The Melungeons blog

Monday, December 04, 2006

Update on Brent Kennedy by Wayne Winkler

I visited with Brent Kennedy last week, and wanted to give you an update
on how he's doing. He came home from the Patricia Neal Center in
Knoxville at the end of October. He is still very disabled physically,
but has improved motion on his left side. He can use a motorized
wheelchair and can communicate using a computer program or by spelling
words on a spelling board. He still has a tube in his throat and is
unable to speak, but is receiving physical and occupational therapy at
home three times a week.

Although Brent's facial expression doesn't change, when you look at his
eyes you know that he's all there mentally - he simply can't respond
easily. We had a long conversation and he expressed his appreciation to
everyone who has been thinking about him and praying for him during this
past year. Robyn also appreciates your support. They've been pretty much
out of touch -- Robyn said she hadn't had a chance to check her e-mail
in months - but I think she'll be updating Brent's care page soon.

Incidentally, Brent's hair is growing back, no grayer than before, and
he's re-grown his mustache. He looks good.

Last month, Brent received the "Turkish-American of the Year" award from
the Assembly of Turkish American Associations. His brother Richard was
at the convention in Washington, DC, to accept the award. Brent composed
a message that Richard read at the convention. Once Brent's routine gets
more settled after the holidays, we hope to have a message from Brent to
be posted through MHA to all his friends around the world.

After the first of the year, he and Robyn will be exploring options for
further outpatient therapy, possibly back at the Patricia Neal Center.
Brent has a hard, slow road ahead of him, but he is getting the best
care possible, and his mind and determination are intact.

The Melungeon Heritage Association is still forwarding cards and e-mail
messages to the Kennedy family. You can get the link or mailing address
at ; .

Thanks to everyone,



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