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Steven’s Story

On 8/13/12 Steven & his brother Aaron were in an automobile accident. Aaron didn't survive the accident. Steven sustained a severe TBI. He was airlifted to CRMH where he was on a vent, underwent a craniectomy & medically induced coma.  On 9/7 he was transferred to Shepherd Ctr in Atlanta, GA for rehab until 10/6.  He began outpatient rehab at Pathways in Decatur, GA on 10/8.  Steven left VA not being able to sit up, he left GA walking unassisted! A MIRACLE! His recovery is one day at a time with God, Mom, Dad, Aaron, family & friends.  

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Checking In

Maybe it's just me, but I'm having a hard time with the reality that Thanksgiving is this week.  Steven is growing tired of hearing me say I can't believe the month has flown by.  Three years ago we were getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving with our Shepherd family!

I'm always excited to update you on Steven.  First of all, it's safe to say that Steven is counting down to a slower schedule.  This will happen when his semester comes to an end.  If he were here right now, I'm sure he could tell me how many days are left in this semester.  In addition to his school load, Steven continues to stay busy with therapy.  He sees his hand therapist 2 days a week and has recently returned to his physical therapist.  During Steven's last hand surgery follow-up appointment, Dr. Torre recommended that he give Botox another try.  Dr. Torre would like to see how Steven's hand reacts with Botox since surgery.  Steven is being smart by taking some time before making his decision.  He's being proactive by asking other professionals their opinion.  Understandably so, it's challenging for Mom to resist the urge to jump in there and make decisions for Steven.  My first thought was well of course you will do what the doctor says!  Stepping back and encouraging Steven to make his own decisions including those of the medical nature is a huge step for both of us.  Of course I continue to gently offer my opinion and guidance.  Steven is very gracious in being patient with me as my role changes!  Ultimately, I'm thankful that Steven is to a point after we talk through decisions as a family, he is more than capable of making the final decision.  We're just totally proud of Steven for putting in the hard work required to get to this pivotal point in recovery.  Steven always thinks decisions through, carefully weighing pros and cons & at times he is guilty of over-analyzing (he gets this from Mom).  We have watched Steven go through so many stages.  It's exciting to see the blessing of Steven reaching his goal of living a happy & healthy independent life! 

In addition to having the privilege of being a guest Blogger for Brainline.org I was recently contacted by Steven's Trauma doctor asking me if I would be willing to reach out to a family at Carilion.  While I was hesitant at first, not being sure if I was emotionally up to going back there I was reminded of how often we have prayed that we can help others from the lessons we have learned.  Meeting and staying in touch with this precious Mom and daughter has been a blessing!  As I answer questions from the Mom about Steven's injuries and recovery path I'm taken back to those early days...I can't thank God enough for every answered prayer spoken on behalf of Steven! 

I'm sending a big thank you for your encouraging emails, notes and texts!  I really appreciate hearing from you, especially this time of year.  Knowing that you are praying for us brings much comfort!  Since our first Christmas at home after the accident my guys have taken on the task of "gently" encouraging me to carry on with Christmas traditions.  I'm certain that Steven starts playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving and mentions Aaron's "cool" nature Christmas tree is out of fear that I will skip Christmas.  I would never do that to my guys, but to be honest the extra encouragement from Steven and Carlan goes a long way reminding me that Aaron wants us to celebrate together as a family!  I'm thankful for the special "Aaron" Christmas memories and the new traditions we have incorporated into our Christmas to always keep Aaron close and to honor his precious life! 

By the way, I'm not any closer to figuring out what's next for me than I was the last time I updated.  I need to get through the holidays so that I can revisit with a clearer set of eyes and maybe a lighter heart.  I'm so blessed to have Carlan's ongoing support, he is constantly encouraging me to follow my heart.  I'm praying for clear direction.  I know in time the perfect plan will fall into place!

In closing, we would like to wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving.  May your holiday be filled with love, happiness and good health.  Slow down, take extra time to count your blessings!  Enjoy creating precious memories!  Remember to practice kindness.  Maybe this is the year you need to dig deep and forgive someone that is waiting to receive the gift of forgiveness!  Don't put off that call to your family that are out of reach!  Take some time to enjoy and appreciate nature!  Above all else make sure those you love know they are loved. 

Wishing you happiness through God's blessings each day!   

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6 Comentarios

Karen Hale
By Karen Hale
So thankful to hear how Steven continues to improve and grow in all ways! Prayers and blessings to all of you. Happy Thanksgiving!!
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Nancy Anderson
Wonderfully said as always. Wishing all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. Who would have thought 3 years ago that Steven would be making all of these important decisions on his own. Such an amazing person.
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Peggy Brown
Praying that you,Carlan & Steven have a great Thanksgiven and a very Merry Christmas. I am going to Sandys for the month of December. Leave on the first and back the first of Jan. Love Peggy
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Sue Feazelle
By Sue Feazelle
Love you Norma. You have been a constant reminder of the precious gift of life. I know you have been told this many, many times, but you have strengthened my faith by your words. You have opened so many eyes to how powerful faith in God can be. Not just in times of loss but in times of life. Thank you and I hope you, Carlan and Steven have a blessed Thanksgiving. You three and Aaron are in our prayers.
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