Never So Proud

August 12, 2008

We never believed the silence would be forever. And Mariah’s deep-throated and robust whispers are rewarding our faith. Talking, as we know it, is still a ways off. But where just days ago she couldn’t make a sound when trying, Mariah’s now offering one and two-word responses to questions and cues, and her words are perfectly understandable over 90% of the time. It’s a struggle for her, and each syllable is hard-won. But it’s no less a victory for her spirit.

She has now achieved all of her first month’s official therapy team’s goals, and done so with two days to spare.

Unofficially, when she arrived at McGuire on 7/15, I prayed – begged is more accurate – for the reemergence of the “Big Three” for independence: walking, talking, and eating. It didn’t occur to me to include sitting up, getting rid of the catheter and all the IVs, relaxing her hands from a claw-like clench, and controlling an electric wheelchair. Of all these, walking is still her biggest challenge. But of all the others, and more, she has journeyed far from the awful darkness. I’ve never been so proud of Mariah.

Here are some new workout pics and videos. (Click to enlarge.)

– Mark


3 Responses to “Never So Proud”

  1. Cousin Wayne said

    Mariah, my internet connection was not working for a few days, so I was amazed to read about the improvements you’ve made in your speech. That’s quite an accomplishment in less than a month. Wow! I like the videos on the blog. You had a wonderful smile on your face while eating that Twinkie. Talk with you soon.

    Cousin Wayne

  2. Katie Heller said

    Mark, Mariah – Thanks so much for all these posts – I’ve been watching and reading and it is such an incredible joy – and is giving me such a giggle – to see Mariah being so, well, MARIAH in this whole process – banging out letters with her nose, and meeting and exceeding her team’s goals, and sneaking a twinkie just to prove she can! Just busting through challenges with that most beautiful smile and wit – so Mariah, and so wondeful wonderful wonderful to see. I hope to get down to Richmond very soon!! Much love, Katie

  3. Janet Hayes said

    Mark and mariah –

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. I peek into this blog whenever I need a lift, because Mariah’s story is so inspiring.

    I hope Mark’s friends and coworkers in Boston get to meet Mariah someday soon. Meanwhile,
    we’re all sending healing thoughts and love and looking forward to Maraiah’s next victory!

    All the best to you both,

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