On the Road to Recovery …
Today is exactly one month since Alex had surgery for his accident and he reached BIG milestone today. He was transferred to Shepherd Center, a rehab facility with a special focus on spinal cord injuries, in Atlanta to begin his rehabilitation! This is a world class center with highly trained professionals and we are all very excited about this BIG step forward. His transport, by an air-ambulance, went very smoothly and he & Linda arrived at Shepherd this afternoon.
Linda said things could not be better there! The staff had researched Alex, been to his website, and found out about who he is as a person…..not just a patient. Three different doctors came separately to meet Alex and talk with him. Each spent almost an hour and all were very encouraging. Alex was able to tell each of them where the doctor was touching him throughout the exam (he could FEEL it!).
They have changed the way he is using the ventilator and he is doing more of his own breathing. With some adjustments, he was able to talk for a while and Linda said he did not stop talking for 45 minutes straight!! She said he never sounded better.
Also the speech therapist met with Alex and he passed his swallow study! This means he will be able to eat & drink and they ordered a regular diet for him! Tonight he drank three cups of water through a straw and had some pudding. It has been a month since he has eaten by mouth so it will take some time to work back up to a full diet.
Alex is still in ICU and visitation is limited because of that but we will get more details about the policies of Shepherd tomorrow.
All of this, along with the fact that his neck brace was removed yesterday, has been very encouraging to Alex and Linda. He is in great spirits today and looking forward to the next part of his journey. As he left Baptist MICU today, the nurses had some cards and a gift for him. Some of them cried as they said goodbye to him—a testimony to how he had touched their life. We are all so fortunately to know this special man!!