Time flies when you are having fun

Today marks 2 years since Ava’s accident when she lost use of her right arm.  It has been AWESOME (just had a discussion with some ladies about when really is it appropriate to use that word…I think it is called for here) to see her regain her strength.   Here’s a more detailed update and, if you know me, a prayer request of course. 

Photos today courtesy of Great-aunt Sue, who provides wonderful care of Ava so I can catch some breaks.

When Ava had her nerve transfers done at Cincinnati Children’s 20 months ago, she had no function at all in her right arm.  The main goals of surgery were to give her shoulder stabilization (so it wasn’t dropping and pulling out of place), sensation, and the ability to feed herself with that side in case something might ever happen to her other arm.  Any sort of hand function was to be considered icing on the cake for a girls of Ava’s age. 

This is what we’ve got. 

1.  Shoulder stabilized.  Success!

2.  Ability to bend at elbow 90 degrees.  Think of it as half of a bicep curl.  Although, she can’t go any higher than that, it is incredibly strong in that she can put a pail with items in it on her forearm and carry it that way. 

3.   To get her hand up to her mouth, after her half bicep curl, she then needs to rotate her arm at the shoulder.  She can just barely get it there, but we count it!

4.  Huge increase in balance.  Ava doesn’t trip nearly as often when we are walking along a sidewalk or just jogging across our farm.  We’ve only made one trip to the ER in the past 12 months (she was trying out a fire pole at a playground) which is a much lighter schedule than we experienced the first 12 months post-accident.  I think the ability to engage her arm helps tremendously for shifting her weight to avoid those falls.

5.  Sensation all the way to the tips of her fingers.  Much safer!

6.  She can exert enough downward pressure to hold a piece of paper on the table with her right arm while she writes with her left hand. Very useful for a kindergartener!  She also can hold items between her arm and tummy, a function she uses all the time now. 

Her fingers are always curled in.

She has the ability to flex at her wrist just a bit. Her fingers no longer hang limply, they are always in a fist (it is actually an extrinsic hand function — one that is supplied by an area between the elbow and hand).  These gains are really not functional however, unless she gains the ability to open her hand — finger extension.  If she could gain a few more things like separating her fingers that would be even handier.  

The clock is ticking.   We know that the nerve growth has reached her wrist.   Just a few more inches to grow!  Please join me in praying that she receives some intrinsic hand function.  We are really hoping she can open her hand in the next few months.  Please pray with me. 

We travel to Cincinnati again in June. 


12 thoughts on “Time flies when you are having fun

  1. Thank You, Lord, for the huge gains that Ava has made. You and these gains are truly awesome. You know Ava is surrounded with love on earth and we thank You for instilling that love in the people who touch Ava’s life every day. Please continue to watch over Ava and please help that intrinsic nerve function to spread all the way into those sweet fingers. I know You have big plans for Ava! Thank You, Lord. Amen


  2. what a great progress report; thank you for the update. i went back and read all the entries from the first couple of months after the accident (this was from before i started reading your blog), and knowing all that makes her progress even more of a milestone. kudos and thanks to your nuclear family, your farm and neighbor family, the doctors and the Lord. best wishes and safe travel for her upcoming surgery. –suz in northeast ohio (another leftie and formerly of suburban cincinnati)


    • I am so glad you have recently starting following my blog. It is a small world to realize you are also a leftie and from Ohio. When we travel there in June, we won’t actually we having a surgery but just a check-up. I think there will be some further down the road though. I will keep you posted!


  3. Just wanted to write to say “Ava, you amaze me!” I will be holding your whole family up in prayer and praying specifically for that nerve growth to reach right to the tips of your fingers. Thank you God for all the progress of this darling girl!


  4. Amazing how far she has come and what she can do. Praying for more hand function. We have a great God. We thank him for the wisdom He has instilled in the Doctors, therapists and all those in the medical field and for their help along the way. God bless you all.


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