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11/18/99--From Hideko Petchey, on the progress of her and Grahame's son Mark

It has been time to report you about Mark's recovery updates and I apologize I have not done my duty for such a long time. Our family was so very much grateful to all the people who showed concerns, prayed for him, came up for advice and for introduction to some therapists and some medical news.

He is certainly a very lucky victim who was not forgotten. He has been home from October 12th after three months in hospital. I would like to tell you his recent progress after the fourth months passed.

During his days at rehabilitation hospital, he did not so greatly improve his condition. He showed some progress for some eye movement sideways and up and down and his attention for TV for sometime. We had some choice to send him to a long term care hospital where California government will support his stay due to him as a minor but we chose other way having him home with us.

It was a right move for Mark to get home since this is his home. Where else is better than his own home?

About a few weeks ago, I noticed Mark was trying to move his finger purposely. He managed to move but could not. I felt the pressure of his movement on the thumb but his strength was not enough. We tried to give massages and physical help to move fingers, arms and legs as much as possible. We were doing such stimulation every day. We are still doing it. He was gaining his strength a little by little.

Last weekend, his family, neighbors and friends all noticed his thumb is his response. He moves his right thumb upwards to say "yes." When he likes to hear music or see TV, we can ask him. He started slowly, then, by now he moves his thumb right away. The duration at the beginning was nearly a few minutes, then he now moves his thumb slowly but immediately.

This is just a start. Mark and I started "blinking session" around the same time. First, I blink and he blinks back. It was just a love sign. Then I asked him to blink verbally and he responded. I got enlightened that he is understanding what he heard. I did not show my eyes blink but told him to do so. Now, he says "yes" by one blink and "confirmed yes" by two. If no, he does not show any of the signs. At the same time, his strength on neck supports are becoming better. His physical strength looks improving. On the other hand, he has not spoken yet as clear verbal term but only mourning which sounds like some talk.

Today's update was he stuck out his tongue by therapist's request twice. This seems like the stream of new events!

All the family is really excited to see his response but as a matter of fact, we do not know how far he can still go. It seems still able to go some more. We really wish so. Most of his injury is on nerves which recent medial study can convince full recovery. At the same time, conventional medical prognosis at the emergency room was very limited.

I am so happy and so enthused to sit bedside him talking and touching him. I am just doing what all the mothers are doing for their babies.

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