Melungeon-L ArchivesArchiver > Melungeon > 2006-08 > 1156182240
Subject: UPDATE ON BRENT
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2006 13:44:00 EDT
For those of you new to the list, N. Brent Kennedy, author of The
Melungeons: The Resurrection of a Proud People, suffered a severe brain injury due to
an aneurym. It is a wonder he is alive. Here is the latest update I just
August 21, 2006 at 12:00 AM EDT
So much has happened in the last three weeks that it is hard to know where
to start! First, we have made great strides in setting up computer-based
communication for my Dad (Brent). ETTAC (East Tennessee Technical Assistance
Center) in Knoxville has been a great asset - they have brought a number of
software programs and switches for Dad to test out. With the proper setup, Dad will
be able to "scan" through different boards on the computer, clicking his
switch when the option he wants is highlighted. This method will allow him to do
everything from telling us which body part hurts, turning the
television/lights on and off, and writing out words to more complicated things--he says he
wants to write a new book!!! We have found a setup we think might work and
hopefully it is only a matter of time, practice, and patience before my Dad
will be able to write these updates himself!
Additionally, Brent's strength has steadily improved over the last three
weeks. He is now nodding and shaking his head for yes and no most of the time as
well as showing improved strength in his left arm and hand (very important
because this is the hand he has been using to "click" with on the computer).
When we help him work out his muscles his inner strength and determination
really shine. Seeing the payoffs help keep both him and us strong.
The final bit of news, which we received on Friday, is that Dad has been
accepted into a stroke and spinal cord injury rehab program at Patricia Neal
hospital in Knoxville, TN. We do not yet know how long he will stay there, but
he will move in on Tuesday and we are both excited and nervous - we really
feel this is a perfect fit for him but we have so much to do before we leave!
Besides getting physical therapy, he will have access to an impressive lab
dedicated to assistive communication technology that will work with him in
practicing and perfecting his computer communication skills. We ask you all to pray
that he continues to make great strides when he gets to Patricia Neal.
We really appreciate all the continued support, thought, visits, and
prayers. Besides seeing Dad's own determination not to give up, it is family and
friends that help make this journey possible!!!
Thanks to all of you for being there -- Ryan Kennedy