"Miracles are never wrought without prayer, felt need, and faith...they are the natural result of the Messiah's presence among men."
Bible Dictionary

Friday, April 13, 2012

Week two in Utah

We are getting settled into our new routine in Salt Lake. We now feel a part of NeuroWorx and are getting familiar with all the therapists and interns and other clients.  There are some great people here and it's great to hear people's stories and see their progress. We feel confident in our therapists. They have great expertise and Stephen feels good about the program. Yesterday Stephen did the FES bike for the first time since we were at st Joe's outpatient in August. We are planning to do that twice a week for an hour.  It is great exercise for his legs. Plus we started our wellness program, which means we can come in on our off days and use the cardio and resistance equipment.  With the combination of therapy sessions on land and in the pool and the wellness program, we are looking forward to spending a lot time here. 
We are trying our best to have some fun too.  Downtown SLC is so close. We went to the Suns/Jazz game last week (awesome game!) and were literally out of there and home in ten minutes. We have checked out the art exhibit at the church museum and are planning to go back for more.  Saturday we spent the day in Provo and met up with some friends at the BYU /Utah rugby game. Easter Sunday we went to the ward at the joseph smith memorial building and got a kick out of the amazing organist.  Also,  we figured we could go temple hopping while we are here too, so we started with the Jordan River. There are a few more temples around here, so it's a good list. So, we are trying to stay busy. The big news is that Stephen is planning on taking a class at BYU on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. We have an appointment next week with the disability office at BYU to figure out what accommodations  we will need to make, like digital textbooks, note takers, etc. It will be interesting to get back on campus and see it from a whole new perspective.  

Tomorrow is moving day to Riverton, closer to family and Provo. Spence and Rachel are coming up for two days to help. We are so excited to see them. It is also April 14th, one year from the accident. I can't explain the feelings I had last Saturday when we drove by the hospital on the way to the rugby game. I remember leaving the hospital and loading up in the ambulance to go to the Provo airport and fly to Phoenix, so grateful to go home and excited to start therapy. It's been an amazing year, and we are still full of faith and hope, even more so. I saw a message on a car today that I want to echo...Miracles Happen.  We have had lots of miracles and expect even more.

Friday, April 6, 2012


We have started a new phase in our adventure, so I figured it would be a good time to renew my dedication to Stephen's blog. We are now up in the Salt Lake area at a facility called NeuroWorx. This is our third day and it is a great place. I'll start with a brief summary of what brought us to this point. After the Neuro Institute in Tempe closed at the end of January, we started going to Touchstone in Phoenix and working with Dan Bonarti. He is very good with SCI, but he is a one man show, along with graduate student interns, and doesn't have a lot of equipment. It was our only other options at home. Then about 3 weeks ago there was a newspaper article in the sports section of the Sunday paper about an ASU baseball player who burst his C5 also and had the same C4-C6 fusion. His accident was just a few months before Stephen's. He was sliding into 2nd base and his head hit the knee of the 2nd baseman. The article mentioned is dad quitting his job and driving back and forth to California to Project walk, a spinal cord facility. As soon as I read it I knew we needed to do something similar. A week later I flew up to Utah and visited NeuroWorx for a day and felt that we needed to get Stephen up here as soon as possible. Spencer has a sabbatical this summer, but we decided not to delay until then. So after some consideration and planning, here we are. We felt completely led and directed to come here. I know that Heavenly Father continues to hear our prayers. We decided it would be a good idea for me to come up with Stephen for a month or 6 weeks. Spence will start his sabbatical (8 weeks off) plus a few weeks vacation the end of May. It’s tough for us to be separated from each other, but it’s a family commitment and investment from everyone to pull together to make it work out. We all drove up together in our van and a uhaul loaded up with Stephen’s equipment last Friday. We are staying at a small condo owned by Neuroworx in Salt Lake, about 20 mins away from their facility. Rachel went for a run Saturday morning and reported back that we live in the “nice part of the ghetto”. It’s taking me back to college days. Anyway we unloaded and went to conference on Saturday afternoon. We had 6 tickets and needed one more. As we walked up to the door wondering if we should hang a sign on Stephen’s wheelchair for a ticket….we bumped into the Westovers, former members of our ward who moved to California last summer. We started talking and found out they had extra tickets. Perfect. They also told us they had moved to Riverton and were leaving to Cambodia on a mission in two weeks. Well, the next day we got a message from them, offering their condo for us to stay in, at least until the middle of June when their son’s family will be staying in it. It is a lot bigger, more comfortable, closer to Neuroworx and Provo, and has a view of Mt. Timpanogos and the Draper temple. After figuring out how to build a ramp and adapt the shower, we have decided to make the move next weekend. Coincidence? I know that Heavenly Father is watching out for us and we’re thankful to the Westovers for their offer. They must have a soft spot for Stephen after his great hometeaching lessons. We are now on the hunt for a place to go for the summer when we will all be together. So, our adventure is beginning, and we will keep up the blog up to date with the news from Neuroworx.
We love all of you! Genny
P.S. They have given Stephen a thorough evaluation of his physical condition and endurance. We are on a wellness program of exercises that we can do on our own at the facility, including the NUStep bike, arm bike, FES bike, Vitaglide and resistance exercise machines. Plus we will have therapy sessions 3 days a week on land and in the pool. The therapists are concentrating on strengthening his shoulders and back. The left shoulder is still sublexed, but it is improving. He is wearing a brace to help it stay in place. Also the right scapula is “winging”. Those are the main areas we are concerned with presently, and request your prayers and faith that they will improve. Once they are stronger, he will be able to sit taller, and have greater body control. It is a long road ahead of us to reach the most basic of goals. I have to continually remember patience and perspective.