First, just a note to say a huge thank you for ALL of the continued support and prayers for John Michael. I am still blown away by every note, post, comment, card etc. that we continue to receive. It truly does help us continue down this long road. I am asked almost daily, "How is John Michael?" My go to response is, "He's great. Continuing to progress - albeit at a snail's pace, but he is progressing." All of that is true, but I would be lying if I did not add that it's been hard - very hard. Most of his friends have now graduated and have grown up jobs or are taking higher level courses. Some have serious relationships and some have moved away. We are blessed that Jake Moll works in town while continuing his education and Jared Herron is taking graduate classes at Rollins. But having another milestone pass - graduating college - is just another reminder of things he has missed out on. Therapy can get boring, repetitive, and just no fun. We are constantly looking for new and innovative therapies, devices and places to go - if for nothing else then a change of scenery.
So I thought it would be fun, and probably long over due, to give a shoutout to all of John Michael's therapist. Over the next few weeks I will post a little something about each one. They all mean the world to us and we are so grateful they are part of Team JM!
I introduce to you Dorothy (better known as Doro) Zuleger and Lynette Diaz. These wonderful ladies are The NeuroHub. They are occupational therapists. We have worked with Doro since the day after we arrived home from The Shepherd Center. Doro was working at another facility at the time and John Michael hated going there. It was stark, quiet and he was by far the youngest patient. He enjoyed working with Doro but would always tell me, "I am not going back". We were extremely fortunate that Doro opened up The Neurohub at CORE and we were able to continue working with her. She is an out of the box thinker and willing to try anything. I send her things all of the time to research and she will contact companies to trial products. She is not only committed to seeing John Michael get his life back, but she truly believes he will! About 2.5 years ago she decided to expand her team and added Lynette Diaz. John Michael has also been working with Lynette for about 2 years and now has the dynamic duo. Over the summer Doro opened up a new location and has been using recoveriX - a brain-computer interface, also known as BCI. Doctors will try to tell you that after 6 months of a stroke you will not see many gains. With recoveriX, they believe it can be used decades after a stroke and still improve motor function! The pictures I have posted are of Lynette and Doro with John Michael celebrating after his last session and two are of his results. The first is after session 2. The purple line is the baseline. The goal is to be above that line consistently. The second was from his 12th session today - all above the line and all pretty consistent. He actual felt it "click" after session 8. To quote from the brochure, "All the positive effects can be explained by the activation of both sensory and motor cortices involved in movements thus helping the brain grow new neural pathways to move the affected limbs". In simpler terms - he puts on a cap with 16 electrodes placed over the motor cortex. Functional e-stim is placed on his forearms. Then he is asked to visualize moving his left or right wrist. Just by visualizing his motor cortex is activated. If the activation is strong enough the e-stim will be triggered and put him through the movement. Even though he imagines the wrist, his motor cortex for the whole upper extremity is trained and activated for neuroplastic changes. On the screen he sees two hands which are synced with his movement. He is not to try and move his hands, only to think about it. It's pretty amazing to watch. The hands will not move unless the cap with EEG picks up a signal from the brain which will then activate the stim. If no signal is picked up the stim will not turn on. Whew - that is a lot. I'm sure you can google recoveriX for more information. There are currently only two private practices in the US who have this - we are so happy NeuroHub is one of them!
We are so grateful for these two amazing ladies. Their commitment to helping others is incredible. They not only work hard for their clients, but they make it fun - OT can be very monotonous! So thank you Doro and Lynette - JM has 13 more sessions to go and we can't wait to see his progress.
- louder voice and stronger breath support to speak so all can hear
- all movements would become stronger, consistent and functional
- the BCI program will bring about stronger neural pathways
- peace and patience
"I have heard you, I will surely bless him". Genesis 17:20
"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Rom 12:12
Love to all,