Formerly "Neil Stone Updates"

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Good Day Sunshine

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!


Molly said...

Wow, amazing. It is truly amazing to hear how far Neil has come. I am so glad he has been able to move on to Rehab, it sounds like he has done some amazing things today. The toothbrush and the comb... Incredible. I'm sure it was nice to see him in "normal" clothes for a change. I would love to see a picture of these awesome shoes and the cranes of course! Thanks for the update!

Alison + Brandon said...

Hooray! This is great news. I'm sure the thumbs-up was fun to see.

Meredith said...

Oh, a picture of the awesome shoes are a must! All I can say is WOW. I was explaining to the girls about Neil going to Rehab and that the people there will help him exercise and learn how to "do stuff" again. I cannot wait to tell them in the morning. We pray all the time and will of course say more and more prayers of thanks. Truly, he is one amazing young man and we love him dearly.

Adrienne and Lee said...

Hi Stone Family this is Adrienne Evans, the McGuire's friend. I have been following this blog and sending lots of prayers your way, and now I am sending cheers your way! What a great day and I pray that there will be lots more to come.

Selena said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Selena said...

Hi Family Stone!

I too have been following your blog and praying for you all. My brother-in-law, Dave, works for Scott. I wanted to let you know that I share your joy at Neil's progress. Thank you for keeping us posted. It is a blessing and an honor to seek the Lord on your behalf down here in Virginia.



Neil's Sioux City Connection said...

WOW! GREAT news on Neil. We have continued to look at the blog often and to stay caught up on Neil's great accomplishments. It sounds like the move to rehab was hard but well worth it. I can't wait to read about all of the good things that are going to keep coming for all of you. John is out of the country right now but also keeps up on the blog and sends his thoughts to all of you. He even has troops in Turkey praying for Neil's best outcome!
AGAIN - great for Neil and tell him to keep up the hard work. Scott and Lori - keep taking good care of yourselves. Neil and the rest of your family needs you to stay healthy!

nikki said...

To the Stone Family,
I have never met you or your son but i came across his story and was directed to this site. I just need to tell you that your son's story has touched my heart and i haven't been able to stop thinking and praying for your family. Everyday when i get to work the first thing i do is go to my computer and check to see what good news you have posted and i just know that he will recover because of all the love he has around him. He sounds like a fighter!!! I can't wait to read all the wonderful posts that you are sharing with everyone who has been touched by your son's story. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Take care

Ali said...

This is such spectacular news!! He surely HAS come so far. His progress is so inspiring and uplifting. I know these last weeks probably felt like a lifetime to you...but it has really been a relatively short time and he has made such fantastic advances. To read this just makes me very happy! Neil has such joy and love for life and he was never lacking in energy or enthusiasm. He is putting those wonderful and strong attributes to good use now for sure!

I imagine yesterday exhausted him...but oh what extraordinary results he got from the efforts he put forth! Must have been so emotional for you. In a good way. :)

You and your family have also proven to be extraordinary and have handled circumstances and events you never could have imagined. You have done so with great faith, grace, patience, wisdom and also determination to get Neil the best care and best recovery possible. Your efforts ( and his) have most certainly paid off.

Thank you for taking us on the journey with you and keeping us informed!

Love and prayers to ALL of you for continued strength and know we are sharing such joy with you on the monumental triumphs and progress Neil is making! So impressive and miraculous!
Much love,

Hancocks said...

So great to hear this news. I wish we could drive on over to visit...maybe someday. Love to all you guys,
Jen and family

Mama Reay said...

Lori, I have been keeping up on this adventure and am so happy to hear how things worked out. You are good people the Lord loves you. He has bigger plans for Neil. I tried to write you a comment earlier a few times it didn't work, but I think I know how to do it now. You were all there for me 30 years ago and I wish I could have been there for you. A few years ago I went thru a similar experience with my son, it's not many different endings.I love you and hate that you had to go thru that but it's all behind you now. This blog thing is so cool. He will love that you did this for him. You take care and remember you and are loved and prayed for everyday, even by someone who hasn't seen you forever. Your family is very dear to me. God bless. Love Laura Jackson Reay

Sarah Anne said...

wow. very very good news. he's doing so well! i'm sure he's glad to be in normal clothes now. the Kessler Institute is far for you guys, but only like twenty minutes away for us, so it's closer than the hospital, which was like an hour away. we'll come visit later today, probably.

The Schaugaard's said...

So glad he's doing so well. We continue to pray for him.

Amy Edgar Schaugaard

Meghan, Carson and the Girls said...

I think that I missed this post fromj yesterday. I actually can't remember if I even made it to the computer. :) That is all such great news and it sounds like amazing progress. Give Neil a thumbs up from us!