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,”
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.”