Hi Everyone,

We’ve had a very busy weekend!

Before we left for NY Friday we had an invaluable gift delivered to the house. Corey’s chairlift was installed. She is so excited we are getting closer to moving back into her room. THANKYOU to my friend Katie and her family; your gift gives Corey another tool to regain her independence! You all can view her maiden voyage on YouTube;
Corey Beattie Movin’ on Up

We had terrible traffic on our way to Long Island; anyone that travels the Belt Parkway knows exactly what we drove through. Corey did very well despite the 6.5 hr. ride. When we arrived at Tom and Marjy’s house Corey was ready to get out of her chair and stretch her legs. We’ve been going to Bryn Mawr for 5 weeks now. Our family was about to witness all of Corey’s hard work. She stood at the curb, walked across the lawn, up the front steps and into the foyer. She had no intention of stopping there. We walked through the foyer and into the kitchen to sit in a “real” chair (as she calls it). Everyone couldn’t believe it!

Unfortunately Saturday was a rainy day and we couldn’t take a swim but we did attend my nieces surprise baby shower. Corey had a fun time with her cousins and of course enjoyed lunch. Laura’s spare ribs were her favorite and of course she had a hot dog in Uncle Tom’s honor. After the shower the party moved to Tom and Marjy’s. Nothing makes us happier than to be surrounded by family and watch all the baby cousins running around.

Corey met and fell in love with her 2nd cousin, baby Leo; our family’s newest arrival. (This title doesn’t last long in our family) I held Leo in a sitting position at the edge of the table in front of Corey as she chatted and smiled with him. For the first time, I witnessed Corey not only move her arm forward but she lifted her arm from her lap to table height, extended her fingers to hold Leo’s right hip with her left hand then placed her right hand on his left hip. She wanted to hold him on the edge of the table with me! I’m thinking Leo needs to start coming to Bryn Mawr with us…he’s been the best motivator for OT that I’ve seen to date! (I wonder if anyone would notice if we “borrowed” him for a little while.)

Today Corey was anxious to show pictures of Leo and share her personal Olympic events with her coaches. When Corey told Jeanine about Leo she reenacted the motion of holding him on the table, Jeanine’s jaw literally dropped. As the ladies warmed up with arm exercises, Jeanine tested Corey’s range of motion. 5 weeks ago, Corey’s range was limited to 45 degrees before she locked up. Today, Jeanine announced Corey has full range of motion!

Natalie was impressed with Corey’s improvement too. The ladies started their session sitting on the large blue ball. This is a balancing exercise to develop Corey’s core muscles. She balances on the ball as she reaches for items forcing her to lean side to side without tipping over. She had her best time today…30 minutes without fatigue. Next it was time to walk. She had a beautiful pace and gate; the best Natalie’s seen so far.

Corey I write about your daily accomplishments, trials and challenges. In almost two years I think I might have missed a little more than a dozen entries. When I can’t document your daily activity it gives me a chance to reflect not only on your recent accomplishments but on all the days that have led you to where you are today. A year ago, you couldn’t smile at the baby cousins playing in the kitchen and we had to use a hoyer lift to move you from your bed to your wheelchair. This weekend you not only smiled but held your newest cousin and laughed with your older cousins. You “TOLD” me you don’t want to use your wheelchair anymore and insisted on walking every chance you could.

The work you do every day has brought you to the place you are today. Your frustration, anger, persistence and courage have been your motivators. The joy you feel when you watch your body do what you know you’re capable of is the reward that continues to fuel your unyielding determination. The tools you utilize in your daily fight to recover give you the ultimate gift of confidence and independence. That is success in its purest form. Nothing is Impossible when you believe in yourself, xoxo