For the first time in nearly seven months, Brian is able to be in an upright position with support from a recently acquired standing frame (see photo). He has already increased his tolerance in the frame to a couple of hours per day. Perhaps, being in an upright position will assist in healing his serious pressure wound. For two months now, this troublesome wound has dominated his time and prevented him from getting into recovery therapies that would put his paralyzed limbs into motion. While healing does continue, the Wound Specialist has not yet ruled out plastic surgery should the healing process stall.
The pressure wound prevented Brian from accompanying me on my visit to Beyond Therapy, a recovery program for spinal cord injury victims located at Shepherd Hospital in Mid-town Atlanta. Brian is on a “waiting list” to enroll. Meanwhile, he is anxious to go to Race to Walk which is located near Charlotte. Trainers at both programs will collaborate. They will use state of the art equipment and vigorous exercise to improve Brian’s overall health and possibly restore some function to his paralyzed legs.
I’ve been able to open channels with some of those involved in research who are seeking a cure for paralysis. There is truly an explosion of activity involving a variety of promising approaches. The findings presented at the latest international conference of neuroscientists were so promising that researchers were gathering in the hallways at break, sketching out their plans for clinical trials.
Our plans and strategies for Brian’s healing are well in place. We just didn’t realize how prolong, troublesome, and at times even scary those issues would be. Brian knows that the recovery road will be long, but he also understands that his goals for acquiring more function can be obtained. Only GOD knows when and to what degree. With faith, Brian, his family and supporters will stay the course.
On behalf of our family, I extend special thanks to those who are donating to Brian’s recovery fund, keeping his recovery efforts (e.g., acquisition of standing frame) on track while our family presses on with the rehabilitation and medical treatments that are necessary and vital. Some of you have given of your time and energy assisting us in helpful and loving ways – looking after our 3 rescue dogs; cutting the grass; sending phone cards; donating items for Brian’s apartment; planning fund raising events; obtaining auction items from the “Canes” (Thank you Carolina Hurricanes!).
Brian has two great friends from Cary living in Charlotte who consistently visit him. Several of you have visited him from out of town. He does so much better in the company of his friends. While it has been wise for him to stay in Charlotte for treatments, his opportunity for interaction with others is much too limited. Your visits are making a positive difference in his life.
Several images from the past several months have been etched into my mind. One of the more vivid just recently occurred at a rehab therapy session. From nearby, I watched Brian lying in a prone position on the floor; rise to his knees; elevate, while rotating his trunk; and then land into his wheel-chair in one nearly continuous motion. I pondered, how could he have possibly done that? By this time, Brian had spotted me. I didn’t wait for that slight wave of his hand, the signal that my young son began using as an eight year old at ball practice to tell Dad it was time to give him space and move on. On this occasion, the tears pooling in my eyes was more than enough to send me on my way.
Thank you each and everyone for your prayers and support,
Kermit – Brian Keeter’s Dad