June 12, 2015

Garren's Walk

Yesterday Garren took the walk he's been waiting to take for 18 years: high school graduation! We are so proud of him! We are so thankful that we were able to witness what we saw yesterday.

There was a time when we didn't know if it would even be possible. Garren has spent his 4 years of high school in a wheelchair. Freshman year it was a motor chair, controlled by moving a joystick with his right hand. By his senior year Garren was able to move himself around in his manual chair. In class he often transferred from his wheelchair into a desk like everyone else. He even took weightlifting, bench pressing up to 200 lbs by the end of the year!

Garren has been using his walker more and more around the house. He has really seen improvement recently. We are certain that the hyperbaric oxygen treatments are having a positive effect. Garren even said that he can tell that he has better balance.

A couple of months ago when we had a conversation with the school about how to get Garren across the stage for graduation, we told them that Garren wanted to walk. Of course they were elated at the idea. The staff at Piedmont High School has gone above and beyond to make sure Garren has had everything he needed to complete his high school career. They wanted to see him finish big.

As the graduates lined up to receive their diplomas, Garren rolled his chair to the bottom of the stairs. With the help of Mr. Capers (Garren's assistant throughout high school) he made his way to the top of the stairs where his walker was waiting. Garren grabbed ahold of his walker and paused while the vice-principal announced his name - "Garren Michael Janes." Then he started his walk, one step at a time, until he reached Mr. Tyson, the principal. After about 3 steps, people began clapping. Then more joined in. One of the seniors sitting on the front row stood to his feet. Then several more joined him. By the time Garren reached the center of the stage where he would shake hands with Mr. Tyson and receive his diploma, every person in the arena was on their feet!

It was an amazing moment, a moment that could not have happened apart from the generous grace of our God in heaven.

Thank you for all your continued prayers and support. We would not be where we are without you.

May 27, 2015

Hyperbaric Treatment Update - Day 16

We are continuing our journey of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. We just completed day 16 today. Garren is adjusting well to the treatments. We are now consistently at 2.0 atmospheres (equivalent of approx. 34 feet under water) for 1.5 hours (up from 1 hour when we first started). We are experiencing very little issues with ears clearing.

We are not expecting to see any significant changes until after at least 20 treatments, but to date here are some observations:
  • Garren had a split in his lower lip from a fall 2 years ago that just would not heal. Since beginning the treatments his lip is completely healed. 
  • Garren said that he has noticed more awareness of his balance (or lack thereof).
  • We see more symmetry in his face, blink and smile. His left side used to droop slightly and the blink was slower on that side. 
  • He has noticed his energy level and stamina have increased.  
We thank God for this progress and wait expectantly to see what's next. We continue to be so thankful for your continued prayers and financial support.

May 13, 2015

Week 1 Complete

We made it through the first 5 treatments. After taking one day off, the doctor felt like the twitching was not even related to the treatments, and was comfortable with allowing Garren to continue. On day 5 (yesterday) Nancy was introduced to the chamber for the first time. There are a couple of days that I will not be able to get in with Garren, so yesterday was Nancy's opportunity to get in and start getting used to it.

While in the hyperbaric chamber, air pressure is increased in order to simulate being under water. The deeper you go under water, the greater the pressure (remember your high school physics class?) For the first 4 days they took us to a pressure of 1.3 atmospheres, which is the equivalent of about 10 feet underwater. Yesterday they took us to a pressure of 1.5 atmospheres (about 17 feet). Tomorrow we are going even deeper, to 1.75 atmospheres (about 25 feet). The deeper you go, the greater the pressure, the more effective the treatment.

They say it usually takes 15-20 treatments before we will begin to notice any significant changes. So we will continue to go through the treatments, trusting that God will use this to bring healing to Garren's body. So far we are thankful that we are able to tolerate the pressure and have had no issues with the treatments.

Thanks for your continued prayers and encouragement!