Update July 10th

A MUST READ: 10 WEEKS AGO We got the phone call every parent dreads. Today our daughter does these things: With an assistant, eats 3 full meals a day, after Nicole feeds herself with a few bites and her arms get tired, the CNA takes over and feeds her the rest. She smiles what we’ve calculated to be about an 80% of a full smile, it’s an unforgetable sight to see all of her beautiful, white teeth, with her face following along. You can do anything you can think of to make her smile, she’ll only do it when it’s the correct time…or else just watch her face when her little brother walks in…that’ll do it everytime. Very cool to see them love each other like they do. He’ll lay in bed with her looking at pictures, or lovin’ on her. So, so precious. As the days pass, you can catch her being just a hair more aware all the time. She’s not all the way aware like we are, but she does know what you’re saying and understands, she’ll do whatever is asked of her to do, so that’s how we know. Because we still don’t know about her memory or awareness yet until she can tell us. Now, what we’ve all been waiting for: With 2 therapist’s, one at each side, for safety, Nicole Walks! We measured: she walks about 60 (sixty feet) one way to an excersize room It can be a little slow and in-balanced, but she does it on her own and every day gets better at it. Then stretches, listens to music, uses a big excersize ball, all with assistance at each side, they help her with balance and strenth, etc. and it is working, you can see a difference for the better every few days. We are lovin it! Then she walks back to her room, another 60 feet.

Now, what we’ve all been waiting for: I was telling her one day that she is physically able to talk, the dr’s tested her and her voice will work, and she can just try to experiment with her voice, to see what it sounds like. She smiled and turned her face away from me. I instantly new she was too shy and embarrased to try. “I told her it was just her and me in the room and I heard her very first voice when she was a baby and since then it’s always been an extra pretty voice, let’s see what it sounds like” She looked back over to me and in a way that if you weren’t looking at her, you would miss it, Nicole whispered with hardly any whisper to it: “I Love” then she smiled. I smiled back and said ” I Love You Too”. About 5 minutes later her dad walked in a I said “Nicole, tell your daddy what you told me” She looked at him, smiled and whispered with barely a whisper “I Love” Then we all loved.

The first time Glenn and I were driving down to tour the rehab center Nicole is in, I was looking out the window in the car, very destitute, sad, and worried. I was thinking about how many times i’d been to San Francisco simply to go down and enjoy the day..and how I felt going down on that day…almost nausiated. I saw a big old barn on the side of the road, it had these big letters painted on it. “Better Days” it said. I was thinking how much I wanted better days as we drove by it. After a few passes by the barn on later trips, i’d think here and there, yeah we are having better days. They are getting better and better as we see her progress more and more. I’ve enclosed a picture of the barn. I hope it brings you better days…it has for us. All of us.

Please keep praying for Nicole’s full and complete recovery, your prayers, your thoughts, your energy is working. Thank you from the bottom of our mending and cautious hearts.

(From now on, we will update you once a week…unless of course, something happens in between that you must know right away!!)

Fundraiser info

Date: Aug 22, 2010, Sunday. Place: Elks Lodge, 100 Elk Dr., Sonora, Ca. 95370. Time: 3:00pm – 8:00pm Dinner 5:00pm, Live Music,Car Show, Raffle, Auction To: Donate go to nicolewillwalk.com, to donate items for raffle or auction, go to justyragan@hotmail.com

Update July 1st

We are so impressed by Nicole and her team. So impressed.  She is still a quiet, silent angel. But here’s what she does these days:  Can eat ice cream, cream of wheat, drink from a straw, juice, milk.  Its the speach therapists’ job to get her to talk, so he brings these things in, and will tell her to tell him which one she wants, if she doesn’t then he’ll say well “How bout pointing to the one you want?” So that’ll usually work, one day she reached over and took the carton of milk and drank it down when he was asking her to say which one she wanted! That was kinda funny. She is guided by her therapists each morning to dress and clean up like we do, She helps them help her, she cannot do these things herself..yet. She has 4 therapys per day with 1-2 therapists at each session. They are wonderful and mean business. They kick everyone out, they’re not shy!  Then demand rest for her between each session, It’s all about Nicole, Yes it is. Family is fine with that. They are right, as soon as a session is over they put her in bed and her eye’s close instantly, she is very tired afterward. We have been told by one’s that have done it that the word is EXAUSTED. One gal told us she remembers not even being able to hold up a book to look at. So yes..we let Nicole rest. We are in better days, we’ll take that, Time it takes, don’t care. Our daughter is coming around. Thank u all for the love and prayers, still need em. Thank u. Kolpacks

Update June 27th, 2010

Lots goin on! Nicole tolerated the move like it was nothin. She is semi consious, in and out. But that doesn’t mean her memory is there at all, or hit and miss, no one knows, she’s the one that can say. The morning of the move I knew was a consious time and that she needed to be told what was going to happen. So I bend over her and made everyone wait. I told her that we had to move her to a nice place in SF that would help her like P.E. classes and get her strong again. That we had to put her in an ambulance and it was a good ambulance ride, not a bad ambulance ride. That me and Daddy will be driving behind the ambulance with her stuff and we will be there at the new P.E. place when she gets there. After they got her in her new room, and we put all her stuff away I went to her to see how she was, seemed consious. So I asked her if she was ok, she gave me the tiny yes nod. I told her she’d been in a wreck, that she’d been sleeping 52 days and that the people here were special hospital rehab doctors that were ready to help her get well now that she’s starting to wake up. One tear ran down her face. And mine. She is like in a cocoon. Can’t break out all the way. Love from mom and dad make her feel better though….Then 5 days later….She has a bandaid on her neck where tubes used to be. She breaths like us! Can smell. She can talk too, but doesn’t know it yet. She no longer has a neck brace collar. So she’s lookin just like anybody else. She’s regular looking. They put t-shirts and shorts on her. They can get her up to use a walker, it takes 2 people with her of course, but from 52 days in bed to 8-10 steps is huge, Huge, HUGE!!! They are slow steps, if they say right foot, she moves right foot. Left, left. They tell her the first 2 steps then she does the rest. Once when we were gone, we had them bring her a phone and when the nurse put it toward her head, she reached for it, brought it to her ear and listened to us talk to her, nurse said she was nodding her tiny little nods, yes, um hum, yes….so miss Nicole is slowly making her journey back to us, in time maybe she’ll be able to tell us what she remembers. Some people have told us they didn’t remember 2-3mos in rehab until they got home, others have said they have in and out’s at rehab. So we’ll see. It’s cool to see her coming around though. Very cool. Her dad asked her for a hug, said he hadn’t gotten one from her in a long time. Her left arm reached all the way around his back, I snuck the right one up, then it was ok…and I watched her rub his back, didn’t have to ask him later about that, already knew what it did for him. God has heard you, please keep it up..and Thank you from the bottom of my mending heart.

Update June 27th

We need to rent a bedroom and bath for the next handfull of months in SF. For myself, my husband and my mom, so that we can be with Nicole. We’ll leave it cleaner than we find it, have good refs. would appreciate your help/networking, call 209-743-5025. please.