BENEFITING: CHILDREN'S HEMIPLEGIA AND STROKE ASSN.
May is Pediatric Stroke Awareness Month and we have decided to fundraise for an incredible organization; The Children's Hemiplegia and Stroke Association. CHASA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and families affected by pediatric stroke and other causes of hemiplegia.
As Many of You will know, Our Daughter Savannah suffered a stroke during birth. When she was born she had a lot of medical complications, once her breathing tubes had been put in and Doctors had stabilized her they noticed that she had no movement in her right arm at all, and although it was initially thought that it was a broken collar born, when she suffered a seizure within 24 hours of her birth, this led to an MRI which showed us she had damage on the left side of her brain. Doctors went on to explain to us that when Savannah traveled down the birth canal with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (twice) it had not only cut off her air supply, but also her blood supply to the brain causing Savannah to suffer a stroke at birth.
This took a while for Chris and I to process, we thought only the elderly or those with high blood pressure were the ones that suffered strokes, Adults had strokes... not children?!
Our beginning days were very dark, when we should have been celebrating this new little life in our lives, we worried about her future. I googled everything and really found nothing. We were being told she may never walk, she would never be able to play sports, dance we were crushed and alone. Early Intervention was brought into our lives and from 3 months old Savannah received Physical therapy 3 times a week, she was pretty delayed with every milestone but always got there in her own time.
Then on her first birthday she surprised us all when she took her first steps. She was a miracle.
Today at 4 1/2 years old Savannah enjoys dancing, singing, swimming and preschool and as everyone says to me "you would never be able to tell anything had ever happened to her" She does find things that little bit harder especially on her right side and she has vision and sensory issues, but she works through them, She goes to Occupational Therapy twice a week and adores her pre-school where she gets art, yoga, Zumba and gets to play with her friends just like any other 4 year old does.
The journey we have been on these last 4 years has been a rollercoaster of a ride, from times of grey to sunny days. We have had very lonely days where we have been worried about our little one, from the early days of "what would she be like after a stroke?" to today's worries of "Will handwriting and drawing be really hard for her?" and CHASA has been a wonderful point of reference where we have been able to see and hear stories of other children and their journeys.
Savannah is our miracle and proof of how resilient these little brains can be. Unfortunately a child can have 50/50 outcome and it all depends on which part of the brain is damaged. Some children, like Savannah, can be on the mild end of the spectrum where they can have pretty good outcomes and the chance of a "normal" life, the other 50% of children's outcomes are unfortunately not like this.
CHASA is a wonderful organization for all of these children and a great support system for many families and they also help those in need with buying orthotics, college scholarships and more.
If you could find it in your hearts to donate in any way we would be entirely grateful.