There’s so much to tell you. Let me just start by expressing our appreciation to the caring team at Robert Wood Johnson SICU West. They are amazing, and we felt like they were family by the end of our stay there. Needless to say, I shed a few tears as we left. Thank you, thank you for taking such good care of Neil and us!
Now, it’s on to new things. It’s our first day in rehab and Neil is dressed in a t-shirt and pajama pants. He’s also wearing his awesome shoes. (So glad we found them!) No breathing help of any kind now. He’s been sitting in a special wheelchair most of the day. Neil showed his stuff and amazed us all today in his various therapies. He gave a thumbs-up on command and had some success picking out various colored cones when requested and stacking them. When given a toothbrush, he automatically brought it to his teeth, and he showed what to do with a comb. All of these with his right side, mind you. But there is hope for his left. He pulls his left arm back when it’s pinched (not by me!) and that’s a good sign.
The speech language-pathologist actually worked with him on swallowing. She was so surprised to see he could chew on ice and swallow it, that she ran to get some applesauce. Sure enough, he was able to swallow a little of that. He’s not ready to switch to mouth feeding yet, but he’s certainly got a head start on the right road.
Okay, enough for now. You can see why we’re so exhausted! Come see us and cheer Neil on. We’re inconveniently located at:
Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation
1199 Pleasant Valley Way
West Orange, NJ 07052
Visiting hours are from 8:00 AM to 8:30 PM every day, but Neil has different therapies throughout the day, so it might be best to call first—or just plan on visiting in the late afternoon or evening. He’ll be done by then. We realize it is a long distance to come, so please don’t feel obligated.
I did get some pictures of the cranes. :-) I’ll try to post one tomorrow.
If you’re feeling so inclined, say a little prayer of thanks for the long way Neil has come so far. We’re feeling so blessed and happy. We’re hoping for lots more where that came from!