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, July 13, 2012


Well, well, well, it is time for an update. My dad sent this to me a few days ago but our internet here, in Guatemala, can be a little touchy.

July 9, 2012

Wes’s progress continues to go well. We had a nice quiet weekend and, even though Wes did not have therapy Saturday and Sunday, we still worked him hard. We have him sit on the tile floor and push himself so he slides on the floor. We also went to see The Avengers (Ry is jealous!) which he really enjoyed and Karen and I enjoyed it as well. There sure was a lot of shoot-em-up stuff going on. I did not find myself trying to fall asleep.

Today was another very busy therapy day and we added a new twist to the day. Wes has started a program where he is riding horses now. Today was his first day horseback riding. First, he was evaluated by an occupational therapist who was very pleasantly surprised at Wes’s abilities. She sat him on a barrel and he was able to balance very well. Then she said, “Ok, we are ready, let’s get him on a horse.” It was only a moment or two and he was sitting on the back of a horse. He said this was a little scary but he did well and was on the horse for about 30 minutes. Side note from Ry: I bet it was scary… imagine riding a horse and not being able to hold yourself up with your legs! I’m gonna try it… I’ll let you know how it goes. We occasionally took breaks so he could lean back a little. It is surprising how many muscles we use to balance ourselves, especially on the back of a horse that is moving and stopping. This form of therapy will also help strengthen his core muscles so that this is something he can continue to do. We hope to have him riding 3 to 4 times a week. The more he rides, the stronger he will get.

Balancing on the barrel like a pro!

Wes July 9 balance

Eeeeaaaasy there horse.

Wes July 9 horseback 1

Wesley, The Cowboy

Wes July 9 horseback

Wes July 9 horseback2

We continue to feel so blessed at the opportunity Wes has to be here at Neuroworxs and the University of Utah Medical Center. We feel he is getting the very best care possible and his therapy lasts several hours a day. Wes realy enjoys board games and has been playing chess with Uncle Cliff at least once or twice a day. Wes is usually the winner, and yesterday I decided I should play Wes a game of chess ad humble the boy. I have not played for a while and thought I should easily be able to beat my son. We had not played long before he took my queen and I was in trouble. I know I need to play him again soon but I am wondering if it is I that will end up being humbled.

We are grateful for all the friends that pass through Utah and take the time to come and see us. They all remark about how well Wes is doing and they cannot believe the changes that are occurring. His manual wheelchair is a tremendous blessing and he seems to get stronger every day because of the work he has to do to get himself around. We continue to see miracles happening every day and we are so grateful for the prayers offered for his recovery. Thank You All! We have an exciting couple of weeks coming and look forward to telling you of our adventures.

Ok, I need some help. I’ve been trying to get Wes and my dad to make a video of Wesley’s skills on the manual wheelchair. He can do a wheelie…. from what I’ve heard. Comment on the blog that you’d like to see it and maybe they will be more motivated than just me asking for it. It’s going to be AWESOME.

By the way, enjoy the horse videos below!


July 9 2012

July 9 2012 Wes and Horse

July 9 2012 Wes horseback 2

Wes July 9 2012 Horseback 1

Wes July 9 2012 Balance

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A few pictures and an update

I have been anxiously waiting to see a picture of Wes in his manual wheelchair… and for another update. My dad recently e-mailed me both. I am sure you are anxious to see the pictures and read about Wesley’s progress so I won’t waste anytime writing about myself…

July 1, 2012

It is hard to believe that it is July already. It is almost 5 months since Wesley’s accident and it is interesting to reflect on all that has happened in five months and how much we have learned. It is amazing to me that after a spinal cord injury how quickly your body loses most of its conditioning and strength in just a matter of a few weeks because you lose control over your muscles. During therapy, they very slowly start to come back. It would be nice if it came back as quickly as you lost it. Wesley has an amazing spirit and despite all that happens he continues to remain happy and cheerful. He is so patient and easy going.

Last Sunday Wes was asked to help bless the sacrament by the priests’ quorum in my sister’s ward. We were a bit apprehensive because that meant Wes would have to hand the bread trays and water trays to the Aaronic Priesthood holders. He had a little trouble breaking the bread but had no trouble handling the trays. He also did an excellent job as voice for the bread. Karen and I were both very grateful and emotional as we watched him help with the sacrament, something that he has always loved to do. At the time we were not aware of how many people in the congregation were watching Wes, and that this process added another dimension of spirituality during the sacrament. We had several people come up and tell us what a special sacrament it was. Karen and I thought we were the only ones to notice what was going on.

It continues to be a great blessing to stay with my sister and her husband in American Fork, UT. They have made us feel so welcome and they are so willing to help. Wes really enjoys playing the board games and especially chess with his uncle, Cliff. It is fun to see them challenge each other.

Our days continue to be filled with therapy and hard work. Wes never complains about the hard work and all the driving we do, which often gets us out of the house early. Usually our evenings are filled with extra physical activities and when it comes time to go to bed we are all usually exhausted. It is sometimes easy to overlook the great process that Wes is making because we are so close to it. This afternoon I pulled out some hand/finger exercises that Wes worked on heavily a couple of months ago and he struggled with them back then. This afternoon he did the exercises with each hand and it was not even a challenge. It was a nice reminder about how much progress he is really making.

A young man from the ward came over and played XBOX360 with Wes last week and they had a lot of fun. Wes has figured out ways to play the game and make it work. This last week our friend, Lance Sieler, from home had a some work to do in Salt Lake and he came over and we had a couple of really nice visits.

We gave Wes a blessing this afternoon and we really appreciate everyone who fasted and prayed for Wes. Sometimes these seem like little things but they are actually helping miracles continue to occur to help Wes. We love you all and appreciate those prayers.

Wes manuel Chair Demo June 12

What a stud!

While Wes is waiting for his new wheelchair to come he is in a manual chair which means it is powered by him. Every day he gets a little stronger because of it. For those of you who do not know, Wes was first given a power chair, which almost from day one we had problems with. We allowed the company to work on the chair twice and then demanded that they send a new chair. Finally, the new chair arrived and the next day we started having problems with it. When they told us we would have to wait four days for them to come and fix it, I told them to take their chair back because we did not want to do business with a company that had such a poor service record. For a while, Wes was without a chair. We have ordered a manual chair with wheel assist which will make things much better. For now, it is powered only by him. His new chair will come in about five weeks. With a manual chair Wes will not be held hostage by a power chair that may have problems from time to time.

Wes swims for about an hour at least 2 times a week. There is a video I posted yesterday that shows him in action.

Wes June 12 Therapy Pool

He has to use this lift to get into the pool.

Wes June 12 Lift

I am so proud of my little brother.

This video was taken on February 13th, about a week after the accident. It’s amazing to see how far he has come.

This is 9 days after the previous video. I think it’s pretty amazing. Check out the videos below, I posted them yesterday, to see how is he doing now.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Wes June 2012 slideboard transfers

Working on transferring himself to his wheelchair.

Wes June 2012 scooting 3

He is getting stronger!

Wes June 2012 Scooting 2

Scooting around in style!

Wes June 2012 with Jan in floor moving

Wes is scooting around on the floor. Workin' those muscles.

Wes June 2012 Swimming Therapy

Here is Wesley's swim therapy. He goes against the current usually on his back. He does this for an hour at least 2 times a week.

Say goodbye to the green chair June 2012

Wesley giving his cousin a ride... and a little horse on the right side of the screen. Also featured in this video is the voice of my mother and cousin Jen. The man near Wesley is Brenton, our cousin, and the sign that says 'Please DO NOT FEED' pertains to him.