As many of you know, in July of 2009 we traveled to Costa Rica. While there, Makenzie received Stem Cell therapy to assist help repair damage caused by her anoxic brain injury. We had high hopes that God would use the new cells to bring healing and restoration to our little girl. We were told that improvement could be seen anytime from immediately to about three months post treatment. We never realized how amazing Makenzie’s healing would be in the coming months.
Upon returning home, we began to notice small improvements in Makenzie’s ability to hold her head and trunk more erect. As time progressed, we noticed that Makenzie was responding faster to directions and was not getting stuck in her flexion pattern as much. She also began to track moving objects in all directions much faster and gained the ability to look up.
Three months post Stem Cell therapy we attended The Napa Center for a three week intensive therapy session. At this time, Makenzie began to eat! Her oral motor skills had improved immensely and her swallow was fast and strong! Shortly after this, she also began to sit independently for up to 5 minutes and learned how to put herself to sleep allowing more quality family time.
Another major improvement has been in Makenzie’s immune system. This entire cold and flu season she has only gotten a few minimal colds. Not one time did she require a formula decrease or hospitalization. I have also had the realization that Makenzie is not having her normal vomiting episodes two to three times a day anymore! In fact, she has not vomited since we returned home.
All of Makenzie’s doctors, therapists and teachers are astounded by her progress. Her rehabilitation doctor has stated that her tone is better; she is more animated, has more personality, and is interacting and vocalizing much more appropriately.
After Christmas we began the Anat Baniel method with a practitioner. With ABM they have found it often possible to directly communicate with the nervous system of children in very gentle, yet powerful way primarily through movement, enhanced awareness and non-verbal kinesthetic experiences. The practitioner of this method uses gentle, innovative techniques to help the brain of the special needs child form new neural connections and patterns that take the child beyond their current limitations. The Anat Baniel Method for Children (ABM) is scientifically based and the results have been validated by medical doctors.
We have now completed two intensive ABM sessions. Makenzie is now rolling more, moving more, using her arms and hands to access toys, saying a few words such as “hi”, “go”, and “yeah” and she is following specific directions in order to complete tasks on her own with the talker. Her teachers at school have noticed a huge change in interactions with her peers and have reported Makenzie is using many more sounds to communicate.
After seeing all of the amazing healing that these therapies have brought Makenzie, we have planned a trip back to Costa Rica in April 2010. We would also like to take Makenzie to the ABM Center in California to work directly with Anat Baniel for several weeks this year. Our hopes and aspirations for this year include decreased dependence on her feeding tube with increased eating by mouth. Pushing to and sitting up independently along with some form of independent mobility through rolling, scooting, or use of a walker. Finally, we would love to see improved communication using both her talker and spoken words.
While we are planning to personally fund a significant portion of the expenses, we will fall short of the estimated $25,000 necessary for the Stem Cell therapy, ABM therapy, travel, food, and lodging. We are reaching out to our family and friends for financial assistance in continuing this exciting endeavor. Please consider helping Makenzie realize her full potential.
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