Archive for the ‘Sam’ Category

Hi from Sam in Japan!

Posted by stuff4sam on April 28, 2008

We went to Japan again in March and had a fantastic time again. Sam seemed to adjust himself into a new environment much quicker this time and enjoyed this exciting holiday so much.

Sam with all his friends around him

Sam had two lovely birthday parties while we were there and a lot of presents which made him really happy!! We visited Tomoko and Bobby family again and had a fantastic time with their three children, Thomas, Christopher, Sarah. Tomoko threw a lovely birthday party for Sam with delicious Sushi and cake, which made me smile as well!!

However in Japan all Sam wanted to see was ‘a tractor’!! It proved to be a very difficult task in a big city like Tokyo and we were desperate in the end. Luckily my dad and sister live in the suburb of Tokyo where you can still find some fileds and farmers and at last we found a tractor there!! Sam was very happy – Phew!

After two weeks’ stay, Sam started showing more interest in Japanese and now he demands Japanese songs in the car whenever we travel. We hope Sam picks up more Japanese as he grows, otherwise poor my dad will have no clue what Sam is talking about! We had lots of time together with my dad and Sam had plenty cuddles and kisses from JIJI (Grandad). It is always so nice to see my family so that he can learn his roots.

Sam in front of old house

This picture was taken in front of an old Japanese house, where Sam found a nice parking space by the fence and reversed into there. The other one was a Japanese old pub. Sam was going to buy me a cup of Japanese Sake!

Sam and Kazumi

Kazumi x


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Happy birthday Sam!

Posted by stuff4sam on March 12, 2008

Big birthday wishes to Sam tomorrow on his 4th birthday!

Hope the celebrations are going well and there are lots of tractor-themed presents!

 Blue tractor

lots of love from us all xxx

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Happy New Year from Neil, Kazumi and Sam

Posted by stuff4sam on January 2, 2008

Sam, Neil, Alex, Angela and their parents by the Christmas tree

Dear All

Just a quick note to say thank you so much for Sam’s Christmas present – it was absolutely perfect. I love reading poems to Sam, and Kazumi and I are always searching for Japanese related books for him. Even though Sam says ‘I’m not Japanese, I’m English’ I’m determined he’ll be better at – Japanese than me… (though that’s not saying much!). It was so thoughtful of you – thank you very much.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year and it’s not too terrible to be back. It was so lovely to see you again before Christmas and it’s such a shame we missed some of you. Sam was overwhelmed by it all and very excited on the way back – we couldn’t get a word in edgeways! But I hope we can come up again soon as we have to come up for other reasons soon too and would love to pop in again. It was really really great to have such a warm welcome and we simply cannot express to you how much your help has been. It makes us feel welcome and not alone in this weird place we find ourselves.

Sam had a lovely Christmas here. Lots of presents, lovely walks and he was so well and happy. Alex and Angela stayed for Christmas and Alex’s Mum and Dad came over and brought us two goldfish! The Aquarium makes a great place for Sam’s Playmobil diver and boat set! The fish get a bit freaked out though. Alex and his family are Sam’s new extended family and he absolutely adores them. He was so overwhelmed on Christmas day by all the love and kindness he actually became quite emotional.. but then I think I would if I had just been given a playmobil aircraft set and tractor front loader!

Sam is growing up so quickly and so intelligent and mischievous. Even over the last few lovely weeks of Christmas we have seen his mind race away with ways of getting more presents. One of his favourite sayings now if ‘if I’m a good boy now, can I have another present after dinner?. When he’s confident with people, even though Sam can’t move below his neck, he fills a room with his character and chat and it is an absolute joy to us to see what he will say next. All this from a boy that was given no chance of survival after the accident. He is our biggest Christmas wish every single moment!

I hope the New Year brings peace and happiness to you all. Kazumi and I are happy if we both keep on breathing and walking every single day that brings us closer to Sam walking again – and we can rest assured that Sam will make sure that 2008 will be one hell of a wonderful ride!

We have so many fun plans for 2008 – I hope you can all share them with us!

With our best wishes

Neil, Kazumi and Sam

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Walking Sam

Posted by stuff4sam on November 23, 2007

This is just a quick note to thank everybody for their recent huge efforts.

We have found what we hope is a piece of equipment with huge benefits for Sam. It’s the LiteGait system that we mentioned a few weeks ago. We have now trialed it with Sam at Stoke Mandeville and are getting it on loan at home. If it all goes well we can then put in our order to buy one for permanent use.

Please have a look at Sam ‘walking’ for the first time since the accident in this You Tube clip. It was simply amazing to see him do this and what the video doesn’t show is Sam’s huge smile when he saw himself in the mirror walking!… we didn’t know what Sam would think… but he absolutely loved it and I think he felt free for the first time since the accident.

Usually he is always in a chair, on a bed or with something up against him. In the walking machine he looked free and he was moving his head and shoulders so strongly it was fantastic. I can’t wait to use this as part of Sam’s training program. We call it Sam’s ‘Astronaut Training Program’ as we are doing nothing less than reaching for the stars and one day he will make it! So on one day we will do cycling, one day standing and one day walking… like a little athlete!

But thanks to you all, it is possibly for us to do this… and we quite simply couldn’t do it without you. We are so lucky we can choose this equipment. Where around us there feels so many limitations and restrictions, it makes us feel that we can choose the best equipment we can for Sam, and that is directly benefiting him. I hope you enjoy seeing him ‘walk’ again…

Neil, Kazumi and Sam

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Four men set off in their boat

Posted by stuff4sam on September 24, 2007

My old friends ‘four men in a boat’ launched their epic journey down the Thames on Sunday.
The great ‘Four Men in a Boat’ journey has begun! Toby, Kip, Eg and Brig launched out from Lechlade-on-Thames in Gloucestershire early Sunday morning and Sam was there to see them off. They are now making there way effortlessly down the Thames at a frightening speed, flying the ‘Hi Sam’ flag.

Neil and Sam with the four men (but no boat)

Complete with camping gear, lots of food and a copious amout of drink they are spending their nights on the shore and in the boat, and days straining their muscles… all raising money for Sam. As they set sail, we saw them in the distance taking their first evenish strokes and Sam saw them disappear from view. Even though Sam didn’t say very much at the launch, he talked non-stop about it in the car and is now keen on going in the water himself! Please give them a wave if you see them on the Thames over the next week.
We all very much appeciative of them and everyone taking their holiday time to raise money for Sam’s equipment.

Behind the scenes we are investigating some pieces of equipment that would have huge rehabilitation benefits for Sam. The company that produces the FES bicycle are producing an upper body arm cycling FES machine that would be incredibly benefical for Sam’s upper body. There is also a partial body weight supported walking treadmill that would enable Sam’s legs to be propelled by two assitants over a treadmill to simulate walking and produce a natural gait pattern.

Partial body weight supported walking treadmill 

There is even new research into vibrating plates that could be used with Sam’s standing frame to maximise his time in the frame and increase his bone density etc. On a different front we are looking into a bicycle that could have Sam’s wheelchair attached to the front – so it could mean we start entering some cycle races with Hugh! So we are making sure what the best thing would be for Sam so that the money is spent wisely and doing Sam as much benefit as can be.
We are all incredibly thankful that friends and stangers have come to help Sam. Being completely paralysed below the neck and being on a ventilator, his life has health and meaning because of the equipment you have helped provide. We are thankful that more people have come to help Sam than we could ever have expected – and that helps us keep Sam strong.
With our thanks to you all.

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Sam’s summer news

Posted by stuff4sam on August 6, 2007

Dear all,

Not to everyone’e taste, but we are enjoying this wet and cool summer. Sam finds hot weather sometimes a bit difficult to cope with due to his lack of temperature control mechanism. But for the last few days, we seem to have a proper summer at last!!

 Sam in his chair looking happy!

Recently, we had a local scout camp at our nearby field and Sam enjoyed watching their activities! As they celebrated Scouting’s 100th anniversary this year, they cooked a number of international meals, including Japanese Teriyaki!

 Sam with the scouts

Our friend Alex, who is a pilot, flew over the field to take some pictures of the camp. Alex is Sam’s ‘uncle’ (indeed he is Neil’s best friend from his childhood and now Sam’s hero!) and Sam absolutely adores him. He was so excited to see his plane flying over him and as he flew so low, we could see him waving at us!! We are hoping Sam will fly in his plane very soon!!

Sam is doing really well with his chin control especially after the rep changed the speed setting. Now we really need to keep eye on him, otherwise he just zooms away!!

 Sam looking cheeky!

We also managed to find some very good accessible toys – a water gun and radio controlled car. Sam uses his switches very well and loves giving a sudden water spray to us! But I wonder sometimes if these toys are for Sam or Neil!?

 Sam and Neil

We hope you enjoy your summer too and hope the weather gets better and better for all of you.

Best wishes

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Visit to see Sam

Posted by stuff4sam on June 8, 2007

Last weekend we visited Sam and his parents. It was lovely to see them all.

 Group photo!

We took a walk round a nearby field and Sam gave the orders from his chair! Afterwards we sat in the garden in the June sunshine catching up about Sam and the trip to Japan. Hugh entertained him (and us) by falling off the toy tractor and Chris enjoyed playing with the dog!

 Hugh riding the toy tractor

We noticed some changes since we visited last September. Sam was talking more and was very observant of everything going on around him. He had grown quite a lot but was the same happy, cheeky boy we met last year!

We hope to see you guys again soon.

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Sam’s Japan trip

Posted by stuff4sam on May 30, 2007

Dear all,

We had a great time in Japan in April. We stayed there for 13 days, but it went just so quickly!

After hectic preparation, our journey to Japan went remakablly well. We had fantastic support and help from start to end. The Japan Airline airport staff were simply perfect and escorted us all the way through to the gate. Sam was so excited to see a lot of planes and a lot of people!!

Sam enjoying the flight 

In the plane, again we were so fortunate to have fabulous crews. Sam had a nice, comfortable stretcher all to himself, and enjoyed the whole experience. This was not the first time for him to fly, indeed he flew to Japan twice before the accident, but he may not remember his first two flight experiences!

He loved looking through a tiny window, seeing clouds, blue sky, and snow covered mountains. On arrival 3 pilots came down to say hello to Sam. It was so nice of them, but he burst into crying!! He was quite tired and their uniform and hats may have been a bit intimidating for him.

In Japan we visited all sort of places, museums, temples, zoo and toy shops!! We went to Tokyo Disneyland, too. There he enjoyed meeting his favorite hero, Buzz Lightyear. He also had a lovely time with his GIGI (Grandad in Japanese). My dad was so pleased to see him and loved speaking to him in Japanese! My dad being slightly deaf would not help their language barrier!! Sam’s Japanese was getting really better though during his stay in Japan. He defintely has much more vocabulary than his father with accurate pronouciation!

 Sam with GIGI

It was truly fantastic experience for all of us and we cannot wait to go again!!

Best regards

Sam with family and friends

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Sam’s birthday

Posted by stuff4sam on March 19, 2007

Thank you all very much for your recent messages – the birthday cards, comments and letter from Copeland Day Centre.

Sam had really good time during his birthday week. He had three birthday parties, two for himself and another for his friends.  We invited all his nursery friends, which added up to eight kids and their mums and some siblings!! Sam really enjoyed opening his presents, but didn’t like everybody singing happy birthday song!!

One of these pictures is of Sam with his favourite tractor painted on his face on his birthday.

Kindest regards
Neil, Kazumi and Sam

Sam smiling

Sam with tractor picture painted on his face

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Happy birthday Sam!

Posted by stuff4sam on March 13, 2007

Happy birthday balloon

Happy birthday Sam! Congratulations on being 3! Here’s hoping you have a lovely day and a fantastic year.  Hope you enjoy a few of the massages below too.

Lots of love from us all at stuff4sam xx

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