Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Surgery Update 12/22/2010

Hello to all,

Clay underwent an 11 hour surgical procedure on Tuesday December the 14th. The official name for it was a free muscle or myocutaneous flap with microvascular anastomosis, in layman's terms. They took a large portion of full thickness skin and a portion of the muscle from his right thigh and transplanted it to his neck and chin. This piece of skin was attached microscopically to the existing blood supply in his neck. They attached the veins to the new skin flap to feed it and let it grow with him. He also had two tissue expanders in each shoulder. These were removed and the expanded skin was spread out across a portion of his chest and shoulders. The combination of these two procedures seem to have given Clay alot more room in his own skin. When they made the incision under his chin through the existing burn scars, Clay's neck came up 15 centimeters, (nearly 6 inches) this is amazing to see in that he now has a semblance of a chin and neck which we have not seen in a long time. The trach which was situated right below his bottom lip now looks like it is at the top of his chest. We thought this might be removed during this procedure but due to safety concerns and caution the Doctors elected to leave it in a little bit longer. Clay spent two nights in ICU; and, was then moved to a regular hospital room for 5 days. He is now using a walker to maneuver around until the donor site on his leg heals. We arrived home Monday afternoon. Mom (Deidra) stayed at the hospital for the week, while Grandma & I traded places back and forth with Carson and Cody. We are thankful for all of the prayers, meals, visits, and concern of friends and family. Clay has a strong little spirit and we have learned much by being with him. We would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year. We hope 2011 holds nothing but the best for all.

With sincere thanks,

The Fite Family

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Saturday, November, 27

Stayed at the Swan Hotel

The boys visiting the cockpit during our flight.

Boys with Debbie (Clay's nurse at Children's clinic)

Chance & boys (Animal Kingdom)

The boys with Mickey & Minnie

The boys and myself with Kidd Kraddick (thanks, Kidd)

Southwest Airline's Kidd's Kids plane

Boys with Beauty & The Beast

Hello to all, we hope you had a happy Thanksgiving-we have so much to be thankful for. We wanted to let you know that Clay's surgery date has been changed to Tuesday, December 14. Our scheduling coordinator had to change the date to accommodate an additional physician. With this being an extensive procedure, two Plastic Surgeons will be in the O.R. Clay is scheduled from 11:30am-7:30pm in the O.R.(8 hr. surgery with many hours of anxiety in the waiting room).

We've recently returned from Walt Disney World in Florida. Clay was chosen for a special trip for terminally & chronically ill children (Kidd's Kids trip). Our nurse, at Children's hospital, told us about the trip and asked us to fill out an application. She told us about the trip this past Spring and begged us to send in the application before the August deadline. She was very persistent, and her persistence paid off. We mailed our application, and found out a few weeks later that Clay had been chosen. I believe there were 52 families chosen. It was an incredible trip for us & we are thankful that we were able to go. Some videos and pictures can be seen at & I am posting a few of our own on the blog.

Carson turned 12 yrs. old last Saturday (Nov. 20th). It is hard to believe he's already 12. Our boys are growing up fast! We want to cherish these special years!

We are grateful for your care!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

Hello to all! Once again, it has taken me a month to post. Clay has really healed well from his last surgery on Sept. 27th & is a very active little boy. His next surgery is scheduled for Dec. 13th. The scheduling coordinator had to block out a full day (8 hrs) in the O.R. for this next surgery. It will be his most-extensive surgery so far & I am worried about him being under anesthesia that long. Our Plastic Surgeon will release his neck. The tissue expanders, on his shoulders, will be taken out and the expanded skin will be brought across his chest (below his trach). The Dr. will then take a large, full-thickness, skin graft from Clay's right thigh and place it under his neck.
The contracting scars have pulled Clay's chin down to his chest. He did have a neck-release surgery last year, but his scars were still in the maturation stage. As long his scars were maturing (18months-2years), they continued to contract. Clay's scars are almost fully mature (with the exception of a few). Since they are now mature, we will begin to see big differences with his surgeries. Some have wondered why Clay had so many surgeries during the "scar maturation stage" and he had to have those surgeries to keep functional. We will meet with our Plastic Surgeon on Nov. 30th and discuss surgery details further. Many have also asked if Clay's trach will be removed during this surgery. Clay's trach will NOT be removed at this time. It will stay in place until he gains enough extension in his neck for safe intubations during surgeries.
Clay and I (mom) attended the World Burn Congress in Galveston, TX a few weeks ago. He met some new buddies there. We also enjoyed our recent Fall church conventions. Clay also showed his miniature steer at our county "prospect" show last weekend. Cody showed his steer, too. It was good practice for both boys.
A nice thought passed on from our recent church conventions was this: "Our thanks is the only thing God doesn't have, until we give it to Him." I want to give my thanks to God everyday. We feel like we can't give much in return for all that has been done for Clay; but, we can give our thanks. We thank you for all!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hello again to all. We are going to post & give an update on Clay's recent surgery; but first, we wanted you to know that we received tragic news today. Dr. Purdue (co-director of Parkland's Burn Unit for 22 yrs.) died this morning. He was riding his motorcycle and was hit by a 24-yr.old drunk driver. Our hearts are heavy & the tears won't stop. Dr. Purdue (& his team) were the first ones with Clay when he arrived on Care Flight at Parkland last year. He did the majority of Clay's surgeries and his expertise helped save Clay's life. We will forever be grateful for everything he did & I only wish I could tell him again how he touched our lives. We were looking forward to seeing him at Clay's next burn clinic appointment.......he will be missed very much. We pray for his family, too.

Aside from this sad news, Clay's surgery went well. Clay had an early morning surgery & the doctor let us come back home that afternoon. Clay has to keep his left leg in a splint (straight) for 3 weeks; but, he is allowed to walk on it. The doctor also took a large, keloid scar off of his stomach and performed a Z-plasty on a scar on his back and under left arm. The Z-plasty is a plastic surgery technique that is used to release scar contractures and improve function. Clay was not in a condition to go to school last week; but, he is ready to go to school in the morning. His teacher came to our house to do his lessons this past week & his therapists came to see him. We are grateful again for each one involved in his recovery process and care.

We also want you all to know how thankful we are for you. We do not want precious moments to slip by without expressing our thanks.
Amidst the tears I have cried today, a hymn came to my mind and reminded me again of the importance of TODAY because we may not have tomorrow. ~Deidra

"Today is mine, tomorrow may not be.
How brief this life, how long eternity!
Swiftly & surely sands of time will run-
Finished earth's day, eternity begun.

Today is mine to do His righteous will
And self deny, His purpose to fulfill;
Today is mine to find this source of rest;
Doing His will we prove His will is best."
(Hymns Old & New)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hello again to all. School is in full swing and Clay loves school! He just attends for half a day but wants to go full days. He loves to get on the bus with his brothers in the mornings and I pick him up at 11:00am. First grade has lunch at this time, so I arrive each day just before lunch period. Clay has eaten in the cafeteria a couple of times with one of his therapists. This therapist wants to go to the cafeteria with Clay a few more times before he eats there on his own. She (therapist) says it's tricky for him to grasp his lunch tray. She is not comfortable yet with letting Clay go on his own (I'm not either). He would love to go each day to the cafeteria, but doesn't want me (mom) by his side everyday. He wants to have the freedom to go on his own. Clay does get to go to the cafeteria in the mornings and sit with his friends until it's time to go to the classroom. Cody has been a big help with Clay at school. Carson is now in the Jr. High school; so, Cody is Clay's "big" brother when they are at the Elementary school.
Parkland hospital may come and present a "school-reentry" program for Clay again. He seems to be very comfortable in his classroom and with his teacher. His teacher this year is the same one who came to the house last year for his "homebound" studies. Several of Clay's little friends are in his class, so that helps. Clay has also started piano lessons this year. Although he will not be able to play much with his left hand, he is excited about learning. His piano teacher has taught for many years and has been very helpful. Carson took piano lessons from her for 5 years. Her husband is Cody's piano teacher.
Clay's next surgery is still scheduled for the 27th. Although, we have discussed a few changes with his Plastic Surgeon. Initially, the plan was to place a tissue expander under the scalp, excise a scar on his back, excise a scar band on back of knee, take tissue expander out of leg, and wrap the expanded skin around the back of knee. This surgery plan has changed some. One of Clay's therapist has monitored him in the classroom. It was noted that Clay could be more functional if the scar bands under his arms could be released. Also, Clay has been favoring his right side as he walks. He says that it hurts to stand up straight because of a contracting scar on the right side of his stomach. Therefore, his doctor will release scar bands under his arms and on his stomach and work on the knee (as originally planned).
Although life is busy, we don't want to forget that our strength comes from God. We are thankful again for your thoughts and prayers. Sincerely, Chance, Deidra, Carson, Cody, & Clay

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday, August 16

Hello to all! Well, once again, a month has already slipped by since we last posted. We enjoyed our annual church convention in July. Carson & Clay went to South Texas again, the week after convention, with my sister and aunt. Cody wanted to stay with us & enjoyed all the special attention without his brothers around. My older sister and her family had to fly back to Argentina on Aug.2. They spent most of their summer in the states visiting family & friends. They get to move back to the U.S. next year & it will be nice to have them back home. We enjoyed our time with them this summer.
We took a family vacation to Colorado on Aug.5. My twin sister and her family live in Denver & there's so much to do around that area. We enjoyed the cool mountains and came back to Texas to face triple-digit temperatures. Clay enjoyed the cooler temperatures the most! A strong storm moved through our area while we were on vacation. We found the boy's swingset in pieces when we arrived back home, and an insurance adjuster is coming in the morning to asess our roof damage.
We met with Dr. Trussler (Clay's Plastic Surgeon) on Aug.3 and his next surgery is tenatively planned for Sept. 27. Dr. Trussler will take the tissue expander out of Clay's leg, remove the scar band on the back of his knee and wrap the expanded skin over that area. He will also excise a scar on Clay's back. This is the scar that itches the most and is very bothersome to Clay. Dr. Trussler will also place a tissue expander under Clay's hair at the front of his scalp. I guess it's time to start expanding his hair. I didn't exactly know how to react when the Dr. mentioned this; but, Clay started bouncing up and down and said "Yeah! Now I can be an alien for Halloween! Oh, and mom, could you tape two antennae to my expander?" If you can picture will look like Clay has a bubble on the front of his head. Our reactions were both so different-Clay was excited and I was worried.
Clay will have his largest surgery (neck) closer to the Christmas holidays. Dr. Trussler wants to keep the tissue expanders in Clay's shoulders until December. We will put the last dose of saline in the shoulder expanders this week. Then Dr. Trussler wants to keep them under the skin for 3 more months. This will enable the stretched skin to become stronger. I hope this makes some sense. Sometimes it is difficult to explain. All these procedures, that were once so foreign to us, are now what we have become accustomed to. As a result, my explanations may be as clear as mud to you.
School starts next week. Carson will be in Jr. High, Cody will be in 3rd grade, and Clay will be in 1st. Clay will only attend school for half a day. He can still be qualified as a "homebound" student if he attends no longer than half a day. We need the "homebound" services for when he has his big surgeries this year. We are praying & trusting that God will show us what to do about our "school" situation.
I need to post some more pictures when I get a new camera. I accidently dropped my camera into a bag that I was delivering to Goodwill. The camera and memory card are gone. The memory card had pictures of Clay's hospital stay, and pictures throughout this past year of his recovery. I called the Goodwill store and went and searched through boxes myself; but, to no avail.
Thank you again for your continued care-we are grateful! Take Care!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tuesday, July 13th

Hello to everyone still watching this blog. Clay turned 7 years old yesterday. He gave us a little scare last week and we were not sure he was going to be out of the hospital in time to celebrate. He spent some time in South Texas with his brothers and cousins recently. Upon his arrival home on Wednesday night he felt a little warm and feel asleep during meeting. The next day he slept late and we went to a benefit lunch for him in Graham. As we were going in to eat Deidra noticed he was holding his left hand. When asked about it he told us it hurt and he thought it had a sunburn. We looked it over and noticed it was swollen and there were red streaks starting up his forearm. He was lethargic during lunch and we called his surgeon in Dallas to determine our course of action. He asked that we bring him to Dallas to the E.R. as quickly as possible. When we arrived he had a temperature of 102.2 and was quickly placed in a room and put on an I.V.
We spent Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at Children's in Dallas. The doctors are still not certain what type of infection he had acquired but by Saturday he was back to his old self and spent the majority of the day exploring the hospital. We think he captured too many frogs while at Corpus. We asked him about this and he said, " There weren't many frogs there this time but I caught a bunch of toads." Anyway he is home on an oral antibiotic and does not seem to be suffering any ill effects. As soon as they had his fever under control Clay really enjoyed this hospital visit, it was the least painful trip he has ever experienced. Everyone is busy at the Fite house. It seems as if this summer is flying by. Hope everyone is doing well and maybe we will see you somewhere soon.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday, June 11 (2010)

Lt. Zach Hart & Lt. Austin Hendrickson helping Clay "fly" in the simulator.

Cody in flight simulator

ENJJPT Class 10-06

Thank you for serving our country!

Clay & Cody with 2Lt. Austin Hendrickson

ENJJPT(Euro-Nato Joint Jet Pilot Training) Class 10-06; Katie in white; Cody& Clay in front; Chance & myself standing between Major Scott Segal & 2Lt. Austin Hendrickson along with all the other special pilots.

Clay trying on a helmet

Clay in the flight simulator

Sign that we passed when we entered the base.

Hello to all! Yes, once again, it has been awhile since we have posted any news. First of all, I have uploaded some pictures to Clay's blog. One of the pictures is included with the previous posting (in April). It is a picture of the boys (and a cousin) standing behind Clay's miniature steer. The group of pictures, included with this post, were taken yesterday. We were invited to Sheppard Air Force Base yesterday evening. Katie Crosbie with Channel 3 in W.F. has been following Clay's story since his accident. She has now become the boy's adopted aunt :-) and she accompanied us. She is friends with many of the airmen at the base. One of her friend's, 2Lt. Austin Hendrickson, wanted to do something special for Clay & his brothers. Austin, along with his ENJJPT Class 10-06, planned a special evening for the boys. They served pizza for dinner & as Clay was eating his pizza, he said "Mom, it's like we are having a pizza party!" They gave them a framed T-38 picture (signed by the pilots), shirts, and patches. They took us to the Sims (simulators) where Cody & Clay got to "fly" for awhile. Then they let the boys try on the helmets and parachutes. We were able to walk out to the flightline to look at a T-38. Last, but not least, we got to go to the RSU (Runway Supervisory Unit) to watch the night take-offs. What a once-in-a-lifetime experience and what a top-notch group of gentlemen! Thank you for this! You all may be wondering why Carson (our oldest) wasn't mentioned; but, he is enjoying his time at one of our church conventions in Colorado (he'll return home on Sunday). Believe me, Cody & Clay will be ready to tell him about their experience with the pilots.

Clay had his first dose of saline placed in his tissue-expanders on May 24th. The PA and nurse taught us how to insert the saline at home. This is helpful because it saves us from having to drive to Dallas on a weekly basis. Chance helps me do it each time because I don't like to insert it on my own. Cody helps as well & gets the supplies together(it's a family affair). The port to the expander on Clay's left shoulder has slipped under the expander and will have to be surgically repositioned. Clay's next surgery will be next Friday (June 18). Dr. Bidic will perform surgery on both of Clay's hands and reposition the tissue expander port. He will deepen the web space between Clay's fingers on his right hand; and, he will have to do some skin grafting on Clay's left hand as he deepens the web space and releases a scar band. This will not be Clay's last surgery; but, it will be our last with Dr. Bidic. We will meet our new Plastic Surgeon this same day (recommended by Dr. Bidic). As I mentioned, Dr. Bidic is moving to the East coast & a new Plastic Surgeon will take over Clay's care.

All in all, everyone is doing fine. The company that Chance works for (Tower Extrusions) had their annual Jr. Golf Tournament last Saturday. The boys enjoyed it and Clay played too. Last year, at this time, we said that Clay would probably never be able to hold a golf club again. He proved us wrong and amazes us in so many ways. Many lessons have been learned from him. Carson's orthodontist told him that it is time to put braces on his teeth. Carson will have braces put on in a few weeks. He never could wait until he got braces, and now he's not too sure about it.

We want you all to know how thankful we are for your continued encouragement. We always mention that we will try to post more often, but life doesn't slow down much (and we are not sure how many still follow this blog). I'm reminded again of one of the boy's favorite hymns "Time is fleeting, flowers are falling, Life will soon be past; Pause and ponder where thou goest: Time is flying fast".

Heartfelt thanks from the Fite Family!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday, April 30

Hello to all~once again, it has been awhile since we have posted any news. Clay had his surgery yesterday morning and we were able to bring him home last evening. Today was a day of rest and healing for Clay -he was in bed for most of the day and likes it that I (mom) brought him everything he needed. :-) Clay rarely complains about pain but this surgery seems to be the most painful, so far, for him. Doctor Bidic placed three tissue expanders under his skin during the surgery. Clay has expanders in his shoulders and one in his left leg(below the knee). The incisions need time to heal before the skin expansion begins; therefore, it will be about three weeks until we put the first dose of saline in the expanders. His left leg is bandaged and wrapped in a splint. His shoulders have bandages as well. We will go back to the doctor next week to have his dressing/bandages removed. At the hospital, a PT helped Clay learn to walk with a walker. A little walker and wheelchair were delivered today because Clay is not to put any weight on his left leg until the incision is healed. The discharge orders also state that he is not to do strenuous activity for 3 weeks. We may be looking at a loooooong three weeks. :-) After this, Clay will have the expanders for up to 6 months with weekly saline injections! For all of you who will be seeing him this summer, he may look a little "puffy".
We received sad news from our plastic surgeon (Dr. Bidic) this past month. He is moving to the East coast in June (we wish him the best but will miss him greatly). We met with him a few weeks ago in Dallas and discussed our options. We will not make any decisions until we know what is best for Clay. Clay will have another surgery with Dr. Bidic before he moves, and we hope to have it scheduled for the end of May. Dr. Bidic will do another surgery on both of Clay's hands.

Clay was being too rowdy a few weeks ago; so, I told him that eating a piece of broccoli would calm him down. Carson and Cody don't mind eating broccoli but Clay doesn't like it. It took him about 10 minutes to swallow his small piece of broccoli. I told him that if he got too rowdy again he would have to eat another piece. He calmed down quickly!
Clay also got hit with a baseball on April 1st (not a joke). Cody accidentally hit a foul ball and it hit Clay's left eye. He wanted to practice baseball with the boys and ended up with a black, swollen eye.
Cody and Clay got to show a miniature steer a few weeks ago at a steer show in Stephenville. Chance was allowed to help Clay show his steer and then Cody got to show it by himself in front of a different judge. Clay got second place in his class and Cody got third in his class (two different judges). It was good practice for Cody since he will be old enough to show animals, through 4-H, this next school year. Clay received a $3.00 check and was so excited. Uncle Mike, Aunt Susan, Chloe, Uncle Justin, Aunt Heidi, Lily, Cadence, G'Pa Jake and Karen all came to watch the boys show their little steer. I may have to post some pictures of that on here....
I didn't mean for this to get so long. It is almost midnight, so I need to close for now. We will continue our sporadic posts and want to thank you again for your care! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hello to all! Once again, sorry for not posting in awhile. If we would post more frequently, we would not have to try to remember all the events of the past weeks. Seems to me that our days are passing by so quickly and I want God to show me how to make the most of every moment. I also feel the need to clear my head and thoughts often. Last month, we forgot my mother's birthday and this month we forgot my mother-in-law's birthday!! We called my mom after her birthday and I cooked a meal for my mother-in-law Monday evening (three weeks after her birthday)~Goodness!! So, if we happen to forget your is not intentional. :-)

Clay had a follow-up doctor appt. last Monday (22nd). A small area around Clay's donor site was infected; so, we were glad to see Dr. Bidic and have him take care of it. We are thankful for Dr. Bidic (Clay's Plastic Surgeon) and for his two Physician Assistants (Kaylee & Savanna). Clay's next surgery will be April 29th at Children's in Dallas. Dr. Bidic will place expanders under the skin on his shoulders and an expander in his left leg. Clay still has his trach and it cannot be removed until he has more mobility in his neck. The scars still prevent him from tilting his head back. Having the trach in place enables the doctors to safely intubate him for surgeries. Once the expanders are placed under the skin, saline will be added weekly to expand his good skin. The expanders will be in for several months-until enough skin is expanded to bring around to the front of his neck. The same thing will be done for the scar band behind his left knee. He may look like he has shoulder pads this summer-"saline" shoulder pads. :-)
We have had warm days this week and Clay has started saying "I'm hot" and looking for shade.
It is almost time for his lesson with his "homebound" teacher, so I will let this be all for now.
Thank you for your continued care and kindness~you are special to us!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday, March 15th

Good day to all. Clay has all of his stitches out from his last surgery. He and his brothers have gone to South Texas for a week of spring break. When I spoke with Deidra this morning they had been to the beach yesterday and were capturing tree frogs in Pappy & Grandma's yard this morning. Dana (Deidra's twin sister) and the girls are there from Omaha and I am certain there are no dull moments. Clay is scheduled for another surgery toward the end of the month. They are going to have to do more work on his neck to allow him to lean his head back farther before the trach can be removed. He splashed in some waves while wading with his cousin. Mom was a little anxious about him getting too deep, but he seems to know he is not ready for that yet. I know that this is a brief post, but I wanted to let everyone know that Clay is all little boy and doing well. Thanks to all.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday, March 1st

Hello to everyone. Clay had a surgery on Friday, February 26th. They worked on his nose, mouth, and chin. We were scheduled for the O.R. at 11:15 but the surgery did not start until 1:15. We had several areas of concern that we showed the surgeon before they went in and he decided to spend the extra time while he had Clay under anesthesia and address one of them. Initially they were just going to work on the webbing around the bridge of his nose and release the scars around his mouth . The goal is to have him open his mouth wide enough for intubation on future surgeries. With this in mind they were able to add about 1 cm to the opening on each side of his mouth. The area we were concerned about was below his bottom lip. The surgeon was able to take a full thickness layer of skin from below his waistline and graft it in under lower lip. He sewed a bolster in over this graft to protect and support as the new skin has a chance to adhere. To give you an idea of what Clay looks like it appears he went several rounds with a professional boxer. He has stitches all around his nose and mouth and Saturday he was swollen to the point where he said it hurt to swallow. Some of the swelling has started to go away and he is now able to enjoy a , "soft diet." I stayed home with him yesterday (Sunday morning) and his appetite has returned with a vengeance. He is one tough little boy. He looks pretty rough but he is scheduled back to Dallas Friday to have the stitches removed. I know this is short but I wanted to let everyone know how he is doing. Thank you to all who have expressed their care and concern.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Good morning! We did not get a chance to post on Valentine's Day. As we think of this past year, our hearts are filled with thankfulness again. Thank you for all who have journeyed with us, helped, and encouraged. Thanks again, too, to my sisters for starting this blog - what a help it has been!
We have sent out many letters and still have more to send. Thanks, too, for all (from blog) who e-mailed us your addresses-this was very helpful. If anyone you know wants a letter or hasn't received one by next week, please let us know (we posted our e-mail address in a recent post). If anyone received a letter and didn't want one, we apologize. As we go through our lists, it is hard to determine who would like a letter or not. We do not want to skip anyone and will send out as many as we need to.
Chance and Carson are at the San Antonio Livestock Show. Cody is at school, Clay is waiting for his therapist to arrive, and I am washing clothes & addressing envelopes.
Clay and I drove to Dallas last Wednesday for an interview at UT Southwestern Medical Center. They are working closely with the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors to develop a web-based social skills training program for successful community re-entry among burn survivors. Clay sat outside the studio with the secretary, during the interview, and played with a toy helicopter. They wanted to know if people ask questions when we are out in public and if it makes us feel uncomfortable. They also wanted me to share some of our experiences we have had with people staring and what we do when people stare. I told them some of our experiences and told them that we love it when others talk to Clay instead of just staring. Some have treated him as if he is contagious, and this breaks our hearts. I think I mentioned one time that we tend to surround ourselves with others who are comfortable with Clay. This helps Clay; because, these kids play with Clay and these adults see him as precious Clay & see a vibrant 6 yr. old. In public, when others are kind to Clay, I thank them. When others are not very kind, I pray for them. Sometimes I get anxious when we are in a new situation and I feel like a mother bear protecting her cub (not acting like a mother bear but protecting like a mother bear-bears can get mean but we certainly do NOT want to be mean to anyone). We do want to thank you for your kindness.
We had some of our ministers for supper and night on Monday. They were here for our Wichita Falls Special meeting last night and will be going to the other special meetings across Texas during Feb. & March. Cody's 8th birthday is next week (Feb 23) and so I am making plans for a special b-day. I was not able to be with him last year on his birthday, so we are thankful that we can all celebrate it together this year.
Have a wonderful day!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday, February 9th

Good morning to all. This is Chance. I don't have much to report but thought I would drop a quick line. Clay is a little under the weather. He played outside a good bit on Saturday and probably had too much cold, damp air. He had his cast removed last Wednesday. They made him promise he would not be wild and the doctor told him he would have to take it easy for a couple of more weeks. He was playing with the neighbors and they were running and playing chase. His mother reminded him about his promise to the doctor. Clay responded, " I know, I know but it is so hard to be careful." He has not let much slow him down. Clay's little bug that canceled his last surgery has finally gone through everyone in the family. I was the last and it hit me last week at the Ft. Worth Stock Show. We all survived, but Deidra was having to do a lot of running to keep everyone where they were supposed to be. I believe that we posted February 19th as his next surgery date. This procedure has been moved to the 26th of this month. Continuing school, therapy, and day to day activities keep us all busy. Deidra will be sending the promised letter out this week. We will call it a Valentine/1 year update as it will have been one year since the accident this Sunday. Hope everyone is doing well, take care.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday, January 22

Good morning! We were hoping to be able to give you all an update on how Clay's surgery went this morning; BUT, there was no surgery. Clay was sick to his stomach twice last evening, on our way to Dallas. We called his doctor and he said it would be a wise idea to reschedule his surgery (Mama called the doctor and the doctor said......). Also, the anesthesiologists would not have anesthetized him for surgery because of the vomiting. We turned around and came back home last night. Clay slept soundly throughout the night and says he feels better this morning. I fed him a light breakfast far so good. :-) We just received a message that Clay's surgery has been rescheduled for Friday, February 19 (at noon).
Chance and Carson are at our county stock show today. Carson will show his pig this afternoon and his steer in the morning. Cody is in school today (next year he will be in 3rd grade and will be old enough to show as well). So, depending on how Clay is feeling, we will head to the show when Cody gets home from school. Clay says that he is feeling better and keeps asking "Can we please go to the stockshow?" (Little turkey-does he really have a stomach bug or did he have a plan up his sleeve to get out of the surgery???) No, seriously, he really did not feel well last night.

Also, I haven't forgotten about the letter we promised. It was mentioned, in a comment, that this letter will now be a Valentine letter. So we will just call it our New Year/Valentine letter. :-)We just never seem to have time to turn on our computer. I have the pictures inserted into a document and saved; but, there has been a problem with saving them in the right form. After 4 trips to Kinko's, I think we have it figured out. Now, we are addressing each envelope when we get a spare moment. We do not want to miss anyone! Although, there have been just a few that have posted on the blog and we can't figure out who you are by just seeing your "blog" name. Please send us your mailing address ( if you think we are confused about your "blog" name. We are going through our blog list, "thank-you" list, church-meeting list, town list, hospital list, girl list, boy list, etc., etc., and every other list we have to make sure we have covered everyone (making a list and checking it twice).
Thank you so much again for your care (and patience with the letter)! Thinking of all the ones in Haiti and others in "trying" times. Makes us thankful again that ALL this is in our Father's hands and makes us thankful for our privilege of prayer. ("Prayer is a mighty source of power")

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday, January 15th

Hello to everyone. Clay broke his left arm. He has a new red cast that he is really proud of. He was playing tug of war with his puppy on the snow and ice after Christmas. He slipped and landed on it and broke two bones. He favored it but it did not slow him down. As he continued to protect it we became worried and took him to our local doctor for an x-ray. Definitely broken. He and Deidra went to Dallas to see an orthopedic at Children's. They put the new cast on and told him to wear it for three weeks. It seems that in the scope of things the arm was mild in comparison to what he has been through. He is back home and doing fine. Still on schedule for the surgery on the 22nd. Good days to all.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wednesday, January 6th

Good Morning to everyone. There has been a large gap in time since the last post and all of the Fites have been very busy. We were able to travel over the holidays. We had the opportunity to put faces with some of the people that have grown so dear to us through this experience. We went North to Omaha, NE and were able to visit/meet some dear friends in Wichita, KS (family and friends of Larisa Hertz who has spent many days in an ICU burn unit). The boys enjoyed the biggest snow in the last twenty years. They played outside everyday and would come inside looking like a Popsicle. Clay was right in the middle of the fun. We had to tape his glove on his left hand. After that problem was solved the snowy world was his to enjoy. They did not really want to come back to boring Texas, but upon arrival, they were amazed to see that we could not pull in our garage because of the snowdrifts. After a brief stay at home we made a quick trip South for the new year. Clay made a special friend at convention this year and we went to Austin for a couple of days so Clay could see Tucker and we could visit his family. All are home now and back in school. Clay had an appointment Monday with the plastic surgeon that is doing most of his procedures. He had not seen his finished product on the neck and was pleased with the results. His goal now is to work on the nose and mouth. If he can offer Clay some relief in these areas, and the ENT Doctors approve, the next milestone for Clay will be the removal of his trach tube. Clay has already informed us that when that thing comes out and heals we need to find him a swimming pool. We have a tentative date for his next procedure set for the 22nd of this month. I used to keep a close count on the number of surgeries he has had, but I seem to have lost count. Deidra is still working on the New Year letter. Please don't give up-it is a major undertaking because we do not have much spare time to work on it . We hope the New Year finds everyone well and are thankful that we can start it out with our entire family at home. Thank you for all of the prayers and encouragement during 2009. We will try to post more frequently or when something newsworthy occurs. Take Care, Chance