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Lucie's Story

Carole and LucieThe arrival of a new baby is an exciting and joyous time for a mother, but for Carole it was more excitement than she had bargained for.

Carole recalls Lucie’s arrival: “I was feeling great that day. I really wanted spaghetti. I was pregnant and got a craving so my mother in-law made her famous spaghetti and I took one bite and thought, ‘Wow I am not feeling well.’ I went into the bathroom and started going into labor. The ambulance came and within ten minutes Lucie was born right there at the Williamston exit on I-96.”

Lucie was born about one month premature. She had trouble breathing, but was able to return home at the same time as her mother.

“She was a healthy baby, but then at 6 weeks old she had her first seizure,” remembers Carole.

Lucie recovered from her first seizure but suffered a second seizure shortly after, collapsing her lungs. She was put on life support for six days. Doctors weren’t sure what was causing the seizures, so Carole and her husband started taking Lucie to a variety of specialists.

“We saw a neurologist for her seizures, a gastroenterologist for her stomach, an otolaryngologist for her ears and many other types of doctors. I called her the “ist” kid.”

Because Lucie was born without an important muscle in her stomach, she required multiple surgeries as an infant. She was also diagnosed with hemiplegia - muscle weakness on one side of the body.

As Lucie got older, Carole started to notice that she wasn’t doing things like a regular child. Lucie had two older siblings so Carole knew what the milestones for a baby were and Lucie wasn’t meeting them.

“Lucie was the fall down kid. She would walk a couple feet and fall down. She couldn’t run. She wouldn’t potty train. She didn’t recognize scents. She didn’t feel pain because of all the surgeries and medical tests she had been through. I knew this wasn’t right for a 3-year-old.”

Lucie’s doctors recommended physical and occupational therapy. Lucie started seeing Miss Chris her occupational therapist twice a week and Miss Kimmy, her physical therapist once a week. Within the first month of seeing Miss Chris, Lucie was completely potty trained and making large improvements.

“Miss Chris made so much sense of everything. She taught me that babies learn how to feel and learn emotions through their bellies and since Lucie had had multiple stomach surgeries as a baby she was not allowed to lay on her belly because of the stitches and bandages, hindering her development.”

Lucie graduated from physical and occupational therapy after four months. Now, she is a fully active 3-year-old playing and running with her two older siblings. She is able to tell her mom when and where she hurts. She uses her imagination to make up stories and wants to be just like Miss Chris and Miss Kimmy when she grows up.

“It was hard enough not to understand my own child and have to deal with it, but these ladies do that all day with children with sicknesses and diseases, and they do it with a smile on their faces. Times when I felt like crying they cried with me. When I didn’t understand they would show me again and again until I got it so I could do the exercises at home with Lucie. Miss Chris and Miss Kimmy are amazing. They gave me back my daughter.”

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