The first journey was to and out of Cape Cod. We did not know whether Pádraig was going to survive the journey. But we had decided that whatever was going to happen, we needed to be at home with the people he loved, with his family and friends. That journey was almost bizarre: the failed attempts of fitting Pádraig into a Learjet that was obviously never meant to take a person as tall as him on a stretcher, the head in a helmet, taped to the stretcher, with Pat squeezed into the back with the polystyrene box filled with dried ice and a bone on her knees. Via Goose Bay and Keflavik to Dublin.
The second journey was on Monday, leaving the hospital. Pádraig was breathing on his own, without a tracheostomy. He can hear us, react to the world around him, tell us (with his tongue) whether he agrees or not. He can eat and drink. He is having a go at finding back his voice. He can stand vertically on a tilt table. Sit in his wheelchair. He smiles a funny stuff and gets annoyed when you wake him up in the morning.
He’s come a long way between these two journeys.
Today he had his first physiotherapy session at home. Tomorrow I hope to hear from a speech therapy clinic that I hope will be able to start working with Pádraig on his speech, his swallowing, and on the development of his muscles in and around his mouth. The days here are incredibly hectic and the place is still so disorganised. But it’s brilliant.
Pádraig is enjoying it. I’m still over the moon. Still so tired. But full of energy and hope. Still traveling! Still believing. Because Pádraig does, and this is leading the way!