Rafi celebrated his 1st birthday with family and friends this past month, and the event was truly special. After everything our little family has been through this year, the birthday was especially meaningful. It gave us the oppurtunity to thank many of those who helped us and continue to help us deal with our situation with Rafi, whether it be physical or emotional support. Additionally, the birthday gave us the impetus to reflect on this past year and how far developmentally Rafi has grown.
Rafi has now surpassed his need for a feeding tube, his last session with one being in mid-August (and will hopefully never need one again) and he can now stand and walk with great improvement. His babbling shows promise of his first words, hopefully to come soon (can't wait!). Additionally, he shows understanding of simple requests, ("Come to Ima!" or "Give that to me.") by actually following through! Rafi has also stopped receiving feeding therapy, and is now engaged in speech therapy alone, which he enjoys.
A lot has been going on with Rafi's medical situation as well. Just recently, Rafi underwent minor surgery to remove his feeding tube stomach button, which was successful (except that now he's being treated for an infection from the surgery--he should be totally fine within the next couple of weeks). He has also been seeing an audiologist at New York Eye and Ear who fit him for a Baha hearing aid (which is worn on a headband; no surgery required). It's tough to keep the Baha on his head, though, but with time Rafi should get used to wearing it.
Since the weather has been so nice, Rafi's been spending a lot of time pushing his car-walker around various neighborhood playgrounds, especially those with bonus sprinklers. It always surprises me when he suddenly walks away from his little car and ambles off on his own, but I guess I've got to used to seeing that.
All in all Rafi's come a long way and we continue to be so proud of him!