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Brenen Update

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Dear Friends and family

It is offical we have added a new member to the family--her name is : Annabeth

she is a black lab with a little rotweiler and so adorable!!! She is very mellow and laid back perfect match for our family and we were really happy to provide a home for her--I could have cleaned the area dog pounds out there were so many adorable puppies!! Hint Hint if anyone is looking to provide a home: TONS of puppies and dogs out there needing good homes!!

Brenen is still down for a therapy dog, but we talked to Paws and they said it is still a complete 2 years before we even have a puppy starting to be trained for Brenen and with our family LOving dogs that is really really difficult. So I spoke with Paws and they said that they are allowing one dog into the home with a Paws as long as it have been through proper training and is a good match for the Paws dog. That was all I needed to be able to move forward.

Brenen and I went and spoke to the people at Dog Star Ranch and we are going to do some one on one training there. First though we are working here at home with our Cousin Marti

( she is really great with training dogs & has just completed her Occupational Therapist assistant schooling---HOW PERFECT IS THAT???)

working just on basic rules and basic commands just to get started. So far we ( yes she is the entire families dog--not just Bren's) are working HARD on getting her days and nights straightened out!!

This last week has been great with Jared home from Grand Valley--I have a feeling he'll be home even more often now that there is a puppy here--totally in "Dog Love" haha!!

The entire therapy team is on board in helping Brenen with working with her. Of course once she is atleast 6 months things will be easier--Just like with an infant.

We have posted a few photos hope you enjoy them.

Love and God Bless--Joyce & Brenen

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" Brenen August 8,2011

Posted 20 hours ago Dear Family and friends—I have to say I am truly sorry I have not posted on here for the entire summer –Where has the time gone- Just when I think things are going to slow down it gets even busier.

Brenen has had an amazing Spring/Summer

End of May : Make a wish sent Brenen and our entire family to Alaska- what an honor—When the sweet lady came from Make a wish to talk to Brenen over a year ago She asked him what his wish would be- Brenen said” I want to go to Alaska and be tossed out of a helicopter with my Bi-Ski

( remember he used to snow board) Well things were ADAPTED just a bit : We went on an Alaskan cruise in the inside passage: AMAZING—BEAUTIFUL Brenen was spoiled rotten—tours of all the ship and met so many wonderful people on ship and at each port we came into he had excursions :

Dog Sledding—complete with a helicopter ride up over the mountains and landed on a glacier where there were 150 dogs –even with new born puppies!!

Alaskan train ride: 3 hour ride up over some of the most amazing country we’ll ever see-Mom took way too many photos

Lumberjack show: Very talented crew showing how to get it done Alaskan an style and really funny show

Deadliest Catch Crab Boat: Brenen was spoiled by the entire crew and he hasn’t stopped talking about this- it was like a floating science experiment- and they had it set up so perfect that we saw every crab available to the Alaskan waters plus octi- Bren held almost everything even tiny shrimp!

June: Brought end of the school year (Brenen has been doing adult Ed) and loads of Graduation parties including his cousin Ashley’s- Then he had “Red Power” in Minnesota this year: Great time and Brenen and I even got Dad to hit Mall of America

July: We all worked around the home here and Tractor pulling season started- so that means lots of Fairs. I know it sounds like Brenen has been playing all summer- but he has had a lot of school work still because we do not wish to lose what we have gained- it is really slow going working on Math especially because it takes 3 times as long to do work/process etc – Reading is very slow but his comprehension is right where it needs to be we all just have to be very patient.

Brenen also has been attending a program called “summer quest”-twice a week: It is a program for TBI survivors and hopefully we can make a friend or two. Brenen is still doing in house therapies and I have him going back to all of MFB summer sport programs—So between Water sports- doctor visits etc we drive to Grand Rapids Way too much

August: already here cannot believe it!! Time to get with the school to talk over the fall schedule- new schedules for the therapist ( we’ve lighten Brenen’s load a bit for the summer) And of course try to get in every last minute of summer we can—this is Michigan!!!

We hope this finds everyone well and enjoying life- I have posted a couple new photos from Brenen’s Make a Wish Trip – ( I had to delete a few to get them to post) Take care and God Bless- The Twiss’ "

Take care and have a safe great one all!

Paul

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Paul,

Thanks for getting this up here. I intended to but forgot.

BJ

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Guest 1966IH504

Good to hear from you and it's encouraging to hear that Brenan is making gains.

Wish you could share some of the cooler Michigan weather, if you aren't also having to deal with the heat wave.

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Paul,

Thanks for getting this up here. I intended to but forgot.

BJ

its not a problem, it has always been automatic to check and make sure when I get e-mail about an update

take care and have a safe great one!

Paul

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"November 30,2011

Posted 1 hour ago

Dear Friends & Family

I hope everyone had a wonderful November and a great Thanksgiving. We here at the Twiss household had a great Thanksgiving and of course have been really busy .And I have to admit November 19th will most likely always be bitter sweet- as Brenen will tell you its both his Best & worst day of his life-I have told him he has a long life ahead and the Lord has MANY plans so I expect him to pick another Best in the future:)

Today was one of those days—Brenen has been checking out standing wheelchairs for quite some time—today we went to Maryfree Bed to work on their tilt table- first step toward standing is making certain you do not have issues with your blood pressure. Brenen’s was really good!!!

Brenen spent 2 hours going through strength tests & being stood at 30-45-60-70 degrees; all while strapped to a tilt table. At each degree Tim ( new therapist for Brenen @ freebed—Adult PT)checked his blood pressure and we took off his “legs” and checked over his skin. This is the very first step and this is going to take some major time and loads of trips back to GR but we are ready!!

Okay heres the bragging; BRENEN STOOD@ 80 DEGREES FOR 10 MINUTES—FIRST TIME IN 3 YEARS!!!!!!!! It was so cool to see him standing up beside Brad and they even used a pillow and did some boxing:) Took a photo but do not have permission to share yet as Brenen is now pretty fussy. Haha!!

Brenen started this awhile back when he found a utube video of a guy( IN A STANDING WHELLCHAIR) working on tractors and so now of course he has plans to work on the Internationals with Brad.

There are loads of reasons for standing as it is so important for your major organs. As usual Brenen made me tear-up when he told the therapist his best reason :” he wanted to be able to shake someones hand while standing and looking them in the eye.” All the reasons I had in my mind and Brenen of course had something better in his:)

I will try to keep you all a little better updated on how this goes . I hope this finds everyone getting ready to celebrate our Lord and Saviors birth and keeping the CHRIST in Christmas.

Take care and God Bless; The Twiss’

"

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Family and Friends: First off I wish to apologize I thought I posted a Christmas Message—not too certain where it went: It was a wonderful Christmas and Brenen really enjoyed himself.

Brenen has been working hard and going to school five days a week at Adult Ed (just two hours a day) and we are totally Blessed once again with amazing patient teachers ( Nate/Math & Cindy/English): Brenen is so smart but with the brain injury there is quite a delay when he is working and with math its crazy how he can understand to work with decimals but we’re still missing the times tables.

With a brain injury: it’s like there are missing files and it’s our job to try to help Brenen make new files. Some things can be retained and others not so much—crazy!! Brenen says: If everyone would just slow down they’d get that I’m pretty smart—smile:)

If any of you have ever been with a loved one that has had a stroke its similar- I pray daily for the Lord to take away this darn TBI because Brenen could really do amazing things without it---BABY STEPS—it takes years and a lot of patience to get through a TBI:)

I have debated about this next issue and whether to put it out there (if you haven’t guessed yet the 20 yr old is not always pleased to have such an “open honest” Mother—ha-ha) Well Brenen gave permission:

Brenen will be having surgery on his spine on March 27; if you recall Brenen already has two rods in his upper portion of his spine – those rods will be extended down to his tailbone- Many reasons but Brenen will tell you it’s so I can water ski again.

With Brenen paralyzed so high, his spine has really become a major curve and we have been working with a “clam shell” brace for awhile- it hasn’t went real well . And has created new issues- so we are moving forward- hence the surgery.

Moms a bit nervous but I know our Lord and Savior has plans and this will help Brenen in many ways.

PRAYERS: Everything goes according to planned & Brenen’s blood pressure stays stable also patience for Brenen to understand there will have to be some stay in the hospital

I am posting pics of Brenen in a standing wheelchair—major goal for Brenen – he is so excited and cannot wait to be able to stand out in the shop and help work on things( tractors) This is backed up a bit with headed to surgery-

PRAYERS: patience for Brenen

We hope everyone is enjoying the New Year and Loving Life. Take care and God Bless The Twiss’

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Dear Friends and Family: spinal fusion surgery day!

We came to Grand Rapids last night to stay in Renuci as Brenen had to be @ Spectrum at 5:30 am. Brad and I had a wonderful evening and went out to dinner with both our sons. It was really wonderful evening and helped keep all our minds off the surgery.

Today has been an extremely long day – Brenen was amazing and so patient. And once again our dear Lord and Savior has put so many wonderful amazing people in our path. My parents Neal & Florence & big brother Jared came and hung out with us most of the day so it was nice to always have someone available in the waiting room with the doctors assistant would give us our updates.

Around 1:00 dr. Russo came and talked to us and let us know how happy he was with the surgery outcome. And the fact that Brenen’s blood pressure stayed stable the entire surgery. Another hour later and we were allowed to have one person go with him in recovery- I of course jumped @ that

Well Brenen’s Blood pressure decided to go a bit LOW- wow this entire time we were concerned about the opposite, going too high. Brenen lost some blood during surgery which is part of the factor but his hemoglobin count is not dangerous so the goal is to avoid a blood transfusion if possible. It took until 4:30 for Brenen to be taken to a room and we are in Critical care for tonight at least-Please do not worry, he’s fine it’s more just to monitor the blood pressure and heart rate.

As I am typing this Brenen is in good spirits and already flirting with the nurses and talking Spanish-They are giving Brenen fluids and guess what his blood pressure seems to be stabilized) Maybe the guy was just dehydrated--15 minutes with the new bag of fluids and now his heart rate came down to 99:) It was holding around 127-131-- Yeah!!!!!!!

He is a bit puffy eyed- a 6 hour surgery lying on your face will do that- and it makes his eyes sting- so eye drops every hour- but he’s tough

Life is good –God is Great-- We are Blessed

Thank-you for all your prayers and we hope this finds everyone well and looking forward to a wonderful Easter- He is Risen!!!!!!!

God Bless- The Twiss’

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