A lot has happened during the past few weeks. I had the opportunity to visit Khiry Neal twice at Children’s hospital in Little Rock. He is doing well with InvoTek's AccuPoint head tracking system. I can’t tell you how happy this makes me – and him! I also met Khiry’s grandmother. She has a presence that is extraordinary. When I told her that we wanted Khiry to become part of our Be Extraordinary program and that I promised to help as much as we possibly can, she looked straight into my eyes. I had the sense that she was searching me, trying to figure out if I was one of those people that makes promises lightly and then doesn’t follow through.
Later in the week I learned that she is no stranger to loss and caregiving. She took care of her husband for several years before he passed away. Shortly after his death, she started to take care of her daughter, Khiry’s mom, as she lived with breast cancer and eventually died. And now she is taking care of her grandson Khiry -- a tall, powerful, strong-willed 15 year-old who has a C2 spinal cord injury. This is a very high injury that makes it impossible for Khiry to breathe on his own or move any part of his body other than his head.
I am in awe of Khiry and his grandmother. This is a family that knows much about persistence, dedication, suffering, and love. I look forward to learning from them as we work with Khiry to help him achieve his goal of completing high school. This is a difficult goal for sure. There are lots of challenges ahead and I’m not sure how we’ll navigate through them, but I do know that we’ll do our best.
The first time Khiry used AccuPoint in the hospital he immediately began to type with it. His very first words were “Ready for anything”. I believe he is. I hope that we – and this includes everyone who cares about Khiry – are up to the task of supporting this guy. With a good support network, he’ll achieve much and we’ll learn much. The combination will make all of us better people. I hope that you will join in this effort. Please let me know if you can help!