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Right now, Archer is paralyzed from the top of the chest on down. Each upper school student who was also being inducted into Cum Laude Society, each wearing their kaki pants or skirts and their navy blue school blazers with the Mc Donogh seal, each was also donning another emblem, the small one-inch orange and black button with the words Archer Strong written across. Almost every student from the past year who was on stage as well as the current students receiving the prestigious and hard-earned academic honor, one by one, walked onto the stage with the Archer Strong button on the lapel of their blazer, boys and girls alike. They didn’t have to share it in that way, but they did. It didn’t take anything away; it made for greater celebration of each of them. Kernan was more honest in saying they didn’t do school, they did rehab. Remember about a week or so ago that news report about the experimental stem cell injections for a quadriplegic man? A friend sent me the email address I needed to try and reach the researchers. I gave them a brief overview of Archer’s condition and profile. This is what they were looking for: the perfect profile. There were many malades who had been recommended and they were each being interviewed and assessed that particular weekend at Mercy Hospital in Baltimore. When I arrived passing through the security and up onto the elevator, I slipped into a coatroom, hung up my coat, and stepped out into the hallway. He was brain damaged and partially paralyzed in his legs from a heart attack he had while running a marathon, now age 19, and medical help was not able to get to him for 15 minutes. His screaming, if you will, was the last memory I had as he was discharged and sent to another facility. I told her quickly the barriers and specifically what to demonstrate. He’s really amazing and thought long and hard about these things.
But it’s a lot, like finding at UPenn Medicine the 18-22 medical specialists who can be consulted when needed.If you want to make a donation by check, please make payable to Archer Senft Special Needs Trust and send to Archer at 102 Longwood Road, Baltimore MD 21210. This page is dedicated to the progress and recovery of our 17-year-old son, Archer Senft. They are not equipped for what has happened to him. I had already been to Baltimore looking for the local rehab and knew that Archer, who was then 6’1” (now 6’4”) would not fit literally and culturally in a room at KKI where the rooms had two children and a crib. Imagine, his holding a cup with his wrists because he could gauge the surface and the weight. Maybe he could even feed himself a sandwich, or be able to brush the hair out of his eyes, or itch the side of his neck, or adjust his baseball hat. Or help a caregiver thread his arms through his shirt. Or give a hug and feel the warmth of the other person. Oh dear Mother Mary, please wrap your arms around us and guide the doctors and guide us. If you would be so willing, could we all pause a moment now and together think about the possibility of this happening. What more wonderful trip could there be, after all. The trip began with my seeking his acceptance to go last October. She had her son showing us things he could do like hold a stance on his own while holding the back of a chair, moving on his own in a chair, telling me he didn’t have to be in a wheel chair for everything but could tolerate a regular chair for periods of time. I took a very open approach telling them a few times about Archer, his needs, how it rolls and then the list of factors we would be looking for and asking to be included in the decision-making, assuring them that would be better for all. So he was not able to even get onto a sidewalk for some blocks. I’m sure you have something on your mind right now that might be troubling you. Amen Sending love Wednesday, March 15, 2017 Archer Senft Friends and Family Update Wednesday 3-15-17, Month 7, Year 2 Hello dear ones. And it’s also year two for us with you, as I know we have been on this journey together. He will begin in August and we have every intention that he live on campus as a regular student. We can thank another unlikely collaboration we created between Baltimore City Public Schools, Home Schools, On-Line Schools, and our dear Mc Donogh School for all of that.On August 5, 2015, Archer broke the C5 vertebra in his neck while swimming in Cape May, NJ. He was strong and athletic and that is what they thought. And our other local choice, Kernan, now the University of Maryland seemed cold and remote for what I thought Archer needed. Close your eyes and see yourself using your arms and wrists for something, anything. We tried to figure it out, but there were so many obstacles mainly medical and physical related to related to such lengthy travel, difficulty of weight shifts, what if a bed sore that would scuttle the entire experience for him and takes months to heal, etc. We were not included and I don’t think fully heard in the beginning but we are now and it’s all very good. We managed but it meant my walking in front of Archer in the city street as I extended my arm in front of me to oncoming traffic to stop or make room for the traveler I had behind me. Like an old-fashioned traffic cop kind of scene with the little kids passing while the cop held back traffic with his hand. There’s no invention (yet) for an umbrella for a powerchair or a plastic wrapping of sorts, but when there is, it will be useful. After a lot of calls and talking with Security and the Police and Facilities and Disabilities, we have a decision. The most wonderful part is that everyone now understands so much more and the decision was arrived at after a lot of really good process. Lay your troubles down with a few deep breaths and a prayer that you can rest in God’s presence and forgiveness and love. They put up with me pushing and asking and hoping, and with Archer’s determination, and their care and Mc Donogh’s love, he is totally on track and now into UPenn.– For the Latest Update Click Here We have added a DONATE button to the top this page. Oh right, I forgot one of the screening questions: Ability to come to San Diego and be available for follow up, up to 4 months. I had tried to see if he could come to the dorms early but that effort might not be necessary on UPenn’s part or ours if we were in San Diego or back and forth. Yes, travelling with the Order of Malta, taking about 30 malades, those who are sick, ill and dying for healing, to the very place in the mountains where the Mother of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, appeared to a little poor girl Bernadette over 150 years ago and gave her many messages. Including the queen of France bringing her club footed baby. He will have a ceiling Hoyer lift due to his height and program needs.Please use that button at the top of this page if you want to make an online donation. We are waiting to see if he will pass the second screening as they review the medical records I had sent mid week. We may need help with frequent flier miles and so forth. If we have to move to San Diego for the summer, or go back and forth, we will. Please please pray that he is selected as the next human subject. It’s a crazy thing because I leave this week to go on a trip to Lourdes, France. No one in power much believed her but the peoples did one by one. The messages were to pray, to fast and to process in numbers to the place of holiness for healing. His mother and I will have enough experience to train others there. We angled for the two newest dorms where the technology is new and the possibilities thus expand for Archer to work with an UPenn physician who has suggested that they work together to figure out some new things and he told Archer that he might graduate with a couple patents. But a dorm that has Freshmen in it, lots, was key to us too. Being close to the Engineering school will limit his not having to miss classes related to rain and snow. If you have hard work to do with someone, it just can’t get done without face-to-face dialogue. I see my job for Archer as removing the obstacles that he shouldn’t be expected to have to do at age 18 or as a paralyzed young person when his energies are on finishing school and all that goes along with that.
And re Archer moving to college, there is soooo much to do ahead of time and so many doors and emails that may never have been opened but for going and physically, sometimes if only a few minutes, but nevertheless establishing connections.
Believers in what I shared was our Creative Miracle unfolding and UPenn was the next chapter. Archer being able to combine majors, Architecture design with Engineering, and 2.
So, amongst many many things, we are having to rethink how Archer even has access to buildings, not re ramps and elevators, which are key and necessary, but to outside doors. Archer even making it past the first two years of Architecture School since he couldn’t free hand.
After all, Archer needs help 24-7 and during the day, opening doors, holding doors, taking his hoodies on and off, charging his phone and ipad, putting food on a plate or tray, giving his credit card or meal plan card to a cashier, being fed, having his Camel back water pack refilled, emptying his cath bag, getting the hair out of his face if windblown, putting his foot back on the foot plates of his chair if one falls off the plate, letting him know if there are people behind him when he turns in his chair, etc.
Like figuring out the location of the dorm room where and what and how big and accessibility given that all doors are card swiped, and figuring out tuition and cost of nursing care and what the days should be like.
It was a close call, avoided by interception of a faculty member. Another standing ovation, 3 in all, all initiated by the students. Britton’s side to make it easier for his headmaster to drape the yellow gold ribbon and Cum Laude Society pin around Archer’s neck. And there it was, the symbol of an academic achievement worn around his neck. No 18 year old should be required to navigate the adult academia world on issues unrelated to academics. If you have any ideas for us, please pass them along. When he visited last summer and fall, one person in the Engineering School expressed doubt that Archer could be fast enough to code on a computer given he had use of only “one finger”.