5 five-year old Parker Chen is an incredible little boy. Parker was born two and a half months early with a rare genetic abnormality called CHARGE Syndrome. He is legally blind and deaf, requires a feeding tube for nutrition, and for most of his young life, Parker has relied on continuous oxygen support. Little Parker spent his entire first year in the hospital.

Shortly after arriving home, Parker began receiving services from St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children to help him meet his developmental milestones. St. Mary’s nurses accompanied Parker to the Lexington School for the Deaf each day, taking care of all his medical needs. Parker is fluent in sign language, which he uses to communicate his needs or even tell a joke or two; his nurses have also become fluent in sign. Parker also receives physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and vision therapy from St. Mary’s to help him be his best.

Parker doesn’t let his serious medical conditions slow him down; he continues to be a happy and spirited child. He continues to surprise his family everyday with his love of life, enjoying every small detail, and never letting anything get in his way. He is such a determined little fighter and an inspiration to all those who have the opportunity to meet him.

In the past 2 ½ years Parker has grown and reached incredible milestones, the most recent being the removal of his tracheostomy, the breathing apparatus around his neck. Parker was named a Grand Marshal for the Walk for St. Mary’s Kids 2013.