When Corey was 3 years old, she was playing in the backyard on the swing set. Our laundry room had an outside entrance to the side yard so I could run in to switch the laundry and still keep an eye on the kids as they played. Of course, I was inside for less than 15 minutes when I heard Corey calling for me. As I looked out the door I saw her walking across the top of the swing set as if the cross bar was a balance beam. My heart was in my throat but I calmly and slowly started to walk towards my little gymnast.
There was a young couple looking to purchase the house behind us. They were watching Corey from their driveway afraid to charge up the hill in fear that she would be startled and lose her balance. Corey was very confident as she proudly stated, “look what I can do”. We; the potential homeowners and I, held our breath until she walked the length of the swing set, reached down to grab the fireman’s pole, flipped off the top and spun down to ground to a perfect dismount. By the time she hit the ground I was waiting for her. I knelt in front of her, put my hands on her upper arms and gratefully said, “Honey that was great” (increasing my grip to get my point across) “BUT DON’T EVER DO THAT AGAIN”! Tati and Andy bought the house despite the crazy neighbors!
I have often said that Corey had no fear. No fear of gravity or consequence. That fearless determination is what drives her every day in her recovery. Today we read about a woman that had a similar injury as Corey’s. It has taken her 6 years and 3 months but she will be running an Ironman Triathlon this weekend. The doctors at University of Pennsylvania and Bryn Mawr rehab couldn’t predict that she would be capable of completing the simplest daily tasks and yet today she has exceeded everyone’s expectations.
The most difficult part of our new life is wondering if Corey will overcome her limitations and live independently. Will she go to college? Will she have an apartment, a boyfriend, a husband, children, travel, become a Chef and fulfill the dreams she had. The truth is, she doesn’t remember what she used to dream but she is beginning to dream new dreams.
Nothing gives me greater satisfaction then having a follow up visit with a Doctor that hasn’t consistently seen Corey. Today we saw Dr. Long, her neurologist. He hasn’t seen Corey since the height of her tantrum stage. We discussed the behavior plan, how it was working, how we are training the Bryn Mawr team to utilize the strategies and reviewed the team’s documentation of her progress. He was speechless and so proud of Corey. He was also intrigued asking detailed questions about our concept and execution. Dr. Long attended our presentation at the BIA conference in June. At the end of our visit he looked at us and stated, “I think you’ve written your next presentation, you need to share this”. Corey was delighted.
On the ride home from Bryn Mawr I thought of Melody Gardot, the Ironwoman article written about Candice Gantt and a few other TBI survivors we’ve met that have surpassed everyone’s expectations. I kept replaying Corey’s first 17 years in my mind. How many times did she drive us crazy because she was fearless, stubborn and determined to do what she wanted to do when she wanted to do it; now those character traits are at the top of our gratitude list.
I told Corey we were going to post a few new video’s of her progress. I wanted to shoot a new video of her left hand. She asked me what song we should play. Of course I could only pick one…Defying Gravity ~ Again!
We hope you enjoy the following video updates, xoxo
Corey Beattie working her biceps
Corey Beattie left handed cheese grater
Corey Beattie Defying Gravity ~ Again!