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He also knows one of Archer’s favorite artists Shep Fairy which was realized when Archer spied one of his posters in the back room. If I can help pave the way, he can do all the rest. I’ll save most for another update but I do want to report that it has paid off to essentially go up to Philadelphia weekly or every other week since the end of January. So my job is to clear the path he already cut when he applied and was accepted.He delivered it beautifully, but only after giving us all a scare by almost tipping over in his 500 lb wheelchair when he hit a divet on the grassy slope as he rolled down in staggered procession with his classmates. It also didn’t matter that it took a few extra moments for this ritual with a new twist to be completed. I could feel the wet tears rolling down my cheeks as we all clapped at the end and felt so proud. I will tell you more about all that background later. On that subject of his being complicated, do you know what else just happened? Last week The Christopher Reeve Foundation contacted us and if they could write a letter of recommendation on Archer’s behalf when they heard he was making application for a scholarship from the Swim with Mike Foundation (wonderful group at Unit of Southern California) to help pay for college. It was extremely generous of them to Can you believe that. And I have begun to counsel those who have come and reached out and it really is a wealth of how to’s I guess you could say, of course unique to each injury but many across the board learnings I hope can help others. Nonetheless, their statement was sobering and included and reminded me that Archer had had 9 surgeries in 30 days, endured medical errors that were costly to his recovery such as placing blood pressure medicine in the saline drip bag, suffered 3 heart attacks, one resulting in 6 male medical workers having to beat his chest and back as he flat-lined for 6 minutes, required a subsequent pace maker implanted when he was only 17 years old, survived collapsed lungs on multiple occasions, bore a grueling searing pleuredesis procedure, endured the excruciating pain of a body trying to regulate itself while his entire body had to be rotated up onto his side every few hours 24-7 to drain his lungs and prevent pneumonia from settling into his lungs, endure three large chest tubes (inserted directly into the lungs and attached to containers we could see bedside) to drain fluid, experience his hands and feet curling in muscle atrophy because of the delay in physical therapy, live through his body being iced and de-iced in response to wild swings of high blood pressure, not lose hope at an alarmingly chronic low heart beat, endure constant deep lung suctioning (inserting long suction tubing through the hole in his neck snaking down into his tissue) 24-7 for six months, put up with machines needed for other machines when the use of an inexufflator was used to support the ventilator machine which was to used to support Archer’s breathing, but his body was not able to breathe on its own even with the ventilator support and additional boost because of the extensive nerve damage not providing enough enervation for his diaphragm, endured prolonged use of the ventilator and chronic lung desaturations and arrests in breathing requiring bursts of oxygen and other lung devices, and kept faith even when blebs appeared in his lung tissue and the machines were discontinued. We’ve all gotten better as his programs and now it’s a am weight shift and he can sleep until am. But what it means to go to college is…well, Archer wants to be like any one else who had always planned to go away for college. We are feeling very good about his choice and are searching and networking to those in places of power and influence there. Financial Aid let us know earlier that Archer is the first quadriplegic who has no function below his biceps to attend Penn, and they thought he might be the first with these limitations to attend an Ivy League.

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If he passes, it’s on to the third screening where we will take him to San Diego. If that is successful still showing he is a good match for the experiment….well, then the procedure needs to happen within 30 days and we need for it to happen as soon as possible to fulfill the time afterwards given that Archer is to start UPenn the end of August. One mess up or one day of a caregiver who is not thorough and not caring could spell real trouble for Archer. So, we will continue to work on the system and safety net and emergency plans so we can exit and Archer can do his thing. Last Thursday we finally nailed down in what dorm he will be placed and that he will have a double with room for a caregiver all night.

The two day assessment will be later this month and include MRI, CT, physical assessments and such. But already we have found obstacles such as the cost is higher for a nurse in PA than in MD, and HHA’s or CNA’s in PA are not licensed to do certain activities and bowel programs are one. We have Archer’s body well cared for now and we hope to keep that trend going.

If you have hard work to do with someone, it just can’t get done without face-to-face dialogue. I see my job for Archer as removing the obstacles that he shouldn’t be expected to have to do at age 18 or as a paralyzed young person when his energies are on finishing school and all that goes along with that.

And re Archer moving to college, there is soooo much to do ahead of time and so many doors and emails that may never have been opened but for going and physically, sometimes if only a few minutes, but nevertheless establishing connections.

For any of you who might have special prayer requests, please send them to me. Being website and click Interested in Learning More. From the time of tryouts to now he too has grown more and more and he is now, as an 8 grader, 6’ 1” feet tall! He said it was a like a long sports tournament but with a lot more diversity and that it was really fun. So, it’s as if we need a somebody in close proximity but who is invisible until Archer needs him or her. We are actively seeking night nurses, two full time nurses who can care for Archer.

He will forever be shiny on the inside as a result. He never once talked about it until all the performances, and then he wouldn’t stop. He looks back and talked about the rehearsals and the fun they had and what it feels like to have everything so nothing and then have everything come together. Interactions with others and college friendships are as important as the academics and quality of teaching it seems to us.

I am so grateful to his directors for spotting a little diamond in the rough. And yet, how debilitating that could be to have someone with him all day long, who did these things, but also it seems would be a barrier to his making friends and having to rely on the good will of others.

Basically being his hands and his eyes when he can’t turn his body to see.

If you want to make a donation by check, please make payable to Archer Senft Special Needs Trust and send to Archer at 102 Longwood Road, Baltimore MD 21210. This page is dedicated to the progress and recovery of our 17-year-old son, Archer Senft. They are not equipped for what has happened to him. I had already been to Baltimore looking for the local rehab and knew that Archer, who was then 6’1” (now 6’4”) would not fit literally and culturally in a room at KKI where the rooms had two children and a crib. Imagine, his holding a cup with his wrists because he could gauge the surface and the weight. Maybe he could even feed himself a sandwich, or be able to brush the hair out of his eyes, or itch the side of his neck, or adjust his baseball hat. Or help a caregiver thread his arms through his shirt. Or give a hug and feel the warmth of the other person. Oh dear Mother Mary, please wrap your arms around us and guide the doctors and guide us. If you would be so willing, could we all pause a moment now and together think about the possibility of this happening. What more wonderful trip could there be, after all. The trip began with my seeking his acceptance to go last October. She had her son showing us things he could do like hold a stance on his own while holding the back of a chair, moving on his own in a chair, telling me he didn’t have to be in a wheel chair for everything but could tolerate a regular chair for periods of time. I took a very open approach telling them a few times about Archer, his needs, how it rolls and then the list of factors we would be looking for and asking to be included in the decision-making, assuring them that would be better for all. So he was not able to even get onto a sidewalk for some blocks. I’m sure you have something on your mind right now that might be troubling you. Amen Sending love Wednesday, March 15, 2017 Archer Senft Friends and Family Update Wednesday 3-15-17, Month 7, Year 2 Hello dear ones. And it’s also year two for us with you, as I know we have been on this journey together. He will begin in August and we have every intention that he live on campus as a regular student. We can thank another unlikely collaboration we created between Baltimore City Public Schools, Home Schools, On-Line Schools, and our dear Mc Donogh School for all of that.

On August 5, 2015, Archer broke the C5 vertebra in his neck while swimming in Cape May, NJ. He was strong and athletic and that is what they thought. And our other local choice, Kernan, now the University of Maryland seemed cold and remote for what I thought Archer needed. Close your eyes and see yourself using your arms and wrists for something, anything. We tried to figure it out, but there were so many obstacles mainly medical and physical related to related to such lengthy travel, difficulty of weight shifts, what if a bed sore that would scuttle the entire experience for him and takes months to heal, etc. We were not included and I don’t think fully heard in the beginning but we are now and it’s all very good. We managed but it meant my walking in front of Archer in the city street as I extended my arm in front of me to oncoming traffic to stop or make room for the traveler I had behind me. Like an old-fashioned traffic cop kind of scene with the little kids passing while the cop held back traffic with his hand. There’s no invention (yet) for an umbrella for a powerchair or a plastic wrapping of sorts, but when there is, it will be useful. After a lot of calls and talking with Security and the Police and Facilities and Disabilities, we have a decision. The most wonderful part is that everyone now understands so much more and the decision was arrived at after a lot of really good process. Lay your troubles down with a few deep breaths and a prayer that you can rest in God’s presence and forgiveness and love. They put up with me pushing and asking and hoping, and with Archer’s determination, and their care and Mc Donogh’s love, he is totally on track and now into UPenn.

Oh while I’m playing a little catch-up and we’re into Broadway, yes, Archer and Billy did go to see Stephen Colbert on his show a few weeks ago. Like figuring out PT and OT when the facility is a few miles away.

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