“No one ever took the time to help us, or let us know what could be done to make our lives a little easier as Nick gets older [until we came to St. Mary’s]. Everyone should know what a great rehab and hospital you are!”
These are words from a grateful grandmother expressing her gratitude for St. Mary’s life-affirming work.
Her name is Barbara and her grandson is Nicholas, a brave and bright-eyed 7-year-old who was born with multiple developmental delays. Nicholas does not walk or talk and he requires multiple therapies to keep him healthy. Despite his medical challenges, he is a happy little boy who loves to watch Handy Manny, attends school, plays baseball, and lives at home with his family.
In February 2015, Nicholas’ health was seriously jeopardized when a virus attacked his brain, causing seizures and a high fever. Weakened from the virus, he was unable to eat and was placed on a feeding tube. It was then that doctors recommended St. Mary’s Hospital for Children for his long-term recovery.
At St. Mary’s, New York State’s largest provider of long-term care for children with complex medical conditions, Nicholas received intensive rehabilitation including physical, occupational, and feeding therapy. The staff at St. Mary’s showered him with encouragement, love, and care as he gradually regained his strength. His condition improved significantly, so much in fact that when team members from the NY Islanders came for a hospital visit, he was one of the first in line to greet them and smile for photos.
After only one month Nicholas was able to return home to his family – with St. Mary’s staff by their side. Through St. Mary’s continuum of community programs, Nicholas now receives St. Mary’s Home Care services to help improve his health and quality of life.
In recognition of Nicholas’ hard work and steady progress, he has been named a Grand Marshal for the Walk for St. Mary’s Kids to be held at Crocheron Park in Bayside on May 31, 2015. Nicholas and his family will help lead the Walk to raise funds and awareness for children with special needs. You can join or support Nicholas’ team by visiting http://events.stmaryskids.org/goto/TeamNicholas.
The Walk for St. Mary’s Kids features fun activities that families and the entire community can enjoy. This year St. Mary’s will offer bike helmet fittings where members of the community can receive free bike helmets for their children. All proceeds from the Walk go to benefit programs and services provided by St. Mary’s. For more information visit the Walk Website at http://events.stmaryskids.org/walk2015.