Thai and Tré were born exactly 2 minutes apart. Both babies were healthy until Thai was diagnosed with a heart defect. At only eight months old, he had open heart surgery. A complication from the surgery made it necessary for Thai to have a second surgery just one week later. It was this second operation that tragically left Thai paralyzed from the waist down.
“It was incomprehensible,” says Tara, the boys’ mother. “This was a surgery that had been done a thousand times. How could something like this happen?”
Although Tara was in shock, her “mommy instincts” took over. “I said to myself, ‘He’s here, and I’m going to do what I need to do and learn the skills I need to look after him,’” she continues.
As Thai got older, he started to question why he was different from his brother. “I tried to help him understand that his wheels were now his legs and that he could do anything he wanted, he just had to try,” Tara explains.
At 12 years old, thanks to Tara’s encouragement and support, Thai has a positive attitude and doesn’t let anything hold him back. He doesn’t expect any accommodations because he has a disability. Thai loves basketball and swimming and attends regular camp. At school, he’s determined to adjust to whatever activities the other kids are participating in. “If he can’t do something, I encourage him to try it another way; it will help him be better prepared for the future,” adds Tara.
It’s clear Tara’s strength has helped her son adopt a ‘can-do’ attitude and stay active.
Over the years Easter Seals has helped Thai get a commode chair, a bath board and a van lift. “I’m very appreciative of the support my family has received, especially since I’m a single mother.
Thank you to all the donors for opening your hearts and for making it possible for kids to do more and get the equipment they need.”