Monday, September 28, 2009

September 28, 2009


During therapy today, you said Mom. Can you believe it? You said MOM!!! Way to go!
Julie gave you some pudding and mom said that you kept it in your mouth and wouldn't swallow it. She said that they finally tried to suction it out of your mouth and then you decided to swallow it. See...beat of your own drum! Mom also that Integra Rehab in Plano denied you. They said that they have limited skilled nursing and that they feel like you are still needing acute care. I hope that this means that you can stay where you are for a while. I know that the only one pulling strings though is the insurance company. Baylor Rehab is suppose to come out an evaluate you...we'll see what they say. We haven't gotten the word yet that you need to move, it's pretty much a day to day, week to week thing with the insurance. But, when we do get word that you need to move, we want to be ready. Keep up the good work! Proud of you little brother! xo Jen

***email from your cousin Leroy
Hi Jennifer,

The progress looks like it is coming along. Probably not fast enough for you all. I think you and your mother and the rest of the family are doing a remarkable job taking care of Johnny and keeping a positive belief in his recovery. I wish I lived closer so I could lend a hand. Thank You again for the blog, it really makes a difference to those of us so far away. I have thought of calling you quite a few times, but figured to leave you alone to stay strong and move forward with the recovery efforts. I hope you know that I love you very much and you, Johnny and the rest of your family are in my daily prayers. Tell my cousin I said Hello and for him to stay strong, work through the pain and get better. All my Love, Leroy

September 27, 2009

Psalm 46:1
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Psalm 139:4
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

Proverbs 3:5-7
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thine ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes, fear the Lord, and depart from evil.


Mom asked you last night if you were in pain and you raised a finger to indicate no. I have been worried that maybe you were in pain and we just didn't know it. I'm so thankful that your not and I'm thankful that you were able to find a way to tell us that your not. You are making such miraculous progress - it truly is a miracle. In the beginning days, they (the dr's) weren't giving us much hope that you would survive this. I can remember mom and I sitting in the floor in the hallway of the SICU, waiting to get 15 more minutes to see you. We were crying, praying, begging ... that God would take over. We were also realizing that there might be some really hard decisions to make. We thought we knew what you might want but of course, you can never know for sure. Thankfully, that never came to be a decision we would have to make. You have come so far since that day Johnny! Your progress in therapy is wonderful and it's just amazing to hear your voice. I can't wait to see what you do next. You have always been one to march to the beat of your own drum...that hasn't changed! Ha!

Psalm 9:10
And those who know thy name will put their trust in thee; for thou, O Lord, has not forsaken those who seek thee.

Mickey and I stopped by after church today. You were in and out of sleep at first. I gave you some sucker and you woke up a little. I brushed your teeth. Mickey and I straightened you up in the bed and you played ball with Mickey. While you were playing ball with Mickey, I was praising you and telling you what a good job you were doing. I said Johnny, give me a high five and I put my hand up. You dropped the ball, and put your hand up to mine. Now, what is so amazing is that you not only knew how to high five but you knew what high five was. It makes me wonder what else is locked in your brain that we just haven't asked you yet to retrieve. You just amaze me everyday! Mickey and I both just gasped and we were like, did he really do that....we had you do it again and you did. We were both telling you woo hoo, good job! I asked you to give me a thumbs up after that and you did. A few more throws of the ball and you were done. Buddy and Tammy came in to see you and you weren't all that active, I think Mickey and I wore you out. You threw the ball with Buddy a little. Then, Mom and Robert came in. Then Dad. We all stood around your bed trying to get you to do one thing or another. By the time we all left, you were exhausted and sound asleep. Mom and Robert stayed for a while longer. Before Mickey and I left, I told you that I was going to leave and was there anything you wanted me to tell Jackie. I said, raise two fingers if you want me to tell her something. You didn't raise your fingers. I said, Johnny raise two fingers if you want me to tell Jackie hi. You raised your fingers. I said, Johnny raise two fingers if you want me to tell Jackie you love her. You raised your fingers. I said, Johnny raise two fingers if you know who Jackie is. You didn't raise you fingers. Then I said, Johnny raise two fingers if you know that Jackie is your daughter. You raised your fingers! It's just amazing to be able to communicate with you. Love you!! xo Jen

You high-fiving me : )

Saturday, September 26, 2009

September 26, 2009


Mom said that you were pretty interactive today. She said that she cut your fingernails and toenails and filed your nails. She said you let her do it but didn't like it much. During your breathing treatment, you would say ahhhh when the treatment was going and when it stopped you would stop and then when it would start up again, you start saying ahhhh again. Mom said it was like you were mimicking the treatment. She said that you then said dammmmnnnn. I wonder if your moving into the cussing stage....
Some commands you followed for mom today:
Mom said that she told you to shake her hand and you put down what you were holding and shook her hand.
Mom said to lift two fingers if you knew where you were and you lifted two fingers.
She said, if you know your in the hospital lift two fingers and you did.
She said, if you know you were in an accident, lift two fingers and you did.
She said, are you in pain? Lift 1 finger for no and two fingers for yes and you lifted 1 finger.
She said that you were in and out of sleep and every time you opened your eyes mom would say hi and you would wave hi. Mom said that you did that a couple of times.
Mom said that she showed you some pictures and you kissed Jackie's picture.

While mom was on the phone talking to me, I could hear you in the back ground. Mom said, Johnny, Jennifer's on the phone, tell her hi and you said hi! Then she said, tell her bye and you said hi....Wow! I'll take it!

You are doing so good! I am so excited! Keep up the good work Johnny! We love you!!! xo Jen

September 25, 2009


Mom went to your therapy today and said that Julie gave you blue ice. She said you really enjoyed it. You crunched and swallowed it. When they suctioned you later, you had no blue dye in your lungs. That's really a very good thing! Mom said that she asked you to shake her hand and you did. Mom said that you hollered a lot during your breathing treatment, you said ahhhhh. Jerry stood you up again during therapy. Your doctor took you off antibiotics. He said you have no pneumonia. Praise God! You've been approved to stay at Texas Specialty for another week. Jerry is going to start doing therapy twice a day starting Monday.

Jackie and I came by to see you after school. You seemed really tired. We gave you some sucker and then brushed your teeth. You played ball a little bit but you were pretty tired so I lotioned your feet, put on your socks and tucked you in for the night. Aunt Janie came by to see you while we were there...she got to see you play ball. Show off! You wouldn't say hello though. It was really good to see you. Love you! xo Jen

From Mom:
Nearly time to move again. A place in Plano called me, they deal only with neuro patients. Private room with a pull out twin bed for company. They do trach and G tube weaning. I left a message for Tecardo (Tx specialty case worker) to call them to do an assessment. Sounds good but I hope Baylor will accept you. Love you. Bye. Mom

From Aunt Janie:
Hey Johnny, Came by to see you. I've heard about all the wonderful progress you've been doing. Keep up the good work. You are doing really good. I'm so proud of you. It's been a while since I've been by so I had to come see you and I'm glad I did. Just to see you and how good you are doing is just so amazing. Love you...I'll be back to see you soon. Janie

Friday, September 25, 2009

Rancho Cognitive Scale - Information

Family Guide to The Rancho
Levels of Cognitive Functioning

Cognition refers to a person's thinking and
memory skills. Cognitive skills include paying
attention, being aware of one's surroundings,
organizing, planning, following through on
decisions, solving problems, judgement,
reasoning, and awareness of problems. Memory
skills include the ability to remember things
before and after the brain injury. Because of the
damage caused by a brain injury, some or all of
these skills will be changed.

The Rancho Levels of Cognitive Functioning is
an evaluation tool used by the rehabilitation team.
The eight levels describe the patterns or stages of
recovery typically seen after a brain injury. This
helps the team understand and focus on the
person's abilities and design an appropriate
treatment program. Each person will progress at
their own rate, depending on the severity of the
brain damage, the location of the injury in the
brain and length of time since the brain injury.
Some individuals will pass through each of the
eight levels, while others may progress to a certain
level and fail to change to the next higher level.

It is important to remember that each person is an
individual and there are many factors that need to
be considered when assigning a level of cognition.
There are a range of abilities within each of the
levels and your family member may exhibit some
or all of the behaviors listed below.

A person at this level will:
• not respond to sounds, sights, touch or

A person at this level will:
• begin to respond to sounds, sights, touch or
• respond slowly, inconsistently, or after a delay;
• responds in the same way to what he hears, sees
or feels. Responses may include chewing,
sweating, breathing faster, moaning, moving,
and/or increasing blood pressure.

A person at this level will:
• be awake on and off during the day;
• make more movements than before;
• react more specifically to what he sees, hears, or
feels. For example, he may turn towards a sound,
withdraw from pain, and attempt to watch a
person move around the room;
• react slowly and inconsistently;
• begin to recognize family and friends;
• follow some simple directions such as "Look at
me" or "squeeze my hand";
• begin to respond inconsistently to simple
questions with "yes" and "no" head nods.
What family/friends can do at Cognitive
Levels I, II, and III
• Explain to the individual what you are about to
do. For example, "I'm going to move your leg."
• Talk in a normal tone of voice.
• Keep comments and questions short and simple.
For example, instead of "Can you turn your head
towards me?", say, "Look at me".
• Tell the person who you are, where he is, why
he is in the hospital, and what day it is.
• Limit the number of visitors to 2-3 people at a
• Keep the room calm and quiet.
• Bring in favorite belongings and pictures of
family members and close friends.
• Allow the person extra time to respond, but
don't expect responses to be correct.
Sometimes the person may not respond at all.
• Give him rest periods. He will tire easily.
• Engage him in familiar activities, such as
listening to his favorite music, talking about
the family and friends, reading out loud to
him, watching TV, combing his hair, putting
on lotion, etc.
• He may understand parts of what you are
saying. Therefore, be careful what you say in
front of the individual.

A person at this level may:
• be very confused and frightened;
• not understand what he feels or what is
happening around him;
• overreact to what he sees, hears, or feels by
hitting, screaming, using abusive language, or
thrashing about. This is because of the
• be restrained so he doesn't hurt himself;
• be highly focused on his basic needs; ie.,
eating, relieving pain, going back to bed, going
to the bathroom, or going home;
• may not understand that people are trying to
help him;
• not pay attention or be able to concentrate for
a few seconds;
• have difficulty following directions;
• recognize family/friends some of the time;
• with help, be able to do simple routine
activities such as feeding himself, dressing or

What family/friends can do at Cognitive
Level IV:
• Tell the person where he is and reassure him that
he is safe.
• Bring in family pictures and personal items from
home, to make him feel more comfortable.
• Allow him as much movement as is safe.
• Take him for rides in his wheelchair, with
permission from nursing.
• Experiment to find familiar activities that are
calming to him such as listening to music, eating,
• Do not force him to do things. Instead, listen to
what he wants to do and follow his lead, within
safety limits.
• Since he often becomes distracted, restless, or
agitated, you may need to give him breaks and
change activities frequently.
• Keep the room quiet and calm. For example,
turn off the TV and radio, don't talk too much
and use a calm voice.
• Limit the number of visitors to 2-3 people at a

A person at this level may:
• be able to pay attention for only a few minutes;
• be confused and have difficulty making sense of
things outside himself;
• not know the date, where he is or why he is in
the hospital;
• not be able to start or complete everyday
activities, such as brushing his teeth, even when
physically able. He may need step-by-step
• become overloaded and restless when tired or
when there are too many people around; have a
very poor memory, he will remember past events
from before the accident better than his daily
routine or information he has been told since the
• try to fill in gaps in memory by making things up;
• may get stuck on an idea or activity
(perseveration) and need help switching to the
next part of the activity;
• focus on basic needs such as eating, relieving
pain, going back to bed, going to the
bathroom, or going home.

What family/friends can do at Cognitive
Level V.
• Repeat things as needed. Don't assume that he
will remember what you tell him.
• Tell him the day, date, name and location of
the hospital, and why he is in the hospital
when you first arrive and before you leave.
• Keep comments and questions short and
• Help him organize and get started on an
• Bring in family pictures and personal items
from home.
• Limit the number of visitors to 2-3 at a time.
• Give him frequent rest periods when he has
problems paying attention.

A person at this level may:
• be somewhat confused because of memory
and thinking problems, he will remember the
main points from a conversation, but forget
and confuse the details. For example, he may
remember he had visitors in the morning, but
forget what they talked about;
• follow a schedule with some assistance, but
becomes confused by changes in the routine;
• know the month and year, unless there is a
severe memory problem;
• pay attention for about 30 minutes, but has
trouble concentrating when it is noisy or
when the activity involves many steps. For
example, at an intersection, he may be unable
to step off the curb, watch for cars, watch the
traffic light, walk, and talk at the same time;
• brush his teeth, get dressed, feed himself etc.,
with help;
• know when he needs to use the bathroom;
• do or say things too fast, without thinking first;
• know that he is hospitalized because of an injury,
but will not understand all of the problems he is
• be more aware of physical problems than
thinking problems;
• associate his problems with being in the hospital
and think that he will be fine as soon as he goes

What family/friends can do at Cognitive
Level VI:
• You will need to repeat things. Discuss things
that have happened during the day to help the
individual improve his memory.
• He may need help starting and continuing
• Encourage the individual to participate in all
therapies. He will not fully understand the extent
of his problems and the benefits of therapy.

A person at this level may:
• follow a set schedule;
• be able to do routine self care without help, if
physically able. For example, he can dress or feed
himself independently; have problems in new
situations and may become frustrated or act
without thinking first;
• have problems planning, starting, and following
through with activities;
• have trouble paying attention in distracting or
stressful situations. For example, family
gatherings, work, school, church, or sports
• not realize how his thinking and memory
problems may affect future plans and goals.
Therefore, he may expect to return to his
previous lifestyle or work;
• continue to need supervision because of
decreased safety awareness and judgment. He
still does not fully understand the impact of
his physical or thinking problems;
• think slower in stressful situations;
• be inflexible or rigid, and he may seem
stubborn. However, his behaviors are related
to his brain injury;
• be able to talk about doing something, but will
have problems actually doing it.

A person at this level may:
• realize that he has a problem in his thinking
and memory;
• begin to compensate for his problems;
• be more flexible and less rigid in his thinking.
For example, he may be able to come up with
several solutions to a problem;
• be ready for driving or job training evaluation;
• be able to learn new things at a slower rate;
• still become overloaded with difficult,
stressful or emergency situations;
• show poor judgment in new situations and
may require assistance;
• need some guidance to make decisions;
• have thinking problems that may not be
noticeable to people who did not know the
person before the injury.

What family/friends can do at Cognitive
• Treat the person as an adult by providing
guidance and assistance in decision making.
His opinions should be respected.
• Talk with the individual as an adult. There is
no need to try to use simple words or
• Be careful when joking or using slang, because
the individual may misunderstand the
meaning. Also, be careful about teasing him.
• Help the individual in familiar activities so he can
see some of the problems he has in thinking,
problem solving, and memory. Talk to him about
these problems without criticizing. Reassure him
that the problems are because of the brain injury.
• Strongly encourage the individual to continue
with therapy to increase his thinking, memory
and physical abilities. He may feel he is
completely normal. However, he is still making
progress and may possibly benefit from
continued treatment.
• Be sure to check with the physician on the
individual's restrictions concerning, driving,
working, and other activities. Do not just rely on
him for information, since he may feel he is
ready to go back to his previous lifestyle.
• Discourage him from drinking or using drugs,
due to medical complications.
• Encourage him to use note taking as a way to
help with his remaining memory problems.
• Encourage him to carry out his self-care as
independently as possible.
• Discuss what kinds of situations make him angry
and what he can do in these situations.
• Talk with him about his feelings.
• Learning to live with a brain injury can be
difficult and it may take a long time for the
individual and family to adjust. The social worker
and/or psychologist will provide the
family/friends with information regarding
counseling, resources, and/or support

© Los Amigos Research and Educational Institute
(LAREI), 1990

Disclaimer: Information presented on this page is
for specific health education purposes only. Persons
should consult qualified health professionals
regarding specific medical concerns or treatment.
Each clinician caring for the patient is responsible
for determining the most appropriate care.

September 24, 2009

Isaiah 55:9
"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."

Today is day 100. It seems so much longer and yet 100 days seems too long! It's so hard to see you this way. You've been fighting for the simple things that we all take for granted. Things like holding your head up and brushing your teeth. I'm praying Johnny. I'll keep praying!

I came to visit you today and you were sound asleep. I gave you a shave and rubbed your hands with lotion. Mom came in shortly after that and she told you to give her a kiss and you puckered up. So sweet!

Jerry came in to take you to therapy and had you sit up on the side of the bed and then turned you to put you into the chair. He took you down stairs to the therapy room and Julie and Dwayne worked with you first. Dwayne worked on your arms, hands and fingers to loosen them up. Julie tried to get you to respond verbally to the pain. You would say ouuughh and it was clear that was the sound you were using for pain. Julie put my perfume on a wash rag and let you smell it but you didn't do anything in response to that. I don't know if with the trach you can't smell....I'm not sure. Jerry gave you a peg board and pegs and told you to remove a peg, by color and throw it on the floor. You did that twice. It was a very slow process but you did it. He then told you to take a peg and hand it to your sister. You handed it to me. He then told you to take a peg and hand it to your mom and you did...twice. After that, Jerry had you stand up with his help. You did so good but it must have started hurting because you very clearly said "OOOH GOD". Jerry put you back in your chair and waited a few minutes and then stood you up again. You did better that time. He put you back in your chair and told you if you wanted to go to bed to wipe your face with the wash rag. You thrusted your hand to your face so fast we all clapped and laughed. In light of everything you still have a sense of humor. We took you back to your room and got you all situated in your bed and mom left to go back to work. I stayed to make sure you were comfortable. Jerry was leaving and I told him to have a good rest of the day and he said, "Oh I will" he said that working with you was the best part of his day. I said oh look Johnny, your teacher's pet. Ha! You went from class clown to teacher's pet...

Below are pictures taken from today's therapy. Love you! xo Jen

Before therapy but after your shave

You are reaching for the pain

You touching your chin

You touching your mouth

Mom praising you for a good job!

You with the Peg board

You with the peg board

You with the peg board

Your giving Mom the peg

You beginning to stand for the first time

You standing for the first time

Your second time standing

You using the rag to wipe your face so you can go back to bed

This picture is of the nurse giving you your meds. They put them right into your G-tube (feeding tube).

***Mom heard from the neuro rehab center and they denied you. Your rancho number is a 3 and they require you be atleast a 4. This is on a scale of 1-10. Mom is looking at a few other places. One place is in Richardson and they evaluate patients seperately, not on the rancho scale. They take trachs, and have a respiratory doctor on staff from 7am - 7 pm. Sounds promising...we'll see.

xo Jen

From Diana:
Hey Sweetie, You aren't communicating much with me today. Remember me? We need to start getting rid of these tubes so you can get rid of infection. To many ports, it's inevitable. I love you~ Diana

Johnny- I keep meaning to bring cards that folks have sent us for you. I will try to remember them tomorrow. My memory is getting worse. Everyone loves you and sends their love. Diana

September 23, 2009

Today during therapy, Jerry helped you get into the chair and he took you to the therapy room. You did therapy in your chair. You reached your right arm over to the left across the center of your body to grab where the pain was. This is a first! You also lifted your right arm up with help. Julie, your speech therapist, had you open and shut your mouth and stick out your tongue. You did all that on command. You are very aware of pain and say ouuuugh. Mom said that you were completely worn out when your therapy was finished.

Mom contacted the neuro rehab center to see if they would evaluate you. We feel like insurance is getting ready to move you again and want to make sure there is a place for you to go that will best suit you. This place takes brain injury patients. We'll see.

Love you! xo Jen

Mom came by after work. She said that you were coughing a lot of mucus. She said that you scratched around your G-tube (feeding tube) until it was bloody. She cleaned you up and treated it with neosporin. You are still sleeping.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

September 22, 2009

Oh Johnny! Today is week 14. How do I keep my spirits up? I hurt sometimes all over. I know everyone that loves you feels the way I do. I think I might be a little depressed....

I came to see you this morning. I got there around 9am. I tried so hard to get you to wake up and you just weren't interested. I brushed your teeth and cleaned your ears which looked really good. Someone must have cleaned them before me. I lotioned up your legs and it makes me cry when I see how much muscle loss and weight loss you have. The therapist came in and took the hard plastic brace off your left hand and I lotioned it up too. You showed pain on your face but it eased up some when I was almost done with the lotion. I know it hurts you to use that hand but you really need to push past the pain. The good thing is that you don't remember it afterwards. Or so they tell us... I was there with you, waiting for your physical therapy to start and in walks mom. She is there nearly everyday for your therapy so it didn't surprise me that she came, even though she told me she wasn't coming. She took a picture of me giving you some sucker. At around 11, she left to go back to work. Your therapy was obviously running late. Well, mom and Mickey must have passed in the hall because no sooner had she left then Mickey came in. You played ball with him and it was so funny because you would throw the ball and it would land in your lap and Mickey would pick it up, hand it to you and you would do it again. Well, Mickey finally said, Johnny I am not going to play ball with you if you don't throw it somewhere else. I do not want to be near your weenier. Well, in true Johnny form...always the threw it again, it landed in your lap again. Mickey picked up the ball, threw it back to you and said, I quit! He said he grazed your weenier and that was it! I probably shouldn't put that on your blog but it was pretty hilarious...I left just after noon, still no therapy. I think they must have done it after I left because mom said when she came back after work, you were asleep. Love you Johnny! xo Jen

September 21, 2009

Dad and Diana came to see you...this is what they said:

Your dad and I came by. We got to help the physical therapist work with you. It wore us all out, you included. We just came in from vacation and are so tired. I will be back on Thursday. We love you! Dad & Diana

September 20, 2009


Mickey and I came to see you after church. You would not wake up. I brushed your teeth and you wouldn't wake up. I washed your face and you wouldn't wake up. We stayed for a couple of hours and then left. Mom and Robert we on their way to see you. She said her visit was about the same as mine. We are trying not to get discouraged. I know your brain needs the rest after being stimulated during physical therapy. Take care little brother. Love you!! xo Jen

September 19, 2009

Mom came up to see you and spent the whole day. Mickey and I had so much to do around the house that we didn't make it to see you today. Mickey's been working 7 days a week straight for the last month and I put him to work around the house since he had the day off. Cody had a soccer game in Arlington tonight. It's really hard to concentrate, your always on my mind. I was taking pictures of his game though and I noticed the was so beautiful. I just thought, if God can create something so magnificent that only lasts a few moments, why.... well, I'm brave I guess asking the Lord why. I guess I've been feeling a little down. I'm still praying Johnny. I love you! xo Jen

Friday, September 18, 2009

September 18, 2009


The weather is changing outside. It's getting's almost hockey season. I wish so much that you could feel the cool air, eat some of mom's famous chili, go deer hunting.

Mom heard today that you might be discharged as soon as the 23rd. Your doctor, Dr. Gott said they are requesting you be transferred to Global Rehab which is down a ways from where you are now. If that's not covered by insurance, they will move you to Baylor Rehab. Both are very good Rehabs and further from skilled nursing!! From there, you will more than likely be moved to a place called P.A.T.E. It's a facility that teaches you how to live. You will live there while you learn to do things on your own. This is such progress from what we were hearing in the beginning. I'm so proud of you!

Mom said that when came in to see you, you were already in your chair. You are saying ahhh in reference to pain. You wanted to sleep a lot. I wonder if that's due to your meds. Mom said that your left arm has loosened up quite a bit and she was able to move it she said that it's probably the new muscle relaxers they have you on. Your fingers were able to be opened almost all the way without you registering pain. That's definitely progress! Julie, your speech therapist, said that Jerry will be using the matt with you next week. He's planning on working your back muscles.

On a side note, Jerry's house got broken into last night. All that was taken was his big screen TV. The police said that these robbers are called fence jumpers, because they jump the fence and look in the windows and if they see something they want, they break in and take it. If they don't, they move on to the next house. Jerry said that thankfully no one was home and the dog wasn't hurt. That's a blessing. I mention this because I tend to leave my blinds open, especially in the back. I'll be closing them from now on.

Love you Johnny! Keep up the hard work. Xo Jen


Buddy and Tammy came to see you this is what they said:

Buddy & Tammy dropped by to see ya. Looks like you were worn out but when we called your name, you opened your eyes. Jennifer is keeping up your journal and we are hearing great things.

Jackie and I came to see you after I picked her up from school. I shaved you and we played ball a little but you weren't interested in anything but sleeping. Mom came by when she got off work. I hope your sleeping because of therapy...
Love you Johnny! xo Jen

Thursday, September 17, 2009

September 17, 2009


I walked in to see you this morning and Jerry and Julie were already there. They were preparing to get you in your chair. I walked in and said "hi Johnny" and you said, "Hiii". I almost cried! Julie said she put the speaking valve on your trach and that's why I was hearing you so plainly. I asked you how you were doing today and you didn't respond. I asked you to give me a kiss and you pulled my hand to your lips and puckered. Whoa! Incredible! I told you that Jackie wanted me to tell you hi and that she loves you, and then I asked if you wanted to tell her anything...You said, "hi". I said, okay, I'll tell her you said hi. Is there anything else you want me to tell her? You didn't say anything. I said do you want me to tell her you love her? You said, "Yeee". I turned to Julie and asked her, did he say yes? And Julie said, yes he did, he's communicating with you.

Jerry helped you to sit up on the side of your bed and you propped yourself up with your right hand.

When he got you completely situated, Jerry, Julie and I moved you to your chair.

Jerry worked on head control with you and then gave you a toothbrush to brush your teeth and a warm wash rag to clean your face. You followed your commands perfectly!

Jerry gave me about an hour alone with you still in your wheel chair. I showed you pictures of our family and you kissed a picture of Jackie. It was precious! I asked you to do it again and got the camera ready. I showed the picture to Jackie later and she cried. She misses you so much Johnny. I think it was good for her to see that you love her...we can tell her all day long but to see that picture, it gave her proof.

You lost interest in the pictures after a while and we started throwing the ball. Your really getting good at that!

When Jerry came back, we put you back in bed and got you all comfy. You fell asleep shortly after that with your mouth open. I stayed as long as I could but I had to get back to Midlothian to pick up kids.

I really enjoyed our visit Johnny! Your amazing! xo Jen

Valerie came to visit you.
I finally came to see you today and I'm amazed at the change. You did however want to sleep the entire time I was there, as always. I pick the worst time to come see you, that's okay need your rest.

Nancy was there when I got there and she missed her calling to be a nurse. She was all over that room working on you. She is so precious. I'm not sure what you would do without her and Jennifer. They are so good to you.

You were going in and out of sleep but I did get to see you try to communicate. You had a muscle relaxer so I don't think you had it in you to do much. You waved bye to me and that made my day. You had your boxing glove on so it was so cute to see you wave with it.
It breaks my heart when the nurses/doctors walk in the room because you open your eye so wide almost like your trying to tell them something. Are they being nice to you when no one is there, are you trying to listen to see if you can understand what all is going on. What are you thinking?

I'm ready to see you get some fat on your body. Not that you've ever had any fat on your body though. Your super skinny. Maybe when you can start eating solid foods you'll gain more strength.

I'll see you soon and keep up the hard work with your therapy. Your amazing.

By the way, Jennifer, the picture of him kissing Jackie's picture is the most precious thing i have ever seen!!!

Love you Johnny, Valerie

***an email from your cousin Leroy
I just got done updating myself on the blog. I waited to write this because I started crying and couldn't stop. He is starting to talk, that is unbelievable news. I am so happy for him and you, Jackie, your mom and everybody. Johnny's strength to strive forward comes from his devoted family as well as from his inner strength. Tell Johnny I said keep it up. We pray for you all everyday. All my love cousin. Leroy

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

September 16, 2009


I've been bummed all day. I know that my state of mind is nothing compared to what your going through. I just wish there was more I could do. I've been praying for you all day...I hadn't heard the phone ring so by 1pm I checked my phone to see why mom hadn't given me an update and I saw I had a missed call from her. I called her and she said that she had sent me an update email because she couldn't get me on the phone. Can't say the lady doesn't try! Ha! Anyway, here's her email:

I got there early - 10:30 - he was already in the chair - Julie was there with him. She said he had moved his foot in a circle on command. They had given him a warm soapy wash rag and he washed and dried his face and hands. She fed him ice chips - he chewed and swallowed. He held his head up enough that his O2 was good. She put the speaking valve on his trach and he said Ahhhh, Eeeee, Ball. He played catch with me - more like he threw the ball and I fetched it! We tried to get him to say ball before I gave him the ball - he refused but took the ball from me by force - then he grinned! Maybe the little devil tattoo is more appropriate than we think. Mom

**me again**
Johnny has always been like driving a pig. If you want him to go left, he goes right. To say he's stubborn is an understatement. That's probably why he survived the accident and he's still with us today, he's stubborn. Praise God for that!

As I read mom's email, I just cried...God heard my prayers. He gave Johnny a voice.
The things we take for granted! Nothing is too big for God. He wants to hear our desires, our needs, our wants.

Luke 11:9-10
And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

How awesome is that? God wants to hear from us, and if it's His will, He wants nothing more then to make us happy and give us what we desire. Please don't stop praying for Johnny.

Mark 11:22
Have faith in God.

When I'm feeling like there is no hope or depressed about your progress, it would be so easy to forget that God loves you every bit as much as your family and more. It would be easy to think how sad this is that your going through this alone, but your not, are you? You are resting in the healing hands of your savior. I'm so thankful! And, he created you, he loves you, he knew before you were born that you would be faced with this obstacle...I believe that he prepared your family for how to deal with it and where we could lean. I'm not so sure that I would have turned to God 20 years ago. I'm pretty sure that I would be mad at God, at you, at Harley Davidson, at the roads in Malone...the list goes on. Thank God I know better. I love you Johnny and I feel with all that I am that God has a plan and a purpose for all of this. Like my mother-in-law said, we may not know why for a long time but at some point, it will reveal itself. It's not our time, it's His.

Please continue to pray for Johnny. Don't think that your prayer isn't is! XO Jen

Your friend Scott Frost came to see you.

September 15, 2009


You weren't interested in therapy. Mom and I are thinking that maybe your getting you muscle relaxer before hand and by the time you do therapy, your too relaxed and just want to sleep. It may be time to call a family meeting with Texas Specialty. We are not sure that all the specialists are talking to each other. We definitely want you to get the full benefit of being in this facility.

Well, I'm heart broken and I'd really like to hurt someone! Mom came to visit you after work today and they had your left hand restrained. This is the hand that you don't move but you have been using your thumb on that hand to push up your trach so it's necessary to do something. BUT, someone with some brains should be using them when dealing with my brother... they had your left hand restrained and it was so tight on your arm that your left arm was swollen, your hand was swollen, and it had cut off your circulation. To make matters worse, they had a padded glove over your left hand and when mom took off the glove your left middle finger was bent backwards. I get angry every time I think about it! You don't have a voice right now to register pain. They say that their policy is to take off the restraints every 30 minutes or so. Mom said that you were in the same position you were in at 5pm as you were at 1pm so our thinking is that you were like that for hours....if mom had decided to go on home instead of checking up on you, you would have lost your left hand by the morning. I'm just heart broken for you! And, fighting mad! Mom said that they were in no hurry to bring her ice that she requested 3 times. They then said that they couldn't give her ice without checking with the you want to guess how quickly they brought her ice after she got through with them...
She had them give you tylenol for the pain also. Jerry had told mom earlier that day that she needed to be a squeeky wheel, I don't know in what frame he was talking because I didn't get the whole story but you can bet that woman was squaking up and down those halls. She didn't want to leave either. She met with your pulmonary doctor before she went home and told him under no circumstances were you to have that arm restrained. Mom said that before she left there were all kinds of nurses helping out with Johnny. No one claimed responsibility but I'm betting this won't happen again. Oh little brother, I pray you find your voice soon. I miss you so much and I just feel so helpless as to what to do for you. I hope that you can feel how loved you are. Who ever said that this process was one step forward and two steps back was dead on. Love you Johnny! Xo Jen

this is your hand two days later...

September 14, 2009


Mom said during your therapy today with Julie, your speech therapist, you mouthed a couple of words. You weren't verbal, just mouthed. Jerry, your physical therapist, worked with you head control. Mom said that he had a wooden board that had a cut out in it in the shape of a rainbow. It had rings that moved from once side of the rainbow to the other. Jerry was trying to get you to move the ring. Mom said you tried but you couldn't get it past the top of the arch. Good job though! We'll take what we can get!! Proud of you!! Mom said that there is an order in your chart for the pump and botox for your elbow. That's good news!

xo Jen

Sunday, September 13, 2009

September 13, 2009


Micky and I came to visit you and mom had beat us there. She was showing you your pictures when we got there. You were not cooperating. You wanted to sleep. Mom worked on your feet and I trimmed your nails. After a while, Mickey and I left but mom stayed all day. She said that she was able to get you to point to people in the pictures but you weren't very consistent. Tomorrow you will be having Physical therapy, I don't think Jerry will be easy on you so I guess it's good your catching up on your sleep now. When Mickey and I left, we told you bye and you waved to us. It's the little things that are so exciting!! Oh, it's still raining. Mom said that Navarro Mills got 5 inches and the roads are flooded, she had to go home through Corsicana. We sure do need the rain. Love you! xo Jen

For Johnny's friends:
The room where Johnny's at now in Texas Specialty does not have visiting hours. They physical therapist works with Johnny around 10:30ish and likes for him to have quiet and lights out after the session so he suggests no visitors until after 1pm.
One thing you need to know is that because it's flu season they are being very cautious and making us wear gowns, gloves and a mask when we are up close to Johnny. Those things are on the door as you walk into his room. We really appreciate you visiting with Johnny and would love a report of your visit either on the pad in his room or you can comment on the blog or call one of us..
Nancy 972-345-0454
Jennifer 972-921-4335
Thanks so much!!

September 12, 2009


It's a yucky rainy Saturday...Jackie and I came to see you. We brought your picture frame. It was a little disappointing, I don't know if it was your meds or the time of day, but you weren't interested. Jackie put together a brag book and each picture is labeled so the therapist can work with you when we're not here and she'll know who's in the photos. She did a really good job. I wish you were awake enough to enjoy it.

I shaved you, cleaned your ears, teeth and nose (which you hate - as do I!) and I shampooed your hair. By the time I was done, you were completely out. Jackie and I turned you on your side, adjusted all your pillows and got you all comfy. We left after that, you were peacefully sleeping and we had to travel a ways to get home in the rain.

I was thinking, it makes me sad thinking about you sleeping through summer. I know how much you love being outside. It's almost bow season and I know your going to miss that too. I keep telling myself in the grand plan, one summer and winter isn't much to give up. You are making such good progress. I know this will all be a testimony of what God can do and it's always a blessing when God uses us....even if it doesn't feel like it at the time.

Johnny, Jackie misses you but she's settled in nicely. She's made a lot of friends at school. I take her to school in the mornings and pick her up in the afternoons. She helps me with dinner and she's got a nightly routine. The only things missing Johnny, is you. So, keep fighting - we'll be here cheering you on. One milestone at a time. XO Jen

September 11, 2009


I spent the day and most of the evening going through my pictures. I put them on a jump drive for the digital picture frame mom got you. Your speech therapist thought it would be good for you and suggested we get you one. She told us to tell you who the people are in the pictures, it's feeding your brain with information. It's really hard going through all these old pictures and seeing you like you were before the accident. I miss you so much! Xo Jen
Some pictures of you:

This is one of my favorite pictures of you.

You and Jackie being silly.

You and Jackie Christmas

Jackie's Birthday day

You reading to Cody

Mom and Dad were with you today during therapy. You would be amazed at how they work together for you. Mom said it was very sweet the way dad kept telling you how much he loves you.

Joe, Kathy & Christy Navrtil came to see you:
Johnny, Mom (Kathy) and Dad (Joe) came by to see you today. I waited until after your therapy. I had a hard time getting you awake. You are going in and out. I won't stay long just wanted to see you. We are so proud of all your progress. We love you. Christy

Your friend Gary from work came by too.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

September 10, 2009


Mom, Mickey and I came to see you today during your therapy session. I walked in to see you and said "Hi Johnny" and you mouthed "Hi". I brushed your teeth and you followed commands to open your mouth, stick out your tongue, etc. When Jerry got there, he put you in a wheel chair. It was so cool to see you sitting up right.

Before they put you in the wheel chair, they put shoes on you. I know you don't like it at all but again, it was really cool to see you with shoes on your feet. Jerry said that tomorrow he's going to put pants on you. Seeing you in only a hospital gown for 3 months has been hard, it's exciting to think about you wearing something different.

Jerry tried to cool down your brain a little by putting bags of ice on and around your head. He said that bringing your temp down just a bit would help you to concentrate. Well, you didn't like it at all! Julie, your speech therapist had a sign with yes and no on it. She asked you if you liked the ice and you pointed to no. She then asked you if you knew that your sister was here and you pointed to yes. Then she asked if you knew that your brother-in-law was here and you pointed to yes. Man! I started to's amazing! Your amazing!

I probably should have given Julie a heads up that I was blogging some pictures and maybe she would have used a chart without coffee stains. Ha! Sorry!

Jerry also worked on your legs, he stretched out your hamstrings and you were not happy! You grabbed your leg and put an "it hurts" look on your face. I know it's tough Johnny but you are doing so good! I am so amazed at your progress and it's just been three days of therapy!

Well, the torture ended with Jerry putting shaving cream on your face. He gave you a wet rag and told you if you wanted to get back in bed and make therapy stop, you needed to wipe the shaving cream off your face. You did!!

You were so exhausted after your therapy that Mom and I left so you could get some much needed rest. Proud of you Johnny! You did so good today!!
XO Jen

Mom went to see you after work. She said to you, "Johnny say hi to me" and you said, "hiiiiii". You drew out hi wth your whole breathe.

She said when she left she said to you, "Bye Johnny" and you said, "bye". Real quick.
Proud of you!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

September 9, 2009


Well, I know it's a hard fight you're in right now but you can handle it! You are doing so good!!!
Mom said today during your therapy, they put your tennis shoes on you. You did not like that at all and made a terrible face. They said that putting your shoes on sends a message to the brain. Then they put you on the tilt board. Mom said they had it almost completely vertical and you reached over with your right hand and tried to steady yourself on the bed next to the tilt board. That is fabulous!!!
Dwayne said to you to touch your nose if you want to lay down and you touched your nose. They let the tilt board down a little bit and asked you if you wanted to go some more. They said raise one finger for no and two fingers for raised your middle finger. That is a definite no, I'd say. Ha! Then Jerry told you to let go of his hand and grab your right ear if you wanted to get back in bed. Mom said you grabbed your right ear and wouldn't let go. They were all so excited. Julie your speech therapist told mom that you are following commands and wants to get you talking. She said that if they change out the trach you'd be able to make verbal sounds. She also mentioned that they will start giving you ice chips with dye. What that does is...after you swallow the ice chips they suction your lungs. If you have dye in your lungs then it went down the wrong pipe. If you don't that means you swallowed it right. So simple and yet...brilliant! Mom also said that Jerry wants to put you in a wheel chair's not a traditional wheelchair, this one is a little more reclined. I can't wait to see how you do with that. Mom said she's going to try and get them to take you outside for a minute or love the outdoors and it's been three months since you've spent anytime outside. Simple pleasures, huh? Oh how we take them for granted! Love you Johnny! See you tomorrow. xo Jen

To Johnny's friends and family: The physical therapist suggested that we put together a picture CD or a scrapbook for Johnny. We have tons of pictures of course but if there is one you might have that your in with Johnny or one of Johnny and his daughter, would you send me a copy of it...either via email or snail mail. The therapist said that we are to show him the pictures and not ask him if he knows who the people are but rather tell him..."Johnny, this is you and Jackie at the zoo" ... etc. what we will be doing is putting information into his brain. It's just amazing and to see Johnny begin to come back to us is such a blessing! Please continue to pray. See below for my mailing/email info. Thanks!! Jen
Jennifer Smith
6050 Crest Drive
Midlothian, Texas 76065

From Diana:
So, you are certainly more awake. I asked "do you know who I am?" you mouthed yes. You formed my name on your lips...I think. So, your mom said they stood you up (a tilt board). That's very good. Your dad and I are still house hunting. I go t 6pm tonight to look at another. This one is on 709, right out of Hubbard on 31. We'll see. I'm almost to a "don't care" point. It all happened quickly - snowballed at the point of your injury. Anyway, we are finding it difficult to be more attentive for you. We love you very much. We want to come back Friday if all goes well. I think this is a good place. I hope so. At least they are working with you and not letting you just lay here. Everyone continues to pray and hope for you recovery. Love dad and Diana.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

September 8, 2009


Twelve weeks today...
Cody and I came to see you this morning. I am so glad we did!!! When we walked in your right eye was wide open. You were hooked up to an IV...the nurse said you have bacteria in your sputum...meaning, your infection is back in your lungs. This will put your pump back a few weeks. You have to be completely infection free for some time before you can get it because of where it goes. Anyway, while there, I met your Physical Therapist Jerry. Funny guy although you didn't think so when he was doing your leg and arm exercises.

He did say that he is positive you are not blind in your right eye. He simulated hitting towards your right eye and you blinked every time. He said you wouldn't do that if you were blind. Praise God! You tolerated the bed therapy well but when Jerry did your left hand, you came up off the pillow.

Jerry said that he was going to put you on a tilt table and get you standing today...of course, my mouth dropped open. I called mom and told her to get here quick, it was 10am and they were going to do it at 10:30. Jerry said that he would like to get the tilt table to a 60 degree angle. He said that when doing this it stimulates the nerve in the stomach causing a BM. This is unfortunate but a good thing. It tells us that your progressing normally, where you should be. Well, he was able to get you to 30 degrees and considering the only position you've been in for 12weeks is horizontal, this is a good thing!

Jerry said that you will continue with the tilt table, everyday, until you can tolerate 80 degrees for 5-10 minutes without having a BM. Once you accomplish that goal, you will move to a standing frame. How exciting!! This therapy is crucial to enable you to stand.

After Jerry left the first time, Kamini came in. She's your Occupational therapist. Kamini did your initial assessment. Dwayne will be doing your occupational therapy after that, daily. You registered pain while Kamini was working on your left side but kept your eyes closed the whole time.

When Jerry came back to put you on the tilt board, it was standing room only. You had Mom, me, Cody, Jerry, Kamini, Dwayne, your nurse and Julie your speech therapist there. You were very popular.

Here's some things I learned today...
Physical Therapy is mobility, standing up, walking, walking with a walker and able to use wheel chair.

Occupational therapy is fine motor skills. Usually upper extremities. Dressing yourself, buttons, brushing teeth, tying shoes.

Speech therapy is verbal, weening of the trach, pronunciation.

Very interesting. Praise God you are in Texas Specialty...they are everything they promised they would far and they are everything that we had hoped they would be. I am so excited to see what you can do!

Oh, Mom quit her job. She was telling the nurse that and the nurse said, that's called, "for the love of Johnny" ... I thought that was appropriate and very sweet.

Love you Johnny! xo Jen

***For Johnny's friends who might visit, he will be having therapy in the mid mornings Monday - Friday so they suggest Johnny not have visitors until after 1pm on those days because it wears him out and he sleeps afterwards. Thanks for understanding : )

September 7, 2009


Mickey and I came to see you this morning. You were wide right-eyed when we walked in. I was so excited to see you so alert. I told you to life two fingers if you could hear me and you did. I asked you to life two fingers if you knew Mickey was there and you did. A little later, I told you to life two fingers if you wanted me to get out of your face and you did. Well, Mickey and I both started laughing and you put a smile on your face. I wanted to cry! Giving me a hard time is one of your favorite things to do...I'm glad I could accommodate you!

Mom and Sandra came up to visit you. Mom said you weren't very active with her...guess I wore you out.

Love you!! Jen

Sunday, September 6, 2009

September 6, 2009


We heard today that you be getting your trach changed out a size 4!!
You will be trach free by Friday, the Lord willing. The doctor said that you will be given food through the mouth and monitored to see how you do but they will keep the feeding tube until they are sure you can handle it. I'm not sure about the meds they have you on, you seem really tired and your not interacting like you did at Parkland. I'm trying to be patient. Tomorrow is Labor Day, I'll come up in the afternoon to see you. They are suppose to change your trach in the morning. Love you!! xo Jen

Saturday, September 5, 2009

September 5, 2009


When Jackie and I came to see you today, you had several visitors. Buddy and Tammy were there and Christy and Kathy also. We stood around you visiting and trying to get you to interact but you were too tired. After your visitors left, I gave you a shave, I shampooed you hair and cut it some. I cleaned your ears and face. You seemed really relaxed.

Jackie and I stayed for several hours and you just slept. I was able to talk to your pulmonary doctor who said that he changed out your trach to a size 6 and would be changing it again next week to a size 4. He said that by Friday you should be trach free. They are going to try and feed you through the mouth but still feed you through the feeding tube until you get the hang of it. It's just amazing, the progress you're making!! Oh, you have your own room now, it's room 19. I met your nurse, she's really nice and seems to really care about you.

This is Jackie being bored...

Take care little brother....Love you!! Jen

September 4, 2009


Mom said that the doctor got the results of your x-ray back. The news is all good!!
Your cervical and cerasic (sp?) spine are normal and healed. Your soft tissue, arteries, spine and heart are normal. Your lungs are fully inflated and normal. Mom said that you're in pretty good shape for the condition you're in. The pulmonary doctor is going to be weening you off the trach also. You've been resting good.

Jackie is going to her first 7th grade dance tonight.
***Before the dance***

She had a blast!!

Cody changing out his own would be so proud of him Johnny!!

Love you!! Jen

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Where's Johnny....

As of September 2, 2009:

Texas Specialty Hospital of Dallas
7955 Harry Hines Blvd
Dallas, Texas 75235

Take I-35 to Regal Row.
Exit Regal Row turn right.
Turn right on Harry Hines.
Texas Specialty is on the right,
after Brook Hollow Road

Visiting hours:
8am - 9am
12pm - 1pm
4pm - 5pm
8pm - 9pm

If you visit, please email or call with Johnny's progress - thank you!!
Nancy 972-345-0454
Jennifer 972-921-4335

September 3, 2009


Mickey and I visited you in your new place this morning. You were so clean and were sleeping really good. I spoke to you and you didn't respond right away but after a few times trying, you opened your right eye and looked at me. The nurse was giving you your meds. We could only stay a little while, the guy in x-ray came to tell us he was about to take you for some x-rays. He said that it would take a long while to get them done, they were taking several. I'm so impressed! This place is so nice, it's clean and it looks professional. I pray that you flourish here! I really think they have so many opportunities for you to progress here and we plan to take advantage of every one!

Dad & Diana visited you this morning. They said they were able to talk with the doctor who is caring for you. He talked about putting botox in your left elbow to help loosen it up. Right now you keep it bent across your chest and your not using it at all. When we work with that hand, you grimace in pain. So, this will be really good if the botox works. Other than that, you opened your eye but didn't respond. It's really great the way this facility is right on top of things!

Mom's coming to see you after work.

Take care little brother!! Love you much! XO Jen

Email from California:
From cousin Melinda....
Hi Johnny WE LOVE YOU KISSES:):):)

September 2, 2009


Well little brother, your on the move again. The ambulance came to pick you up at around 1:30 pm. They called mom when they were an hour away and she headed that way. She made sure that you were all settled at Texas Specialty. They have you in something like an ICU and they are evaluating you like most places do before giving you a room.


Diana said that while she was visiting, she bent down to talk in your ear...she said, "Johnny, I love you. I love you so much." She said that she heard you plan as day say, "I love", "I love". You said it twice and it was low in volume but you spoke. That is so encouraging!!

Emails from California:
From Aunt Donna......
Dearest Jennifer,

We are so thankful to hear the good news that they are finally sending Johnny to a facility were he can get the care he needs.
I know it is a load off all of you. Tell my sister "She put out the Mama Bear claws and fought the fight for her Cub".

You know me and the phone but I have restrained myself from bugging you all with phone calls. Thank you for setting up Johnny's blog.
I have been checking it every day sometime am and pm.

Maybe you all can get a little rest now that Johnny will be were you know he is taken care of. I know it has been hard on all of you.
It just breaks my heart but we know that God is in charge and Johnny is in God's hands.

I have tried a couple times to post a comment to Johnny's blog. Noticed the comment box then typed away but then it was asking to make a selection but I did not fit into any of the selections. Guess I am not up to date on all this NEW stuff.
Thought I would tell you why I have not posted anything to Johnny's blog.

When you see him tell him I love him and give him Hugs and Kisses.

When does Cody start college? I hope Jackie is doing fine in her new school.
Tell them Hello and give them my love.

Take care of yourself.
I love you LOTS,
Aunt Donna

From Cousin Leroy.....
Hi Jennifer,

You did a great job on the Blog. Thanks for putting it together. For the family members so far away it is keeping us informed.
It sounds like he is making progress. I can't wait to hear the rest. You, your Mother and the rest of your family are doing a great
job for Johnny and each other. As I told you on the phone, I know he will make it because he is too good of a person and has
too much to live for.The family he has at his side is his strength and he knows it.
We will continue to pray for Johnny and the whole family.
We love you all very much.

Leroy, Elizabeth, Rachel and Eric Jr.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September 1, 2009


Today is 11 weeks. It just doesn't seem possible that this even happened and that it's been 11 weeks, what can I say...I wish it was a nightmare that I'll wake up from. The last couple of days have been about the same. You are infection free so the doctor took you off antibiotics. They are watching you to see how you do. You still have congestion but it's considered normal. I came to visit you today during the day and you were so calm and peaceful...really very sweet! It breaks my heart to see you like this, knowing how you once were. I'm just so thankful that we have you at all. The outcome could have been so different. I love you so much little brother and I miss you terribly!

You trying to be sneaky and messing with your trach...

Well, PRAISE GOD!! PRAISE GOD!! PRAISE GOD!! I just heard from mom who heard from your caseworker at Parkland...your moving to Texas Specialty Long Term Acute Care Hospital tomorrow!! Woo Hoo!! God is in control! I'm ecstatic! I don't need to tell you, we were dancing around the kitchen! We've been praying so hard that someone would step up that had a heart for their field and see the medical need you have. I am so happy! I have seen you progress since you were moved from Manor care and I can't wait to see you impress us all in this new facility! Oh Johnny, I am so proud of you! You keep giving it your all and we'll keep praying. I love you! I love you! and I miss you!! xo Jen

Email from Aunt Von:
Dearest Jenn,
Thank the Lord for this last bit of good news (August 29th) and also thanks to you that we can share in all of the improvement about Johnny on the blog that you faithfully keep up with and all of the other things you are doing.
We can't be there in body but we are in spirit and our payers are with Johnny each and every day. We know this is the best help Johnny will get.
We know all too well what head traumas will and can do.
Tell Johnny we love and are thinking of him and praying for him. Also tell Jackie we love her and praying for her. Just as we are all of the family. You and Nancy just take care of yourselves and do not get run down or you might wind up in the hospital also and you don't want that to happen as Johnny will really need all of you when he comes home. I know I have not corresponded much but I know how run ragged you and Nancy are so I do not want to burden either one of you further.

Love to ALL....Prayers for everyone. Lots of Love, Aunt Von

Your visitors Sunday, 8/30
Mom, Robert, Dad, Diana
Your visitors Monday, 8/31
Mom, Jen, Jackie, Christy
Your visitors Tuesday, 9/1
Mom, Jen, Gary, Diana

(If I've left anyone out, I'm so sorry! Please post a comment to let Johnny know what ever it is you'd like to tell him. God bless and keep praying!! God's listening!!)