Make Me Up Mia: A Lifestyle & Beauty Blog: #PRAYFORMAYBERRY One Year Later.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

#PRAYFORMAYBERRY One Year Later.

I've thought about writing this post heavily for the last month. I knew this day was approaching, I just wasn't sure how or where to even start. So much has happened in the last year, so many pictures to share. I feel like there isn't a way to get it all in a blog post. So warning, it's going to be long. I don't expect everyone to read it all, this is part of my online diary. If you want to read a little about the accident and the last year, please feel free to keep reading.

Most of you know that 1 year ago yesterday, my little brother was in an ATV accident that left him fighting for his life after suffering a TBI. My mom and I were in Cancun. I took her for her 50th birthday, we'd anticipated this trip for almost a year. It was beautiful and perfect, we were even upgraded to another resort with a stunning ocean view. We got there Saturday afternoon, Monday morning as soon as we got up we got the call. 



I remember it so well. The alarm went off at 8:30 am. Within a couple minutes Dustin was calling, via Facetime due to having wifi only. He started telling me that Christian had been in an accident. Once we heard that he'd been life-flighted to Tulsa, we knew it was very serious. I'll never forget watching my mom drop to her knees crying, screaming and praying in the room floor. Ft. Smith is a big town, so for them to have to send him to Tulsa was bad. We didn't know until we got back that it was because the Ft. Smith hospital didn't even expect him to live. 

The next several hours were spent trying to get flights out of Mexico asap. The soonest we could get out was the following morning at 6 am. What the heck were we supposed to do for the rest of the day? How do you go on with your day after you get this news? We sat in the room for a while, crying and praying. Finally, we said we needed to just go sit outside at the beach. What good was it doing us sitting in the room? So, we went down and sat for a little bit and walked along the beach. A storm came, which forced us back inside for pretty much the rest of the day. Our flight left at 6 am the following morning, we made it back to Tulsa that afternoon.

I'll also never forget the feeling getting off the plane, driving to the hospital and walking into that room seeing my little brother hooked up pretty much on life support. My mom, dad and I cried and held each other and dad had to pretty much drag us in the room. Hardest thing ever. It continued to be hard to see him, so hard. Eventually though, it got better. 

The next several days were spent watching his numbers, which weren't good. The number that was monitoring the pressure on his brain was only getting higher. A few days later (1 week after accident) after the number kept growing all day, the doctor said we had to make the choice whether we wanted an emergency surgery or not. A surgery to go in and remove 2 huge pieces of his skull. The pressure was only increasing and there was no more room. Of course we said yes, it was so scary. After this, it wasn't good. Things didn't look good when they went in to do the surgery. When the doctor spoke to us afterward, we were told to be thinking about what we wanted to do, he could die. This was the 2nd hardest moment. Watching my parents crying on the floor of the hospital hallway. I picked them up and told them it was time to practice that faith that they had taught me my entire life. We weren't accepting this or giving up on Christian. 

Honestly, the next several months are a blur. Scary times, moments of what seemed like progress, then steps backwards. He opened his eyes for the first time on Sept 21, but that was it. His eyes would open, but nothing, he wasn't there. From Oct-Dec he went to a rehab facility in Bethany, OK. In December he went back to Tulsa to have the skull plates put back in. Another scary day, but he made it through surgery fine. He spent some more time in the hospital before going to a rehab center in Tulsa for a short time. 

Also in the midst of all of this, our dad had a heart attack! So we had Christian on one floor and dad 2 floors below. That week was a major hardship. Our dad is actually very healthy and active, thank God. So after a minor surgery and a few days on that floor, he was back by Christians side. You'd never even known he had a heart attack. He did have to take it easy though obviously. 

Finally in February, almost 6 months later, he started to wake up! Up to this point, there had still been nothing, blank stares and gazes only. The first sign of anything was as mom and grandma were leaving the room and telling him bye. He actually mouthed the word "bye" to them. HUGE! From here other things started to happen. He would hug occasionally if they laid their head on his chest. On Valentine's day mom got her first kiss from him! What a sweet day that was. 

He's missed a lot this last year. He'd just started his first job, that he'd been trying to get for months and months. He's missed football games and practices. He's missed starting his senior year in high school. Our great uncle Bob passed away. Birthdays and holidays have gone by.



But my oh my has he made progress. He's talking up a storm, remembering names and songs, eating like a typical 17 year old boy and making us all laugh. Just last week he started moving his left arm for the first time. About a month ago he started moving his left leg. It's definitely hard to see him in the state he is in, but when we think back to where he was, he's a million steps ahead. 


There are a lot of things we don't know- We don't know where Christian will be a year from now. We don't know exactly why this happened, why it happened to him. But there are things we do know. We know that God has a plan and there is a specific reason that Christian and our family are going through this. God is using this boy, and it's pretty amazing to watch. There are over 10,000 people that follow the Facebook page where we update daily. You wouldn't believe the stories that come in. Stories of hope, love and support. Stories of people who no longer believed in God or were in terrible places in their life, then they "met" Christian. People who were suicidal, who felt they had no reason to live anymore, then they met Christian and now they feel like they have a purpose. Because of this one boy, my sweet little brother. 

People always say they don't know how we can remain so positive, so full of faith. There are times in life when you can literally do absolutely nothing but trust in God, have faith and give it ALL to him. That is not a bad thing, it's more comforting than anything else could ever be. Of course we have bad days, we're only human. But we know He has a plan, He has our boy, and He will not let us down. 

This was the last weekend I spent with Christian before the accident, the last photo I took of him-




I took this photo while he and I were eating at Jimmy John's in Broken Arrow. I was giving him a hard time about "how in the world can my little brother already have facial hair!?" I'd just picked him up from meeting my mom half way. He was coming to spend the weekend with Dustin and I, like he loved to do. I remember our conversation like it was yesterday. Oh how I wish I could go back to this very moment, sitting across the table from him stuffing our faces. Sitting here typing this, looking at this picture, I feel like I'm sitting across from him at the table again. 

If I could go back, I would just squeeze him a little bit tighter when I took him back to my mom on Sunday. 

Right now, we're waiting to hear a final decision from the state of Oklahoma. There is an amazing rehab facility in Florida that has accepted him and wants to help him. We've only been turned downed by rehab facilities in Oklahoma and all over. This boy only deserves the best, so please be praying that he will receive just that. 

I know this is long, I know it's all over the place. I thought about writing this post for over a month, I prayed about it before I started it. It's taken me well over a week to write this, it's been emotional and hard to relive some of these times. I just want to say thank you. Thank you for always loving and supporting our family throughout this last year. Thank you for all the news sites sharing his story, the fundraisers that are still being put on, the donations, the cards/letters/messages full of kind words and hope. Please continue to pray for all of us. He still has a long way to go, but praise God he is making progress, he's coming back! :) 

If you have a Facebook, you can like the page here and continue to follow along with Christian and our family. If you'd like to, I'd love for you to share his photo, story, or even just the #prayformayberry. The more people praying for our boy, the better. 

53 comments:

  1. Love your updates. Thanks for sharing! Anniversaries are hard but he has such a bright future!

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  2. Sending you so much love and praying SO HARD for Christian. Thank you for sharing this story despite how hard it was to recap. <3 <3

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  3. Girl, I (of course) am full of tears right now. You, your brother and family are so brave, and I can't even fathom what the past year has been like for all of you. I feel so lucky and blessed that we've become friends throughout these last six months so I have been along for the journey as Christian has started to take positive steps in the right direction. I know I tell you this every time, but Christian and you always are in my thoughts and prayers, and I just know in my gut that he will get to go to the rehab facility that he deserves to be at. You all are so loved by so many people across the U.S., and don't ever forget that.

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  4. It has been amazing to see his progress! Like you said God is using him and your family in mighty ways! Praying for the state to accept the facility!

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  5. It brings me to tears and leaves me full of chills just to see the power of god, prayer and your brother's strong will!! He's a tough man and will come out on the other side of this better than ever!! Thank you for sharing this story with us and I'm continuing to pray for Christian and your family so that he can get the proper care that he deserves!!

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  6. oh honey. thank you for sharing, i know it cannot be easy. your brother has come so far, it is really amazing. you and your family are so strong and brave, i cannot even imagine if something like this happened how i would be. i am sending all of my good thoughts to your brother and your family.

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  7. Your writing was wonderful. I am in tears reading through this and thinking of the hardships your family has faced this year. Keep strong and I hope you know how many people are continuing to pray and think of your brother.

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  8. Mia, thank you for doing this. In my post last night as I said I just didn't have it in me to do! You did a beautiful job as usual😘 we love you so much and we are so proud of you!! I can't imagine making it that first week, this intire year without you!! You have been so strong for me. One thing I have said many times in the past year is while of course this has been the hardest thing ever, during all of the hard we have seen such beauty, such love,such hope because of all the beautiful people God has put in our life. Thank you again honey, I love you so much😘💝 Mom

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  9. Sobbing. Loved this post and the amazing faith your family shows. Despite the mess of the accident, God has definitely been glorified in and through your family. Praying friend! Love you!

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  10. Thank you for the strength it must have taken to write this, Mia. Your family's faith is not only inspiring, it is real and true and God is there with all of you. I am praying for you and your family always. Love.

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  11. I will continue to pray for you and your family. I'm sorry that this has been so difficult too. Continue to stay strong and know that God is watching over all of you. xxx

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  12. I think God is working in all this in ways you can't even imagine...
    I'm so sorry your family has been through so much... but the strength you all show through it all. Amazing.
    Your brother is just a fighter... your family is full of fighters so I see where he gets it!
    Always praying!

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  13. Thank you for sharing this! Your strength and love as a sister is so amazing! Sending nothing but love, hope and prayers to your family!! xoxo Enjoy your day!!

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  14. Praying for your family and strength. I'm so happy to hear that he's doing so much better and hope that he continues to do so. xo

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  15. It's great your family had faith-you were such a good daughter to show that to your parents-even when he was at his worst. I am SO SO happy your brother has turned around-it's great to hear how well he's doing in this short amount of time. I really hope Florida takes him soon so he can continue to get better. Lots of hugs your way-I have a younger brother too and don't know what i'd do if something happened to him. You're such a great big sister :)

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  16. His progress is simply amazing, what a complete miracle! You ALL inspire me so much and I'm continually praying for his recovery. <3 <3

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  17. I've been following this story for months and can't even imagine the stress and worry and hardships it has caused, but your faith and love for each other is amazing. Every time I see a new progress post tears come to my eyes and I can feel the love and excitement in every post! Your family is inspiring and I am so thankful to have gotten to know you and your story! You are an awesome big sister and I will be praying for good news on the rehab front! Thinking of you girl!

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  18. Thank you so much for sharing your story! What an inspiration your brother and your family are to all of us. We will be praying for him and your family!

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  19. This story always breaks my heart when I read it, but look how far he has come in just one year!! He is such a fighter and all the love and support from his family is making him that much stronger! Just think what he going to accomplish next year! Stay strong girl!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeatsoles.blogspot.com

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  20. Oh Mia. I can't even imagine how hard this must have been to write. Every time I read about the accident it makes me want to cry. I'm so happy to hear reports of him doing better and his accomplishments. He's come a LONG way and I know he still has so much healing to do. I'm praying for you guys every day. I hope he gets into that rehab facility!

    <3, Pamela
    sequinsandseabreezes.blogspot.com

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  21. Thank you for this post. I don't know how anyone can handle these types of situations without prayer and faith in God. Keeping up my prayers for your family :)

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  22. As always, thank you so much for sharing this story. I know that it wasn't easy to rehash those moments, but thank you for sharing this. Continuous prayers for all involved!

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  23. I'm so thankful for shared this story Mia. I fought back tears the entire time reading it... I'll keep the prayers coming sweet girl. Hang in there and know that I'm thinking about y'all!

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  24. Constant prayers for him and your family! Hoping for miracles and daily improvements!!

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  25. usually i know how to comment on a post but i am at a bit of loss for words except i can feel how much you love your brother through this post, and thankful to God for bringing him through all that he has been through, well your family as a whole. hopefully he will get accepted at the best facility!!

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  26. I can't even begin to imagine the pain and struggle of your family over the last year knowing that all you can do is hope and be there for him. It is truly amazing at how far he has already come and I only hope that he continues on this path. He deserves the best and I hope he gets into that facility!

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  27. This post truly brought tears to my eyes---both of sadness and of joy. There is such a testimony is your stories--and I pray for a full recovery--God truly does have a plan :)

    Tori
    FashionBlingGirlyThings

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  28. I'm glad you decided to share your story with us. He is such a strong man and you are such an amazing family. Sending prayers to Christian and your family, its so great to hear about all of his accomplishments.

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  29. Oh Mia, you know I pray for Christian often! I'm still so heartbroken yet so full of hope for Christian because Jesus is SO in all of this and because He lives, I find hope. I so don't understand it except for what you said in the paragraph about people coming to know Him through it. I pray always that God would be glorified in it! Praying for healing as well...we serve a mighty and powerful God that works miracles...I feel like He's already been doing it in Christian!! Love you, friend!

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  30. This is not long or all over the place. What an amazing testimony that your families faith has been to all of us - that in such a broken place you continue to cry out to Jesus! Trusting and believing and commanding this mountain to move - that Christian will be 100% COMPLETELY healed and you will get to have those sweet hang outs and fun talks again. Please keep us updated!!!! Praying Mia!!

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  31. I feel so honored to have gotten to read that--your strength is so beautiful. I will be praying that the right decision is made!

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  32. Hoping to hear good news about Florida. This is an amazing story.

    xo, Amy Ann
    The Real Arnolds

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  33. The other night I looked at his Facebook page and back through all the posts from last year around this time. It's AMAZING to see his wonderful progress. I can't even begin to imagine the pain this has put you and your family through, but it's such a miracle how far he's come- I'm sure he couldn't have done it without your family's support and prayers. xox

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  34. I am crying right now!! Those pictures of your brother smiling are worth gold! And the fact that Christian was accepted to the rehab facility in FL...huge smiles!! God is up to something for sure! I'm learning to give it ALL to God but it is definitely hard- you and your family are prime examples of how God truly works when we rely on Him. Amazing.

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  35. What an emotional post... I'm crying as my heart breaks for your struggle and pain... yet I am full of hope for your brother and your family because we serve a good God and He will be faithful to his Word! You are such a brave soul for sharing your story and allowing us to lift you up in prayer and support. I hope you know how much you and Christian are LOVED!

    xo Always, Abby

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  36. I know this isn't easy to share! But so many prayers for you and your family! I can only imagine how difficult this has been, but I am so thankful for those improvements as he is healing! So, so many prayers for complete recovery and healing for both him and your family!

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  37. Girl I can't even put into words all the thoughts that are swirling in my head right now. I am so happy to hear the news about the facility in FL! You are in my thoughts and prayers. I have chills and tears right now. Sending you so much love!

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  38. Oh Mia. What an emotional post for you to write. Your family has been on quite a journey over the last year. I'm in tears as I write this. My little brother passed away almost 2 1/2 years ago and it never gets easier. I'm so SO glad for your family that your brother is recovering and doing so much better each day. God has blessed him and is looking over you all. So many good thoughts and prayers for you and your family as you look to the next steps in Christian's journey to recovery.

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  39. Thank you for continuing to share this story and provide updates. I can't imagine all that you, Christian, and your family have gone through in this past year, but will continue to keep you all in my thoughts and prayers!

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  40. Oh Mia, I can only imagine how hard this post was to write! It gave me chills just reading it. You are such a strong, amazing woman and your faith and trust in God's plan is so inspiring. Continued prayers for you and your family!!

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  41. Such a touching post, I had no idea your family had/has to go through this. I pray for your brothers continued recovery! I hope he is able to go to Florida and get the best care possible! xo

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  42. This honestly brought me to tears, your brother and your family's story is beyond inspiring. Such a test of faith I'm sure many would have let break them, but you are so strong and brave! I was overjoyed when I saw that Christian will be getting the help he deserves in Florida! I continue to pray for you all, you couldn't be more right when you say God has a plan. Look how many lives Christian has touched already!

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  43. Oh my goodness, what an amazing story! Will definitely be "liking" the page on FB! And will definitely be praying and believing with you that he will get into the rehab facility in FL!

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  44. That is so AWESOME to hear about his progress! Can't wait to hear what another year will do for him!!!!! :):):)

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  45. Thinking and praying for you all!

    XO Chloe

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