Megan Winters (Family Photo)
ATLANTA -- I spoke with the mother of seven year old Megan Winters, Melissa Winters, in Megan's hospital room, at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite, on Wednesday afternoon while Megan was in another part of the hospital undergoing physical therapy.
Megan was transferred to Scottish Rite on Monday from CHOA Egleston
Melissa expressed her gratitude and thankfulness for doctors, nurses and therapists, and for people around the world who have offered their prayers and support for Megan.
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Melissa smiled as she showed me the cards and balloons from all over the world that line the walls of Megan's room.
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And she showed me some new snapshots of Megan.
She said Megan's physical therapy is tough on her, it's hard work, she's wearing two, big casts on an arm and a leg. But she said Megan is "all in."
She said doctors expect Megan to make a full recovery in the next several months.
It was just over two weeks ago, on December 30th, when Megan fell 50 feet into a well in Carroll County. She suffered multiple broken bones, including bones in her face. She's been through surgeries, and she's been in a lot of pain, since.
But listen to Melissa describe Megan's spirit - Melissa said it is lifting everyone else's spirits:
She really, really wants to go back to school [second grade at Brooks Elementary School]. So I really had to tell her that we needed to focus on not only the physical therapy, but helping herself. She needs more mobility, she needs to be able to use her right arm to help herself get in and out of the wheelchair....
And that's what we're working on here, is more self-reliance. So she's brushing her own teeth. She's been feeding herself since she woke up. But she's getting more mobility. She can push herself up on the bed. She can sit on the side of the bed and sit straight up without holding herself up. She's learning to move her leg that's in the cast, and she's able to bend her right knee because even though it's broken, that leg is not in a cast.
They're telling us that her arm is going to be in a cast for at least six weeks, which is standard. She has no pins or plates in her arm. Her left leg is casted from the top all the way down to her foot. That is looking at about ten weeks. Her right leg is broken but it's not in a cast. She cannot put any weight on her right leg, whatsoever, that's going to be the longer healing period.
They fully expect full recovery with full mobility, going back to doing soccer and karate and everything she likes to do.
She's telling jokes. She's telling people what to do and what she likes and doesn't like... her spirit is already back and she's ready to just kick physical therapy into high gear so she can go back to doing everything.
I didn't cry when this first happened, because I was just so - you have to be strong for your daughter, you have to be strong for your family. But when she woke up and told me a joke to make me smile, that's when I cried. That was my happy tears. That was my good day, that I knew she was going to be my Megan again. And she even tells people when they give her a get well card, she'll be like, "You got me a get well card! Get it? I fell in a well and you got me a get well card!" So she likes to tell people jokes, she likes to crack them up. And that's my baby, that's what she likes to do.
And to see her broken like that - she now calls herself Humpty Dumpty that the doctors were able to put her back together again.... And we got to the trauma room and she came out of sedation. She looked at the doctor standing beside her and goes, "You need to let go of my arm because it hurts!" And something in me just says, she's going to be fine, that's her, that's her personality, she's going to pull through this. If she can be that feisty, she's going to fight.
[The support Megan and the whole family has been receiving from around the world] has meant everything to us. We've just been amazed at the outpour of prayers, of cards, of monetary gifts because of the expensive rehab, just everything.... It's amazing that we get Facebook postings telling us that they're praying in Russia, that they're praying in Australia, that they're praying in Canada.... It's amazing.
You do what you can when your daughter's in this situation, and you stay strong for her. My husband [Megan's father] went back to work on Monday, so it's just me here.... But the fact that she's talking to me and we're playing games and we're coloring and we're watching a TV show together, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
Megan is scheduled to go home from the hospital next week, on January 23. Then she will continue physical therapy in Fayetteville, possibly as an outpatient, and, maybe, go back to school and her second-grade classmates in March, the month when she will celebrate her eighth birthday.
Facebook: Megan Winters Prayers