Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Chedner is Up and Running...Literally!!

It has been a long summer for Chedner, but he is doing great. In fact, he is vertical and highly mobile! We have watched him struggle with his pelvis and hips as he tried to sit, crawl, stand and now walk. All the way he has been determined and focused. About two weeks ago, after he seemed to be feeling better from the last surgery, he just decided to let go and give it a try. He is so proud of himself and we are certainly proud of him!

Disclaimer: For any squeamish folks, Chedner's colostomy bag is visible in this video. He had just gotten out of the bath and was running around in just a diaper. You can't see much, but just so you know.

We don't know what whether or not the doctors will have to fix his pelvis with the next surgery he has coming this winter. You may notice as he is walking that his feet are actually pointed out, in other words, they are externally rotated. That is their natural resting position and if we don't do anything to change that, they will stay that way. If the docs do decide that it is in his best interests to close his pelvis and rotate his hips, then it will mean at least a month to six weeks in traction. We've decided to get another opinion before making any final decisions and starting on the bladder revisions. For now, though, he will just enjoy chasing his brothers and the dogs all over the house. I do have to admit that I have forgotten how busy toddlers can be at times and now that this boy feels better, he is into everything! Chedner is a joy to watch and we are blessed to have him in our lives.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

A Fundraiser for
Angel Missions Haiti

Vanessa and Tom Carpenter have been raising Maltese dogs for many years. They have had many litters of these sweet little dogs. One of the ways Vanessa raises money for Angel Missions Haiti is by selling the adorable puppies of her two Maltese, Crystal and Haiti. The Maltese breed are lovable, loyal lap dogs. They are small dogs and range in weight between 5 and 8 pounds. All of Vanessa's dogs have been raised in her home and enjoy being with the children.

From Crystal's last litter, they have two pups still available for sale:

Max is the male pup and weighs just a little over 3 pounds. He is very playful and cute. His asking price is $700 and all proceeds will go to pay for airfare and medical care for the children in our program.

Sweet Pea is the smallest dog Vanessa has ever raised. She is just adorable and weighs just over 2 pounds. Her asking price is $1000.

The puppies come with a vet guarantee, first shots, wormed, dew claws removed, and registration papers. While the prices may seem high, they are actually below what you would pay for Maltese at a pet store or other breeder. All proceeds do go to Angel Missions Haiti to help cover expenses to provide the children with much needed medical care.

To inquire about the puppies or if you have questions about our mission, you can reach Vanessa at 540-380-4588.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Berny is trying to walk!!

Vanessa sent me an email and pictures today of little Berny trying to walk. He has been doing okay since he was released from the hospital after his bout with Guillan-Barre Syndrome. He had been making slow progress and the doctors have said they are unsure of how the recovery will go. Not many children as young as Berny have had this particular illness. Heather and her family have been taking great care of him and he is getting help from the early intervention therapists in her area.

Apparently all the prayers, loving attention and hard work is paying off. Berny has been trying to crawl in the last few days and managed to do an army crawl yesterday. After working on some physical therapy using a large ball, he wanted to be helped into a standing position and was doing his best to move his little legs as hard as he possibly could. Hooray for Berny!! We are so proud of him!

Please keep this little guy and Bernard & Susie along with all the folks here in Virginia that are doing their best to get Berny back to his former busy self.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Sometimes, a bag is better....

Chedner is once again recovering from surgery. After our beach week, I brought him to the doctor for his post-op visit to get the hernia sites looked over. That all was great and he hasn't had any more troubles with the hernias. However, we reviewed the tests with the surgeon who believes that Chedner's intestinal problems would continue and there wasn't any way he could make it better for him. The sphincter muscles just aren't working. To help with his pain and on-going elimination struggles, the surgeon again recommended a colostomy. Although we have been very hestitant to go down this road so soon, we have decided that Chedner definitely deserves a rest from the daily pain he was having. So, on July 23rd, we again checked into the University of Virginia Children's Medical Center and the next day they performed an end colostomy. The first 36 hours were rough and he was knocked out thanks to morphine. He was in a great deal of pain, but by the third day, he seemed more comforable and we bungled through our first bag change. Now a week later, Ched is crawling around and playing with his toys. He is eating better and is no longer crying and fighting me when I empty his bag several times a day.

Thanks to everyone who has kept Chedner is their prayers. He is a sweet boy with a strong spirit. We are blessed to have him in our lives.

Belated Photos - Family Reunions!

Hi Everyone,
I wanted to give you all a few pictures that Vanessa had sent me from Haiti. She brought several children back with her in June when she traveled. Nelson, Christy and Skyline are now all back with the families and doing wonderfully. Nelson and Christy have so much energy and look so healthy, their families were just overwhelmed. Christy's dad told Vanessa to tell everyone who helped his daughter here in the US that, "He thanks all of us for helping to save his daughter. He said there are no words to describe how he fells or how much he loves all of us for helping him. He said he will pray for us everyday till he dies."

Here are some of the pictures we have of the happy reunions (Haitians often don't smile in pictures, but be assured they are all very happy!)

Christy with her older sister and her proud Papa

Nelson with his Dad before leaving for the countryside and a reunion with the rest of his family.

Skyline has an even more beautiful smile now that her cleft lip has been repaired!

Skyline and her Papa (her Mom was working).