Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Kristi !!!

The ladies of Aledo had quite a surprise for Kristi tonight and WOW! did they make her feel special on her special night. I really don't know what to say about tonight other than it was unbelievable. Thank You for making my wife feel so special.

There were 100+ ladies on our front yard, with scarlet and black balloons (Texas Tech Colors), signs and banners, and gifts. They sang "Happy Birthday" to Kristi as she answered the door. She greeted the crowd, with tears rolling down her face, and I'm not sure she stopped crying completely the entire time that everyone was here.

I've never in my life seen such a supporting group of women. Kristi's best friends from Aledo were here, but also neighbors, ladies from school, church, baseball, and some ladies who had never met Kristi but wanted to show their support.

I want to thank all of you tonight for making Kristi's Birthday, one that she will cherish for as long as she lives.

I'm so sorry if we didn't get around to saying "hi" to everyone tonight. So please, if you were here, please post a short comment just letting us know that you were here...kindof an electronic registry. It all happened so fast, and we don't want to miss anyone.

Ladies, you are the foundation of Aledo. God Bless each one of you! God Bless Mary Poppins (aka Caren Jennings)

Sidewinders Throw Jessie a Baseball Party

Although tornadoes loomed, and lightening lighted the sky, Jessie and the Sidewinders had a great party!!

Jessie plays T-Ball at Aledo Athletics on the Sidewinders. Or as Jessie would say, "We're Snakes!!!". She started the season with two hands, and now has to bat, catch, and throw with just one hand, but she still loves it and hits as well as most of the kids in the league. She is amazing.

Well, the Sidewinders decided to have a party for her the night of the big storms in Aledo, and it was a great time for the kids and parents. The Thurman's hosted the party at their beautiful home in Stone Creek, and allowed the kids to run rampant in their home after the lightening began. Thanks Paul and Melissa!! We'll help with the carpet cleaning bill.

Each kid made a patch for Jessie, and they were all sewn together into a beautiful quilt for Jessie. Also, Coach Thurman presented Jessie with a Baseball Bunny, with his recorded voice telling Jessie to "Swing for the fence!" She played the message over and over and over. John's mom made a beautiful baseball cake, and Hailey's parents brought the bounce house.

Thanks to all the parents for making this such a special year!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Comments Fixed

I think that I have the "Comments" part fixed on this blog. If you wish to leave a comment about a post, click on the small word "comment" below the post where you want to leave a comment. Then type your message, Type in the word verification letters, Click Annonymous, last click the bottom button to post your comments. Also you can email us directly at

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Jessie's Carnival Sponsored by Cracker Barrel - Weatherford

Questions : Please contact Caren Jennings - 817-308-8654 or
or Michele Bartee at Cracker Barrel at 817-598-9070

Special Thanks to Michelle Bartee, Caren Jennings, and Robin Seay!

A Cracker Barrel Gift Card for a Friend


Sandy, a good friend of mine at work at BNSF Railway (yes, I'm an old railroad guy) has been sick, and in pain. She has been sick enough, that she has missed an incredible amount of work. We have a lot in common. Sandy is a Texas Tech supporter as her son went there, and her son is adopted like our boys, and she lives in Aledo.

So Kristi and I decided to get her a "Get Well" card and send it to her. While I was in the grocery store picking out a card, I noticed a rack of Gift Cards from 100 different restaurants and stores. So I thought to myself, "Why not get her a restaurant gift card, so that she won't have to cook for a couple of nights, and can relax." She is in a lot of pain, so I thought that this may ease her suffering just a little. So I scanned through the 100s or cards and decided on a Cracker Barrel Gift Card. I like Cracker Barrel, and I thought that she would too. It is a comfortable and relaxing place, and they have excellent food.

So, I get home and write a note to Sandy, and put in the card and drive over to her house and put it in her mailbox. I felt good about what I had just done.

So you're probably asking yourself, "Cris, this is Jessie's Blog, not yours. What does this have to do with Jessie?" And you are right, but this is the best story that I have so far, and I saved it for last.

The next day, I was talking to Robin Seay, the principal at Stuard, and she began to tell me about Cracker Barrel donating a bubble machine for a special day that was planned for Jessie. In addition, a neighbor named Caren Jennings told Kristi that she needed to contact Cracker Barrel about an event that Michelle Bartee at Cracker Barrel was planning for Jessie.

So Kristi called, and Michelle told her that Cracker Barrel was planning a two-day carnival for Jessie. She said that there would be a pink castle, snow cones, cake walk, face-painting, car-wash and a bake sale. All to benefit the Jessie Hall Fund. A bounce house for the kids, and that Dallas Fort-Worth television would be there to cover the event. They plan to run the carnival all day both Saturday and Sunday, May 3rd and 4th.

Needless to say, Kristi and I were blown-away by this act of kindness and love for our daughter. Cracker Barrel, Michelle Bartee, and Caren Jennings didn't know Jessie. They just heard about a little girl in trouble and wanted to help. Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores, Inc. is a large corporation, and Michelle Bartee should be commended for breaking through the barriers and supporting our community. Thanks Michelle. Cracker Barrel will forever be a part of our lives, and Jessie's life. Thanks Cracker Barrel.

So get ready for a PINK CARNIVAL in Weatherford!!! The local radio station has been pumping it up, and it promises to be a good time for all. I hope that we see you there!!

We are so blessed to have companies like this in our community, and I am so glad that I stopped to buy a Cracker Barrel Gift card for a sick friend.

Coincidence? I don't think so!

Our love to all of you and our thanks for reading Jessie's story. Each time we hear about someone new reading her story, and being touched in some way by her journey, we believe more and more that God has a special plan for her and we are so thankful that you are sharing it with us. Jessie may be only 6 years old, but she has already touched more lives for the better, than I could ever hope to.

God Bless all of you reading this and those in your life that need a prayer. We are praying for all of you.

Kristi, Cris, Matt, Jake, Josh, and Jessie

The Wally Byam Airstream Club


I just got off the phone with my Dad, Clifford Hall, who is a very active member of the Wally Byam Caravan Club International ( ) for Airstream trailer enthusiasts. He and my step-mom Gail had been out at a Chili-Cook-Off Airstream camp-out down near Houston this weekend.

Anyway, Friday morning, behind them was another trailer. A man was sitting outside, and Dad realized that he didn't know him, so went over to get acquainted. They talked about many things and other guys came and went. At some point, they discussed grandchildren. Dad told him about Matt, Jake, Josh, and eventually got around to Jessie and her battle with Rasmussen's Encephalitis. Suddenly, the man asked, "What is her name?" When Dad told him , he was amazed. The man said, "We have been praying for her for a month."

Dad asked, how he had heard about Jessie. The man explained that he had been on a caravan to the Region 9 rally about a month ago and someone mentioned praying for her. He said that Jessie had been on his mind ever since. He was asked to be the speaker at the devotional service that morning and he talked a lot about divine intervention and a reason for things happening. He told all he knew about Jessie.

We want to extend our thanks to the Wally Byam Caravan Club International and to all the people who have raised Jessie up in prayer. We knew that our daughter was special, but we had no idea the number of lives that she is touching.

God Bless all of you.

Kristi and Cris Hall

A Special Weekend Visit


This weekend, we had a special treat in the form of a visit from a dear friend, and fraternity brother from college. Eddie, his wife Tina, and their precious daughter Lucy spent the weekend with us. It was so nice to see Eddie, and meet Tina and Lucy. We so much appreciate them taking the time to make such a long drive from Houston and share their lives with us. Thanks Guys, we love you. Here are a few pictures from the weekend.

Finding Comfort with Our Decision


If you have been reading the blog recently, you will recall that I have been writing about coincidence, or the lack thereof. Well, today's story is a story about the little boy from North Carolina, Noah, and what he has meant to us here in Texas, and a teenager named Jodie from Baltimore that has meant equally as much. You make the call today...Coincidence or not.

Also, you have probably read about what I call "The Dilemma". The parents of Rasmussen's kids have to make the decision to inflict permanent physical and mental disabilities on their kids, in order to save them from disability, constant seizures and possible death. So, needless to say, parents of these kids struggle daily with guilt, uncertainty, panic, and many other emotions,
some that will be with us for the rest of our lives.

So, Kristi and I have struggled to seek out other parents who are in the same situation as us, so that we would have someone to talk to, and compare notes with, and support each other emotionally. Unfortunately, Rasmussen's Encephalitis is so rare, that it is VERY difficult finding these kids.

We had found a Yahoo Group on the Internet, that focused on Rasmussen's and Hemispherectomy, and we read it religiously. The problem is, that there are not that many of us in existence, so not a lot written. Well, one of those sets of parents, have a teenager named Jodie, who is about to go to college. She had Rasmussen's and her Hemispherectomy, at Johns Hopkins, when she was 3. She is now 18. Her parents gave us the gift of Hope, by inviting us to stay with them during our first visit to Baltimore. Lynn, Al, and Jodie Miller gave us Hope to move forward. They also gave us a collection of videos from over the past 15 years that showed other kids who had done amazing things after their hemispherectomy. Coincidence?

Through this same board, we met a family from North Carolina called the Warricks. Unlike Jodie and most Rasmussen's kids, Noah's symptoms were almost exactly like Jessie's. He had very few Simple Partial Seizures, and it started in his hand and face like Jessie. It was such a blessing to be able to talk to them on the Internet, and realize that their doctors were making the same diagnosis and suggesting the same treatment. In talking to them, we found out that they were going to be at Give Kids the World and Disney, the exact same time. So we set up a time to meet them, and did just that. So, one-in-a-million chance kids came together in April to meet on-in-a-million parents in one-in-a-million places in the World, so that they could comfort each other about a one-in-a-million disease that was affecting their families.

God Bless Noah and his parents. Noah is almost two weeks post surgery and doing great. Noah gave us the gift of Faith, so that we my trust this surgery to give Jessie peace.

Coincidence or not? I think not.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Lemonade Stand


Matt (Jessie's oldest brother) had baseball practice last week, and I drove him out to Deer Creek, but had to leave immediately to go to Jake and Josh's (Jessie's middle-older brothers) batting practice.

On the way in to Matt's practice, I noticed a kid over on the right corner selling lemonade. I was in a hurry, so I figured that I would look the other direction and get on with my business. On the way back, though, something told me to slow down and buy some lemondade from this kids who seemed to be working so hard. "Slow down", I told myself.

So I pulled up and said "one please", and as the kid (later I found out that he was a 5th grader named Joey) was getting ready to pour my lemonade I asked him, "What are you going to do with all that money your making". Of course, I expected something like a new bike, or a Nintendo DS game, or a new motorized scooter. But what he said was, "I'm going to give it to Jessie Hall".

Well, here I am, a grown man, trying to hide my emotions from this boy that I didn't know. I asked him, "Do you know who I am", and he answered quite innocently, "No."

I said, "I'm Jessie's Dad.", and he said "No Way!" He was genuinely excited that I was there. He called over his two helpers, and it was none other than Avery, a little girl from Mrs. Huckabee's 2nd Grade (Jake's class), and Jane Ann, a little girl from Mrs. Moorehead's 2nd Grade (Josh's class).

You may remember Avery as the star of the Nutrcracker Suite who sang such a beautiful solo, but we remember Avery as that sweet, polite, little girl that enjoyed our campfire with us late one evening after Jake's camping party, the night of the big Aledo play-off game in Wichita Falls. We stayed back for the birthday party and got the priveledge of getting to know this young lady and her sister.

We know Jane Ann, because of her outgoing personality, and she ALWAYS says "Hi" to us when we are up at the school, and she ALWAYS gives Jessie a hug when she sees her. I'm so proud to be a part of this community that raises such fine children as these.

I've seen a lot of lemonade stands in my life, but I will NEVER forget this Lemondade Stand.

God Bless Aledo and it's citizens

Friday, April 25, 2008

Dr. Benjamin Solomon Carson


By the time Jessie was officially diagnosed with Rasmussen's Encephalitis at Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, we had already started preparing our selves for that diagnosis. Kristi and I had been reading as much as we could about the disease, and we knew that hemispherectomy surgery (removal of one-half of the brain hemisphere) was the only permanent treatment.

As we read in disbelief, that a surgery like this was still performed in the 21st century, we began narrowing down our choice of hospitals for Jessie's surgery. There were basically three choices; UCLA Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic, and Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. These were considered the three top hemispherectomy hospitals in the world. We also, through our research, were beginning to realize that Dr. Eileen Vining of Johns Hopkins was the leading expert on Rasmussen's Encephalitis.

So we decided that it would be best to go to Johns Hopkins and see Dr. Vining for a diagnosis confirmation, and then we could decide on the surgery later. We were very blessed that Dr. Vining was able to see us. She has seen more cases of Rasmussen's than anyone else in the nation, most likely the world. She knew, before we got there, by reviewing the EEGs, MRIs, and PETs, that Jessie had Rasmussen's. The examination was just a formality.

When Kristi went to mail Jessie's hundreds of images, documents, reports, etc. from Cooks, she went to Fed Ex. The man taking her package saw that it was going to Johns Hopkins and asked if the documents she was sending was for the little girl in the picture and if she was her kid. "Do you know who Dr. Ben Carson is?" Kristi said yes, that he was the head of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Hopkins. Then he told her more about Dr. Carson, the books he has written and that if he was involved, all will be well. On the way home, Kristi couldn't help feeling that Johns Hopkins was the right choice, and that if Dr. Carson was the Director of the department, then we would surely get a good surgeon for Jessie. Kristi told me about the day, and I agreed. That night we bought two of Dr. Carson's books; "Think Big", and "Take the Risk".

On the flights from and to Baltimore, we read those two books, and we became more and more convinced that Johns Hopkins was the place that we needed to be. We realized that Dr. Carson would not be doing Jessie's surgery, but we were convinced that any surgeon working under him would be an outstanding surgeon and give Jessie the best chance. We also knew that Dr. Carson's experience with hemispherectomy surgeries would be passed on. Dr. Carson is credited with bringing the hemispherectomy back in the late 70's after a long moratorium forbidding the practice due to the high morbidity rate. We were told that Dr. Jallo would be doing Jessie's surgery.

As time passed, we learned more and more about Dr. Carson and we bought his other two books; "The Big Picture" and "Gifted Hands". I'm reading one of them now. Each page that I read, I become more impressed with this man for his skills as a surgeon and for his ideals and convictions as a person. Google Dr. Carson sometime and you will be amazed.

A few days ago, Diana Pillas at Johns Hopkins called me, and had some news for us. A surgery date had been set for June 11th. It was hard to hear on the one hand, but a relief on the other, that maybe our darling little girl would finally get some peace. But how could we know that we had done the right thing. Did we pick the right hospital? Are we doing the right thing? Is the surgeon the right one? We may never know 100%.

Before we hung up, Diana, Dr. Vining's assistant at Johns Hopkins had one more thing to say. She told me that Dr. Ben Carson would be doing Jessie's surgery. I couldn't say anything for a moment, and Diana asked me if that was OK. I finally regained my composure and told her that I was just fine with Dr. Carson doing Jessie's surgery. I was honored.

At that moment, I knew that God was watching out for Jessie and that we had chosen the right place. Although it was half-way across the U.S., I knew that it would be worth it, and we would find the money to make it happen. (That is another volume of stories that I will get to later)

I called Kristi immediately, and she cried with the news that Dr. Carson would be performing Jessie's hemispherectomy. I cried with her.

On Coincidence


A good friend of ours, who lives on the other side of the pond, named Maura Flint told us recently that she doesn't believe in coincidence. When she said that, I thought to myself "how strange to not believe in coincidence". Surely if you consider all the billions and billions of possible combinations that occur in your daily life, some of them will coincide and produce results that seem to connect.

OK, that was the old Cris. As we travel our journey with Jessie, I'm starting to believe less and less in coincidence, and more and more in the fact that God has a plan for us, and that if we listen, trust in Him, and use our brains, we will follow the plan that He has for us. I truly believe that Jessie is destined for great things, and I honestly believe, that because of her life, she has done great things. She has brought people together in the community. She has softened people's hearts. She has inspired people to try things that they wouldn't normally do. She has given people faith, hope, and love where it may not have existed before. I, myself am a better person. I may have been saved by my 6-year-old daughter.

I have some stories that have come out of Jessie's sickness, that I would like to share with everyone. They are special stories of lives crossing, and special things happening, and things that are definitely NOT just coincidence. I want to write them down, before I forget them as they are replaced by other miracles that seem to happen each day. The stories that I am going to write are all true. Most people who tell stories, especially in Texas, like to embellish, because let's face makes a better story.

These stories that I will write about over the next few days, however, I will not embellish or stretch, but I will tell them exactly how I remember them. I have not told these stories before, because I'm not sure that I could tell them face to face, and keep my composure, so I will write them here.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Gift of Life


I just finished a book called "The Gift of Life", by Henri Landwirth.

Henri was a Jewish immigrant, and Holocaust survivor. He created the Give Kids the World Village for Children who are terminally ill or battling a life threatening illness like Jessie. Give Kids the World is where we stayed two weeks ago on Jessie's Wish trip. It is an amazing place for kids.

But what it is for kids, is superseded by what it is for an example to the world in human kindness. You won't regret reading this book. I think that the only place that you can find it is at the GKTW Online Gift Shop.

Or, I would be happy to loan you my copy, under one condition, that you pass it on to someone else to read when you are finished. :-)

Thanks for reading, and thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers for Jessie. It means the world to us to know that so many people care about Jessie.

God Bless You All. Cris

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Jessie's Photo Shoot


Heather Mclelland over at Wood Bend Photography did a Photo Shoot with Jessie last Sunday, and they had a blast. Of Course Jessie is a HAM to begin with, so this was right up her alley. At first she was a little shy, but she quickly joined in and had loads of fun with Mom. The images are wonderful !

"Not another Doctor's Appointment !"

"Hmmmm, This looks like fun!"

Sweet Jessie

I love you Mommy!


Monday, April 21, 2008

More Good Deeds from Stuard Elementary

Our Incredible Family at Stuard Elementary is at it again. This last Friday was "Wear Your Favorite Glasses Day" for Jessie. The week before that was "Flip Flop Friday". That was the week that we were gone on Jessie's Make-A-Wish Trip.

So, thanks to Jessie's principal Robin Seay, Asst. Principal Amy Sadler (Soon-To-Be Principal at Coder) and the rest of the incredible Teachers, Staff, and especially the Students at Stuard Elementary.

Here are some of the pictures from those Friday's :
Click on "Scrapbook", then click on "Fun Fridays for Jessie".

What an Awesome School !!

Kristi and Cris and the rest of the Hall Zoo (Matt, Jake, Josh, Jessie)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Noah Update

For those of you keeping up with Noah's progress at Duke University Hospital in North Carolina, I just wanted to let you know that he is out of PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit). Noah's Mom posted that he drank a strawberry milkshake today, sat up in a wheelchair, and laughed at a cartoon. His surgery was on Wednesday of this week!!

On Wednesday night, he CLEARLY told his mom that "this table is hard as a rock". CLEARLY is the important word here. Noah hasn't been able to talk clearly for months due to the constant seizure in his tounge and face. His twitching (seizures) in his face, hand, and arm are gone. They have seen movement on his left side. WONDERFUL NEWS!!

Praise to God and medical science for this miracle boy who, without knowing it, is giving us so much hope, faith, love, and courage to move forward.

God Bless his parents Laura and Brian, and his brother Sam (13) and God Bless Noah. Please watch over him and heal his body quickly!!

If anyone wants to write a note to Noah and/or his family, you can do it on his blog at

or see his website at

Goodnight. Sleep well Noah and family. You've had a rough week.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Recap of Jessie's Complete Story

Hi and Thanks for Reading Jessie's story. I imagine that today, because of the Report in today's paper, that many in our community will be reading this for the first time. I apologize if the newspaper delivered this message to you for the first time as opposed to a personal message from us. I thank The Community News for delivering our message to those who we care about, but have missed.

Below is a quick recap of Jessie's battle with Rasmussen's Encephalitis, her prognosis, and treatment to come. If you want to read the whole story from beginning to end, it is best to start at the very bottom of this blog and read up. It will take your through her first seizure this summer to the present.

On February 20, 2008, The Neurology Department at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas held a special conference to discuss Jessie Hall’s case. She had been having unstoppable seizures, abnormal brain activity, and a lesion all focused on only one side of her brain. Her arm, hand, and eyes twitched continuously with a continuous seizure that no medicines could stop. Under the care of Neurologists Dr. Monica Chacon and Dr. Saleem Malik, they presented the case to the entire neurology and neurosurgery staff at Cooks, and after 7 baffling and confusing months, they finally had a diagnosis. A diagnosis that none of them had made before, and one that none of them wanted to make again.

Jessie, at 5 years of age, was diagnosed with Rasmussen’s Encephalitis. Rasmussen’s Encephalitis is an extremely rare and cruel brain disease that almost exclusively attacks little kids; usually kids like Jessie, with no previous health problems. A happy, healthy, outgoing little girl that liked to sing, dance, paint, play dress-up, read, and go to Kindergarten at Stuard Elementary in Aledo, was now fighting for her life. In fact, other than the constant seizures in her hand, arm, and eyes, you might not know that this disease is relentlessly attacking the right half of her brain.

There are no medicines or treatments that can stop Jessie’s seizures, and if they are not stopped, the disease will progress with catastrophic results. The only treatment for this disease is a radical brain surgery called a hemispherectomy. They will have to remove the entire right half of Jessie’s brain. Jessie will fly across the nation to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore Maryland to have this procedure done as soon as it can be scheduled. Under the direction of Dr. Eileen Vining, Neurologist and her assistant Diana Pillas and under the surgical direction of Dr. Ben Carson (Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery), and with the help of hundreds of other doctors and staff, Jessie will have half of her brain removed.

Agreeing to this surgery is the hardest thing that any parent will ever make. You see your daughter getting on a bus to go to school or playing on a playground, as you set up a surgery that sounds like something our of a Frankenstein movie. No parent should have to make that decision, and ultimately, it is an “elective” surgery as the hospitals would say. In other words, the parents make the decision, not the doctors. I guess that it is a liability thing. Luckily, our insurance will cover the proceedure.

The amazing thing about this surgery, is that Jessie has an incredible chance of recovering and going on to lead a normal life. Sounds impossible doesn’t it. It’s not, however, because of a thing called “Elasticity” or "Placticity", and kids have lots of it in their brain. That means that their brains are so young and pliable, that one side can actually take over some of the function that the other side was doing. A surgery like this would probably kill an adult, but kids have the chance to recover amazingly well. There is not a lot of research on it however, because not many of these surgeries get performed each year.

Jessie’s chances of a miraculous recovery are even better, because she still is in such good shape. She still walks without problems and has lost only minor cognitive skills. Many children who undergo this surgery have much more severe mental and physical problems, so tracking post-surgery progress is difficult. Jessie has a very good chance to walk after this surgery. She will most likely go back to Kindergarten next fall, and chances are good, that she will graduate from Aledo High School in 12 years and go to college.

So this is not a story of tragedy, but a story of hope and the miracles of God and medical science. This is the story of a brave little girl who may just defeat a disease that is threatening to take her life.

Before surgery, however, the Hall family plans to celebrate life and enjoy things as much as possible with their four kids. Matt (9), Jake and Josh (8), and Jessie (6). The Make-A-Wish foundation along with the Give Kids the World organization have graciously and compassionately planned a special week for Jessie and her family starting on April 7th. They will stay in the Give Kids the World Village in Kissame Florida at night, and during the day enjoy the many attractions that the Orlando area has to offer. “We are so blessed to have a wonderful God, community, school system, employers, doctors, family, and friends to help us through this difficult time.”

Our love to all of you in our Church, School, Neighborhood, Community, Our Family and Friends and all the people who care about Jessie.

The Halls (Cris, Kristi, Matt, Jake, Josh, Jessie)

Sugery Schedule from Johns Hopkins

Hi all,

We have a pre-surgery and surgery schedule from Johns Hopkins. Although we are scared, and it makes this nightmare all the more real, we are at the same time relieved that Jessie may finally see some relief. She has been having some really good days lately, and we are thankful for that.

The schedule is below, and relatives will be staying with the boys during our times of absense, so the boy's life should be disrupted very little. Also, we plan to try to get a video conferencing going so that Jessie can talk to her family and her big brothers while she is in the hospital and rehab. I'll let you know how that goes.

The Schedule is below:

Pre Surgical Testing
May 12th: Monday – Fly into Baltimore
May 13th: Tuesday - Meet with Dr. Benjamin Carson, Jessie's Neurosurgeon
May 14th – 17th – Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (Under the care of Dr. Eileen Vining, Jessie's Baltimore Neurologist and her assisstant Diana Pillas)
After we are released from the EMU, we will fly home.

Hemispherectomy Surgery ( June 11th)

June 8th: Sunday – Fly into Baltimore
June 9th: 10th – Pre Surgery Evaluation

June 11th: Wednesday – Hemispherectomy Surgery
(The following depends on Jessie's strength and recovery)
June 11th – 14th : Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)
June 14th – 21st : Johns Hopkins Regular Pediatric Room
June 22nd – July 12th : Kennedy Kreiger in-patient Rehabilitation Center

Please Keep Jessie in your prayers during these critical dates.

With all our love,

Cris, Kristi, Matt, Jake, Josh, and Jessie

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Jessie's Story and a Prayer for Noah

Good Morning,

Jessie seems to be back in the swing of school this week after her whirlwind tour of Orlando. She still has her dreadlocks and beads in her hair. I tried to talk her into removing them last night, but she wouldn't even discuss it. Who is the parent here anyway?

She has started going down to the nurses office during the day to take a nap, but Mrs. Walters says that when she wakes up she is refreshed and ready to go back to class for more work. I'm going to talk to my boss about this nap thing, it sounds like a good arrangement.

I've been trying to keep up with all the news stories about Jessie, and I have given up due to the volume. I know that something is comming out in the community news this week and next (probably a two-part story), and the internet is abuzz. You will read some comments to the story that are very heartfelt and compassionate and you will read some comments that are innacurate or callous. Mostly, people are genuinely caring and extend prayers and thoughts. Don't take offense to anything written.

This is very hard for people to understand and conceptualize, and people deal with it in different ways. Some through heartfelt emotion, some through critique, some with questions, and yes, even some with Jokes. It's OK. This doesn't seem real to those people, and they are so far removed that it may be the best way for them to handle it. They are not bad people, maybe just scared and humor helps them deal with it.

If you get a chance, try this : goto and type in the phrase "Jessie Hall" and brain. You will be amazed.

or click on this :



Noah Warrick of North Carolina is in surgery as I write this, and I ask that you take a few minutes to say a prayer for him and his family. They are such a neat family, and Noah is such a neat kid. His Mom and Dad (Laura and Brian) and brother Sam are sitting at Duke University Medical Center right now waiting for the word that surgery is over and Noah is OK. God Bless Noah and his family.

And Thanks to all of our family, friends, and community. You continue to ovewhelm us each day with your support and encouragement. Kristi and I can't go a day without shedding a tear of joy as we see some new act of kindness or compassion.

We love you guys!!

Cris and Kristi

Monday, April 14, 2008

Trailers for Sale or Rent : Actually for Raffle

Just wanted to send a special thanks to THE WELDING SHOP in Cheyenne, WY for building this trailer for raffle for Jessie. Joann and Jerry Pauli are friends of Gary and Nancy Kelley (Kristi's Mom and Dad).
Thanks Joann and Jerry!

The Welding Shop
508 E. 1st STREET
(307) 632-3294
Joann and Jerry Pauli






3500# AXLE

Gators and Goodbye from Orlando

OK, I know...this probably borders on Child Endangerment, but you gotta live a little. This was our last day in Orlando. We were just too tired to post anything last night, so you are getting this a day late.

We enjoyed our last day in Orlando by going to Gatorland and feeding the alligators. We were literally 3 feet away from them. I'm not sure if it was safe or not...I'm not sure if I want to know either, but we had fun.

After feeding the alligators, we were hungry so we went back to GKTW and had one last ice-cream. We borded the plan, and were in DFW by 7:00PM.

What a trip.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Mayor Clayton !

Did I explain that the mayor of Give Kids the World Village is a 7 ft tall bunny named Mayor Clayton? His wife, Mrs. Merry, is the one that tucked the kids into bed the other night. Well, tonight wasy a suprise birthday party for Mayor Clayton, and Jessie was excited about it. She asked everone that she saw today if they were going to the Mayor's birthday party.

We took a train around the village and arrived outside the House of Hearts to attend this invitation only event. All the kids were there and we went into the Theater to watch the pre-party movie.

Also, Jessie made us stop at the store after the airboat trip to buy Mayor Clayton a birthday present. It was cute. So we bought Mayor Clayton some carrots for his big party.

When the mayor and Mrs. Merry arrived in their rabbit cars, Jessie ran up and gave Mayor Clayton a big hug, wished him a happy birthday, and gave him his present. I think that she was the only one that had a present for him. She really believed the whole thing!!! It was a special treat to enjoy our last night here.

All the villas her in GKTW have a name plate in the front with the family's last name posted. As we took the train around the village on the way to the birthday party, I took the time to read each name as we passed each villa. I couldn't help but to wonder what each of these families is going through. I just hope that they have a great week and live for the day. You never know what tomorrow is going to bring.

Goodbye from Orlando. Thanks to Give Kids the World! Thanks to the Make-A-Wish foundation! Thanks to Disney, Universal Studios, Sea World, Airboats of Orlando, American Airlines, and all the Volunteers and Employees that we have met this week. We will always remember this special wish that was granted to our daughter.

Some day, when Jessie is in High School, we plan to come back here and volunteer to work for a week during our vacation. Hopefully, we can take a bit of time to find Jessie's star in the Castle of Miracles and find her paving stone on the Avenue. Maybe we can serve meals in the Ginger Bread House or serve ice cream at the Ice Cream Palace. It will be wonderful to see Jessie and the boys walk down the Avenue and truly realize what a special Wish this was for Jessie and our family and how many people were involved to make this happen.

There are no words that can describe our appreciation for the people here and back home.

Airboat, Alligators and Gifts for the Teachers!

OK, I have a confession to make. The airboat ride was Mom and Dad's idea. Jessie woke up this morning and said that she wanted to play around the village and swim all day, and take naps. Even the boys said that they didn't want to go to Disney, Universal, MGM, Animal Kingdom or
Epcot. They all wanted to hang out at the Give Kids the World Village and chase lizards, eat ice cream, and swim.

We were finally able to convice them to go on a short airboat ride and then spend the rest of the day at the village. I think that the prospect of spotting alligators may have sealed the least for the boys. Jessie didn't feel very well this morning, but she powered through. We made a bed for her in the back seat of the van, and that helped.

So off to hunt gators we went. And we did see some, but they were pretty small. The airboat was a blast. It feels like your going really fast, but I don't think that we went any faster than about 30 mph.

When we got back to the dock, the kids decided that they wanted to get their teachers a gift from the trip. OK, leave it to the Hall kids to do things their OWN way. So Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. Moorehead, Ms. Huckabee, Ms. McGaugh, prepare yourself for your gifts. I don't mean to spoil the surprise, but I have to let everyone else know what your going to get. Julie, Kathy, Michaeleen you will receive your very own Alligator Foot neclace. Horrray!!! Erin, Jessie picked out a special gift for you. It is an Alligator Foot - back scratcher to scratch your back and underneath your cast. Expect your momentos on Monday morning. :-) Oh, one last thing. The old guy at the Gator Parts stand warned us to not get the gator feet wet, because they might start to stink.....I warned you. ;-0

Friday, April 11, 2008

Princess and Pirates!


Tonight was the Village Princess and Pirate Party!

All pirates received swords and face paint. Princesses had their nails painted, faces made-up, and tiaras carefully placed on their pretty little heads. Shamu and Princess Dolly Dolphin appeared for pictures and fun with the kids. Taller princesses and pirates played and danced with the kids. I can tell you Captains Josh and Jake wore them out! Jessie had a wonderful time talking with EVERYONE and Matt showed mom how to Get Funky. The evening wrapped up with the coronation of Princesses and Pirates - all were individually presented to the crowd with lots of applause and cheering! Once again, Give Kids the World was truly a kid's dream come true!

Good Night!

Jessie and her brothers are hamming it up!

All the BEAUTIFUL Princesses!

And the HANDSOME Pirates!

Off On Adventures!


Today we decided to check out Adventureland at Universal . . . but first we had a little diversion after breakfast at the Village. We stopped to see our "favorite" purple dinosaur and his cohorts and have our picture taken with them. Don't tell the boys we posted a picture - they will be so angry at us! ;o)

We had a wonderful time checking out Adventureland and then Cris and I had a blast from the past - we had a late lunch at A&W Root Beer! We both remember going for burgers and rootbeer when we were little. The kids enjoyed eating in their own miniature cars.

The rest of the late afternoon / early evening was spent swimming, looking for Jessie's star in the Magic Castle, and eating ice cream before tonight's festivities began.