Patients Montana Reinschmidt (L) and Meg Throckmorton take a break from therapy
July 31 at 7:50pm
Update for Meg Throckmorton
So many major things have happened since our last update that I am not sure where to begin. On Monday, the external DPS wires were cut from Meg's body. These are the wires that ran from the diaphragmatic pacer (DPS) control box (outside of her body) to the electrodes on Meg's diaphragm. Even though the wires were small, this was a huge accomplishment for Meg. The DPS wires were the last remaining medical device attached to her. She is free to do whatever her heart desires with no attachments or restrictions. Meg is also the first patient at Shepherd to have the external DPS wires removed. Being that they had "technically" never cut the wires before, Meg asked the pulmonologist, "Dr Z, did you consult with someone about how to cut the wires?" He said, "Yes, I did actually." She said," I figured you would because you are a great doctor like that." The nurse brought him wire cutters which were really wire strippers. They ended up being able to clip them with cuticle scissors, that's how fine these wires were!
On Tuesday, Meg stood for the first with no assistance: no handrail, no therapists, no Zero-G, no wheelchair, and no mom or dad, JUST MEG! Although she took no actual steps, this was giant step forward in Meg's recovery. She did it all by herself! Although she is still a long way off in functional daily walking as you and I know it, she knows that she can do it.
On Thursday, Meg walked (assisted by a therapist) up & down a flight of 12 stairs. She also walked (assisted) up & down a long ramp and outside in the grass. It was something to see. We also went to the Atlanta airport to do a dry run for our trip home. Shepherd has a program with Delta Airlines to get people in wheelchairs and their families confident to fly. It went off without a hitch. While leaving terminal, Meg wanted to see if she could ride the escalator to the baggage claim area. This was not a normal escalator. It was extremely long. She stood up from her wheelchair, took a few steps on to the escalator, rode it to the top and then stepped off. Of course, this was all assisted with Dad's arm around her waist, Mom standing behind just in case, and the recreational therapist in front coaching her on how to step off, etc. But, we were so excited. It was if Meg had just walked off of a ride at Disney World. Everyone thought we were crazy, with the therapists and parents cheering when she stepped off. Dad was a little too excited, and started walking at his normal "fast" pace dragging Meg behind him. Meg was saying, "Dad, Dad, I can't walk that fast, slow down!" An airport employee walked over and asked us if she had a wheelchair somewhere. We said, "Yep, it's coming up the elevator right now." He looked like he might call security on us!
Friday, Meg went on her last outing with her co-patients and therapists. Her PT had her walk across to the van, and step up on it, sit on a bench in the front of the bus until her chair was placed on the bus. This was good practice for getting on the van from the hotel to go to the airport. Meg also got out of the car and into her chair without Mom's assistance on Friday night when they were out. She needs a little boost getting in however!! Mom's car is too far off the ground, and the chair too low!
Last, but certainly not least, Meg is coming next Thursday! She will graduate from Shepherd's in-patient program on Wednesday and fly home on Thursday. We came to the Shepherd Center with Meg not moving a muscle from the neck down, the ventilator, the tracheal tube, the feeding tube, the diaphragmatic pacer (DPS) and let's not forget the neck halo. We leave here with just Meg! Even though it will be quite some time before our lives get back to normal, we could not be more thankful for all that has transpired here at Shepherd. It is simply a miraculous place.
Sincerest Thank You to Sam Renzella...Sam is a respiratory therapist at WVU hospital. He is one of two respiratory therapists at WVU that Meg developed a special bond, the other therapist being Bruce Shelton. Sam came to visit Meg a few times this week. Meg was so thrilled to see him. He surprised her with flowers when she took a break from the treadmill. She really had to do a double take! She could not believe he was there. It was a really nice for reunion for Sam and Meg, as the last time they saw each other she was being placed into an ambulance on her way to the airport for medical transport. It was quite emotional for all of us. Sam also brought lunch and apple pie on his last day there which was really thoughtful, and we all had a great visit. Meg looks forward to visiting at the WVU PICU when she is home.
Dolly Goodwin Throckmorton
8/6/2012 about 12:30 am
Meg's countdown to home official :) at Shepherd Center.
The bottom of this sign says 3 - 2 - HOME
Not sure why it was cut off. Sorry...