Desperation Finds a Voice

Today is a day of glorious joy. The computer miraculously decided to cooperate with me and downloaded the forms that I needed to fill out to get an AAC device into my hot little hands. This, in and of itself, is nothing short of a miracle.

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:

Good Morning,
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.

39 comments:

JennyH said...

How cool is that!!! I hope Micah gets it, and loves it! I'm so happy for you.

Debbie in CA : ) said...

There's no shock or surprise for me in this miracle ... simply tears of joy. My God is A BIG BIG God and he loves Micah just as much as He does/has my special ones and regular ones and naughty ones and . . . every one everywhere. Spread the word -- He is awesome! What a great end to a rather trying day. Thank you Jesus!

p.s.
The prayers continue without ceasing. Right now . . . they are loud hoots of celebration. God is SO GOOD!

(Keri) Auburn Gal Always said...

AWESOME!

the planet of janet said...

the. absolute. best.

that's all. the best.

Shellie said...

Whooppeeee!!! That is so cool! I'm catching up here on about 7 posts or so, and you're making me laugh and cry and nod my head in agreement. You go girl! And that guy just won a spot in heaven, I know it!

Debbie Yost said...

I'm crying with you! I can't wait to start hearing about Michah's progress. It's so nice to know there are still people out there who do care and will help a complete stranger at no benefit to themself.

Flea said...

PRAISE GOD!!!!! A voice. :) Smiling and crying with you, Karen.

Vic said...

That brought tears to my eyes, because if anyone deserves a voice it's Micah. I am so happy for him, and happy for you that your hard work paid off.

Karen said...

I am crying too. Restores my faith in humanity that sometimes can be lacking in these times.
God bless you all and may Micah find this to be the switch that begins his journey to communication!!!

Kate said...

This is a frickin' miracle. This just shows that there ARE people out there with nothing but goodness in their hearts to go ahead and be so generous in the face of all those others who prefer to hide behind red tape and senseless bureaucracy. Congratulations; I can't wait to read more on Micah's progress. I told Cameron this morning and he cheered and clapped (in his beautiful DS way!).

YAY MICAH!!!!! This is SUCH a big deal. It's my our day!

Melissa said...

Can I get an AMEN! This really is wonderful news!

I can't wait to see how Micah starts using his voice...

Yeah, Prentke Romich...you ROCK!

Madame Queen said...

THAT is the best news I've heard in ages! I'm so happy for you and I will sing Prentke Romich's praises forever.

Jennifer said...

oh WOW. That is awesome, awesome news. I have tears in my eyes, that is a great answer to prayers!!!

pb&j in a bowl said...

Wow. That's all- just wow. What an answer to prayers!

caramama said...

I'm totally crying at work. But that is just so awesome and I'm so happy for you Karen! That email was just amazing! I don't even know how to express how wonderful I think this is!

Yeah for good people in the world who help others!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr. Blocked For Privacy!! I'm so excited for you!!

Congratulations!!!!

Caution Flag said...

Thank-you, Jesus! I can't wait to read Friday's post :))))

Tammy and Parker said...

I call this sort of experience a MIRACLE. We've been the recipients of a few.

All that good that you have so often sent out there..just found it's way back.


I'm Happy Dancing and giving thanks right along with you.

Burgh Baby said...

Fantastic. Unbelievable. Wonderful. Amazing. Mr. Blocked for Privacy is all that and then some.

I can't wait to hear Micah and his Voice!

mommaof4wife2r said...

well, hello "desperate", this is "super excited for words!!!" i can't believe it! it's such and answer to prayer...and what a nice man to offer...thank you to Mr. blocked for Privacy! we love you!

Kidzmama said...

Mr. Blocked For Privacy deserves a standing ovation! Yippee!! I can't wait to hear Micah's thoughts. Great job Karen!

Colleen said...

Wow! I am utterly speechless and am in tears here at work. What an answer to your prayers!!!

Domestic Accident said...

You renew my faith in humanity. I'm so glad for you.

BTW, I'm a speech pathologist and I just happened to click on this Blogher link. Guess who will be getting my business next time?

Gina said...

That is wondeful news! I can't wait to hear how Micah does with it!

Anonymous said...

God Bless Mr.Blocked For Privacy..

God Bless You Kaen..

God Bless Micah

Andrea said...

I am crying and jumping up and down with you! That man is a God send and there are special places for them in Heaven!! Hooray, I am so excited to hear what Micah has to say!! YEAH!!!!!

Allison Says said...

Oh, Karen. That is SO good. I'm so very happy for you.

Micah is lucky to have you for a Mom.

Blogging does amazing things, doesn't it?

just jamie said...

Excuse me while I wipe tears from my keyboard and snot from my face. SO, SO cool karen. SO COOL.

Love stories like this where humanity and kindness prevail. Love it!

Leanne said...

This is why we blog. It's a voice. And it got heard!!! I'm THRILLED for you. Here's counting the minutes until Thursday.

Michelle said...

Oh how incredibly awesomely cool! I'm so excited for all of you, and I can't wait to hear how it goes for it. I love it when I see or hear about someone taking the time to do something nice to help someone else. I'll be looking for my spot to help someone out tomorrow to pass it along!

SgtSudsWife said...

That is so awesome!I am so happy that soon Micah will be able to use the springboard to help him communicate.

AZ Chapman said...

wow surprising what one blog will do eh

Irene said...

WOW!!!!! That is just nothing short of a miracle! I am so happy for you!!!

And I here's hoping for no more glitches!

imbeingheldhostage said...

No one will ever be able to top this for a "how blogging has changed me" post. THIS IS FANTASTIC!!! We love you Mr. Blocked for Privacy. (wow, what a long name he has).

You deserve this Karen, congratulations!

Aimee said...

Holy Crap, Karen!! How in heck did I miss this?!

I am so excited for you and Micah - behold the power of the mom blog! :)

Michelle said...

I started crying reading this post, I can only imagine how much you were crying while on the phone with that most wonderful employee offering to make this happen. Wow! It just goes to show you never know who might be reading your blog, and that there are still good, kind people in this world who will actually DO something.

HalfAsstic.com said...

Wow! That is soooo exciting! I am sooo happy for you and soooo relieved that Micah is getting the devise!
I wonder if he had just googled the name of the company he works for or if he's a regular reader, or what?

Anonymous said...

I am curious as to why you did not go with DynaVox? Did you call them? Their leadtime for a loaner/trial device is only 2 days - not a ridiculous 5 weeks! And, once you place an order a DynaVox normally ships next day - not the 7 to 8 weeks for a DynaVox.

DynaVox has for a long time been the leader in caring and customer service in the AAC industry. They are now the by far the largest company in the industry because of this.

I was done waiting forever for 'other' devices a long time ago. You should not have to get 'special service' just to get a device in time - that is standard service from DynaVox. My school will always be DynaVox because of the long lead times of everyone else.

Pat

Karen said...

Pat - I've found that DynaVox has a different way of treating parents than they do professionals. All the therapists I've talked to have said what you've said. When I've tried calling them (3 times/week for a month) I got "he's not in", "can I leave a message?" (that was never returned) and voice mail. I'm still waiting to talk to someone after leaving several messages. That was 5 months ago. Their customer service really lacks when they're dealing with the parents of the children who use their devices daily. I didn't want to set myself up for a lifetime of lousy customer service and headaches.