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Riley working his legs on Monday. He did this exercise for about 10 minutes. I'm super proud at how well he is able to hold his head and shoulders up.
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A few seconds of Riley's workout on Monday. They have FES (Functional Electrical Stimulation) to work his muscles. Riley always talking!
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This past Sunday marked 4 years of Riley being home. There wasn’t a lot of time dwelling on it on Sunday but I do think about how far we have come since our first night at home starting this new normal life. We will never forget the show of love from so many standing in the streets of VA as we made our way home. 12’s home are still words that bring tears to my eyes. I am glad to say that we still just have the one controlled, slow drop to the floor that happened early on ...and Riley still enjoys saying mom dropped me. Lol We have figured things out again and again and yet still finding better ways of doing things. It is always an ongoing process. It always will be. There was nothing that could have prepared us for home better than just being home and getting life started again. We did have dinner at the house on Sunday with our friends Chris and Sherri, which although not planned was fitting since they showed up at rehab the morning we were getting released to help us load everything up and move Riley and I back home. Home, so thankful for home.

Last week was Spring break as far as classes go but not really a break for Riley. He worked hard at therapy and I had scheduled a couple of much needed appointments for him since he had the extra time so it was a busy week. Riley did spend time with friends who were home. The picture below is Riley standing straight up! A few minutes before he got all the way up they had the top strap off of him trying to get him to catch a ball. It was a little scary for him as he didn’t want to fall forward. No one was going to let that happen but imagine not having the ability to stop yourself from going forward, from not being able to use your arms to catch yourself and then not being able to get yourself straight again. The incentive to catch the ball was getting the strap put back on. It didn’t take Riley long and he did catch the ball. I didn’t get it on video but it was so good to see. I’m also glad Albert was there to see it. Thanks Albert for always stopping in and hanging with Riley during therapy. I know it won’t be long and he will stand all the way without the top strap.

Riley also got to finally meet the newest member of the Burge family (see picture below). Micah is 2 months old and so sweet. Riley was all smiles for the pic! It won’t be long and Micah will be sitting in Riley’s lap wanting to go for a ride. ❤️

A special thanks to our neighbor, Jack and Kay who left Riley a little snack box. It is so thoughtful of you to think of him. Loved your card! I hope we can visit soon.

Please continue to pray for Riley. Pray for continued strength and health. We are so blessed, God is good.

Karla

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I wanted to share the video below of Riley at REACT on Friday. I remember in the beginning of this journey how hard it was for him to just hold his head up on the mat. Seeing Riley now being able to hold his head but to have control of his shoulders and trying to get his arms to move forward is just amazing. Someday all of his body will move for him, because of him. Someday he will.

In December Ryan Shazier of the Pittsburgh Steelers was injured when making a tackle dur...ing a play resulting in a spinal cord injury. Riley’s friend Alex is a huge Steelers fan so Riley ordered him and Alex shirts that are being sold in support of Shazier. A portion of the proceeds from the shirts sold will go to the Christopher Reeve Foundation. The pictures below show Riley and Alex wearing the shirts. They are pretty awesome shirts, although not Pray for Riley shirt awesome but still awesome! 😉

We have the opportunity to meet so many people at REACT. I can say I have made some great friends there and I know Riley has as well. It is good to be able to talk to a mom who’s living this life or a wife, sister, brother or friend of someone living with an SCI. Their stories, their lives although different yet still the same. I am thankful for them, for the connections made, for the knowledge they all have and share. I am thankful for us. Recently, a young girl named Izzy started at REACT and her story will have you in tears, yet to watch her strength, her attitude and determination is pretty amazing. Izzy is 13 years old from Oklahoma. Last year she was in an accident that left her with a C6 spinal cord injury (Riley is C4). Izzy lost her brother and sister in the accident. Izzy and her dad stay in Dallas several days a week so Izzy can workout at REACT. Izzy has a Facebook page called Spreading and Sharing Love for Izzy Kitterman. Take a moment and like it so you can keep up with Izzy and her family. Prayers for her and her family.

Please continue to pray for Riley. Pray for strength and continued good health. Pray that the connections are made so Riley’s body below the injury will work for him. Pray for all those who live with an SCI and their families.

Karla
Isaiah 41:10

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