Kelli and I were thinking that we would wait until this weekend before giving a full report about Amos’ progress since our last post. And we probably will do a fuller review of this week’s activity on Saturday. But we couldn’t bear to wait sharing some wonderful news about Amos from today.
First of all, it is worth saying that Amos has continued to make great progress with his therapy, and is more and more himself as each day passes. His demeanor, while sometimes grumpy when he’s tired, is getting better and better, particularly as Amos is beginning to see his own progress and be excited about it. He is so resolutely determined to get up and going that his success in therapy brings such joy, both to us and especially to him. Thank the Lord for hearing our prayers!
Today Amos got to try a new trach attachment. The trach, if you don’t already know, is an artificial windpipe that is in Amos’ throat, which was necessary because his cough and gag reflex isn’t strong enough to clear his airway. Additionally, Amos’ vocal chords are not moving yet, although they are partially open. The trach has attachments for different things, the most common one being his “artificial nose,” a green, barrel-like thing that keeps his airway humidified. But today he tried a new attachment (much more discreet) that allows him to inhale, but forces air up his throat when he exhales. It is meant to help with speech.
Well, Amos put it on and did not speak. He has a long way to go before that. However, he was able to begin to articulate some noises. Mouth movement is one more obstacle he has to clear, but even so he was able to do some basic “muh” and “bah” kinds of noises. He also managed a fairly clear “uh huh” when asked about wanting to draw with some markers. The most wonderful part, though, was when Amos cried. Recently his crying has sounded like very angry sighs, since his air just comes out his trach opening. But with the vocal attachment on, when Amos got upset and cried, I could hear him. And it was loud. So loud, that Amos heard himself, and immediately stopped crying, broke out into a big smile, and then laughed! He laughed just a small, short laugh, but it was definitely a laugh. After that happened, Amos was proud as a peacock and broke into this smile. It is the most Amos-like smile I have seen yet.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter, And our tongue with joyful shouting; Then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” The LORD has done great things for us; We are glad. (Ps. 126:2-3)
Will, Kelli, Amos, and Luke