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.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Another Update

This last week has been very good. Last weekend we were home for three days and had a very enjoyable time. Our daughters, Brittnee and her kids and Ashley and her two boys, were home waiting for us. We had a very nice homecoming and were greeted by grandkids and baby goats. I made the mistake of leaving the door open on the van and when I came back to the van there were three baby goats inside and two granddaughters with giant smiles on their faces. Needless to say, the granddaughters continued to smile as I chased the goats out. Our son, Trevor, is now home while he waits for school to start in September at BYUI. Our granddaughters know how to push his buttons and it seems they are almost always waging war. Wes had a great weekend playing with the kids and spending time outside. We bought a large water trough that we will use to water the horses but the grandkids have made a great swimming pool out of it. We watched them swim in it last Saturday and the kids took great joy in trying to splash Wesley. Wes smiled the whole weekend except when it was time to wake him up in the mornings.

Going into our front door we have put a metal ramp that lets us push Wes over the stairs. The ramp is very steep and we need to push him up into the house. Wes discovered that it is great fun to come down the ramp with no help. In fact, sometimes he will take a bit of a run at the ramp and then fly down the ramp as the wheelchair gains speed. It is really fun to watch him come off the ramp and when he does the grandkids are down below waiting to race him. I am afraid that one day he will run over one but until then it is all fun… until someone gets hurt.

Last week Wes did his horseback riding and did very well. Each week he continues to make progress and gets better and better. On Monday his new wheelchair came and it was so nice. It is purple and has wheel assists which means he pushes 25% and the wheel assist pushes 75%. He has really enjoyed having a little help with his pushing. Wes’s trainer, Tawnie, has been with us now for over a week and a half. She is really nice and is catching on, she is learning and already pushing Wes more and more. We are very excited about Tawnie being able to help Wes, Karen, and I. A week from Friday we are headed home and looking forward to it.

Wes loves all those who work with him and make him better each day. This may not seem like much to most people but already this week Nikki, his OT, had him take his clothes off all by himself. It took a while but he was able to do it with minimal assistance. He works hard on his transfers and is doing very well transferring to a bench or bed from his wheelchair. The therapists continue to raise the bar and push him to be better. It seems he has already come so far from where he was.

Today was a fun day for Wes. Nikki, his OT, arranged for Wes and two other quad patients to go to Snowbird to fish and to ride the tram to the top of the mountain. The other two young men are a year or two older than Wes but they see each other at therapy and have become friends. Their names are Stephen and Dale and they all see Nikki as well. She does a great job with all three and is making a difference in their lives. We arrived at Snowbird at 10:30 and then were taken to a pond and given fly fishing rods. Wes has fly fished many times before and it was fun for him to get this opportunity. Wes’s technique was great but the fish were not cooperating; I guess that is why they call it fishing and not catching. After fishing they had pizza ready for us and we had a great lunch. There were several people there to help and make sure the boys had a great time. It was a success because they did. After lunch we took the tram to the top of the mountain. It was a great experience just to get Wes out of his normal routine.

Here are a few pictures… notice the new purple wheelchair:

Wes showing off his new wheelchair






The Boys


The Boys getting off the tram



Wesley’s new trainer, Tawnie.


This week while Tawnie and I take Wes to therapy, Karen and my sister, Tondi, have been able to attend Education Week at BYU. It has been nice for Karen to attend, she comes home and shares with me what she has learned. We are anxious to head home next week. We thank everyone for all of their kindness towards our family.

Check out the videos below…

Aug 15, 2012 Wes at Snowbird fishing

Aug 15, 2012 Wes at Snowbird

Aug 15, 2012 Wes at Snowbird

Aug 15, 2012 Wes at Snowbird

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

August 9, 2012 Update

I apologize for the delay in updating. My internet has not been great lately. Here is an update from my dad:

This last Month has been so busy that we have not taken the time to
update. Over the last month we have experienced many things. We were able
to go home for 10 days which was a very rare treat. We spent some time at
home and our cabin in Idaho.  We have some dear friends that poured
concrete at the cabin to make it easily accessible for Wes. We really
appreciated that.

On our trip back home we stopped by and saw Wesley’s surgeon Dr. Speth. He
was very excited to see Wesley and could not believe his progress. He was
amazed that Wes was in a manual wheelchair and that it had no arms. He was
surprised at his arm and core movements. It was a very nice reunion and a
boost to Wesley’s enthusiasm. He has already overcome many things that the
Doctors said we would not have.

While at home Wes was able to visit with family and play some games during
the day. It was a little bit of an adjustment being at the cabin since in
the past Wes has spent so much time outside and riding ATV’s and horses.
He spent some time outside watching our grandchildren ride horses and play
in the grass. He is very adamant that one day he will do those things
again and we believe him.

Wes continues to work out 5 – 6 hours a day.  That will soon change and he
will be working out 8 hours a day. He is getting stronger and is able to
do more and build up more endurance. He will have to fight for every
single thing that comes back. There are no freebees.

Over the last week the therapists have discovered a very slight movement
in his thumb, pointer finger and little finger. We are working hard to
develop those muscles and movements in both hands. We still do horseback
riding frequently which is very difficult but very rewarding with the core
muscles. Wes does lots of weight lifting and swimming and we will be
increasing this as well over the next couple of months. He also scoots
himself a lot on the floor. We take him out of his wheelchair and set him
on the floor. He then slides himself forward anywhere from 8 – 30 yards
and then pushes himself backwards to his starting point. He pushes down on
his hands, which lifts his rear end and then he pushes himself forward or
backwards, he is doing really well moving around on the floor. So much
so that during therapy the other day Matt (one of his therapists) put a
belt around his waist and attached a bungee cord to him and made him slide
with resistance. I do not think the resistance bothered Wes but the
thought that the cord might break and smack him in the face was a constant

While we were at home we were able to slide him in a regular vehicle and
let him ride in the back seat. I think he felt more comfortable in his
wheelchair but it was very nice to see him out of the chair and in the
back seat of a vehicle.

We continue to live in American Fork with my sister and her husband and
this continues to be a great blessing for us.  Each day we drive over 100
miles driving into the heart of the beast which is the University of Utah
Medical Center. It is a wonderful place but the traffic every day is a
huge battle. We often spend over two hours each day driving to therapy but
it is well worth it. We have grown to love all the people who are working
with Wes and are very appreciate of their efforts and influences. Wes
continues to be very positive and determined. We see him fight every day
to get better.

Starting in September we will be following a little different game plan.
Since we are spending so much time driving, which could be used for
exercise we decided to try a new approach. We have bought a little bit of
equipment and have hired someone to come and live with us and work Wes out
for 8 hours a day 5 ½ days a week. Her name is Tawnie and she is from
Ogden, Utah and is 20 years old. She is a massage therapist and has a very
good understand of muscles and how they tie in to each other. She will be
training at Neuroworxs and University of Utah Medical center for the next
month. We will then come back to Utah once a month for a week where U of U
and Neuroworxs will work with Tawnie and Wes to come up with a new
exercise routine for the next 3 – 4 weeks. They will also instruct Tawnie
and Karen and I to better work with Wes. This means that we get to live in
our home and start in a small way to get a little balance and normalcy
back into our lives while improving Wes’s ability to get stronger and

While we were Montana a few weeks ago we bought 3 baby dwarf goats that
were 6 weeks old. We had so much fun watching our grandkids play with
those goats and in the beginning the goats did not know much about people.
Now the goats follow the kids everywhere they go. They are like three
little puppies following their mother around. Much fun is being had by all
who watch the kids and the goats.

We are headed back to Montana for this weekend to visit all of our
grandkids who are at our house while we are in Utah doing therapy. We will
be back for therapy early Monday morning and ready to hit it hard.
We will post more pictures and video soon. Please remember to pray for Wes
and put his name in the temple. Great things happen every week. We
appreciate all that everyone does.

Here are a few pictures:







A note from me, Ry:

I was able to visit with Wes for about day when I headed to Wyoming in July for my little bro-in-law’s mission farewell. Wes looked great and we had a good time. It’s fun for me to see him every couple of months because I see big changes in him . He is a rock star.

Here are some of my pics:

Wes and Emy


I was planning on driving Wesley down the hill at the cabin but Britt started pushing him down and it was rather hilarious and very scary!


Dad and Wes


Just chillin’