So many of you have been so kind to inquire about how Elijah has been since returning home from Baltimore and his battle with Perthes Disease. We wanted to take a few moments and share with you a quick update on our boy.
The summer has certainly been a whirlwind of busyness and emotion with the Walters, and especially Elijah. On May 3rd, Elijah had an intense and cutting edge surgery, which served as a big test of faith for us and Elijah, as it was experimental in nature and the feeling of our last bit of hope. Elijah indeed faced the challenge with confidence and optimism. However, the sad reality was that Elijah would begin and spend yet ANOTHER summer off his feet and in his wheelchair, unable to engage in so many of the activities he loves with that stinkin’ external fixator attached to his leg/hip. He can also be on his crutches, although he is only to have toe-touch weight bearing on his Perthes leg/hip, which means monitoring him on his crutches is tricky to say the least as he does not know his bounds and wants to just be free. Can’t blame him for that, but it has forced us to do our best to keep him…..down, which is torture for him.
We (mostly Tiff) have done our best to keep him active and his spirits up (that has not been nearly as hard as we thought as he always has a positive attitude). While he is constantly bummed about not being on the baseball field with his beloved Stix team, we have creatively found new ways to keep him engaged.
Two weeks ago he attended archery camp. Yep, you read that right, archery camp. Nothing like wheeling him in with 30 other kids he didn’t know and pray all would go well. Of course, the kid has never meant a stranger and loved it. It was exciting to watch him battle thru the competitions day after day on one leg, and after each session his confidence build. This week he is attending Space Camp where he is learning about aerodynamics, building rockets, and driving us crazy with space facts….. He is always open for the next great adventure no matter how big the challenge or no matter what his pain level seems to be. He spends most days fishing, swimming, going to physical therapy, cheering on his little brother in baseball, reading books, serving at church and practicing his football throwing technique. He never wants to slow down, and we love that vibrant, playful, and downright interested in all things personality he has virtually everyday. Countless friends have made it a point to see him, call him, hang with him, read with him, send him notes/books, listen to him (which is a chore in itself because the boy never stops talking). He even got a surprise visit from his 5th grade teachers! We could not be more grateful for the circle of support which daily lifts Elijah’s heart and spirit.
Last night we began the countdown to his next surgery and our imminent return to Baltimore. 23 days and counting! It’s a big moment for him, us, our whole family!!! We will discover if the last painful and grueling surgery was a success and where we are in the battle. Every night as we get him in his bed, put his fixator bar in, and crank it down to extract his hip he winces in pain, giving us cautious optimism for the future. We say it every time but we are amazed at his willingness to fight, stay positive, and believe God for a miracle. It is said that life is 5% what happens to you, and 95% how you respond. He has faithfully and powerfully responded with a resounding, “No. This is not gonna take me down. I will keep fighting.”
Thank you for loving, supporting, and cheering on Elijah. We know that he would not be battling so hard, if it were not for the love of his family, church, community, teammates, friends and our Loveland Tigers. Each of you are making a difference……daily. Thank you.
Tackling Perthes Together!
Tiffany and Shayne