Whitney Cerak

We, the Cerak family, are elated beyond description at Whitney’s return home. It is so much more than we ever imagined three months ago.We would like to restate our plans of not speaking to the media. There is still much on the road to Whitney’s full recovery. We want to thank the media for the respect they have shown of our privacy in this time. And ask that the same courtesy given us would be extended to our family and friends.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Saturday August 5th and Sunday August 6th, 2006

“And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul...” Deuteronomy 10:12 NIV

“‘And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion, and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you...”
I Chronicles 28:9 NIV

This weekend was great. My parents and I were talking about playing tennis Saturday morning, and we were all really surprised when Whitney said she wanted to come. When we got to the courts she stood in one spot and tried to hit the balls only if they came straight to her. It was great to watch her laugh and try to work on her tennis skills. We decided that it was a good thing that she wasn't a pro at tennis before the accident so she has a good excuse. I guess it's a good thing that none of us were really great at tennis before the accident; maybe we all should use it as an excuse...

The rest of the day was a sister day. Whitney, Sandra, and I went to the beach and then saw the Coast Guard Fireworks. Whit walked the longest distance she has since she had started walking again and she was fine.

Sunday after church we had lunch at a friend's home and had a typical Sunday afternoon. We relaxed all afternoon and finished the day by playing cards and laughing.

She is almost back to fully being herself physically and mentally. I still cannot believe that just 2 months ago things were so different. It has been amazing to see God work out our faith and now to see something we once thought impossible; Whitney going back to Taylor for her sophomore year.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carly, How wonderful you write, you are a blessing to your family and sparkle in your younger sister's eyes. You have a great team, keep up the good work.

3:42 PM  
Blogger annette said...

It is so wonderful to hear of such a good weekend...going to the beach and tennis...how fun..

The world is watching and the Lord is pouring out His goodness...praise the Lord.

Your family is teaching and showing so many 'how' a loving family can function even through such hard times.

much love and hugs to all....~

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney has come a long way as we all can see, but going from rehab to back to school is totally absurd!!! Why put all these responsibilities on her so soon? The list is long: classes, homework, physical therapy, laundry, supplies, food, meals, socializing, no time for rest, and other personal issues, etc. Everyone seems to be so excited that Whitney will be in School soon but the consequences could be very hard on her. I'll be praying as I have for weeks for her. Praise the Lord!

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How truly precious it is to share life with sisters! Being a sister and having two girls, I can almost imagine what a sweet time out it was for just the girls. Thank you for your continued postings...it is such a blessing to see our prayers being answered. Words cannot express the joy we feel for your entire family!! And at the same time I remember Carly's words so well the first day of June, "Our joy is the Van Ryn's pain." We do continue to think of and pray for the VanRyn family/friends as well as the Larsons, Erbs, Smiths, and Felvers. We also think of and pray often for Vickie, Connie and Michelle. Whit, your extended family of Upland/TU welcome you back with open arms! We hope you have a great sophomore year!!

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carly and Family, thanks so much for the tremendous way you minister to all of us in our daily lives.
Our own trials and difficulties seem to pale in comparison when we think of what Whitney and each one of you in the family have had to deal with. Whitney's faith and determination has really been an inspiration to me as I wrestle with Asthma at the moment. By God's grace and with His help I will press on. God is so good to us all and you folks constantly remind us of that fact. The scripture that you start off each Blog with is just what we need to hear. We continue to hold you all up in prayer ...Keep looking up!

6:08 PM  
Blogger A mom in Leo, IN said...

Praise God, what a wonderful witness you continue to be to all of us. I have two teenage daughters, and I pray that they will be as close you three sisters. I am so thankful that you can just have a fun day relaxing!!

6:08 PM  
Blogger Darcy Keith said...

Dear Ceraks,

I'm very excited that Whitney maybe heading back to school in the Fall! From the time of my car crash to re-enrolling back at Ball State, this time period was just under 4 months - about the same time frame as Whitney's.

When I re-enrolled after the crash, I took 12 credit hours to maintain my academic scholarship, though 6 were actual classroom time. I continued to go to out-patient rehab during the semester as well. For the person that said "but going from rehab to back to school is totally absurd" is entitled to his/her opinion, but it IS possible to do! I am an example of a severely injured brain injury survivor, going back to college as a full-time student in a totally new major (I lost memory of my previous one due to my left lobe injury) and finished that returning semester with a 4.0. Again, keep in mind that this is based on my experience, and every brain injury is different, but going back to college in such a short time can be done!

I do understand the excitement and anticipation of returning to college, as the car crash in which I was a passenger made Ball State headlines for several days. I've been there and know the desire to want to get back into the routine of "normal" life. If Whitney feels the way I did, it is likely she will learn skills to help her with all of the "responsibilities." I learned to adapt with the cognitive skills taught to me, which helped in my college "responsibilities."

With serving on an advisory council on brain injury research to Ohio State, I also am very aware of what an incredible state that Michigan is for brain injury rehabilition, as I serve with folks from Michigan also. Whitney couldn't be in better care than where she is now. I am so glad that she is recovering so well!

If I can be of assistance to Whitney when she returns to college and your family, please let me know, as I live about an hour from Taylor. I've taken this journey with success, and I would like to offer any assistance I can for Whitney.

Thank you for your daily devotionals and updates! We are praying for you all!

Connected by the One,
Darcy Keith

7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the 5:16 p.m. blogger: Please carefully re-read the message from the Cerak family posted on August 3rd. The decision for Whitney's return to school this fall was not made in haste. On the contrary; all factors were considered, including input from the health professionals involved intricately with Whitney's recovery. It is all explained in the Aug.3 entry from the Ceraks. They would not make any decision that they feel would put Whitney's ongoing recovery in jeopardy, nor will Whit be carrying the load you describe. (Again, this is explained in their post.) Believe me, they are only trying to do what all those involved in the decision making process believe will be in Whitney's best interest. As always, God is directing her path.

8:41 PM  
Blogger Tasha said...

Carly, you are such an amazing sister! Having a sister who will be a sophmore at Taylor as well, I hope that I can show at least half of the love that you show to Whitney. You are so beautiful and we can't wait to see you in a few weeks!

Tasha '07

4:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney is so blessed to have such wonderful sisters,parents & friends. Thank you for sharing your lives with the world. Who knows how many people will be changed because your family chose to share their faith during this difficult time....
God is so good!

5:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been following this story from the very onset and have anxiously awaited each daily update. It was not until this morning that I truly felt compelled to comment myself. To the 5:16 comment: Who are you to question what many doctors as well as Whitney and her loving family have decided?? If they all feel she is up to the challenge to return to college - who are YOU to question that decision? Keep your ignorant opinions to yourself, please.

To the Cerak family, I am not a very "faithful" person, but your faith in God has stirred something within me. I have yet to act upon this, but please know you all have truly touched me.

When I was 14 my older brother passed away in a dirt bike accident, so I am well aware of loss, however, how joyful you must all be to have more time on this earth with your lovely daughter, sister and friend.

5:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be strong - be courageous - God is on your side and working in a wonderful way. Whatever decisions there are to make are yours - with God's guidance. I appreciate that you have shared so much with the world - yet retained your privacy -which hopefully is being respected. Any negative comments are completely being silenced by the wonderful way God is working and using your family.

6:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darcy Keith....Thank you for your encouraging words as a severly injured brain survivor. I'm sure your comments meant a lot to the Ceraks. I have a family member with a host of past medical hurdles, including brain surgery, and I know the yearning to return to normalcy. You've been surrounded by medical doctors, nurses, needles, tests, surgeries, etc., etc. 24/7 for the past 3+ months, so I can understand why Whit would like to return to school and feel that normalcy once again. From my experience, it's certainly part of the healing process. I'm sure those of us who have been praying for Whitney's total healing can come together and continue to pray for her total protection! :) Take Care!

6:18 AM  
Anonymous Just one of God's children said...

Phillipians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Praise God for giving you the strength to do so many things so quickly. Praise God for the faith of this wonderful family and for seeking the Lord and trusting and leaning on Him for the strength and wisdom!

You have always been an inspiration to so many....and God is using you all in a mighty way! Mighty is our God!

Mighty is our King! Mighty is our Lord, ruler of everything! Glory to our God! Glory to our King! Glory to our Lord, Ruler of everything! (just in case you couldn't tell...that was sung...on key!.... this is the beauty of posting...no one really heard the notes that only the Lord will hear as joyful noise!)

Have an incredible day and week! We continue to pray for all of you, specifically for every need. We also pray for the chosen 5's families and loved ones as well as those injured in the accident and for the truck driver as well. May God touch them in a mighty way!

6:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful story . I read about this in shout magazine and i am so happy to hear that a full recovery has almost been made . What a wonderfull family . My thoughts and prayers are with you .

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Laura said...

i read about this in shout magagazine and i am glad she is recovering.

5:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for pointing us back to Him....
Eph 3.20-1 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen

7:15 PM  

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