It has been 5 months since we last posted. We thought it was time to get everyone who has followed Payne's recovery an update especially for those of you who live outside of Bellbrook. I am also posting pictures. Payne graduated on May 23. It was a great experience and we are so thrilled that he was able to graduate on time with his classmates even though he missed a semester of his junior year. When he walked across the stage to receive his diploma, the audience gave an extra long ovation. It was so nice that the community appreciated what he was able to accomplish. Payne also received two community scholarships. One was the FC Bellbrook soccer scholarship and the other was the Charles Sharpe Memorial Scholarship. The first was given to one male and one female graduating senior who played soccer in the FC Bellbrook soccer program. The other was given to a student who was involved in the HS engineering/STEM program.
Payne did make the decision to attend Trine University in Angola, IN. He has declared a major in bio-medical engineering, and Trine has a very new bio-medical engineering building. Trine is also a good fit because it is a small school (about 475 incoming freshmen), so he will not have to walk far to classes, etc. Although Payne is not able to play soccer as he had once hoped, he will be a part of the soccer program as a student coach. The college is a little over a 3 hour drive from our home which is a little far for Mark and me, but otherwise appears to be a perfect fit for Payne.
Payne is still working very hard with his therapies. He does a whole list of exercises every day. We still see gains, but I am sure he wishes that they would come a little faster. His left foot wants to posture (turn in) when he walks. The posturing is not as pronounced as it used to be, but it is still a problem. However, when he is totally focused and walks really slow, he is able to walk with a gait that looks pretty normal. Therefore, we know he will get there eventually, but it is just going to take time and a lot of repetition to get there. Payne is also still working on the dexterity of his left hand with respect to fine motor skills. Sometimes he will put an oven mitt on his right hand so that he is forced to use his left hand for everything.
Stacy, his physical therapist, moved to Florida in June. Up to that point, he met with Payne weekly to do physical therapy. He also taught Payne some martial arts once a week as well. Payne and Mark are continuing with the martial arts exercises at home.
Payne has continued working with Dr. Hauser at Dixie Chiropractic (he specializes in neuroplasticity) every other week for an official appointment to evaluate his progress and update his exercises. In addition, Payne goes there a few days a week to run on their treadmill (they have equipment that supports some of Payne's weight when he runs). Payne has been working with this staff since last December, and the doctors' knowledge of neuro-plasticity has been life-changing for Payne. The staff from this office has been tremendous in helping Payne recover.
Payne set a goal to run a lap around the track on July 4. So yesterday, we all headed (grandparents included) to the Bellbrook HS track. In addition, Dr. Hauser, Kourtney, Gabe and Dana from Dixie Chiropractic attended. Of course, Payne was not satisfied with running just one lap. He ended up running two laps instead. When he runs, he has be fully focused and concentrate on several physical aspects the whole time. For example, he will not swing his left arm fully unless he is focused on doing that task. He also has to focus on his left hip flexor muscle each step. His running is a lot smoother than it was last fall, but he still has a ways to go to run totally normal without total focus. However, with his determination, we know that he will get there.
Payne has been meeting with Matt Spitz at Athletes in Action. He was been working on his testimony with Matt and will speak at the Athletes in Action high school and college football kicking camps later this month. Payne also spoke to the boys at the Bellbrook basketball camp in June. Nationwide Children's Hospital featured Payne in the rehabilitation unit annual report this year. Here is a link to the report http://www.nationwidechildrens.org/rehabilitation
. You can find the report on the lower right side of the page.
A couple weeks ago, Payne attended Young Life camp in Michigan with 55 other kids from Bellbrook. He said that he was able to participate in virtually all the activities including the obstacle course and the high ropes course. What a difference from last year's camp experience. Payne is also working at Ritter's Frozen Custard a couple days a week, working out with an athletic trainer a few days a week, and working out with Shelby. Just last week Shelby and Payne went up to the high school stadium, so that Payne could work on kicking a football. He was able to kick a few short field goals and an extra point successfully.
There is so much that Payne wants to work on both physically and cognitively. The biggest problem is finding enough hours in the day to get everything accomplished! He still receives so much love and support from everyone. It is appreciated very much by all of us.