Friday, July 16, 2010

Eli In The Sink; Surgery Next Week

Movie time! Here's 10 minutes of Elijah having a fantastic time in the kitchen sink. You'll see him master sarcasm and feign surprise, play in bubbles, turn the faucet on and off, and sing with big sister Sophia. We had a great time.


video

Now let's take a moment to say farewell to the 45-degree angle in Elijah's knee joints. For those of you who don't know, he'll undergo a major surgery next week. Although it's technically elective, it's the very definition of invasive. Our goal is to straighten the knees, giving him one long limb from hip to ankle. This is the last big surgery needed to allow Eli to walk. Melissa tells people he could walk by Christmas, and it literally blows my mind, and I have to sit down. There's just so much hard work ahead for him. Please pray for Elijah on Wednesday morning, July 21, starting around 7:00 a.m.

I know it sounds odd that we would miss these bent knees -- with no cartiledge or growth plates around the patellas, he's never been able to bend them -- but Elijah has learned to do so much with them. For instance:

  • He can sit in the sink, because his legs fit.
  • He can climb up the stairs. He can climb down the stairs.
  • He can crawl on his knees just like other kids.
  • He can stand on his knees and reach up onto the furniture and some chairs.
  • Most importantly, his knees have frozen his legs in the "criss-cross" style that so many of us take for granted. This is how he learned to stay sitting, to raise into a sitting position, and everything he now knows about balance. I've often marveled at the fact that, while his underdeveloped inner ears may cause him problems with his equilibrium, his amazing leg structure has allowed him to compensate as quickly as needed. It's possible he'd still be lying on his side if not for these knees.

Still, there's no doubt this is the right thing to do. Elijah is ready to walk long distances, and he certainly does try. This week he demanded we allow him to scootch from his classroom to the school's front door on his own power. But he must either crawl, scoot on his bottom (causing a lot of friction on the underside of his legs; the callouses are profound) or hop in the air using all the strength in his thighs. It's time to give him the legs he deserves.

Despite how unfair all this is, it's a genuinely great thing to have a son I can call my hero.

P.S. It's time again for Mini-Laps, the Little Lighthouse fundraiser. We'll make a more formal request for your help, but don't wait to donate if you intend to. Small gifts mean a lot, and it's important that you tell your friends about Eli and what the Lighthouse has done for him. Donate at: www.littlelighthouse.org

6 comments:

Miss Kate said...

I sure do love your boy. A lot. We'll certainly be praying for you guys. Let me know if you need anything when you get back home...I'm looking for any excuse to come hang out with the famous and talented Elijah and Sophia Ramirez!

Hewett Happenings said...

WOW!!! When we came to visit you a little over a year ago, Eli was pretty much non-verbal. He was vocal, just not real clear in what he was saying. What a difference!!! I am amazed.

And Miss Sophia, you have a very lovely voice. You are such a great big sister!

You know you are in our prayers. And David, don't be too surprised if Eli IS walking by Christmas. I wouldn't put it past him. He is a very smart and determined little boy.

Please keep the updates coming!

Miss Amy said...

Praying for Eli! ELi, Miss Amy loves you and am super excited for all the cool things God has in store for you! I am still waiting for my signed Sophia Ramirez Picture....who's Hannah Montana....you mean Sophia Ramirez!

Emily Kaye said...

That was an incredibly enjoyable ten minutes!!! Thanks for posting the video and I look forward to more! Love you lots!

Anonymous said...

Praying for you all in every way.I have never met you personally (as I said before I know Nadra through the Dillon India list and her blog) but pray for you and for your sweet boy and read about his journeys.Our son Sam has some special needs of his own and I kno how much those prayers and words can mean.
Leveta

Rob and Kathy Gandy said...

We are melting in Ada, Oklahoma! We can't thank you enough for posting this video of your precious children. We feel like we know them a little better now, although we've been big fans for awhile.

Wish you could have known our Rusty. Eli is SO like him. Eli's personality is as if he was cloned from our boy. Rusty was our hero. He had over 50 surgeries and went through so much, including 8 years of 3x weekly hemodialysis, but never lost his great smile or hilarious sense of humor.

Thank you for being so willing to share your family with us. We are PRAYING HARD about next week. At times like these, God is always SO faithful to keep those who need our prayers right in the front of our thoughts. God bless you all! Rob and Kathy Gandy, Ada, Oklahoma

PS We know that Eli will have much pain and probably some emotional distress for awhile, but to think of him walking by Christmas is just amazing! Even if it takes a little longer than that, it will be such a miracle for him and for you all!