Tuesday, June 29: Update

We are saying goodbye to some family today. But it is a farewell that caps off a great day for Claire.

Claire and I began the day with an hour and a half of exercises. She was a little champion. I put her through all kinds of stretches and resistance exercises to wake up her muscles and protect her range of motion. She protested. I talked her through it. It was a good start to the day.

We took our third walk outside and extended our record from 15 minutes to 30. It was a cooler Dallas summer day, slightly overcast and humid. The sun hid behind the clouds for the duration of our walk. Claire enjoyed the excursion.

Our time outside ended when the rest of the family arrived. Physical and occupational therapy was next on the docket. We were surprised to discover that today would be Claire’s first day to try the standing board. This was a big step for two reasons. First, Claire had always been relegated to therapy bays that sequestered her away from the noise and commotion in the general therapy area. The standing board is in the general area. So we were curious to see how she would handle all the other stimulating activity going on around her. Secondly, this was a more aggressive treatment and we were curious to see how agitated Claire would get. She handled it very well. She wasn’t any more agitated than normal despite all her protests to mommy at first.

Claire stayed in the standing board for the full 30 minute session. The occupational therapist commented that Claire’s range and motion has improved a lot since yesterday and she feels much more loose. The therapist also tested Claire’s eye tracking. She used a flashing light toy and moved it laterally in front of Claire. Claire tracked both directions with a stronger response to her right side. It was great to watch. We are very pleased with the rate that the therapists are moving her sessions. Each session is new, different and more challenging.

The busy day took a lot out of Claire. But she did a great job. I was very proud of her.

We were reticent to see my sister, my dad and Brian leave tonight. The visit was too short. It was nice being close together, yet we longed for the times when we just hang out. We eagerly anticipate the day when we can all be together again on different terms. They are all driving back to Colorado tonight. Please keep them in your prayers.

46 thoughts on “Tuesday, June 29: Update”

  1. great job, Claire! Woo Who!!!
    Praying for your family’s safe travels…it is so hard to say good-bye during times like this.
    Blessings to you all!

  2. What beautiful pictures… they brought tears to my eyes!!! Is Claire smiling at you Tiffany??? She looks beautiful!!!!
    It is incredible to hear about the progress she is making… a true testimony to Claire’s strength and the power of our Savior!!! Again, thank you for allowing us to share in this with you from a distance.
    Let us know when we can visit you at OCH… I would love to see you all and give you hugs!!!

    1. Thanks Karin. It won’t be long before she’s ready to accept visitors in earnest.

      That is a grimace saying, “Mommy, do you see what these ladies are doing to me?” We can’t wait for the day she smiles again.

  3. I must admit I don’t really know what to say. I can’t imagine this journey you and your family are on. I’m so thankful for the many great positive moments and accomplishments. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  4. I just wanted to pop in and let you know that I am still praying for Claire. As I stated before I think Claire is going to do amazingly well. Reading your post 2 days ago reminds me so much of where I still am today. I cannot bear to watch videos of my Camryn because I just know I cannot tolerate seeing that beautiful giggly little girl so full of life. The pain is excruciating. It is my Birthday today and I cannot help but think that this time last year was the most perfect birthday ever and the last one I would know as “a perfect family”. Blessings.

  5. What an awesome update. It is encouraging to see Claire making progress. I know she does not like it, but like you…I am very, very proud of her. I also like the way she looks people in the eyes. I can still see her looking at me in my mind when I spoke to her. She is a strong girl.
    Also just want to say how proud I am of you and Tiffany. You both are such great parents. I know this is draining and you guys are tired, but you never quit. You push through the fatigue, tears, and loneliness (missing Claire as she was). You are both amazing. Also, Susie is amazing. She has been there practically since the beginning. What a blessing to have her their to help you shoulder the load. I know you appreciate her, as do we from afar. I just love you all so much and am thankful for our family….immediate, extended, and all the people who are praying for Claire. This is quite an unexpected journey that we have found ourselves on.

  6. This may sound very strange, but here I go, just the same…

    I do not know your family; however, I heard of your story from a friend. Although I’ve never met your family and specifically Claire, I can’t help but feel proud of Claire and all that she’s accomplished. She’s come so very far in her recovery. I smiled as I read your update today.

    You and your family will continue to be in my prayers.

    1. It warms my heart to hear the empathy you share with us. I love that you can enjoy Claire’s victories and feel proud of her. Everyone reading this blog and/or praying for Claire is a part of this journey with us and strange as it may be, it’s also comforting and sweet. Thanks for posting.

  7. So thankful to hear that you had an encouraging day today; but we’re sorry to hear that your family had to return to Colorado tonight. Still, it was a blessing that they were able to come; and when they left, it was after a more productive day for Claire.

    Praying that she continues to improve each day; and the Lord will allow your precious Claire to return to the little girl she was before her accident.

    In His Love,

    Ken & Jana Kirkpatrick
    Jesup, GA 31545

  8. YAY!!!! Awsome job Claire!!! I am so proud of you…Mommy & Daddy..I have a son in PhysicalTherapy School….He just started his 2nd year….I am going to share this story with him so he can see WHAT HE WILL do one day to help patients and how rewarding it can be..
    My prayers are with all of you always !!!

    Lee Ann

  9. You all are doing an amazing job! I love hearing about all of Claire’s progress! I am so glad the therapists are being aggressive, I truly believe children will try to do anything they are asked! As always your family will be in my thoughts and prayers!

  10. This is my first post, but I have been reading your blog every day since I first heard the news on June 5th. I am a hygienist at 21st Century Dental, and I had the priviledge of seeing Autumn and Heidi for their check-ups about 6 months ago. I really don’t know where to start except to say that I think and pray for your family every day. This has touched me in ways that I don’t even understand.

    When I met Heidi and Autumn, they both were sitting in the hallway with Claire drawing pictures as Tiffany was having her teethed cleaned. Autumn and Heidi had made art work for me (even though they had never met me) and that just made my day. I remember telling the other hygienist what amazing little girls Autumn and Heidi were. I didn’t get to talk to Claire, but Heidi and Autumn happily filled me in on how spunky and amazing Claire is. I pray daily for Claire’s speedy recovery. I also am praying for Autumn and Heidi to have strength to see their sister through this as well as you and Tiffany. You have so many people praying and hoping the best for your family.

  11. Wow – Claire/mom/dad are working really hard – hope she sleeps well tonight!
    Awesome progress.
    Care to the caregivers;
    love and hugs to all.
    Susan D.

  12. So encouraged to hear of Claire’s progress. Thank you for faithfully updating us. I don’t reply very much but I read EVERY word with eager anticipation.

  13. I am so happy to hear that Claire made some more progress! I am praying for her every day, morning and night. God is faithful. I have asked Him to heal her 100%. I know He hears my prayers and will answer them!

  14. Wow, what a day Claire had today! Pictures are so wonderful! I miss seeing you all, hugs to each of you. Lifting up Claire and your whole family. So happy you’ll had the time together.

  15. Even though I don’t “know” you, I love you all so much! Big hugs to you all!! May God bless you and keep you…

  16. This is from another prayer partner whom you have never met, following your blog for several weeks. I love reading how strong Claire is getting. The progress just this last week is staggering and so very encouraging. I’m a mom of twin 29 wk preemies (one developed staph pneumonia) who are incredible, healthy 2.5 year olds. Also, several years ago my nephew was riding his bike and was hit by a car, suffering a moderately severe traumatic brain injury. (He was wearing his helmet, thankfully.) He is now a spunky 13 yo. Thus, I know much about being on my knees and in God’s throne room pleading for young lives. I am blessed to have witnessed miracle after miracle and believe yours to be no different. I have so much hope and faith for your family. I am thankful to read your e-mail, pray over you all, cheer you all on and cry with each and every update. I am such a tiny participant in God’s plan but thankful to “know” you and experience your journey from afar. It has touched my life! Praying Psalm 18 over you and yours tonight: “I pray that the Lord is your family’s strength. May He be your rock, your fortress, and deliverer. I pray you continue to trust in Him and continue to call upon Him in your distress. He will hear your voice, even into his ears. I pray that Claire’s steps are increased under her, that her feet do not slip. I pray that God’s right hand holds her up, and His gentleness makes her great. Lord, I pray that You use these moments to do something so wonderful in her that it takes our breaths away. ~ AMEN

  17. I just got back in town and was very excited to see the progress that Claire is making. It seems like she is getting stronger by the day, thanks to the love and dedication of your awesome family! I know Claire will continue to improve a little with each day that passes. I know this has been very hard on your family but the strength that you have shown is an inspiration to many people. I know you will stay strong and Claire will continue to improve and amaze us all.

  18. Thank you so much for taking the time to post. I’ve gotten to where I just can’t wait to get to my email to see how Claire is doing each day. I was so pleased to hear of her progress today and each day. I can see that she is trying so hard! I continue in prayer on behalf of your entire family. It seems that I am prompted throughout our everyday routine, as I share my day with our 3 year old, Jayden. Our Lord brings you to my heart often. Looking through your blog/photos recently, Jadie on my lap, I explained to Jayden that Claire was recovering in hospital and I wanted to let you know that Jadie and I are cheering for you every day!!! Just remember, that you will get to the other side of this, but you have to go through to get there. Keep going! Don’t give up! God will be glorified through it all. Many blessings, Vanesa

  19. I sit here in awe of both of your strengths. You both set a very high bar for what parenting is and should be. My prayers, tears and best wishes are with your family.
    God knows why your family was chosen to endure this trial. They say that God knows how much we are capable of….Although this is a very painful and trying time KNOW that God is with you and your family and HE will see you through this ordeal. In His time you will once again have your little girl whole, healthy and beautiful.
    Oh the riches you are gaining with this trial. Your path to heaven has been paved with your tears. You will endure because God chose you for this and therefore KNOWS that you will come out a stronger and wiser man!
    Claire and the rest of your children are so very blessed to have you and Tiffany as parents.
    Please understand that I’m not trying to pretend that this is not earth-shattering, heart-breaking etc., I simply firmly believe that God knows your heart and he is holding you in the palm of his hand.
    Much love, good wishes and constant prayer for this little girl who has captured my heart.

  20. sounds like a great day in a great direction. we have not stopped praying for claire and your family daily. thank you again for allowing us to approach the throne room on your behalf.

  21. Hi guys,

    An interesting thing happened with Madison yesterday in the kids pool area at the gym. One of her friends invited her to go down one of the waterslides (it’s a big slide). Madison informed the friend that she does not know how to swim. The friend said “That’s okay, I can’t either”. Madison goes down the slide and goes under the water and is struggling to stay afloat. The lifeguard jumped in to get her. She was totally fine.

    Ever since Claire had her incident, Madison is very curious about Claire. I was trying to tell her that this is the reason we want her to take swim lessons so she will know what to do if she is ever in a situation in the water and needs to know what to do. When I told her what happened to Claire could have happened to her… she said “mom, you mean I could have died?”

    The pictures of Claire holding onto the monkey melt my heart. It brings tears to my eyes. What a sweet family you are.

  22. Tyler, Tiffany, and all your girls,

    I didn’t think I’d post today, but your posting just made me do it! Those pictures were so awesome. You’re as good a photographer as you are writer, Tyler. In both media, you just capture the moment and make us see it so clearly–the pain you’re all going through, and the triumph of each step of progress. Yay for Claire, and for both of you as cheerleaders and wonderful parents and loving partners. This is the most painful of times for you all. Yet you will come out of it stronger and more faithful people, I have no doubt. God’s purpose is beyond our frail knowing.

    Tomorrow night I will share prayers for all of you with your Simons grandparents. I’m looking forward to that more than I can say. I’ve been passing on the updates to Grandma Rae–Ruthie will have to do that in my absence, as Grandma Rae is pretty computer phobic and wouldn’t have one around. But she shares all our concern for her youngest great great grandchild!

    Praying constantly for Claire’s progress, and for all of you as you support her, and that you all get much-needed rest,

  23. To Claire and her family,

    I don’t know you personally, but your story has touched so many lives including mine. I live in Riverside, CA and heard about Claire from a friend who must know a family member or a friend of your family. I follow your blog every day and I delight in the wonderful news you share and my heart breaks for you when I read about the struggles you are going through.

    I have a 2 1/2 year old and a 5 year old and your story has made a positive impact on them. I enrolled my girls in ISR (infant swim resource) lessons, which is a water survival class. I had been delaying it because of the expense, but hearing about Claire gave me the push I needed. I am forever grateful to your family for sharing these intimate moments with all of us out here, and I pray for your family every day.

  24. Sound happy to read of Claire’s progress! Simply awesome!! Keeping you in our prayers.

  25. It is so encouraging to read about all the progress Claire is making! Thanks for your diligence in keeping us all informed- still praying everyday for your little angel! Give Autumn a hug for me!

  26. What wonderful news. I cannot believe she is already standing!!! And it’s also hard to believe that she tolerates the outside so well. Just amazing. I’m so glad to know that you are at Baylor and that they are challenging her everyday. That makes such a difference for ya’ll and for Claire. Many prayers for ya’ll today are leaving my lips to Our Heavenly Father and the Great Healer.

  27. Small Steps – Big Milestones!

    “Slowly me go further” is what someone once said to me. Since my child was born with Microcephaly in 2001 I thought we’d never see progress…according to some doctors. With the “slowly me go further” approach, we’ve got Maddie walking, talking (some unintelligible), riding horses, and just recently off of her feeding tube…and she’s 9 years old.

    It may seem slow to get Claire getting back on the horse, so to speak, but all the support, prayers and therapy intervention will pay off in the long run. She’s worth the investment!

    1. Donna:
      Our Elizabeth was born with Microcephaly in 2005.. are you guys in the Dallas area? We understand, “slowly me go further”, but when they do go further, it is such a blessing.

  28. What an amazing entry! So happy with the progress and how Claire is doing….I am in love with the picture of her smiling! There she just looks so happy and well! I am so happy for the progress for your family! What beautiful girls you have! keep up the good work Claire!!!

  29. Way to go Claire!! We are cheering and praying for you. Praise the Lord for her amazing strength and determination. Go Claire go!!!

  30. I read these every day and as I do I can’t help but think one thing “GO CLAIRE”. Call it telepathic cheering.

  31. I am so HAPPY to read that Claire is doing great…Like I said Claire is a very strong little girl!!!! I will keep you in my prayers.

  32. Tiffany, I read this an thought of you…
    “The richest person is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least.”
    You are one of the most content people I know.
    🙂 Michelle

  33. Just wanted to say that you have a beautiful little girl and I will keep her and your family in my prayers.

  34. YEAH, Claire! So glad to hear of her great accomplishments… Still praying and following her journey! God is awesome! 🙂

  35. Claire and her family,
    I have been following Claire’s story from the begining and though we have never met, I have been praying for her and Gods healing powers to be with all of you. I had not even read the post but when I saw Claires smiling face it mad me cry. God is with her.

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