Estes family learning how to recover from near drowning

Published 12:01 am Sunday, December 21, 2014

And nearly every day Jamie shows a little progress.

“They’ll introduce something, he masters it the next day and so we’ll move on,” Kim said. “We don’t know what the ceiling will be, but the specialist has told us he is on the trajectory for a full recovery.”

Jamie still has to wear leg splints because he can be spastic, but he’s learning to crawl again — he rolls where he wants to go — and he’s starting to stand with assistance.

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He’s also learning to eat again, and eats a Popsicle a day. When he can eat enough solid food to gain weight, the feeding tube can come out.

He’s becoming more purposeful with his movements and has begun more and more verbalization as he interacts with the family. The hospital bed in the living room is gone, and he’s sleeping in the room with Harvey again.

“We see glimpses of the same old Jamie in there,” David said. “He’ll laugh at his brother and sister, and you can tell he wants to get down and play with them.”

Through it all, the community has supported the family, organizing a 5K run, benefit concert and selling raffle tickets, among other things, all something David said the family has appreciated more than words can express.

“Facebook has been a blessing,” he said. “We’re able to share updates and pictures, and it seems like anywhere I go I run into someone who says, ‘You don’t know me, but I follow Jamie.’”

Cathy Estes — Jamie’s grandmother — said the past few months have been the hardest thing the family has ever been through.

“But it is awesome to see God at work,” she said.

“Jamie has always been a fighter, and that is what got him in trouble, but it is what is helping him now.”

Jamie was always the most headstrong of David and Kim’s children, but that headstrong nature is now a blessing, David said.

“He wants to get down and play with his siblings,” David said.

“He wants to fight his way through it, and I have no doubt he will fight to it.”

Jamie’s progress can be followed online at