Aurelia is almost 3 and she loves music, swimming, and dancing. She is an absolute joy to be around and loves giving hugs. Before she was born, Aurelia was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition that causes excessive accumulation of fluid in her brain. She had a shunt placed to drain the fluid off her brain when she was 24 hours old and will depend on the shunt for the rest of her life. Due to the pressure on her brain, Aurelia experienced damage that has caused several other conditions including a visual impairment, gross and fine motor skill delay, convulsions, a growth hormone deficiency, and eating issues. But as one doctor noted, her primary diagnosis is “overwhelming cuteness.”
Aurelia keeps a very busy social calendar with regular visits to her neurologist, gastroenterologist, endocrinologist, ophthalmologist, neurosurgeon, pediatrician, physical therapist, and her occupational therapist provided through the Elks Children’s Therapy Program. We are so thankful for our Occupational Therapist, Sheila, who comes to our house every week and works with Aurelia. I cannot stress how helpful it is to have therapy in our home. Aurelia is comfortable with her surroundings, I don’t have to juggle getting two kids under the age of three to yet another appointment, we are able to utilize many of the therapy tools throughout the week. We feel that Sheila truly knows our family and is able to adapt Aurelia’s therapy to meet our needs.
It is such a joy to see Aurelia make strides and improve with the therapy given by Sheila through the Elks Therapy Program. When doctors see Aurelia they often remark that they feel they have the wrong file because the child in front of them who is walking, talking, laughing, and playing does not fit the child she is on paper. We know that Aurelia’s therapy has hugely contributed to her ability to prove her diagnoses wrong.