We thoroughly enjoyed the interview on Glenn Beck TV today, as did the other thirty or so family members of disabled/special needs people that participated. Many of the participants were believers, a common bond that set a very life-respecting and faith-affirming tone to the dialog. From all sides, we heard substantial and insightful comments. Doug and I both spoke, and we were happy with the contributions we got to make. So thanks, all of you who prayed for us.
Several people have asked us how they may view the program. It is scheduled to air on Glenn Beck TV (www.gbtv.com) on Friday at 4 p.m. We were told today that you can sign up for the free two-week trial to see the program in its entirety.
GBTV.com: The Home of the New Glenn Beck Program
The Helms family has a prayer request that has come about because of our journey alongside Peter this past year and a half.
We found out this week of a recently aired program on the Dr. Phil daytime TV show. The guest he hosted on his show was a mother of two severely disabled adult children. She was arguing for her right to decide to have them euthanized. Dr. Phil, as a cultural commentator, was open and sympathetic to her comments. At the end of the show, he asked for a show of hands of those who would support her in her desire to do away with her children. Almost everyone there raised their hands. . . .You can find the program online.
Three days after this show aired, we were contacted by someone from Glenn Beck TV. Mr. Beck, a prolife conservative, wants to do a show for his program expressing the other side of the issue. So he is gathering around twenty couples who have disabled children to appear on his show and talk about the blessing that their children are, the sanctity of their lives, and their commitment to their children’s care. Doug and Selah were asked to be among those interviewed for the recording of the show this coming Tuesday. The show is scheduled to air the following Friday.
So we ask you to pray for us, that we will be filled with the Spirit and speak that day for Christ, for life and for the inherent beauty of a life such as Peter’s right now. When he could talk, Peter himself was always zealous for the prolife cause. May the Lord use him still as a silent spokesman to shout the value of life.
There has been a lot of sickness in the family for the past three weeks, but we thank the Lord that Peter has been spared from all of it.
He continues to make small improvements. His left hand is “coming back to life,” and he can sometimes follow simple commands with that hand, like, “Peter, touch your ear” or “Peter, touch my nose.” There are days when he can do this more effectively than others, but when he is very alert, he responds quickly.
Also, we have a dear friend in the family helping with his speech therapy now. She plays her violin and sings to Peter; then she encourages him to sing along. One time recently, she sang “Holy, Holy, Holy” to Peter, then sang a verse with “la” in place of the words. She asked him to join her on that part, and he was able to sing one “la” syllable. He vocalizes occasionally, but no more than a word at a time, usually “no.”
I will include below a post that Peter’s Gramma Helms put on her personal facebook wall a couple of weeks ago about Peter beginning to try to walk. We still totally support his weight, but he is making early walking motions.
“Peter is so alert today. With help from cousin Daniel, he ‘walked’ from his room to the living room. He is able to lift his left foot and set it out in front of the other. The right leg needs help, but he was trying so hard to move it. After he was placed on the floor on a mat, I told him to turn his head toward the TV if he wanted to watch the basketball game, which he did without hesitation. Then with some coaching from Daniel he made two strong efforts to say ‘no’. Also, he has some control over the left arm, lowering it slowly to the mat. Thanking God for his grace and love toward Peter and the family.”
Continue to pray that the Lord will provide the manpower necessary to care for Peter in his home. The therapy every day in addition to care for his basic needs is daunting, and this past month, we have been less one helper and fighting sickness in the family.
His progress has been so slow, yet he continues to move forward by fractions of inches. Please keep praying for his forward progress. We still long to see a breakthrough, where he can make greater progress more quickly.
Pray most of all that the Lord would sustain his spirit and our spirits as we day to day walk this path and that the Lord would be glorified in our midst.
Things have been very busy in the family with the upcoming grand-baby, the upcoming wedding, and Peter’s four to six hours of therapy every day. Thanks for your faithfulness in praying for Peter even when the updates are sparse.
Peter’s progress has been really slow since his pneumonia in October, as far as his speech therapy goes. We are still working to bring him to being trach-free, but the process has been tedious. He has not made any recent attempts at speaking. We have begun to use the Eyemax computer to allow him to learn to communicate with his eyes. That too, has been difficult–computers always have glitches, and his muscle contractions associated with his brain injury make it a challenge to direct his eyes and head where he wants them to go sometimes. For instance, one of the first times we were acquainting Peter with the keyboard feature of the program, Mom asked him to spell his name, slowly saying the letters “P” and “E” and waiting on him to find them and lock his eyes on them. He was able to type “Pe”, but the “T” was on the right side of the screen and it was hard for him to make his muscles obey his desire to turn that way.
In other therapy, as we support Pete’s weight by putting his arms around our shoulders, Peter is attempting to take steps with his left leg. It is getting stronger and stronger in its ability to take steps, but his right leg still pretty much hangs limp.
Peter has regained his smile, not as brilliant a smile as before his injury, but very satisfying to us, nonetheless! Pete smiles at dad when he comes in to pray with him at night, and he smiles during family hymn sings–always one of his favorite times when he could tell us so.
This report will hopefully direct some of your prayers for Peter. In other prayer requests, we are losing two of our key players on “Team Peter,” the group of people that help us with his home care on a regular basis. Please pray that the Lord will continue to provide capable helpers that make it possible for us to keep him at home successfully until he is ready for inpatient rehabilitation. At 6′,4” and 170 pounds, he is pretty much a two person job during the day, and a one person job at night (someone has to be awake with him at night).
We will try to get updates out more consistently. Please know that we are still very dependent on the Lord’s grace for every moment and rely on your prayers as means of that grace.
For the family,
Peter is definitely doing better after his recent return of some pneumonia, but he still has a lot of congestion that we think is partially due to the all of the allergens in the air. Please continue to pray for healing and Pete’s progression in therapy, removal of his trach, and speaking. Also be praying that an upcoming trial we are being given with a special computer would go well. It would allow Peter to communicate with us using his eyes to “type” out words or pictures. Thank you!
The Lord has answered some prayers recently for Peter, that we need to share with you faithful prayer warriors.
First, we are thanking the Lord that due to the generosity of the Lord’s people, Peter now has a wheel chair van he fits in very comfortably. It has a fourteen-inch dropped floor and a ramp and CD player/radio, so that Pete can ride right beside Dad as he always has and listen to Michael Medved and Dennis Prager. It will now be so much easier to take him places. In the past, we were always dependent on Doug to do the one-man lift to get him in and out of our suburban. Now any of us can just roll him up, buckle him in and take off.
Second, we have consulted with a speech pathologist and a speech therapist, both of whom, after procedures on Peter, gave a more hopeful strategy for getting the trach out than the doctor we visited before the holidays. So we are currently using the therapies recommended to keep Peter moving forward with his speech therapy and getting the trach out. It still may take some time, but we are back on track.
We are still waiting on a computer program that will let us test out possibilities with him of communicating/typing words, etc, with his eyes. Please pray that Pete will be able to use it.
For the family,
Thanks to all who have remembered us and Peter during this holiday season! He continues to make small steps of progress, but so far he is still not ready for formal rehabilitation. Last week, Peter had a doctor’s appointment during which the doctor said it will be more challenging than we originally thought to get the trach out because of where it was originally (incorrectly) placed and he has weakness in his throat that is causing it to collapse whenever he breathes in. There are limited options of how to deal with this, some of which are potentially risky. There are other upper airway issues as well. Please pray for wisdom and a way that Peter can be weaned off the trach. We will follow up on this in earnest after the holidays.
Our prayer requests are 1) that the Lord would lead us to a way to get his trach out, since this is a prerequisite for the rehab program, 2) that the trach issues would not hinder him from developing a form of communication with us. He is on schedule to try out an eye recognition device shortly, here in home therapy, and 3) that the Lord would lead us to the right wheel chair van for him–we are shopping currently for one.
The Helms family truly appreciates all of you who have walked through this difficult ordeal with us and have been so persevering in your prayers for Peter. We ask the Lord’s great blessings on you for your faithful commitment to pray for him. We know even now the Lord has only good plans for his life.