Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Holidays Everyone!! I have alot to be thankful for!

Well, its the Holidays and I hope everyone had a great Christmas. I wasnt able to have a Christmas last year since i was in the hospital, still in ICU. Even though I have no recollection of Christmas last year, I was very fortunate to have so many of my friends and family come to the hospital to spend time with me and my family. It makes me feel good to know that so many people cared enough for me to give up there plans to come and spend time with me, even if I wasn't talking the fact that they were with me means so much. During the Holidays, we spend time with our families and reflect on what we are thankful for in the past year. I can say without hesitation that I am thankful for SO VERY MUCH!!
1) Im thankful to God, for giving me a second chance at life and sparing me!
2) I am thankful to my family! Without them it would be impossible for me to have gotten through this accident. They have been by my side throughout the entire journey. My mom flew up the night of my accident and never left my side for MONTHS, my dad, brother and sister sacrificed so much to be with me and help make my recovery easy.
3) I am thankful for everyone at my church both in Little Rock at Pleasant Valley and my church at home at West Orange. They have supported me through so much. The love that was shown me in little rock by my church family was literally indescribable. Never before had the doctors and nurses seen that type of out pouring of love for one patient. There kindness and loved spread to everyone working at the hospital and left a lasting impression. I hope to return to everyone at PV soon, and use this accident to further glorify God!
4) I am thankful to everyone at Farner Barley for helping me set up my home for me to live in. Farner Barley had my entire living area blown out and made it wheelchair accessible. They also have given my dad and family the ability to use there airplane to fly back and forth to Little Rock so that my dad could spend time with me. THANK YOU BOB AND STEVE!!
5) I am thankful for my friends Karen and Jim who come to my house to help me with my rehab. They come a couple times a week to help with Physical Therapy. It is because of them I have gained so much in my legs. Well.....God has given me the ability, and Karen and Jim have utilized my potential and have gotten the maximum return out of my legs. I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!
6) I am thankful for everyone who reads this blog....YES, that means YOU (whoever you are) Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It is because of you and your support and prayers that has made my progress which is a MIRACLE possible. This blog is my ministry, and everyone who reads this is directly effecting my progress with your prayers! THANK YOU!!!! PLEASE KEEP PRAYING FOR ME!!
I could probably go on and on with this post! If I thanked everyone individually it would take PAGES upon PAGES to write about it all. I AM SOOO BLESSED!!! I encourage everyone out there, if you want to EXPERIENCE this type of LOVE....I would say to everyone to be apart of God's family. Being apart of his family is like nothing you could ever experience. Without Christian brothers and sisters in my extended church family, I would not be where I am today!!
I LOVE YOU ALL!!
SO MUCH IN HIM
BRENT!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A wonderful week to remember my Year Anniversery!

Last week in honor of my year anniversary I flew to Little Rock to thank my doctors and therapists for all they did for me. I went there as a surprise because on Sunday morning I was speaking at my church. It was my chance to see all my friends and tell them what they meant to me. I spoke that morning to a large class in my church gymnasium. It was wonderful to see so many people in the audience. It was wonderful to tell the story of how the Lord is blessing me and the miracles in my life. I have a feeling I will be telling that story to thousands more people in my lifetime. I will be telling the story to all who will listen. I will tell the story of Jesus, I will tell how he is blessing my life. I CAN'T WAIT! This is what he is calling me to do. I have heard the saying, "Without a test, you can never have a testimony" Going to my church at Pleasant Valley in Little Rock, made me miss everyone so much. I can't wait for the day when I can return to all of you! The love that was shown to me in the past year was beyond description. For everyone reading this blog, I apologize that I can not put into words how Pleasant Valley loved me during my accident. The nurses at UAMS while I was in ICU, asked my parents where I went to church,because they have NEVER seen anything like this before! The people there opened my eyes to what Jesus was talking about when he said, "Love one another!" I have been shown love by so many people since my accident. People have sent cards, and sent prayers up to God on my behalf from around the world. I am so thankful to all of you!

I wish it were possible to have a reunion of everyone who has sent me a card, prayed for me, called me, or visited me. If that were possible I would like to sit down with each and every one of you and hug your necks, and tell you what you mean to me! If it were possible I would want to PERSONALLY thank each and everyone of you. I have kept every single card that I have gotten since my accident. There are thousands of cards and I have read them all. I will never throw them away and I will look back over them one day and be thankful for all the loved ones in my life! How do people go through traumatic accidents without Christian brothers and sisters?

While in Little Rock, my good friend Cristina talked me into doing a walking demonstration for my therapists at Baptist Rehab. I did a small lap for everyone with my walker. They seemed to be impressed by my progress, it made me feel so good to see their faces when I took my first steps. I remember going into that place weeks after my accident unsure of so many things. Just one year after my injury, I WALKED, in the rehab center.....I WALKED!! PRAISE GOD!! I wonder what kind of miracles are in my future for NEXT year!?
Thank you all for your support, and PLEASE, PLEASE keep praying for me!!
I LOVE YOU ALL!
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT

Monday, December 8, 2008

MY YEAR ANNIVERSERY!!

December 8th 2007 was a day that changed my life forever! That day was just like any other day. I woke up on a Saturday morning and got my bike ready to go out for a day at the track with my roommate Jay like we had done for the past several months. I got out on the track and started riding it, coming around a corner and heading towards a step-up jump was the last thing I remembered. I have no recollection of the actual accident or how it happened. I know I had jumped the jump hundreds of times, but for some reason this time something went really wrong. The next thing I remember was in early January waking up in the hospital in ICU with tubes coming out of my body and several I.V.'s in my arms.
I remember a doctor coming into my room early in the morning to check my status. I remember telling him that I couldn't feel my legs and I asked him what was wrong! He told me the extent of my injuries but was careful to break the news about my paralysis. I asked him if I would ever walk again and he told me based on the extent of my injuries probably NOT! At that very moment i said....."Well.....I will walk again!" He began to retell the severity of my injuries and that medically speaking it was unlikely that I would ever walk again. After all he didn't want me to have false presumptions about being able to walk again. I knew at that very moment that I had to go to God in prayer. I began praying NONSTOP! Pleading with God to come into my room and touch my legs and make me whole again. Months and months passed with no change in my status. They told me that once the swelling in my spinal cord went down I would have a better understanding of what I would be left with as far as functional return. The first 6 months is the most crucial to my recovery and is when most people get the most return...IF ANY! Well 6 months came and went....still NOTHING! But the prayers NEVER STOPPED! I was still a complete injury, I still had no hope of recovery. The prayers however kept coming then one day it happened. The therapists wouldnt work on my legs because i was a complete injury so the only way i was going to work on my legs were to do it myself....AFTER HOURS! Going into rehab after everyone left I got on a machine to work my legs. When my therapist came out to check on me, the machines said I was pedaling myself. WHICH WAS IMPOSSIBLE!! He had the doctor retest me and my status was changed to an incomplete. PRAISE GOD!!! HE ANSWERED ALL OUR PRAYERS!!
It is my year anniversary since that fateful day and I can say that now I have gotten more return in my legs and we are working on walking now. With a walker and braces on my legs I am doing more than doctors ever thought would be possible. I have regained my hips and many of my muscles at the top of my legs. HOWEVER!! I still have a LONG WAYS TO GO!!! PLEASE do not stop praying for me. My friend has told me of a wonderful verse that I would like to share with you. MARK 11:24. "When you pray, believe that you have received it and it will be yours!" I believe that I am being healed and I know God has a great plan for me. I can not wait to see how he uses me to further his kingdom. Thank you all for your continued prayers and support! ITS BEEN ONE YEAR!!
I LOVE YOU ALL!!
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I AM SO BLESSED!!

The purpose of this posting is to share with you all the blessings in my life!! Wow...I have come so far in a relatively short time. The Lord has blessed me beyond anything I could have ever imagined. How can I ever repay those who have given so much to me during this struggle in my life? Sometimes I wonder what I did to deserve this outpouring of love and support. How do people go through this kind of tragedy without the support of family and friends? I believe that the blessings in my life have come from God and having a relationship with him. He has laid in front of me so many people who are working with me daily to encourage and lift me up. I could have never prepared for what was going to happen to me this time last year. How do you prepare for that kind of pain and loss? This time last year, I was caring on with my life without worry in the world. The Lord blessed me beyond measure! A great job, good friends, a wonderful church family. In a blink of an eye the world that i knew was going to change. Things weren't going to come as easy for me anymore. I was going to have to work and struggle for everything. I was going to have to learn how to live all over again. 25 years old, and my world would never be the same again! But would it really? Is my life all that different than before? Sure...there are some things that have changed. How I get from one place to another has changed,.....but thats it!

My Christian brothers and sisters have flooded me with love and support. They have sacrificed to spend time with me and lift up my spirits. They have come to my house several times a week to do physical therapy with me. They drove from Little Rock to Atlanta to go through a day of rehab with me and drive back! My Christian family has showed a multitude of doctors and nurses what being a Christian is all about. What a blessing!!! I am so thankful to all of you for your cards and words of encouragement. The Lord is preparing me for something which I have not fully come to understand. He has plans for me which I must fulfill. He is holding up his side of the promises he made to all of us in the bible and now I must do my part!

A saying that has gotten me through many nights was a phrase we used during my stint in ICU. "GOD NEVER PROMISED THIS LIFE WOULD BE EASY......BUT HE PROMISED IT WOULD BE WORTH IT!" I am sure God never wanted this to happen to me but he is using this accident to glorify him. He is healing my body, more than any doctor ever thought was possible. He is showing everyone what is possible through Faith and Prayers. He then gathered around me a multitude of Christian friends and family to help me get through this, because he knew it would be tough.....he knew i needed help! I AM THE LUCKIEST GUY ALIVE!!! I wouldn't change ANYTHING in my life....thats right.....I WOULDN'T CHANGE A THING!
I LOVE YOU ALL!
SO MUCH IN HIM!
BRENT

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I started therapy in Orlando!! Prayers are still needed!

Its Tuesday night and I had a great day of therapy today. I went to Lucerne Hospital and Rehab in Orlando where I had my first session of physical and occupational therapy. The people there were really great. I spent my session walking in my braces. They let me try out a new walker and it made walking so much easier. Its more stable under my hands and not as wobbly as the one I have at home. I literally took off walking making a couple laps in the therapy gym. They were impressed by my hip strength and the strides that I was making. My strides actually were normal distance. I still do not have my knees and ankles yet to walk without braces. My walking is still a work in progress. I am by no means just getting up and taking off with them. Getting up from the chair with the braces on is still something I struggle with but I am currently working on my SIT TO STAND with my most amazing therapist who comes to my home. There is NO DOUBT the progress I have made has been due in part from God's gracious healing hands on my body and the dedication and persistence of my therapist and her husband who comes to my home every week!
On Monday, I gave a treat to everyone who came to my house for my weekly "GAME NIGHT" by putting on a walking demonstration! Im not going to lie it was kind of nerve racking with 10 people looking on in my drive way as I walked. Talk about performance pressure! HAHA! I usually walk at night to avoid human contact so they wont see me struggling to walk! I also walk outside because there are LESS obstacles than in my house. TURNING IS HARD so I try to stay away from objects in my path! haha. I can walk in a straight line like a champ but I am working on the whole "turning" thing! Turning is over rated anyways! Once I start walking....ITS STRAIGHT LINES FOR ME!! ha! Seriously though I am getting better at walking. Its going to take lots of patience, determination and practice.
I want everyone to know that I have not and WILL NOT give up on my ultimate goal of complete healing. I am still rather new in this injury and since I am an INCOMPLETE the sky is the limit on my healing! In order to walk "normally" again and without assistance I will need more return in my legs. My knees and ankles as well as better balance in my hips and gluts. Prayer is the ONLY thing that works....the ONLY THING!! The story in the bible that keeps me motivated and has been a source of strength throughout my long journey of recovery has been Matthew Chapter 8 vs 5-13. Faith can do SO MUCH!! Faith can work miracles. My recovery has already been a miracle but I must not give up now. I must not loose faith! I have to keep pushing on towards my goal.
In the past few days I have been literally blown away by people I hear reading this blog regularly! I CANT BELIEVE IT!! I thought for sure that over time the numbers would drop off, but I hear from friends who I haven't seen in YEARS saying they read my blog everyday!! WOW! I am so lucky to have the support of so many. Each and every prayer that you say on my behalf gets me that much closer to healing and walking. It can happen and it will if we have faith in God's healing power! The moment we doubt the power of God and give into the quote "medical facts" is when we loose our focus and faith! We can not doubt, we must believe and pray to God for miracles. If we cry out to him, he will hear us! Thank you all so very much for your continued support and prayers!! My victory is YOUR victory! My progress is because you believed and prayed for me. I WILL BEAT THIS THING, I WONT LET IT BEAT ME!
I LOVE YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH, you are all my brothers and sisters in Christ!
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Slowly Making Progress...still having some pain!

Yesterday I went to Orlando and the Lucerne Hospital. The reason for my visit was to be evaluated for Physical Therapy. The Shepherd Center in Atlanta wanted me to continue my rehab so they set up for me to start rehab in Orlando and do outpatient a few times a week. The therapist was blown away by what she was able to see in my legs. She noticed some aductors and abductors (these are muscles on the inside and outside of your hips). She also noticed hip flexors and also glut muscles (butt muscles). She laid me on my side and worked on my legs. I was able to pull my legs back and forth so quickly she couldn't hold onto my legs. She was excited by what she saw and was anxious to work with me.
I am still working out everyday at home and with a physical therapist who comes to my house with her husband several times a week and works me out. My therapist has been a true blessings from God. She is a friend of our families and is very familiar with spinal cord injuries. There is NO DOUBT I would not be where I am today without her help. Between God healing my body and my therapists I have been making wonderful progress. I work on walking everyday with my braces and walker. I am walking further each and every time and with fewer breaks in between. I remember when I first started walking at Shepherd I would take two steps and stop and rest. After an hour I was able to go just a few feet. Since working out everyday at home I have been able to walk out my front door around my sidewalk and up and back down the driveway. I am still slow but my endurance and distance have gone further each and every time.
PLEASE keep praying for my return in my legs. My support group is astonishing. The therapist who evaluated me wanted to know what kind of equipment I had at home. She was blown away by my personal workout gym and my equipment. She asked me, "how in the world did you get all that equipment?" To which my reply was, "I am blessed to have so many people who love me!" That statement is completely true. My support group is beyond anything I could ever imagine. I have thousands of people who pray for me everyday! Your prayers and support are giving me the encouragement to press forward. God is blessing me through your prayers and I KNOW that I will be a tool for him to be glorified.
I ask for everyone to please pray for my shoulder as well. For awhile now my shoulder has been causing me a lot of pain. In time I will need a replacement but my doctor wants to wait until I am older based on the shelf life of shoulders. My doctor was forced to reconstruct my shoulder even though it needed to be replaced. Shoulders only last about 15 years until they need to be replaced. after the second replacement I may not have enough bone mass for the third. They recommend not replacing a shoulder until you are in your 50's. Being that I am 26 my surgeon wanted to reconstruct the shoulder limiting my movement and giving me increased pain. However, if he has replaced it I may not be able to have a shoulder once I was in my 50's. I ask everyone to pray for the doctors to make the right decision on my shoulder. I may possibly need to have the screws and plate removed.
I MUST GIVE THIS ALL TO GOD!!! HE HAS BLESSED ME BEYOND MEASURE!! THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR PRAYERS!! I NEED THEM DESPERATELY!!
I LOVE YOU ALL,
SO MUCH IN HIM!
BRENT

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thank you for your prayers....they are working!

It's Monday night and I wanted to write a post telling everyone just how much God has blessed me. If anyone ever questions the power of prayer I am living proof that it works! Two of my old babysitters when I was a child came to visit me recently with their families. They wanted their children to meet me since they pray for me daily. Every night before they go to bed I am in their prayers and I know God hears prayers.....especially the prayers of children.
The ONLY hope I have of getting better is through God. He is the only one with the power to heal my body. Since my accident the prayers that have gone up on my behalf has given me the healing I have experienced lately. I am so encouraged and uplifted by all the stories I hear of people following this blog daily. It really touches my heart to know that I can make a difference. I honestly don't feel like I have done anything really. My healing has been to glorify God, it is NOTHING that I am personally doing. I am committed to working out daily and getting stronger. My therapy sessions are going wonderful. I have made great progress in recent weeks. In my last therapy session with my PT I was able to move my ankle down. I would sit on the edge of my mat with my feet on the floor. My therapist would lift my toes and foot up and I was able to push my foot back to the ground. My therapist was feeling movement in my feet when I would push them down. PRAYER WORKS!!
I have NO DOUBT that I am on the road to recovery. This will be a very long process. I do not want people to think that I am just weeks or months away from walking. This journey may take years, but I am making progress EVERY WEEK! My body is slowly changing and I am experiencing new sensations everyday. The prayers will always be the number one thing I request. Some of the top Spinal Cord doctors in the U.S. have done all they can do. I MUST rely on God and BELIEVE in him without DOUBT that he can heal my body. I know that miracles happen today. I always look back to my first few months of my accident and look at the progress I have made and it reconfirms my faith in miracles. Please do not give up on me, pray without ceasing and we will see a miracle. I know that I have been called to spread the word of this miracle to others and I can not wait to share what God has done for me! PLEASE CONTINUE PRAYING FOR ME!!! Share this blog with your friends and family so that God can be glorified through the miracle he is working in my life!
I LOVE YOU ALL,
SO MUCH IN HIM!
BRENT

Monday, November 3, 2008

Please keep me before God!!

It is time for yet another post of my recovery and progress. It has been a week since I returned from my trip in Atlanta. My therapy there was wonderful and I have seen many positive results from my time at Shepherd. Now comes the next phase of my therapy which I will be doing at home until my next session at Shepherd. I have signed up for Beyond Therapy which is a very intense research project at the center. I will be using new equipment and strenuous physical therapy. The results from Beyond Therapy have been very positive with everyone who has been a part of the research. I am looking forward to getting back to Atlanta and really pushing myself in the Beyond Therapy research project. However, I still need more return! My legs are slowly getting more and more feeling back in them and I am noticing vague movements in my feet and toes. The movement fades on me pretty quickly but there is something getting through. I need prayers to make the connections in my body stronger.
I have been in absolute AWE of the support I have gotten from so many of you reading my blog and following it regularly. It really touches me to know that I have so many prayers on my behalf. Everyday I meet new people who tell me that they have been reading my blog and following my progress. I know many of you do not comment but follow the blog weekly and most of you DAILY! My prayer is that everyone will be uplifted by my experiences and that you can use this blog to hopefully help you out in your daily walk!
Maybe, this was the purpose for my accident? Maybe, there is a reason this is all happening to me? I do not know why things happen but I DO know that God can take every situation and use it to glorify him and THAT is what I am trying to do with this blog. I want everyone to see the blessings in my life and not look at the tragedy of this accident. Yes, it is true that what has happened to me was terrible, but I will overcome it. I would not wish this injury on anyone and I pray that NO ONE has to go through it.
God blesses those who believe in him and have faith. I have NEVER wavered from my belief that I WILL get better. I have to give this entire injury over to God and allow him to work in my life. The response this blog has gotten is due only to God! I need prayers everyday in order to overcome this injury. My progress so far has been amazing. I will never stop working until I walk again. Even so I realize there is only so much I can do. I must have the healing hand of God to touch my legs in order to make me whole again. I have NO DOUBT that healing will happen. Thank you so much for your prayers! I am blessed that I am not doing this alone! My Christian brothers and sisters are always supporting me with your prayers. I would humbly ask that when you go to bed that you say a special prayer for me and my healing.
I also request continued prayers for my friend Jennifer. She is in her last week at Shepherds and will be returning to Little Rock next week. She too has seen recovery in her accident and I know that one day we will both walk again!! Please keep Jennifer Goodwin in your prayers as she battles with her injury.
I LOVE YOU ALL!!
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT!

Monday, October 27, 2008

My first few days home!

As I mentioned in my previous post I returned home to Florida on Friday evening. Returning was kind of bittersweet due to the fact that rehab was going so well. I really wanted to stay at Shepherd and work out for as it would take to start walking again. God has answered so many of our prayers throughout my time in Atlanta. One of my prayers before going to Shepherds is that I would be found to be an ASIA-C and that I would regain more strength in my legs. Well, both requests were answered. We serve an awesome and powerful savior! My wish is that everyone can feel his power and witness it the way that I have throughout my injury. I want so badly for the Lord to use me to bring honor and glory to him.....this is my prayer!
So many amazing things have happened to me throughout my stay at Shepherd. I wish I had hours to type a novel of just some of the experiences I had at the center. I saw God everyday when I went into the gym to workout. I realize just how much the Lord had blessed me with an injury that could have been much, much worse!! Looking around the center I see people who are unable to care for themselves. Patients who were 100% dependent on others to live. I realized my blessings when one of my friends who had to be fed by his mother looked at me from across the table and said, "Brent, id give ANYTHING to be where you are right now." Right then and there I realized just how fortunate I TRULY was and how I was blessed to have THIS injury and not something worse! I have to say thank you to everyone who has kept me in your prayers! I will use this injury to help others and show everyone that nothing is impossible to those who believe. Today I looked back over my mounds of letters I had received since my injury! The outpouring of love from my Christian friends and family was over whelming. I actually took some time to re-read some of the cards and realized just how wonderful it was to have the support and love from everyone. It was you who kept me encouraged and it was ultimately GOD who gave me the strength to press on and BEAT THIS THING!! I will keep pushing towards my goal here in Florida for awhile. I will workout everyday and train myself in order to walk again! With prayers and faith...it will happen!
I LOVE YOU ALL
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT

Friday, October 24, 2008

Im Going Home!!

After five weeks of intense rehab at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta I am going home today. I will be discharged Friday afternoon but will still have a full day of therapy. After therapy I will then drive home with my family. Both my dad and brother drove up Thursday night to help with the drive home to Florida.
What an amazing month I had at Shepherds. I know that the Lord was guiding me throughout my stay here. Some amazing miracles have happened since my arrival at Shepherds. I have been classified as ASIA-C (which is a miracle) and have also been seeing more strength and A LOT more sensation coming back into my legs. God is USING me to show others his power! I hope and pray that my rehab will bring honor and glory to God. I want other to know his wonderful power if we just believe in him and have FAITH!
I also would like everyone to know just how much your support has meant to me throughout my stay here. I have been flooded with mail EVERYDAY at the post office. I am such a lucky person to have so many friends who love and care for me. I look forward to opening and reading all the mail and I realize just how wonderful it is to have such wonderful Christian friends. I look around in the Shepherd Center and see people who are struggling each and everyday coping with there injuries. I cant IMAGINE how anyone can go through this without the Love and Support of a close Christian family!
The North Atlanta Church of Christ here in Atlanta has taken me under its wing since ive been to Shepherds. David Hogan and his wife have been so gracious by meeting us everyday at the door and sitting with us in church. My friend Joe and Sarah Jane Bedwell drove down from Nashville, Tn to have lunch with me and tour the center and then drive home. My good friend and former roommate Jay Weaver and his new wife Amanda came down with Jay's parents on a Sunday afternoon from South Carolina just to have dinner with me and drove home. Both Jay and Amanda were amazing during my accident, they were there for me as well as my family and I love them dearly for it. Both of them were wonderful in starting this blog to keep everyone updated on my progress. Last but not least Hans Oliver the Pleasant Valley singles minister and Eric Buckner my dear friends left on Tuesday afternoon driving 8 hours to Atlanta from Little Rock. They spent an entire day going through my therapy sessions with me and went home afterwards!
Guys you want to know what it means to have a Christian family? I just listed 4 examples. Not to mention the COUNTLESS others of you who sent me cards, letters, emails! This is why I love being a Christian! I do not have to face the darkest hours of my life alone! I look around at others who need the same kind of support that has been given me. What a great ministry it is to show a stranger just how much God loves them.
It is because of all of you I have been given the strength to persevere. Each and everyone of your cards, letters, emails and phone calls gives me the encouragement to give everything I have in rehab. I know that the Lord is glorified by his Christian brothers and sisters rallying around me! I still need the prayers if I am going to BEAT THIS THING!! The doctors did all they could do for me after my surgeries. I have not had ONE drop of medicine or cure go into my body to heal me from this injury! However.....I AM GETTING BETTER! Praise God! The only way my body will be healed is by going to God and asking him to touch my body and make me whole! I hope that he can use me to further his kingdom by taking this injury and bringing glory to him!
I LOVE YOU ALL!
SO MUCH IN HIM!
BRENT

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

PRAISE GOD!! MIRACLES DO HAPPEN!!

I know I posted on my blog last night but today I received incredible news!! All our prayers have paid off and God has listened to our prayers and has blessed me tremendously. This is one of the most powerful blog posts to date. I hope you are all encouraged by the wonderful power of God and you lift him up in praise for his continued blessings on my life.

Today I was TESTED AN ASIA-C!!! This is INCREDIBLE NEWS!! My status has been moved up! I know many of you are not familiar with what an ASIA test is so allow me to get technical for a few minutes so you can understand the magnitude of this miracle.

ASIA is an acronym which stands for the AMERICAN, SPINAL-CORD, INJURY, ASSOCIATION. or A.S.I.A. They do a test to give you a GRADE. This grade describes the level of return and the how much incompleteness you have in your injury. The grading scale is as follows:
ASIA-A (COMPLETE INJURY) no motor or sensory functions. Your spinal cord is dead and it is VERY rare to overcome this level. This usually means your cord is completely severed or is DEAD and can not be fixed. The result of an ASIA-A prognosis is you will have to learn to live your life in a chair!
ASIA-B (INCOMPLETE INJURY) there is some spinal cord sparing. The spinal cord is not completely severed and some of the sensory nerves are still intact. You will receive some sensory return.
ASIA-C (INCOMPLETE INJURY) you have some motor nerve sparing. The ASIA-C says that your spinal cord is receiving signals at the lowest part of the spinal column. This means that the cord is sending signals through the entire spinal cord all the way to the bottom of the cord!
ASIA-D (INCOMPLETE INJURY) This is a better grade meaning you have gotten more return through certain testing of motor functions. The test will see how much active motion your body can generate to meet the criteria to be labeled a D. What the criteria is I'm not sure?
ASIA-E (INCOMPLETE INJURY) This is a normal person. Full motor and full sensory nerves. Each and everyone of you would classify as an ASIA-E.

Today I was RE-CLASSIFIED as an ASIA-C. They have detected motor nerve sparing throughout my spinal cord!!! This is a MIRACLE FROM GOD!
When someone has a spinal cord injury the question isnt just where the cord was damaged by HOW BAD was it damaged? Many people you hear of having a spinal cord injury and are perfectly fine today. Those people usually were given a high grade RIGHT after the injury. Someone broke there back and two days later are labeled an ASIA-D...well that means they will be just fine in time, there cord was not badly damaged. Doctors will also say that time is of the essence. The longer you are away from your injury the lower your likeliness of regaining anything back. They say that you will see the most return right after your accident after the swelling in your spine goes down.

HERE IS THE MIRACLE!!! When my accident happened my cord was BADLY damaged. Due to the trauma it took them 72 hours for my body to be stable enough for them to perform my back surgery. That is wasted time my cord was starved of what it needed to survive. Once I came out of surgery and awoke and was given the prognosis of an ASIA-A COMPLETE INJURY! Doctors and therapists tried to break the news to me easily as to what the meant! Close to 5 month later I was reclassified as an ASIA-B (INCOMPLETE). For this to occur 5 months after an accident is VERY VERY RARE!! As of today my level has been increased to an ASIA-C!! God works miracles TODAY!!

The only reason I have come so far is due to the wonderful power of God and all the prayers that have gone up on my behalf. I ask you all to please stop sometime in your day and say a prayer of thanksgiving to God for his blessings in my life. Thank him for watching over me and seeing me through this tragedy. It is still my prayer for complete healing! I know it can happen!! The therapists were pleased at my new prognosis but told me that is still no GUARANTEE on how much return you will receive. Every spinal cord injury is different. I have surpassed the odds but I am not out of the woods! I still need prayers for my healing!! I know that the power of God is ALIVE TODAY!!!! He can touch my legs and make them whole again. Let's all spent the next few days in praise for his wonderful grace and mercy and thanksgiving for serving such an AWESOME GOD!!
I LOVE YOU ALL,
SO MUCH IN HIM!
BRENT

Monday, October 13, 2008

Another successful week!

Well its Monday night and I just started my fourth week here at Shepherds. My stay here has been very productive. I have learned new things to help me throughout my daily life as well as strengthening my legs through intense therapy.
I would have to say that the blessings I have seen from this accident I will remember forever. I am still touched by the number of people this blog has reached out to over the past few months. My parents started this blog while I was in I.C.U. in order to answer everyones questions and keep them informed of my progress. My dad and sister started the writings and I took over once I was able to type. Hearing the stories from so many people each and everyday has touched me more than you will ever know. This blog has been my ministry and I believe it was apart of God's plan to show others what can happen through faith and prayer. I would have never thought that a simple blog could wrap around he world and be followed by so many people. I get messages from people I have not seen in many years who tell me they follow my blog daily. THANK YOU! I want to personally thank each and everyone of you for your continued support throughout this struggle I have been facing.
Each and everyday I am working on getting better but I know that ULTIMATELY it has to come from God. Nothing I can do can rebuild my spinal cord but I know that ANYTHING is possible if you believe. I have already seen so many blessings and progress that everyone thought was impossible. I should not be able to do what my body is doing! BUT I AM! The sky is the limit my therapists say. With an incomplete injury "no one knows" how your body will heal itself in time. Having this injury is sometimes frustrating in that I have found out there are really NO EXPERTS in this field. Sure, they know the statistics and HOW the spinal cord works. Doctors can tell you everything about the spinal cord but have NO CLUE of how it ultimately functions and heals. Why some people get better while other do not?
I learned A LONG time ago that I would not find my answers from doctors or medical jargon. I knew I had to go to the top. I learned that in business as well; you go to the decision maker. I knew right away I had to talk to the creator in order to get anything done! He knows the spinal cord better than ANYONE! He is an EXPERT in the field and also CREATED THEM! Who better to ask than the one who made me?
We started this blog and asked everyone to go on my behalf and slowly my body started to change. I know it was due to prayers its the only reason! I still have a long ways to go however. I still need more return in my legs in order to walk functionally in my everyday life. I also need prayers for my shoulder which has been causing me increased pain these past several weeks. I have no doubt that miracles can happen today, but we MUST keep asking and be persistent in our prayers! With God on my side I know I can overcome this terrible injury!
Thank you so much for your continued support and prayers!
I LOVE YOU ALL
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What? Brent wrote on his Blog?!?

Sorry guys for the delay. I am trying to write on the blog as often as possible without flooding everyone with useless rambling of non-important matters. EXAMPLE: (Today is Monday and I had the meatloaf for lunch-it was bad, it tasted like the sloppy joes I had the week before......) Im sure no one wants to read that so I only try posting when new and exciting things happen.

It is Tuesday night and I have the Locomat first thing in the morning at 8:00 AM. I get pumped every time I get on the unit because I get sensations in my legs I have never felt before. I am beginning to feel more in my legs and have been for the past few days. My legs always feel awake and when they touch something the sensations are becoming stronger. As I have said before it is almost impossible to explain a feeling. What adjective can you use to tell someone how it feels to raise your arm above your head??.....its feels like......??? ummmm???? However, the feelings I am getting are becoming more and more noticeable. I feel as if my legs are waking up. I am seeing great improvements on the Locomat with my leg strength. Tomorrow they will do an L-Test again to see how many NEWTON METERS I am pushing through the machine (Oh the swiss!). The Locomat was made in Switzerland so everything is calibrated to there units or measure.

I look forward to my therapies in the future and see where the Lord takes me and my recovery. I know that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE! Talking with the nurses here I have come to realize that all doctors are pessimistic. While talking to one nurse she told me that she always gets discouraged talking to doctors because she sees things happen ALL THE TIME that goes against statistics. People who get discharged saying they will never walk again have come through the doors YEARS later walking. Not everything can be figured out by medical science. God works in mysterious ways.

He can make the body whole again and do the impossible. I was perfectly made many years ago by God's design. He had a plan for me and he created me the way he wanted. God created me in his image and pieced me together according to his perfect plan. This accident was tragic and horrible but it is NOT the end of things but the beginning. This injury is MY TEST! It is when I must lean on God to give me the strength to overcome this injury. My life was spared for a reason. God has a plan for me and he needed me alive to fulfill it. The accident left me with this terrible injury but I will not let it beat me! I will turn to God my creator and humbly ask him along with thousands of others who go to God on my behalf to make me well. Nothing medical science can do will repair me except the power of God! I must keep the faith and never waiver from the truth. I am a child of God and he will take care of me. I must not loose my focus, I have to leave EVERYTHING in his hands.

I want to thank so many of you who read my blog daily. It is such an encouragement to me to know that I am in some way affecting people. I hear so many stories of people checking my blog to read the latest updates on how God is blessing me. Please never give up on me! I humbly ask you to keep me before God during these times. My prayer is to WALK AGAIN, it has been my prayer since that terrible night I woke up in ICU. Miracles happen everyday to those who believe and are faithful! I am praying for a miracle!

GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!
SO MUCH IN HIM,
Brent

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My Recent Progress and Blessings!

Well I have just gone through my second week of therapy at the Shepherd Center and I am truly convinced this was the place the Lord wanted me to come! I have meet so many great people here who have encouraged me and helped me throughout my recovery. My therapists here are really sweet to me and work me hard (per my request!) I believe that the Lord will continue to bless me throughout my recovery and I will use my story to bring glory to him!
I will have to catch everyone up on my current therapy sessions. I have been getting in the Locomat (look on previous posts for pics). I LOVE getting in this machine and it makes my legs feel so great. I have been scheduled to get in it three times this week at 8 in the morning. I usually have the session before everyone gets in the gym at 9am. They are seeing some movement in my legs in the unit and are very optimistic about my progress (I could have told them that before I started therapy!)
I know that God has a plan for me and this accident is just a trial that I must face. Everyone has trials in their lives that they must confront. This trial is MY TEST! I truly believe with all my heart that HOW I deal with this trial will dictate the blessings the Lord will rain down on me. Feeling sorry for myself and being locked in a room will not glorify him. However, I believe that I should work hard and give all my credit of my progress to the Lord. I will share my story with others to show them how God is working in my life that the blessings that will be showered on me will be unmeasurable! The Lord has already blessed me beyond measure. Coming to Shepherds I look around everyday and see people in the gym who have it 10 times worse than I ever had it. People with absolute no function of the arms or legs breathing in straws to move there wheelchairs and I thank GOD for my level of injury!
I was encouraged today talking with one of the physical therapists today. She has been working at Shepherds for 18 years. After she got done with me on the Locomat we had a few minutes to talk before therapy started at 9 and the gym got flooded with people. I told her of my injury and she said that it is VERY VERY RARE for someone considered a complete injury for as long as I was to all the sudden be changed to an incomplete! She told me that incomplete injuries have all the hope in the world for recovery. She said "no one knows how the body will heal!" She has seen incomplete injuries come back walking years after there injury and she told me she believed I would be one of those people. Hearing of my progress and how my status was changed by GOD'S miracle (which is the only way it could have happened) she told me to never give up! I was encouraged by her words and I know that God will see me through this tough time and I firmly believe WITHOUT A DOUBT I will walk again (I knew it the day they told me I wouldn't!)
Yesterday afternoon I was FITTED FOR BRACES!! They fitted me for the type of braces that can be converted to smaller braces with more return I get in my legs. He asked me if that was something I would be interested in getting. He said do you want me to fit you for the rigid braces that can not be changed? or the hybrids that can be converted for when you get more movement. Without hesitation I told him I needed the ones designed for when I get more movement back! I am looking forward to getting my own braces and "LEARNING TO WALK AGAIN!"
Today I had my first pool therapy session. I got in the pool that was HEATED...(ohh my goodness it felt so GOOD!) I felt like I was in a huge hot tub (except no bubble jets). Once in the pool the therapist saw A LOT of movement in my legs. I was able to kick my legs a little and do more movement than if I was out in a gravity present environment. The therapist put my legs up against the wall of the pool and bent my knees and I could PUSH OFF THE EDGE! She had to grab my legs to keep me from pushing myself out into the pool! I was very encouraged by what I saw in the pool and I look forward to more therapy sessions there!
Everyday I am getting stronger. My shoulder is still something I must deal with and sometimes it hinders my therapy. However, its just something I have to deal with, I will get better in time. I want to thank everyone for there continued prayers and support. I am still blown away by the amount of people this blog has reached! I am in awe of how the Lord will open doors for you to glorify him. Who would have thought it would have taken a life altering accident for him to give me this platform!? It is a BLESSING!! A blessing that I have this opportunity to minister to others. If this accident is what it takes to minister to others I will take this accident ANY DAY!! Its hard work, but it will all be worth it in time! Please, please keep praying for both myself and Jennifer as we work for our goal of complete healing. Physical therapy will do nothing in comparison to the power of God and his blessings, THAT is why I need your prayers more than anything!
I LOVE YOU ALL
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT
(sorry no pictures) I will try to put some up in the next post!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My past few days!! featuring...ROBOBRENT!

Well my therapy this past week has been rough! Each and everyday I am put to the test physically coming home and passing out with exhaustion. I have seen some great things come out of my therapy sessions so far in my first week. I guess I have a lot to catch everyone up on from the past few days. So I will do my best to fill everyone in on my life in rehab. On Wednesday I was treated to an AFTER therapy outing. One of my hobby's is golf and my therapeutic recreation counselor signed me up to go to a golfing expo after my therapy sessions. She talked me into it because i knew I was going to be TOO tired, but I agreed and went anyways. Sleeping most of the way there when we arrived I was SHOCKED to find out I was at EAST LAKE GOLF COURSE!! I was at the PGA Tour Championship! Since it was Wednesday it was practice I was able to watch all the pros on the driving range before there first round on Thursday. I was able to meet Jim Fyurk and Ernie Els as well as many others. It was definitely exciting. We were also able to watch a para-golfer do trick shots which was MIND BLOWING!! Over all it was an AMAZING afternoon!
On Thursday I worked on walking with braces some more and did really well! It takes some getting use to but i was making great strides up and down the parallel bars. I know that one day soon I will be doing it unassisted. I am still praying each and everyday for complete healing and know that it will happen one day.
Friday was a very hard day. During my PT session I worked on my knees keeping my balance and doing push-ups from an elevated position. My left shoulder was hurting me so we had to stop and ice it. My left shoulder has made everything alot harder on me, but I am NOT going to complain because I do not want it to hinder my sessions. I will just grin and bear it so I can get the most out of every session. Its not a sharp pain but just an aching, from the muscles around my shoulder not having ANY strength from me favoring that arm for months. I can deal with pain....ive dealt with it for months, whats a few more weeks. I know my exercises are building my strength which I will need in my future sessions.
At 1:00PM on Friday I was scheduled for the Locomat again. This was my second session on the machine and I LOVE every minute of it. Well.....I dont enjoy them strapping me into the unit. The purposely SQUEEZE the life out of me for a few minutes until they get me strapped in the machine. Once in the unit they loosen the straps but for a good minute....I CANT BREATH, and all my insides get crunched! I tell them I have already broken all my ribs you dont have to break them again! To which they tell me to quit my crying and suck it up..."THEN THEY PULL TIGHTER, getting there leg on the mat for leverage as the pull!" I guess they know what they are doing?! Once they got me in the unit and make sure I wouldn't slip the loosen the straps so I can work comfortably AND BREATH! I was able to do GREAT things in this session! Whenever I was resting the graph would be flat but once I started to try to walk it would SPIKE pretty good! I was putting good pressure through the unit. I was excited at my progress and I look forward to my next session.

My mom took a video of me on the Locomat for everyone to see. She took the video with the camera on the side...haha....so the video is ON ITS SIDE!! I tried EVERYTHING to flip the video over but it is NOT a picture and wouldnt give me that option so you will have to watch me on the side. Just turn your head to the side OR you can just grab your computer monitor and flip it on its side! EASY SOLUTION GUYS!! Do I have to think of everything?? This will give you an idea of what I have to go through in therapy or at least on the Locomat!
(WARNING: THIS VIDEO MAY CAUSE A KINK IN YOUR NECK! PLEASE CONSULT A PHYSICIAN IF PROBLEMS PERSIST AFTER SEVERAL HOURS!)

video

One of my dear friends and FORMER teachers David Carter took the liberty using some of his photoshop skills of me in the Locomat. I mentioned in a previous post that I felt like ROBOCOP in the unit....Well....If I was ROBOCOP...I would look something like THIS!!

























Thank you all for your continued prayers and support!! PLEASE PLEASE KEEP PRAYING FOR ME!!!! I NEED THEM BAD!! God Bless you ALL!!
I LOVE YOU ALL!!
SO MUCH IN HIM,
Brent

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I took my FIRST steps!

Well its Thursday night and I am writing everyone to tell them that I walked with braces today. When I got to therapy I was surprised to see my therapist with braces on the mat. She asked me to lie down and she began fitting me for the braces. Once she was done we went over to the parallel bars where I took my first steps!! The braces I have on my legs block my knees from bending because I have not gotten that back YET! However, my hips are working well so I am able to freely move them forward and walk. I have not perfected the walking yet, but its just going to take time and practice. I still have not given up on COMPLETE HEALING!! This is what I pray for everyday, and I humbly ask for everyone to please pray for the same.
It is amazing how far I have come since my accident. I was in a hospital bed fighting for my life to survive and now I am taking my first steps, when the doctors said Id NEVER walk again. My legs are still not where I want them to be as far as the movement. I need my lower legs back to be able to walk unassisted. This is something I pray for EVERYDAY!! I desperately ask God to please heal my broken body and make me whole again. He has already blessed me so much and I am very grateful for all his blessings. I know he has a purpose for me, which is the ONLY reason I am with you all today! I look forward to each day of therapy, even though it COMPLETELY wears me out! Friday afternoon I am getting in the Locomat again (pictures on previous post)! I am excited about my time in that machine! Please keep the prayers coming!
Enjoy the pictures of my FIRST STEPS!!





































































Thank you all so much for your continued support and prayers! It is YOUR prayers and God's awesome love which has made it possible for the pictures you see now! Please do not stop praying on my behalf! Miracles DO WORK!! I am living proof of that!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart
I LOVE YOU ALL,
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A great day of Rehab!

Today was really great in Rehab. I started off the day walking on the Locomat!! This was the piece of equipment I have been wanting to get on since I heard of the machine. The Locomat is a robotic walking machine that costs more than most homes, or a really nice Ferrari! Only four hospitals in the U.S. have this unit and Shepherds has two of them! I was told that it NEVER happens that a patient is able to get into the unit that quickly. Others wait for weeks before they let them on the machine but my therapists wanted to me try and out. A spot became available at 8:00 AM so I was there bright and early ready to try out this new technology.
First they strapped me in a harness, which about squeezed the life out of me. I thought my kidneys and liver were shifted up into my lungs! They then rolled me up the incline and onto the treadmill. I hoist was lowered down and suspended me above the treadmill while the robotic legs moved in behind me and locked into place. Since this was the FIRST of my Locomat treatments they had to do A LOT of measuring to adjust the machine to my size and height. They programed it all in the computer so the next time they can just pull me up and it will automatically adjust to fit me.
Once in the Locomat they started walking my legs in the air. It was kind of funny looking! I kept making robot sounds like I was ROBOCOP, with each step! Once I got use to the movement they lowered my feet onto the treadmill. I WAS WALKING!!....Well......it LOOKED like I was walking. The robot was walking my legs but HEY, it looked just like OLD TIMES!
Next the operator wanted me to try to move my legs in the machine. The unit has sensors that can pick up any force I put through the machine and it has several computer screens that can chart my movements. The machine was picking up some movement. I was trying to walk myself along with the unit and it noticed some spikes on the graph. VAGUE spikes, please don't get the idea I was sprinting on the unit. However, the machines noticed I was helping....SOME!
We took pictures of me in the unit so enjoy! Im sure you are thinking....wow....that harness looks tight Brent? Well.....IT WAS!!































































I had a great time with Rehab today and I look forward to the weeks ahead. Please stay posted to this blog as I will try to write on it every other day to keep everyone informed on my progress.
I have also heard GREAT news that researchers and scientist in Denver Colorado at the Craig Institute has found promising breakthroughs with paralysis!! This is the closest they have come and they BELIEVE they can reverse paralysis now. Dr. Davies has been leading the team and have been coming SO CLOSE. They know the stem cells are the key but did not know how to manipulate them to get the desired results. Well....They have FOUND the results they wanted and as of TODAY he is publishing his findings. This is looks very promising. I ask everyone to please pray for the doctors to find a cure for this terrible injury!
I continue to ask everyone for there prayers! This is HARD work but I know that with God's help and with all of your prayers we WILL see a miracle!
I LOVE YOU ALL,
IN HIM,
BRENT!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My First Day At Shepherds

I arrived at Shepherds on Thursday afternoon. My dad was able to fly me down in the company airplane courtesy of Farner Barley Assoc. (I can not thank them enough for all they have done for my family!) Once we got to Shepherds I got settled into my new apartment. The apartments are wonderful! They are completely wheel chair accessible. The apartments are brand new and are on the Shepherd's campus. Once I got to Shepherd's I was pleased to find out that Jennifer and I are next door neighbors. She put signs up on every door saying "WELCOME HOME BRENT, NOW COME TO ROOM 013 AND VISIT ME!" It was so great meeting both her and her mom and I look forward to the next couple of weeks working out along side her.
Getting to rehab will be easy from where my apartments are located. I can push from my apartments over a walkway which runs over a street and into the Shepherd Center making it easy for me to go to rehab.
My first day started Friday morning. I met at the registration at 8:30 am and filled out all the paper work. I then went upstairs to the rehab gym for my evaluations. My first evaluation was with my OT (occupational therapist) her name is Mandy and is very sweet. My first day was just answering questions and setting my goals that I wanted to obtain. I told them plainly...."To Walk Again!" My OT took measurements of my range of motion on my left arm. The results were...ummmm...not too great! But being that my arm is fused I cant expect too much back. However, they are going to work on my scapula or shoulder blade (for the non biology majors out there) to help me get more range of motion. Although my range wont be much, they think they can tweak a few more degrees out of my range.
Next I met with my case manager who showed me the facility and told me what to expect at the center. My case manager is basically the one I go to if I have any problems.
I then at lunch and afterwards met with my PT (Physical Therapist), Lauren. Lauren again asked me a ton of questions and put me on the mat to check out my range that I had in my legs. She did just a few exercises because we were running short on time from all the first day questions. She noticed a lot of movement in my hips and quads but not as much from the knees down (which I already knew). We are going to finish up my ASIA testing on Monday. I am praying for an ASIA-C and I humbly ask for everyone to pray for the same. She mentioned to me that therapy will be tough and very strenuous, but I am up for the challenge.
Monday will be my first true test of rehab. Friday wasn't really rehab, just evaluations to see where I was at and what kind of therapy I will be needing. I look forward to the next few weeks and the opportunity that Shepherds will provide me.
A lot of people have been asking me what my address is:

Brent Adams
SCI Day-Patient
2020 Peachtree Rd N.W.
Atlanta, Ga 30309

I would love to receive mail from anyone! I LOVE getting mail:) Thank you all for your prayers. I pray for a miracle EVERYDAY! I know that with the Lord's help I will walk again!

I LOVE YOU ALL,
IN HIM,
BRENT

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Im Atlanta Bound!

Its Tuesday night and I will spend my day tomorrow packing for my visit to Atlanta to start rehab at the Shepherd Center. Please go to there website www.shepherd.org and you can see some of the treatments I will be undergoing and take a tour of the facility.
The plans are to leave early Thursday morning and fly to Atlanta where I will check into my apartment which is owned by the center and right across the street from the facility. We will spend all day Thursday getting settled in and exploring the Shepherd Center. On Friday morning I am scheduled to get registered with the day patient program. I will then go upstairs to be evaluated in the gym. I will go through several series of tests where they will check my movements and see where I have return in my legs. Most of my day Friday will be purely evaluations and explaining to me how the program works.
My friend Jennifer is already at the Shepherd Center and went through the evaluations on Monday. She told me that they will retest my ASIA level (AMERICAN SPINAL CORD INJURY ASSOCIATION) and I need the prayers of EVERYONE that I will be moved to an ASIA-C!! I am currently at an ASIA-B but i feel that I have now moved up a level and I need the prayers of everyone for the improvement in my current status. My therapies will not begin until Monday the 22nd. My therapies will be designed according to my current ASIA status and movements.
My days will begin at 8 A.M where I will go through a couple of hours of physical therapy, and then Occupational Therapy. I will then go to lunch and afterwards I will have the rest of the afternoon where they will put me in programs based on my needs. It is in the afternoons that I will get to use the new equipment and advanced technologies that Shepherd has available.
I would ask everyone to please, please pray for me and my progress at Shepherds. I pray that these next few weeks God will touch my legs and give me more return. I also pray that Shepherds will be able to maximize my strength and my movement potential. Since the day I woke up in the hospital my prayer has been for complete healing which is something I am certain only God can provide. I need everyones prayers now more than ever. This is going to be a huge step in my goal of walking again. I CAN NOT DO THIS ALONE!! I promise each and everyone of you I will work as hard as I possibly can. I will do whatever it takes and work myself to exhaustion everyday. If I make you this promise can all of my prayer warriors please make a commitment to go to God in prayer on my behalf? I will do my part, but with God being flooded with prayers from across the country and around the world I am sure he will hear our cries and he will bless me. God has already blessed me beyond anything I could have ever imagined and I pray he will use this injury to glorify him. I want my body to be a testament to the power of God so that I can be a witness to others and show them that NOTHING is IMPOSSIBLE through God. I will never give up and I will NEVER doubt the awesome power of God.
My friend Jennifer got to Shepherd earlier this week and I would also ask for you to include her in your prayers as well. We are going through this struggle together. No one understands what we go through but each other. I pray all the blessings God has granted me he will extend those to Jennifer as well. She has all of her prayer warriors praying for me and I am going to add her to the prayers of so many of you who follow this blog.
I am literally blown away by how many people this blog has reached. Even players for the Buccaneers NFL team has been following my blog for awhile! Not to mention countless more who check this site regularly. GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!!! You give me strength and encouragement to BEAT THIS THING! I plan on writing on this blog more often during my stay in Atlanta. I also hope to post pictures and videos so everyone can follow my progress.
PLEASE PRAY FOR BOTH JENNIFER AND I! Pray for strength and for God to touch our legs and make us whole again.
I LOVE YOU ALL!
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

An Amazing Day with the Tampa Bay Bucs!

Today was an unbelievable day that I will never forget. David Reed a great friend of our families had made arrangements for me to meet the entire team and be a guest of honor at the Tampa Bay Bucs training facility.
I was told that I was visiting a friend of his who works on the brain and motivating people. Not having a clue as to what he was talking about I went along to see this motivational speaker. Once we got to Tampa my parents handed me a brand new Tampa Bay Bucs shirt and cap. Things started coming together when right then we pulled into there state of the art practice facility. We pulled up to the gates and our names were on the list to visit the facility. Once we went into the front office I knew I was in for a great day. The facility was nothing like I have ever seen before one of the bests facilities in the NFL. We were met by Allen Barrett who showed us around the facility. We visited the media rooms, training rooms, film rooms, and the players lounge full of pool tables, big screen TVs, arcade games The WORKS! This facility was like nothing I have ever seen before, everything was new and the best! I visited the locker room when I met my very first Buccaneer Cadillac Williams! The stud running back for the Bucs. He came up to me and introduced himself and was really cordial!
After the locker room I visited the weight room where I saw the biggest guys I have ever seen in my life! Immediately a gentleman put down his weights and walked over and shook my hand and introduced himself as Joey Galloway the veteran star receiver for the Bucs. Just then the QB Jeff Garcia came by and talked with me as well. All of the players were so great to me. They all stopped what they were doing to come and talk with me.
Once I met a few players just walking around the facility I went outside to watch the end of there practice. As soon as the practice was over I was FLOODED by Tampa Bay Bucs! They all came over to sign autographs for me. Once I got to the facility I was given a duffel bag full of souvenirs from shirts, hats, and even an autograph football for the players to sign. I loved seeing some old Florida Gator stars as well. Ike Hilliard, Earnest Graham, Kevin Carter, Ben Troupe, all came to see me and reminisce on old Gator highlights! IT WAS GREAT! I was also pumped to see Ronde Barber, I asked him if Tiki (his brother) was ever going to come back and play maybe with the Bucs. He told me Tiki was slow and out of shape and would be worthless on the field. HAHA! Along with all the superstars I met COUNTLESS other players I could list them all but you can look up the Bucs Roster if you want to know everyone I met!
However, I had not met my motivational speaker yet? Jon Gruden the head coach then walked up to me and gave me one of his football pep talks! He told me, "Brent....YOU ARENT WORKING HARD ENOUGH!! If you are going to walk again you have to WORK your tail off!!" I said YES SIR!! I will work hard. He asked about my therapy and said he remembered my story and hearing about it. He knew of my progress and said if I ever needed anything to give him a call. I'm sure it was just polite gab but still! I asked coach Gruden to sign my football and hat. He signed my football and then just gave me the visor off his head and gave it to me after he signed it!
It was so wonderful being the guest of honor for the Tampa Bay Bucs! They treated me so well and made me feel great. Each player went out of there way to seek me out and talk to me! It was a day I will NEVER forget!
There are so many people I want to thank. First off none of this would have been possible without Dave and Jeannie Reed who made the event happen through their connections. I would also like to thank Shelton Quarles. Shelton retired at the end of 2006 after a 10 year career with the Bucs. He was a key member of the 2002 Super Bowl team and was also a pro bowl member that year as well. Shelton had been following my blog and knew of my circumstances. He was the inside man who got the ball rolling on my amazing day. He was the one who made it happen and I want to personally thank you! I met Shelton and like all the other players was a class act! We are downloading pictures of the day and I will post them soon!
I am leaving for Shepherds next Thursday and need everyone to pray for my trip and my progress in Atlanta. Thank you all for your continued prayers and support. I am going to start writing more often on my blog so please share with other to check my blog often during my time in rehab. I will post pictures AND videos of my progress! So please check this blog for the newest updates.
I LOVE YOU ALL,
SO MUCH IN HIM,
Brent

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My Broken Body!! and....NEW MOVEMENT!

Well its late and once again I thought I would share with the world (or at least those who follow my blog) all that has happened to me recently. On Monday my therapist arrived to workout with me and we were able to do new exercises and once again find NEW MOVEMENT!! I can sit on the edge of my workout table with my feet on the floor. I then lay back but still having my feet on the floor I am NOW able to kick my legs out and straight them at the knee. My movements are quick kicks straight out then they fall back to the floor. This is GREAT news because it takes my quads to do this movement. My movement is slowly working its way down. First I was able to move my legs from side to side for just a few inches. Then my hips got firing and I could pull my legs up to my chest. I was then able to get my adductor and abductors these are muscles that run on the side of your thighs. This has given me the ability to spread my legs apart and pull them back together, and NOW my quads are firing allowing me to kick my legs forward! Some of these exercises are hard for me to do and some of the movement is slow with minimal to no assistance, BUT ITS THERE!!
I have come SO far from my initial injury and the ONLY reason I am getting this movement back is because of GOD and his blessings. All my prayer warriors are going to God and HE IS LISTENING! He is performing MIRACLES in my body. Miracles that can not be explained by modern medicine. I was a COMPLETE injury with NO HOPE of recovery, I was told that I needed to learn to live my life in a chair. I wasn't about to except that answer. Nothing the doctors could ever tell me would change my belief that GOD would heal my body. He would do what doctors and medicine could not! It was in that time that my faith was tested. I had no other alternative but to trust 100% in God. Doctors and medicine had gone as far as it could go, now I knew if I were to get better it would have to be a miracle from God. I couldn't loose faith because it is THROUGH faith that he would heal my body. Since my accident people never stopped bringing my case before God. We all asked him to please touch my legs and heal my body and with the prayers of so many he answered our cries. Please I still have a LONG ways to go and I still need your prayers and your faith in God to complete this miracle. I humbly ask everyone not to give up on me! I need your prayers for my upcoming trip to Shepherds. Both myself AND Jennifer needs your prayers. We have been given a huge trial in our lives and I need everyone to help us over come it! God is the ONLY answer, he is the only one who can heal me so we must not loose faith in our creator!
Several weeks ago my friend who works at UAMS where my surgeries took place sent me copies of my CT scans of my shoulder and back. These are AMAZING photos that I want to share with everyone. I want you all to see what an amazing God we serve. My body was BADLY BEATEN and the doctors gave me no hope of recovery. God is proving them wrong and we must praise and glorify him with each and every miracle
I LOVE YOU ALL
IN HIM
BRENT






































































































Thursday, August 28, 2008

Exciting News!!! and More Movement!

Well its Thursday night and it has been about a week since my last post. Since that time I have been able to do different exercises and move my legs in ways than I have never done before. When my therapist visited me on Sunday we worked on an exercise where she laid me on my back and spread my legs apart. I was able to push my legs together and pull them back apart. The best way to explain this is making a "snow angel." You know when you lay in the snow and move your legs and arms to make a snow angel. Well I can MOVE my legs in the same way! I was so excited about this new movement because I have never done it before. PRAISE GOD on my new movement and I hope that each and every step I make will glorify him!
This week one of my best friends from Little Rock came down with his girl friend to stay with me. I had a blast, we went to Sea World, Gatorland, Cirque Du Sollie, the three of us stayed very busy for days! While I was at Gatorland fixing to watch a man wrestle an alligator I got a phone call! It was from a lady at Shepherds who is head of the day patient program. I have been slotted to start at Shepherds on September 22nd which is a Monday. They are opening up my apartment that Saturday the 20th for me to move in and get acclimated. Jennifer and I had made plans for us to go in at the same time and they did there best to comply with our request. However, Jennifer will be going a week ahead of me but we will still be there at the same time. I am VERY excited about going to Shepherds and can't wait to get started! I am READY TO WORK! All day and everyday, whatever it takes! I have gotten several phone calls from my friends at Pleasant Valley and I just wanted to say THANK YOU!! I appreciate your continued prayers on my behalf! All of the progress that I make will be to glorify God! I know that I will make it through this and ask for everyone to keep both myself and Jennifer in your prayers! Thank you all for your support! It is you who motivate me and ultimately God who I am doing this for so that one day everyone can see his power through the miracle he is working through me!

I LOVE YOU ALL,
IN HIM,
BRENT

Friday, August 22, 2008

AN AMAZING MIRACLE!!

I am sorry for the delay in this post. I was having some problems with my password to log onto this site to do an updated post! I wanted to let everyone know that my progress as been AMAZING this week. My therapist visited me again on Thursday and I am getting much better at standing. Once I stand myself up I am able to rotate my hips (kind of like doing the hula hoop). I do the hip rotation in order to work on my balance and keeping my body centered. I am also able to unlock my hips and pull myself forward using my pelvis. My progress is coming along GREAT and I can not wait to get to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta to further my rehab.
On another note, I talk with Jennifer often and she seems to be doing great! Just the other day she was able to regain a little bit more movement in her hands! PRAISE GOD!! Jennifer is new to her injury and is so much further along than where I was during that same time of my rehab. I know that we will both walk again through faith and through the power of miracles which only God can provide!

Now I am going to share with everyone a miracle which happened last night. I can not explain this or how it happened but you be the judge if God wasn't behind this miracle:
I was laying in bed and having a hard time falling asleep. I dozed off for a few minutes but then woke up again. Staring at the ceiling for some UNKNOWN reason....at 4:00 in the morning I turned on the TV?? Who turns on the TV at 4 A.M.??? Once i turned on the TV a show was on the 700 club. This is a religious station that my TV just happened to be on when I turned my TV off last. As soon as my TV came into focus I heard them talking about a girl who had a spinal cord injury. I started watching the show and JUST then the segment started about a girl who was paralyzed in a car accident in Nashville, TN. She was a C-5 quadriplegic and was in very bad shape. I immediately started thinking of my friend Jennifer, this was her injury. I kept watching the show and the young girl went to a rehab center in Atlanta called Shepherds???? WHAT?? this TV show was becoming very very personal all the sudden almost as if I was SUPPOSE to be watching this! The girl started getting better and throughout the entire ordeal she KEPT her faith in God and NEVER gave up in her recover. After a long recovery.....she WALKED OUT OF SHEPHERDS!! On her own two legs with no assistance!
OK.....this was getting weird? I just woke up in the middle of the night and not being able to sleep turned on the TV and it turned onto a girl who was a quad who went to shepherds and started WALKING AGAIN??? really?? Does that JUST HAPPEN!
I immediately thought to myself, "I must meet this girl and talk to her!" So being the detective that I am I pulled up facebook...(at 4:15 am mind you!) I figured there wasn't any young girls in America NOT on facebook so I searched her name....AND FOUND HER!! We ended up talking for quit sometime on the computer. Her story was so inspirational to me and i KNOW that God wanted me to watch that show and that he wanted me to meet her! I thought for sure that she could also help my friend Jennifer because they have gone through the exact same thing. I asked her if I could share her story with my prayer warriors and she said SURE!...this was HER ministry just like this blog is my ministry! I have attached a clip to this video for everyone to watch. PLEASE watch this video and KNOW that God still works miracles! He woke me up at 4:00 AM last night in order for me to meet this girl, there is NO WAY it was a coincidence!

I LOVE YOU ALL,
IN HIM,
BRENT
video

Thursday, August 14, 2008

News On My Progress!

Well its Thursday night and I just got done with my therapy session. Tonight was the hardest I have ever worked with my shirt being completely soaked in sweat by the time I was finished! I was exhausted but the results of my workout was very encouraging! Tonight we worked on lifting my leg up off the ground and setting on the workout table/mat. Laying on my workout mat with half of my body hanging over the edge and one foot on the ground I was able to lift my leg up off the ground with a lot of force and with just minimal assistance set it on the mat with me. This is great news I was able to lift my leg off the ground with a lot of force pulling from my quads. I also worked on negative resistance and trying to slowly bring my leg down to the floor. This was also a great success as I was able to bring my leg down to the floor and even stop it in mid air.

Next we worked on standing pivots. Today I stood up with hardly any assistance and minimal pushing. Once I was standing I was able to weight shift and move my legs slightly with very small increments. Once I took weight off of my feet I would turn myself and sit down in a chair from my workout mat. This was a great accomplishment, once I master this technique I will be able to move from chair to chair without using my arms to transfer. I will be able to stand up and sit down using just my legs!!

After each and every workout session I see great improvements in my abilities. The Lord is definitely guiding my recovery. I have come so far from where I was in Little Rock. I feel like I am very close to walking. I still have a LONG WAYS to go! I don't want you to think that I will be walking any week now.....although with God....It's possible. However, my progress is getting better. We are confident that with braces I will be able to start walking but we are waiting for Shepherds to take me to that step. Until then I will prepare myself each and everyday for Atlanta.

I called the Shepherd Center today and was told that I would be admitted in mid September. I was told I would more than likely be admitted during the week of the 15th. I was also told that Jennifer and I would be going in at the same time. I am looking forward to going through Shepherds with a friend. We are going to keep each other encouraged and motivated all along the way. Please never stop praying for the two of us! We need all of your prayers to make it through this rehab. Each and every workout REALLY takes it out of me. I am use to sports and gym workouts but NOTHING is as difficult as my rehab sessions. It is because of your prayers I have progressed to where I am today! PRAISE GOD!! I can not WAIT for him to use me to further his kingdom. I AM READY!!

I LOVE YOU ALL!,
IN HIM,
BRENT

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Please Pray For My Friend!

I wanted to thank everyone who reads my blog. I am in awe of how many people it has reached and the prayers that have gone up on my behalf. It is for that reason I come to you now asking to increase your prayers for a very special friend of mine! Her name is Jennifer and lives in Benton, Arkansas. Through a very tragic sequence of events she had her neck broken and is currently struggling with paralysis from the neck down. I feel like God has put Jennifer in my life through this struggle. We talked on the phone last night and we shared so much in common. She was in the same room I was in at Baptist Rehab once I left and she will be admitted to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta at the same time I will be there. Jennifer is only a few months out from her accident and still has a long way to go. However she shares my faith in God and the power of miracles. She has her prayer warriors already going to God on her behalf and now I wanted to add mine to the mix. Together we are going to flood God with prayers and we will witness a miracle!
God puts people in our lives for just this kind of reason so that we can help others out. Jennifer and I were strangers as of yesterday but we share a common belief and a common goal of complete healing! We are both being dealt with a very big trial in our lives and it in these times that we can rely on God and put our faith in him. Each and everyday I firmly believe that one day I will be whole again. I believe the same for Jennifer as well! In order for this miracle to happen we MUST keep the faith. So far my recovery has been miraculous. I received an email from my physical therapist from Little Rock saying he is amazed by my recovery and the belief that I have in my healing. He said, “I never want to tell people what will happen because every now and then there are “Brents” out there who defy the odds!” I can say without a doubt that my recovery and healing has come from God! Although I still have a long ways to go I know God hears your prayers that you give on my behalf. Now I would like to ask that you extend those prayers to my friend Jennifer! She has a long road ahead of her as do I but together we can overcome this tragedy. Boy, do WE have a story to tell!
The reason I write this blog is to show others that through faith NOTHING is impossible. My recovery is only to glorify God and I know that so many of you do that each and every time you read my posts. If this tragedy can bring others to him than it will all be worth it! I ask everyone now to please lift Jennifer up as well! This blog reaches around the world and it baffles me how many people it has reached, PRAISE GOD! I ask for everyone to not give up on your prayers and to BELIEVE! We can not have faith with doubt. Believe God can answer prayers and I know that both Jennifer and I will be a miracle that he can use to glorify him!

I LOVE YOU ALL,
IN HIM,
BRENT!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My story-Tell Others!

Well its Wednesday night and I figured I would write on my blog due to everyone telling me that I don't do it enough! This has been a very good week. My dad and a friend of our family built me a workout table. The table is exactly like what I worked on at rehab in Little Rock. Its a few feet off the ground and is firm enough for me to do all my workouts instead of using my bed which is really comfy and soft but not ideal for working out on! I am in training now in preparation for rehab in Atlanta. Since they want to work on walking at Shepherds I am trying to prepare myself so I can hit the ground running once I get there. Some of the things I am working on is strengthening my core so that I will have better balance when I support my weight. I still pray daily for more return in my legs which will make walking that much easier, but....no one said this was going to be easy! In fact it is just the opposite, this is the hardest thing I have ever tried to do. Everyday is a struggle but I know I will get through this with God's help and the prayers of so many of you.

I am amazed everyday by the response this blog has gotten. I try to write on the blog once a week and I hope to write on it more often once I get to Atlanta. I will tell everyone of my daily progress so that I can have specific prayers while I am in therapy! I need constant prayers to come my way so that I can one day be whole again. I know that nothing is impossible and I know that from the miracles that my family has seen since this accident. The Lord has a plan for me, one which I do not know yet but he will reveal it to me in time! If this accident can bring others to him than it will all be worth it!

Please use this blog as a ministry to others. Tell others of my story so that God can be glorified through this accident. The progress I make is because of him and this should all be for his glory. I will work hard to keep my legs strong and keep moving them as much as possible. However, I still ask everyone to please pray for my complete healing, which has been my prayer since this accident occurred. I know that complete healing is possible and I ask for everyone to please keep me in front of God with this request! I will get through this and I plan to dedicate myself to helping others who have suffered such a traumatic accident. I am blessed to have the support of so many people and it's faith that will see me through this! I hope to pass that encouragement on to others so that they can believe! I want to thank everyone for your prayers. I ask everyone to please keep praying for me! Thank you all for your encouraging words and comments you leave on my blog! They build me up every time I read them.
I LOVE YOU ALL,
IN HIM,
BRENT