Krista is a mom from Idaho Falls who has two amazing children. Her daughter, Mikayla, does therapy at Connections. Krista shared her story:
Our sweet little Mikayla was born December 15, 2006. She was nearly five weeks early. We knew while Mikayla was in utero that she had spina bifida. To be honest I was not that concerned because we had been told our son had spina bifida as well. He is completely healthy, active and has no outward signs of the disability. But I did know from the ultrasound that her case was very different from Hunter. Mikayla was born with an opening of her low back and a lesion of her spine at the L3 L4 vertebrae. Mikayla has the most severe type of spina bifida, Myelomeningocele. This is where the skin on the back is actually open and the spinal cord is protruding from the opening at birth. Surgery must be performed to close the back. And in almost every case of Myelomeningocele there is some paralysis depending on where on the back the opening is. In Mikayla’s case she has paralysis of her bowel and bladder as well as partial paralysis from the mid-thigh down to her feet.
Mikayla started both occupational and physical therapy at three months old. I was unsure how therapy would be helpful at such a young age but I was amazed at the change in my baby. Not only did she have her back closed at 3 days old, she had to have a shunt for hydrocephalus at 2 weeks old. She then developed torticollis where she tilted her head severely to the left. Therapy helped us stretch her back so that she did not have significant scar tissue and the therapy helped us reverse the torticollis. Mikayla has been significantly behind schedule in every milestone. But our therapists kept working and kept telling me to not measure Mikayla against standard measurements. Mikayla would do her thing at her time and they were right every time! Yes she did not sit by herself until she was 9 months old and did not crawl until almost 2 and walk until she was 3, but she did them all!
Our therapists have become family. We celebrate each achievement together. We have been to lunches, dinners, weddings and parties for each other. They are my angels. We would not be where are are today without them. We have made new friends in therapy and have become parts of other groups because of therapy like Field of Angels, Special Need Soccer and Sit Skiing. We have a huge support system from our experiences with therapy. We have had speech, occupational and physical therapy over the last 11 years. Mikayla is an amazing young lady who has a never give up attitude. I contribute some of this to the amazing support she received from her therapists! They never let he give up and now she can do things we were told she would never do! Like walk, run and dress herself! Therapy has been a huge part of our lives and will continue to be, and I am so grateful for those therapists who share their lives with us and cheer us on as a family in all we do!