Another amazing story from a VMC family…

After receiving permission from the family, I am excited to share this story with you. As difficult as it is to imagine feeling “locked in” your own body, imagine being given a chance to start communicating again. That’s what VMC’s team did for Laure, and part of what the VMC Foundation proudly supports.

When I asked Mr. Chow if I could share this with you, in fact, he responded right away, saying:

You can certainly share. We credit the staff at SCVMC, especially Dr Duong and your PT/OT/ST staff for challenging while respecting Laure. Laure always faces her challenges head on.

You should also know the nursing staff has always been fantastic. Laure was very particular about her care and Laure felt both safe and genuinely cared for by your nursing staff.

Laure has a long way to go, but your staff has been a source of compassion, support and encouragement towards her recovery.

This, then, from Mr. Chow:

To Laure’s extended family:

It has been a long and difficult year for Laure and her family. She is still paralyzed and mute, and everyday life has been extremely challenging. Today however, I share some good news.

Since Laure has been working diligently with physical/occupational therapy every day, she has managed to gain enough head control to hold her head steady. This allows her to use a machine called Dynavox.

The machine tracks her eyes along a keyboard and when Laure blinks, it accepts this as if she were pressing a key. Once she completes a sentence, she uses her eyes to “click” on the “speak” button and the machine speaks what Laure has just typed with her eyes.

At first Laure spelled, “I am tired”, then “thank you Larry”, and “Annie (her caregiver) you are special”. Then Laure was on a roll, spelling:

I want Internet.

I want email.

I want email.

I want email.

She was then able to spell / speak, “I love Ton Ton” and “I love Caillou”.

Finally, she spelled, “ I am happy” and “I have a voice”. We all cried.

All this took well over an hour; the device is not 100% accurate, and Laure gets exhausted just trying to hold her head steady, but we will keep practicing and hopefully send a few emails soon.

I know you share in our joy, and thank you for your thoughts, prayers, love and support of Laure.

Larry Chow