Featured Journal

Looking back 5 years

Written by Tiffany Verzal

Written By:  Tiffany Verzal @ Stand with Faith

Every once and awhile I go back to our Care Page site that we used to post Alexis’ progress.  Before I sat down to write this blog post, I decided to see where we were at 5 years ago.  Brandon actually wrote the post, and it was a big one.    I wanted everyone to be able to soak this one in.  Over the next month, I’ll start to talk specifically about a few key things that are in this Care Page post.  I’ve included some pictures of Alexis 5 years ago too.

Posted Jun 18, 2008 1:50pm

Dad stayed home today while Tiff and Aunt Jen took Alexis to therapy, I figured the least I could do is write an update.

First about Alexis…she had a pretty good day of therapy yesterday. In speech, they got her to repeat two words she had never said before- apple and boat. I wouldn’t quite say she is completely back to where she was before the injury from a speech perspective, but she is getting closer.

She handled physical therapy well yesterday too, working on kneeling and standing. Her legs are getting stronger and stronger, hopefully as that strength builds she will get more confidence in doing things on her own. Tiff got her to walk a little bit this morning with a push cart. It is how we got her to walk the first time, so hopefully it will help this time as well.

Alexis Physical Therapy 2008

On a personal note, Tiffany and I have had to make some difficult decisions in the past few weeks on what to do with our careers. We loved our jobs at Texas A&M Athletics, but felt we had to keep Alexis in therapy here in Lincoln- where we thought she was getting the best care. The problem is, the program could last up to nine months, and we couldn’t leave our good friends at A&M hanging on for that long. As a result, Tiff and I resigned our positions there and have relocated to Nebraska permanently.

The decision was a difficult one, because we had so many close friends in College Station. The community and the athletic department have been incredibly supportive of us over the last three months- we cannot thank them all enough. However, we couldn’t take the chance of not getting Alexis the best care we possibly can. The first nine months after an injury like this are vital to recovery, and we owe it to her to dedicate as much time as we can to getting her better.

Tiffany and I will be starting our own video production company in the upcoming weeks (called V2 Content). We are working on producing an Omaha-area high school sports television show starting this Fall, and are talking to several college and professional sports teams about producing videos and graphics for them. Being able to set our own hours will allow one (or both) of us to attend therapy with Alexis, and give us a chance to stay with her at home when she is not at therapy.

Going out on our own is a scary step, but as long as we are making what decision is best for Alexis- we know that things will work out.

Alexis and Brandon

Last week while my family was taking Alexis to therapy, Tiff’s parents and brother endured the grueling process of driving to Texas, helping us pack our house in two days, and driving all the way back. We endured three hail storms and several Kansas tornados while driving through the night last Wednesday, and had our own little convoy of three vehicles coming back. We can’t thank Dwight, Linda, and Ross enough for helping us- there is absolutely no way we could have done it without them. Also- a special thank you to our 12th Man Productions friends and neighbors who helped pack us in College Station, and Greg Jeffers and co. who helped us unload in Lincoln. We are so blessed to be friends with so many amazing people!

It’s been an exhausting week, but we are excited to turn our attention to Alexis and make some huge strides in the next several months.

“You have been given work-related gifts that have been chosen specifically for you” (Romans 12:6-8)
“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” (Col. 3:23)

About the author

Tiffany Verzal

Tiffany Verzal was raised in rural Nebraska, and now lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with her husband Brandon and daughter Alexis (9) and Abby (2). In 2008, Alexis (then 14-months-old) was the victim of shaken baby syndrome at the hands of her daycare provider in Texas. Alexis suffered severe brain damage and has spent over 2000 hours in rehabilitation since her injury. Tiffany continues to raise awareness for traumatic brain injury, shaken baby syndrome and child abuse. Brandon and Tiffany serve as members on Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital’s Board of Trustees. Brandon is currently the Chairman of the Nebraska Child Abuse Prevention Fund Board.

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