Dear Family and Friends,
Sorry for the delay in posting. Everything is fine. These first few days at Shepherd have been hectic and to ease the transition, Ginny, Mom and Dad have been permitted to be with Joe most of the day, and thus I have not had much time to talk to them. The regular 9-4 work routine for Joe will commence Monday; at that point Ginny and Mom and Dad Leahy will have more time on their hands and be more available--I think!
The initial days at Shepherd have been filled with thorough assessments of Joe by a team of various experts. They will be developing an overall plan for his rehabilitation but will daily meet to plan his schedule and adapt it as needed depending on his responses.
What follows in italics is from Ginny direcly:
Jill, the EMT, who was with Joe at the scene rode with us to Shepherd, and it was wonderful to obtain some details from her first hand. She gave me a prayer key ring to give to Joe when he is well. I was humbled as surely she, as so many others, had played a vital role in Joe's survival and God's plan.
Today Joe was really tired, having spent approximately 4 hours in his wheelchair (yesterday he sat in the chair for about 1 hour) after spending 21 days laying in bed. Joe also had his trach capped all day yesterday and today, allowing for regular breathing through his nose. At night the plug is romoved to ensure his comfort and safety. The therapist is working on helping to learn to swallow.
Yesterday, as I sat on the side of Joe's bed I wished aloud that the bed was wider so I could lay down for a nap. Joe surprised me noting that a wider bed "would probably cost more." Joe also told me that we needed to take "one day at a time." Though I know much of the time he is quiet and other times I can't follow what he is saying, these moments are precious. I just can't help thinking that these wise words are meant to bring both laughter and comfort to reassure me.
I am confident that Shepherds is where Joe should be. He is content and comfortable, and the staff have been responsive to our needs, our concerns, and our unending questions. The physical structure and equipment are incredible. Joe's in good hands. The family apartment is nice, and it is such a blessing to have Joe's folks here with me. Though the cafeteria food is really good, it is certainly no match for the wonderful meals provided at Huntsville Hospital by our friends! I also miss the kind NICU waiting room staff.
I miss Keith and Stephen, our extended families and our Alabama friends. Oh, how I miss the hugs! But... we need to be here, and I'm so glad that Ed is with the boys holding down the fort at Madison.
It's weird as I still feel a sense of "out of body" over this whole thing, but I also know that I have much to be grateful for--the precious gift of life! Two Catholic Deacons have already visited, which is so wonderful and welcome --I'm so thankful for my faith in times like these.
Wishing you peace. I selfishly ask for your continued prayers for Joe's return to health.
One more note from me (Lisa):
Please keep the prayers coming as this is such a long process with many peaks and valleys--it sure can take its toll on everyone.
We wish you many blessing and know we pray for you and your families as well,
P.S. Here is the address where you can send cards or whatever to keep up Joe and Ginny's spirits.
c/o Shepherd Center
2020 Peachtree Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30309