Saturday, August 4, 2012

Last weekend in China!

First things first! Many, many, MANY thanks to Brian's latest donors! Sorry if these are a bit late, but receiving PayPal notifications is apparently a bit... unpredictable... here in China.
Jewel C. (Colorado, USA) - $100.00
Roger S. (Derbyshire, U.K.) - $75.00
Edel S. (Armagh, U.K.) - $100.00
Amber F. (Pennsylvania, USA) - $50.00

Brian has completed all his stem cell infusions - 2 lumbar puncture infusions and 4 IV infusions. Now he waits. It can take up to six or eight months to expect to see any results. In the meantime, the staff here in China has given him some good physical therapy exercises to enhance the functionality he has already. Sean has also given him some brain exercises. For example, while holding an object in his weaker and less sensitive left hand, he's asked to identify the object. Then it's placed in his right hand to get a better feel and a more accurate description. Then back into his left hand to compare the two different sensations. He maintains good strength on his left side; coordination and finer motor control is the main hurdle. We've started reminding him to do minor tasks with his left side, such as scratching an itch or washing his hands. As he gets better with minor tasks, he's looking forward to skills requiring greater dexterity, like sculpture and calligraphy (though those probably won't develop this week).

The other families went into Qingdao city tonight (Saturday). Grainne and Sean stayed behind in the hospital with Brian, but insisted that Shane go with the rest of the group (Juan, Carolina & Gaby from Colombia and Farhan, Anita & Zahra from USA). Shane has more than earned a little break for the night. He's staying in a hotel room in Qingdao to rest up a little bit with no heavy lifting, bathing or bathroom duties to wear him out. Shane has acted far above and beyond the call of duty when it's come to helping care for Brian. Thank you, Shane!

While Shane is away, on Sunday Grainne and Sean are hoping to take Brian to the restaurant at the Holiday Inn where we stayed earlier this week for a little treat to the delicious lunch buffet there. All this adventure has been no easier on Brian, and he's earned a little treat as well. Monday we leave the hospital and fly back to Beijing where we'll spend the night in a hotel near the airport, then fly back to Ireland on Tuesday! China has been a great adventure, but every one of us is looking forward to getting back to Western culture (and a bed that doesn't feel like it's made of wood!).

We heard from Serar, Baidaq and Jawad from Iraq. They made it home safely and they're back in Basra. All of them exclaimed how exhausted they were and they sent their love and best wishes to Brian and the rest of us! Mushallah to you too!

We'll be keeping you updated! Thank you!

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