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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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'I Will Be Here. ...': Special Needs Parenting 101.
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Saturday, November 05, 2011

Rated "G" by the Author.

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A mother sits by her stricken son's bedside as he recovers from his third open heart surgery.

I want to go home, but I'm afraid that if I do, something will happen to Jersey, so I stay.

I am past the point of exhaustion.  Jersey, who has Down syndrome, had heart surgery (his third) the other day.  Amazingly enough, he has made it through the surgery, but he isn't out of the woods just yet.  He remains in the PICU, hooked up to tubes and machines, which monitor his condition on a continual basis.  He looks a lot worse than he actually is, but actually, according to Dr. Lipschitz, he is doing very well, all things considering.

Jersey is ten years old.  He had heart surgery twice before, once when he was about a year old and again at the age of six, and now just a few days ago.  So he is a veteran of hospital stays; he knows what to expect.

It isn't easy coping with all the pokes, sticks, and proddings from doctors or meeting more strange people, but Jersey has accepted his life better than most, and for that I couldn't be any prouder of him than I am now.  He is my big boy full of courage and strength, which, in turn, helps bolster MY own faith.

Jersey is mentally disabled, who functions at a four-year-old level.  At the age of ten, he is just mastering his letters and numbers and has recently started learning how to write and read basic words.  He loves to watch "Caillou" and "Barney" on television.  Since he is at school while his shows are on, I tape them for him, so he can watch his programs after school if Jersey doesn't have any homework.  He also loves "Arthur", which he never misses.

Besides learning how to read and write, and watching his shows, Jersey loves to play with his big brothers Hank and Tyler, who are thirteen and seventeen, sing in the choir at church every Wednesday night and Sunday morning, look at his picture Bible, eat fried "chinney" for supper, play with his friends at (or after) school, and go to concerts.  He loves George Strait and has seen him three times. 

Tyler and Hank are very good with their younger brother and are very patient with him.  They know he isn't like other children, so they try to help him all they can, which I greatly appreciate.  When he is sick or in the hospital, they make get-well cards for him and visit him at the hospital (Hank only; Tyler is too young yet; he has another year to go before he is of age).  They know his health is rather fragile, so they do all they can to put up with him and try not to upset Jersey.

Well, I hate to run, but I have to get ready and go see Jersey at the hospital.  Hopefully he had a good night and hopefully he will be moved to a regular room sometime today or by Monday at the latest.  It would be good if he was; that way, we could spend more time with Jersey and know that he has turned the corner.

Take care and may God bless you!  Thanks for reading my story; just say some prayers on Jersey's behalf and pray he gets moved out of the PICU!  I would greatly appreciate it! 

~Mona, Telluride, Colorado. 


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Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 11/5/2011
Karen this is well done as always, thank you for sharing
In Christs Love
Michelle~
Reviewed by Paul Berube 11/5/2011
Well done as is your usual, Karen.
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 11/5/2011
Excellent story, Karen, of a mother's fear and a son's recovery. Well done!

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.

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