The following inspiring story of Mikayla demonstrates how she has benefitted from early and timely intervention that is providing her with the skills and support she needs to reach her potential.
When Mikayla was born, her parents felt she was the most beautiful girl in the world. She weighed 7 pounds 8 ounces. When they saw her beautiful face, they instantly felt unconditional love. Mikayla and her mother looked as the perfect mother and daughter. But it was not the case. There were complications with the pregnancy and doctors had told Mikayla’s parents that she would more than likely be paralyzed on one side of her body, have a hard time feeding and learning, be blind and have physical abnormalities.
Six hours after she was born, Mikayla was rushed to Rogers’s house. Her parents thought they would be spending the last couple of days with their daughter on this earth. They were of course devastated and so were their family and friends.
Two weeks later, after a series of daily tests, her parents brought her home, scared, overwhelmed, and not knowing what the future held. Four months later, Mikayla started to receive Blind Low Vision services from the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre. She was then seen by one of OCTC’s developmental paediatricians, a nurse and a nutritionist. Mikayla’s therapy team could see the challenges she was facing and designed programs to help her. Her parents were eager to learn all they could, admitting that they were at a complete loss as to how to help their little girl until OCTC therapists were able to step in and show them the way.Time went by and celebrating Mikayla’s first birthday was unbelievable for everyone in her life. At 2 years old, she is learning and doing more and more every single day, thanks to the many people involved in her care. Her mother says: “OCTC specialists have deeply touched my heart and their work and involvement really show me how dedicated they are. For instance, the Blind Low Vision Consultant has been working with my daughter for the past two years. At first, Mikayla was hesitant, but it’s so amazing to see them together now. Mikayla has created a bond with her and I am so happy and relieved to have her in our lives. It is difficult because we are still facing important challenges and my daughter has numerous doctors’ and therapists’ appointments, but the progress she is making is unbelievable. She is demonstrating visual curiosity and reaches out for toys or objects. She is using her residual vision to explore and learn. Mikayla has always preferred to be on her back but with regular therapy sessions, she is now sitting more and more with less support and discovering a whole new world around her. I am very grateful to OCTC. Mikayla is a strong and brave little girl. Her smile is infectious and she is a ray of sunshine. I want to believe that she will live a normal life. She will live to go to school and to meet friends. She will be facing hardships but I want to believe that she might even get married and give me grandchildren. Only time will tell, but OCTC gives me hope and allows me to sit back and dream about my daughter’s future.”