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On May 19, 2006 my life changed forever. My husband Kris had a motor vehicle accident that killed him and my 6 year old son Adam. Conner was one at the time, and suffered a spinal cord injury at C1, 2 and 3. The doctors told me the night of the accident to prepare myself because Conner would never survive through the night. We had thousands of people praying for Conner that night and for God to do a miracle in him! I have never prayed so hard before in my life for something. I just begged God to let Conner live. I needed him. I was 29 years old and just lost everything that was precious to me! I had no idea how I was ever going to survive this tragedy. That is the thing though, without God you can't survive a tragedy as great as this! Well clearly you can see that Conner survived through the night. The next few weeks were really hard though. The doctors told me that Conner was going to have no quality of life and would be paralyzed from the neck down. He was also in a coma and ended up coming down with spinal meningitis. His outcome did not look good. He was on a ventilator and couldn't breath on his own. The doctors told me that I needed to let Conner go. They even went as far to tell me that they would put him in my lap and let me rock him to sleep (death)! I was mortified!! I told them there was no way I was going to do that, and that God could have taken Conner when the accident happened. It wasn't a survivable accident! God saved him from the wreck for a reason! I told them I was having faith and believing in God to heal Conner! They did not support my decision and told me I was being very selfish and not thinking about Conner's quality of life! I told them that God could take Conner right now if he wanted him. I told them that where there is life, you always choice life! Today I am so thankful that I put my faith and trust in God! Conner is a living miracle, and yes we have had a very hard road to follow and continue to have a huge journey in front of us, but the blessings God has given us along the way, have been absolutely amazing! It has been almost 7 years since the accident happened and Conner is making great strides everyday! He is able to breath on his own off the vent for over an hour right now. Which if he can breath an hour on his own, he will continue to get stronger and be able to come off the ventilator one day!! We just have to keep praying and believing! He has all feeling and sensation throughout his body! He can use his arms to roll over from his side to his back! He gets stronger and stronger everyday! God also brought love back into my life again, and I remarried 2 years ago! He is a great man of God and is a great daddy to Conner! God has blessed our lives more than I could ever imagine or deserve! We do still have hard days and struggles, but God is always faithful to take care of our every single need! We are believing that God will completely heal Conner one day and he will be a walking testimony for God! I pray that God uses him and his testimony for his GLORY and KINGDOM!!! We appreciate all the prayers you lift up to God on behalf of Conner! We ask that you continue to pray and believe with us that God is going to completely heal Conner! We serve and AWESOME and AMAZING God!!!
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Hello Everyone! I hope you are all having a great start to March! We are loving the beautiful weather we are having this week!! Spring is my favorite time of year! I love seeing how everything starts coming alive and blooming in the Spring! I will be honest though, I can't believe it is already March!! Where has the time gone? It seems like it was just January a few days ago. Time seems to go by so quickly! I was thinking about how it is almost time for us to go back to Baltimore with Conner again for his therapy. We go at the end of May. I actually starting getting overwhelmed when I thought about that. Sometimes I feel like I don't get to work with Conner as much as I need to with his therapy. The days just go by so fast, it is really hard to get everything accomplished during the day that needs to be done. We do work hard with Conner though, and I know I am to hard on myself sometimes. I was thinking the other day about how much my responsiblities changed after the wreck, and it really can overwhelm me. I am thankful I am not alone! I am blessed to have my mom here during the day to help me and Robbin who is with me every step of the way. We also have my dad, step-mom, and mother-in-law who help us with Conner as well. I can't imagine having to do all of this on my own! I recently read this article that a lady wrote called "Confessions of a special needs parent" and it was exactly how I feel. I was going to share it with you.......
Parenting a child with special needs can be a challenge, and often those challenges feel like a strong tidal wave coming at us, threatening to make us lose our balance, to fall, to give up. But we NEVER do!! The love for our children compels us to stand strong against the tide crashing against us: the constant of dealing with medical billing, making sure all medical supplies are being ordered, constantly making doctor's appointments, going to go to numerous doctors appointments, dealing with health issues, never getting a full night's sleep, going to the ends of the Earth to get the best treatment possible, and the list goes on. Although we stand strong, we get tired, sometimes we are barely keeping our feet planted and we fear the tide will finally defeat us and wash us away. So we reach out and hold each others hand, because we know together we are stronger, and we need someone to stand with us. We can NOT do this alone. We face challenges everyday! During the flu season we basically stay in isolation. For we know that if our child gets sick, it requires a hospital stay for them. This is hard at times, because there are so many things we want to do, for instance get to go to church every Sunday. Sometimes we have an overwhelming feeling of failing at everything we do, because we don't have enough time or energy to do it all. It is hard to do all the daily therapy, home school, laundry, keep the house cleaned, cook supper, be a wife, juggle your other children's sporting and school events, and find time to just be alone by yourself for a moment. We worry about the unknown, even though we know God tells us not to look into the future, because he is already there. When we first received our child's diagnosis, we had to grieve the loss of the child we thought we would have. Once we dealt with the diagnosis, we still have to deal with the everyday task of our child's needs. The task are things we are grateful though also! I know I can't even begin to imagine my life without my child!
When I read this, I thought wow it is amazing to see that other special needs parents feel the same way we do. Sometimes it feels like you are alone in your battles. I wouldn't trade one minute of all we have to do everyday with Conner! God has blessed my life and so many others through Conner! I can honestly say I would not be the same person today if I did not have him. Sometimes life does get so overwhelming to me. My main focus right now is to get Conner off the vent, using his arms on his own, and talking again. If he can do all these things, then he can do anything in life on his own!! Now my BIG focus is to get him up walking again and that is a prayer that I will never stop praying for, or stop working him towards.
It is amazing how everywhere we go around our community, everyone knows and loves Conner! I know that God has used and still is using Conner to touch so many lives. When I think about how loved and how special he is to so many people, it helps me realize just how blessed I am to be his mother!! Before this happened to me, I never had even the slightest clue what a special needs parent has to endure. It has opened my eyes to so many things! Which is one reason we started our non-profit organization Adam's Cape. We want to be able to help other families who are faced with a tragedy like we were. Please be praying for Adam's Cape. We really are just now being able to start going on it. It took all last year to get all the legal stuff done for it. So now we are finishing up our website for it and starting to write our grant to submit into to other foundations for funding. I am excited about the future of Adam's Cape, but I also pray God helps us to make the time to make it successful. We have a great group of board members, and I know if we all work hard together, it will be successful. I won't lie it is very hard to fit anything else into my daily schedule, but this is a passion I have had since the accident happened.
Now onto Conner though, because I know everyone wants their Conner update. He is doing great and we have bypassed the horrible sickness that has been going around the last few months. I pray we continue to bypass it!! We went to the Pulmonologist last week and his blood gasses are looking great off the vent. So he is doing great with it! He is breathing to fast when he is on the vent though. Part of that is because his diaphragm is becoming stronger, the other part they think is because he needs a longer trach. They are ordering him a new trach and it should be here in a few weeks. So we will see if this fixes the problem. If it doesn't, we may actually have to go to a new ventilator and see if that will help. He at times is breathing 40 breaths a minute, which is way to fast! We need to just get him strong enough to be off the vent completely!! Which he is working on it and he will get there. He is getting so tall. He is 4"11 now!! He is about to be as tall as me. He is rocking and rolling in therapy and school. He has to do all the state testing that they require. We just have to modify for him, but he has been doing great on his test. We use his communication device so he is able to give us the answers and all I can say is he is one smart little boy. His communication device is by eye gazing, so he looks at the word and the device says the word for him. It is a pretty amazing piece of technology. I know some people think since he can't say words right now, that he doesn't understand everything. Well I am here to tell you that is definitely not the case. He is a very intelligent little boy.
He does have an issue going on, that I really don't want to go into details about at this time. We go back to the specialist in June about it, and I really need all of you praying that God heals this issue. If not it will require a surgery and we just don't want this to happen. Other than that though, he is doing great health wise. We are so blessed to not spend our Winter's in the hospital. The pulmonologist always tells us how almost all of his vent patients spend the winter in the hospital due to respiratory issues! We are also thankful that Conner doesn't have issues with skin breakdown and wounds. I know this is an issue for a lot of spinal cord injury patients as well. We are just blessed all around!! So every time I start feeling overwhelmed, I think about how blessed I really am. Things could be so much worse in our life! We thank you all for constantly praying for Conner!!! Conner is a miracle and would NOT be where he is today if it wasn't for all the prayers for him!! We love all of you!