One of the worst things that a mother can face, is having an ill or severely disabled child. When Joellan Huntley was just 15-years-old, she was in a car accident that left her with a catastrophic brain injury. Having been thrown from a car that swerved to avoid a loose dog running along a road in Centreville, Nova Scotia, Joellan suffered traumatic injuries. In that same accident, her boyfriend and a young girl who was the sister of the driver were killed.
As a result of the crash, Joellan’s family won a $1 million settlement, however; by 2014 the family was in a battle with the province’s Community Services Department, which was on a mission to get the money back for past and future costs of care. The result of the battle was a settlement that gave the family funds for physiotherapy and equipment that would add to Joellan’s quality of life.
Since 1996, her mother, Louise Misner, hasn’t been able to have the luxury of having a conversation of her daughter, and the now 37-year-old has spent most of her life unable to walk or talk and she’s been fed through a tube.
While Joellan was able to make sounds to respond to family members, she was unable to communicate any thoughts…until now. Thanks to technology equipment that she recently received, Joellan is able to communicate with her mom via eye motion cameras and software on an iPad. And the best part is that all of this happened on Christmas day, proving that Christmas miracles really do exist for the Nova Scotia family.
It happened when Louise was visiting Joellan at the Kings Regional Rehabilitation Center in Waterville, Nova Scotia.
What seems like a basic conversation between mother and daughter, turned out to be a miracle. Louise had told Joellan that she liked the Christmas outfit that she was wearing. Joellan then used the technology to find an icon for a long-sleeve shirt to respond to her mom.
“Christmas miracle,” said Louise, who had been longing for this exchange for years. “It was God’s way of telling me that she’s finally achieved what she needed to since the accident.”
According to Joellan’s nurses, she is doing well with the new communication system.
“We had to go through two or three different screens until we found the right one for her and it’s called Eyegaze,” said Louise. “Her eyes focus on the icons to answer questions. I knew she just needed time for technology to catch up with her. When God gives you a child, they are the most precious thing and you never give up on them and you always fight for them.”
We take for granted the simple things that most of us are able to do on a daily basis…like have a conversation with a parent or a child. Unfortunately, there are people who don’t have that privilege. Luckily technology is moving forward at a rapid pace and hopefully, life will only get easier for Joellan and her family. They’ve certainly been through enough already.