After a normal pregnancy and delivery, Andrea took her newborn son Nathan home with every indication he was a perfectly healthy baby. However, within days, Nathan became lethargic and was not feeding well. Andrea and her husband rushed him back to the hospital. It was there that Nathan stopped breathing.
Several tests at the hospital revealed that Nathan was having a seizure caused by hyperinsulinism. The extremely low amount of sugar in Nathan’s system caused him to experience a brain injury. As a result Nathan is blind, non-verbal and has cerebral palsy as well as an extremely rare seizure disorder. He is unable to stand, walk or hold himself up and requires 24/7 care. He is on specialized diet and must be fed through a feeding tube which takes a full hour to complete, three times a day.
“Our lives will never be what we expected when we planned to have a baby. It’s always a roller coaster. There is always something new with Nathan’s health that comes up”, explains Andrea, “each diagnosis he has is an ongoing battle. Our lives are always hectic and stressful because of appointments, medicine changes and refills, paperwork, and the emotional stress of having a child with complex needs.”
You can help relieve some of the burden for families like Nathan’s by donating now.
During the pandemic Nathan’s therapy sessions and group classes, which provided stimulation, him have been cancelled. His parents are unsure how he would react to the coronavirus, so they have limited care workers coming to their home to keep him safe. He loves having family members around and they give him stimulations, but these visits have also been very limited. According to Andrea, “We have lost our circle of people.”
Nathan is unable to sit up on his own, which made giving him a bath difficult. It is a two-parent task, with one parent having to be in the bath with him. Even the simple pleasure of taking Nathan outside for a short walk was impossible because he wasn’t able to comfortably sit in a normal stroller. As a result, Andrea applied to Easter Seals for assistance to help purchase essential equipment items that would provide greater safety for Nathan and enable him to live with greater comfort.
Through the generous support of the Emergency Community Support Fund, Easter Seals was able to help Nathan get a customized stroller and a bath seat. The stroller was custom fit to support Nathan’s body in a comfortable sitting position and has allowed Nathan to enjoy stimulation through motion on walks around their neighbourhood. “The stroller has been a life-saver. Nathan loves being outside, so it’s been nice to be able to take him out of the house and just enjoy a change of scenery,” says Andrea.
The ability to have Nathan in a comfortable upright position has also been helpful with his lengthy feeding process. The bath seat has “been amazing and made it so much easier to bathe Nathan.”
“Thank you for this support. The stroller and bath seat have changed all of our lives and has provided Nathan with a better quality of life,” adds Andrea.