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Tuesday Update: 02/12/08

We had a conference call last night with Ruth and several other people traveling over to China in our March group. It was SO helpful, and just what I needed to calm my fears and make it all seem more real. She went through what to expect at the airport, on the plane, and what to do at the Beijing airport. She told us that she will meet us either at the hospital or at the airport – but we will see her that day! She also said she’d be there every week checking in on everyone, and that someone from her staff would be there daily. The doctors and nurses all speak English – this was a HUGE relief to us. Most of the helpers do not, but she said to rest assured that they understand and are so very helpful. There was a woman on the call whose son had gone to China and she spoke of how wonderfully caring the staff were over there…so that makes us all feel good. I think Matt and I are definitely at an advantage over some of the other folks since I’m a fairly experienced traveler, and Matt and I have flown together with the wheelchair. I’m sure it’s terribly intimidating for the folks who haven’t traveled since their strokes, and are making this huge journey. I hope that I can be of help to them as well.

Ruth also spoke of changes they’ve made at the hospital just to accommodate her and her patients! Things like an ATM which we can use our VISA debit cards at to get Chinese money…and a little shop with food, snacks etc. We can even mention things we’d like them to get and they’ll stock the shop for us. I really get the feeling that the hospital is so very grateful for her and the people that she’s brought there for treatment that they’re bending over backwards to make improvements…it’s great! She said our experience will be so much better than that of the first few groups, since they’ve ironed out some of the kinks and improved things to suit us better. Also reassuring. We learned that TianJin is the third largest city in China – bigger than NYC! It is also a coastal city, but since it is an hour from the coast, we will likely not see it.

It should take us about 2 ½ hours to drive there from Beijing – so when we get to the hospital we will just check in, get settled, and relax. They will take some blood work after a day or so, and get started planning out each person’s treatment – combining the TCM treatments along with various exercises in the gym. She told us to leave all our preconceived notions back here and just go with an open heart and mind – that there is method to their plans and treatments. Matt and I are in agreement that we are just going to go with the flow.

After talking to everyone last night, we both just felt so excited and relieved. Matt can hardly stand it, he is so excited. He has the best attitude and knows that he is just going to go there, work as hard as he can, focus on healing, and will come back with great results. He is SO positive, and I know that is a big part of the experience. I’m so proud of him, I just can’t even tell you. He is amazing to me.


Anonymous said…
Hi Emily and Matt--
Congrats on all that is going on in your lives right now. I wish you the best in China and with the big move to your new home. One of Josh's friends dad from Boone is going to the same place in March so I am guessing he might be in with Matt. They had a benefit for him last weekend to help with the funds. His name in Tim and he is 53 I think. Had a stroke a couple years ago. Once again, keep us posted on here and will look forward to some great news. Take care and happy traveling.
Carol Nelson

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