We have received some of the most beautiful, thoughtful, genuine and encouraging comments on this blog over the past two weeks. Comments that mean the world to not only Jessie, Jaime, Jeremy and Steven, but also to me and everyone else who is caring for these four right now. Often people ask questions that I don’t have time to answer (or don’t know how to answer), so tonight I want to try to answer as many of them in blog form as I can. I know that this blog is a lifeline to the kids for many of you. Tons of people tell us that they check this multiple times a day and I know that many of you rely on this to know how to pray and how to help. Honestly, this blog has become much bigger than we imagined, and we realize that there is power in the words we put on this page. For example…we heard a little rumor that our ploy to get Kenny Chesney to send something to Jessie might have worked 🙂 And, let me tell you – hearing this made Jessie a very happy girl this morning! I’ll be sure to let you know if this rumor comes to fruition. We have also had a number of people reach out to the Seahawks (knowing that Jess and Jer are huge fans!) and last night the kids each received a personalized game ball signed by Russell Wilson! I wish you could have seen the look on Jessie’s face! Monday Jessie even has a date in her room with two Sounders who are coming to visit her! Every one of these special visits, gifts, messages from someone they haven’t talked to in years – means soooooo much to each of these kids. Their days right now are difficult; but moments that make them smile and feel like people know about them and are cheering for them can truly make their entire day. So, thank you for all of the ways that you are letting them know how loved they are. Please keep them coming!
Now, to answer some questions….First of all, I know that many of you would like to have more specific information about each of the kids’ injuries and many people have specifically asked about Jessie’s spinal cord injury. As you can imagine, the injuries are very complex and we have intentionally kept our description of them fairly vague. At this point in time, Jessie is paralyzed from the shoulders down and has very little use of her arms or legs. That is as much detail as we are able to share. Jessie is determined that this is a temporary state of being, and we believe her when she says that she WILL walk again. She is very interested in meeting other people who were once told that they may be a quadriplegic but have since regained their ability to walk and use their arms. She met with one such person today. He told her about his battle to learn to walk again after being paralyzed from the neck down, and today he is an extreme skiier. This gives Jessie hope. She believes that she can do it, and we believe that she can too. As we always say, this will be a long journey, but this girl has fight in her and she’s going to fight the whole way to being on her feet again!
Jaime still has a lot of healing to do. Her legs and pelvis were pretty badly broken in the accident so she is going to have to spend a lot of time letting those bones heal before she can begin to bare weight on them and start intensive rehabilitation therapy. The same is true of Steven. Steven still has a feeding tube in, but he has made quite a bit of progress in the past few days and we are all happy with that.
It’s challenging for me to accurately communicate the balance of how encouraged and joyful we are at the progress that these three are making, but still, at the same time, communicate how serious the injuries are that these three are suffering from. We don’t really have a clear picture of exactly how long each of these three will spend in the hospital recovering, but it’s safe to say that it will be a very long time. Please know that Jessie and Jaime try to read through some of the messages, cards and comments that you are sending them each day and although they would love to be able to respond to each and every one, they just can’t. But please keep them coming! Your words mean so much to them!
I have said it before, but I need to say it again…there is an amazing team of people that is holding this family together right now. From Aunt Terry and the team of neighbors, dear friends and family members from all over the country that is supporting the kids at the hospital, to the incredible families that have taken care of Jeremy, and the wonderful friends who are making sure that we receive meals when we go home at night – we have all been blessed in the midst of this great trial. Please continue to keep the Owen-Mayer family in your thoughts and your prayers. Much love to all of you!