So today, being Monday, I packed the kids off to school and spent the morning filling out a multi page report so that it would be ready to fax into oblivion when 9:00 rolled around. Why wait, you ask? Because some of the information requested was the inventory code number and replacement price lest I lose the device. (Or steal it out of spite for having me run the gamut of red tape.) So at 9:00 I called Mr. It's In My Closet and got the info that I needed to finish filling out paperwork.
I then debated whether to actually fax it to nowhere (huh? We didn't get it) or drive it an hour and a half to personally deliver it and then wait while they did the processing. Because that would totally shake their foundations. And I would probably get sent home with a pat on my shoulder and a "gee, you shouldn't have" and no Voice for Micah nor satisfaction that one would be forthcoming.
So while I was debating the options available to me (i.e., bleak and bleaker) I checked my email. There in my inbox was the most incredible message I'd ever seen in my entire life. See for yourself:
My name is *Mr. Blocked For Privacy and I am a speech and language pathologist working for Prentke Romich CO in Western Pa.
I read your blog and was wondering how I could help.
My heart stopped. I fell out of my chair, then picked myself back up again. I composed an email telling him that he was an answer to prayer, and asked what I needed to do, and if he could get a device to me. And after I sent that I realized that he included his phone number on the email. Because I am done waiting, and my patience petered out somewhere around last Wednesday, I called him. I had every belief that he'd email me back, but if I could talk to him things would be that much faster.
I introduced myself as the lady he'd emailed this morning. The one whose blog he'd read. And he responded with, "oh, you're the mom who's desperate to help your son." Yes, that would be me. I'm desperate. Sometimes desperation is a good thing, apparently. He asked if I'd be there in a half hour; he'd make some calls.
When he called back, he had the incredibly discouraging news that there is a 5 week wait for the Springboard through the Prentke Romich company. Five weeks. My optimistic rainbow shattered and my heart grew heavy again. Here was someone who was employed by the company, who offered to help, who knew how to facilitate things along in a timely fashion, and there was still a 5 week wait. But he was still talking. Focus, and listen.
So here's what I'm going to do. I'll send you my Springboard. I need it for a demo tonight but I'll mail it first thing in the morning and you should have it by Thursday.
I cried. Four weeks of phone calls. And waiting. And frustration. Four weeks of wondering how much longer I'll have to wait just to begin the months-long process of paperwork to get my son a voice. Four weeks ended today when someone cared enough to stop seeing me as a number in line and actually saw me as a mother, desperate to help my son. I cried, right there on the phone, and had to ask for a minute to compose myself so that I could give him my address.
This week my desperation found Micah a voice.
Thank you, Prentke Romich. This is exactly why I chose you over DynaVox. Your customer service is above and beyond. Your sacrifice will give my son words. This week.