Friday, January 23, 2009

Jessie and Alex on the Trampoline

Jessie's friend Alex is over for a sleep-over tonight, and they had a little water fun on the trampoline. Only in Texas can you play in the water in January.

Thanks Again Midwest Airlines!

Another Big THANK YOU goes out to Midwest Airlines for flying us up to Baltimore for Jessie's 6-Month post-op check-up!

Thank You so much BJ (Dreifke) and all the friendly people at Midwest. BJ, I know that you are reading this, so Thank You from the bottom of our hearts for taking care of our family. Midwest is the indeed the BEST !!! The hot chocolate chip cookies aren't so bad either.

For those of you who have never flown Midwest, give them a try the next time that you fly. It is a pampered experience and unlike any other airline in business today.

Thanks Again Midwest!!!

With Much Appreciation,

The Hall Family. (Cris, Kristi, Matt, Jake, Josh, Jessie)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Jessie is doing GREAT says Dr. Carson

Jessie Update
Jessie is doing well. We just got back from Baltimore where thedoctors gave her an A+ for her 6 month post-op checkups.

Her neurologist (Dr. Vining) told us to do one more EEG, and if itlooks good, she could taper off of Keppra, and be down to one AED(Tegretol, 100mg x 3 times daily). I love the idea of being down toone AED, but scared all at the same time.

They were very pleased with her arm and leg mobility, but we arecautious as we know things will tighten up as she moves forward.

In Baltimore, we took care of a lot of business. We met with thefoundation's OT and PT from Kennedy Krieger Rehab. We met with outNE Regional Director (Jane Stefanik)and our Specialty Director -Rasmussen's (Lynn Miller). We talked 2009 Conference and Reunion withthem and what we would like to do.We also had the priveledge of meeting with the LeFevers family who'sdaughter will be having surgery very soon.

It was an amazing trip, and the capstone was when Dr. Carson agreedto be The Honorary Chair of our Medical Advisory Board. This is the life story of Dr. Benjamin Solomon Carson, the Brain Surgeon that performed Jessie Hall’s hemispherectomy brain surgery. He is Christian and an extremely talented surgeon. Please pass this on to anyone you know who might be interested in it.
Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story
Airdate:Saturday, February 7 @ 8:00PM (ET) (7:00PM Central)
TNT Channel
He is also the Honorary Chair of The Hemispherectomy Foundation Medical Advisory Board.


Cris and Kristi

Friday, January 16, 2009

Benjamin Carson Becomes The Hemispherectomy Foundation's Honorary Chair of the Medical Advisory Board!

It gives me great pleasure to announce the Honorary Chair of The Hemispherectomy Foundation Medical Advisory Board. Benjamin Solomon Carson, Sr. !

I've included a brief description and bio of this amazing man below. Also be sure to watch his life's story on TNT.

Set your DVR's! Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story will be shown on Sat. Feb. 7 on TNT

Benjamin Solomon Carson, Sr. had a childhood dream of becoming a physician. Growing up in a single parent home with dire poverty, horrible grades, a horrible temper, and low self-esteem, appeared to preclude the realization of that dream. But today he is the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, a position he has held since 1984 when he was 33 years old. He is a professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics.
In 1987, he gained world-wide recognition as the principal surgeon in the 22-hour separation of the Binder siamese twins from Germany. This was the first time occipital craniopagus twins had been separated with both surviving. The procedure employed hypothermic arrest, the deliberate lowering of body temperature, and circulatory arrest, and sophisticated surgical reconstructive techniques for success. In 1997, Dr. Carson was the primary surgeon in the team of South African and Zambian surgeons that separated type-2 vertical craniopagus twins (joined at the top of the head) in a 28-hour operation. It represents the first time such complexly joined siamese twins have been separated with both remaining neurologically normal. In 2008, Dr. Carson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush. The announcement came while he performed a hemispherectomy on Jessie Hall.
He is noted for his use of cerebral hemispherectomy to control intractable seizures as well as for his work in craniofacial reconstructive surgery, achondroplasia (human dwarfism), and pediatric neuro-oncology (brain tumors).
Dr. Carson is a recipient of numerous honors and awards including more than 30 honorary doctorate degrees. He is a member of the American Academy of Achievement, the Horatio Alger Society of Distinguished Americans, the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, and many other prestigious organizations. He was named by the Library of Congress as one of 89 Living Legends on the occasion of it’s 200th anniversary and in 2001, was chosen by CNN and Time Magazine as one of America’s top 20 physicians and scientists. He sits on many boards including the Board of Directors of Kellogg Company, Costco Wholesale Corporation, the American Academy of Achievement, and is an Emeritus Fellow of the Yale Corporation, the governing body of Yale University. In addition to his academic responsibilities, he is a highly sought after motivational speaker having spoken in venues as varied as high school graduations to the keynote address at the 1997 President’s National Prayer Breakfast.
He is the president and co-founder of the Carson Scholars Fund which recognizes young people of all backgrounds for exceptional academic and humanitarian accomplishments. He hopes this program will positively change the perception of high academic achievers among their peers across our nation. He is also the president and co-founder of the Benevolent Endowment Network (BEN) Fund, a recently established organization which will provide grants to assist families with non-covered medical care expenses of pediatric neurosurgery patients with complex medical conditions.
His numerous books, including, “Gifted Hands” , and “Think Big”, provide inspiration and insight for leading a successful life. He believes strongly in God and in America and believes that we all can play a positive role in creating a better world.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Back to Johns Hopkins !!!

Well, we're going back to Johns Hopkins, but this's a time for celebration !!!! Jessie had hemispherectomy brain surgery over 7 months ago, and has been seizure free ever since. She's had a long hard battle, but never given up and is doing AMAZING things for a little girl that couldn't even hold her head up 7 months ago.

So our Hopkins / KKI visit is for nothing more than check-ups. (and a brief walk on the split-belt treadmill ) We're going to see some old friends and celebrate our trip!

For those of you that haven't been out to the Hemispherectomy Foundation website in a while, please take a look, and tell everyone you know it make a donation to help these kids and their families out. . Send a kid to camp, or add to the research or scholarship fund. Donate some toys or stamps...anyway that you can help.

I thought that I would post a few pictures from 7 months ago, just as a reminder to all that love her to show how far she has come.

God Bless! Cris

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fully Funded Medicaid Waivers

Hello Everyone!

If you haven't voted for the 'Fully Fund Medicaid Waivers for the Developmentally Disabled', please do so.

The website is

The votes are now over 3000, but we still need more help. All of the info is on that website as well to read about.

This will help out many children in the future that have gone through what Jessie did, and many other childhood diseases. Thank you!!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

A few Christmas Pictures

We had a wonderful Christmas with my parents, and all of Kristi's familiy in for the joyous celebration of the Birth of our Savior.

We felt so blessed and so caught up in the moment that, quite frankly, we didn't take a lot of pictures...we just forgot. The video camera didn't even come out of its case. Here are few shots.

The Hemispherectomy Foundation Christmas Party

After 6 months of hard work, creating a foundation, dedicated to children and families all over the world, it was time to finally celebrate. With our 501 (c) 3 status approved by the IRS, we had a really big reason to get together and PARTY !!!!!

Caren and John Jennings, our co-founders, and good friends. We couldn't have done it without their hard work and dedication. (notice the new Hemi Foundation lapel pins)

Kristi and me.

Jessie, the little one that inspired us all !!!

Jessie and Avery. (Jessie had a sleep-over at Avery's house on New Year's Eve)

Lindy and Jessie. Lindy runs the Accounting department for the foundation ! She IS the accounting department !

Caren and Traci. Traci is the foundation "Ask the Teacher", and also Jessie's tutor.

Here's two sweet little angels ..... Catherine and Meredith .

Mr and Mrs. Jay Stringer. Who have so generously donated to the foundation since the very begining with printing services and support.

Our talented Jen Steward.

Marina and her mom.
Some funny looking guy in a beard who thinks that he is Ean Anderson (Jethro Tull).

Jake playing Christmas music for the talent show.

Riley jammin' on his axe!

Matt playing a Christmas song.

Our new lapel pin! On sale now at . All proceeds benefit the Hemispherectomy Foundation.
It was a fun time for all. 2009 is going to bring amazing things to all the children and families who need support from The Hemispherectomy Foundation.
God Bless all of you! Cris

Parker County Physical Therapy and Texas Tech's Matt Williams Surprises Jessie

Luke Haynes at Parker County Physical Therapy had a special surprise for Jessie at her last therapy session of the year. It was none other than Matt Williams (aka "LynnWood"). The star Texas Tech kicker who won his spot on the team after Coach Leach spotted his talents during a half-time kicking contest.

Weatherford native, Matt is a super nice Christian fellow who was kind enough to drop by to deliver a signed football for Jessie. During the interview with channel 8, Matt explained that his success was owed to God, and he was glad to come by and make Jessie's day special.

The ball was signed by many of Matt's Red Raider Teammates, and it was such a special gift.

We will remember 2008 for a lot of reasons, but this is one more to add to the list. We are so honored. Maybe Tech will offer Jessie a Scholarship in 12 years. :-) You know, kindof a "4 for the price of 3" deal.

I just finished watching the Cotton Bowl, and Tech lost...I'm a little sad. However, as far as I'm concerned, this football team has the most character of any team in the NCAA, ....EVER! I wish that there was a team award for character!! Tech would win it hands down.

Here's a little video of Jessie and Matt hamming it up for the cameras.

Thanks to Luke Haynes, Parker County Physical Therapy, Matt Williams, and Texas Tech for making this a year to remember.

Have a blessed 2009! Cris