Only a week?

Has it really only been a week since we got Anne’s gait trainer?  Seriously, only a week?  Last Thursday seems like a lifetime ago – Anne has changed so much…

Anne's Rifton Pacer

She’s walking SO much better now.  She loves to walk to the piano, and then I turn her around and she walks back to the sofa.  The other night, she wanted to quit, but we encouraged her to walk as fast as she could to the sofa.  When she finished, Eric hugged her and said how proud of her he was.  Then Anne said, “I’m proud of me too.”  YES!  She put forth EFFORT!  AND had the self awareness to feel proud of herself!  We’ve been praying for that :-)

Another thing…  Anne was able to sit in my lap – without moving – just relaxing for almost five minutes.  That might not sound like a big deal – but to me, it’s HUGE.  There is something about Anne’s injury that prevents her from sitting still. While she was in the hospital, she could not relax in my lap – she would constantly want to sit up.  And she’s done the same thing at home – not being able to just sit in my lap – but always wanting to change positions.   This week, that’s changed!  I’ve so enjoyed Anne’s short bouts of stillness!  You don’t think about the gift of a relaxed child in your lap, until – well – your child can’t relax – but Anne is improving :-)

Anne’s also doing really well with her new speech therapist.   Therapists are people – with different personalities and gifts, and some have meshed well with Anne, and others – well, not so much.  This therapist is able to pull the best out of Anne.  We’re very thankful for her!

I’ve learned alot about sensory processing issues from this SLP (speech language pathologist).  Anne struggled with sensory processing before the accident, and it’s only magnified in her now.  I’m excited for Anne to start working with an OT in the area that has extensive experience with Sensory Processing Disorder.  I’ll probably write more about that later…

But for now, it’s obvious that God is working mightily in Anne!  She is emerging more and more.  Getting angry, showing excitement, demanding her way, kissing Canon, correcting Kate, and saying, “I love you Mama.”  :-) 

The joy she brings makes up for all the hard work of caring for her.  We’re very grateful in the Jackson house these days!


Not quite ready for the big time…

We’ve only had the gait trainer for a few days, and she’s already made great progress. She took a few more steps by herself today than yesterday, and is slowly learning how to balance and move her body in space.  The gait trainer is awesome, because it helps to retrain Anne’s brain to walk.

I believe Anne will be able to walk into church one Sunday …she’s just got to practice a lot more before she’s ready for the big time!!!

-kathryn :-)

Rifton Pacer Miracle

One thing that I’ve wanted for Anne at home has been a walker. Anne’s not quite ready for a simple walker just yet. But, a couple of months ago, when Anne was being fitted for a wheelchair, just for fun, they tried Anne in a gait trainer. A gait trainer is a fancy walker with lots of options for support. You can attach a pelvic support or a trunk support, arm supports, ankle supports – and they can all be used in different combinations to customize the gait trainer for the child.

When Anne was in the Day Rehab program, I asked about getting a gait trainer for Anne at home, but it just didn’t work out…

Enter Anne’s new volunteer PT. She’s actually a professional PT in real life – she just feels called to help Anne. So when a vendor came to her work demonstrating gait trainers – she immediately thought of Anne.

After we talked, and I exclaimed, “That’s what I’ve been wanting!!!!” – she went to work, calling the manufacturer and then the local distributor hoping to find one that we could just TRY for Anne. After the PT finished telling Anne’s story, Charlene (the lady at the local distributor) said, “You tell Anne’s mom that she has a whole team of people working for Anne!” And the next day, Charlene emailed to say that they were DONATING a gait trainer to Anne!!!!

We went to pick it up today. Anne was treated like a rock star! All the employees watched and snapped pictures as she was fitted for the gait trainer. Anne turned to her PT and said, “Is it REAL that I’m going to be able to walk into church by myself?”

Anne has taken a few steps by herself today. We hope she’ll be taking much more in the near future!!

It is such an honor to be in the middle of all of these miracles that God has performed for Anne. He does this through HIS people, like the PT and Charlene and Anne’s speech therapist and through our church family and community. He continues to provide perfectly for sweet, little Anne. It’s all amazing.

PROFOUNDLY grateful! -kathryn

BTW: here’s the link for Anne’s new gait trainer. Rifton Pacer gait trainer