When the bathroom renovation project started, no one realized that a pandemic was going to affect the entire world. Here we are now in the middle of May and the bathroom (except for minor things like towel racks and a mirror) was finished almost three weeks ago. This has been a long time coming and Emmett is very proud of his newly renovated bathroom. As mentioned already, this was making the best use of the existing space and ensuring that it is accessible. Entering the door is now much easier as there is a new pocket door that is much wider than the previous door - plus it tucks out of the way when it is open which is fantastic. The main bathroom light is motion activated so goes on as soon as one enters the room; plus the switches are low so that they can be easily accessed from a wheel chair. The tiled floor leads right to the roll in shower at the end of the room. The floor is level until you get to the shower and then it slopes to the drain. A ceiling heat lamp there and one near the bathtub ensure that everyone will stay warm when they get out of the water. The new, deep tub is available for baths and for physio sessions - as Emmett still loves playing in the tub. The biggest change in plans, maybe even the only significant change, is that the sink is fixed and cannot be raised/lowered. The sink is fixed at at height that Emmett can access in his manual wheelchair and his KidsWalk standing walker. It has an automatic faucet so that Emmett can now wash his own hands.
Thank you. Literally, so much thanks to all of you for your support and donations to this project. We also thank CKNW Kids' Fund and Muscular Dystrophy Canada for their generous financial donations to this project. Also, huge thanks to Micah Hooge, the project manager from Highplace Homes, and his incredible team who brought this accessible bathroom dream to fruition.
As a result, after living with Grandma and Grandpa for seven weeks, Emmett is back home and loving it. Seeing toys that had been left at home and untouched for nearly two months. As you can imagine, it was better than Christmas. Of course, it also coincided with some amazing weather. That has resulted in bike rides, hill rolling, and long walks/rolls through the neighbourhood. The heat wave didn't last and now there is more seasonal weather, but it is still awesome. During the heatwave temperatures were 29°Celcius. That meant it was time to hit the sprinklers!
Like many of you, Emmett has had many meetings using video conferencing. And we are not talking about family - meetings with his occupational therapist, his physiotherapist, the teacher at Canuck Place ... this boy is busy. In fact, his Aunt Katie has even been sending him some kindergarten preparation work to give him a head start on school for next fall. Of course, we don't know what that is going to look like! Even more good news, the City of Abbotsford has returned to the corner near their house, where Emmett frequently rolls, and did the final touch. They moved the stop sign from the middle of the sidewalk (okay, it was maybe 15cm off centre but that's close enough to the middle) to beside the sidewalk. As a result strollers, wagons, and power chairs can easily move down the sidewalk and to the awesome accessible curbs. Thank you City of Abbotsford, Emmett really appreciates this. Of course, Grandma time is always fun. Grandma Pam is still in isolation mode so able to interact with Emmett. Grandma Rhonda is interacting with Emmett all of the time, just not by being physically present. Visits at a distance and using social media are the best that can happen right now.
CureSMA Canada is an amazing organization that works endlessly to help individuals with SMA and their families. One of the things they did during this pandemic time was to send a care package (pic on left) to put a smile on faces of those dealing with the pandemic but also with SMA. And it did give Emmett a smile. The second pic is Emmett in his backyard helping his mom with gardening. The third pic is just when Emmett moved back home and got to hang out with his favourite toys that he had left at home while he was at Grandma and Grandpas. He had barely been back at his house for any time at all when he announced to his parents a schedule outlining which toys he would play with and when. Who knows how long he had been planning this.
In the next pics we start off with Emmett being mommy's helper and sorting and folding socks. Then out for a roll on a typical rainy BC morning. And then playing with his remote controlled excavator, dump truck, and front end loader.
This has not been the spring that anyone expected, but in so many ways it has been a fabulous spring for the Willms' family. We know others have not been so fortunate and are hearts are heavy for them, but we also have to celebrate when things are good. And, for Emmett, things are good.
Thanks to a great project team. If you're in the Fraser Valley, remember these businesses:
Highplace Homes - Micah Hooge
Valley Imperial Enterprises (Electrician)
And again, a huge thanks to all of you. Your support, whether financial or spiritual or emotional, is so very important to all of us.