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Brenen Update

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HERE IS THE NEW UPDATE

"Brenen MFB Day 53

Posted 1 hour ago

Friends/Family

Brenen worked hard in therapy for his therapist today and really impressed his big brother and Grandpa Collins. He seems to really understanding that he needs to work, even for the weekend people. His normal therapist Joe is going to be happy to see he worked well over the weekend.Although he is really giving everyone a workout. Wrestling coaches & past teammates: the therapist say he must be remembering some wrestling moves because he does some very nifty things to get his arms free and to try to rip their arms off his.

He had is normal speech therapist Chelsea today so of course that went well and she is looking toward starting something more than treats next week. Wish us luck.

On the weekend Brenen has about an hour less therapy so we took him outside for awhile. I was a good Mom and brought him around on every cement surface, walkway and garden area I could find. Well that was not good enough for Big Brother Jared when he was with Brenen he went off the paths and worked very hard on getting him through any bit of mud or hilly grassy area he could. It was the Twiss' coming out in him(LOL) and I really enjoyed it. Of course I went through a couple mud puddles trying to get some off. Brenen only has a little dirt in his room now, Hey! it's great compared to the mud that can get tracked in at home with my guys.

Brenen had plenty of love from Grandparents today as both sets were here and he seemed to really enjoy them talking to him. Each one of his grandparents have a special place in Brenen's heart and he has always been close to both so all in all it was a really nice family day.

Brad & I went out for supper this evening with out friends Judith and Dennis. We enjoyed catching up and I really enjoyed getting away a little bit. I will be working out this evening (with my two new friends that I have made here) because I really should not have eaten so much.But it was Johnny Carinos.

We got back in time for Brad & Jared to work with Brenen on his one arm wheel chair. The young man was awesome and big brother was a great coach and so patient. Brenen did almost all of his own pushing with Jared coaching him to "bring your arm back now push" They went the entire square Brad talked abut earlier last week. It is so amazing to see him "want" to work. I know that his stubborn streak is starting to show it's self; and I pray he keeps it up. Once Brenen makes up his mind there will be no stopping him.

I have to get off to let someone else on. Sorry about all the miss spelling the last few days. I can be a terrible speller even at the best of times but with someone waiting it's even worse.

Love and God Bless; Joyce"

TAKE CARE ALL AND TRY TO HAVE A GOOD ONE!

PAUL

SP I HAVE TO CONFESS,I LET MY SPELL CHECK DO ITS THING :ph34r:

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Sounds like Brenen is making real progress

Griends/Family

Brenen and I are at the computer together and I have shown him again some of the posts and the photos of himself and our family. He is really paying attention. I have let him know if there are any photos he does'nt like he can remove them when his fingers are working properly. In the last few days he has really personally taken another step forward in his mind. Every morning I have gone over a brief explanation of where we are and why. I keep it extremly light and let him know that " it was an accident" and he was by himself. And that the Lord saved him, if one thing was different he would not be with us. I do not talk very long but keep it pretty much the same everyday; and I let him know we are all here to help him get better. Well this morning he gave me one of "his looks" it seemed to say no kidding Mom; you already told me that yesterday. I smiled; because it was so Brenen.

Theraphy went really well today and Brenen was exhausted when he finished.

He is really showing how a wrestler can "escape". And each of the therapist have mentioned how they are getting a great upper body workout with Brenen. Who needs the gym; right?!

Brenen did more low voicing again today for Chelsea. And we have graduated to be able to feed him something other than ice chips. I let him have ice cream at 5:00. Yep before supper. The boy deserves it, besides he gets his supper from a feeding tube.

We need to get off; so everyone have wonderful evening. And God Bless;

Love; Joyce & Brenen

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CONTINUED GOOD PROGRESS

Brenen MFB Day 55

Posted 57 minutes ago

Friends/Family

I want to start out by saying our Love and Prayers are going out the the Kieft Family and the Lohman Family. Both of your families have been our thoughts all day and we want you to know how much we wish we could be there for you as you have been for us. I know the Lord is looking out for you and I know you both know how to let "him" help you at this time. Since I cannot be there I would like to send a big long distance hug from the Twiss'

The day is over and I now have to say I am as tired as Brenen was yesterday. I still need to go work out with "the girls". I'll see if I make it; it's only 20 minutes and so I'll try.

Brenen had another good day where he really seemed to give it his all. His all might seem a little small to some but he has already came so far since Nov 19; and he is working his baby steps forward.

Joe and I each worked today ( one on each side) with a standard wheel chair. Getting Brenen to actually run his hand back and then push forward. He was exhausted after this and even took a cat nap right in his chair. It is really, really slow going but the understanding of what Joe would like him to do is there. Joe likes the fact that Brad & Jared are working the one arm chair with Brenen ( which makes Brenen understand the back and forth movement) but his actual goal is to get Brenen in one of those speedy little sport chairs. Brenen actually even worked for Mom quite well which is a really good step; and shows me he wants it. ( maybe to get away from Mom LOL)

Daniela was able to get Brenen to look to the left both eyes four times. Thank-you Lord!!!And she is working those fingers to try to get his fine motor control back. He is really making progress; but with the communication issue sometimes it's hard to see. Tomorrow Brenen will get to go back into the pool.

Speech with Chelsea went well again today; and yes she said he did a little more voicing today. He also drank 4 oz of apple juice and 6 oz of Choc. milk later in the day for her. Really great; because many times people need thickening in liquids to swallow but he is doing fine without any thickening product.

I also was able to get Brenen outside 2 times today. 60 here today; I did not want to go back in myself and Brenen really seemed to enjoy it also. This afternoon I feed Brenen 4 oz of "whipped" bananas and then this evening he had 4 oz of Choc. pudding. Everything is going great in the food department and they are discussing food trays again.

I need to get going; Love & God Bless; Joyce & Brad

TAKE CARE

PAUL

PS IT JUST DOES NOT ,TO ME ANYWAY, SOUND RIGHT SAYING HAVE A GOOD ONE ON THESE,I DON'T KNOW?

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CONTINUED PROGRESS

Brenen MFB Day 56

Posted 2 hours ago

Friends/Family

Brenen was quite tired this morning so he started the day out a bit sluggish but by mid day I could see him showing the " want to" again. I wondered if the rainy day had anything to do with his attitude. I know his Mom does not like cloudy days.

Joe of course still was able to get work out of Brenen. he had him do alot of wheelchair pushing in the morning and his afternoon session Brenen worked more on balancing. Even on a bad day Joe seems to be able to get Brenen to work.Starr worked Brenen again today on kind of a semi push-up from his belly. This is quite difficult for him but he does keep trying.

Chelsea had Brenen work more with liquids and treats. Then this afternoon she had him work some more communication. It went pretty well but he still is not consistent enough to use on a regular basis.

Daniela is our OT and she is all about those hands of Brenen's and getting good range out of his arms, and hands. We are seeing progress but this is going to be along battle. Then in the afternoon she brought Brenen back into the pool. I missed this because I had an appointment I needed to get to myself. So Aunt Robyn was able to fill in. She loved it and we really appreciated her helping us out. (aren't we so lucky to have a great family) Brad was able to get here for the last few minutes of Brenen's swim time, but he was thrilled when he walked into the pool area and said Brenen from across the pool Brenen turned his head quickly and focused right on Dad. Then a little later when Brad walked up to poolside Brenen reached up to Brad out of the water. Pretty cool; right?!

Today was a very busy day; but wonderful. We have met some wonderful people here and three of the children have graduated today. A day to rejoice! One of my new friends Deanna was able to take her precious Monica home so I am down one workout friend. She plans to be doing some out patient therapy and plans to stop in and see us. Lydia's Mom & I still plan to get in some girl time in the evening; but instead of working out tonight I went back to Montague for a few hours.

I received an invite from our Montague Cheerleaders to please come to their competition. I was not certain I was personally up to this ( told you I am not that strong) Well I am so happy that I did go. Those ladies are amazing; and if anyone ever tells you that cheerleaders are not "true" athletes they need to go to one of these competitions. Our Montague girls placed second and were awesome!!! They made me cry and gave me an envelope with money they raised for Brenen. And then gave me another envelope with green wrist bands with BT on them. I promised them I would put one on Brenen as soon as got back to GR; I did!!! ANd he was still awake so I told him how great the girls did. I then went on to put one on Brad ( Yep; IH fans it's green, more of a teal not John Deere green) I will be giving them to the staff next. Thank-you again Montague for being such a wonderful community. By the way SHelby, Hart, and N. Muskegon were there also. Shelby won (amazing talent)and all the other schools were good too. A fun night, anyone with any doubt about cheerleaders go watch a competition.

I'm off to bed. Love & God Bless; Joyce & Brad

TAKE CARE ALL

PAUL

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Good Evening Friends/Family

Brenen’s therapy sessions were a little uneventful today; as he was attached to an IV pole all morning. He was taken off his tube feeding @ 3:00 am. Because he was scheduled for surgery today. So it was still important to keep his fluid intake up as Brenen has had a problem on and off with getting dehydrated.

His therapy with Chelsea went pretty good though as he did some low voices twice and then seemed to want to say something a couple times. Brenen was not able to have any treats today so she worked more on getting him to breathe out his mouth. He did breathe out for her six times. His new thing seems to be he will take his pointer finger up to his mouth and try to move his lips. It is a bit hard to see because he acts like he is trying to speak at the same time. Poor kid; right?!

Then @ 1:30 it was time to go over for surgery ( @3:30) to have his inferior vena cava filter in his main artery removed. This was placed in Brenen back @ Spectrum right after his amputation to prevent any blood clots that might form going up to his lungs/ heart. Much to our surprise it is removed through your main artery in your neck and on very rare occasions they can accidently nick or tear something bringing it back out. Or when they try to remove it they can find that it will have to stay because it is angled into the artery wall, etc. All very scary stuff.. We are learning new things every day, I would have been asking for extra prayers if I would have understood how it was coming out earlier than 10 minutes before the procedure. The Lord blessed us AGAIN and our son came through with flying colors. He did rest a lot this evening but at least he came back out from his antistatic quickly this time. The last few surgeries he had; I was getting nervous because it was taking a little longer each time.

Brad went into work really early as to make the 3:30 time frame for surgery. He was so tired that he feel asleep on my shoulder in the waiting room. He looked so peaceful I didn’t have the heart to let him know my shoulder was falling asleep so I was very happy when the surgeon came out to say he was finished and accidently woke Brad. It was one of those cute, sweet moments you have with your hubby. Silly I know; but it was a good moment and it made me feel very lucky to have what I have in Brad.

Tonight is already winding down I hope this finds everyone well & enjoying life. I hope you are all making plans for Saturday to spend it with your sweethearts.

Love & God Bless; Joyce

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He's making more progress..

Friends/Family

Brenen is sitting right beside me watching me type. It has to be a pretty boring evening hanging out with your Mom on a friday night.

His therapies today went pretty well. And he was working hard. I know Joe was wanting Brenen to stay sat/balanced on his own for an entire 2 minutes by the end of this week. ( we still have saturday) Well he has made about a minute and a half; so we might need to move that goal into next week. Remember the Lords time is not our time. Joe has given me permission to work with Brenen in the evenings on some stretching on the upstairs mat. The nurses might not be too thrilled with this because they are the ones that need to help me transfer Brenen over. so far they love us; I figure they'll grow to think I'm crazy but I'm okay with crazy.

Starr handed out Valentines this morning to all her kids and there was a sucker with it. Brenen gets those but it is a real challenge to help him not crunch it.( he had it later of course) He worked okay for her but he still seems to do better for Joe.

Daniela worked alot on Brenen's hands today; and was very happy when she messured his flex ability/ bend ability. It has improved a great deal during the week. YES Thank-you Jesus!!! He is REALLY going to need those hands working properly.

And Chelsea graduated Brenen today up another level on his feeding program. HE GETS TO HAVE PANCAKES TOMORROW!!!! I hope they are atleast semi good as he is quite spolied with his Grandma's pancakes & and his Momma makes pretty good ones too. Wish us luck we are now going to be receiving a tray at every meal.

I hope everyone is well & making plans for Valentines with their sweethearts.

Love & God Bless; Joyce & Brenen

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Day 59 More solid foods

Friends/Family

This post is a date late for you, sorry. Valentines was a pretty good day for Brenen; he had weekend therapist so he did'nt seem to get as much work in but he did work.

Mom and Brenen did have alittle scare at his last therapy. He came a foot from being on the floor during a transfer. I have to admit my tummy did a horrible flip. I needed a sprite when I got back up stairs just to settle down my tummy. I had his "top half" and his weekend OT had his bottom; she just slipped a liitle bit. He would not have been hurt even if he did go to the floor as it would have been a slow gentle drop but it scared me.

Brenen has a new work out 3 times a day( Mom too) Meals: Breakfast was pancakes( #3) with choc milk, whipped bannanas and yogurt.

Lunch: Chicken bites(#3), pudding, applejuice, applesause, ensure

Supper: Mac &cheese(#3), applesause/jello mix, whipped pears, pudding, choc milk

When we order Brenen's meals his food is rated on difficulty of swollowing/ chewing from 1-4 He ia allowed 1 item from #3 and the rest need to be 1 & 2's. Then we need to give a percentage on how much he has eatten; these calories will then be removed from his tube feeding. ( good thing they have people here to keep track of everything; right?!)He loves all the number three items he was given the first day but because it is more work he managed about 25% of each of those items today. 100% of the 1 & 2 items. They are very small portions, but it is really difficult for him as he even " drinks" his milk with a spoon. We are so proud of Brenen about all this because it is really time consuming and he really stays with it. We have made the decision that what ever he gets done in 45-60 minutes is it. Poor kid would think all he does is eat.

In the evening Brenen had a wonderful Surprise: the Pineda Family came to visit. They stayed quite a while and Drew & the girls took him in front of the computer for some Teen time. And I was able to have some adult time with Dan & Di.( Thanks guys!!!) Brad made it in just in time to get to chat with everyone. We really appreciate having such great friends.

For those of you who were worried about our Valentines ( Thank-you Friends) Brad brought me roses & a book ( my two favorite things flowers & books) and after Brenen was tucked in we let "our teenager sitters" ( the nurses)watch him and went out to dinner at "Blue water Grill" ( Thank-you JTI; the gift cert is still going strong!!) We shared a wonderful dinner: neither of us wanted an entire meal as it was 10:00, we'll go back there again it is beautiful and the staff was nice.

I did get Bradly something for Valentines but as I have'nt any transport I was limited to Chocolate & a card; and then he shared the chocolate. What a guy, right?!!!

Love & God Bless; Joyce

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Friends/ Family

Can you believe we have already been here @ MFB 60 days; the Lord has blessed our family it the fact that time has just flown by. Each day starts and I blink it’s time to tuck Brenen in and head back to the Inn for another night of sleep.

We were all here this morning so I felt better having all my guys around me. Jared choose to spend the night in his bro’s room. He says the extra bed in the Inn is too new and not broke in; and uncomfortable. They are quite hard but by the time I go to bed it does not matter.

Brad & I together feed Brenen his breakfast and his #3 item was pancakes again. They are not quite what he is used to ( those little frozen pucks) but he does try. He ate about 25% of those today and most everything else was 100%. It will most likely amaze us a month from now that this is no big deal but right now it is work for him. The things we all take for granted. I have to admit times like this show me that the Lord put us together in his image; and it makes me feel sorry for those who do not “believe”. Who else could have put together this amazing thing we call life???

Brad & I left MFB to attend our own little church (big brother Jared is IN CHARGE @ MFB) and to go to visitation for our dear friend Dennis Kieft. We have an 11:00 service at our church and we just made it. We have the most amazing church family and Pastor Gayle’s sermon really spoke to my heart. I have sooo been looking forward to sitting in the second row and looking up to our beautiful stained glass windows with Jesus looking down at me. Wow !!!was I right at the peace I would feel. I & Brad were a bit overwhelmed with the Love & blessings and did cry some but it was good. I purposely did not mention we were coming as I and Brad just needed to feel the peace of our “little church family”. Thank-you all.

We have yet to go see Our friends: Sig, Gordie, Cheryl, Kelly,Katie, Paul, Gina, Brandon, &Kristopher we love you guy very much and we are so sorry for the loss of Dennie. It is going to be difficult but I know you guys will lean on the the Lord & each other for support. And you KNOW we are ALWAYS here for you!

Good night everyone & God Bless; Joyce & Brad

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Friends/Family

It has been a busy eventful day.

Brenen did quite well at most of his therapies. Joe had to do battle with him a little more than usual but of course Joe won. Brenen balanced for Joe another minute and a half. It’s progress because it is helping him build strength. I believe he will manage 2 minutes soon. Joe did something new with Brenen today. He had a 2 ½ - 3 foot pole covered with wash clothes and tape. He took this and had Brenen hold on to it one hand at a time, as Joe would try to tug it back. Brenen did quite well with his right hand. Joe had to literally wrap Brenen’s left fingers around but he did manage to get him to hold it even with the left for a few seconds. Starr did get Brenen to do his rolls that are going to be a big part of how to move himself to the side of his bed/mat at home.

Brenen worked okay for Chelsea today; he might be a little confused as she has stopped giving him treats now. She did get him to follow more commands for her. She is the one person that can get yes/ no items out of him for now. He does not like his parents asking anything. Just like a normal teenager.

Daniela was out of town today so she had a different lady fill in for her. Brenen for some reason did not seem happy with this and tried to flip himself sideways on her as I was off at a meeting. Poor lady; she asked someone else to cover Brenen’s afternoon session. Joe was at the next mat and helped her, but I got the impression it scared her. She was a tiny little thing, so I’m thrilled Joe was there to help. His afternoon went much better and the lady really impressed me with the work she got out of Brenen. She had him picking up little bean bags and putting them in a bucket. He did not do a lot of them but the process was there and he tried his best. Huge as far as I’m concerned. I Love to see him wanting to work. I feel it’s half the battle.

This afternoon Brenen had a 3:30 appointment at his spinal doctor. It went wonderful and our son no longer is wearing a plastic back/neck brace!!! Thank-you Jesus!!! One more thing gone!! Brad and I have already called the family to brag. He really was cute when it came off he just stared and gently moved his neck in a mild neck rotation. And then he looked up at the doctor with those eyes. I know the doctor was happy to see him and really impressed Brad & I that he took the time to talk to Brenen directly. As he was explaining the x-rays to us he talked directly to Brenen and explained it to him also.

Meals went really well again today for Brenen. He has been tired on and off most of the day and I feel part of it might be the fact that he now has three extra hard therapy sessions added into his day. MEAL TIME it is a lot of work for him. Those little things we all take for granted.

Well it’s time to get Brenen’s night time routine going.

Love & God Bless; Brad & Joyce

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JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER

Brenen MFB Day 62

Posted 4 hours ago

Friends/Family

Brenen's day was pretty normal for therapies but he was completely exhausted at the end of the day. Seriously it was the most tired I have seen him so far. We headed up to his room and he fell asleep on the way up. We had put him down for an afternoon nap and I was pretty happy to see him in a deep sleep. Guess what the nurse came in to say she was sorry but Brenen needed to be down to get an xray in 10 minutes. I felt so bad for him' and he really scowled at us when we put him back into his chair. He had only gotten a 20 minute nap. His xray was on his hands/ arms Dr. Olson is coming tomorrow for a follow up visit.

The rest of the evening flew by as Brenen had a busy evening. After supper we did our night therapy time; just streches Joe has us doing not too hard on Brenen as he just relaxes on a pillow and watches Mom.

The cool thing was shower tonight; it was soooooo much better without all those braces. He and I watched House and he fell asleep without any meds. They will watch and see if he wakes up and then give him a smaller dose. I would LOVE to get him off anything extra on his meds he does not need; we'll see.

Brenen is doing so great on his meals that they are now counting his calories and if it is high enough he does not receive a meal bolus in his feeding tube. Supper went so good that is exactly what happened, Praise the Lord!!!! See if we keep going maybe that feeding tube will never leave GR.

I hope this finds everyone well. Take care & God Bless; Joyce

TAKE CARE ALL,

PAUL

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Catch me up as I have been in and out of the hospitial most of the new year just what happened ?

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Catch me up as I have been in and out of the hospitial most of the new year just what happened ?

Young Brenen was in a horrific, terrible car wreck and has lost both lower legs and severed his spine so he is not able to move below the chest? Lots of damage including a head trauma. :angry: He is however one of the luckiest young men alive as he has some terrific caring parents.

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damn that can ruin one's day ,I hope he recovers as much as possible .

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Catch me up as I have been in and out of the hospitial most of the new year just what happened ?

This is from his CarePage.

Brenen was in an accident on Nov 19 2008

Brenen lost both legs from the kness down, broke small bones in his right hand, did extensive damage to his left arm/ hand; he now has two rods on each side of his spine w/ 14 screws holding it in place. He will be most likely not be able to move from the chest down. He had 2 collasped lungs with 7 broken ribs. His neck has only a few small fractures that should mend just fine. Brenen also has a type of brain injury known as shearing, only time will tell. He spent 27 days at Devos Childrens Center in ICU.

Day 28 Brenen's physical body is healing rapidly & he was released to Mary FreeBed Hospital. Brenen has an extremely long road to travel; and how far he travels will be up to him & God.

The CarePage is where W.K.TEDDYBEAR and I get the info that we post here.

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Brenen MFB Day 63

Posted 6 hours ago

Friends/Family

Today went by extremely fast. This morning in therapies Brenen did well; but he still seems really tired. Between getting used to holding up his neck himself and chewing and swallowing three meals a day the boy is getting a workout. Joe has a new chair for Brenen to work with, lighter, better, faster, but with Brenen this tired he is holding off a little while. It does not have any type of neck rest and the one his is in now does have some support behind his head. Joe said he will try it in a few more days. Starr did not get much work out of Brenen this morning as she is the last morning routine and he just totally gave up and shut his eyes. She did work range of motion on him.

Speech went pretty good today as Brenen seems to be understanding what Chelsea wants him to do better. We did have some sad news during speech. Brenen's Chelsea will be leaving here the beginning of April. Her husband has found a teaching position in Colorado so she went out for a few interviews herself. Yep; they hires her. Can't blame them she's great.

She was so sweet when she told us, then she mentioned she is now having my dreams about Brenen talking to her. If Brenen only knew that he is in beautiful Chelsea's dreams he would be geeked!!! LOL!!! I know I have many dreams about Brenen myself so I know where she's coming from.

Daniela is not a speech teacher but she is getting voicing out of Brenen better each time she see's him. She is strengthening those left fingers and he really does not like it. I will take his voice any way I can get it. These aren't even close to words at this time but if it ever becomes a words I'm sure it will not be very nice. Good thing we're down with the adults now; right?!

After lunch Grandma Collins came and covered the rest of therapies and Brenen going to the pool again. She loved it; esp. the POOL TIME! I went with my father back to Muskegon for a funeral visitation for my Aunt; she was 93 and a very neat lady. She was very ready to meet the Lord and her family is very much at peace with her passing. It was more of a celebration of her wonderful 93 years of life.

I need to get off. I have a wonderful young man waiting behind me for this computer.

Love & God Bless; Joyce

P.S. I am sorry if I confused anyone on Brenen feeding tube. He still is on it. They are just decreasing the amount he receives based on how well he does with meals. We have an issue that we have to match 4,300 calories for now until he at least meets "his goal weight" and stabilizes at that weight.

TAKE CARE ALL

PAUL

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I find myself always looking for these updates everyday. I don't know Brad or Brenen But I am impressed with his mom's spirit. I'm not a guy who gets all teary eyed over stuff but this one gets to me once in awhile. I had a paralized Grandfather and have a good buddy in about as bad of shape as Brenen. I keep Brenen in my prayers and thoughts and Have sent several people to this site to read about him.

Later,

Will

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This update came last night.

Friends and Family

Life here at MFB is going okay, each day Brenen shows little glimpses of coming a little father forward. Brad and I are both so ready for him to talk and tell us what a few of those looks are.

We have new small issue with Brenen; his left eye has been difficult for him to keep totally opened. He may have scratched it or it might be dry eye. Either way he now gets eye drops 4 times a day and he has a salve that is put in his eye at night. His doctor is talking about setting him up from an eye exam. It is something they would have already done; because of the accident. Just for a base line to see where his vision is and if he will need any type of glasses. They have held of, as they really have wanted a better from of communication with him. So I guess he’ll need two exams; one now to check on this eye and one later to see how well his vision is now.

Brenen did really well in morning therapies; esp. for Joe. He is still improving on the balance issue. He still has only managed 1-½ minutes; but he is getting it more times in each session. Also he is becoming more proficient at flipping himself from his side to his back . I still feel that if he could understand not to over compensate when he is losing his balance he could be up for three times as long.

Chelsea is starting to get some great stuff from Brenen. She had flash cards today with 3 like items on them with a random item on the card also. She needed him to pick out what did not belong. For instance one card had 3 butterflies with a set dice as the fourth item. He did this so fast on a few cards and then he either decided he did not wish to continue or he was tired. Either way ;it was AWESOME!!! Chelsea also has more yes/ no answering with him today. He is really starting to get aggravated that he cannot communicate. Poor kid; I pray the Lord answers our prayers soon. Communicate is still my specific prayer friends; it would make me shout for joy and sing praises to the Lord !!!

Daniela was happy to get Brenen to work on passing a small football back to her in morning session. She thankfully did this before she worked on stretching his fingers. I doubt she would have gotten much after that because if he could have put to words the look on his face. She & I would have both been melted to the spot.

Afternoon therapies did not go too well. Brenen was exhausted and someone had to fill in for Joe for part of his session, so he seemed mad. He is a creature of habit just like his Momma. Uncle Dean and Aunt Robyn came for a visit this afternoon ( and brought all Brenen’s favorite T-shirts: Thanks again) so Uncle Dean was able to watch a little of therapy time. And of course just like all the guys when Uncle Dean was talking Brenen really listened and seemed to nod his head yes to questions he asked: Especially the question: Do you want to go home?

Then this evening Dad came in from work and got to spend a little time with his man. Brenen’s eyes light up when he sees Brad. Brenen has been able to get treats in between meals so we took him down to the cafeteria for a little ice cram well we ate some soup. He seemed to like the different environment.

Well I need to get to bed. Love & God Bless; Brad & Joyce

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I too look for the updates. I find myself constantly looking to hear of Brenen being able to talk. When I think back to my late teens and some of the decisions I made about driving and other things, I find myself wishing Brenen would have had the good luck I did.

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First here is last night's update...

Friends/ Family

Today has been a long day. Brenen has been eating so well. His doctor is thrilled with his calorie intake. If he was not on such a high calorie amount they would already be looking at” how long before they take the feeding tube” I have to say that will be exciting but I would rather wait and play that one extremely safely. What if he goes through another stage where he does not wish to eat? Or goes back to shutting that mouth and not even allowing me to brush his teeth? Remember just a couple weeks ago he did that for three entire days.

Brenen worked well for both his PT & his OT therapies today. I have to say he does so much better when he gets proper rest. He worked on everything that was asked of him today and when he worked he gave it his all. It was really wonderful. He was so exhausted at lunchtime that he fell into a deep sleep. When it was 1:00 he had only had 15 minutes of sleep so I called down and asked to switch his speech to a later hour; Brenen then had 30 more minutes of great sleep. So his afternoon therapies went really

Well. We have been having a big problem all week with his afternoon sessions because he has been so tired. I sent an email to Chelsea to request a change in his weekly schedule to give him that longer afternoon nap time. I’m pretty sure it should work.

This afternoon we had another appointment with transportation to get figured out what kind of mini van we are going with for Brenen. There are different options and we are lucky enough to have the leading expert in the transportation needs for our son right here at MFB. Next week we will be going to Clock’s Vans here in GR to look over a few of the options as we have a better understanding of what we will need.

Brad & I are sitting over to the Inn with Brenen right now having some family time. It is nice to have somewhere to escape to when we need to NOT feel like we are in a hospital.

Brenen seems happiest when we are all together, Brad, Jared & Brenen & I. Jared is with his sweet girlfriend right now; but will see his brother over the weekend. We are so blessed that we do not have a little one or two at home as many of these other people with children here do. Brenen is our baby and we can devote the time and energy necessary to help him learn to live again.

I will close this for now as our time is limited over at the Inn with Brenen and I do not wish to waste it in front of the computer. It is really getting hard to get any computer time(b I am doing this on Brad's work laptop) as there are 3 more children here just in the last week. The rooms are really getting full. If someone Brenen’s age with similar issues were to show up tomorrow we would need to start sharing a room. Good Night all.

Love & God Bless; Brad, Joyce & Brenen

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Here is the lastest. I think he's really coming along...

Friends/Family

Brenen had the best Saturday he has ever had. Where should I start. Breakfast I guess; Oatmeal, fruit, Ensure, Yogurt. He ate every last drop. Joe his PT Therapist has been trying to get Brenen to “long sit” with a small bench on his lap for 2 minutes. He did 3 ½ minutes instead; WOW!!! He was so on for Joe today; everything he asked; Brenen did. And he even did 3 reps of lifting a 4 lb weight with his right hand. Joe was quite happy with Brenen too. Then later in the day when Joe had him again Brenen worked his “ new chair” without any help for a short distance and then continued to only need” help” with only his left; and that was mostly verbal help. Praise the Lord the boy is starting to show toddler steps.

His OT weekend therapist worked his left hand /fingers which of course he hates. Then at his later session she worked his neck/ back muscles with massage. This he loved. It is hard for the weekend crew sometimes to understand how far they can push Brenen so it was great that she did the massage. He really has been tight especially since the removal of the neck brace.

During his speech Brenen really made me extremely happy. He was able to answer with yes/no nods with his head. The “ normal” questions but then went on to answer what he had for breakfast (her session was 2 ½ hours after breakfast) and what he had for supper the night before. His Mom really had to THINK on that. I was so impressed!!! He continued to impress his Mom when he was asked if he was at the hospital; he answered No (with a shake of his head) the therapist was a little concerned I whispered to her: ask him if he is at Mary Freebed. He answered her very quickly YES. See we talk about this every morning and I have been saying you’re at MFB. Smart kid, right?!!

Brenen ate all day perfectly, and then at supper Brenen had chicken nuggets with French fries. I put a French fry in his hand and guess who worked very hard and put it into his own mouth!! He did this three separate times. It was a lot of work but he seemed quite happy with himself.

One more item; Brenen now helps brush his own teeth. I started this yesterday by putting a brush in my own mouth and a brush in his hand and we worked it together. It took awhile yesterday; but today he understood right away what I was looking for. Also another item that has been slowly happening but seems to happen more and more often is when the nursing staff comes into the room with something and they ask Brenen a question: such as do you hurt anywhere? He is nodding his head Yes/No. And today when he and I were going to go for a stroll to the next building (all indoors; but can be cool) I asked him if he was cold and I hugged myself and said Brenen this means your cold, He nodded his head and did it also (hugged himself) I always have a sweatshirt in his bag on his chair so I was prepared. THE LORD IS GIVING US COMMUNICATION!!! I know it’s not what Joyce is really looking for but I will take it. I will continue my prayers for speech but also thank the Lord for this gift!!!

I am learning the hard way not to make a big deal over any of this because just like when Brenen was a little boy He wants to do it for himself by himself. And he wants to master it before anyone sees.

Well I told you it was a great Saturday; thank-you for listening!!( reading)

Love & God Bless;

Joyce

Friends/Family

Brenen had the best Saturday he has ever had. Where should I start. Breakfast I guess; Oatmeal, fruit, Ensure, Yogurt. He ate every last drop. Joe his PT Therapist has been trying to get Brenen to “long sit” with a small bench on his lap for 2 minutes. He did 3 ½ minutes instead; WOW!!! He was so on for Joe today; everything he asked; Brenen did. And he even did 3 reps of lifting a 4 lb weight with his right hand. Joe was quite happy with Brenen too. Then later in the day when Joe had him again Brenen worked his “ new chair” without any help for a short distance and then continued to only need” help” with only his left; and that was mostly verbal help. Praise the Lord the boy is starting to show toddler steps.

His OT weekend therapist worked his left hand /fingers which of course he hates. Then at his later session she worked his neck/ back muscles with massage. This he loved. It is hard for the weekend crew sometimes to understand how far they can push Brenen so it was great that she did the massage. He really has been tight especially since the removal of the neck brace.

During his speech Brenen really made me extremely happy. He was able to answer with yes/no nods with his head. The “ normal” questions but then went on to answer what he had for breakfast (her session was 2 ½ hours after breakfast) and what he had for supper the night before. His Mom really had to THINK on that. I was so impressed!!! He continued to impress his Mom when he was asked if he was at the hospital; he answered No (with a shake of his head) the therapist was a little concerned I whispered to her: ask him if he is at Mary Freebed. He answered her very quickly YES. See we talk about this every morning and I have been saying you’re at MFB. Smart kid, right?!!

Brenen ate all day perfectly, and then at supper Brenen had chicken nuggets with French fries. I put a French fry in his hand and guess who worked very hard and put it into his own mouth!! He did this three separate times. It was a lot of work but he seemed quite happy with himself.

One more item; Brenen now helps brush his own teeth. I started this yesterday by putting a brush in my own mouth and a brush in his hand and we worked it together. It took awhile yesterday; but today he understood right away what I was looking for. Also another item that has been slowly happening but seems to happen more and more often is when the nursing staff comes into the room with something and they ask Brenen a question: such as do you hurt anywhere? He is nodding his head Yes/No. And today when he and I were going to go for a stroll to the next building (all indoors; but can be cool) I asked him if he was cold and I hugged myself and said Brenen this means your cold, He nodded his head and did it also (hugged himself) I always have a sweatshirt in his bag on his chair so I was prepared. THE LORD IS GIVING US COMMUNICATION!!! I know it’s not what Joyce is really looking for but I will take it. I will continue my prayers for speech but also thank the Lord for this gift!!!

I am learning the hard way not to make a big deal over any of this because just like when Brenen was a little boy He wants to do it for himself by himself. And he wants to master it before anyone sees.

Well I told you it was a great Saturday; thank-you for listening!!( reading)

Love & God Bless;

Joyce

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Awesome, awesome, awesome! Rereading these again over the last few days has really helped me on the long journey that we started today! Thanks to all for contuning to post them, and will continue to send prayers!

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Friends/Family

Brenen day was a bit odd. Usually on a weekday he starts his day really early with Joe 8 or 8:30. The latest we have ever had on a weekend was 9:30 for his first therapy. Today he did not have single therapy until 10:00 and all of his Physical therapies session were after lunch. He does not have as many sessions on the weekend; but it was really spread out. He did not seem to like this by the time the day wound down for him it was 4:30. He is a creature of habit just like his parents.

At his OT therapy he did some beanbag tossing into a bucket with his right hand. The poor therapist tried to get him to use left he wanted nothing to do with her after that. She did try but she didn’t seem comfortable trying to push him to allow it. He is really protective of that hand. She was a really nice but she defiantly was not as strong as Daniela. Daniels has pipes (strong arms), as the guys would say. She is German maybe that is why she is so strong; she even went to college in Germany.

Brenen only had one speech session today and to be honest we could have skipped it. He sat there annoyed and didn’t wish to work for the weekend therapist. Then I had to “feed Brenen lunch in front of the same lady; she was okay but I haven’t had anyone “watch me” feed Brenen since Chelsea put up an order that I had “passed” inspection for proper feeding. I politely showed her the order on Brenen’s board in here. Well she said, I know but I like to feel comfortable too. I was quite annoyed; enough that she finally left. I’ve decided Brenen can read people. LOL

PT went good with Jennifer; she is really sweet and Joe has lined her up with Brenen before so he has had her on the weekend before, Also she makes certain she follows whatever Joe has left her to do. When we first arrived here she was finishing her training under Joe. One thing that totally amazes me about the weekend therapist is how many there are. Wow; we have been here 67 days and we continue to have people we have never met. I am going to ask Dr. Tomorrow if we can start requesting weekend therapist. I sometimes spend half of Brenen’s session explaining to the therapist Brenen. Nice people but if we are here 8-10 more weeks I want to make the most of it. Jennifer was able to get Brenen to balance almost as long as Joe ( she asked Brenen to please beat Joe’s time if he could; he tried for her) He worked harder for her than anyone else all day; and then went on to let her stretch his left hand and fingers. Generally this is an OT item but Joe has it on “ his goal list also. Then the last 15 minutes Jenn had Brenen work his wheelchair; he did almost as well for her as he does with Joe.

Brenen evening was really nice as his bud Kyle & friend Kirsten came up for a visit before supper. We took them on a trek over to Lacks Center’s 5th floor where there is a planetarium with palm trees & flowers. I enjoy going there and thought the kids might like it better than hanging out in Brenen’s room. It was nice for us & Brenen to hear all the school news. The play & the Mock rock contest sounded great!! It is really important for Brenen to hear about all the normal things going on.

Then after supper Brenen’s girlfriend Holly and her parents came up for another visit. He was a bit tired but he did seem to enjoy the visit. I was a good Mom and made certain he had the yellow Fox Hoddie on when she came. He looks really good in yellow so he was looking good!! LOL She is a really nice young lady and she is quite mature. Which we are so very thankful for; Brenen does not need someone showing too many tears right now. He really knows who she is and was answering some simple questions with the shake of his head for her. I do worry about her, and I hope her friends at school are still showing her support. I know Montague has the best kids so I’m sure I am worried for nothing.

Brenen is now asleep and looks like absolutely nothing is wrong in the world. You can look at him sleeping so peacefully and know that the Lord has a plan and Brenen will make it through this. He is a Twiss (1/2 Collins too) and they are all very strong-minded people who once they make up their mind to do something “they do it!”

Good night all. Love & God Bless; Brad & Joyce

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Joyce has posted 2 updates tonight. Here is the first...

Good Evening friends/Family

It has been a really good day for Brenen. At weigh in this morning he is up to 128.5 .Yes! His day in therapies went really well Joe was able to pick up where he left off on Saturday. Brenen took a baseball out and then asked Brenen to remove it from his hand. Brenen was lying on his back and reached up with his right hand and took it four separate times from Joe’s hand. Joe then blocked his right and Brenen finally gave in and reached his left hand (which is the hand that bothers him the worst) it was wonderful to see. Then Joe not only got Brenen to balance on his stool but also to take one hand off & balance with one hand on the mat. Brenen has found such a comfort spot on that stool that Joe tried to

(gently) push Brenen off that stool Brenen would not give in. It was cool!!

I need to let you guys know what is going on this minute as I am typing you guys> Jared our Eldest has this You tube site that he and the college kids watch/ listen to. ( RD Mercer) Well some of it is a bit off color/ but it is really funny he and Brad are playing this site for Brenen . It is so cool I have had the best birthday gift. Brenen is laughing, smiling and understanding each joke. He is silently laughing but his shoulders are moving up and down and he LAUGHING WITH THIS WONDERFUL SMIRK ON HIS FACE!!!Then he tips his head back with a smile, laughing silently!! I am so happy !!!! I have never had such a wonderful gift in my life!!If you listen to this site be ready to hear a few cuss words. And the word A—whopping. It is a practical joke radio station in Oklahoma that calls people at the request of friends and plays practical jokes on people. Jared, Brad and I are having the best evening!! This is so 17-year-old humor.

I’ll get back to you soon

God Bless Joyce

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And here is the second

Friends/family

Rest of the day’s news: Sorry I did not wish to miss a minute of Brenen’s laughter. We were supposed to have him back to his room by 7:45; well we managed 8:00. We were having too much fun to clock watch. Brad & Jared have pulled rank and are taking care of Brenen right now. I have to admit; I could shout to the heavens right now I am so happy!! Our God is an awesome God; I prayed for communication (I am certain we will get that in the Lords time) and then I received laughter; what an awesome God we have!!!

Back to Brenen’s day with Joe. Joe had Brenen do more reps with his weight and thenhe has this hand exerciser he uses with him. It is to build strength in your hand. Last weeks bands were not strong enough for today Joe already needed to put more on. Great!!

OT went good with Daniela also; she has a method of aggravating Brenen to get more out of him. And she is the person that really “works” those sore fingers on his left hand. There are times when it is a good thing Brenen cannot talk just yet; today was another one of those days. His range is improving on that hand but he might not like Daniela as much when he gets fully forward. He does calm down after she works with that hand and she does get him to shake her hand goodbye when his session is through.

Starr is not working with Brenen at this time; there are a total of 10 kids here now and it sounds like their maybe another one tomorrow. So it means the therapists time get divided up based on need. We do not wish to give up a minute of Joe’s time and Starr is his assistant so hopefully that is the only session we will miss out on.

hi

Brenen worked with Chelsea well also; she now is showing him bits of sign language; just to help him communicate at this time. They really feel speech will come back. Granted it most likely will be different for a while; but they really feel we’ll get it back. I guess it’s all in God’s time and I’d just better learn how to be more patient. Chelsea worked with pictures today with Brenen to point out which items were bigger, smaller. And which was a bus, ring and a few other items. These he got most of. He became a little confused at the second session and did not do as well as he had the first session. I guess this is to be expected, he was tired and that might have been a big part of it.

As you can tell I have had a wonderful birthday and I am so blessed to have received cards & notes from many friends. My family has all called with well wishes( and Rob thank-you for the package), two of my girlfriends sent me flowers. THANK-YOU ALL! Then this evening Jared & Brad brought supper; Jared got Mom a book he knew I’d like( he knows me pretty well; book nut) and my darling husband spoiled me and brought me a beautiful necklace from Reed’s .Yes you can say it; I am spoiled. It is nice being the only girl in my household!!

I am heading to bed with an enormous smile on my face and I am looking forward to telling Brenen’s therapist tomorrow about this evening. Joe will not be surprised. He tells Brad & I how much he knows Brenen is “in there” all the time. If you haven’t guessed it by now Brad & I are extremely impressed with Joe and we know he is going to be the big reason Brenen is going to have a wonderful life again. He is a wonderful Christian man with a beautiful family. His wife is a professor at Grand Valley, he has a daughter Jared’s age and a son Brenen’s age. Good person and very dedicated to his job and takes pride in how far he gets the kids.

I hope you have all had a wonderful day and thank-you for sharing our journey.

Love & God Bless; Brad, Joyce, Jared & Brenen

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For those that are not aware of "why" Brenen is having these issues with his brain, google "brain shear(ing)". You will see just how extensive this issue can be.

I am so glad to hear that Brenen is able to laugh. I can only imagine the exciting feeling the family is having with this news.

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