Thursday, December 9, 2010

Happy Holidays Everyone! I Am So Blessed!

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!! I hope everyone is having a wonderful Holidays and enjoying the colder weather. I for one am NOT enjoying the cold weather as the temperature changes my bones (i.e. metal in my bones) begin to ache. However, it is good for a change of scenery from time to time and getting the cool air instead of sweating every time you go outside.

I have had an exciting few weeks in therapy recently. I have been going to therapy 3x a week doing out patient therapy at Baptist Rehab (where i did my acute stay after my accident) and once a week at the Physical Therapy school at UCA (University of Central Arkansas). I have taken this entire week off of therapy in order to have the final fitting done to my braces. I have been using the braces for over a month but they were not the finished product. Once I had walked in them and agreed to the fit, they would then put the finishing touches on them and make any changes. I should be getting my braces back tomorrow and its back to the routine next week.

During my therapy sessions at Baptist, I had been learning to walk with the braces in stance control setting. This allows my knee to bend during swing through and then lock once my heal strikes the ground. This will allow me to walk more fluidly once I get it down. Since the beginning of my therapy I had been using an overhead lift and harness to help me in case I were to fall. But starting last week I have been spending the entire hour walking with both legs in stance control and without the safety net of a harness. I am starting to disengage the knee and swinging it forward on almost every step. It actually looks like im walking normally! SLOWLY...BUT NORMALLY!

During my therapy at UCA the professor and students are working on strengthening my legs and working on my walking motion. In order to this I am locking both of my knees out and putting 20 lbs on each ankle! I say, "I" but what I mean is "MY THERAPIST" is "MAKING ME" put 20 lbs on each ankle! She loves to push me to my limits and BELIEVE ME SHE DOES! I would have a hard time walking with 20 lbs on each ankle BEFORE my accident, let alone after. BUT I DID IT!!!! I am getting much stronger in my hips and taking more fluid steps with the weight on each ankle. (the video is below) and remember, that is 20 lbs of weights on each ankle :) just had to throw that in there again!!

God has continued to bless me through out my rehab! I am SO VERY FORTUNATE to have the support of my family and friends. My friend/neighbor upstairs Alexis came down to help me wrap presents tonight (because I am not good at wrapping) and we were talking about my accident. Retelling that story just reminds me of JUST HOW FORTUNATE I AM!! Most of the people who go through such a traumatic injury do not have the support of their family like I have had OR my friends! Hearing the stories OF ALL THOSE PEOPLE who came to the hospital that night almost brings tears to my eyes! Filling out the waiting rooms and sitting in the hallways......i am so very lucky!! Everyone has stuck by me this WHOLE time! My church family at Pleasant Valley helps me out so much as well as my family who have sacrificed SO MUCH to help me reach my goal of one day walking again!

PLEASE continue to keep me in your prayers and never give up praying for total and complete healing! I believe in miracles, I know God can do ANYTHING! who knows, one day I could wake up and be 100% healed! I have NO DOUBT that could happen! God is so powerful, but we must keep the faith and put our trust in the one who made us! AND WE WILL SEE THAT MIRACLE ONE DAY!

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

video

Sunday, November 14, 2010

GREAT NEWS! I STILL NEED YOUR PRAYERS!

I have had a GREAT past couple of days in therapy! On Friday I had two therapy sessions. 8 AM at Baptist Rehab followed by an 11:30 apt at UCA where I was able to work with my wonderful PT, Twala and her class. They had me walking on a treadmill on Friday and to make it more difficult they put 10 lbs weights on each leg. It was difficult but I was able to do it (video below).

This session was especially emotional because some of the PT students in their 3rd and final year of Physical Therapy school did an internship at Baptist during my acute care. They saw me during the roughest time, when I was a physical and emotional WRECK. They remember seeing how timid and afraid I was entering therapy with my shoulder immobilized, swollen and scared out of my mind. I was unable to do ANYTHING on my own during my first stint at Baptist Rehab. I remember it well when my friend Jessica had to help me transfer from my wheelchair onto the workout mat. She had to do EVERYTHING because I was unable to move my left arm. Jessica was in the class on Friday. She started crying when i stood up out of my chair, and walked to the treadmill to start therapy :( It was a bit emotional for me to, just seeing how far I have come and remembering her working with me during those rough times.

I am so encouraged by my therapy these past few weeks. I feel like I have gained so much in this short period of time with the intense therapy I have been getting. I wake up early every morning (5 am) and do all of my "at-home" workouts before the sun comes up. Riding my bike for 40 minutes, followed by 45 min of standing and then E-stim on my legs. After that, I usually have therapy at Baptist Rehab at 9 a.m. I am working hard towards using my braces functionally and getting out of my chair. It takes a lot of practice but one that I am COMMITTED to achieving! The new braces takes A LOT of practice, to help me walk functionally but I know I will get there!

On Wednesday I had a doctors appointment with my physician Dr. Kiser. He has been my spinal cord and rehab doctor since my accident. He said that he wanted to possibly put me on a certain type of medication called 4AP which was created for M.S. patients but they have seen a lot of positive things come from Spinal Cord Injury patients taking the drug. The drug does not work on everybody, only some depending on the injury. He wanted to try me on it to see if it could help me in my recovery process. The only downside are the possible side effects the drug could cause? However, I want to try it and see if it would help me. Every spinal cord injury is different and no one, not even doctors can tell you EXACTLY how each individual cord was damaged. Damage happens on a microscopic level and to tell exactly the severity of each injury and what was damaged can only be determined from physical tests. i.e. If you can move or do certain things, than this part of your cord is functioning and/or not functioning and was damaged. Each nerve axon has a protective sheath called mylon "IF" the damage to the cord is due to a demylonation of the nerve axon this drug will help bridge that gap to make the connection. However, it will only work "IF" that is the case. But, there is no way of telling exactly if it is the case? haha. I am trying to do all the research I can on this drug and see if it will be something I should consider taking. The drug has a side effect of possible seizures. This would NOT BE GOOD, so I want to make sure it is something I want to try. PLEASE PRAY FOR THIS!! Pray that my recovery continues to go well and as always NEVER STOP PRAYING FOR TOTAL AND COMPLETE HEALING! I know it is possible and I believe it with all my heart it will happen :)

GOD BLESS YOU ALL FOR CONTINUING TO FOLLOW THIS BLOG
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT



video

Friday, October 29, 2010

More Therapy For Me!!! Walking is going GREAT!

These past few weeks have been WONDERFUL! I have been continuing my rehab at University of Central Arkansas working with an AMAZING Physical Therapist. She has helped me so much in my walking. Last two weeks she had me walking on a treadmill!

The first time on the treadmill they had me walking on a body weight support system. The body weight support system is a harness that suspends me over a the treadmill. I starting walking at a normal walking speed. My therapist then lowered the body weight support system more and more until there was slack in the harness, and I was 100% bearing all the weight through my legs, AND I WAS STILL WALKING!! They sped up the treadmill and I was able to keep pace! My new braces are amazing, and I am able to walk so much easier with them. It is still a lot to get use to because I am trying to learn to walk more functionally in the braces.

Last week in therapy I walked without the body weight support system on the treadmill, using just the parallel bars, after walking with the bars we got out the loft stand crutches and I worked on bearing weight through the crutches as I walked on the treadmill. After my walking on the treadmill, we then did e-stim therapy on my quads, getting them to flex as I kicked me legs out! Im very excited with how things are going!

Another great thing, is that my doctor has written me a script to get outpatient therapy at Baptist Rehab, the same place were I did my acute care after my accident. I have so many friends and therapists that work at Baptist and I will be able to do therapy there several times a week ON TOP of my therapy at UCA! I am doubling up on my therapy trying to get use to my new braces and hopefully in time get out of my chair! GOD IS GOOD!! I have been so blessed since coming back to Little Rock. I am so excited to be around all my close friends and the people at Pleasant Valley.

I have even started a new tradition at my apartment. This week I had my first GAME NIGHT! HAHA! During my time in Florida, I was so blessed to have some WONDERFUL friends come to my house every Monday to spend time with me and play games. Robin, Sarah, Nick, Jennifer, Alisha, Barbie, Theresa David, and Owen would come to my apartment almost EVERY MONDAY for the time I spent in Florida and would have a game night with me! I MISS ME FRIENDS and all they did for me in Florida! I have decided to carry on the tradition and we grilled out hamburgers and played games (I still miss my moms cooking though) haha! This Thursday my whole family is coming to Little Rock for Harding's Homecoming! I am so excited to see them again! Please pray for a safe flight to Arkansas and a great weekend.

AS ALWAYS PLEASE, PLEASE continue to pray for my recovery! I am going to be double timing it with all the therapy I will be getting in the coming weeks/months. Please pray that my walking will continue to get better and I can recover even MORE in my legs and one day WALK AGAIN!! I KNOW I WILL, I just have to keep the faith and BELIEVE that it is possible! Nothing is impossible with God, please continue to pray for me! This has been a LONG, HARD road to recovery, but I am JUST AS DETERMINED as I've always been to walk again! Keep me in your daily prayers to accomplish this goal that I have ALWAYS had and I promise you I WILL NEVER GIVE UP!

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

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I need your prayers!

I am writing you all today on behalf of a good friend of mine. Bethany Cox, a girl who went to Harding University was in a very serious car accident on Sept 7th in Little Rock. Talking to her family and friends I found out that we suffered much of the same injuries. She was taken to UAMS because of her trauma and spent about a month in ICU there before being transferred to Baptist Rehab Hospital. Hearing Bethany's story is de ja vu for me having experienced much of the same things. She is currently on the same wing at BRI (just a few doors down)were I spent several months in acute care. All of my old nurses and the staff who worked on me are currently with Bethany. (I know she is in GREAT HANDS)

I did not know Bethany before this accident, but several of my friends contacted me and told me of her accident. Bethany is a few years younger than me so we never crossed paths at Harding. But I already feel close to her based on the same experiences we have shared.

Bethany had severe lung trauma, which she needed constant suctioning of her lungs in order for her to breath, and also had a brain injury (SOUND FAMILIAR)along with a broken arm (mine was a shoulder but close enough). Hearing her story and her injuries just made me relive all those hard and painful times I went through. I went to UAMS after hearing of her accident and met with her mom and dad, Duncan and Kim. We became very close and would text each other everyday to tell me of Bethany's progress. Being that I had been through the same things they would contact me to find out "what certain things meant" as most of you know, Doctors do not tell you ANYTHING in the hospital.

Bethany is facing a different struggle than i faced however. She broke her neck at around the C2,C3 level which meant she would be a quadriplegic. Based on her level, she should not be able to breath or even talk on her own and would rely on a ventilator for the rest of her life! However, GOD HAS OTHER PLANS FOR BETHANY!! She is currently breathing on her own and we talk most every night on the phone. She has most all of her feeling back and is slowly regaining movement in her arms and legs. The doctors graded her an ASIA C last week (same as me) but Bethany is just a MONTH out of her injury! Her parents are so new to this injury and understanding how the recovery process works. The fact she has gotten so much back so quickly is a miracle in and of itself.

I need my prayer warrior to go to work for this family!! They are all going through a hard time adjusting to this, but I KNOW God can do MIGHTY THINGS as he has done in my life and through my recovery! Give Duncan and Kim the peace of mind that God is in control and the encouragement to face these struggles with Bethany. Please pray that Bethany will NEVER GIVE UP and stays encouraged all the while pushing towards her goal of total healing. God can do ANYTHING! i have seem him do it in my life as I know he can through Bethany as well! Her story is an AMAZING one and I would love for everyone to visit Bethany's Caring Bridge site and give both her and her parents some encouragement. You have all been down this road with me and have prayed for me all these years! PLEASE DO THIS NOW FOR MY FRIEND BETHANY!! Show her the love that you have so graciously showed me throughout all of my trials!
GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!!
So much in him,
Brent
The link to Bethany's caring bridge site is below.

https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/bethanycox/createorsignin

Thursday, September 30, 2010

ANOTHER MIRACLE IN MY RECOVERY!

God continues to bless me throughout my recovery! As I mentioned in my previous post an amazing therapist at University of Central Arkansas has allowed me to come and be apart of her class as a teaching aide. She was explaining to her class my injury level and what that entails. I am what is considered a lower motor neuron lesion injury. Basically what that means is my spinal cord was damaged below the central cord. The spinal roots that come off of the central cord come down into the lower parts of your spine. I broke my back where the roots branch out below the central cord. What that means is I would have flaccid paralysis. My legs would not have spasms AND they would not be able to contract with electrical stimulation.

(EXCUSE MY TECHNICAL/MEDICAL JARGON)in order for a muscle to contract with electrical stimulation it must produce what is called a REFLEX ARCH in the CENTRAL CORD which runs from your brain to about the T-10 vertebrae. Below the T-10 vertebrae level you have the spinal roots or peripheral nerves. Once an electrical signal has been given to muscles it will send the signal up to the central cord to the injury point, create a reflex arch, send a signal back down to contract the muscle. However, I broke my back BELOW the T-10 level which means signals can NOT go to my central cord in order to create the reflex arch. This is why I do not have spasms in my legs and electrical stimulation will not contract the muscle. It is MEDICALLY IMPOSSIBLE!

This is why I have been excluded from almost every clinical trial. Most every clinical trial uses electrical stimulation to contract the muscles and recruit them to help in walking. Since my legs do not respond to electrical stimulation I have been excluded from every trial.

I have been using E-stim almost everyday before I go to bed. My good friend Dave Reed has let me borrow his e-stim unit which has kept my muscles healthy and strong. The unit has kept the muscle fibers active and the circulation of blood throughout my muscles. The therapists believed that my e-stim usage has kept the motor neurons in my muscles active and vibrant although the muscle would never be able to contract.

My therapist asked me if I had ever tried a DC current (Direct Current)? MOST ALL e-stim units on the market are made with AC current (Alternating Current). But a DC current sends a constant electrical stimulus to the muscle. However, you can not keep DC current on a muscle for too long because it can burn the skin which is why most units are AC. Well my therapist had a DC unit and tried it on me, AND IT WORKED!!!! MY MUSCLES CAN NOW CONTRACT which will keep my muscles strong and can be used to recruit muscles to help in my recovery.

I asked Dr. Kiser here in Little Rock what this means? I was told that I could not contract my muscles, and he HAD NO IDEA how I was doing it!! He said that I must have had a regeneration of axons in my cord which has allowed for the connection. IM SO EXCITED this is a HUGE mile stone in my recovery! GOD IS SO GOOD TO ME! AND I KNOW I WILL WALK AGAIN!!! I have never doubted it, I am doing the impossible all because of the grace of GOD!! NEVER STOP PRAYING, NEVER STOP BELIEVING!!

SO MUCH IN HIM!!
BRENT


video

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Some new braces and therapy!!!

I have wonderful news! A few weeks ago I was fitted for new "STANCE CONTROL BRACES!" The Stance-Control Brace was developed by an orthotic company here in Little Rock and is used all over the world. The stance-control brace is the most technologically advanced brace that is made. It is just one step closer to helping me WALK functionally.

How the braces work:
In the stance control mode the heel and footplate is molded to the contours of my foot. Once the heel makes contact with the ground it will trigger a mechanism to lock out the knee. However, when my heel comes off the ground it will unlock my knee allowing it to swing freely in a normal walking pattern. Whenever someone walks they do it in two phases. A STANCE PHASE and a SWING-THROUGH PHASE. Each leg alternates as one is planted on the ground for stability (stance phase) the other swings through to make the next step and vise versa. As you know my hips are working to allow me to take steps but my knees are weak and buckle on me during the stance phase! But now I have a STANCE CONTROL brace! This will allow me to walk in a normal motion instead of straight legged like my current braces allow.

GOD ALWAYS TAKES CARE OF ME:
Another one of my crazy stories of how God has been working in my life throughout everything!

The orthoist told me that I would need a lot of training and Physical Therapy to learn how to walk in these new braces. He mentioned a PT who was a professor at UCA (University of Central Arkansas) Physical Therapy school who specialized in Spinal Cord Injury and has worked a lot with the stance-control brace. On a random whim, I looked her up on facebook and wrote her a letter explaining my injury and how I would LOVE to have her evaluate me and take me on as a patient to help me walk in her free time. She wrote back and said that she would love to help me and would be willing for me to be a class project for her P.T. students. She would evaluate me and train me to walk in the braces and her class would watch and assist as a learning tool. The best part is that it is ABSOLUTELY FREE!! Because I am a class project she will do the therapy at no cost. The professor knows SCI (spinal cord injures) well because her husband is a C5/6 quadriplegic.
She even volunteered to drive from Conway to Little Rock, about a 30 min drive to help fit me for my new braces. On Tuesday afternoon she met me at the Orthotics lab and helped the Orthosist fit the braces to help me walk more functionally. I will get the braces late next week and will begin my therapy shortly with my new Physical Therapist. GOD IS GOOD!!!

I am so excited about this new therapy and I am continually amazed at how God takes care of me! I can honestly say to all of you; if you give your life over to him than you will never have to worry. It is just amazing to me how he continually handles every situation that arises in my life. Bills, therapy, unexpected situations, God has ALWAYS provided for me! It is like I do not have a care in the world because I know that things work out for the best! He has plans for me and if I just shut up and quit fighting with him over control of my life, EVERYTHING WILL WORK OUT! I know that he is in control of my life and it is such a huge burden lifted off of my shoulders. I know i will walk again one day and I am working hard to achieve that goal, but throughout it all i assure you it will all be for his glory!

Thank you for your continued prayers and support after all of this time! I am the luckiest man alive!

GOD BLESS YOU ALL!
So much in him,
Brent

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My return visit to the UAMS I.C.U.

I know it has been awhile since my last post and I apologize for the delay. I was at church this past Sunday night when i was stopped by an old family friend from back home in Florida. Joe Stephens went to my church when I was born and has been close to my family ever since. He has been following my blog EVERYDAY since my accident, and said, "its been since July 10th since your last post." I was shocked to hear that Joe had followed my blog this whole time. Sometime I got the impression that people had fallen away from reading my blog. I wrote on it mainly for myself, kind of like my journal. Joe made me realize that it is still followed by people, even though I don't realize it!

I have some wonderful news to share with everyone! If you wanted to hear how God has been working behind the scenes then sit down because, BOY DO I HAVE A STORY FOR YOU!!
Last week a friend of mine was injured in a mountain bike accident at a near by park and was in the hospital at UAMS (she is doing ok now.) I went there to visit with her and her family to hopefully help a little since I know a thing or two about being in a hospital. After I visited with her and her family for awhile, I got the nerve built up to visit the I.C.U. in the other building where I spent all those months.

Before I go any further I need to give you guys a little back story!
(People ask me all the time about my stay in the I.C.U. and what it was like being in a coma. I can honestly say I remember very little about my entire stay at UAMS. I was either in a coma or so heavily sedated I didn't know what was going on. But, I do have memories...but only just 2 or 3 of them. They are of small 10-15 second snap shots whenever I would wake up for a brief amount of time. One of those memories I could not get out of my head!! I remember waking up in the I.C.U. with a ventilator breathing for me. As I opened my eyes I saw a young nurse standing over me with her hands on my arm, when I looked up it appeared that she was praying, with her eyes closed. I remember looking at her name tag and it reading JOY! I could not get her face out of my head for YEARS!! I even remember asking my mom if she remembered a JOY?? It was the ONLY nurse I remember throughout my stay there. But, she never could recall a Joy ever working on me. My mom kept detailed notes of all the doctors and nurses who ever worked on me, but there was never a JOY. For the longest time, I thought maybe I had dreamed her? or made her up? But I could never get her face out of my head)

- BACK TO UAMS. and my I.C.U. visit. As a nice lady led me through the halls of hospital when we finally came up to the I.C.U ward. I was kind of hesitant going in there and seeing the hall where I had spent all those weeks. I was not suppose to be in there but one of the nurses said it would be OK, but only if I wasn't in there for long. As soon as I went into the I.C.U. i saw a nurse sitting with her back turned to me looking through a window monitoring a patient. As I came up behind her I said,.....JOY??? She turned around and said...YES!? I could NOT BELIEVE IT!! one of only a few memories I ever had in the I.C.U. was of this girls face and seeing her praying in my room. AND IT WAS HER!!! I WASN'T MAKING IT UP! She remembered me very well and we hugged and caught up for 30-40 minutes. Joy could NOT believe it was me, she said I looked totally different than when she saw me in the ICU haha OBVIOUSLY. Joy then walked through the halls with me and was showing me off to all the other nurses. Joy told me most of my nurses who worked on me were on a different shift.
Its amazing but I see God behind every little thing that happens in my life like that! My ONE memory of a nurse would be the FIRST nurse I see. When I shouldn't be allowed into the I.C.U. one of the nurses makes an exception for me, and the FIRST person i see was the girls face i could never get out of my head. (THAT IS A GOD THING) It was a weird experience being back in there and even seeing the room where i spent all those hard nights. Im not going to lie....it was kind of tough with me being back there and reliving all of that. :(

God has blessed me SO MUCH!! I am forever grateful at the blessings he has given me. This accident has changed my life and has made me realize that I AM NOT IN CONTROL!! I use to think I had the whole world figured out, now I know that my time here is so short and can be taken at any moment! (IT ALMOST WAS!) It is a comforting fact that I can lay all of my troubles and worries down. God has taken care of me throughout ALL of this and he will continue to see me through to the end!

NEVER STOP PRAYING FOR MIRACLES!!
I LOVE YOU ALL!!
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I have some WONDERFUL news!

Well, as always God has continued to bless me all along this long and hard road ive been on for the last few years. Things at work are going wonderful, I am becoming great friends with the people at abc Financial and I am really starting to come into things with my job. I have never had to learn so much stuff IN MY LIFE! It seems everyday I have a new software or process to learn in the company, BUT I LOVE IT! Ive never been one to shy away from a challenge.

I have continued to keep up with my therapy. I ride my bike for 45 min a night and stand for about 30 minutes. I also try to do mat exercises as well and on Saturdays I go to my church gym and walk with friend (i.e Matt Roberts and Joe Monan-thanks guys) The past couple of weeks it has been difficult for me to walk at the gym because I could never get into the building on a Saturday. Well, this past Sunday the facilities manager gave me 2 brand new shinny keys to the gym and to the weight room so I can work out ANYTIME! They must REALLY trust me :)

Another MIRACLE that has come my way is what happened to me today. The blessings just
keep on coming. I had an appointment with Arkansas Rehabilitation Services this morning at 9am. Arkansas Rehabilitation Services is the Arkansas chapter of the Voc Rehab program that I was apart of in Florida (which paid for my van mods and wheelchair) It is a government agency which helps people with disabilities get back to work and KEEP their jobs. They help pay for things that you may need and have been a HUGE help to me financially. When I arrived my counselor who was assigned to me was late to work that day. So the NICEST lady named Lynda decided to meet with me. She got out my file and we began going through the process of being apart of the services. She asked me, how i was injured and then paused and said...."WAIT A MINUTE....HAVE YOU SPOKEN AT PLEASANT VALLEY BEFORE?" i said yes, I have spoken their many times. She went on to say, that is where SHE GOES TO CHURCH and has seen me speak on several occasions. As it turns out, she goes to the early service and I go to late so she never sees me. (ITS A BIG CHURCH)! We talked for about 30 min about my speaking and my progress and she told me should would expedite my policy to try to get funding as soon as she could for anything i needed. To say that my counselor just "HAPPENED" to be late that day, and that Lynda (who goes to my church) just "HAPPENED" to take on the case herself is NO COINCIDENCE! God has been behind this from the beginning! She is going to go to the Seekers bible class next Sunday so she can see me :) its AMAZING how things work out!

On another note... I am being fitted for NEW CUSTOM braces on Friday. I have an appointment to one of the best orthopedics places in the country who will make custom braces for me to make walking functionally easier. I am excited about how things are working out!

I have posted a video of my walking this past Saturday at the church! Always keep the faith! God will work miracles in your life!
Please continue to pray for my continued progress and recovery, I WILL WALK AGAIN!
God Bless,
Brent


video

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Things in Little Rock are WONDERFUL!

Well, I have successfully completed my third week of living on my own! Things are wonderful and I have been having a wonderful time with my friends and my new apartment. Work is exciting and tiring, with both the learning curve and constant training I am doing! I come home everyday and get my workouts in before I go to bed. I ride my bike, stand for awhile, do mat exercises and electrical stim my legs every night!
I have been so incredibly blesses with the way things have worked out in my life. Sometimes we do not see the good through tragedy but my life is with out a DOUBT A BLESSING! I have a wonderful job, great friends and a wonderful church. Everyone is so helpful and willing to help with anything I need. On Saturday Anita Scott from church and two of her daughters came to my apartment to help with the deep cleaning and to do the small tasks I can not do. My neighbor who lives above me goes to my church as well and has offered to take my trash out. It is amazing how God provides for me.
I have started a new chapter in my life, but I will NEVER forget everything that was done for me from everyone back home in Florida. My friends and church family there were so great to me! My (GAME NIGHT) buddies I will never forget and think of you guys often! For 2 YEARS, they came to my house every Monday night to play games and spend time with me! FOR 2 YEARS they drove an hour to my house for a few hours each week! I am so lucky to have friends like that! Although I am several states away, you guys are on my mind A LOT!
I have not nor WILL NOT ever give up on my recovery! I will work as hard as i need to in order to walk again one day! I KNOW IT WILL HAPPEN! I ask for everyone to PLEASE keep me in your prayers and my recovery. I know everything is in God's timing!
DON'T GIVE UP ON ME, and NEVER EVER GIVE UP ON GOD AND ALWAYS BELIEVE IN HIS MIRACLES!
I LOVE YOU ALL!
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT

Monday, May 24, 2010

My first week of work and many more blessings!

Well......
I have successfully finished my first week of work. I am so happy and excited with this new chapter in my life! The people at ABC Financial are amazing, and I am very fortunate to be surrounded by a great group of coworkers. They are more than happy to help me with ANYTHING I need. After my first week they had contractors come in and install handicap automatic doors to enter the building. So now all i have to do is when I come into the office is swipe my security card over the key pad and the door automatically opens. They are going to designate my OWN personal parking place with MY NAME on it right next to the door and they are having contractors jack hammer out the current concrete ramp and install a better one that will be easier for me to get up! Everyone at ABC is so helpful and welling to do anything and everything to accommodate me! I was able to meet the "TEAM" that I will be apart of and everyone there was so friendly and nice. My boss is very understanding to my needs as well because his daughter is in a chair also (its a God thing)! I was given my new desk with all kinds of toys to play with. Daniela who is the facilities manager is like Santa Clause, I just ask for things and they appear on my desk within the hour! Its so great and everyone is very helpful.

As for my everything else, it is WONDERFUL! i have spent lots of time with my friends here and have enjoyed going to Sunday and Wednesday night church back at PV! This morning I gave everyone at PV a little surprise! For the seekers class my good friend Bill Oliver who is an elder at PV asked me to do a favor for him. After hearing it, I was more than happy to oblige. The seekers class which has probably 200 people in it is held in the basketball gym and there is a large curtain that runs down the half court line and separates the court the seekers class is set up on half of the gym. Bill's lesson was on prayer and how we should pray to God and that he answers prayers. He said, we all here prayed for a young man several years ago and he told my story, he said would everyone please welcome back Brent Adams....AND I WALKED IN from behind the curtain, everyone stood and clapped and cried!! I walked to the podium and put my arm around Bill and talked to the class for about 15-20 minutes.....STANDING THE WHOLE TIME :) I was overwhelmed by the reception and after a few tears AS ALWAYS...i got through it! it was a GREAT experience and was so happy to do it! GOD HAS BEEN GOOD TO ME!! I could never have imagined the reception I got and how everything has worked out since my move back to Little Rock! I feel this has been in Gods plan from the beginning! I pray that my life and my recovery will GLORIFY GOD! This is the ONLY reason why i have NOT GIVEN UP! I feel that if I give up than God will not get the Glory he deserves for sparing my life and healing my body! SO IM GOING TO KEEP PUSHING ON! No matter what it takes or how hard i have to work I will keep pushing on till this journey I'm on is seen ALL THE WAY THROUGH TO THE END!! I will give God ALL THE PRAISE AND GLORY ALONG THE WAY as I strive to walk again! :)
ALWAYS KEEP THE FAITH ALIVE!
ALWAYS IN HIM,
BRENT

Saturday, May 8, 2010

My First Week In Little Rock!

Well, I've successfully finished my FIRST week in Little Rock. Things couldn't be better! We arrived right at 5 pm last Friday and unloaded everything in the U-Haul just minutes before it started raining HARD!! What a way to be welcomed back to the Natural State with tornado's and severe weather. On Saturday, my entire family went shopping for furniture and washer/driers. Since we still had the U-haul we figured we would make good use of it to tow all my furniture back to my apt instead of the delivery fee. My apartment is really coming together, It is definitely a MAN pad but very nice inside, with my new couches and my entertainment center it is amazing! (don't worry David, I got ALL of the sports channels AND in HD!)

Last Sunday was a bit of a catastrophe! My dad,brother and sister in law were to fly back to Orlando from Little Rock leaving at 5:20pm on Delta. Their flight took them to Memphis and then changed flights at 7:20 to Orlando. A few minutes before we were to leave for the LR airport my dad checked the status and the flight had been DELAYED due to mechanical problems, which meant they were NOT going to be able to make there connecting flight in Memphis. THEN, the flight ended up being CANCELED out of LR all together. So they changed the connection to LR-Detroit-Orlando with like a 16 hour layover in Detroit, getting them into Orlando at 2:30 pm on Monday. After haggling them for an HOUR i told them...."LISTEN...Memphis is two hours away from LR. If we leave right this second and drive 100mph down the interstate we can make the connecting flight out of Memphis", so WE DID THAT!! I sped all the way to Memphis and they jumped out and ran to their terminal.....TO FIND OUT IT HAD BEEN CANCELED TOO DUE TO MECHANICAL PROBLEMS! haha WHAT A NIGHTMARE!

Other than getting my apartment set up I've been doing lots of therapy every night and even went to the gym at my church and did some walking! SEE VIDEO BELOW!! I am so excited to be starting this new chapter in my life! GOD HAS BEEN SOOO GOOD TO ME and has opened all of these doors for me. Sometimes I think God had this in his plan since BEFORE my accident. I don't consider it a coincidence that I met Paul the president of ABC Financial on an airplane in Chicago a month before my accident. God has had this in his plan from the beginning! PLEASE keep praying this transition goes well and NEVER stop praying for my recovery! I KNOW it will happen! I HAVE FAITH IT WILL.....ALWAYS HAVE! GOD BLESS!
Always in him,
Brent
video

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I MOVE TO LITTLE ROCK TODAY!

It has been a LONG two years of recovery and therapy here in Florida, but in just a few hours I will be leaving for Little Rock. My parents left with the Uhaul around noon today (Thursday 29th) in order to get a head start. I am waiting for my brother to get off work and then we are going to start heading that way! My apartment in my parents house is completely empty, which is kind of sad! It was a wonderful place to live in the two years I spent there. However, it is time for me to turn the page and start a new chapter in my life!

As most of you know, I have accepted a position with ABC Financial in North Little Rock and will begin work on May 17th. I paid a deposit on an apartment and have everything in order to move in once I arrive there Friday afternoon. God has blessed me so much in opening these doors for me. Im excited about this next chapter and see where God leads me.

This past Sunday I was given the opportunity to speak to my church at West Orange here in Florida. They asked me to give my testimony before leaving for Little Rock and I was more than happy to do it. I was however, BLOWN AWAY at the reception I received from everyone at my church! I am so lucky to have been apart of such an amazing congregation. The lesson caused a lot of tears, but I know God was glorified and that is ALL THAT MATTERS! If you were not able to hear the talk the audio is on the west orange website. There are two parts, you can take a listen if you would like!

PART 1: http://www.cocwo.com/System/Media/play.asp?id=46511&key=1p36vnu5hul42uoxntmr

PART 2: http://www.cocwo.com/System/Media/play.asp?id=46511&key=lyc86i4x75be4vwc6b7t

I will post more once I get settled into my new place! I will also post about my recovery as well so stay tuned. If you would like my NEW address it is

BRENT ADAMS
2401 Lakeview Rd
Apt 1001
North Little Rock, Ar 72116

I will miss you all!! Write me ANYTIME!!
GOD BLESS!
Brent

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Back from Little Rock, Things are falling into place!

Last weekend I flew to Little Rock to put things in order for my move back to Arkansas. I found an apartment, did some furniture shopping, and met everyone at my new job! It was a whirlwind of a trip but I was able to get everything accomplished. I made my deposit on what we believe to be the perfect apartment. It was very difficult to find an apartment close to work that was accessible but I finally found one. (See Pics below)!

Last Friday I was able to meet with everyone at ABC Financial. I was blown away at the reception I got when I arrived at ABC. Many of them remembered me from before my accident when I did several presentations for them with my previous job. I got there at 9 a.m. Friday morning and met with two ladies in the H.R. department. They took me on a tour of the company and I was able to meet most of the employees. I was very touched by the fact that they were willing to make any arrangements necessary to make the office more accessible. The ladies followed me with a notepad and pen and asked me if I needed the doors wider? If I needed a bigger desk? If the bathrooms were accessible for me? Afterward we went outside and they asked me to pick a parking spot that would be the easiest for me, and gave it to me! I was very grateful and humbled by there willingness to help me out and make the office accessible.

At the end of my tour I met my new boss, Bob! We spent about an hour in his office talking about my roll in the department. We talked about business and the direction of internal sales at ABC. After speaking with Bob for some time he mentioned to me that he was very sympathetic to my needs. I was curious, so I asked him, "why is that?" He then told me that his daughter was in a wheelchair and had been her entire life! I WAS BLOWN AWAY when he told me that! I knew right then and there that God was completely behind this new move and chapter in my life.

My move is set for for Thursday, April 29th, when we will load up the U-haul and start making our way to Little Rock. I still have A LOT of things to get figured out before my move. Please pray that everything goes smoothly and that my transition to Little Rock will be easy and problem-free!

Before I leave there is another post I want to make, certain people who I want THANK! My stay here in Florida has been amazing and so many people have gone OUT OF THEIR WAY to help me and be there for me! It is to much to type now, but please check back in a few weeks for the THANK YOU post!
I LOVE YOU ALL
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT





Sunday, March 28, 2010

I HAVE SOME BIG NEWS!!!

I apologize for the delay in posting, but I had good reason this time. I HAVE SOME BIG NEWS so you might want to sit down for this!!! The news was so big that I felt like I deserved to tell some people IN PERSON. I didn't feel it was right for them to read about the news on my blog. The past few weeks I have been spreading the word to those closest to me, but......

I AM MOVING BACK TO LITTLE ROCK!!

God has blessed me ever since the accident and this move is no exception. He is always opening doors for me and continues to guide my life. The story of how this all came about is pretty remarkable. So bare with me as I explain everything.

A few months before my accident, I had a business conference in Minnesota. I flew up there for a continuing education summit on a software I was selling for my company. After the conference I flew back to Little Rock but along the way I got laid over in Chicago. Once I boarded the plane from Chicago to Little Rock this gentlemen sits down beside me. As most of you who know me, know my personality, I will talk to just about anyone. I struck up a conversation with the gentleman sitting in the seat next to me on the plane. He asked me what I did for a living being as I just came back from a business conference. I explained to him the software that I sold to banks and other businesses who want to send electronic deposits to a bank via digital imaging. The gentleman was very interested in my product and introduced himself as Paul, the President of ABC Financial in North Little Rock. ABC Financial is the nations biggest gym and health club billing company. They do marketing, billing and other services for gyms. Once we landed in Little Rock we exchanged business cards and he asked for me to do a demonstration of my software to his company. For the next several weeks I stayed in contact with ABC Financial doing multiple demonstrations and meetings. Shortly thereafter, I HAD MY ACCIDENT. The people at ABC were so nice to send a care basket of fruit to the hospital and have continued reading this blog and following my progress ever since.

One of my best friends in the world Eric Buckner, owns several gyms in Little Rock and also uses ABC Financial for his billing services. Eric and Paul are friends/business partners and one day I came up in a conversation. After asking about my progress, Eric told him I was trying to get a job and get back to my life. Paul said he would be interested in hiring me for a position in sales with his company. After several interviews with people inside the company, I GOT THE JOB! I will be working at ABC Financial in Little Rock starting May 17th!!

The past few weeks have been a WHIRLWIND! I have had so much on my plate working on my move back to Little Rock. I have been apartment hunting and trying to get everything organized for my move! We are leaving this Thursday to fly up to Little Rock to finalize all of my living arrangements and I will be making the move PERMANENTLY on May 1st. I am very excited to be back with my friends in Little Rock and back at Pleasant Valley the church that really took me in during my time there. Pleasant Valley ESPECIALLY took care of me after my accident, the LOVE that was shown to me by my friends and church family made me realize that it was the place I wanted to put down my roots! This next month is going to be really hectic for me, but I ask for the prayers of EVERYONE to please continue praying for my recovery and my move! Its a BIG LEAP for me but I know I am ready! I feel like this was God's plan from the beginning, even before my accident. ITS AMAZING how God puts people in our lives, even sometimes on airplanes coming back from Chicago! I will write on my blog a lot more often as new and exciting things are happening in my life. I WILL NOT GO A MONTH without posting again. But I could not post a blog until those who are the closest to me heard my news IN PERSON, I felt I owed it to them!

NEVER STOP BELIEVING IN MIRACLES!! Please keep praying for my complete healing!
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I am so BLESSED!!! God is good to me!

I am so blessed, God has been looking after me from the beginning of this LONG journey and he has NEVER left my side! I knew from from the start this was going to be a long hard road and to do it alone would be impossible! I needed the support of all my friends and family but also I needed the strength that only God can provide.

I have spoken with so many people who have suffered a spinal cord injury and from speaking with them I realize just how lucky I am! I will NEVER take for granted the love and support that has been shown to me. Every gain that I make towards my goal of walking I will ALWAYS first and foremost give all the PRAISE TO GOD! There is no doubt that my recovery has NOTHING to do with myself, but through the grace that has been given to me.

I have always been a stubborn person, which can be a good thing at times.....AND BAD! When I make up my mind about something I am persistent and hate giving up on anything I start. I wanted to show people that through FAITH and PRAYER that miracles can happen. I wanted everyone to witness the miracles in my life and to be apart of this journey with me. I was very fortunate to have my family and friends start this blog. It has become my testimony to everyone so that they can witness the blessings that God has showered on my life. I want people to know that no matter what struggle is laid in front of you that YOU CAN OVER COME IT! I have spoken on several occasions on trials on our lives and the way God uses the hard times for you to grow closer to him! Struggles are not intended for us to feel punished but as OPPORTUNITIES to rely on God and to overcome the hard times!

I WANTED TO THANK EVERYONE who has been apart of this blog and who read it each and everyday! I am taken back with how many times i hear of people reading my blog. I never thought I could be given SUCH A HUGE PLATFORM to share my faith with others. It is truly a blessing and I feel it was God's plan from the beginning! He took such a horrible accident and gave me an OPPORTUNITY!

I have made a video of the progress I have made over the months. I hope you ENJOY! I will try to put together more videos like this in the future! I tried to download the video to the blog but it would not work. It was too big of a file, so i downloaded the video to YOUTUBE! Click on the link below to watch the movie!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlK2sOf7lZk

I LOVE YOU ALL!
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT

Thursday, February 4, 2010

LONG AWAITED POST!

Well, its been almost a MONTH since my last post! I am sorry for the delay and I have been hearing from everyone that I have been slacking. I apologize again for the delays but I have had some wonderful news in the past couple of weeks. If you are living in central Florida, but more importantly in or around the Lake County area stay CLEAR OF ALL ROADS!! I AM DRIVING NOW! Vocational rehab has finally come through and I have a vehicle. I was able to get my license last Friday, and since then I have been tearing up the roads all over the greater Orlando area! I finally have my freedom and it feels GREAT!

On to other news, I have been continuing my rehab everyday here at home and with my PT. We are starting to finally see some quads starting to come in and are feeling them tighten when I work on my leg extensions. During therapy, I have been doing lots of standing at my walker with no braces with minimal assist on the knees. We have been working on finding the right standing position and weight shifting in order to pull my legs through to walk. Its a fine science, because if I lean to far forward me knees want to buckle. However, if I can stand back on my heels whoever is helping with my knees are able to greatly relieve pressure to almost none!

One of the most common things with people suffering from spinal cord injury is they give up! Most everyone will keep hope alive for the first few months, but as the months turn to years there tenacity to keep working and rehab starts to fade. They say, whats the point anyways? The doctors say I will never walk again, so it must be true?!? Most people don't want to put in the hard work for a false hope. They do now want to hang on to a dream they know will never come true. BUT NOT ME!! I am a very stubborn person, I have been my entire life! (JUST ASK MY PARENTS!) When I make my mind up, no one is going to tell me I CANT DO SOMETHING! I made my mind up, 2 years ago while laying in a bed in the ICU with doctors tell me that I will never walk again! I FIRMLY believed I would one day walk, but it was in God's timing. He is preparing me for something far greater and is using my struggles to bring glory to him AND FOR THAT I'M TRULY GRATEFUL! I will never take ANY of the credit for my recovery. All credit is to the one who is performing the miracles in my body each and everyday! I give all credit to GOD! He spared my life and has given me a second chance at life. Although this new life is different for the time being, I am in NO WAY at a disadvantage. I will overcome any hurdle or wall that is in my path by relying solely on God to pull me through.

I remember one doctor telling me it would take a miracle!! WELL.....A miracle they shall see!!

Please keep praying for my recovery! Pray that God will lead me down the right path!
Thank you ALL for the encouragement and support!
I LOVE YOU ALL!
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT

Here is a video I shot TODAY while working out at the Y!

video

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Some Great News On My Recovery! More Blessings!

Its been a few weeks since my last post but I wanted to start off by telling everyone whats new with me. I have continued my therapy at home and I have recently gotten canes to help ween myself from the walker. I have practiced with the canes several times and I must admit it is VERY hard! I am going to keep practicing and hopefully soon, I can put away the walker and be more independent.

I mentioned before that I was experiencing a change in my legs, something that I had never seen before. Whenever I put E-stim on my legs at home, My calf muscles would begin to flex! Being that I am a (lower motor neuron injury) my legs should not respond with contractions in my muscles. I have been tested several times and for two years my muscles NEVER contracted. Suddenly my calf started to flex and twitch under electrical stimulation.

I wrote one of the researchers at Shepherd Center to tell her of my new discovery with my muscles flexing. She wrote back, "Brent, it sounds like you are one of the very rare cases in which your peripheral nerves have grown back over time and have made the connections to your spinal cord!"

It was exciting to hear that I was a RARE case! I have no doubt that my recovery is not due to a rare coincidence. My body is changing every week, and I am continuing to get A LOT of sensory back! My legs are becoming sensitive to a variety of different stimulation. I get excited every time I see a change in my legs, I know that I am getting a lot of recovery. Talking with doctors and scientist they have told me that recovery YEARS after injury is very possible and can happen with incomplete injuries. I have personally met numerous people who have had NOTHING for 2-4 years and then regained a great amount of function, SOME EVEN WALKING!

Sometimes its hard to believe it has been 2 years. I look back and remember the hospital and rehab in Little Rock like it was yesterday. I was so blessed to have the support of my church family and friend in Little Rock. The love that was shown to me will be something I will NEVER FORGET! Since returning to Florida I have been shown so much support. From my weekly game night crew to the people at my church at West Orange I am continually encouraged and built up.

I feel that God can turn any situation for good and I can see it throughout this journey. Im not going to lie, I want so desperately to leave my chair behind and walk but I know everything is in God's timing. I have made HUGE gains something that nobody thought could ever be possible. I am starting to regain more now than ever before. I am excited for what the future holds for me and look forward to confronting whatever comes my way. I will continue to rehab and work towards my goals. Please continue to pray for me and my recovery. I know I ask for prayers on every post but I can not say it enough. The prayers of everyone does more than any rehab could ever do! I know and have FAITH that God will make me whole again!
I LOVE YOU ALL!!
So much in him,
Brent