Sunday, October 30, 2016

Big Brother G~

April 12, 2016
When little J~ had his accident his big brother G~ was very confused as to what was going on. Three yr. old G~ didn't see the accident as he had come inside to go potty, but he did hear his mother's screams and see us working on his unresponsive brother on the deck, and he saw the police, firetrucks and EMT's arrive. Also on the deck watching the whole thing unfold was "Corky", the little 3 yr. old neighbor girl who went looking for the boys and watched Hillary find J~. 
"Corky's" mom came over and took her daughter and G~ back to her house. Evidently when G~ asked "Corky" what happened she told him very matter of factly that J~ died. Big Brother G~ did not know how to process this.
Trying to keep Gs~ routine as normal as possible, Jake went home in the evening to have dinner with G~ and put him to bed, then grandpa and I would spend the night with him, get him up in the morning and take him to his Aunt or a neighbor to take care of him while we were at the hospital.
Two days after the accident when J~ was stabilized but still in a coma in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, they asked us to bring G~ to the hospital for some roll play therapy to help him understand what was happening to his little brother. They gave him a bag with his very own medical gear and a 'patient' to work on.

We all felt that G~ could use some special time away from home and the neighborhood, so Grandpa and I took him to the aquarium.

It was a pleasant distraction that we all needed and a couple of days later we took him to the matinee showing of 'The Jungle Book'. He liked the big monkey.

Everyday G~ would come to the hospital to see Mommy and Daddy, get something to eat at the cafeteria, sometimes have play therapy offered by the hospital, and then his Aunt Andrea, Grandma Marion and Grandpa Rod or a friend would take him for the day. At dinner time either Hillary or Jake would take him home for dinner and bedtime and Darryl and I would stay for the night.

Finally, on April 20th, Big Brother G~ got to see and hug J~. He was unsure of the tubes and equipment at first, but so happy to hold his little brother and favorite playmate!
Everyday G~ would come to the hospital to play with and help care for little J~. He is his protector and it's a job he takes seriously. 

On April 24th G~ went to the hospital and helped bring J~ and all of his stuff home. The first thing he wanted to do was sit in their favorite chair and watch cartoons like they used to do every morning.
All I can say is that Little J~ is one lucky boy to have a Big Brother like G~ there to take care of him.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

More on our Little Boy J~

If you have read my blog at all this year, you realize that I am running about 6 months behind in putting up posts and pictures. Our little J's~ accident and getting him well took precedence over everything else, as it should, and then all of my travels around the country and going back to work full time have made it hard to catch up. But I am determined to do so in the next few weeks. 
First of all, back in June when I put up the post of J's~ accident, which had happened in April, I was quite brief. I would like you to see a little more of the Miracle of our little J~.
A few days after Js~ accident we realized that his mother was having a very hard time and she was suffering from PTSD. Darryl and I felt that she needed something positive and uplifting to look at each day while she worked in her kitchen, the room where she spent most of her time. Darryl bought Hillary this beautiful painting and hung it over the dining table to give her a positive focal point. It is now one of my favorite paintings. It seemed to have helped.

This was the first time I was able to hold J~, 7 days after the accident and the day his collar came off. It was like holding a new born baby, he was so limp at first.

But within just minutes he was trying to reach for things and even pull himself up. 

I cannot say enough about what wonderful parents Hillary and Jake are, and in the middle of this trial and hardship I saw so much love and compassion for each other and their sons. What a wonderful example for all of us who were with them.

After spending all of our days and some nights at the hospital, there was one day I just needed to get out. I went for a walk in downtown Salt Lake City. The Beauty of Temple Square and the church complex gave me hope of a wonderful spring ahead.

9 days after the accident Detective Laycock, the first officer who arrived on the scene, came  up to visit little J~. This man will forever hold a special place in our hearts. When he first arrived it was his calm demeanor that calmed us, and his concern for little J~ was so apparent from the very beginning.
He is truly one of our heroes, and over the ensuing months has become one of Little J's~ and big brother G's best friends. They like to go to the police station and visit him quite regularly.

April 21st - one of Js~ first smiles.

Since waking up from his coma therapy has been a constant in Js~ life. While still in the hospital he had Physical Therapy, Occupational (Play) Therapy, and Rehab Therapy, among others.

His Mama has always been the constant presence by his side.


And always with a smile and hugs for her little man.

Big Brother G was so lost at first, not knowing what happened to his brother, but the joy in his heart when he got to see J~ again showed on his face and the attention he gave to his little brother.

Each day brought more miracles and more improvements and to this day they keep happening!

From his first bite of food...

to coming home only 12 days after such a horrific accident....

playing with the neighbor girl who went to look for him and saved his life...

to bringing so much joy throughout the coming months as we watched him slowly remember and then do activities and skills he had forgotten.....

recovering has truly been a family affair for all of us.

This is 1 month after the accident.

By June J~ was having 3 in home therapy sessions a day and 3 outpatient sessions in Play, Rehab and food/swallowing therapy each week.

And he showed us he was all boy ...

and that he loved dirt and all normal little boy things.

He also flew on his first airplane and came to the EPIC Cunningham Family Reunion where he really loved playing with Mom and Dad in the pool. 

Some days would get a little rough, J~ suffers from Sensory Defensive Deficiencies and sometimes has fits that can last for hours, but they are improving with therapy and treatments.

June 30, 2016

But those things are so minor when you look at the big picture. I thank my God daily for the miracle that is little boy J~.  Once, not so long ago we were faced with this...

..and now, every day, we get to see this. 
God is Good - ALWAYS!
October 8, 2016.