Thursday, August 10, 2006

The deal with Wyndham.

So, in response to a couple of people asking about what Wyndham's condition and issues are, I am posting some pictures, which I always have on hand, and this post.
Wyndham received a traumatic brain injury (TBI-closed-head) at our incident five years ago, when a car crashed into the restaurant where we were dining. She was not quite 7 months old at the time, and happened to be strapped in her infant car seat. That saved her life, but left her with a massive head injury. She has had two brain surgeries- one to place a permanent shunt- which is a tube running from her brain to her abdomen, to drain fluid. She was initially not expected to survive her injuries. At least for the first 4 or 5 days. Then, when her shunt was placed, the neurosurgeons, again, were not hopeful, but they had to try. SO, it was no small miracle to the doctors and nurses who treated her at Hurley Hospital Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, that she came out of her surgery, better than expected. She came out of surgery off of her respirator, and was semi-smiling 24 hours later. That's was the first time in two weeks, that I began to be hopeful at her chances for recovery. It was grueling to be her mom and be totally helpless, other than to pray.
But, think about it. I had just started to come to terms with the reality of the death of her big sister, Teagan, and the fact that our lives would never be the same. My heart was torn apart inside! I remember thinking I wasn't going to be the best support for Wyndham and all the special needs she was dealing with now. I had no idea all the things she would face medically, because of surviving her injuries. I think that was the best thing going for me...I was totally naive and unaware.
Wyndham has received ongoing physical, occupational and speech therapy since August of 2001. She has made consistent progress, and always put forth her best effort. She puts me to shame somedays. When I don't feel like going to therapy or rearranging my schedule for doctor appointments, all I have to do is look at her and I realize that SHE is the one going through life with the odds stacked against her. I'm simply along to watch her overcome the challenges. I hurt for her a lot of times, but she has never made me feel sorry for her.
Her attitude is admirable. She always tries her best. At age 5 and a half, she is doing very well, but still has a lot of issues. Because of her head injury, she has gross motor and speech delays. She does very well with her fine motor skills, and her comprehension is good. That means, she understands a lot of what goes on around her, she just can't always do things on her own, and she doesn't speak. So, we are all learning sign language along with her, and trying to find ways to keep the communication gap from growing larger.
Wyndham seems to have her own ways of letting us know what her needs and wants are. She has a great sense of humor and gets along great with all the other kids in the family. In fact, I don't think they really know she has such special needs- except that we bring her to therapy three times a week. {Isabella always says, "Wyndham, you're going to 'syrupy'." It's so cute...they think she's lucky because she has fun games and toys to play there.}
In the end, Wyndham's doctors can't give us a definitive prognosis in terms of her brain injury. We were told that she may never walk or talk. She started walking last fall, and it still makes me smile everyday- to see her up and on her feet. She's getting stronger and faster each week. She has the ability to make sounds, and has said about 8 words...including SpongeBob, and most recently Momma. So, we continue to treat her as normally as possible and push her as much as she is willing. She has come a long way in 5 years, but still has a long road ahead of her.
As far as Chip and I are concerned, anything is possible- and we're never giving up. I think that's the best thing she has going for her. I'm humbled that God would have us witness the miracles in her little step at a time. I didn't think I was cut out for the job- but I am grateful to be entrusted with the role of being her Mom and cheerleader in life.


Anonymous said...


I am so inspired by your outlook on life and your faith in God. Your family has endured so much and I truly admire you. Wyndham is a beautiful little girl and is so lucky to have you for a mom. May God continue to bless you and your beautiful family. Small little miracles that happen in Wyndham life makes having time with her so much more special. May you cherish those things and keep you head up looking toward God. He is an awesome God and will never leave us. Thank you for sharing your life and your family with us. I look forward to reading you blog each day. It makes me go home and hug my little boy a lot each more day. Take care and God bless you!!!

Aletha from Indiana

Queue_t said...


you made me cry this morning with your post. I too have been entrusted with a special needs kid in my life. I too take the attitude of wonder and just know he will meet all our expectations in God's time. Thank god everyday for the joy that my step-son brings to me and my family.

Sylvie said...

Miraculous! I am inspired by your faith through your experience.

Rebecca said...

Hi Jody,

I recently found your blog and just wanted to take a minute to tell you how much you've inspired me. You have an incredible story to tell, and I'm so glad you are sharing it with all of us. What amazing strength and grace you have, despite all that you have gone through. Thank you for reminding me to stay positive and always count my blessings.

melissa Adak said...

Thanks for sharing and answering my question in regards to Wyndham. Again you amaze me. Your strength and perseverance are gifts to many.

sarah devries said...

Jody, Thanks for sharing Wyndham's story with us. How remarkable! It will be exciting to watch her grow and develop over the years and to know you're watching a miracle.

Portia said...

You did it again! Goosebumps all over!

You and Wyndham are both AMAZING. Sign language is sooo much fun! It's considered a "foriegn" language and it's my favorite!

Keep up the good work--both of you!!

-Portia in Oregon

shawnna said...

WOW girl -- you have been through so much
it would be easy to let your heart be hardened by all you have faced but your attitude about everything is such a BLESSING to others
thank you so much for sharing

annette said...

Jody, she is such a darling little girl and so lucky to have you as her momma.

You help me to see life in numerous ways and I am thankful for that.

Keep posting so we can learn and grow through your life story.


Leah LaMontagne said...

Praise God...He is your AND her strength, and it is evident in your words that you are trusting in Him. You have a beautiful family, thanks for sharing!

Cris said...

Wyndham is a very amazing little girl. Good for you and Chip for never giving up. I am sure she'll continue to amaze everyone around her. She is very blessed to have the two of you as parents.

BTW, I loves the pics. Wyndham has very pretty eyes.

laura said...

just beautiful. thank you for being willing to share so much.

Debbie said...

thanks for your honesty. The story of your family is a courageous one. Having a disability can be a difficult task, but you are handling it with a really positive outlook. Like I used too. Keep being a example to everyone around you. Never give up hope on what your child can do~ anything is possible.. You are a great inspiration, Jody. You might want to check out movies like The Other sister & The Brooke Ellison story. They highlight just some of the possibilities in store..

Side note, when your blog disappeared yesterday, I was kind of worried. So I guess I could be considered a reader now


Shelly said...

Hi Jody, thanks for sharing about your family! I have your link listed on my site (hope that's OK!) and a friend told me she visited today your blog today and was inspired.

CONGRATULATIONS on the Scrapbook Hall of Fame news!!! Oh my gosh, how AMAZING is that????

Shelly said...

Excuse me, I meant Scrapbooker of the Year contest. Ahem...

Kari said...


You never cease to amaze me. I am addicted to your blog. Your words make me smile, laugh and cry...all at the same time. I agree with some of the other gals who have also left comments: I also have goosebumps, I was worried when I couldn't open your blog, and I too have your link on my blog ( I hope that's okay! You are a beautiful mother and yet again you inspire me to be a better person. Thanks for making my day a little brighter.


jackie carl said...


I, too, couldn't pull up your blog for a couple of days & was getting very concerned. I was having major withdrawals.
I'm glad to see that I can get back onto it now.

Thank you for sharing more details about Wyndham. I dreamed about her last night. She was so happy & smiling all the time. She was "talking" up a storm....repeating every word that we asked her to.

My prayers are with you.

Isaiah 41:13 is my all-time favorite verse. It can be applied to any & every situation. God has given you Wyndham w/ her special needs, because He knows you & she need each other. And, because of that, you rely on Him even more.
That's what He wants from all of totally rely on Him.

You are special !
God bless you this day.

Jackie Carl
Marion, IN

Lora said...

Thank you so much for being so open and honest in your blog. YOu really show that you can get though anything if you put God first in your life.

Lovely Cee. said...

wow!!! i've heard about through reading Carrie's latest entry, glad to meet you through the power of technology. i have to say that you're testimony ministered to me.
God bless you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your testimony with us. How beautiful to see God working and hear how he is working in the lives of others.
Your blog has truly touched me in more ways than one. I have shed MANY tears in sadness, and happiness, reading your entries. May God continue to bless you and your family.