Our lives changed forever in the fall of 2013 after receiving a phone call in the middle of the night that our grandson was in trauma ICU at Childrens Hospital of Dallas. He was nine weeks old at the time and had been shaken severely by his birth mother and was seizing and losing consciousness. He was care-flighted and hospitalized for a month, and placed into a coma due to massive brain swelling. Stefen is a fighter and survived but as a result of the horrific trauma 60% of his brain was destroyed along with now suffering seizures, cortical vision impairment (legally blind), hypotonia, GERD, bilateral hip dislocations and the list goes on. He is not able to sit unsupported nor crawl or walk. He is also nonverbal. He was born term and perfectly healthy and now his life had been turned upside down.
My husband and I are the paternal grandparents and we were given the opportunity to adopt Stefen in June of 2015. We knew our lives were going to drastically change, just as Stefens’ had. We made a commitment to him and to ourselves that we would give him the best life possible so I quit my job of 27 years to care for him which has left my musician husband trying to support the three of us. We couldn’t possibly have known how hard this journey would be but we also couldn’t have predicted how rewarding it would become. Stefen is our world! He does require 24/7 care, undergoing eight therapies a week along with numerous doctor appointments each month. He takes a myriad of medications and has a complexity of equipment but we feel it will all make a difference. Stefen is about to turn three and has outgrown his medical stroller and we have on order a wheelchair. All of his equipment has precluded us from visiting family up north because we cannot transport all of it. Because of our financial situation we couldn’t possibly afford a wheelchair-accessible van, especially a new one! If you were so inclined to choose us as a recipient of a van, our lives would be significantly blessed. We thank you for taking the time to read Stefen’s story.
Sincerely, The Ray Family