Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June Begins with continued progress

Well, a new month did not dampen Shannon's quest for progress. Her schedule called for some important activities today. She was scheduled for therapy sessions in both the morning and afternoon today and was also scheduled for a follow-on "swallow study" to determine if she was able to graduate to certain types of "regular" foods. The therapists are very pleased with Shannon's progress and are working to get her stamina and endurance built up. She needs to be strong enough and attentive enough to participate in at least 3 hours of therapy each day before she is transferred from the responsibility of the Trauma Team to the Rehab Team. She really did some amazing things in Speech Therapy this morning. The therapist gave her a white board with a dry erase marker and asked her questions about herself and her family. Shannon was then supposed to write her responses on the white board. I was amazed at how well she did--writing complete sentences like "I live in Alpine." When it came to answering questions about family, Shannon was writing a diagram of our family structure, showing that Aaron was married to Kim and they had three children, Brooklynn, Emma and Austin, and so on.
Shortly after noon she went down for the swallow study. She did really well on the pudding and thicker stuff. She did pretty well with things that were more liquid, but still needs to get her muscles toned up in her throat before they will clear her to drink liquids. But she can start to eat certain things now which will be a great step forward. The details of all of that we still need to hear back from the doctors but they will start introducing that into her diet either tonight or tomorrow.
Just a couple other highlights from today. Dr. Walker, the neurosurgeon who performed her surgery the first night, came by to see her today. He had been out of the country for a while and had not seen her for about ten days. He was so pleased to see her progress and could hardly believe that it was the same "very sick girl" that he had met almost three weeks ago. During her afternoon therapy, Dr. Maloney came by to see her. He was the attending doctor in the ICU the night she came in. He was beaming from ear to ear as he watched her and commented on the marvelous progress she was making. She is also making great strides with her vocalization, as long as she isn't too tired. She had a T-shirt on from her days in percussion so the nurse asked her what she played. She told her the marimba, the xylophone. That led to questions about other activities in High School and she told the nurse that she was in debate, specifically policy.
So all in all a neat day. We are so grateful for her continued progress and recognize all this as wonderful blessings from a loving Heavenly Father. Thank you for your faith and prayers to help bring these things to pass.


  1. I'm so glad Shannon is progressing. What a beautiful girl with a beautiful family. We are thinking of all of you and have your family in our thoughts and prayers.

    Ryan and Amber Johnson

  2. Ahhh, another good day!! What is the scripture, "out of small and simple things..." ? She's doing great, you're doing great and we're happy for you and her progress. You remain in our thoughts and prayers daily. Love, JoAnn

  3. Yeay for something new in her diet! We prayed for her to do well, hope those muscles will get strong enough to be slipped a little sprite soon!!

  4. Dear Blackham family, this is Chuck and Gretchen Terry, Luella's home teacher- we are serving down at BYU too and heard from Pres. Todd about Shannon. We are so happy that she is doing so well and making progress. Please know that she and your family are in our prayers.