Riley Gilbert Schenectady, NY 13,942 Votes
Riley was a healthy, happy, energetic, beautiful, social, and bright child prior to March 27, 2007. She was just over 2- years- old, and was hitting all of her milestones early. On March 27th our lives were changed forever at the hands of our day care provider. That afternoon I received a phone call stating that something was wrong with my daughter, she had been put down for a nap and wouldn’t wake up. Riley was air lifted to Albany Medical Center that afternoon. Riley’s condition was serious. It seemed like forever until we finally spoke to a doctor about our daughter, and got to see her. It was in the ER that we learned Riley had suffered a traumatic brain injury, not a seizure like we had initially guessed.
The first of many miracles to come, Riley had made it through surgery- but she was not expected to survive much longer. If she survived, she would never be the same child again.The neurosurgeon explained the severity of her head injury and prepared us for the worst- we hoped for the best. We just wanted her to survive. Riley was left fighting for her life.
During the next 3 months at AMC, Riley defied the odds and endured more than any child should have to. After leaving the PICU at AMC in June 2007, Riley was transferred to Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital for the next 2 months.
Since 2007, Riley hasn’t walked, fed herself, or sat up without assistance. She is legally blind. She must take seizure medication daily. She still cannot fully hold her head up for long periods of time. She needs to be held, use special seating, or a standing frame. Riley is steadily making progress with her eating. She uses a special seat during bathtime. Riley wears both hand and foot braces. She is finally beginning to potty train. Now in 2nd grade, Riley gets physical, occupational, speech, and vision therapy. She still attends PT at Sunnyview to practice walking. Riley enjoys horseback riding and swims at school for her PE class. Riley has Botox every four months to loosen her muscles. Most recently Riley endured double hip surgery, to correct a dislodgement due to muscle tone issues.
Riley is getting bigger, and transporting her and the wheelchair in a traditional vehicle is becoming increasingly difficult. Please vote for RILEY and our family!!! Thank you!!!