Sunday, February 11, 2007

February 11, 2007 - At Trinity Mission

Mack has been at Trinity Mission for nearly a month now and seems to be adjusting nicely. His speech therapist, Kristie, his speech therapist, has been working with Mack quite a bit since he arrived, and as a result, Mack has shown big improvements in his motor skills over the past few weeks. As you can see in the picture, Mack is holding a glass of water and drinking tiny sips on his own. He is also showing some response to commands, such as putting his chap stick on both of his lips on his own. Also, he has been responding to picture recognition.

Mack had his first vital stim treatment on Thursday, Feb. 8. to stimulate his throat muscles and allow him to swallow better. Kristie has given him water, graham crackers, and had Mack feed himself pudding with a spoon without any complications.
Next Friday, Feb. 16th, Mack will be transported to Johnston Willis for a modified barium swallow test. If he is successful, he may be able to start eating some regular food soon under Kristie's supervision.

Mack has recently started showing emotions, like a little smile and sometimes his eyes will start welling up with tears while we're talking to him. And, he has started making more sounds, moving his mouth like he's trying to talk.

Yesterday, Richard, Belinda and I took Alex (Mack's dog) to visit with Mack. Although Mack was tired already from sitting up in his chair earlier in the morning, he was happy to see us with Alex when we arrived. Alex jumped up in Mack's bed and Mack held on to Alex's harness for a little while to keep him near him. We even got Mack to pet Alex on his own. When Belinda sat on Mack's bed and hugged him, Mack raised his head toward her face to kiss her several times. She held him for quite a while and I think he was happier to see Belinda than he was to see Alex yesterday. That was the most deliberate move I've seen Mack make yet. It brought tears to my eyes to see him react to Belinda that way because it shows he remembered that he loves her and that, although he can't tell her yet, he showed her that she is still a very important person in his life.

March 12th will be Mack's 27th birthday. We're planning to have a little family-type birthday party for him on Sunday afternoon, March 11th, at Trinity Mission. We'll bring him balloons and decorate his room a little for him. If Mack is successful next Friday with his barium swallow study, we also plan to have an ice cream cake for him to enjoy at his birthday party.

If anyone wants to send Mack a birthday card,
address it to:

RICHARD M. MANOR
c/o TRINITY MISSION FARMVILLE
P. O. Box 487
1575 Scott Drive
FARMVILLE, VA 23901

We want to thank all the nurses, care partners, his doctor and Kristie, his speech therapist, at Trinity Mission for making Mack feel comfortable and "at home" for the past few weeks.

Please keep up the hope and prayers 'cause, as you can see, it makes a big difference.

God Bless all of our family and friends,
Ruth & Richard

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