Friday, July 20, 2018

Final Friday

Today was our final morning at For His Children.  Pam finished up one more wheelchair reconfiguration and adjusted feeding chairs to be more effective for the younger children.  Megan and Barbara posted the Steps to Rolling and Floor Time visuals in the baby rooms and assembled a floor time mat.  Harvey, Michaell, and Noelia finished translated the PT reports.  Our translators were rockstars as always and worked very hard even through injury and nausea. Final PT reports were printed in English and Spanish.  Katie, Bessie, and Kris hung up activity suggestion cards for both older kids and younger kids to be used by the Tias and future volunteers.  The children were excited to see their pictures up on the wall.   For His Children was presented with three binders: one with PT reports, one with OT baseline information and suggestions, and the BRIGHT Resource Binder which included information from physical therapy, occupational therapy, music therapy, infant massage, mental health and diagnoses, cerebral palsy, behavior, and education.  While we were finishing up the Tias did face painting and one of the individuals dressed as Barney. The team said their goodbyes through tears and smiles.  The children touched our hearts and proved all that the head Physical Therapist said they could not do and will continue to do so for those who believe in them. 

Upon departure from For His Children, we dropped our cook for the week off at the bus station to head to visit her brother.  We were blessed with wonderful food all week and we were sad to say goodbye to her.  Our team made a trip to Mitad del Mundo, the middle of the world.  We went on a tour of the equator museum.  We learned some interesting information and had fun as a team.  The bus then took the US part of our group to our hotel.  There were many tears as we said goodbye to our wonderful translators and our wonderful host, Nathy.

Our team has greatly appreciated your support and prayers throughout the preparation and duration of this trip.  Our team is headed off for an excursion for the next few days before heading home on Monday.  The team has earned some down time and have chosen to extend the trip with personal funds for some cultural experiences.  We will travel home to the US early Monday morning.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Tiring Thursday

Today was the day to finish all outstanding projects around the facility and complete assessment reports and individual activity cards for each child to be posted for the Tias and future volunteers.  Progress was slowed when Pam was hit by the stomach bug so she rested much of the day. 

While some were writing reports and preparing documents to leave with For His Children, others helped with feedings, and did more infant massage.  Pam did complete two more chair reconfigurations.  Some team members went shopping for additional donations. For His Children had scheduled a bonfire, but it was too cold to have it outside.  Insert Plan B, projection of a fire inside while singing, then movie night.

Team members are continuing to work on final reports and printing the activity cards before we leave.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Thrombosis Risking Thursday

We realized we never posted about our travels.....
Thursday, July 12, we spent way too much time in planes, trains, and automobiles.  We left the Taylor home in San Francisco at 3:15am, dropped the team off at the terminal and returned the rental van.  6:55am flight with an arrival at 1:15pm  Then the hours, upon hours, upon hours in the 15 gate San Salvador airport.  It should be noted that they had many stores and restaurants including Bath and Body Works and Victoria Secrets.  However, all of us were very happy to depart.  We are not looking forward to the 7:0am-3:00pm layover in said airport on the return.  Our flight that should have arrived at 12:01 am finally made it's very turbulent landing at 3:00am.  We went through customs, gathered our checked bags and finally found our host for the week, Nathy and the GINORMOUS bus.  We finally got to our hotel at 3:30am rounding out a 24 hour day of travel.  Too many hours of sitting could have caused the entire team thrombosis.  We all survived and quickly fell asleep.

Working and Workshop Wednesday

Our team was a group of worker bees today.  Tia training workshop was scheduled for this afternoon so there was much time spent in the morning preparing handouts, pictures, and putting together equipment for the workshop.

Angie and Kris did massage with three of the older non-ambulatory individuals with the Latacunga FHC supervisor and a Tia.  Everyone loved it and V ended up snoring and fully extended and relaxed.

Pam and Harvey spent the morning working with Paula, FHC's PT, setting up a new seating system for one of the younger kiddos.  They worked with Paula to devise a schedule where all children can be seen weekly in either individual or a group setting to get their needs met. They also adjusted another child's gait trainer so that it is much more appropriate for getting him to truly ambulatory.  Paula has greatly appreciated all of Pam's input so she bought her new crocs to match hers.

Barbara adapted a jacket to become a weighted vest for the older kids.  Team members also put together some weighted socks to be used for OT and PT.  Megan and Barbara also put together deep pressure and brushing protocols.

Bessie spent the morning putting together visuals of the names of the instruments and how each can be used.  She also helped print and prep the rest of the team's materials.

Translators spent a great deal of the morning taking pictures and doing translations of workshop materials and protocols.

The workshop was a great success.  There were 12 Tias, Mercedes the Latacunga FHC supervsior, and Paula in attendance.  We had two hours to get through Behavior/SLP, OT, PT, Music Therapy, Development, and Education and we finished under time while still being thorough.  Katie covered behavior and the language handouts that she brought.  She also taught everyone how to get any size child or adult to stand up by using the "two finger method (which is actually four fingers total)."  Megan and Barbara covered rolling back to tummy with babies, use of the peanut ball, sensory stimulus (including brushing and deep pressure), and ranging hands.  Pam covered seating, transfers, and floor time.  Bessie covered suggestions on how to incorporate music and how to use the instruments being donated in different ways.  Angie discussed stages of development. Kris came at the end to provide a recap, encourage the Tias for all they are doing, and discussed encouraging independence, working on functional/life skills, transitions, and inclusion.  The Tias all loved the training and appreciated the level of detail that was precise.

You will notice that Lindsey, Bessie, and Harvey are all functioning with smiles and feeling much better.  Harvey toughed through wheelchair adjustments and modeling movements while translating as if nothing ever happened.  We were happy to have the full team together today.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Traumatic to Terrific Tuesday

This morning began with a start when team members were awoken by the translators saying that Harvey fell in the shower.  When he fell, he fell and hit his rib and heard a snap.  The ambulance came quickly and the hospital was quick, amazing, and respectful.  Harvey and Michaell said that the experience was much better than their experiences in Nicaragua.  Harvey was given lots of pain meds via shot, IV, and meds to bring home.  He rested for the day with much push from the "Jefa".  Thankfully, Harvey has no fractures.

Besides the traumatic start, the day went well and was productive.  Everyone enjoyed the nice weather.

Megan and Barbara completed 24 assessments in the last 2.5 days with the assistance of Noelia, Angie, Michaell.  They are working on their written reports and recommendations.  Today some highlights from OT were kicking the soccer ball with L and J understanding placing begs with one model despite his visual impairment.

Pam completed all of her assessments with the assistance of Harvey and Noelia.  She also worked with Paula, the FHC PT, who continues to be very receptive to suggestions. Pam was also excited to see J, one of the children with visual impairments navigate the play yard independently to go visit the llama.

Angie had the opportunity to do infant massage training with one of the young one's mom who visits often.  This was an unexpected opportunity. She also did some additional infant massage training with some of the other Tias.  Angie also helped Kris with an art project with the older children and assisted Barbara and Megan when short on translators.

Kris did an art project with the older kids.  Everyone loved the activity and worked hard to complete their individual projects.  In the afternoon, she spent time with Bessie doing some academics with music and then played with the children as the weather was beautiful in the afternoon.

Bessie did a music group with the babies and toddlers in the morning which wiped her out.  She did a 1:1 with a five year old with Kris to work on number recognition.  She then spent time with the children outside in the afternoon.

Katie spent time with the FHC SLP, Hector, and discussed his treatment plans and the donations that we provided.  She discussed his concerns about feeding and made some suggestions on some adaptations.  She spent the rest of the day wearing Lindsey's hat as photographer and hanging out with the kids. She also worked with A with the newly installed 3-D tactile guide on the wall.  It had been installed downstairs and we recommended on Saturday that it be added upstairs for the two individuals with visual impairments there.  She also helped with doing a wheelchair train.

Thank you for your prayers and support.  We are healing and feeling better.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Marvelous and Miserable Monday

Today had great things and not so great things.  Bessie was sick all night long so opted to stay in bed for the day to get rest and not expose anyone else.  Lindsey ended the day with the same issues.  Please pray for healing for both.  The rest of the team had a productive day.

Katie spent time evaluating a few kids for speech and then spent the afternoon taking data on behaviors.  She talked to the Tias about behaviors and will provide recommendations based on the data and her observations. She also tried to observe feeding of one individual but she refused to let Katie watch her.  She also took some pics so we don't have any pics of her on the other side of the camera.

Angie and Lindsey spent time in the morning training one of the Tias on infant massage and the Tia and the babies loved the time.   She helped Kris with educational evaluations in the afternoon.  Angie got the opportunity to help our cook, Maria, with making the empanadas for lunch.

Kris spent some time sitting in with the Megan and Barbara with OT.  She then did bubble activities with the kids as the weather was beautiful today.  The kids and the Tias absolutely loved the bubbles and there was much laughing and fun had by all. The responses of some of the less engaged individuals was wonderful to see. She also finished up some educational evals.

Pam was able to spend time with the FHC brand new PT, Paula, who started last week.  Paula was open to suggestions and in improving what FHC already has.  Pam completed four more assessments and started planning changes to chairs for better position.  She enjoyed seeing two individuals who spent much of their time in their chairs being free on the floor and seeing some good mobility.

Megan and Barbara were able to complete several assessments.  The ages are a bigger range than what the OTs are used to but they enjoyed the challenge.  One of the older residents (21) questioned everything that she was being asked to do and greatly disliked the Senor Boca.

Noelia, Harvey, and Michaell continue to be fabulous translators and a blessing to our team.  They are working hard and are greatly appreciated.  They are enjoying learning about the different therapies that they are helping with and also seeing that children with special needs have many more skills and understanding.