Katie Ralcewicz's Journal
Written Apr 18, 2014 7:43pmWe celebrated Katie's 30th birthday on Tuesday, April 15. It was a wonderful day with visits from special friends and she was showered with birthday cards, which are all hanging on the wall in her room. God blessed us with a beautiful girl, with a kind spirit, a beautiful smile, and one who loves children and the elderly. She always loved taking care of the elderly patients at Virginia Women's Center and she loved spending time with her friend's children and taking pictures of them. Anywhere there were children, Katie would be in the middle of them. She would befriend those who would sit on the sidelines and invite them to sit with her at lunch. I know, without a doubt, that she holds Jesus' love within her heart and would share it if she was able to.
As an update, the fundraiser has raised over $25,000!!! We want to thank everyone who participated, prayed, and encouraged us with their words. God is so good! His love has been shared through so many people!
We signed the contract for Katie's "suite" this week. The first delivery was made today - lumber which was donated! It is so exciting that we are finally moving forward with construction. Katie will have a new room of her own and bathroom before we know it.
Katie has not shown much change since the last posting. We stopped another medication just last night, and hope to be able to reduce the Baclofen once again. The next appointment is for Botox injections on May 9.
We will post updates as we can on the construction.
We wish you a joyful Easter as we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ!
Joe and Cathy
Written Apr 3, 2014 10:23pmJust wanted to share another update. For the past couple of months, Katie has been having trouble sitting up straight and, at times, holding her head up, especially when I'm drying her hair. We have continued to discuss why she stopped talking and when it seemed to happen. Katie also stopped doing some of the things that she was doing regularly, like showing one finger for "yes" and two fingers for "no," or pressing the button once or twice, etc. The neurologist seemed to think that she stopped talking just after she got the Baclofen pump. Since the last journal entry, Katie saw her physiatrist. After a discussion with Dr. Kunz, we all agreed that the amount of Baclofen that Katie receives through the Baclofen pump should be reduced by 10%. That was two weeks ago. We have seen a marked difference in her alertness and using her fingers. It even sounds like she is trying to say things, but it's just a sound right now. We are curious if the spasticity is actually starting to ease, which is miraculous! The plan is to gradually reduce the Baclofen to see what kind of response she has. We believe that she would much rather be able to speak than to do some other things at this point. People around the world have been praying for over three years for Katie. Prayer works. "With God, all things are possible!"
Speaking of which, our church, Huguenot Road Baptist, has been instrumental in raising funds to help us pay for Katie's new bedroom and bathroom. The amount raised between the online "Giveforward" and checks received totals over $18,000!!!!!! We are so overwhelmed with all the continued love and support we have received from our church family, our friends, and our family. We can't thank you enough.
If I may be so bold to ask you to continue your prayers for Katie, that God will bring back her speech as we reduce the Baclofen. As Dr. Kunz said as he walked out the door after our last visit, "What a miracle!" He gets it! PRAISE GOD!
We will keep you posted.
Written Mar 17, 2014 7:51pmDear Katie,
This round of home health therapy has officially ended. Now it is just you and me and I know that you are really looking forward to that. Actually, it is a bargain - 3 therapists all in one, me!
Today, we tried something that we have not done recently. We pulled out the dry erase board. I positioned the board in your lap comfortably, and then placed the marker in your hand. I then asked you how old you were going to be on April 15th. I asked you to write each number slowly so that I would be able to read it. You first wrote 3 and then 0. I then asked you how old I am going to be this year and asked you once again to write slowly. You wrote a 6 and then a 0 clearly. At this point, I became really excited so I asked you to repeat the process but slower this time. The numbers were correct and legible as could be. Then we practiced writing some names, which were written pretty legibly, too. You write in cursive. After the writing exercise, I asked you if you wanted to work with the dry erase board for a bit and give the communication board a rest and you indicated "yes" with a head nod. I know the communication board is really difficult for you at this point. So, back to basics we shall go. With the grace of God, we shall see how far we can progress with this.
The online fundraiser has been amazing...over $8,500 has been raised so far! It is extremely humbling and beautiful to see how many people want you to have your own private space. Thank you all so very much! Thank you, God, for putting so many wonderful people in our lives.
The contract for your room is being drawn up and we should be ready to start construction in about three weeks. Wow! Right around your birthday! It will be here before we know it.
I'm so proud of you and love you!