Myoelectric Arms Are Cool!

For those wondering how Jameson is doing with his Myoelectric prosthetic arms, he is doing great! In fact, he thinks that they are pretty cool!image

I have been meaning to write an update about his current progress, but forgive me, I am 24 weeks pregnant chasing a soon to be 2-year-old while battling back to back cold viruses since Christmas. However, we have managed to keep wearing the arms a few times a day. Jameson is doing a lot better with the dawning process, this was very challenging in the beginning. You need to understand that they are not the easiest to put on and it can take some time to do so. Most two-year olds have very little patience, as is the case with ours. But, with lots of encouragement and praise, Jameson now cooperates beautifully! We are so proud of him!

As I have said in the past, wear time is fun and very positive! If at any time there are signs of distress or he says he’s done, we’re done. During wear time (we usually just do one so that he has the other arm to feel) he can grab and carry items around! But, as far as Jameson realizing how the electric mechanism works, he is still getting the hang of it. He understands that he can make it move, but is not 100% sure just how he does it. We are confident that he will figure it out with time, especially when he is able to comprehend the explanation of it all. Regardless, he is doing very well!

In other cool news, Jameson is currently a spokes model for Advanced Arm Dynamics! imageHe is featured among other patients in the new brochure and marketing video of 2014! We are so happy to be a part of such a wonderful company and could not be more proud to be able to inspire other families similar to ours. Here is the link to the video (Jameson appears three different times) https://vimeo.com/user5106732/review/85483287/fa66786da4

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Baby Davis # 2 Is On The Way!

That’s right, Jameson is going to be a big brother this year! We are beyond excited and very blessed to be expecting another baby.image

Yes, this was planned. No, we are not crazy! Jim and I have always known that we wanted children. From the very beginning we dreamed of having a family of our own, and maybe a big one at that. However, we did not know that achieving said dream would prove to be more of a challenge for us than most.

Despite suffering several losses, enduring painful injections (me), and receiving life-changing news that our first would be born with special needs- we have decided that we still want more children. To say the least, it has been a scary decision, but we have put much thought into it and we know in our hearts that it’s the right one for us. After all, our first child, Jameson, adds so much joy to our lives, we could not love him more. AND he is going to make an awesome big brother!

So, lo and behold this past fall, I found myself staring at a positive hpt (home pregnancy test)! I was petrified, this was happening. I knew that I had to pull strength from anywhere I could get it and be brave. This is what we prayed for.

Four and a half months of hard baby incubation work later, we got to see how our little one was doing. A day that we were extremely panicked about, the dreaded mid-pregnancy ultrasound. Having been through so much has really put things into a different perspective for us. Pregnancy is Scary! Joys that other couples share while pregnant are terrifying to us. Normally this ultrasound should have been something to look forward to. Nope. But, we knew what we signed up for. Because we had no real answer for why Jameson’s limb deficiency occurred, many frightening thoughts ran through our minds.  As the tech placed the wand on my belly I cried, a second later a little hand waved at us and she said ” I can tell you right now that I see full arms and legs”!  And…image

The Perinatologist that was there for the scan said he looks great! We could not be more thrilled and are so very blessed! Now, to choose another boy name yikes! So not easy;)image

3-D image, his hands up near his face.

3-D image, his hands up near his face.

His little feet!

His little feet!

1st Set of Myos, Here We Come!

First, I would like to thank everyone who helped us raise money, donated, and showed us your love and support! Without all of you we could not have gotten this far. We are so happy to announce that we are able to pay for Jameson’s FIRST set of Myoelectric prosthesis!!!image

After all the incredible fund-raising and waiting for insurance claims to be processed/accepted, we now have an appointment set in October! Jameson is finally going to be able to move his own fingers and hands! Learning not only how to control this type of prosthetic, but to tolerate the process at such a young age has been something that we have been striving for. Now the time has come and we are looking forward to making great progress.

We will be traveling seven hours to Portland, Oregon by car and will be there for a week or maybe a little more. During our visit at Advanced Arm Dynamics,  Jameson, myself and his daddy will learn how the Myoelectric prosthesis are built, how to put them on, and learn how to work them. There are several different types of electric prosthetics, but Myo’s as they are nicknamed, have become the most popular and the most advanced.

Myoelectric prosthetics have a number of advantages over body-powered prosthetics.  Since it uses a battery and electronic motors to function, the myoelectric artificial limb does not require any unwieldy straps or harnesses to function.  Instead, it is custom made to fit and attach to the remaining limb (whether above the elbow or below) with maximum suspension using suction technology.  Once it is attached, the prosthetic uses electronic sensors to detect minute muscle, nerve, and EMG activity.  It then translates this muscle activity (as triggered by the user) into information that its electric motors use to control the artificial limbs movements.  The end result is that the artificial limb moves much like a natural limb, according the mental stimulus of the user.  The user can even control the strength and speed of the limb’s movements and grip by varying his or her muscle intensity.  As well, the acute sensors and motorized controls enable greater dexterity, even allowing the manipulation and use of small items like keys or credit cards through functioning fingers.  In addition to this extreme functionality, the myoelectric artificial limb needs not sacrifice any of its cosmetic appearance.  The most advanced versions of these prosthetics are incredibly natural and on par with purely cosmetic limbs. (info. taken from http://www.myoelectricprosthetics.com/).

Currently, Jameson uses a passive set of prosthesis, he has been using this pair since he was 7 months old. The passive arms are what I like to call his “training wheel arms”.  imageThey are very basic and have minimal movement which he needs help to maneuver. He does not wear them all day, that was never the plan. Just a few times a day is all he needs to achieve the purpose of the passive set. The purpose has been to help him get used to having something placed on his arm, adjust to the difference in length (which also helps with vision depth and balance), as well as bring objects and snacks to his own mouth.  As a baby, Jameson has done so great with these! Also, starting this process early has helped minimize rejection. When not wearing his prosthesis he has adapted incredibly to his short arms. He can do almost anything including pick pennies off of the floor!!!  The first time I saw that I was blown away. imageUnfortunately, there are tasks that cause him so much frustration.  When, I see him struggle I just want to cry. As amazing as he is, these moments are the reason we continue to move ahead with the prosthesis.

Unlike, the passive arms, the Myoelectric prosthesis will allow him to have precise hand control, grasp, and finger movement. This is a huge step forward and we are so very excited to be able to give this amazing gift to our son.

Summer Adventures!

Davis Family Summer Adventures-here’s to….

Meeting new friends- thank you Hector and family for the Hat!

Meeting new friends- thank you Hector and family for the Hat!

Spending time at the lake

Spending time at the lake

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Hangin' out with cousins and family

Hangin’ out with cousins and family

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Baby's first pancakes!

Baby’s first pancakes!

Our puppies!

Our doggies!

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Interesting homes

Interesting homes

Floating

Floating

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Fishing

Fishing

Self entertainment

Self entertainment

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Family time

Family time

AND NAPS!!!

AND NAPS!!!

Jameson & Hector

On Saturday July 13th, Jameson and Hector finally met! Hands For Baby Jameson- Cycle USA came to a very emotional and happy finish!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHector finish

Hector Picard had set out on one incredible journey to show our little boy that ANYTHING is possible.  It ended with friends and loved ones by our sides showing compassion and support as Hector completed his 3200 mile bicycle ride across the USA. A ride that has no doubt inspired so many people around the country. A ride that proves to our son that despite his disability the impossible IS possible.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe rest of the day and well into the evening we spent time getting to know Hector and his wonderful family; his wife Wendy and two kids Sophia and Alex. They are really great! This was a big day for Jameson, despite missing his usual three-hour nap, our 1-year-old did so awesome! He welcomed Hector into his little baby world like he had already known him.Hector and Jameson

While we visited with the Picard clan, more community members, friends and family gathered with us at Prospector’s Bar and Grill.  There, we enjoyed good food, music, fun, and auctioned/raffled off all the awesome and generously donated items. The event was a success and we were able to raise $4,500! We could not have had such a great outcome without the generosity and love from so many. I would like to thank all of you that helped out and donated, you all are AMAZING!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Thanks to all my helpers, without you this day would not have been this perfect:

Phil & Jet Kercher- you guys are so wonderful, Dwight & Trudy Olsen-we were able to get such a great bike, Prospector’s Bar and Grill- for hosting the event, my sister-in-law Cat-great job on 92.9 ZZU, my mother-law Sally and my mom Diane-we love you, Chad Wiser- you rock literally, Annie Bishop @KXLY- for helping us spread the word for months, Trevor Erickson & McClains Pizzeria- for spreading the word and selling so many bracelets, my Aunt Laurie- you were so helpful to us and wonderful to Hector, my niece Cali- for selling bracelets, my niece Ruby for telling Jameson’s story, Noah Skinner- for meeting up with Hector in Denver, Cindy Davis-you were great to get balloons and send Hector off from Pullman, Noah Sutherland-for rallying bikers and riding with Hector, Baddlands Bike Club- for riding with Hector,Pamela & Lilia Burks- thanks for driving the update car, a huge thanks to all friends and family that came out, & to all the people who joined in to ride with Hector-thank you!!!!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Thanks to all the donators: North Division Bike, Phil & Jet Kercher,Debbie Thune, Lindsay Hofman & Spoke n’ Sport, Kollette McHaney @ Brews Bros, Laurie MacMillan, Thomas Hammer, John Grollmus, Julie Boehm, Leslie Dashiell, Stacy Sanchez & The Daily Habit, Shirley Antak, Connie Conradi, Wandermere Golf Coarse, Becky Goldberg, Dave Cornell – the winner of the bike raffle who requested the bike be returned to North Division and the cash value be given to the fundraiser, Wiser Weddings, Doug Clegg, Cathy Moudy, Beth Marrotta, Brian Anderson,Dave Holznagel, Barbara Smith, Daniel Lambert, Sue & Al Will, Heather Wiser, Brian Moore, Jackie Dowers and Family, and to all that made a donation to http://www.dontstopliving.org/…. I hope I am not missing anyone, if I am I truly apologize from the bottom of my heart.

And the biggest THANK YOU goes to Hector Picard! You truly are an amazing man and special human being. The total money that was raised because of you was $17,841!!!!!!!!  That money will greatly help provide Jameson’s future prosthesis! But, like Jim and I have said all along-  it is not about the money, it is about the true act of kindness and the incredible selfless deed of a stranger who showed a family and their child the courage to never give up. We have learned a tremendous life lesson and gained a new friend for life!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

6 Days To Go!

In 6 days, Jameson and Hector will meet for the very first time. As Jameson’s mother I am extremely excited for the moment that the two of them come face to face, for all of us to meet!  I can’t wait to give this incredible guy a great big hug. I am pretty sure that everyone in attendance is going to remember this for a very long time. A beautiful moment of pure raw emotion. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I saw one of Hector’s recent interviews where he told the reporter that this moment, when he meets us, is what has kept him going. And as he finished saying that, he nearly lost it and I saw a few tears. Brought tears to my eyes, that was for sure.

It’s not over yet, but I have to say that this has been quite the journey for Hector. It has been a very trying mission, probably more so than anyone anticipated. Sometimes I get the feeling that Hector’s daily updates have been a bit “sugar-coated”.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the daily updates, especially the Dear Jameson part! But I do know that he leaves stuff out like how his arm stump was pretty much being torn to shreds from the old bike, his shoes are falling apart, he only wears one sock so that he has a free foot to change bike tires, IV’s in your foot are painful, his stolen iPad was a Father’s Day gift, and much more. He has suffered, and it makes me sad and feel bad, but it was not like we could tell the guy “no way”. I am pretty sure he would not take no for an answer.

Even though this has been a huge challenge, Hector is having an adventure of a life-time! Meeting many wonderful people, visiting places he has never been before (he’s never seen wheat fields), living off of McDonald’s, Dominos Pizza, and Coca Cola, and most importantly he is inspiring so many people around the US, especially Jameson, that ANYTHING is possible even without hands.

Currently, Hector is in Idaho Falls, ID! Whoo hoo….. only one state from Washington! He’s almost here! If you want to help Hector finish his ride you can donate at: http://www.dontstopliving.org/index.html

And ANYONE can come join us in welcoming Hector July 13th here in Spokane, 10120 N Whittier St @1pm!!!

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