I am so grateful to his directors for spotting a little diamond in the rough. And yet, how debilitating that could be to have someone with him all day long, who did these things, but also it seems would be a barrier to his making friends and having to rely on the good will of others. Basically being his hands and his eyes when he can’t turn his body to see. After all, Archer needs help 24-7 and during the day, opening doors, holding doors, taking his hoodies on and off, charging his phone and ipad, putting food on a plate or tray, giving his credit card or meal plan card to a cashier, being fed, having his Camel back water pack refilled, emptying his cath bag, getting the hair out of his face if windblown, putting his foot back on the foot plates of his chair if one falls off the plate, letting him know if there are people behind him when he turns in his chair, etc. Like figuring out the location of the dorm room where and what and how big and accessibility given that all doors are card swiped, and figuring out tuition and cost of nursing care and what the days should be like.– For the Latest Update Click Here We have added a DONATE button to the top this page. Oh right, I forgot one of the screening questions: Ability to come to San Diego and be available for follow up, up to 4 months. I had tried to see if he could come to the dorms early but that effort might not be necessary on UPenn’s part or ours if we were in San Diego or back and forth. Yes, travelling with the Order of Malta, taking about 30 malades, those who are sick, ill and dying for healing, to the very place in the mountains where the Mother of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, appeared to a little poor girl Bernadette over 150 years ago and gave her many messages. Including the queen of France bringing her club footed baby. He will have a ceiling Hoyer lift due to his height and program needs.Please use that button at the top of this page if you want to make an online donation. We are waiting to see if he will pass the second screening as they review the medical records I had sent mid week. We may need help with frequent flier miles and so forth. If we have to move to San Diego for the summer, or go back and forth, we will. Please please pray that he is selected as the next human subject. It’s a crazy thing because I leave this week to go on a trip to Lourdes, France. No one in power much believed her but the peoples did one by one. The messages were to pray, to fast and to process in numbers to the place of holiness for healing. His mother and I will have enough experience to train others there. We angled for the two newest dorms where the technology is new and the possibilities thus expand for Archer to work with an UPenn physician who has suggested that they work together to figure out some new things and he told Archer that he might graduate with a couple patents. But a dorm that has Freshmen in it, lots, was key to us too. Being close to the Engineering school will limit his not having to miss classes related to rain and snow. Oh while I’m playing a little catch-up and we’re into Broadway, yes, Archer and Billy did go to see Stephen Colbert on his show a few weeks ago. Like figuring out PT and OT when the facility is a few miles away. But it’s a lot, like finding at UPenn Medicine the 18-22 medical specialists who can be consulted when needed.
And, I honestly believe that with technology and Archer’s countless hours put in on digital art these days, he will be close to free handing soon as he is on fire with his art designs. Sorry I am rambling, there is so much to tell you and I’m just wanting to hit some highlights. For any of you who might have special prayer requests, please send them to me. Being website and click Interested in Learning More. From the time of tryouts to now he too has grown more and more and he is now, as an 8 grader, 6’ 1” feet tall! He said it was a like a long sports tournament but with a lot more diversity and that it was really fun. So, it’s as if we need a somebody in close proximity but who is invisible until Archer needs him or her. We are actively seeking night nurses, two full time nurses who can care for Archer. He will forever be shiny on the inside as a result. He never once talked about it until all the performances, and then he wouldn’t stop. He looks back and talked about the rehearsals and the fun they had and what it feels like to have everything so nothing and then have everything come together. Interactions with others and college friendships are as important as the academics and quality of teaching it seems to us.He delivered it beautifully, but only after giving us all a scare by almost tipping over in his 500 lb wheelchair when he hit a divet on the grassy slope as he rolled down in staggered procession with his classmates. It also didn’t matter that it took a few extra moments for this ritual with a new twist to be completed. I could feel the wet tears rolling down my cheeks as we all clapped at the end and felt so proud. I will tell you more about all that background later. On that subject of his being complicated, do you know what else just happened? Last week The Christopher Reeve Foundation contacted us and if they could write a letter of recommendation on Archer’s behalf when they heard he was making application for a scholarship from the Swim with Mike Foundation (wonderful group at Unit of Southern California) to help pay for college. It was extremely generous of them to Can you believe that. And I have begun to counsel those who have come and reached out and it really is a wealth of how to’s I guess you could say, of course unique to each injury but many across the board learnings I hope can help others. Nonetheless, their statement was sobering and included and reminded me that Archer had had 9 surgeries in 30 days, endured medical errors that were costly to his recovery such as placing blood pressure medicine in the saline drip bag, suffered 3 heart attacks, one resulting in 6 male medical workers having to beat his chest and back as he flat-lined for 6 minutes, required a subsequent pace maker implanted when he was only 17 years old, survived collapsed lungs on multiple occasions, bore a grueling searing pleuredesis procedure, endured the excruciating pain of a body trying to regulate itself while his entire body had to be rotated up onto his side every few hours 24-7 to drain his lungs and prevent pneumonia from settling into his lungs, endure three large chest tubes (inserted directly into the lungs and attached to containers we could see bedside) to drain fluid, experience his hands and feet curling in muscle atrophy because of the delay in physical therapy, live through his body being iced and de-iced in response to wild swings of high blood pressure, not lose hope at an alarmingly chronic low heart beat, endure constant deep lung suctioning (inserting long suction tubing through the hole in his neck snaking down into his tissue) 24-7 for six months, put up with machines needed for other machines when the use of an inexufflator was used to support the ventilator machine which was to used to support Archer’s breathing, but his body was not able to breathe on its own even with the ventilator support and additional boost because of the extensive nerve damage not providing enough enervation for his diaphragm, endured prolonged use of the ventilator and chronic lung desaturations and arrests in breathing requiring bursts of oxygen and other lung devices, and kept faith even when blebs appeared in his lung tissue and the machines were discontinued. We’ve all gotten better as his programs and now it’s a am weight shift and he can sleep until am. But what it means to go to college is…well, Archer wants to be like any one else who had always planned to go away for college. We are feeling very good about his choice and are searching and networking to those in places of power and influence there. Financial Aid let us know earlier that Archer is the first quadriplegic who has no function below his biceps to attend Penn, and they thought he might be the first with these limitations to attend an Ivy League.He pitched forward and his body landed on the TBar that he maneuvers to move the chair, causing the chair to race forward. The board of trustees also awarded him the Character and Influence award. The auditorium packed with students and Mc Donogh parents was hush quiet while Archer stopped the powerchair and then manipulated the T-bar to move his big 500 lb chair on wheels to Mr. The achievement and all it has taken to catch up, stay current and excel draped gently and lovingly around his neck. It is interesting and I tell you, it was like a suspense film week to week figuring it out. They sent a copy of the recommendation letter today. I was blown away when in the letter they said that of all the quadriplegics they have counseled and assisted, they have never seen a person with injuries as complicated as Archer’s and that he is the first they have written a recommendation for. But they stated that they had never known of a quadriplegic injury as medically complicated as Archer’s and that is really what gave me pause. It’s not to say look at him, it’s worse than others. It’s more to say, It was that bad, see what is possible. He wants to live in a dorm and be a regular student. We knew absolutely no one at UPenn before Archer’s acceptance, I know feel I have some real champions and open minded people who are willing to help us chart a good solid course of care for his needs. That just told me that we have a lot of educating to do, so that is what I began.