June 25, 2004

Jenny had her first real trip out in public today. We went to the sea horse exhibit at the zoo that Jenny talked about seeing prior to her stroke. It started out rough when a child, doing what a child would do, commented to peer something concerning Jenny’s condition. Jenny already resisted going out into public for this reason (being looked at as the “handicapped” person). She was able to calm herself, but had various outbursts of emotion throughout the visit for various reasons. It was crowded at the time we went to the exhibit, but a quick walk around the zoo was pleasant for her. She continues to do well in therapy and is getting slightly stronger each day.

The highlite of the day was when Jenny was hooked up for assistive communication and environmental controls. In just a few days, Jenny has become able to control a delicate pressure switch that can work a speaking board and turn on/off things that we use every day (such as lights or tv). Jenny burst into tears of joy when she turned on a light by herself. For the first time in over 3 months Jenny had actual physical control over something in her environment. Such a small act was so huge to her. She powers switches powered by her hand, head, or toes- where she has most movements. Today marks a dramatic change in our lives. It will take a while for Jenny to become good at the speaking device, but it will be so nice to know that Jenny is having her needs made known all (or most) of the time.


  1. Jenny, how wonderful. You have all of the coolest gadgets. More contol will help your self therapy so much. What a boost!
    Mark, I am so happy to hear that your familt is doing such wonderful things together.
    I really thnk that will help the family part of the healing process.
    Jenny, No matter what people say in public, you are a true spectacle of hope love and faith. Please, use their unknowledge as leverage to continue to grown physically, spiritually and emotionally. You have come so fare and have such a road ahead that your grace and self pride will undoubtedly shine through.
    Keep up the great work. I am so glad you all are continuing to share these times with me. It really helps to know what is going on.
    God Bless You All—

  2. Wow!!!It is so exciting to read about the new things you are doing! We LOVE to read your messages, Mark. You write so well and Jenny is doing so many wonderful things. We are so happy for you. I’ll bet the kids are and will be more and more fascinated by all the things Jenny can do with her new equipment and skills. That will be so fun for them. We continue to pray for and think of you daily here in our suburb of Detroit. We send our love. Uncle Dee and Aunt Lois Ann

  3. Oh, Jenny! What terrific news! I’m so pleased and happy to hear about this new progress of yours. The Lord is blessing you in so many different ways.

    Love always,

  4. Lynn’s,

    A sea horse exhibit sounds fun. You do find all of the off the beaten path activities. This one sounds great. We are in awe of the significant improvements that are being made, I am sure emotionally as well as physically. We love hearing of the accomplishments. We are not suprised of what you can do together, you are just revered.

    Love, Magot

  5. Hi Jenny! You are doing so well and I am so proud of you! I think about you daily and I miss you! You are truly amazing! I hope to see you soon! Just let me know when you want another hair cut! I’m so excited you are getting to do some fun summer activities! Keep up the good work! Thanks Mark for keeping us updated! God Bless all of you!

    Jenny DeLong

  6. Jenny, Mark,

    It is such a great experience to be able to go along with you through this odyssey as you two battle back together from this stroke. Jenny, I feel a deep personal strength enlarge and surge inside me every time I read your progress reports that Mark so skillfully prepares. This strength is built on your faith and your ingenuity, and is impowered by your love and patience and longsuffering! It reaches out and takes hold of my seemingly troubled existence and overpowers it, raising me to new levels of understanding, and bids me drink from wells filled with profound compassion. I often cry while reading them, but my tears are tears of joy and hope and love. Your examples to all of us are over the top, really. Jenny, go on fighting upward. Mark, continue to love without measure. You cannot imagine how this experience, despite its obvious derelictions, is blessing the lives of your immediate and extended family, your friends, and people everywhere, and it’s all because of your great strength and faith. We love and pray for you all. Uncle Bert, Aunt Diana & Family

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