Firstly may we wish all Peas and Glovers everywhere a very Merry Christmas and healthy and peasful New Year.
The festive period coupled with the end of another year seems a good time to update you again on Olly’s progress and perhaps make mention of one or two things that haven’t yet been said.
This will be the fourth Christmas that Olly has missed out on. Last year he spent all of the holiday period in the High Dependency Unit at Epsom General Hospital, in the main due to his first episode of sepsis. Olly remains susceptible to infection but (touch wood) he has been very well for these last few months.
The medical team responsible for him have made some changes to his daily medication regime in particular the reduction and removal of an anti convulsant drug. Having removed that dosage completely, he now spends more of the day awake and far more engaged. As we have been asked so many times ‘do you think he recognizes you’, for the first time really with some certainty we would say ‘yes’.
The therapists around him are now often working together on new sessions and activities. Communication is a very vital thing to establish. Even simple binary responses would allow everyone around him to understand if he is too hot, feeling unwell or just wants to sit and watch some YouTube videos of himself and Kyle beatboxing in the back of a van! (There are quite a few of those!!). There are some well established ways of monitoring and observing communication, but during therapy sessions, Olly appears to be doing something quite different (contrary – some things don’t change!). Olly is giving opinion and answers to a number of questions. Whilst being supported, he does this by moving his head to the left for ‘yes’ and to the right for ‘no’. The therapists have created a unique method to observe his answers, to ensure that they are not using some good old optimism to encourage the right responses. We are mid assessment with a week to go. In other sessions, Olly has chosen colours and sounds and, using a specialist spelling board , on one occasion spelt his own name. There is a lot going on in that head of his!! We’ll update again on that.
The therapists are very forward thinking and are always seeking and trialling extra help and sessions. We are looking at establishing regular hydrotherapy and will be trialling some professional music therapy early in the new year. Both of these two activities will initially be supported by Peas & Glove. Water and music will be a strong combination and could really bring on his progress.
John, the cranio-osteopath, paid for by P&G, continues to see Olly on a regular basis.
Earlier this year, Mille married Rhiann at Greve de Lecq. As an amazing and selfless gesture, they donated all their wedding present money to Peas and Glove. That was well over a thousand pounds. We have also had another couple of sizeable donations and we will look to use all three amounts to support music and water in particular. I hope our kind benefactors approve. There are indeed some beautiful and generous souls in Jersey.
We are hoping 2018 will be a positive year. Under advice we have taken on the services of a case manager to look at everything about Olly’s current care and life and perhaps, more importantly, how we put together Olly’s return back to Island Life. Yes! that’s the plan. But as you can imagine, it’s complicated. But wouldn’t it be great to get him back to the beach, to smell the sea, feel the sand between his toes and be back with friends and family? By having a case manager, it has meant that many of the responsibilities we have been undertaking will be handed over, and we can get on with being his parents, family and friends again.
We are now three years into this journey. At times if feels longer. But we all keep going because he keeps going. He is unrecognisable from where he was when he last left Jersey in February 2015. He has put weight back on, his wounds have healed and his hair has certainly grown! Among many others, there is a message on his bedroom wall
‘The man at the top of the mountain didn’t fall there, keep climbing’.
Best wishes to one and all
Peas and Glove
Sent from my iPhone