A few weeks ago, I went on a short vacation with my family to San Juan, Puerto Rico. It’s such a beautiful place! When I was in Old San Juan, we saw a little hut with a fountain on the outside dedicated to a woman named George Wally Chavin.
The words on the plaque tell a sweet story. The plaque reads, “George Wally Chavin 1910-1966 Almost totally paralyzed, she excelled academically, performed athletically and in her prime swam 40 pool laps daily. During W.W.II, she met her love in this hut, then a military canteen. Serving as a volunteer Red Cross Hostess from her wheelchair. They were married and he neccessarily became her lifelong lifeguard, protector and lover. May Chavin’s beauty, intelligence and courage be an inspirational to all. Donated by Chavin’s Widower”
I love good, romantic stories!!! It’s especially cool for me to see a memorial set up for a person who used a wheelchair. So sweet!!!
In other news, I’m getting ready to work on book 5. My creativity is flowing again!
The new self-cath book I wrote for 180 Medical has been sent to print. It will be unveiled at the Spina Bifida Conference in Indianapolis at the end of this month. You can keep up with Ethan and Emma on their facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/#!/EthanAndEmma
Unfortunately, I will not be at Indianapolis to see it get introduced. It’s the same weekend as the Abilities Expo in Chicago. I will miss seeing my friends this year, but I am so excited about my workshop in Chicago! It’s at 3:45 on Saturday June 30th. Come see me!!
A couple weeks ago, my sister, Mandy and I were on our way out the door to get a coffee at a local coffee shop, Kaldi’s. There’s a small step coming out of the kitchen at my house. I forgot to tilt her wheels up when I helped her down the step. I wasn’t thinking. I guess I was used to my son’s stroller, which doesn’t need to be tilted back, the wheels just go straight down. She fell out of her chair and broke both of her legs. To top it off, she had a fatty embolism that punctured her lungs and was in the hospital and ICU all last week. It was very serious. Everyone was so worried. I couldn’t imagine life without my sister. I felt like I was going to choke on my heart.
Last Monday, she got to go home. I am so relieved.
Anyway, here is an interesting story about my sister and the accident. When she got back in her wheelchair right after it happened, she said she was fine. Since Mandy has spina bifida, she wouldn’t feel it if her legs were broken. Her one leg had a bump under it right under her knee. She insisted that it wasn’t broken because she touched it and didn’t turn white right away. (I think that was what she said.) So we went to meet my friend, Nichole at the Kaldi’s. We stayed for about an hour and a half. Then walked home.
On the way back, Mandy started to feel short of breath. She couldn’t push herself up my driveway. I pushed my son’s stroller up then helped her up. The bump on her leg started to look worse and worse. An hour later, my dad left work to take her to the hospital. That night, they took x-rays and found out one leg was broken. I felt terrible. How did I not know I was supposed to tilt her chair back? How many years have I been taking her around?
She sent me a text that night that said, “Yeah it’s broken.” I responded a few times. One of the next texts really says a lot about my sister read, “I forgot to say thanks for a great day!” I thought she was being sarcastic at first. No, she was serious. Despite 2 broken legs, she still had a great day. Wow!!!
So back to the injury, they didn’t find out the other leg was broken until Sunday. She couldn’t breath. The doctors originally thought she had pneumonia. Her breathing and pain had gotten worse, so Monday night they moved her to the ICU. They had her in a coma. She improved a few days later. They removed the ventilator and feeding tubes. On Thursday, the home nurse discharged her. She is going places again and transferring in to her bed and the couch from her wheelchair. YAY!!!
Now, she has a whole new outlook on life. I will have to have her tell you about it. Thank you everyone for all your prayers and wishes!!! We greatly appreciate it. It so great to have the real Wendy (Mandy) back on wheels!!
I’ve been working on a book for 180 Medical. I’m so excited about this one! It’s been fun creating whole new characters and seeing them come to life. Without further ado, allow me to introduce you to Ethan and Emma.
Ethan and Emma are twins, who have just learned to catheterize themselves. For the first time, they get to go on a field trip without their mom and dad. Hopefully, this story will empower children to learn to cath themselves. Elizabeth and I will have the story and images completed in the next couple weeks. I’ll let you know when and how it will be available when the time comes.
I enjoyed days two and three of the Abilities Expo in LA very much. My booth was directly across from Wijit’s booth. I watched people test drive wijits all day. It looks like a really cool product!
I had the pleasure of meeting Elina and her dog, Zoe from Canine Angels. They were so cute.
Melvin from Disabled Veterans SCUBA Project told me all about adaptive scuba diving. He showed me all these pictures and videos of people going scuba diving and moving underwater. It looked like fun and apparently it burns a lot of calories.
I thought these wheels were cool. If my sister had them, they would be filthy.
My son and I got to meet Bailey, the Lion from the LA Kings. My little guy wasn’t too excited about it.
By Sunday afternoon, all of the Wendy on Wheels books!!! YAY!!! That is the best part!!! Hopefully, a lot of little ones will inspired by Wendy.