Saturday, April 11, 2009

The results are in. . .

. . .and Evan's legs look AMAZING! Evan and I traveled to Philadelphia on Thursday and, after another x-ray to confirm that the bones had healed properly and completely, the casts came off on Friday morning! My jaw hit the floor as soon as the casts were off. I could not believe how good his legs looked. Not only were they rotated to face forward, but his left leg (that had been contracted at 50 degrees prior to surgery) was almost straight (he is now at 20 degrees on the left and 40 on the right (the right was previously at 60). AND, he can still floor sit (this had been a concern of mine prior to surgery since his legs are no longer able to rotate outward).

Before and After: The first picture was taken in March 2008 prior to Evan's bilateral clubbed foot repair, serial casting and bilateral femoral osteotomies. The second picture was taken on Friday (4/10/09). Amazing, no!? (PS- The mark on Evan's left leg is a smiley face, drawn by his doctor prior to his surgery. . .we both got a good chuckle out of seeing it smiling up at us when the casts came off.)

"Look Mommy! I can still sit!"

Once the casts were off, we began the process of adjusting his braces. Prior to surgery his braces were in need of some major overhauling, and I knew our orthotist was going to have a lot of work ahead of him. Once the braces were adjusted, on they went and we waited to ensure that no "angry red marks" appeared. Once we were confident that the fit was good, we packed up the car and headed for home. The adjustment period for "new" braces is always difficult and the ride home was tough, but with a little pain medication, Evan was able to get some rest and we arrived home around 1:30 am, ready for a nice, relaxing, Easter weekend.

He has amazed me once again with how quickly he has bounced back. His first item of business this morning was to get down on the floor and play with his cars (something he hasn't really been able to do with his casts on). He later showed us all just how resilient he is by standing (with support) and taking some steps (assisted). I just cannot believe how well he is doing. Look out world. . .I have a feeling that Evan is going to be on the move VERY soon!

Finally able to play with his cars again!

Enjoying the beautiful weather (and SO happy to be wearing pants and shoes again!)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Out early for good behavior. . .

I know, I know. I have done a terrible job updating. And I can't even blame it on being busy providing for of all of Evan's wants and needs because, quite frankly, this surgery and recovery has been, (dare I say it), a breeze! Going into this surgery I was a wreck. After the experience we had with his bilateral clubbed foot repair last April, I was sure that this experience would be no different. I had braced myself for the sleepless nights, possible complications and the unimaginable pain, but those things never came. This experience has been light night and day.

Less than a week following his surgery, Evan was already begging me to go back to school. Although I did not feel comfortable sending him back so soon (regardless of how good he seemed to be feeling, his body needed time to rest and recover), we did make a trip over to his school the Tuesday following his surgery to celebrate the birthday of one of his best friends. It was to be her birthday surprise. As I wheeled Evan down the hall towards his classroom I saw his teacher gathering all of the children at the door with the birthday girl in front, her eyes closed. We stopped in front of the door and the birthday girl opened her eyes to see Evan standing right in front of her. The smile on her face was priceless. I don't think we could've given her a better birthday present! All of the kids were so excited to see Evan. They swarmed around his chair and covered him in hugs and kisses. They ooohed and aaaahed over his cow casts and they told him about all of the things they had been doing while he was away. Once again, it was amazing to witness just how much he was loved and missed.

Evan with the birthday girl

While he was recovering he also had the chance to go to his first college basketball game, the NCAA play-in game between Morehead State and Alabama. He had such a great time! He also got to go out to lunch with his great-grandma and spent lots of quality time with his aunts, uncles and grandparents.

Last week, Evan, Joshua, Jacob and I made the 10-hour drive back to Philadelphia for Evan's first follow-up appointment. I wasn't really sure what to expect. He seemed to be doing so well and I hoped and prayed that would be reflected in his xrays. After the doctor had looked at his films he came in to give us the good news. Evan's bone were healing beautifully and. . .the best news of all. . . he wanted us to come back in two weeks for cast removal! He is getting out early for good behavior! I could not believe my ears! Prior to surgery we had been told to expect 6-8 weeks in the casts. He will be getting them off just 5.5 weeks following surgery!

So, we will be heading back to Philadelphia next week to get his casts off! From there he will go back into his braces (KAFO's) and we will really start working on getting him up on his feet. He still has a few surgeries to go (we will be doing external fixators to straighten his knees), but he will have to wait at least another 6-8 months before we are able to begin that process (I am sure that Evan will not object!).

King of the Castle (Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House)

Evan was able to go back to school this week and was so excited to see all of his teachers, bus drivers, therapists and friends. He even got to go on his first field trip (they walked down the street to Ms. Jackie's house to have their pictures taken with her GIANT (and I am not kidding when I say GIANT) easter basket and bunny) and got to participate in the preschool Easter egg hunt!

Needless to say, things have been going so smoothly and there is not a doubt in our minds that the hand of the Lord has been guiding this process. We are so grateful to each and every one of you who has remembered Evan and our family in your thoughts and prayers!

Fire Chief Evan (my hero in more ways than one!)