Isabella Parker's Journal
Isabella Turns 5!
Written Jan 30, 2014 7:11am5 years ago today, Mindy and I made that long trip touncertainty, an event to which our little miracle baby was born. I rememberlooking down and Mindy as we both heard the faint sounds of our little angeltaking her first breaths of air. The joy of hearing a cry from a child that wewere told may not live is unexplainable. And here we are, five years later, andwe still have the privilege of hearing her sweet sounds everyday. Bella hasbeen doing great! Not only is she making efforts to walk on her own, she hasjoined a cheer team and gets to perform with a team at competitions with thehelp of her cousin Catie and Mindy. That performance is absolutely breathtakingand I hope to put it on the web so everyone can enjoy it.
2013 was a fantastic year for little Isabella. Although shehas not grown much, her mental state has surpassed anything you could ever imagined.She started school last fall (which she loves) and her favorite pastime is tosing and dance. In fact, she will sing with almost anyone who will sing withher and she sang a song that was in Bella’s Lights this year as well. Funnything about that was she would only allow herself to be recorded if Tino (Hecreated Bella’s Lights with his father in law) came over and watched her recordthe song. It was sooo cute and the show was a hit.
Bella gets therapy several times a week now which hasbrought her strength to a level that allows her to move about on her own in acustom walker. The walker has a seat to hold her up but she can role it aroundthe house and have some independence. Having that ability has given her a hugeconfidence boost.
As far as fractures, Bella no longer has any major bonefracture due to the rods that we inserted into her 4 leg bones and two upperarm bones. There is still the occasional lower arm fracture as well as ribs andspine pops. But after 5 years of experiencing fracture after fracture, Bella doesn’t pay it too much mind. She will lie around for a few hours and then get back to moving around or she may just say “ouch” and keep on going. Its pretty amazing to be honest, but so is Bella so I guess we shouldn't be surprised.
The biggest change for her last year was the addition of apower chair. After her campaign in early 2013, we ended up with two powerchairs from some very generous donors that saw her on the news. With those, she learned to drive around andmaneuver them about the house. That experience driving those around hasprepared her for her new chair that was delivered a couple months ago. Her newchair lowers to the floor and rises up to counter height. Not to mention thatit was custom fit just for her so it’s tight and confortable. Mindy and I alsobought a minivan so we can transport the chair around and allow her to take herindependence outside the house.
Thanks for all the prayers over the years, it is prayer andsupport that got us to this point.
Happy 5th Birthday Isabella Parker, We love you!
Written Feb 18, 2013 10:17am
Why is it that we question what happens to us in life? Do we feel like we have some sort of control? Can we alter the course of our future or is it already set? Depending on how analytical a person is and what his/her beliefs are, these questions may or may not affect a persons daily activity. Years ago, I was one who questioned everything. Why did this happen? How could I have changed it? But now these questions hardly cross my mind. I realized that everything does seem to happen for a reason, and we are to make the best of what we are dealt. One thing is for sure, life will always throw you a curve, the questions is...will you swing at it?
I have so much wonderful information to share with everyone today and I am so happy to be delivering this to you.
First, Bella’s Make A Wish trip was incredible. Everything was tailored towards kids the whole time, even down to the living facility. When we arrived at the airport, a Give Kids The World representative greeted us. He explained that we needed to relax and let the staff take care of us, and that is just what they did. He also explained that kids rule at their facility and they expected us to let the kids do what they wanted, rather it be jump in a flower bed or eat ice cream at 7 am, didn’t matter, they wanted the kids to rule! Interesting enough, the Vila we had even had the master bedroom as the kids room as well as the large bathroom, putting me and Mindy in the back room. And that was just the beginning, they presented us with cards to get in all the parks and go right to the front of the lines on everything at any time. This made everything so much easier. The crowds were crazy, but we were able to move slowly through the park and still get on the rides without having to rush at all. Bella ate with Cinderella and many other princesses which was most likely the highlight of the trip for her. We are working on compiling the 20 gig of pictures and videos and will share that as soon as we are done.
Bella’s lights ran through the end of December, and we would like to personally thank the Valenzuela and Coopwood families or making Bella part of their light show again last year. We hope that everyone that came out enjoyed the dancing lights.
Isabella celebrated another birthday at the end of January. Our little princess is now 4, and boy is the personality really starting to come out. She wants so bad to do everything for herself, and a lot of things she is finding ways to do, other things she is still working on. Bella is starting to get up on her knees, which is a huge milestone for her and a stepping-stone towards crawling or walking. For the time being, she scoots around like she always has. Pre-School is in full swing and Bella really loves it. In fact, have never seen any child as excited about school as Bella! It’s quite entertaining to see how she acts at school; singing and playing with the other kids, and enjoying lunchtime at the table.
And now for some more exciting news (as if the above wasn’t enough), someone has started an Internet campaign for Bella through a site called Indiegogo. This campaign was started specifically to raise money and assist with some large medical expenses that may be ahead, as well as some quality of life purchases for Bella. The way the campaign works is through sharing via Social Media, Email, or Word of Mouth. Please feel free to copy and share this link with everyone you know, and please feel free to add your own verbiage to the email. We only have 60 days to raise as much money as we can and we are off to a great start!
The website also offers several ways to share the campaign through direct links to social media sites.
Thanks for all the support and prayers
Written Dec 6, 2012 11:18am
We get asked all the time if we are “back to normal” after a traumatic event, but isn’t that subjective? I wanted to start this update with a thought about normality, mainly because it seems to be the forefront of my analysis when it comes to the sympathy that is shown toward our little angel. So what is normal, really? Is my normal in anyway comparable to yours? Most likely not, and that is the way it should be. Every person seems to be built to handle life differently, so that can only mean that one person's “normal” is not any where close to another's! But that is what is so great about being Bella’s father. Her (our) definition of normal is so far outside an understandable realm that it mesmerizes even the most challenged of people. How do they do it? How does she cope? And that, my friend, is why I brought this up.
Bella is doing great, she is enjoying a “normal” state in her life where everything is in place and she is thriving. She is now enrolled in a Pre-School that she attends a couple days a week, and she just loves going there. Along with that, her social skills have taken a real leap forward. Bella will talk and play with people and even give her own order at the restaurant. It is such a thrill to watch her grow through this phase of her life. The most fun conversation we have now is when we see something small and Bella refers to it as a “Bella size” item. But then turn around and reminds us that she is a big girl now. Hehe, she is so cute! With all that she has been through this year, it is so a treat to see her loving life so much. Does she still fracture? Yes! Does she still hurt? Yes! But that doesn’t stop her at all. She will still ask to go outside, or to go play with her brothers, even if it is painful. Isn’t that amazing? I am often left with speechless. The other day, at a soccer game, she rotated quickly and Mindy felt and heard a rib bone go POP. Bella gave a quick “ouch” and laid her head down for a minute, but then was back to watching and talking. Does this surprise Mindy and I? No! But it sure does mess with the people around us who are at AAHHH when they learn of what just happened. Again, that is her “normal”!
Her six rods seem to be doing great. Since her last surgery, all fractures have been minor and quick healing. She received a new wheelchair that is larger and able to get around rougher terrain better and get through grass when going to see her brothers play soccer. Bella still enjoys her Hot Tub and goes to therapy a couple times a week. She now has a desire to stand up against objects and push up with her legs whenever possible. With every milestone, we get more and more excited about seeing her stand on her own one day. Her infusions have been reduced to one day every three months, which is now provided through Vanderbilt Hospital again. We had stopped traveling there because her infusions were so long, but now that we are down to a short delivery of the meds, we can easily get them infused at the same hospital as her Endocrinologist in Nashville.
It is now the time of year when Bella’s Lights are in full motion, illuminating the sky in Olive Branch. Come out and see the amazing dancing light show that is now on its third year. (Address: 4630 Alexander Rd in Olive Branch, MS) It is weather sensitive so if it is raining the show will have to stay off, but other than that it starts at dark every night of the week. Friend her light show on Facebook for more details.
We are also proud to announce that Bella was granted her wish through Make A Wish. As many of you may remember, last year Bella spent the holidays in the hospital, well this year she will wake up Christmas morning in Disney! YAY! We are all so excited that she gets to do this and that we get to experience it with her. With all she has been through, this is a real blessing and we cannot express enough our appreciation to this organization for making this happen. This past weekend was announcement that her wish was granted. I was thinking it would be a small forum for her announcement, but I was so very wrong! Saturday morning, they picked Bella up in a limo, took her to High Maintenance in Olive Branch to get her hair and nails done, and dressed her in a Princess outfit. Then they went to Chick Fil-a for lunch, and then to the staging area of the OB Christmas parade. During the staging, Prince charming arrived and presented Bella with the news that her wish was granted, gave her a real Tiara, and had gifts for the trip. It was AMAZING! Following that, Bella got to ride in a Convertible Camaro through the parade, and she did the “Princess Wave” during the whole ride. From what I here, people were recognizing her and calling her name from with-in the crowds. It was very touching.
We updated the pictures on the caring bridge site as well with some new ones. Thank you all for your continued support and prayers.