Here's the deal

On February 4, 2012 Wesley was in a skiing accident and broke his neck. He is 16 years old and is planning to graduate high school this year. There are not many 16 year old boys as amazing as he is. He is kind, thoughtful, and good date on his progress. I will make sure Wesley gets to read every comment this blog receives. My siblings and I will try to keep this blog current.

Friday, June 22, 2012


OK, ok, ok… I know, I haven’t had A RANDOM RYANNE Moment for a while so I should probably have one… except, it’s not really random.

Ben and I are safe and sound in Guatemala. It is beautiful here. Everyone is so kind and so welcoming. If any of you are ever wandering around Guatemala, give us a call. Spanish is coming very slowly.

Mi aerodeslizador esta lleno de anguilas.

My hovercraft is full of eels.

Onto more interesting news… Wesley.

Here is an update from my dad:

June 21, 2012

I guess it is about time for an update. We have fallen into some sort of routine, but I would not call it normal by any means. We usually start the day at the University of Utah Medical Center for Occupational Therapy and then we head to Neuroworx for several hours of therapy. We spend approximately three hours a day traveling on the freeways of Salt Lake during rush hour… we think it is punishment for always criticizing Utah’s freeway system.  For years we have tried avoiding Salt Lake during rush hour. We pass the time listening to books on tope and sometimes Wes works out with weights while we are driving.

Twice a week we go to Liberty Park in SLC late in the afternoon or early evening so Wes can do hand cycling. Often he is so tired from the days workouts that he does not have much energy for hand cycling, but he still does his best. He usually does the hand cycle for 1 1/2 miles before he is wiped out. He could do much farther on the hand cycle if he were not working so hard during the day.

Once or twice a week, in the evening, we try to take him to a pool where he can try and swim on his back, we do this outside of therapy. Occupation therapy is about an hour, 3 or 4 times a week. Nikki works with him on a variety of activities which include an electronic stimulation arm cycle with electrodes connected to three different places on his arms. We are trying to build up his upper body muscles and especially his triceps. This week he also was put in a manual wheelchair where Nikki had him pushing with his arms up hill and then doing a form of crunches from his wheelchair. He also spends a fair amount of time on a table rolling, stretching, and doing various exercises. We love Nikki and she really pushes Wes and brings out the extra effort from him.

Nueroworx is where Wes does his Physical Therapy and we are there everyday. Twice a week he spends time in the pool with a therapist. He spends time on a mat stretching and strengthening muscles. There is all types of equipment that they work him out with including an electronic stimulation bike with his own muscles being stimulated. Wes works with a team of therapists who all push and encourage him to work harder. His attitude is wonderful even when we have to get a very early start which means leaving the house by 7:00AM. He really is doing very well.

This last weekend we drove home to Montana. Our daughter, Brittnee, and her children and our son, Trevor, drove up from Arizona to spend a week. We really enjoyed being with them at our home. About the time we think we might get rested it’s time to leave again. At the end of the weekend we drove back to Utah for therapy. Wes travels very well and usually keeps occupied during the drive with his ipad.

Sunday, July 1st is a Fast Sunday. We typically fast one day a month and it is usually on the first Sunday of each month. If you do not have a purpose for your fast for July we would ask that you and your families fast for Wes. We will be giving him a blessing Sunday evening on July 1st. We would ask in your personal and family prayers that you be specific. We will be fasting that Wesley’s spinal cord will be completely healed and that the signals from the brain will pass through the spinal cord, stimulating the nerves and allow all the muscles to work. We are asking Heavenly Father to restore, repair, and heal Wesley’s spinal cord and allow everything to begin working. With the spinal cord healed it will be up to Wes to work hard so that everything begins working properly. Those who are attending the temple this week please put Wesley’s name in the temple again.

I promise to do better about taking pictures and videos. Karen is doing well; she has been struggling with a kidney stone over the past month. Things should start getting better, she has a doctor’s appointment scheduled.  Brittnee and her kids have been at the cabin the last few days and we have Ashley and her kids with us in Utah for a few days, it has been nice to have all the kids around. Thanks for you all your prayers and well wishes. We are doing just fine.

Friday, June 15, 2012


I know, it’s been a while since a real update. My parents and Wes have been extremely busy. It sounds like Wes is doing really well. Here is the update from my Dad:

June 13, 2012
I cannot believe how fast time flies when we’re having fun. Our days are
filled up and very busy. It is not unusual for us to leave the house at 7
or 8am  and get home around 5:00 pm and sometimes later.  Besides all of
his regular therapy Utah has an organization called TRAILS (Therapeutic
Recreation and Independent Lifestyles) which is sponsored by the
University of Utah Medical Center. Through his organization twice a week
in the late afternoon or evening Wes does hand cycling at Liberty Park in
Salt Lake. This month they have a swimming pool activity once a week that
Karen and I go with him to and help him swim. He usually has two pool
sessions a week as part of his physical therapy so this is an extra pool
activity that we can have fun with him in the water. Wes is always tired
in the evening because he is working so hard. He still has sensation and
feeling in his entire body but still no muscle control from his waste on
down to his legs.  His fingers move very little but with this little
movement he is learning to adapt. We have had problems with his powered
wheelchair which has caused us some challenging moments. When you are tied
to a wheel chair for all of your mobility is can be very frustrating when
there is a problem with the chair. Wes’s wheel chair weighs about 375
pounds and that is not with him in it. I complained to the manufactures
Rep that if this chair was a tire it would be coming through your front
window. They picked it up and made some repairs which only lasted a day
and then it started malfunctioning again. I told them Wes wanted a new
chair and that I was not taking any chances with this chair malfunctioning
again. We should receive the new chair in the next day or two.
Wes has progressed in strength so that his is now ready for a manual
wheelchair. We have been demoing one for the last few days and he
absolutely loves it. It is much smaller and it allows him to work his arms
and shoulders all the time. Today we will order his manual chair. It will
have two sets of wheels. One set is called manual assist which allows him
to push 25% and the special powered chairs push 75%. This allows him to
not over stress his muscles at first and build his muscles slowly and
strongly.  As he get stronger and stronger we will switch the wheels so
that he is pushing 100% of the time. With the special powered wheels his
new chair will weigh about 80 pounds. When we take the power wheels off
and put the 100% Wesley powered chairs it weighs about 23 pounds. We see
this as being a huge step in his progress.
Over the last couple of weeks Wes has made great progress. He is now
feeding himself about 100% of the time. The only exception is when we are
driving between therapies and we order him something he cannot eat with
his hands. He can pick up his own cup and drink on his own. He also does
about 80% of the working putting on his own shirt each morning.  He
continues to amaze his Occupational Therapist in doing new things each
time he meets with her.  Physical therapy is working hard to continue to
build his strength.
Last week was a great highlight. We left last Wednesday night after all
the therapies and drove to home in Montana. We spent the night  at home
and then picked up two of his close friends and drove to Great Falls,
Montana where we attended a 3 day, 5 stake youth conference with over 500
kids from the ages of 14 – 18. There were many different activities and
service projects. Our groups service project was to pick up trash at the
fairgrounds. Wes pushed himself around in the demo power assist chair for
3 hours pointing out small pieces of trash for those in our group to pick
up. There were two dances and Wes participated in those. He ate his own
meals and the priests from our ward took great care of him and stayed
right with him. At meal time they would get in line with him and carry his
tray. They were wonderful and he had a great time being with his friends.
We came home from the youth conference Saturday afternoon. Great Falls is
only about 2 ½ hours from Three Forks so we were home by 3:30. My brother
in-law Cliff and I got in a horseback ride which was spectacular and later
that evening Wes had a bunch of friends from our ward come over and they
played board games and hung out. It was as close to a normal Saturday
night activity that Wes would participate in as we could get before his
accident. It was so nice to have a house full of teenagers in the house,
we are so used to these types of activities and have missed them.
Sunday we were able to attend church in our ward and it was nice to be
home with family and friends.  It rained on Sunday so we sat at home and
enjoyed a nice fire in the fireplace and just relaxed and played some
games. My sister Tondi and some of her family came up and stayed at the
house and enjoyed the horses. She also brought 3 small grandkids with them
and we all had fun interacting with them.
Monday afternoon we loaded up and headed back to Utah, but not until
Cliff, Myself and our great friend Lance got another fine horseback ride
We continue to pray that Wes’s spinal cord will heal completely so the
nerves will trigger the muscles to move. We ask that in your family
prayers you will also pray for these things as well. Please include him in
the fast Sundays the first Sunday of each month. We know that great things
will continue to happen for Wes, we all need to exercise our faith. Great
Miracles will continue to happen.  We really appreciate everything,
everyone is doing. Thank You so much for you prayers.  Wes is having great
experiences at Neuroworx and UofU Medical Center.


Ryanne again…

So… I have been looking through old pictures that make me laugh.

I think all the boys in my family will hate me for putting this up, but it is worth it.


More pictures to come soon of Wes in a manual wheelchair and of his progress.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Wes is doing well!

I know. I know. It has been a while. Last week was a busy week for Wes as well as for Ben and me. Ben and I found out on Monday that we were moving to Guatemala on Wednesday morning. We made it safe and sound. It is a beautiful country and, so far, we love it. We have already had a few adventures… but that is not for this blog.

My dad is suppose to send me an update with pictures and video any day now. Wesley went to a youth conference in Great Falls last week (Thursday through Saturday). When he got home Saturday night, he had friends over to play games. My parents said that they haven’t seen Wesley laugh so hard since the accident. His friends are really good for him.

That is all I have for now. I was going through old pictures today and I found this gem of the boys in our family. This picture was taken in 2008 and I love it. 

Left to right: Nate’s Bro-in-law (Mike) Ben, Nate, Wes, Trev, DallIMG_1112

Friday, June 1, 2012

Wes may 30 pool workout #2

Wes May 30 pool workout #1

Wes May 29 Walking Frame #3

Wes May 29 Walking Frame

Wes May 29 walking harness

This is Wes's first time in the walking harness. It is very labor intensive. It takes 4 people to operate it. he does this once a week.

Wes May 30 working Arms and Legs

Wes started out using this for 15 min. It works his arms and his arms move his legs for now. The hope is eventually the legs will kick in and start working

May 29, 2012

Wes is working hard in rehab and he really enjoys the therapists that are working with him. They are amazing and are able to push him and help him improve. His occupational therapist is really working on his triceps and they are responding. We believe that with a lot of hard work he will have reasonable use of his triceps. His arms and shoulders are getting much stronger and continue to improve.

Wesley walking

Wes may 29 Walking #1

Wes may 29 Walking #2

Wes May 29 walking #3

Wes May 30 Swim

Today he held a broom stick as if it were a kayak paddle and did very well rotating the paddle. At least once a week he gets in the water and works with resistance training, it will be interesting to see how he progresses in the water and with his swimming ability and use of upper body. It is very interesting to go with Wes to therapy because each time we are there we discover something new that he can do. He is getting better about eating on his own; some types of food he still struggles with but he is getting better. Some mornings we have to get up very early to make our therapy appointments and he is making improvements getting his body to adjust to get up so early. Part of the problem is that when he has been laying down for a long time his blood pressure can drop when he sits up, causing him to pass out. This has not yet happened because we get him up slowly. Wes is alo adjusting well to traveling long distances. We were in Billings, Montana this last weekend to be with a wonderful family that was going through the temple for the first time. Wes hung out with a very good friend while Karen and I, and many from our ward, were in the temple.

Sunday we were home in Montana and it was interesting day. Wesley’s wheelchair was having electronics problems and he was in bed much of the day, he was not feeling great anyway.Karen was suffering with a kidney stone she was trying to pass and in a great deal of pain. I spent the day taking care of both of them. I was sure tired by Sunday night. It was nice to get both of them to bed so I could pass out.

Good news, Monday we got the chair fixed so we could get Wes out of bed and Karen was feeling somewhat better. Wes’s wheelchair is more important than just transportation, it tilts and reclines in different directions to take the pressure off of Wesley’s behind so he does not get pressure sores. When Wes is in bed we continue to roll him from side to side every 3 or 4 hours so his skin does not break down which will start bed sores. So far, we have done really well combating bed sores.

Wes’s attitude continues to be very good. He is trying very hard and is not easily frustrated. We are very blessed to have him. We are staying with my sister, Tondi, and her husband, Cliff, in Utah and they are very easy to live with. Wes really enjoys being around Cliff. We continue to learn patience and are not sure how long we will be here, as long as Wes continues to improve we will be here.

Please keep Wesley’s name in the temple and keep praying for him. It is working and we count our blessings daily. Thank you for all your love and support.