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Frankie's Road to Recovery

Alexia cannot believe how far Frankie has come.

By Alexia Nepola

This episode is very special to me, because you finally see what my mornings have been like for the last year, and most importantly, how hard Frankie has been working for the last year and a half every day. You also meet the amazing individuals that have been working with Frankie for the last year and have been so instrumental in his recovery process. I can't help but still cry and get very emotional. I tell Frankie that I now cry out of joy. The Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital saved my son's life and I will always be grateful to the doctors, nurses, and therapists that helped us through this journey. They became my family and my angels. Frankie and I were in the Intensive Pediatric Intensive Unit for 3 months. They saved his life and managed him medically until we were ready to leave for Atlanta, Georgia to The Shepherd Center for inpatient rehabilitation for another 3 months. When Frankie was ready for outpatient rehab, we came back to Jackson. He's been there for over a year. He takes Speech, Occupational, and Physical therapy 5 times a week.

Watching this now (that was filmed 6 months ago) just makes me realize how far Frankie has come and how he continues to progress day to day. Frankie is now attending school full day. He goes to a Catholic High School that has a Special Education Program and offers a small class setting and works at his pace. He takes his core subjects (Math, Reading/English, Social Studies, and Science) in the special class. He takes PE (it’s like his Physical Therapy), elective, and lunch with his peers (that are not in the program). In addition, he has Ms. Payne (certified teacher/ tutor) that is with him all day. She gives him that extra push he needs and assists in whatever he needs. It's been a long road (2 years) and I feel blessed to have even been given that chance to walk that road. I' m also aware that there’s still a lot of walking left to do... It’s a very long road, but I'm not alone. I have God and an amazing husband, son, mom, and family and friends that will continue to cheer me on and hold my hand.

When you have a brain injury as severe as Frankie's, you have to learn to do everything again like a baby. So it's baby steps. His brain is still healing and developing. Frankie was lucky that he was given this chance. Some either don't make it or stay in a vegetative state. That was the prognosis they gave me for Frankie -- first that he wouldn't make it and then that there was nothing else they could do for him. That he would be connected to a machine and in a vegetative state for the rest of his life. Of course I NEVER accepted that, and that is why he is here with us today breathing, talking, smiling, eating, and bringing us the joy and reason to live! I will continue to pray and do everything possible for Frankie. I am filled with faith, and faith moves mountains.I was really happy to make it to RJ's birthday party, especially with Frankie and Herman. I was also happy to be there with Joanna and Lisa and the guys and socialize a little. I want to get to know them more and don't want them to not like me just because I'm friendly with Marysol and Adriana. As you can hear, I was still under the weather almost 2 weeks later. I've never been sick like that, it was a horrible flu. Too much stress and things going on. It’s been so many years since I've attended a kid’s birthday party with Frankie except for my niece and nephews. LOL! RJ seemed to be having a blast with his friends and wasn't much into socializing with the adults. It was funny that Joanna and Roman went up to Alex (Adriana's son) of all kids to wish him a happy birthday instead of RJ. I really didn't understand the theme or concept of the birthday party, and I don’t think Lea did either! LOL! We, the moms, are usually the last ones to get it. Ties, hats, and guns? Boys will be boys.

Preparing for RJ's Birthday
I take Frankie with me everywhere, and I feel it's been so important in his recovery. Especially in the social aspect and for his language. It forces him to engage in conversation and interact and communicate.

Frankie didn't say a word or even make a sound for 4 months, not even after he was out of his medically induced coma. You cannot imagine the pain. I used to sit and look at him and pretend and imagine that I was listening to him speak like before the accident, calling me "Mom! Mom!" And that day happened 4 months later December 14th. And that's exactly what his first word was again, 15 years later, "Mom!"

How to Watch

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Anyhow, I'm so sorry that I talk so much about Frankie, but both of my boys are my life. After you come so close to losing a son, nothing matters and compares. That's why I'm done. I'm not even going to comment on anything else, because nothing else matters. I want my blog today to be a message of hope, courage, love, faith, and perseverance.

Thank you for allowing me to share my miracle with you!I leave you with this thought: “Sometimes the things we can't change, end up changing us instead.”

Until next time. Thanks for your continued support, love, and prayers.

God Bless,
Besos (Kisses),

Follow me on Twitter @AlexiaE_says and like my Facebook page.

MIA is in BH
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