Patrick's Progress

 

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Everyday you can see more improvement in Patrick

 

 


These updates are written by Jennifer (Patrick's Mom). Occassionally Patrick will write something too. Thanks for your support!

 

August 2012 Patrick heads off to the University of Southern Californis School of Cinematic Arts. So proud of how independent he has become. This would not have been possible without Project Walk and the trainers there!

June 12th 2012 Patrick WALKS at his high school graduation! Here is the full story on the Today Show. http://www.today.com/video/today/47960787#47960787

 

March 28,2012 It has been a busy year. Progress continues to be steady. Patrick is graduating from high school on June 12, 2012 and plans to try to walk at his graduation. I was talking to him the other day and he said "I'm actually pretty nervous. There's going to be a lot of pressure." I told him the one sure way he won't walk across the stage is if he didn't try. He's 100% dedicated to his recovery and he told me he wouldn't let the fear of failure keep him from attempting to walk at graduation. So proud of him.

He's still driving and waiting patiently to hear from colleges. Who knows maybe the mailman will bring the big envelope today with acceptance to his dream school of USC School of Cinematic Arts.

February 5, 2011

Hey it's Patrck on this one. My workouts at Project Walk have been unbelievable the past few weeks! My core and arms are getting noticably stronger and my legs are getting straighter every day. Mom has also been letting me drive on my own more. The van is pretty tempermental so it's only been to school and back but it's still cool. Kona thinks I'm a pretty good driver :)

January 12, 2011

E! Entertainment special airs tonight! So many people have helped us along the way and been so supportive of Patrick's recovery. Thank you!!! You'll be able to see in the show just how far Patrick's recovery is going.

January 10, 2011

I started my final semester of Nursing school today. I'll graduate in May with my bachelors degree. I had to hire a caregiver for Patrick to help two days a week and so far so good. Patrick and Samantha have been with me every step of the way through nursing school! I'm starting an internship at Children's hospital Friday. It was the nurses at Childrens that truly saved Patrick's life and we are forever grateful for them!

December 27, 2010

Patrick got his driver's license today! He's still not quite ready to drive independently but he's almost there. The ramp on our van is currently broken so he'd be either trapped in or trapped out of the van.

October 4, 2010

Something we've been doing the last few weeks is getting up earlier each morning around 4am and getting Patrick dressed and in the stander every single morning. We have always tried to be good about standing but life gets busy and all of the sudden a couple days go by and he hasn't gotten in the stander. We are determined to do it every single morning and hopefully most evenings too.

August 7, 2010

AWESOME DAY!! Patrick surfed in the US Open of Surfing in Hungtington Beach. So much fun to watch and be a part of.

June 20-26

Hey it's Patrick writing this one: I went to camp this week and it was incredible! Ability First camp that is held every year at Chico State University. It really gave me an opportunity to become more independent. I still had two nurses on staff that helped me take a shower and get dressed but other than that I was on my own. The volunteers at this camp were so much fun.

May 27, 2010

Patrick was attacked by 1st graders who wouldn't stay on their "rug spots". He spoke to the class and the students kept getting closer and closer until they had him pinned in the corner. It was hilarious.

May 7, 2010

Patrick has regained so much function at Project Walk that he is going to be evaluated for driving by a local hospital.

April 19, 2010

Our family had the opportunity to speak at Point Loma Nazarene University chapel for their "Faith Stories". It was an incredible experience. God has worked so many miracles in our lives. Patrick put together a video with a history of his injury and recovery so far. He ended the video with Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

April 5, 2010

Today at Project Walk Patrick stood for 10 seconds unassisted! Patrick and his trainer Jason make an amazing team. We are so grateful for everyone at Project Walk!

March 21, 2010

Patrick visited 13 year old Spencer today at Children's hospital. Spencer recently sustained a spinal cord injury and his family reached out to Patrick. I'm not sure who was laughing more during the visit....Patrick or Spencer. It was wonderful to see the loving and supportive family surrounding Spencer. Patrick and Spencer made plans to go surfing when Spencer gets out of the hospital. We'll keep you posted on his recovery too!

March 5, 2010

We went to Venice Beach today to take part in the first ever "They will Skate Again" hosted by Life Rolls On. It was an awesome day and event. We all had a blast. Patrick's putting together a video so I'll try to post it when he's finished.http://www.liferollson.org

February 24, 2010

Patrick spoke at an elementary school today in Carlsbad. He spoke about disability awareness and safety. He had Kona (his service dog) with him and Patrick had a couple of volunteers come on stage so he could show them how Kona helps him by picking things up for him or taking off his shoes. I think Kona got a little excited by all the clapping and cheering and when Patrick accidentally dropped his speech Kona decided to rip it up and try to swallow a piece of it. It was pretty hysterical!

January 5, 2010

Patrick went to the spinal defects clinic over at Rady Children's hospital and had ultrasounds, x rays and numerous other tests. Everything looks great and he's very healthy!

 

November 1, 2009

Over the summer a friend of mine named Judy contacted me about the possibility of Patrick surfing with her dog Ricochet (Surf Dog Ricochet). How could I have possibly known at the time what an unbelievable, rewarding and joyful experience it was going to be getting to know Ricki and Judy. They have made the most tremondous difference in our lives along with help from so many volunteers like Robbie, Rosana and their son Ayden from Happy Barrels Surf School in Encinitas. Through their efforts Patrick's therapy will be covered until he is out of high school. It was through their awareness and support and from our good friend Dee that a sponsor stepped forward and agreed to fund Patrick's therapy. Praise God for this priceless gift! We will continue to raise money to cover adaptations to a vehicle for Patrick and to fund the cost of caregivers. Thank you to everyone who has always supported Patrick and cheered him on! Please watch this amazing video that Judy put together about Ricochet and what she did for Patrick and for others. It has over 2 million views....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGODurRfVv4#

 

 

September 22, 2009

 

I like to think that I have a lot of hope and faith in Patrick's recovery but I have to be honest and say I was shocked today. Patrick told me last night to charge my camera and bring it to therapy today. Then at therapy he WALKED. He had only one trainer and a walker and he walked about 25 feet. Four months ago it took several trainers and a walker and then today was just incredible. You're doing it Patrick! Here's the video I took http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BXu0oCNFws
 

 

August 31, 2009

 

Patrick received a service dog named Kona from Paws'itive Teams http://www.pawsteams.org/ today. They have been training together over the last 5 months and today was move in day. Kona will go to school with Patrick in the September and will help with retrieve items he's dropped. One of the big things he's helping with is taking Patrick's shoes off at night. Patrick can transfer himself into bed independently but he needs his shoes on to do it. Now he transfers into bed, swings his legs up onto the bed and then says "shoe" and Kona takes them off for him. They are a great team!

 

 

July and August 2009

 

Patrick spent his summer training at Project Walk and surfing. He was sponsored by the Ocean's Healing Group to go to Costa Rica and surf and he is now an official Team Rider for "...Lost Surfboards." Here is his ...Lost Team Rider Page http://www.lostenterprises.com/prod/riderProfile.php?rID=540

 

 

June 10, 2009

 

Over the past few months Patrick has had some tremendous progress. He has a lot more control over his hip flexors and can now pull himself into a kneeling position and is gaining more balance in his standing. His triceps continue to improve which help him to push his wheelchair independently and assists him with transfers. He is working harder than ever and the progress he is making appears limitless.

 

He is getting ready to complete his Freshman year at Scripps Ranch High School and he had a phenomenal year. He was asked to join his high school surf club and spent many weekends in the ocean with the guys and girls on the team. We are so appreciative of Mr. Tim Leonard and all the students who made Patrick feel so welcome into the club and provided a "team" to help Patrick surf. Last weekend Patrick was filmed for an upcoming episode of "Sunday Night" an Australian TV Show similar to our "60 Minutes." We'll be sure to post a video of that when it airs. They followed him for two days at his home, school, Project Walk and surfing. Other exciting news: ...Lost Surfboards built Patrick a custom surfboard and Patrick was given a spot to surf in the US Open of Surfing in Huntington on July 26 in the expression session on behalf of Life Rolls On. He is also being sponsored to travel to Costa Rica to surf this summer by the Oceans Healing group founded by Christian Bailey and Frank Bauer.

 

We had a little bit of a setback on June 4th. Patrick lost feeling in his left leg and has been diagnosed with cutaneous nerve palsy. The doctors aren't sure what caused it but it is probably due to some damage to a nerve in the L4 region. We are praying that he will regain the feeling but are also thankful that it did not affect the movement in that leg. The doctors have told us that it may take a few months to recover.

 

 

March 20, 2009

 

Two weeks ago Patrick did a filming for the Today Show. Jenna Wolfe and Josh Weiner from the Today Show flew to San Diego and did a story on his adaptive surfing and his recovery at Project Walk. We got a call today from Josh Weiner and he said the senior producer liked the segment so much that he has invited Patrick to fly to New York and be on the show live. The airdate is scheduled for March 25, 2009 around 8:30 am. What a blessing this is and we will be sure to take pictures and send another update

 

 

March 1, 2009

 

Patrick continues to improve and get stronger. He loves the water and has started going to the pool at least once a week and swimming laps. He uses swim paddles to help keep his hands open and he swims on his back. I used to think that Patrick would always need someone right there with him holding onto him in the water and he continues to surprise and amaze me. He has worked so hard to become more independent in the water. I'm still there in the same swim lane with him but he's swimming independently now.
 

 

January 12, 2009


Over the Holiday break Patrick was sponsored to travel to Shaka Surf Camp in Costa Rica where he filmed a documentary on adaptive surfing. Please stay tuned for updates on the film. He had an incredible experience over there and would love to thank Frank Bauer and Christiian Bailey plus all the volunteers that helped make this a trip of a lifetime!! We have amazing progress to report too: Today Patrick started moving 3 fingers on his right hand. He has always had use of his left hand but was unable to move any fingers on his right hand. I love how he told me too it was very nonchalant and he said "Hey mom check out what I can do now."



December 12, 2008


Patrick began working out on the Functional Electrical Stimulation bike at Project Walk. He spends 30 minutes on his arms and 30 minutes on his legs. He does this after working out for two hours....sometimes I don't know where he gets his strength from. He says he can already tell his muscles are responding well. He's able to transfer himself from his chair to bed or chair to couch almost 100% independently now without a transfer board and was so excited when he first realized he could he transferred a dozen times in one day just to see if he could do it. One more update...today on the way to Project Walk Patrick opened a water bottle for the first time independently. I know this may seem kind of small but for us we are so excited even over the things that may seem small.



November 1, 2008


Patrick walked in the 2008 Steps to Recovery on Nov. 1. He did incredibly well, in fact it was the best walking I've seen so far. He was able to walk the length of the room with the help of his trainers and a walker. Thank you to everyone who came to cheer him on.



September 23, 2008


Patrick started high school in September and loves it. He had a great summer and spent a lot of time at the beach and in the ocean surfing on his adaptive surfboard. He took a week off from his therapy to go to a wheelchair sports camp and a boy scout camp. Our first annual "Help Patrick Walk" Texas Hold'em tournament was successful and a lot of fun. We will definitely do another poker tournament next summer. His therapy at Project Walk is challenging as always but he loves it. He's been walking a lot on the Robomedica and he's getting ready for the 2008 Steps to Recovery at Project Walk on November 1st where he is planning on walking across the room with the help of his trainers and a walker. Thank you for all of your support and come cheer him on at the Steps to Recovery!



July 1, 2008


Patrick's ultimate goal is to one day walk. In the meantime his immediate aspiration is independence. Imagine not being able to get out of bed in the morning, get yourself dressed or even go to the bathroom without assistance. For Patrick this is his reality. Through his hard work, today he was able to transfer himself into bed independently and was even able to swing his legs so that he was lying in bed. We are ecstatic over this huge achievement. Congratulations Patrick! It is these small steps towards independence that keep Patrick and all of us motivated. Dana Reeve, Christopher Reeve's wife once said, "The recovery is a marathon and not a sprint."



May 28, 2008


Patrick walked on a new piece of equipment today at Project Walk called the Robomedica and was able to walk for about 8 minutes with weights on his ankles. On his second session on the Robomedica he walked at a pace of 3.0 miles per hour. Very impressive! He continues to regain more function and movement all the time.



March 20, 2008


Patrick suffered a tear in his knee joint capsule in February so he has spent some time recovering but he is back to full strength and is still working to see if he can walk at his 8th grade graduation. We will keep you posted and thank you to everyone for your support.



February 6, 2008


Patrick walked for 20 minutes on the treadmill. His weight was supported by a harness but he initiated every step on his own. He continues to work on supporting his own weight but for now just being able to initiate the steps is a huge milestone. This was the longest time he has ever walked!

 

 

December 20, 2007


What a spectacular year! Thank you to everyone who has supported Patrick and helped him towards reaching his goals. This past week Patrick has shown so much progress. Not only is he regaining movement in his legs but his arms continue to become stronger and stronger. On Monday Patrick was able to push himself up the ramp to our home and over the threshold to the front door for the first time ever. While that may seem like a small achievement the smile on his face was priceless. We are looking forward to the joy and recovery that 2008 promises to bring!



October 16, 2007


Last Saturday Patrick participated in the 2007 Steps to Recovery at Project Walk. Click here to watch a video of his incredible progress. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbj9gy6h9w8. Patrick has been seeing a stretching specialist once a week who is trying to help lengthen his hamstrings. Once Patrick is able to lengthen them and strengthen his quad muscles his trainers hope he'll be able to support his own weight.



August 23, 2007

 

Today Patrick did something I didn't know he could do. He crawled from one end of the room at Project Walk to the other. It took quite a bit of time but he pushed through and was able to make it. His crawling is GI Joe style and he wasn't able to get his hips off the ground...yet.



August 8, 2007

 

On August 6th, 2007 Patrick took his first steps since his surgery in March of 2007. He was able to take a few steps but tired easily. He tried again today and did much better and was able to briefly support his own weight and follow through with his steps. A huge benefit that we've seen since his surgery is that his steps are now heel to toe rather than dragging his toe.



June 18 2007

 

Patrick's casts are off and he's working hard to rebuild his strength. His legs look great and every day he gets stronger and stronger. He rode the stationary bike today for around 20 minutes and he wants to beat his pre-surgery record of 46 min 18 seconds within the next month. Patrick is standing every day in a standing frame and wearing knee extension splints on his legs at night to help keep his legs straight. School is done tomorrow for the summer and he's very excited to say the least. He's looking forward to spending more time at the gym and taking some time off for wheelchair sports camp.



March 28, 2007

 

Patrick's surgery went well. He went in to the hospital to have his hamstrings lengthened so that he can stand up straight and hopefully start walking independently one day. The surgery went okay...the doctors were not able to completely straighten the hamstrings so we're going to go back in on April 9th and they're going to cut these casts off and try again (non-surgically) and then recast him. He feels okay and is glad to be home. We're still glad that we went ahead with the surgery because he had a lot of scar tissue from a previous surgery that the doctors were able to remove and even though it wasn't the outcome we wanted we're not giving up hope.



 

January 2, 2007


It's hard to believe that we are coming up on the two year mark at Project Walk. What an incredible 2 years it has been. Today we went to Children's Hospital to see a team of doctors regarding the contractures in Patrick's knees that keep him from standing completely straight. After speaking to several specialists, Patrick's trainers and physical therapists we have decided to do a hamstring lengthening surgery on Patrick's legs. This surgery will involve cutting the capsule the surrounds the hamstrings and then pulling the muscles straight followed by 6 weeks of casting. We have spent the last two years aggressively trying to get his legs straight without surgery and they are definitely a lot straighter but he is still unable to lock his knees out. This surgery should help Patrick get out of the crouched position. Our biggest concern is that Patrick will lose some of the amazing movement that he has worked so hard to regain. After expressing this concern to the doctors they offered to adjust his casts so that he can stand in them and still go to Project Walk to work on his upper-body and standing. The doctor's were amazed at how strong Patrick was and one even exclaimed "Wow, I had no idea how strong your legs were and I'm actually very surprised at the movement." We can never hear that enough. We have scheduled the surgery for March 26, 2007. We will keep you posted on his progress.

 

 

December 13, 2006

 

I asked Patrick what his goals were and he said “I just want to keep working hard and let the recovery happen. I would love to walk at my 8th grade graduation in a year and a half.”

 

 

November 22, 2006

 

Channel 8 KFMB came out to Project Walk today to do an update on Patrick’s progress and were thrilled with how far he had come since they last interviewed him in May 2005. They asked Patrick what his goal was and again he said “I just want to go to college without my Mom.” The reporter also asked Patrick what he was thankful for and his reply, “my recovery.” Thank you KFMB for your support!

 

 

November 10, 2006

 

At the 2006 Steps to Recovery held at Project Walk Patrick took 30 steps with the help of his trainers and a walker. I could hear him talking to himself saying “I’m almost there” the entire time. His determination and dedication to his recovery is amazing. He still has a long way to go because of contractures that have formed in his knees making him unable to straighten his legs all the way. He will continue working daily on stretching his legs out.    [ click here to watch Patrick taking his walk]

 

 

August 14, 2006

 

Patrick took a few steps!! Patrick was able to initiate a couple of steps using a rolling walker and with assistance from Project Walk trainers John, Dave, & Brett. He still has a long way to go but he is definitely on the right track. Patrick has known all along his rehabilitation would be a marathon and not a sprint and he’s in it for the long haul. Way to go Patrick!

 

July 7, 2006

 

Patrick’s goal for the summer was to ride the stationary bike for 45 minutes. He actually had a bet with one of the trainers at Project Walk so he spent the first few weeks of summer coming into workout an hour early or staying an hour late. Today on July 7, 2006 Patrick rode the bike for 46 minutes and 18 seconds and summer had just begun.

 

 

April 19, 2006

 

Shortly before Christmas Patrick’s hip flexors began working and he was able to peddle a stationary bike independently. He’s continued to do this and set “all time records” for himself. A few weeks ago the time to beat was 1 minute 43 seconds, then he got to 2 minutes 30 seconds. On Thursday March 30 he decided to try to beat 2 minutes 30 seconds. He not only beat his record he blew it off scale with an unbelievable ride of 22 minutes and 8 seconds. He stayed past closing time just to see how long he could go. He never ceases to amaze everyone around him including his sister Samantha who was jumping for joy.

 

 

February 4, 2006

 

What an incredible year 2005 has been. We have received so much support and encouragement and cannot thank everyone enough. Patrick's progress is unreal and in January 2006 he was able to ride a stationary bike independently. When we first started Project Walk a year ago it took four people to hold him on the bike; one person would bear hug him, two people on either foot and another to move his legs. Now barely a year later he's able to do it on his own.

 

 

December 12, 2005

 

Patrick continues to do amazing things at Project Walk. He continues to stand and is almost able to completely straighten his legs. He actually transferred into his chair from his bed completely by himself the other day. I couldn't help but cry.

 

 

October 18, 2005

 

Patrick stood up for the first time on Monday October 3, 2005! He used a bar to pull himself up and then was able to bend his knees and do squats. He continues to practice standing each time he goes to Project Walk. His hamstrings are extremely tight and spastic so he is unable to lock his knees out, but continues to work on this. He was so excited the first time he stood and just kept saying “I didn’t realize how tall I was.”

 

 

September 13, 2005

Since going to Project Walk Patrick has started doing things he never thought possible. For example the other day he was able to wiggle his toes ever so slightly. Patrick says he can feel himself getting stronger and I notice it constantly when he’s able to transfer himself more easily and he can push his chair without as much help. Another remarkable thing that has occurred is Patrick has now started sweating on his back and under his arms. This may not sound very impressive but when you think about the implications that go along with not being able to sweat such as overheating and constantly having to monitor your temperature you realize just how important it can be.

At a recent visit to the Spinal Defects Clinic at Children’s Hospital Patrick was evaluated and it was discovered that Patrick is now functioning at C6/C7 level on his left side. Patrick injury was as the C4/C5 level. To us this means he is recovering.

Last week Patrick started learning to balance on his knees using ski poles. It gave us a glimpse into the future when we hope to see him learning to stand using those very same poles.

 

 

 

 

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