As first-time parents, we were eagerly looking forward to meeting the new member of the family. It was a difficult labor, followed by an emergency c-section. Even though she was blue at delivery, she seemed to recover, and came home with us when she was three days old.
The first night we had her home, she drifted off to sleep while nursing. When she woke up, Gabi stiffened, her eyes rolled back, and she stopped breathing — her first grand mal seizure. Fortunately, it only lasted about ten seconds, but later that night and the next morning she had more.
We were told by the pediatrician’s office that it was just irregular breathing and not to worry…until she had one in their office. Then it became like a scene from ER, with paramedics, oxygen and frantic medical personnel. She was rushed to the ICU and the testing began. It started with a CT to determine if her brain was intact (it was) and a spinal tap, which also came back normal.
For the next several days, Gabi had vial after vial of blood samples taken, MRI’s, EEG’s and examinations by many doctors. No one had an explanation for what caused the seizures, but she was put on medications to prevent them. Unfortunately, the medications seem to have contributed to her developmental delay.
Since that dramatic beginning, Gabi has been through a lot more tests, but there are still no answers. Officially, her diagnosis is cerebral palsy, though that doesn’t really tell us a lot. She hadn’t had a seizure since she was one month old, but recently had two grand mals and has had to be put back on medication.
Gabi is now two years old, and can remain in a sitting position if you put her there. She is reaching for things, and practicing her sounds and a few words. She has been building up her strength, but still lacks the coordination to walk, crawl, stand or transition from one position to another.
With a lot of hard work, Gabi’s condition has been improving little by little. We are told that as long as the improvement continues, with more hard work, therapy and love, someday she may even be able to walk, talk, and have normal use of her hands.
Thank you for helping us to provide Gabi with the help she needs.
Tony, Ruth and Gabi Umer