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Life of a Handicap

“It was my first ultrasound on June 5, 2006 when they saw some abnormalities.” Heather said.

After many level two ultrasounds, check ups, doctor appointments, and an MRI, it was confirmed to Heather that her baby would have Spina Bifida. This happens when the neural tube in the spine doesn’t close completely. This can happen anywhere in the spine. For Heather’s daughter Casey, it happened just above her waist. With this factor in a baby, so many more thoughts go through a parent’s mind than when they have a baby without a disability.

Heather said “The first few thoughts off the top of my head were devastation that something was wrong with my baby. What were we going to do? Will she be okay and what kind of life will she have? What can I do to learn more about Spina Bifida?”


With Casey, she was in the neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital for the first ten days and then in and out of the hospital for four months. They just need a bit more doctors and appointments and medical supplies than a normal child.

While raising a child with a disability, people learn something that others may not have.

“The biggest and greatest gift that I have learned from Casey is the power of being a strong person. Just having her brought that out in me. She’s the greatest treasure, I love being her mommy!”

When they go out, people notice that there is something different about Casey with either her wheelchair or braces. What Heather reported was that the only thing that bothered her was that some parents were scared to let their kids come talk to Casey.

“Kids are curious by nature.” She said. “All parents are doing is making their kids scared and apprehensive about a child or any person in a wheelchair. Her legs just don’t work, so she uses a wheelchair. Other than that, she’s just a normal kid.”

Along with this are a lot of challenges. One of Heather and her husband, Curt, challenges is finding the right group of doctors they feel comfortable to work with Casey. They need to find people who has Casey’s best interest and health in mind. Heather and Curt also need to make sure that they having everything they need when going out. Casey is catheterized and what she needs can’t be bought at the store. Another thing is her braces. They need to make sure they fit her legs and don’t pinch or bruise her because since she has no feeling in her legs, Casey can’t tell anyone when they hurt her. Then there will be challenges Casey will have to face in life. She’ll have to learn how to adapt the life of being a handicap, which can be a challenge. Though some things are accessible out in public, a lot of things are not. Overall, she’ll go through the same problems we all do but will have to deal with them in a different way.

“Other than that she is just like anyone else…loves to play, talk, and be a silly kid.” Heather said.





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