It’s official! Corbin is now 2 years old. Wow! Time does fly, doesn’t it? Although his birthday is the 20Th, we celebrated on Saturday with friends and family. Corbin received lots of toys, cars and clothes. As soon as we blew out the candle, Corbin went straight for the icing. He had blue icing stains on his hands until the next day! It was beautiful and a lot of fun watching him enjoy the spotlight.
Concerning Danny, we’ve had an exciting couple of weeks. I know you’re anxious to read about it, so here goes.

First of all, we’re more than likely going to skip casting Danny’s ankles and go straight for the tendon release surgery. After consulting with the therapist that casted him while he was an in-patient at Shepherd, we learned that Danny never gained much movement. So, rather than put this off any longer, we have an appointment on Monday with an orthopedic surgeon.

Secondly, last Friday Danny and I had a hour scheduled with Candy to work on stands and pivots. We did just fine and got our stamp of approval, but what stays with me the most is what Candy said to Danny. We discussed Danny’s lack of motivation to do any therapy at home, especially the standing frame. She was shocked that Danny wasn’t taking advantage of it and made a deal that he stand in it for an hour a day for one week. I’m pleased to say that he has made good on his deal with Candy, but that still isn’t the news. While encouraging him to work at home, she told him that she knew with 100% certainty that he is going to walk again! She also told him along with that that she wouldn’t have been able to say that the first day that she met him. Talk about making my heart leap for joy! And, yet, it still gets better. Read on!

As I mentioned in my last posting, Candy has been making Danny walk, with the assistance of the Argo to help him support his upper body, for four weeks. Yesterday, Danny had a huge breakthrough; all the therapists were talking about it. I even got an email while I was at work about how “unbelievable” Danny did. He gaited down and back the length of the basketball court TWICE! For you math wizards, that is four times. He had electrodes on his knees and in his shoes. He was not sitting on Candy’s shoulder and was able to control his buttocks and trunk. But, again, the best part for me comes from Candy’s mouth. She told Danny that 1. in one week, he’d progressed faster than anyone else that she’s helped walk and 2. that if he continues on this pace, that he won’t need her in two months. Yes, you read that right; TWO MONTHS!

Okay, okay, okay. Through the tears of joy and hope, I was able to watch the video of this exciting day. It was remarkable the difference between the first time they ambulated with Danny and yesterday. I sat there with Danny and with each step he took, I could almost feel the forward movement towards our freedom, towards our new life. It was as if every effort that Danny exuded was a drop of hope in me. I began to see a new life and more light from the end of this tunnel. And, as I watched, I remembered a dream I had last week.

At times in my life I have had very vivid dreams that are directly related to what I’m going through or something that I’m about to go through. I truly feel like it is the Lord preparing me or ministering to me. For instance, while I was in high school, my aunt had a brain aneurysm and was in a coma. I dreamed that she woke up and was completely fine. Just before Danny’s accident, I had several dreams that I was separated from Danny and couldn’t reach him; that he was lost and I couldn’t find him. So, last week, I feel like I had another one of my dreams.

I was in a wheelchair; Danny’s orange wheelchair, but it was mine. I couldn’t move the chair myself and I couldn’t walk. I was at a therapy center of some kind, in fact, I believe it was Shepherd since some of the patients in Beyond Therapy with Danny were there with me in my dream. There was hope for me to walk again so I must not have had a spinal cord injury; I must have had a brain injury like Danny. Well, I had to get something or go somewhere, but no one was there to help me. I remember thinking that it would be easier if I could walk, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I held onto the wall and stood a little unsteady and my ankles hurt like they were really tight and were getting a good stretch. I took a small step with my left leg and then my right and I quickly began to walk with more assurance with each step. In a matter of moments, I changed from not walking to walking just fine. I had to find Danny and show him. I found him playing pool and when he saw me, that beautiful smile and those beautiful brown eyes lit up his face.

When I woke up, I remembered the dream as clear as day. I still do. I’m not sure what it means. Perhaps I wish I could take Danny’s place to spare him or do it for him, or perhaps it is what I hope will happen with him. It doesn’t matter what it means, except that after his exceptional day yesterday, perhaps he will find that with each step, it becomes easier and more exciting.

I know I’ll have more and more progress to report in the next coming weeks, so keep checking for updates on Danny’s physical improvements. However, I also want to ask you to pray for Danny’s mind, his brain. Remember, he has a brain injury and while the brain can reconfigure itself to tell Danny’s body how to work, we also need it to work to remember things, to behave and speak appropriately and to have the ability to show a positive attitude.

Before I close, I do have to share with you all how well Loida is doing with her reconstruction. She has one more “fill in” before her permanent implant surgery on November 6th. She is really looking forward to it considering the doctor says it is several times less painful than the mastectomy. By the end of the year, she’ll have her implant and be finished with all her treatments. 2008 will definitely be a brand new year for all of us!

Lastly, I want to offer thanks to the Lord. None of Danny’s progress and none of our ability to get through this is independent of the Lord. He is the reason that I have strength to care for my family; He is the reason Danny is able to move, speak and remember. HE IS! With Him, ALL things are possible and I stand on the promises of His Word.

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