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.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Videos of skiing day 2

You will notice in the videos that Wes has improved since the last week. The man behind him isn’t helping him as much. Wesley is doing the turning by himself. There is also a video of Wes getting on the lift. Pretty impressive. I wish we could be there to watch him. It looks pretty scary to me.


I hope everyone is doing well. Wesley’s year mark is coming up on the 4th of February. He has come along way.

Sorry this is sideways. I couldn’t figure out how to change it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

More Fun Updates on Wes

January 26, 2013

This last week has been great for Wes.  Last Sunday he and a good Friend Tanner Sieler (who is leaving for his mission next month) Traveled to Ennis, MT so speak in the branch. They had a great time and Wesley spoke for 20 min.  We did not go with them but we had friends call and say what a wonderful job these YM did in speaking there. Ennis is about 45 miles south of us.

Wes’s week was full of working out, horseback riding and swimming.

Yesterday was his second ski day and he has greatly improved. I have included some video, you will notice how the volunteers are not holding onto Wes so closely and Wes is guiding his skis.  He for the most part is in control. He graduated today from easy green runs to moderate blue runs.  He still has a lot to learn and a long ways to go to master this type of skiing but he is making great progress.  Last night he had a bunch of friends come over and spent time with him. He really enjoys that. Tonight a bunch of friends are coming over to play games.  This has been a great week for Wes. He also had hand controls installed in his car so he can start driving and getting used to it every day. Thanks for all you support and prayers.





Monday, January 21, 2013

A couple videos of Wesley’s skiing adventure

This is Wesley's first time skiing in a modified Mono ski. He is learning how to turn with his arms.
Wesley's first time getting on the lift.
Wesley's first time down the mountain. Notice he is the one doing the turning
Published on Jan 21, 2013 This was Wesley's first time down the big mountain. Notice how the guy teaching him holds on with the straps. He lets Wes pick his way down the mountain.
Last run of the day. This was Wes's first time skiing since his accident. He surprised everyone and did 5 runs down the mountain.

Journal Entry from my Dad

January 19, 2013

Yesterday was overcome with one of my fears day for Wesley. In this entire process Wes has been a champion at overcoming fears. I have to smile as I think of some of those fears and how he has conquered them.  Since his accident Wes has wanted to get back on the ski slopes. This is something he truly loves to do. It is a whole different ball game when you have to sit and you do not have the control or strength in your arms that you once had. (He is making great progress in this area but it is still far from normal) It does not help matters that he doesn’t have any control over his legs yet.


He was very apprehensive about doing this but deep inside he knew he had to. It was awkward at first as he battled his fear of falling. He learned how to fall and was told he would fall often. Once he got that down he was eager and ready to go.


The volunteers at Eagle Mount ski program were amazing, kind and gentle.  I wonder if they realize the impact they make on people’s lives as they volunteer their time so unselfishly. It kind of restores your faith in humanity to know that there are many people willing to share their talents. We have met so many that have been willing to help Wes in all aspects of his life as he overcomes fears.


Wes started out the afternoon learning the basics. He went down a smaller mountain twice as he got the hang of balance, control, turning and slowing down.  It was a little fearful to get on the lift for the first time but after that it was smooth sailing. After the smaller mountain if was off to the big mountain and he did that much to the amazement of everyone three times. He went well past the allotted time and the volunteers were more than happy to let him keep going. Wes will do this every Friday for the next 7 weeks. He was surprised at how many muscles he used and this morning his arms were just wiped out. He was leaning sideways and forward and he also worked his core muscles.


Karen was a little emotional as she recalls all the fun times we have had as a family skiing and then to recall the accident and in less than a year Wes is back on the slopes.  We did not ski with him this time. It was nice for him to be free of us and especially his mother worrying. We look forward to the day when our entire family is skiing together and making happy memories. 


I promise to do a better job keeping up the blog. Look for more horse pictures and swimming this next week. Thanks for all your support and please keep Wes in your prayers.



Thursday, January 17, 2013

An update… FINALLY

Here is an update from my dad…

January 15, 2013

It has been close to 5 months since we have updated Wesley’s Blog page. I cannot believe how fast time flies by. Wes has almost lived with his injury for 12 months and he continues to make amazing progress.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New year sorry it is late. We have meant to send out Christmas Cards but have just been too busy mostly working with Wesley. We had all of our family here for Christmas and that was certainly a highlight for all of us and especially Wes.

We are so grateful that he is a part of our family and such a great soul. He continues to be happy and cheerful and everyday he tries his very best. He continues to spend about 8 hours a day working out and working on his skills. He does take a break on Sundays and sometimes gets a little extra rest. He is a
typical teenager though and taking naps and going to bed early are not in his vocabulary.

We are enjoying being home in Montana and continue to make the trek to Utah once a month for a week so that he can continue his therapy at University of Utah Medical Center and Neuroworxs. They have been great in giving us things for Wes to work on. Wes is definitely getting stronger and his endurance is continuing to improve. Strength comes slow but it is very evident that it is coming. Wes almost always has a smile on his face and we very much enjoy his sense of humor and his practical jokes.

Our oldest daughter Brittnee and her children live with us in Montana while Nate (Brittnee’s Husband) is finishing up his 4th year of Medical School. Nate is traveling all over the country doing different medical rotations. Brittnee and Nate have four children 6 and under and life has been very challenging to say the least for Britt because Nate is gone. It has been fun for Wes, Karen and I to have the kids here with us. We think that Wes lives in constant fear that the 1 ½ year old or the 3 year old will push him down the stairs in his wheelchair. He teases and jokes with the grandkids all the time and carries the younger ones around on his lap while he is in the wheelchair.

We still have Tawnie his therapist living with us in Montana and she works with Wes every day. We found a place in Bozeman called Eagle Mount where Wes rides horses twice and week and swims. This Friday he will start mono skiing once a week. On Tuesdays Wes has been attending the institute class in
Bozeman and on Sunday evenings he attends a missionary prep class at our Stake Center in Bozeman. We have a therapist in Bozeman who works with Wesley’s hands once a week. We hope to see some significant improvement in his hand function over the next few months. Developing hands is a very tedious process which takes many months. We are seeing small improvements.


In November during Thanksgiving weekend we flew to Arizona for Thanksgiving. We spent the entire week there. It was Wesley’s first time on an airline since his accident where he sat in a seat like everyone else. The transition was smooth and easy and it was much easier on all of us to fly instead of drive. We spent time with family and in the evenings we drove Wes out to Mesa where he did water therapy with a wonderful man, Zane. While Zane was working with Wes we had our grandkids there swimming. We really enjoy the pool time. Wes does very well swimming on his back and he had much fun chasing our two oldest granddaughters in the pool. He would swim on his back and try and chase them down. They would scream and try their very best to get away from him. He had a big smile on his face because he does enjoy tormenting the grandkids and they enjoy being tormented by him. Recently we have started him swimming face down in the water. We have to remember every 15 seconds to help lift his head out of the water so he can take a breath. We hope to introduce him to a snorkel very soon.

While we were in Arizona Wes and Karen went to Barrows where Wes did his in-patient therapy. The nurses and therapists were all so happy to see him and see the progress he is making. It was good for Wes to see their reactions. We also attended church in our previous ward in Arizona (Greenway Ward) This is the ward where Wes grew up and it was nice for him and us to be with dear friends.

The first week in December we were in Salt Lake for our monthly week visit for therapy. We come once a month for a week. Our days are filled with driving from the U of U for Ocupational Therapy to Neuroworx, we drive an easy 100 miles a day. They help teach us what to work on with Wes for the next month. We will be going back the first week in March to avoid much of the extreme cold and winter

While at home in Montana Wes works our 5 ½ days a week. He enjoys doing things on his ipad and is getting much better playing xbox 360 games. He reads and listens to books on his ipad. He enjoys activities with his friends and an occasional movie. He enjoys people and he enjoys being around family.

In September Wes was asked to speak at a doTERRA convention in the Salt Place in Salt Lake in front of about 8,000 people. He spoke for about 10 minutes and told the story about his accident and his continued recovery. ( We hope very soon to post his talk on his blog) He did an excellent job and was given an award from doTERRA as someone who has shown great courage under difficult situations. We had a tough time getting out of the convention center because everyone wanted to talk to him. One of the people attending the convention asked Wes if he would visit a young boy from Idaho Falls that was in a serious accident and broke his neck. We went to the primary children’s hospital so Wes could visit
with him. Wes has had a few opportunities to talk with some young people who have spinal cord injuries and it is nice for him to be able to encourage them. We think this is really good for Wes.



Wes just completed one on-line college course at BYUI and he will be taking a class with winter. He has recently started reading again and it has been nice to see him reading books instead of listening to them.

This Sunday he goes to Ennis, Montana to speak in church. He is going with a young man from our ward that will be leaving for his mission next month. Tanner is a very dear friend and it will be a great experience for Wes to speak in a branch in our stake.

We will do a better job at posting pictures and reports as to how Wes is doing this New Year. We appreciate all of your prayers and support. Wes still needs them so please continue to mention him in your prayers. He has made amazing progress and does have a long ways to go.

Riding horses
Wes was quite popular