Emmett is looking forward to this Christmas! There will be family gatherings happening from Christmas right into January. His Aunt and Uncle and cousin from Alberta have flown in for the holidays. Shortly after New Year's his Aunt and Uncle from Australia will be here for a visit. Emmett is ready and waiting for everyone to get here. Here is a look at Emmett and his first four Christmases. We think this look back over the past four seasons is incredible!
2015: At Emmett's first Christmas we had a very happy little boy. His eyes were always dancing and observed everything (and his eyes haven't change!). His movement was very limited but, as he was receiving an experimental drug, we saw signs of improvement. Emmett had to be horizontal or significantly reclined or he would choke on his own saliva. He could not hold up his own head. In fact, turning it from side to side was a challenge. He had no leg movement but, after losing arm movement earlier in the year, he now had regained limited arm movement.
2016: Christmas saw Emmett continue to progress. His neck strength had improved and with some neck support he could hold his head, turn from side to side. Earlier in the year he had gotten his first power chair and, after a few days of doing circles, he had mastered getting to places that he wanted to go. The joystick on this first chair was so sensitive that he could direct it with one finger - his strength was so limited that he required that sensitivity. Emmett was getting some vertical time in a standing frame and, as you can see in the photo, was pulling his head off of the head rest.
2017: With the support of a back brace, at his third Christmas Emmett was able to sit in toddler seats. He has great control of his head most of the time. His arm movement continues to improve and he is starting to demonstrate leg movement while out of water (in water he has been showing leg movement for a while now). His power chair was upgraded to a larger child sized one with a less sensitive joystick - as he was now breaking the original joystick.
Christmas 2018. There is no back brace!
Emmett, when helped up, is sitting on his own. After his forward facing plane ride with Santa earlier this month, Emmett has been upgraded in his van from his rear facing car seat to a forward facing car seat. Along with his big boy bed, this really makes him feel like a big boy. On long trips Emmett will still be horizontal (in a special harness designed to keep him safe and secure) but he handles car seat trips incredibly well. 15 minute trips that in December 2017 required frequent suctioning now are completed with no suctioning at all. While he still requires full support while being picked up, Emmett will fuss loudly if he isn't held so that he can hold his own head and look around. And for the third year in a row, his power chair joystick has been upgraded to a less sensitive model.
And because four pictures are not enough, here are a few more!
A huge thank you to OSM Websites. They have been a tremendous help from the very beginning of this blog. They have donated their time and expertise to host emmetts-journey.com and ensure that it runs smoothly for all of us. To everyone at OSM Websites, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!