gave me at heart attack to watch, as my xray vision seemed to look right through Jack’s head to the titanium screws keeping his skull in place, but it was amazing to see his legs moving like that!!!

Jack is now back at Bloorview for the week and Grandma is with him again today.  I can’t wait to see him tomorrow and see his progress!

Jack responding well to therapy!

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Friday 9:00am

Bloorview Rehab’s Brain Injury Program is really incredible and Jack is responding well.  Today’s picture shows Jack sitting in a bunch of lit up balls in a special therapy room with low lighting, specifically designed to relax and sooth children.  The staff are wonderful here and he has made a lot of progress this week.  He can now take 7-8 steps on his own, is using more words, and sleeping less.  His sweet little personality is also coming back, which is great to see.  We have been told that it could take up to 3 or 4 months for his personality to fully come back, in large part due to the trauma of surgery.  He is still dependent on his wheelchair, but he has now figured out how to make it go and he’s really enjoying wheeling away from me!  Jack has physio, occupational and speech therapy this morning and will then be heading home for a long weekend at 2pm!  I am SO proud of him for how hard he is working in therapy.  He often works to the point of exhaustion and often falls asleep after his sessions.

And while Jack is off to physio therapy right now, I am off for a run!  So both Jack and I will be working our legs this morning  🙂

Have a great weekend!


Inspiring Youth: Meet Isabella

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Thursday 8:30am

Yesterday, a 15-yr-old Oakville girl named Isabella (the girl in the group photo with a pink flower in her hair) rallied the students at St. Mildred’s Lightbourn School and held a hot chocolate and cookie sale to help Jack and his Jack’s Lemonade Fund at SickKids!  The students, staff and parents were incredibly enthusiastic and supportive.

What makes Isabella so special and courageous is that she, too, battles seizures.  As I listened to Isabella talk to her classmates about Jack and her own journey with seizures, I was moved to tears by her poise, grace, and confidence.   She then presented me with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers and cards made by the students.  She is an incredible young lady who is proving that seizures don’t need to be a barrier to achievement!  Thank You Isabella and Thank You St. Mildred’s Lightbourn School!  Watch for the article in the Oakville Beaver!

As for Jack, he had a sleepover with Dave last night and I arrived back at Blooview this morning, where I was greeted with such a sweet smile.  He is SLOWLY progressing and making small strides every day!  We’re heading off to his first therapy session of the day now…


Christopher is being the best little brother!

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Wednesday 7:00am

Thank you to those of you who have taken a moment to think of and pray for Christopher, Jack’s 3-yr-old brother!  And the balloons from Helen, Dave, Ally, and Ryan across the street were a particular hit with him!  In all the craziness of commuting, not being home and giving Jack so much attention, Christopher has really had to be strong throughout all of this!

He is such a special little guy and the best little brother.  Since Jack has been gone, Christopher sleeps in Jack’s bed every night by himself and asks every night when Jack is coming back.  He just doesn’t get why Jack has to be away for so long and he misses his big brother a lot.  It was also hard for him last weekend when Jack came home and still got most of the attention because he requires constant care.  The one thing Christopher did find cool though was Jack’s wheelchair!  He kept asking when it was his turn for a ride and at one point tried to eject Jack from the chair!  Thank goodness for seatbelts!  My biggest fear was that Christopher would try to give Jack a ride around the house in the chair and sending him flying down the basement stairs, so you can start to see why constant supervision is required on the weekends around here.

As for Jack, Grandma is still taking amazing care of him at Bloorview.  I can’t believe how lucky I am to have such an incredible mom.  She has been a rock for Jack (and me!) and the most incredible support.  Thanks MOM!  I will have to nominate her for a MOTHER OF THE YEAR award!  If anyone knows of any contests, please let me know!

I am so excited to see Jack tomorrow morning.  I miss him so much and find it tough to be away from him.  I called him a couple of times yesterday and he was able to tell me that he loves me.  🙂


Jack back at Bloorview

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Monday 9:15am

Jack has returned to Blooview this morning with Grandma.

Unfortunately, I came down with the stomach flu yesterday and have to now isolate myself from Jack for several days.  So Jack slept at Grandma and Grandpa’s last night and Grandma will be staying with him at Bloorview until Wednesday evening.   I miss him!

Over the weekend, Jack mainly relaxed in front of the TV.  He has taken a couple of steps on his own, but still requires a lot of assistance or his wheelchair to move around the house.  His speech also still remains quite limited.  So he still has a long ways to go, but is slowly progressing!


Goodbye SickKids!

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

Saturday 10:00am

Two thumbs up to leaving SickKids!

What an incredible journey these past three weeks have been.  On Thursday, Jack was transferred over to Bloorview Rehab Centre and has done well with the adjustment.  So well in fact that they have let him come home for the weekend!

I brought Jack home yesterday afternoon and he was thrilled to be home and rest in his own room with Christopher by his side.  He will return to Bloorview Monday morning and stay Monday-Friday for the next 6-8 weeks.  While there, he will go to school and have intensive speech, occupational and physical therapy.

So today Jack and Christopher are watch “Alvin and the Chipmunks” together and next up is “Cloudy with a chance of meatballs”!  It is so nice to have a bit of a sense of normalcy for a change!

Jack is being transferred to Bloorview Rehab

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Thursday 8am

Jack is stable enough today to be transferred from Sickids over to Bloorview Macmillan Rehab Centre!

We will be leaving this morning and Jack is excited about the car ride.

Jack will be staying inpatient at the rehab centre for 6-8 weeks, but may be able to come home for the weekends!  That would be amazing and it would be great for him to have some normalcy to his life.

Please continue to pray for Jack’s recovery.  He has taken several steps with assistance and I am so excited for the day when he can run down the hall.

Off to pack and transfer the 100+ cards on his hospital room walls!


Bravery Beads

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Tuesday 7:30am

Today’s picture shows Jack wearing his “Bravery Beads” necklace.  This is a program run by the hospital which allows children to accumulate a bead for every procedure, test, hospital stay, scan, therapy, or surgery they endure.  You can see how many beads Jack has accumulated!  It is shocking to me to reflect on how much Jack has gone through to earn these beads and makes me proud of Jack for the courage he demonstrates every day.

Jack ate a little bit yesterday and cracked a couple of smiles.  He’s making baby steps every day and the doctors are still confident he will make a full recovery with his speech and muscle weakness and it will simply take hard work over time to get there.

I would like to ask for prayers for Jack’s 3-yr-old brother Christopher today.  He misses Jack a lot and has now told me several times that “Jack is never coming back”.  He understands that the doctors are making Jack better, but he doesn’t understand the separation.  It is also hard for him to not have me around and because he has a cold he has only seen Jack and I briefly over the past couple of weeks.  We know that Christopher will be incredibly blessed to have a healthier brother return home, but for the next 6-8 weeks please pray that the time away from us isn’t too difficult.