I’m asked that question at least five times each day. Sometimes more. Rarely less. Ever since I first shared the story and subsequent updates of my four-year-old son Charlie’s brain surgery, a staggering number of people from all around the globe have been following his journey.
So, everywhere I go, it’s “How’s Charlie?”
I don’t mind the question. Because I finally have a good answer.
Today, December 17th, is a big day.
Today, my son is six months seizure-free.
I just got emotional typing that sentence. It just doesn’t seem real.
Prior to his surgery, Charlie was suffering up to 15 debilitating seizures every day. We were confused. We were scared. We felt helpless.
But here we are. After an eight-hour surgery, a five-week hospital stay, and seven months of various therapies, we find ourselves in a much better place.
Six-months seizure free.
If only December 17th Ryan could go back and tell May 17th Ryan about this day.
Sure, we still have a long way to go. While Charlie has made great strides physically, he is still light years behind in speech and cognitive skills. For months now, we’ve worked tirelessly with Charlie to learn letters, numbers, and colors. Nothing seemed to click in his battered little brain.
Then, last week, breakthrough.
As I was helping him get dressed one morning, Charlie began (without prompting) to identify various letters on my shirt. Thankfully, my wife was there with her phone to capture it for posterity.
A few letters may not seem like much, but for a little boy who, up until a few months ago couldn’t even say his name, it felt like we moved Mount Everest. And it gave my wife and I a jolt of encouragement and motivation to keep moving.
We still don’t know what the future holds. We know there will be many more speed bumps on our road to recovery.
But we’ll worry about those tomorrow.
Today, we celebrate.
Today, my son is six-months seizure-free.