This is a little overdue (sorry!), but the whole Hodson family is home at their house for the first time in 2.5 months!
Joshua was able to go home last Thursday!
Christina did a lot of hard work recovering from her surgeries last week, and she was able to go home on Friday!
"There is lots of healing that is still needed, and alot more work to be done, but we are turning this page over and starting on the next chapter.
Thank you for all of your love and prayers."
Thank you all for your prayers! Here is today's wonderful update from Kent:
"It is not often I can say this, but it is good day to be Monday.
Joshua continues to improve in small ways each day. He is doing so well that they are targeting this Thur to come home!! His work is not done, and there will be therapy needed for some time, but he is quickly showing that he does not need the medical oversight now.
Christina: All of her cultures from her leg have turned up negative!! This means we can move forward with her surgery to put back the hardware in her leg and let the healing begin! Today Christina got to play her flute in music therapy and was able to drive herself there - in her wheelchair. Her next surgery is tomorrow (Tue) morning, and then as soon as she is able to manage her leg again she can go home.
There is a real possibility of the entire family being home together by the end of the week. We thank you all for your prayers and petitions to the Lord for healing for our family.
Kent & Jenny"
Here's another update from Kent. Please read to the end for a specific prayer request!
"Joshua: continues to improve a little each day. Those that have not seen him in a week are amazed at how far he has come. His latest accomplishment was beating his PT therapist in doing pushups, and thus he walked away with the pint of BlueBell Icecream. His therapist also asked us to bring in his bike so they can start to work with him on riding again. He also continues to earn more freedom in waking around his hospital room and now even onto the rest of the floor on his own. He is also sleeping much better at night.
Christina: is now at the next phase of her leg recovery, and we will need everyone's help with this. After looking over the CAT scan from last week, the Dr. does not like how the leg is lining up and so he has scheduled surgery to get the knee and leg repaired. This will have at least 2 parts. First, surgery on Wed to clean up the wound from the past surgery and to make sure there is no infection anywhere in the leg. It will take 3-4 days for the cultures to tell them if there is any infection. If no infection, then early next week there will be a second surgery to line up the leg and let the healing begin. If there is any infection, then they will have to treat the infection (both directly in the wound and with IV/pill antibiotics), and then wait ~6 weeks to make sure the infection is cleaned up before they can finish repairing the knee.
We would ask for your prayers to be with Christina that her leg is not infected and that her surgeries can go smoothly so she can move on with the healing process. Kent, Jenny and JD will also need the peace and clarity that comes from prayer as we work with 2 kids in different hospitals and the rest of the family at home. We know that there is a way prepared for all of us to make it thru the next trial. Thank you to all for your love and help."
Sorry I haven't been as good about updating recently. School started for my kids and I've been distracted from my computer (probably a good thing overall, but not great for website updates). We went down to see the Hodsons over Labor Day weekend, and I'm excited to tell you my impressions, but first, here's an update from Kent from a couple of days ago.
"Christina has begun Physical Therapy on her foot and Occupational Therapy on her hands. Jenny has also started OT for her hands. Christina had her first meeting with her school teachers where we were able to set up her homebound schooling for the next few weeks. Just to show us how well she is doing, she was able to sign the 26 letters of the alphabet with her left hand. We have also begun to hear flute music in the house again!
Joshua continues to make great strides forward with his rehab. Joshua passed his swallowing test, so he can now eat and drink anything he wants (already had 2 pizza parties). With his ability to eat, they no longer needed him to have his feeding tube, so that has been removed. And today, they took away his wheelchair (no tears watching it go away). The focus now is to walk more and more, improve balance, and continue to get stronger.
Jenny was able to touch her left thumb to left middle finger and left ring finger for the first time.
For the rest of the family, everyone is staying busy. Caleb will get to lead the band tonight for their halftime marching show, Benjamin won the right hand arm wrestling tournament btw the Webelos and 11 year old scouts, Andrew is having fun in cubs, Michael got to check out 2 books from the school library and Rebecca is making all kinds of new friends.
Thank you all for your prayers and support."
Here's today's update from Kent:
"Today was a really good day for the Hodson Family.
Jenny and Christina were finally able to see the hand Dr. and he declared the bones healed in both of their hands. Off came the braces. Out came the 3 pins from Jenny's hand.
And, sadly, today is the beginning of lots of Occupational Therapy on said hands so we can get them working again. It is going to take a lot of work for both of them to regain the range and mobility of those hands, but with our prayers and patience, we know that they will be able to.
Joshua continues to work hard - doing a lot of walking and stair climbing today. Better yet, the trach was removed from his throat today and he was told that he did not need the shots they had been giving him daily. Happy day. Now, if we can just find the lost blanket and stuffed lizard he will almost sleep happy. Please keep these items in your prayers for him.
The rest of the family started school today. Everyone came home happy.
Thank you for all of your love, support and prayers. We can see the progress daily."
This has been a busy, busy week for everyone.
Christina has been able to start walking around a little using her platform walker. She was also able to take her first shower, have her friends over for a movie night (complete with treats and popcorn), and observe her marching band family demonstration.
Joshua continues to improve day by day. After passing his initial swallow test, he is now able to eat soft foods and drink thickened liquids. He is able to sit up most of the day from 8am to 5pm in his wheelchair. His mind is also quite active - he beat his dad in tank wars and is up 2 to 1 (and 1 draw) with his grandpa in chess. He is also able to watch some of his favorite netflix shows, like Mythbusters and Avengers.
The swelling in Jenny's hand is really starting to go down, with the help of some PT and continued time to help the healing process. She is still quite tired by the end of each day.
The rest of the kids are getting ready to start school on Monday.
Also, today they were able to bring the entire family to the hospital for a brief family home evening and, for the first time since June 29th, they were all together in one room again. If you look to the right (on the website, in case you're reading these updates via e-mail) there's a section marked "Gallery" and I uploaded a picture of all 9 of them together again!
Christina was feeling good enough at the end of the day last Thursday to watch the end of Marching Band practice. At the end of practice, when they realized she was there, she suddenly found herself surrounded by the whole flute section and many others from the band being enthusiastically greeted. How's that for being welcomed into High School!?! At church yesterday, Christina was received with love and joy from the young women, and was able to attend all of church, and then later attend the opening seminary fireside with Caleb and Jenny. She felt good enough to invite a few friends over to play games for a bit tonight as well. And her smile is wonderful. This week she will meet most of her doctors here in Houston. Hopefully then we will know more about what is in store for her over the next few weeks.
Joshua is now mobile, and may never be the same. He was cleared to use his wheelchair, and there is no stopping him. He was in constant motion for the rest of the day between therapy sessions. If no one pushes him where he wants to go, he will use his own feet to get there. There is life beyond the bed for him now!! Joshua continues to make great strides. He is learning how to speak again, and while the first words like "dad", "mom", and "I go home now" are both wonderful and pull on the heart strings, these are really big steps he is taking. He really is just getting started at TIRR. They really just had Thursday and Friday to work with him full time with only a couple of sessions a day over the weekend. We are very much looking forward to what the next week will bring. Maybe even eating on his own?!?
Kent says "It was really good to be able to return to our home ward as a family for the first time in 6 weeks. While we miss Joshua being there with us, it felt really good to return to our church family. Thank you for your prayers!"
Here's an update from Kent today. We're so happy that they've all made it back to Houston, and especially that Joshua is showing some good progress!
"Tuesday was our family travel day. Most of the family came home via Southwest - it was a long flight for Christina, but she came thru just fine and was excited to be back home. Our friends had really worked hard to have our house ready for us to return to, and it was certainly ready for us- streamers, balloons, and welcome smiles from all.
Joshua and I were able to fly on a Cessna 340 Medical Air transport - just enough room for Joshua on a bed, an EMT, and a Pilot and co-pilot (me). Good thing the pilot knew what he was doing!! It was almost 9 hours of flying (2 fuel stops), and 11 hours from UpState Medical in Syracuse until we arrived at TIRR Memorial Herman, but it also felt good to be back in Houston again (even if it did hit 100 degrees just for us). Joshua did really well with the flight.
Now that we are home, Christina is quickly getting her smile back as she is able to be in familiar ground with friends able to visit again. Joshua is going thru the evaluation process at TIRR where he will have a dedicated OT, PT, Speech Therapist, NeroPsychologist, Music Therapist, Dr. and other staff to help him get back up and moving. The speech Therapist was able to go thru a number of tests with Joshua that showed he really is able to understand most of what he sees (words, pictures, connecting dots on the computer, spelling) which is really exciting! PT was able to help him sit up on the edge of the bed for a bit and he was able to support himself for a few minutes with his hands holding the edge of the bed.
We have new adventures in store for us as we begin to meet with the doctors in this area and figure out what we need to do next. We will keep you up to date with our progress and challenges as we go. Thank you so much for the prayers that have gotten us this far - we still need them as we meet the new challenges ahead."
Sorry I'm a little behind on updates -- I've been driving home with my kids this week. Here's Kent's update from Sunday, and I'll post what he sent me today in a few minutes.
"Sat was the funeral for Tanya Evans. It was a beautiful affair, with all of her children and their children present, her mother, her sisters and their families, and many loved ones from near and far. The stake center was filled with those that wanted to share this one last day with her. Many tears were shed, but these were tears of healing as well as of sorrow.
Christina was able to attend as well - in her wheel chair and at all of the events. With her uncles and aunt's encouragement, she has been able to eat more, and to share with everyone her smile. She was even seen holding her new cousin later in the day. Her smile brightened all of our day.
Joshua is still in the hospital, he is growing stronger every day. He is also showing signs of anxiety/frustration at the events of each day. While this is understandable and seems to be part of the healing process, we would plead for prayers of peace for him as he struggles thru these next steps. If all goes well, we will be able to move him to TIRR Herman Memorial Hospital on Tuesday to begin his rehab there.
Thank you all for your love, for your prayers and fasting, and for your faith that things will work out. This is hard for all of us, but we know that we can overcome the challenges that have been placed before us with your help and with our faith in Jesus Christ."
Thank you all for your many prayers!
Christina was released from the hospital yesterday, and she and Jenny successfully made it to Virginia today! We're all so happy she's far enough along to come down for Tanya's funeral. She still has a lot of healing to do, but hopefully getting back home will help with that.
Joshua is still in the hospital, but he has been released from the ICU, which is really wonderful. He's able to follow simple commands, including pointing to written words on a page.
Everyone but Joshua is in Virginia for Tanya's funeral tomorrow (Joshua's other grandma is staying with him for a couple of days), and the whole family will be heading back to Houston on Tuesday. Prayers for safe travels and for continued healing would be so appreciated.
The whole family would also appreciate prayers as we say goodbye to Tanya tomorrow.