Saturday, August 23, 2014


Get him in the pool.

Those were one of the directions from Dr. Standard the other day.  In the pool Henry would more comfortably kick his leg, providing a natural physical therapy.  In fact, had we stayed in Baltimore for his 12 weeks of physical therapy, pool therapy would be a part of it.

So, we were all excited to go swimming (It was 88, and we spent 2 hours in the sun playing/watching soccer this morning.).  Henry most of all!  He had not been so sure of the bathtub, being even more afraid of slipping.  But the pool?  Henry couldn't wait to get his suit on.

Henry was happy to sit with Grandpa, squirt all of us, and work on kicking his legs.  It didn't take long, and he was swimming around in an inner tube and balancing himself in the shallow end.  In the end, he was so comfortable that he walked away without his turtle shell, even sat in the car.  Sitting is also a stretching exercise, bending his new hip in a way that it hasn't yet.

Henry and Grandpa Go-Go getting comfortable in the water.

Henry's brothers are there for him and with him every step of the way.

Walking without his turtle shell.  It was slow, small steps at first, but he was soon racing to the car.

Sitting tall, sitting proud.

I would have more pictures from the pool, but I was too busy enjoying the water with all of my boys.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Cast Removal Day! - August 21, 2014

Hello from our "home away from home" - The Hackerman Patz House at Sinai Hospital.

A video message from Henry (& Garrick) from the RIAO this morning:

Today was our scheduled post surgery follow-up with Dr. Shawn Standard and his team at RIAO. Today's appointment ran nearly 5 hours including x-ray.


The first stop was into the casting room to get the spica cast cut off!  PA Chris Fisher fired up the torch and machette....just kidding.

Henry troopered through the cast saw noise and vibration. Within about 15 minutes the cast was cut in half.  Each half was later fabricated to become a turtle shell brace with use of padding and Velcro.  I'll get a picture of this posted in a later edition. The purpose of the brace is to keep Henry's leg protected until he has more function/movement in the leg. The turtle shell design makes it easier to remove as he gets ready to start physical therapy and prosthesis fitting.  Over the next several weeks, Henry will become more comfortable with his leg movement and will be wearing the brace less.

Physician Assistant Chris Fisher making the cuts to Henry's spica cast.

Post Cast Removal:
Below is the image of the latest x-ray.  The spica cast did it's job to keep the leg and new joints in the proper position.  You can see some of the "hardware" that will now likely make TSA agents a little curious next time we fly.

The following image shows Henry's "lucky" aka "little" leg and incisions.  Should you not wish to see it please scroll past the image.

Several things to note when looking at the image:
1. His lucky leg (left) compared to his non-affected leg.  The left leg has been proportional to the right leg's knee since birth.
2. The incision at the ankle has a similar incision on the opposite side of his ankle.  This was the first procedure completed during the marathon surgery in June.  It was where it was determined that Henry was missing a bone in his ankle. It was also where there were several scews and two external cables were placed to prevent the ankle from moving sideways.  The cables were removed during the initial cast replacement.
3. The upper incisions are where the rotation and fusing of the pelvis took place.  The round (under hip) incision is 360*.
4. With the rotation, the next prosthetic will fit over the foot and up the leg to the new hip joint. The revised ankle is now the knee joint.

Henry without the cast, playing with his TMNT waiting for a visit from Dr. Standard

Dr. Standard came in to see how the super hero was doing. We got the "all clear" and that Henry was right on track.  We received the physical therapy script and order for x-rays to be completed in Cincinnati in 6-8 weeks.  Our next scheduled trip back to Baltimore will be in early December for continued follow-up/x-ray.

What's Next?
1. Physical therapy 3x per week for the next 12 weeks!  We are hoping to start this coming week.
2. Prosthetic creation/socket checks and new leg.  Our first appointment is next week.
3. Enjoy being a kindergartner! 

Zoo Visit
Since all 5 of us were here for this trip, we made a brief trek to the Maryland Zoo and checked out some of our relatives....I mean animals.  It was great to see that a lot of the animals were actually moving about, whereas in our July visit most were trying to stay cool and finding shade.  The cheetah was pacing, a giraffe was trotting and Logan was climbing fences trying to feed a gazelle.

Our three animal trainers!

Homeward Bound
In the words of Paul Simon, we'll be heading back to Cincy on Friday morning in preparations for the first Fall soccer games for Ben and Logan (& Coach Stacy).  We've had a unique "Summer in Baltimore" adventure, meeting wonderful families at the HP House, reconnecting with the awesome staff at Sinai and RIAO.  Most importantly thank you to all who have followed Henry's journey through this blog, Facebook posts, and word of mouth.  The prayers, well wishes and donations made this adventure for us unbelievable.  Prayer holds an important place in our life and will continue to do so for an eternity.  It is not without prayer that Henry is healthy, infection free and is exceeding expectations.  

Continue following this blog for updates about physical therapy and the latest prosthesis.

In Christ's Peace,

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Summer of the Spica Cast

It is crazy how quickly the past 6 weeks have flown.  It has been a truly enjoyable summer, spica cast and all.  In true Henry fashion, it hasn't slowed him down or kept him from doing anything he wanted.  Luckily, it was a mild summer, often with highs barely up to 80 degrees, so there hasn't been as much swimming and water play.  This meant Henry rarely had to do something different than his brothers.  It also kept his cast from itching as much.  ;)

As we prepare to meet again with Henry's doctor to get the cast "off", we thought we would share some of Henry's summer highlights.

Annual PFFD Picnic
We were so excited that we were home from Baltimore in plenty of time to join and enjoy the annual local PFFD and Limb Deficiency picnic.  This year, like last, the picnic was at a park only about 15 minutes from our home.  It was such a beautiful afternoon, and it was so wonderful to connect again with families who share the PFFD story.  It was also great to meet some more families.

We learned a new game from Sweden, discussed specialists at Children's and around the country, shared a delicious meal, splashed in the splash pad, sat on a fire truck, climbed the playground, and had a ton of fun.  Our whole family looks forward to this day each summer.  Thank you Joann and all of her helpers for organizing a fabulous event.  Thanks also to the Loveland Fire Dept. for bringing their trucks over and treating each of our kids like stars.

And he can dance!
Henry didn't just sit around, he danced!  I love this moment caught on tape dancing to Michael Jackson.  My favorite part is the moves at the end.  Note how the way his cast is keeps his leg straight up.

Dancing, spica cast style!

Riding bikes and cars and throwing balls
One of our favorite things to do on a nice day is to go out front and ride bikes with all of the neighborhood kids.  They also play ball.  Henry joined right in.  He figured out how to sit so he could drive his brother's little powered Nascar 88 car, sat uncomfortably on a tricycle I pushed around, and stood anchoring his short leg on his walker to throw the ball.

He loves playing with his brothers and his friends.  And he wouldn't miss out on any chance to play ball with his dad.

Henry is just one of the boys of summer.

Just Having Fun!
One of the best parts about Henry is that he enjoys and loves life.  If there is fun to be had, he doesn't let a little pain or a cast or a shorter leg or anything keep him from having fun.

We are grateful that Henry only needs Tylenol every couple of days for the pain.  He is ready to get that cast off and show his doctor just what he can do!

At a favorite local park.

We were so lucky to have Henry's Horton cousin come down to Cincy to hang with us.  We had an awesome time with him exploring COSI Science Museum in Columbus.

COSI has a climbing wall.  Henry wants to go back and conquer it after the cast comes off.

Back another day to Pine Hill Park.

We went down to Bengals Training Camp Family day.  Henry got to meet 4 players and get their autograph.  Who Dey!
Henry showing off his Super Hero cape.  He really is my hero and my inspiration.

Finally, we want to thank all of you again for keeping our family in your thoughts and prayers, for the many times you ask how Henry is doing, and for the different ways you have helped us along this journey.  This journey is not over, but we feel truly blessed by the community supporting us and how well Henry is doing physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  THANK YOU!