My seven year old son, Alecx Rheese, has had his world changed in a heartbeat when he dove into some shallow water, leaving him paralyzed from the neck on down and dependent on a ventilator to help him breathe, but the last few years have been nothing but extraordinary.
Little Alecx was only five years old when the accident happened and ever since, we have had to fight for his right to go to the same school with his little friends instead of having to go way across the state to a school better equipped for his medical needs. We didn't want a bunch of strangers taking care of Alecx; we figured he would fare much better being here at home with us, his very own family, and close to his friends. So that was what we did, but not wihtout a huge fight that made the national news.
There were many people who did not want my son to be in the same school district because of his health, but since Alecx got the vent placed, he's been much healthier and has only been in the hospital once (due to an upper respiratory virus that turned into pneumonia; he nearly died, but thanks to prayer ... and antibiotics ..., Alecx miraculously survived and recovered without incident).
Alecx is a lot healthier than what people really give him credit for.
Besides Alecx, we have two daughters: Allie Grace (7) and Alana Dawn (10). They are very healthy and both dote on their little brother and would easily defend him if they needed to (and they have). Alecx couldn't have asked for better big sisters and neither can we. They are wonderful with their brother and have learned about compassion towards the disabled thanks to Alecx getting hurt. While it has been hard on them at times, Alecx's accident has brought out the best in all of us.
We have all learned how to deal with getting our son dressed/undressed, taking care of his toilet, taking care of his ventilator (me or Mark only; Mark's my husband), feeding him (by way of stomach tube), changing him, preventing bedsores, exercising his useless limbs, and maintaining his wheelchair in case any problems should happen to crop up. Whenever there's bad weather, we also have a foolproof safety plan to make sure we are safe whenever the weather turns severe (we live in Guymon, Oklahoma).
I don't know what the future will hold for Alecx, but one thing is certain: God will certainly bring us through whatever may be down the pike and it is up to all of us to lean on Him and trust in Him fully and unconditionally. All it takes is faith and faith is definitely one thing our family has a lot of, especially since Alecx's injury two years ago. While it has been difficult at best, it has, in the end, brought all of us closer than ever before.