Sunday, August 21, 2011


I have to tell you, I have had a very hard week!  I can't get over this overwhelming sadness that has filled my heart for Cole and his family.  It's just been wearing heavily on my heart!  I don't know Cole very well, but I sat and spoke with both his mom and dad (Kelly & Clement) during the past two lacrosse seasons.  Kelly is a live wire, but let me tell you, they are some of the best people that you could ever hope to come in contact with. 
 I think what I love most about Kelly, is that she always had us all laughing, and of course, I picked on her a lot.  I'm sure that you ALL know that about me, so it doesn't come as a shock.  And competitive, OMGosh!  I thought I was bad!  You have no idea!  She's really a HOOT!
I said all of that to say this, Cole is leaving tomorrow for the Shepherd Center in Atlanta with his mother, so I wanted to share a couple of photos with you, so that you can see who this wonderful family is that you'll be praying for.  

I have to admit, that I didn't ask for permission from the family to post these, so Kelly, Clement, if you're reading this, I hope you will forgive me.

The first photo is one that was taken at the State Championship game this past May.  Isn't he just the sweetest young man!  Remember this smile often and his love for life!

The 2nd photo is of the entire family.  Starting from the left is his older brother Quint, Cole, Kelly & Clement.  I wanted you to see this photo, so you would remember who you're praying for!
And don't let Kelly's smile fool ya!  Don't mess with her boys!  :)

And finally, below are 2 entries that were on Cole's site the last couple days and I have to tell you, I LOST it when I read both of them.  God is working through him already and doing AMAZING things with him. 
Please remember to keep all of them in your prayers and thank you again for the sneak peeks on your cards.  They are really making me smile.

Saturday Night: Aug 20

Posted 14 hours ago
Well, let me first take the edge off this Update: Cole had a really good day! His ventilator weaning protocol is challenging but he's up to it and he did his 3 five minute reps without vent support successfully. We're still fighting fluid in his lungs which reguires "Chest PT"; this is where the bed vibrates for up to 20 minutes. However, on two ocassions I was called in to vigorously shake him while the nurse performed suction causing a gag reflex. All the while he's doing a silent cough and tearing up from the exercise - tough practice for a father - harder for the son. But I did say it was a good day! This morning, he started with about 8-10 friends visiting. Cole's friends are the most dedicated, loyal and caring bunch of teenagers I've seen. I've been duly impressed. It was a great visit, Cole smiled more today than he has ALL WEEK. And "let me tell ya' what" Cole's smile warmed my heart and brightened the room. I thanked those young people for that - it was they that brought that kindred spirit. Cole napped and was then transferred to "the chair". This "chair" allows Cole to sit upright and today he did so for around 7 hours - a really great effort! This helps his breathing, fluid, everything - so it's important he do this. Then he and his uncle Jon Paul watched a movie. This may sound like a trivial event but despite being in the hospital all week staring at walls, he has RARELY watched TV. Not sure why ... So, yes, this was significant.
Tonight Kelly, Jon Paul and I were able to slip out to dinner with some friends and leave Cole with my parents Kim & Anne. Yeah, they're still kicking it, live in the area on the Mattaponi River (Google: Mantapike).
After getting back to the room this evening, Cole felt compelled to spell something for his mom and me. So while Kelly wrote on the whiteboard, I worked with Cole in what he was trying to say. (We get better each day at communicating!)
And this what he spelled: "GOD SHOWED ME THE LIGHT TODAY" and he smiled.

Sunday morn, 9:09

Posted 7 hours ago
It's Sunday morning and I am rejoicing! Cole is truly doing better than I could have ever expected. It seemed he took a dramatic turn yesterday after fighting a high fever (103.2)from a blood infection caused by the main line used to administer meds, etc. His fever is down, for the most part...still fluctuates...but is manageable now that he is on antibiotics. This hurdle should be licked in no time. Most importantly, after working his "****" off all day (really, it is nurse Monika that kicks his butt for him!!!!) he was able to really clear his lungs and breath better. It was painful and exhausting, but he was a trooper and dug deep to fight through it. We have been able to get to great results off the ventilator (10 minutes straight!!!) because of the work Monika is putting him through. Woo hoo!!!
The best part of yesterday, though, was Cole's comment that really moved me and brought me the most joy I've felt in 9 days. When he spelled out "God showed me the light today" with the most unbelievable look of peace and happiness on    his face I could hardly contain myself. I just gushed with questions like, "what was it like? Was it the most fabulous thing you've ever seen? I want you to remember everything so when you can talk you can describe it to me in detail...." and on and on. And then Cole said to me, "It was more like a feeling" and then he said it was awesome and he was no longer afraid. And then he cried lots of tears, but good tears, not painful tears. It was beautiful.
I then spent the rest of the evening acting as "scribe" for Cole, instant messaging his friends on facebook that saw the status update he wanted me to post for him. It was a really amazing evening; one I would never have wished for, but one that I would not have traded for the world. We love you all, with hearts that are full of hope and love. We are so grateful that Cole is fully aware that all of you are behind him in his recovery and strengthened in a mighty way that God has his back and will never leave him.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cards for Cole

For those of you who are not members or regular followers of my PCP, you may not know about Cole Sydnor, one of Zach's lacrosse teammates.  Last Thursday, Cole and some of his friends were swimming in the James River here in Richmond, Virginia.  Cole, dove into the river and hit his head on a rock.  He fractured his spinal cord.  The Lord was truly watching over him, as his friends quickly noticed that he had been injured and got him out of the river.  Unfortunately, the injury was very severe and Cole is now paralyzed from the chest down.  It is such a tragedy!  I have not been really able to function normally since.  It just upsets me so.  You hate to hear of this happening to anyone, but it is going to be such a hard road for this 16 year old.
Zach is handling it well and will soon be able to visit.  He had planned on going yesterday, but it just wasn't possible. . . .but for a VERY GOOD reason.  Cole had his breathing tube removed.  Praise God for that.  Also, his mother, and I don't blame her, is limiting his visits as they don't want him to get too worn out.  I know Kelly, and she certainly is a good watch dog to have around!  

I am asking that you pray for Cole and the family and pray that as he heals, more feeling and movement will return.  What I would like to ask, and this would mean so much to the family, is if you could possibly make a card for Cole.  I do not know his room number so what I am asking, is if you would send them to me and then I will take them to the family when I visit.  He has had a lot of friends and family visiting right now, so I am going to wait a while before I actually go.  He needs his friends around him, so I will gladly wait my turn.
Please send all cards to:
Cheryl Alger
9413 Hope Glen Court
Mechanicsville, VA  23116

For anyone who would like to follow Cole's status and updates by his family, you may do so by going to and entering colesydnor in your search.  You will have to sign up for an account to follow for security purposes.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Back to School Sale

Back to School Sale in both the Sassy Cheryl's Digis & Sassy Cheryl's Illustrations Shops.
10% OFF your entire purchase.  Enter Code. . . 
at checkout to claim your discount.