Thursday, April 21, 2011

Carla's Story

Age 5

Children’s Hospital Boston

Premature Birth, Cerebral Palsy

Born in the Dominican Republic at just 25 weeks gestation and weighing only a pound, Carla arrived with energy and determination. Doctors told Carla’s parents that she was too small to survive, but Carla quickly proved them wrong. “They knew that she was special,” says Carla’s mom.

Carla’s premature birth resulted in a long list of permanent medical complications, including: cerebral palsy, chronic lung disease, brain hemorrhages, vision impairment, several blood transfusions, and motor and speech delays. When she reached ten pounds, Carla came to Children’s Hospital Boston to receive more care for the bleeding in her brain, and a permanent shunt was put in place shortly before her first birthday.

There is no stopping Carla as she determinedly learned to walk before the age of 2, despite her cerebral palsy. Less than a year later she walked all two miles in NSTAR’s Walk for Children’s Hospital Boston, a walk to raise funds for pediatric care at Children’s. Now 5-years-old, Carla demonstrates to those around her that disabilities are just a label.

“Carla is a bright, engaging young lady who is a powerhouse of energy and lives life to the fullest,” says her physical trainer. At school she expresses concern and love for her classmates, inspiring them with her contagious personality. Carla may have arrived a bit early, but she came prepared to do everything she wants in life.

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