“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” echoes the popular holiday tune down a busy corridor of the downtown mall.
For some, it might very well be the happiest season of all, with all those parties for hosting and marshmallows for toasting. But for others, including one million sick and injured children, this season will be marked by their “friends coming to call” in patient rooms at one of 170 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
Hannah and occupational therapist Megan during a recent therapy session.
This might not be any child’s idea of a dream Christmas, but there is something you can do to make their season more miraculous.
Although Giving Tuesday has come and gone, you can still Give Miracles to sick and injured kids and their families through the end of the year, at: givemiracles.org
Funds will go directly to benefit children being treated at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, Beaumont Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Your donations will go to help kids like six-year-old Hannah, a Miracle Child being treated at Beaumont Children’s Hospital.
Sarah Thiel, a pediatric speech and language pathologist for the Center for Children’s Rehabilitation at Beaumont Children’s Hospital, shares Hannah’s story:
Hannah is a beautiful 6-year-old girl with a bright smile of her own. She’s incredibly friendly and waves to everyone she sees in our department, every single time she comes in.
The progress Hannah has made since we first met her is incredible. She’s worked with Beaumont Children’s Hospital pediatric rehabilitation specialists in physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy over the past year.
When she began therapy for dysphagia, a pediatric feeding and swallowing disorder, Hannah was able to eat only pureed foods. She received the majority of her nutrients through tube-feeding. Now, she is actively taking bites of a variety of foods, and is willing to try new things every week.
Hannah receives therapy for cerebral palsy symptoms as well. Although she came to us as an independent walker, she had difficulty transitioning over various floor surfaces without being extremely hesitant and wanting assistance. She is now able to transition over differing terrains independently, and her physical therapy team continues to work with her on stepping over elevated surfaces.
This spring, Hannah participated in our annual Bike Day event. Thanks to donations made to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals through events like Dance Marathon at the University of Michigan, she received an adaptive bicycle that enables her to have just as much fun as other children her age. She loves her new purple bike, and rides with assistance frequently at home.
Hannah has been receiving speech therapy since September of 2012. She had been diagnosed with a severe oral/verbal apraxia of speech, dysarthria and severe receptive/expressive language disorder. Gestures and grunting were her primary means of communication. Since it is profoundly difficult for her to use verbal speech, we have had success using a picture board as well as an iPad. Today, Hannah can request a desired object using a three-picture sentence on her board and she responds to yes/no questions using her iPad.
Hannah and her family are a true example of how never to give up, to always stay positive and to always keep smiling. They are truly a joy to work with. We can’t wait to see what Hannah accomplishes next.
We hope Hannah’s story is an inspiring reminder of the true miracles you give to sick and injured kids when you donate to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
In the spirit of giving this holiday season, we invite you to put your money where the miracles are and donate to www.GiveMiracles.org through Dec. 31.
To read more of Hannah’s story, visit: http://cmnh.co/eg