If love and sheer force of will can work miracles, that has certainly been the case for Ana and Anita.
When we met Ana, she was a single mother to her daughter Anita. Her baby had been born too early and with severe medical complications, including being born blind and deaf. Anita was facing lifelong physical and cognitive impairments.
When Ana and Anita first enrolled in CHIP, the family was already involved with ITC (Infant Toddler Connection) and Blue Ridge Care Connection, supportive services designed to help families who have children who are not developing as expected or who have medical conditions that impair normal development and require special healthcare. Anita was receiving physical therapy and occupational therapy services.
CHIP worked in collaboration with these services to support the family in creating a home environment that would adapt to Anita and optimize her development. Anita’s limitations presented the CHiP team with the challenge of adapting the PAT (Parents as Teachers) curriculum to her special needs. In the beginning, Anita had no vision or hearing senses, so Ana and her CHiP team focused on her sense of touch. Ana was always open and interested in new ways to stimulate Anita’s learning.
Ana worked hard to keep up Anita’s exercises in between physical therapy sessions, but her work with CHiP helped her understand the importance of time to just play and engage with Anita as a child. Ana was able to build a strong bond with Anita and develop the confidence needed to handle a child with high medical needs. And Ana has spared no effort to nurture Anita’s experience of the world. Although Anita lacked vision, hearing, mobility, and even breathing without assistance, picture Ana bundling her up and taking her outside to experience the feeling of snow.
CHiP staff credit Ana’s dedication and loving care for the incredible progress Ana has made. Remarkably, she can now see and hear, is having her breathing tube removed, and is going to school. We are in awe of this amazing family.