Anthony’s First Several Days at Shepherd – April 22 through April 27

Anthony really knows how to trough a party.  April 27 was the day this was taken.
Anthony really knows how to throw a party. April 27 was the day this was taken.                                        Monday, April 22 – I drove from Charleston and arrived at the Shepherd Center around 1:30 p.m. so I could officially check Anthony in and take care of the paperwork; when Kim and Anthony arrived, I wanted it to be as seamless as possible. Kim and Anthony arrived from San Francisco around 4 p.m. Anthony was taken to his new room right away. Later on that day, he met Dr. Bowman. Immediately on arriving he met his nurse and other people on his ward. He is very tired but doing very well and expressed his joy at being in Atlanta.

Tuesday, April 23 – Anthony met his rehabilitation team and began speech therapy. He got his trach out at.

Kentfield on April 15, which was a very big thing for Anthony and our family. Within the first 30 minutes of starting his speech therapy, Anthony was speaking words. It was so wonderful thing to hear Anthony’s voice; however faint it might have been, it was still Anthony’s voice and words. What a great way to start his first day at Shepherd.

Wednesday, April 24 – This was one of the rare mornings Kim was not at Anthony’s bedside by 8:15. Since I was in Atlanta, I headed off to Anthony’s room while Kim did some work for MUSC. We feel so blessed that Kim can work while she was in California and now in Atlanta.

I arrived at his bedside, but where was Anthony? I heard water running, so I went in his bathroom. What a great sight: He was getting his first shower since Feb. 1. I looked at him setting in a specially designed wheelchair. He was so happy. I told him I was excited for him and I stood in the bathroom for a while, just watching him get a shower thinking how it was so worth it to get him to Shepherd.

Of course that was just the start. We did rehab throughout the day, and Kim was able to make it over later that morning. Later we went to a nearby Target and picked up some shorts and other things for Anthony and groceries so Kim had food at night back at the apartment. We needed to make sure we were back for a scheduled meeting with Dr. Bowman, who had setup our first family meeting at 2 p.m. Kim and I were anxious to meet with the doctor.

After getting back from Target and visiting Anthony between rehabilitation sessions, I raced over to the apartment to pack my car so I could travel back to Charleston shortly after our appointment with Dr. Bowman. Kim and I got to the conference room and waited a few minutes for Dr. Bowman.

Every doctor from the beginning of this journey said Anthony is doing things they didn’t think he would ever do. Of course they didn’t know Anthony the person. All they saw was his medical chartsStayStrongLogosAnthony-Stay Strong- and reports. We listened to him as he talked about Anthony’s future. But we wanted more. I said to Dr. Bowman, “At this point, you have more information about Anthony than any other doctor we’ve talked to. If this were your son, with your experience and knowledge of his injury and his progress to date, what do you think Anthony’s recovery would be like?” Like so many doctors before, he said he really didn’t know because the brain is so amazing, and it is really hard to predict specific recovery timelines. But Dr. Bowman did say that because Anthony is so smart and has come so far in such a short period of time, he thinks Anthony has a very good likelihood of a recovery that probably allow him to have a normal life. He may have some speech challenges, and the left side of his body needs a lot more work than the right side. We discussed other things, but the bottom line is that they really don’t know. The most important thing we know is that the time period we are in now is the most critical to his recovery. Please pray for Anthony because right now he needs as much strength as possible.After the meeting with Dr. Bowman and visiting Anthony’s room, I headed out to Charleston. My trip home was much more relaxing, knowing Kim and Anthony were safe and in a good place and knowing I would be back Saturday to celebrate my birthday with Anthony and Kim. Drew, Katie and the kids were driving to Atlanta Friday night, so I was excited about getting back. God Is good!

Thursday, April 25 – This was an eventful day for Anthony. He took his first bite of real food – some grits and peaches. Isn’t that awesome? He also had casts put on both heels and halfway up his calves. Actually there are a series of casts that will be used to stretch out his Achilles tendon,

Annie fit in with the gang. She is not only a good nurse but the is fun.
Annie fit in with the gang. She is not only a good nurse but she is fun.

which will give him great mobility and rehabilitation. Right now there are many things he cannot do because his Achilles tendons are not functioning properly. The series of casts will help stretch and strengthen his tendons.

 Friday, April 26 – Anthony been taking a shower every morning since Wednesday, and today was no different. He interacted with some of the others today, beside his regular therapy. He played Wii and air hockey. Anthony and Kim went birthday shopping in the gift store and pharmacy on the first floor of the building Anthony is in. At about 2 p.m., Haley from Steel City Pizza visited Anthony in Atlanta. You go, girl! Anthony really enjoyed her visit.

I arrived at about 8:30 p.m. from the Atlanta airport. Michael, a good friend of Anthony, is taking care of the dogs, and he took me to the airport late Friday afternoon. The number one place I wanted to be on the earth was with Anthony and Kim at Shepherd. I got my wish.

Anthony and  Elle Saturday, April 27 – What a great day! I got to be with Anthony, Kim, Drew, Katie, Tyler, Lucas and Liza. Anthony did some physical therapy in the morning. Drew and Katie and the kids showed up around 11. It was a fun day. A local church put on a Spring Fest in the gym, with food, games and prizes. The more time Anthony spends out of bed, the better. We all had a blast. (See the picture of Drew and Katie in the gym at Shepherd.) A lot of things were just perfect today. One of those things was that

A local church provided food and entertainment in the Shepherd gymn. It was a fun filled day and Anthony was in in wheel chair for 4 hours.
A local church provided food and entertainment in the Shepherd gymn. It was a fun filled day and Anthony was in in wheel chair for 4 hours.

Elle flew in from San Francisco. It was awesome to have Elle and Anthony together in Atlanta. It looks like she will be able to stay for several days. I keep telling Anthony he needs to kiss Elle a lot as part of his therapy. He smiles and Kim says, “Oh Bill. That is so inappropriate.” It’s interactions like these that makes me realize our families are getting back to some sort of normality.

The highlight of the day for me was Anthony eating a chocolate milkshake. I asked him if I got him a milkshake, would he eat some. He got a big smile on his face. So Tyler and I went to the Chick-fil-A just down the street. When we got back, I began feeding it to Anthony. He loved it! We ended the day with Elle, Kim and I saying our prayers with Anthony. God Is good!

5 thoughts on “Anthony’s First Several Days at Shepherd – April 22 through April 27”

  1. Bill, so glad things are lookin better, thought I’d share with you that I finally had my operation and am actually walking so there is a guardian angel on our shoulder, sometimes it just loses track of us and we need to slow down and let it catch up….thoughts and prayers for all of you John and Kat Cribb

  2. What wonderful pictures and what beautiful smiles from Anthony. I’m so happy for the family and esp. Anthony that he closer to home. Prayers and blessings to all of you.

  3. What a joy to see these pictures and to hear about all the little miracles that are happening in Anthony’s life. God is certainly good and prayers are being answered daily. Bill, have you ever had a better birthday present?? Love to you all

  4. Thank you Bill for updating the journal. We really like reading how well Anthony is doing at Shepherd. What a great birthday present to see Anthony and rest of the family. Give Anthony and Kim our love and a few extra hugs for us. You are right: God is good!!

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