Sunday, November 29, 2009

SOME EXCITING NEWS!! GOD IS GOOD!

I have some exciting news to report to everyone about the conference I attended last week in Orlando. One of the top scientist in the world, Dr. Wise Young is working on a cure for spinal cord injuries had befriended me and we have become pen pals. About two weeks ago he wrote me an email saying that he would be in Orlando at a hotel in Disney for a large conference with other scientist and doctors. The conference was not opened to the public and was only for other scientist working on a cure for paralysis. The top neurologists from John Hopkins, The Miami Project, Shriners Hospital were all attending the meeting. Dr. Young allowed me to be a guest and sit in on the conference in the back of the hotel ball room. My family and I sat on the last row and listened to the scientists give there talks on the latest break through discoveries in spinal cord research. We were by FAR the DUMBEST people in the room haha!
Dr. Young got to the podium and talked about some break through things that he was working on. Dr. Youngs work revolves heavily around STEM CELLS. Stem Cells are building block cells that can be genetically engineered and altered to become ANY cell in the body. They can become, heart cells, muscles cells, and SPINAL CORD NERVE CELLS! This work is being done TODAY in the laboratory and they have genetically created nerve cells and implanted them into severed spinal cords in animals, AND THEY ARE WALKING AGAIN!!
Most of Dr. Youngs research is coming from Stem Cells from Umbilical Cord blood. When a woman gives birth, the blood which is in the umbilical cord is RICH with stem cells. They can use the blood from the umbilical cord and combine it with Lithium and are seeing amazing results. Nerve cells are bridging the gap and making connections at the injury site, causing animals to walk again and regain function.
This got me thinking.....hmmm WHO DO I KNOW WHO IS ABOUT TO HAVE A BABY?? MY SISTER!! HAHA I asked Dr. Young if maybe we could store my sisters blood and use it in me one day! He said, YES and gave me a website of a company that is doing just that. They collect umbilical cord blood from either donations or specific donors. The company works just like a blood bank. But instead of the Red Cross collecting blood from your arm, this company collects umbilical cord blood in order to use it to fight diseases and sometime soon...CURE PARALYSIS! Its going to cost some money in order to do this, but sister is more than happy to help and is looking forward to helping me in fighting this terrible injury.

http://www.stemcytefamily.com/

Please click on this website and you can read more about the AMAZING break through in stem cell research from Umbilical Cord blood. The best thing, is this is NOT controversial like embryonic stem cells. Please click on the link above and watch the informative video on the front page (third icon entitled WATCH THE VIDEO). This will explain everything. Please pray that we are able to do this!

I have included in this blog post a video of my walking. This was taken last Sunday. Mind you, I do have braces on in this video, because my knees are still too weak to stank for long periods of time.
PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR MY RECOVERY!
I LOVE YOU ALL
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT


video

Monday, November 23, 2009

I AM SO BLESSED!!

It has been awhile since my last post, but I wanted to share with everyone the blessings that have come my way recently. God has been watching over me from the beginning and each and everyday his plans seem to be working themselves out. I am starting to understand more and more what it means to put all your trust in God. He will take care of you if we can just learn to lay our troubles at his feet.

A few days ago I received a phone call from a gentleman who I attended church with in Atlanta during my time at Shepherds. The man is the brother of one of our dear friends in Florida. My brother and I both graduated with his niece and nephew from high school. He called me in regards to something that North Atlanta Church was doing as a ministry to others and he wanted to know if they could help me. An anonymous donor at the church gave a substantial amount of money to be given out to people who are in need. The only stipulation to the donation was that the money was to be given out in order to pay the bills of those in need. Unfortunately I did NOT have any outstanding bills at that time. I thanked him for considering me and offering to help me financially. Since the monies could only be used to pay bills, I did not have any need at that time. WELL, GOD WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS!! THE VERY NEXT DAY!! I received a letter in the mail from UAMS hospital. The letter I received was a BILL!! I thought we had handled the bill a YEAR ago, and I had not heard anything back from the hospital over the bill in question. As it would turn out, I DID owe the money from my time in Little Rock. Needless to say, the North Atlanta Church is handling the bill. GOD IS GOOD!! It is amazing how he has watched over me and taken care of my every need. From my home being remodeled, and my surprise fund raiser in order to raise money for the Shepherd Center and now my outstanding bills have ALL BEEN HANDLED by wonderful Christians. I could NOT have gone through this without the never ending love from the brothers and sisters in Christ who have given SO MUCH to help me out!

God has been taking care of my every need. He is not only healing my body but he is taking care of my EVERY NEED!! There is NO DOUBT that the timing of the church in Atlanta helping me and the bill that came the day after was a coincidence! God is in control of my life and he is guiding my recovery. I know that the plans he has for me will be GREAT! I can not wait to speak to others to share my amazing story of recovery and blessings! I pray God will be glorified and that I can bring others to him through this injury!

PLEASE continue praying for my recovery! PLEASE do not give up on me. I know that as time passes that people will fade in and out of my story. I am coming up on my two year anniversary and I still have years to go to reach my goal of walking again. I am making SUCH great progress and I am seeing amazing things with my legs each week!! I NEED YOUR PRAYERS in order to overcome this injury! Its going to be a LONG, TALL mountain to climb but with all of my support and with God as my focus, I will achieve my goal!

THANK YOU ALL
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT

Saturday, November 7, 2009

MY TRIP TO LITTLE ROCK AND TV INTERVIEW

I apologize for the delay in posting, I was waiting on my TV segment to air so that I could include it this weeks blog.

My trip last weekend to Little Rock was amazing. Because of the weather, we were not able to fly into Little Rock. Instead, we flew just outside Atlanta to my dad's office and drove to Little Rock from there. We were not able to get to Little Rock early enough on Thursday so my television interview was postponed until Friday. When I arrived at UAMS, I was anxious and excited to meet Dr. Pait, the surgeon who saved my life. I arrived early for my interview with THV 11 news. When I came into the new lobby of the hospital, I was met by Andrea Peel who worked in P.R. for the hospital and arranged the TV interview. Well, when I came to the hospital, I had a BIG SURPRISE waiting on me! Andrea, informed me that Dr. Greenwauld, my shoulder surgeon and ALL of the nurses who worked on me in ICU were also going to be coming down to meet me. I couldn't believe it, I was so excited to meet the entire staff who worked on me during the most crucial moments when my life was literally in the balance.

Soon, after my interview began I looked up to see Dr. Pait standing there! I shook his hand and gave him a hug, I couldn't stop thanking him for all the work he did on me. Shortly thereafter Dr. Greenwauld came down and I was able to thank him for the complex shoulder reconstruction he performed on me.

One of the greatest moments however, was to meet the ICU nurses who were there for me EVERYDAY! One of the nurses even brought my chart down to go over all of my injuries. I was amazed by all of the details of my injury while reading through my charts. The nurse explained to me that when someone is injured they are given a grade based on the severity of their injury. Anyone with a grade of 15 or higher needs the most urgent of care and requires a LEVEL 1 Trauma unit. The nurse said when I came in I was given the grade of 38!! I enjoyed thanking all of the nurses who took care of me. There were lots of hugs and tears and was a WONDERFUL experience.

It was also wonderful to see all of my friends and the people at Pleasant Valley Church of Christ. I spoke to the SEEKERS and SINGLES in the gym on Sunday morning. It was so great to speak to everyone and share my story. My lesson was called "DEALING WITH STRUGGLES IN YOUR LIFE." I always look forward to seeing my friends and speaking to PV!

BELOW IS THE VIDEO OF MY TV SEGMENT ON THE NEWS! You can see my doctors and all of my nurses who saved my life!!

PLEASE KEEP PRAYING FOR ME AND MY RECOVERY!
I LOVE YOU ALL,
SO MUCH IN HIM
BRENT