In June 1997, our son Jacob suffered a near-drowning accident at the age of 16 months. Due to this accident, Jacob is severely brain damaged. He has lost the ability to walk, talk and eat. We were not sure how much he could see. The doctors told us this is the worst they had ever seen. Although I believe they did the best they knew how, they gave us little hope. We brought Jake home and did our best to keep him comfortable. This was a momentous job, as his brain was always sending the wrong messages to his body, making him stiff as a board, making it very difficult to take care of his daily needs.
About three years after Jake’s accident we were at a follow-up appointment with the rehabilitation team. They were impressed that his skin looked nice and he didn’t have any bedsores. They said I was doing a great job and to take him home. When I left that appointment, I rode home thinking, “This can’t be it. There must be more. Someone needs to tell me what to do next to make his life better.”
I began researching therapies. I found Hyperbaric Oxygen. We started treatments and Jake became much more calm, relaxing his spastic muscles, became much more alert, and started swallowing. I took him off most of his medications.
I heard Mr Cralle’ speak at two conferences I attended. What he said made sense to me. Some of the traditional things we were doing (like drugs, pumps, and braces) began to not make much sense. Mr Cralle’ began working with Jake in 2002. Jake has scoliosis which the orthopedic doctor said would never improve and we could only hope to keep it from getting worse. It continued to get worse and the doctor wanted to do surgery to put rods in his back. It would be a two part surgery, once from the front and then later from the back. Mr. Cralle’ worked on Jake’s back and the curvature has decreased enabling us to avoid this seriously involved and risky surgery. Jake’s decreased curvature remains flexible, not fixed, thanks to Mr. Cralle’s myofascial work.
I believe surgeons recommend surgery because that is what they know. Through Mr. Cralle’ I have learned that sometimes there are other ways. If I can keep Jake from suffering the trauma of surgery, avoiding the side effects of surgery, suffering through a lengthy recovery time where we may loose what we have gained or having a surgery where nerves are cut permanently and can not be reversed, then I truly feel I am doing what is best for my son.
Jake has surpassed what the doctors expected of him and is now a happy boy. Jake has a long way to go but has come so far for a boy who was going to be a “vegetable”. His body is relaxed and so flexible. He smiles a lot now and laughs out loud. He enjoys riddles and rhymes. He is moving his mouth more and I am able to feed him a little bit orally. He vocalizes more and seams to be speaking to us in his own language. His breathing has improved and he has not had to be hospitalized in years. His vision has improved and we can now teach him what things are by showing him pictures.
Mr. Cralle’ is an extremely gifted and talented therapist. He has a great knowledge of neurology. He knows why the problem with your child’s spastic muscles is not in their arms and legs but in their brains and treats your child accordingly. Ray Cralle’s amazing work gives my family hope that Jake’s future will be the best it can be and that it will NOT be the grim prognosis we initially received.
Donna and Doug
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