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 haven’t written a blog in a while. Things have been kind of crazy. Thursday, Marvin Elementary invited me to read to students as part of their Ability Awareness Day. It’s always fun to read Wendy on Wheels Goes to the Zoo to children in St. Louis since they recognize the St. Louis Zoo. It’s such a good book for ability awareness.
I went with my friend, Tom, from Warwick Photography last week to Tilles Park to take some new photos to put on my website and use for magazines and things. There were hundreds of little ones running all over the playground with shirts that said KECC (Kirkwood Early Childhood Center.) I had visited the KECC a couple weeks prior. Several children ran up to me and said, “You came and read to us.” I was amazed that four and five year olds remembered me.
The KECC graciously invited me to read to children as part of their annual “Hopathon.” Participants in the Hopathon had to hop to raise awareness of Muscular Dystrophy. One activity had children sit in wheelchairs and figure out how to manuever them. It was cool to see.
I was very impressed with Barretts Elementary School’s Ability Awareness Day a couple weeks ago. They had several different presenters speaking about different abilities. They even had a session with the school’s occupational therapist, teaching the students about different abilities and ways to be more productive. The group made a “Fidget tool,” to help them focus during class. Here’s a picture of the fidget tool.
Things have definitely changed. When I was in school, the teacher would take away the object I used to fidget. Then I couldn’t focus on what the teacher was saying. Now the schools realize fidgeting helps students pay attention and be more productive.
I LOVE to participate in Ability Awareness Days!!! We are educating them younger and younger. It’s outstanding!!!
In New York City a couple weeks ago, I attended a family services workshop in Brooklyn put on by Resources for Children with Special Needs. Gary Shulman did an outstanding job letting parents know about a wide range of programs out there to help them. If you are in NYC and need anything at all for your child, contact Resources for Children with Special Needs. I wish they were nationwide.
In other news, my husband and I are expecting our first child in November. We are so excited!!!
Sunday afternoon, I had my launch party for Wendy on Wheels Saves the Day at All Along Press. It was such a wonderful event. Thank you to everyone who came. I appreciate your support and love for Wendy on Wheels. Excellent food from Cherokee Street Catering. Everyone loved the barbequed chicken pizza!
The reading went well. I said thank you to my cousin, Dana for taking Elizabeth and me around Cardinal Glennon to see what the inside of a children’s hospital looks like. Dana is cartoonized on page 21 of Wendy on Wheels Saves the Day.
Things have been going well for Wendy on Wheels. I have some Ability Awareness Days lined up for April at some local schools. I’m working on setting up some schools visits in Peoria, IL and Chicago the third week in April.
I’m working on getting t-shirts made. They might be available to the general public if people are interested.
I was not chosen as a finalist in the Energizer Competition. I’m still excited I was nominated as a semifinalist. Thank you to everyone who voted for me!!!
I will have the cover for Wendy on Wheels Takes a Stand in a week or so.
I saw The Celebrity Apprentice on Sunday. Marlee did a outstanding job as project manager! Go Marlee!! Meat Loaf had a meltdown on Gary Busey. I couldn’t believe that. YIKES!!!
What a welcome!! The kids in the Adventure Club at Bristol Elementary made this. Cool, huh? Aren’t they cute? These visits are amazing!! I love reading to kids.
Last week was a good week for public relations. The St. Louis Post Dispatch mentioned Wendy on Wheels in an article about Blades Day of Giving. A little boy said Wendy on Wheels was his favorite.
Wendy on Wheels Saves the Day was submitted for publishing late last week. I’m waiting to receive the proof copy. I’m so excited to get it. I’m working on the launch party.
Book four has been discussed and is in progress as well. More information will be given at a later date. Just know that it is coming… I’m really excited about this one as well.