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Meet Laura E., Parent Mentor at Akron Children's Hospital

Laura's Story

My husband and I adopted our daughter at 4 days. When we brought her home from the hospital, we noticed that she kept her left hand in a fist. When she was tired her left eye would droop. At her 3 month check-up, our pediatrician said we would monitor her. Nothing improved by 6 months, so we had her evaluated and saw a neurologist at Akron Children's. At first the diagnosis was bleak. There was the possibility that our child would not walk, talk, know us, write her name, recognize numbers, etc.

After an MRI, her diagnosis was a stroke in utero that presents as cerebral palsy. PT and OT began immediately.  As our daughter got older, we started with Botox injections and combinations of AFOs, MFOS, rotation cables, etc. Eventually, we became a member of the spasticity clinic. The team decided on spinal cord surgery to sever the nerve groups in the lower part of her body. After learning to walk again, progress was being made.  Then the orthopedic surgeries began to straighten our daughter's legs. After another summer of learning to walk again, we continued to strengthen her legs through therapies. In addition, we discovered she has a seizure disorder caused by the stroke. This is being controlled by medication.

Today she is a happy, chatty teenager who is well aware of all that goes on around her. She loves music, DVDs, youtube, singing and dancing. She is doing well in school. Even though she has developmental/cognitive delays we are always finding alternative ways to accomplish what her friends and family are doing. We are grateful for the individuals who have touched our lives from our Akron Children's family.

Laura is a mentor for these care services: Adoption, Cerebral Palsy, Developmental Delay, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Surgery

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