Blake is now 14! He loves to learn, think, and READ... and the library, and his sister, above all things. He also enjoys being active and adventurous biking, hiking, climbing trees and on anything, backwoods camping, cooking, and fencing. If is looks like a sword, he likes it. Magic the Gathering, Star Wars, Mid-Evil times, Steampunk, Ancient History, Mythology, coding, gaming, watching movies, and playing guitar. He is looking forward to Biatholon and running races. He's clever and witty, thoughtful and kind hearted, and a hands-on kind of guy. But there was an upset in October 2015, that brought everything he aspired to do, all of his adventure, fun, learning and social contact to a sudden halt. Upon returning from a Youth Retreat Weekend, while unloading luggage he hit the back of his head on the trailer doorjam with enough force to cause mild traumatic brain injury. He would much rather have had an exciting adventure story that lead to his head injury, but that's not what happened.
He has been assessed by a team of healthcare and mental health care providers and implemented all of their strategies to the best of his abilities for the past 2 years. Due to his head injury and slow recovery, he missed nearly all of 7th grade, attempted 5 months of 8th grade at a therapeutic school with virtually no academic focus exasperating his symptoms, and now in 9th grade has been able to attend only 5 weeks out of 10 so far.
Blake celebrated a break in his chronic migraine for 3 months this summer, and began participating, tutoring, and dreaming about his possibilities for the near future. But, his migraine returned after going to high school for a month this fall, and so did the dark cloud hanging over his head. He REALLY enjoys high school, and is totally bummed that he is missing out.
The increased stimulation this fall has limited his ability to participate in daily life: school, extra curricular activities, learning and thinking, playing, being in stimulating environments and around people. Issues he had hoped were going to stay in his past. His brain gets over stimulated very easily.
He has many, many other Post Concussion Syndrome symptoms. Physical symptoms include: dizziness (vertigo), eye tracking, ringing in his ears, headaches, light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, blurry vision, energy, and gut health. Cognitive symptoms include: difficulty concentrating, focusing, academics, work performance, processing, memory, brain fog, and multitasking. Psychological symptoms: anxiety, depression, irritability, sadness, and emotional swings. Physical exertion, watching movies, bright screens, loud noise, and length of time performing activities impact his symptoms. It is hard for him to hang out with family and friends because of the increase of his symptoms. His sleep is disturbed by his migraines throughout the night and he does not get quality sleep and rested.
At a recent follow up evaluation, the doctor referred Blake to a specialty clinic out of state. This is an excerpt from the email I received from the clinic:
"We specialize in neurological rehabilitation for patients suffering with functional symptoms due to an injury, degeneration, developmental disorder or autoimmune issue. We are successful in patient care due to our specificity in assessment and therapeutic interventions. Each patient has an individualized and intensive approach.
We offer neurological rehabilitation with medical intervention, immune support, physical/occupational therapy, coupled together in an integrated approach based on patient's medical history, diagnostics, comprehensive physical exam, and lab work. Our treatments are successful due to our specificity in how we view and approach the patient's needs. Through scientific and quantifiable measurements we target areas which have lost integrity and are no longer working as efficiently. The result is known as “neuroplasticity,” supported by chemical, structural, and functional changes. Creating new pathways to overcome bad habits, function or organization from the brain throughout the entire body.
This is made possible through environmental stimuli targeted to specific areas of the brain to make significant changes in the overall physiology. The brain has the ability to change physical structure between neurons, communication speed between neurons, integrative networks between areas of the brain, altering function, shifting how and when the areas are activated. This can occur in isolation from one another, but our approach is for this to take place in concert. This process creates lasting improvements to induce overall enhancements in the quality of life for the patient.
The average treatment schedule lasts 10 days. Your visit with us will include pre/post-diagnostic testing and daily treatments customized to the patient's needs which will last 2 1/2 - 4 hours over the span of each day.
A great percentage of our patients see measurable improvements within the first few sessions. Some patients are dealing with chronic disease and need a more long-term approach, we will schedule additional treatment sessions which are 10 days in length in approximately 3-6 months from initial visit. Our Clinical staff has the expertise and resources to provide efficient individualized treatment and measurable outcomes at an accelerated rate. "
What is very exciting and unexpected is that the clinic was able to get him in right away! That is amazing and highly unheard of, as most specialists of this expertise have 2-6 month waiting lists for appointments. People from all over the world go to this clinic, there are only 4 clinics in the country like this. WOW!
At the airport, on our way to heal Blake's brain...3:3 smiling for the camera, 2:3 fully cooperating and looking at the camera....there was forewarning this photo would be posted...just following through on my word. :)
UGH!!! The cost for treatment is required up front!
They do not bill insurance, are not participating in any insurance networks, nor is there any way to confirm the services are covered by the plan until they have been are done and processed as a claim. So, perhaps, maybe, insurance will reimburse at the out-of-network 50% rates, or maybe not.
Hyperbaric chamber increases oxygen into cells.
Blake inside in hyperbaric chamber
There are transportation and lodging expenses, and incidental expenses that occur while out of town, too. Air travel is necessary not to exasperate his symptoms.
I do not have the financial resources to cover all of the expenses to get Blake the treatment he needs. This is an urgent situation! I help with funding!
Creating new neuropathways in the gyrostem. It spins around in all directions per doctors specifications.
We have 2 private insurance companies, for his first round of evaluation and intensive therapy that may reimburse some of the cost at 50% out of network rates and provided the services are covered in the Plans. Beginning December 1, for ongoing and follow up out of state intensive therapy we will have only 1 insurance Plan, starting over with deductibles December 1st and again January 1st. I will need file the claims myself, too.
Should I get some reimbursement from insurance plan, I will be able to apply the funds towards Blake's local follow up care, that will be coordinated by the specialty clinic, and the 3-6 months follow up appointment, travel expenses and any academic tutoring that will be necessary catch him up for high school (so far, it's looking like math tutoring will be necessary.)
Laser treatment focusing on brain-gut connection
Your financial help would be greatly appreciated! It will help to relieve Blake of pain and anquish, help him to get back on track, and lead a meaningful and fulfilling life. It will also help assist in getting Blake attending school and a chance to finish high school with his peers.
Thus far by faith, compassion ,and selfless generosity many have contributed to our campaign to Help Blake Heal! I am very pleased to share that he is responding well to the treatment! We are deeply grateful and blessed in so many ways!
Regardless if you are able to donate funds, we would be blessed if you would share Blake's Go Fund Me link with family, friends, and church members you know who might be willing to donate to his cause and/or who do not follow Facebook. In this case, just copy and paste the link into an email or text...or write it down and hand over the note:)
Donations can be made anonymously, too.
Thank you for your consideration and support!
Blake and his good friend, Oliver the sheep...who thinks he's a lap dog! (I just really like this photo of my boy genuinely smiling at me...while cooperating at the same time. )
* campaign photo: Blake participating in brain training technique at clinic.
- Teresa Jenkins
- Stefan Avant-Mrcadante
- Jo Ann Leadingham