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Meet Nichole U., Parent Mentor at Akron Children's Hospital

Nichole U.

Nichole's Story

My name is Nichole. In March of 2002, my son Brady arrived four weeks earlier than expected. Brady was transferred to the NICU at Akron Children's Hospital less than 6 hours after his birth and remained there for 15 months.

Brady was born with tracheal esophageal fistula (a form of VATER syndrome). During his long stay, Brady endured many surgeries and unforeseen medical obstacles. Brady was ready for discharge at nine months old but we were stalled by state insurance laws. I spent the next six months taking his story to the media and advocating for Brady's release. The hard work paid off and Brady was discharged on June 25, 2003.

Brady came home to Cadiz, Ohio with a tracheotomy, ventilator and feeding tube. His care was an around-the-clock job. In the years that followed, Brady's lungs grew stronger and stronger. He was decannulated when he was three years old (quite the experience hearing his voice for the first time!).

Brady is now 11 years old. His lungs have a hard time when he gets the common cold and we have periodic hospital stays in Akron. But the admissions are becoming fewer and fewer each year. Brady attends public school with an individualized education plan (IEP) that addresses his need for academic modifications. Brady has been diagnosed with ADHD and autistic spectrum disorder. Brady is also going through eating rehabilitation to learn how to eat.

Brady is a happy NASCAR loving boy! My journey with him has been quite the roller coaster ride. He has showed me the world in a whole new light and has made me a better person!

In 2008 and 2009, we welcomed two healthy baby girls to our family. I am currently a second grade teacher for Harrison Hills City School District and recently divorced. I became a mentor for Akron Children's in 2012. I enjoy sharing my experiences with other families and giving them hope and encouragement. Life is good, but without hard times we wouldn't know that.

Nichole is a parent mentor for these conditions: ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Nichole is a mentor for these care services: Asthma, Feeding and Nutrition, Neurology, NICU, Palliative Care, Pulmonary, Trach / Ventilator

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Nichole U. is a parent mentor for these conditions: ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder . Nichole U. is a parent mentor for these care services: Asthma, Feeding and Nutrition, Neurology, NICU, Palliative Care, Pulmonary, Trach / Ventilator .

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