It's been over a week since our last update and many people have been asking about Heavenlee's condition. It has been a week of madness involving a number of issues and projects but I shall endeavor to give as good an update as I can, given our limited knowledge.
Following Heavenlee's surgery last week, she has shown significant progress with regards to movement, nerve function and the like. Her surgery was intended to fuse several of the damaged cervical vertebrae and eventually allow for the removal of the HALO device which now confines her head movements.
Prior to her surgery, there was no movement of her extremities. She was unable to move either arms or legs and could only move her eyes and mouth. Since then, there is now sporadic nerve impulses throughout her body, resulting in occasional twitching of the arms, legs, hands and feet.
Although there is no controlled movement, the doctors are optimistic that some feeling and motion may return over time. It seems that the spinal cord, which was originally thought to have been severed was actually only crushed, resulting in the paralysis she now suffers from. For what it's worth, this was a bit of good news in an otherwise lousy situation.
She has also been fitted with a Trach tube and a device which allows her to begin relearning how to speak. In time, she should be able to regain her voice and speak to us.
In addition, we have been in contact with the Christopher & Dana Reeves Foundation and they have provided a wealth of information regarding Heavenlee's condition and have offered their support.
Unfortunately, they are unable to assist us as we deal with the legal issues regarding Indiana law: IC 9-19-11-2, which provides for only a Class D Traffic Violation with a $25.00 fine.
As a non-profit organization, I can understand their position as they are specifically prohibited from direct lobbying on behalf of any legal actions. Having worked for a non-profit myself many years ago, I have a better understanding than most regarding the limitations imposed on non-profit groups.
In all of this, it seems odd that this issue has never been addressed before. As such, there is virtually no reference material, legal precedents or the like to draw upon as we navigate through the legislative system.
It would seem that we are meant to lead the way in providing our children and grandchildren a safer world in which to grow up in and holding those responsible when they fail to provide our children and grandchildren a safe environment, be it in a car, home or in public.
Over the next few days, I will also address several issues which have been brought up by others and attempt to explain our position, although I suspect that no explanation will satisfy those who question our motives.
As I have said in the past... Crimen est verus penintentiarius! (Guilt is the truest confessor)
Please continue to spread the word and increase our exposure as we work towards our final goal of achieving some measure of Justice for Heavenlee!!!
God bless each and every one of you reading this.
James & Amanda Wallace