Swimming Videos

I posted these on my Facebook page but I wanted to make sure that everyone got a chance to see them. I had a really great time and am looking in to being able to do this on a more permanent basis. I felt like a little fish in the water!

In this video, I am walking on my own! It was really challenging and I didn’t do a really great job at it. It made me realize just how far I have to go. But one small step for JessieO, one giant leap towards recovery.

In this video, I am doing all that kicking on my own! Ready to kick some serious butt!

Enjoy!

Love,

Jessie

10pm Update…

Jaime had a full day of appointments at Harborview yesterday, with good news all around! She was having some vision problems after the accident, but her eyes were checked yesterday and her vision is perfectly normal and there are no longer any concerns! She also had a slight aortic tear in her heart from the accident, but that was rechecked and it has completely healed. We are so grateful for this great news! Jaime would tell you that the most exciting part of her day had nothing to do with doctor appointments. While she was at Harborview she used a restroom for the first time since the accident and she got to wash her hands in a “real” sink! 🙂 When she returned to the nursing facility, with the help of a friend, she took a shower for the first time since the accident (she has only been allowed to have bed baths for the past two months). She said that it felt amazing to feel the water on her and to be able to wash her hair and have a little bit of independence back. These victories may not seem that significant, but they are HUGE for Jaime! She continues to practice walking with the help of the parallel bars and her physical therapist. We are blown away by how amazingly well she is doing, and by how hard she is working to get better. She is such a champ!

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Steven also had a big day yesterday! His support team tried something new with the padding and angle of his wheelchair to see if they could get him more comfortable and therefore increase the amount of time that he spends in it…and it worked! He spent the entire morning (over 3 hours!) roaming around the hospital, and he even crossed the street and visited the apartment complex where he and Jaime live. He caught up with their apartment manager for a while and he was very happy to get out of the hospital and enjoy some fresh air on a nice Seattle day. Now that he is able to spend more time in his wheelchair, this will become more of a priority and he plans on spending a significant amount of time in it everyday. Both Steven and Jaime have had some major improvements in their range of motion since the knee procedure they had done at Harborview a couple of weeks ago. They still have a long road ahead of them, but they are definitely making steady progress and they are handling everything with a ton of grace. They are deeply appreciative of the many ways that their friends, family, co-workers and the community have rallied around them. We couldn’t be more proud of them!

I mentioned in my last post that Jessie has a big week ahead of her and the main thing I was referring to is that Jessie will be leaving Harborview on Thursday. She will be transferred to the same skilled nursing facility that Jaime and Steven are recovering at. I will share more details about the next steps in Jessie’s recovery after she gets settled and her new routines are more established. She is definitely feeling nervous about leaving the wonderful nurses, doctors and therapists that she loves and trusts at Harborview, but she is also looking forward to being back with her sister and brother-in-law again. She had one last outing with her rec therapist today and she got to go swimming! She said that she stood on her own, walked for a few steps (very clumsily), did some kicks and loved the feeling of being free to move again.

Thank you for sending your love to all four of these precious, beautiful friends of ours. They are all fighting the biggest battles of their lives and they need all of the encouragement, love, and support that they can get. They all read through the comments on the blog, their Facebook pages, and the cards that you send them, every single day. Thank you for your faithfulness to this family!

Weekend Update…

We are now two months post-accident. These two months in many ways have been the longest of our lives. As time has moved on and we have begun to establish a “new normal,” there isn’t quite as much to share on the blog about the everyday happenings with Jessie, Jaime, Jeremy and Steven. Each of the “kids” has a daily and weekly routine and they are focused on meeting their goals and doing everything they can to have the best possible quality of life in the future. They are pushing themselves physically and emotionally and they are working their tails off to get well and make one another proud. I will continue to update the blog when there are important things to share, and hopefully the kids will continue to write some of their own updates as well. The blog is important to all of us. We have been so blessed by people, both dear friends and complete strangers, who have reached out to us and offered to help because of things they have read on this site. We will never forget the generosity of this community. Thank you for loving this family so well.

I mentioned this a few weeks ago, but I think it’s worth repeating…I know that there are many of you who have some great ideas regarding ways to raise funds to help cover the medical costs of Jessie, Jaime and Steven. We have a family representative who is helping coordinate and communicate with those who are interested in helping with fundraising. If you have an idea that you would like to share, or a method of fundraising that you would like to initiate to help cover medical costs, please send an email to lovetheowensfundraising@gmail.com. Several of you shared fundraising ideas with us in the first few weeks after the accident when we weren’t quite ready to move forward with fundraising quite yet. If you reached out to us then and we didn’t get back to you or we weren’t able to answer your question regarding fundraising at that time, please contact us again through the fundraising email address listed above. Our family representative (Sheri) will help point you in the right direction. Thank you for wanting to help!

Jessie update…This weekend Jess got her hair cut and spent her usual time on Saturday with Toby. She is looking forward to doing some aquatic therapy on Tuesday with her recreational therapist. Jer is coming home again next weekend and she is very much looking forward to spending some time with him again. Jess has a big week ahead of her. We’ll share more as the week moves on…

Steven’s update, in his own words…

My father joined me for a few days starting Wednesday. On Friday, we went to UW to visit the hand doctor about my right wrist. He gave me good news: no more cast! My arm feels incredibly free and being able to bend my elbow/feed myself, couldn’t ask for more. My sister Jennifer with her family Mark and their little River Rose surprised me with a visit on Saturday. It was fantastic to see my niece and we took an easy day catching up on the tv series “Merlin”.

Jaime’s update…

Big (not so new) news for me: I’ve been cleared to weight bear on my left leg. Friday was my first time standing up for the first time since the accident. I got to do two sets on the parallel bars! More a shuffle than a walk, but it was nice to really feel like I was making some progress. Since I can only weight bear on one leg, & my left forearm isn’t cleared for weight bearing, the “walking” motion looks like a multi-part process. I move my right leg lightly forward, scoot my arms forward while maintaining most of my weight on my left leg, and then shuffle my left leg forward. It was only a few steps, but hopefully I’ll progress to a walker this week & be zooming around the hospital Looking forward to ditching the hospital gown in favor of real clothes, using a real bathroom, & using a real shower!

Thank you everyone for your continued love & support. It means so much to know that we have such amazing support from so many people, & is a great motivating factor to keep pushing for our goals.

Pretty in Pink Powerwheels

Today was a day filled with so many good things that I don’t think there is room for any more. My morning started off with a fresh latte from a good friend and then I proceeded to have my hair and make-up touched up by another good friend. I’m adorable 🙂

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Last week I had scheduled a Seattle Times interview with a photographer, for today. So at 10:30am the reporter arrived and we began. I started with my occupational therapy and doing something on a device called an arm skate, which is exactly what it sounds like, a skate for my arm. It moves smoothly and without resistance. I should mention, that I did four brand new things today! New things don’t exactly happen all the time, so having four in one day, is absolutely better than any Christmas I could ever ask for! The first of these things happened here in OT. I straightened my right elbow all the way, on my own! It doesn’t sound like much, but I assure you it was very exciting.

Following OT, I began physical therapy where I was presented my new POPSTAR PINK WHEELCHAIR! I love it, it is beautiful and ghastly expensive, think off the lot BMW. Currently only the bottom part is pink, but I have plans to modify and make it look like Barbie designed it herself. photo (6)You should know that although I adore having a very expensive ride, I do consider this my temporary set of wheels, until I literally get on my feet. Josh, my PT, was wheeling me over to my mat when I caught a glimpse of something over my shoulder, when I yelled, “Stop! Turn me around! That’s my sister, that’s my sister!” as I desperately tried to throw my body out of my chair to see her. Jaime had an appointment at Harborview today and wanted to surprise me by watching my therapies. Needless to say, I was thrilled! As I began my physical therapy, I had about three cameras shooting photographs of me…granted two of them were cell phone cameras, but I felt like I was being chased by the paparazzi. I’ve been told I make REALLY great faces in pictures, so you can all look forward to those. The second new thing that happened was that I rolled to my left. I have been able to roll to my right, but I nailed the left on my first try today.

After PT, we went back to my room to do the interview part and it was nice because Jaime got to be a part of it as well. I’m looking forward to the article. After the interview, the third new thing happened: I pushed a button! It was on my wheelchair and very close to me and it was hard, but I did it! I managed to take my little pinky, position it right on the button and lean forward enough to turn the wheelchair off.  Mind blowing, I know. 🙂

The last great thing that happened today, was that I managed to get food into my own mouth. My friend put a popcorn bag in my lap, and being a very neglectful person, she was not feeding me. So I hiked the bag up in my arms, and stuck my head in the furthest I could get it, much like a feed bag. Dignity is not something that is important when caramel corn is involved. See the picture below.photo (1)

I want to include some things about Jaime and Steven as well tonight. SUPER BIG NEWS: Jaime is cleared to start weight bearing on her left leg. She does need to be careful of the fracture in her left wrist and when she starts walking, she’ll need to platform support. This means that she will need to use her elbow, not her forearm in a walker. Tomorrow she will try standing at the side of her bed! I could not be more proud of my little, baby sister. Watching her walk! J Not very many big sisters get to see this happen twice in a lifetime. Her right leg is still 6 weeks from weight bearing, but is cleared to toe tap as she needs to balance. Her right knee has been cleared so that she no longer needs to wear that awful, atrocious, full-length, LED brace. Unfortunately, that has been transferred to me. J She has earned it though, 24 hours a day, for 9 weeks. And let me assure you, it is HOT and annoying. I’m also happy to inform you, that she was equally pleased to see me today. She spent some time examining and prying my fingers open to inspect me, just like a little monkey. She misses me!photo (5)

Steven had a bachelor day with his wife out of the house. No big news, but he’s happy to report that his doctors are satisfied with his progress on the CPM machine. He goes in to Harborview tomorrow to get his cast looked at and he is crossing his fingers that it comes off.

As I wrap this up, I’m happy to report that I have a fifth brand new thing that I’ve done today! I managed to scroll through a text message on my iPhone, with my hand. Small victories.

Keep on keeping on and kicking ass.

Weekend Update

Steven was very excited about a visit he and Jaime had from his mom, brother Robin, sister Tammy and niece Sophia on Friday. They brought him a great poster with pictures of his family that is hanging in his room now. Steven and Jaime have been busy on their CPM machines since their knee procedure. Jaime has already noticed that it is easier to flex her knees since the procedure and both her and Steven are very motivated to work hard and do well…they don’t want to have the procedure done again 🙂

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Jessie received a wonderful gift from the generous principals in the Northshore School District. They arranged for her to have a personal shopper from Nordstrom come and bring her some new clothes and shoes. She was blown away by this thoughtful gift, and it definiely lifted her spirits. She spent some time watching the Cougar basketball games this weekend, and is definitely missing her work and her students. Weekends are sometimes tough for Jessie in the rehab unit. She has very little therapy(sometimes none at all), and Jess really loves working hard to meet her goals, so it can be frustrating to not be able to make a lot of progress on Saturdays and Sundays. She is a fighter and she wants to fight as much as she can! She did enjoy visit from one of her biggest (little) supporters on Saturday, as well as her weekly visit with Toby 🙂

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Thank you for keeping up with the progress of these four amazing “kids”. I am so honored to be able to share the joys and the triumphs, as well as the challenges and the trials, on their journey to healing. We are nearly two months in to this new way of life, and we have made it this far thanks to the support and love that each of you has poured out on us. Thank you so much!

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Valentine’s Day Update!

Last night was Jaime and Steven’s turn in the spotlight. They did a wonderful job in their interview with King 5! If you didn’t have a chance to watch last night, you can check out the interview and story on King5.com using this link: http://www.king5.com/news/local/Couple-leans-on-love-as-they-recover-from-tree-accident-191145961.html

It has been a busy week for Jessie, Jaime and Steven. Yesterday (Wednesday) morning, bright and early, Jaime and Steven were taken back to Harborview to undergo their knee manipulation procedures. The ultimate goal of the procedure was for the doctors to break up the scar tissue that has built up in their knees so that they can make a better recovery. The procedure went well for each of them, and Jaime and Steven were happy that the doctors were able to complete the procedure without having to actually make any incisions. The doctors were able to assess the area of Jaime’s quad that she has been having some pain in, and they determined that her body has actually generated a new piece of bone that is “floating” in the middle of her right quad. They moved it slightly so that it will hopefully not cause her as much pain in the future. Jaime and Steven both spent the night at Harborview, and returned to the skilled nursing facility this afternoon. They enjoyed visiting with Jessie last night and this morning before they left Harborview.

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Jessie went on an outing to the Museum of History and Industry today. She absolutely loved it and wished she had more time to check out the exhibits. She passed out valentines to everyone on her rehab floor and enjoyed a surprise Valentine’s Day dinner from a few of her friends. Today she did some new things in therapy, with mixed success. Below you will see a picture of her doing one of these new therapies, the tilt table. The tilt table is a therapy that helps her put weight on her legs and reintroduces her to being in the vertical position.

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Jessie at the MOHAI. She hates feet! 🙂

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This is what Jaime and Steven’s CPM machines look like in action.

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Jessie with a sweet valentine she received today…

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One of the Harborview nurses who cared for Jaime and Steven after their procedures yesterday made these for them today! Soooo kind!

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Happy Valentine’s Day to all of our family, friends, and the wonderful people who are supporting the Owen-Mayer family right now. You have no idea how much we love and appreciate you!