Riley VanWert Linwood, MI 7,645 Votes
Riley is an 8 year old boy who was born perfectly healthy. At 32 DAYS old, he was airlifted from Bay City, Mi to Mott’s Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan and given 24 hours to live. His injuries were all sustained from ABUSE. He suffered malnutrition, failure to thrive, 3 brain injuries of different ages, broken left arm, broken ribs, broken pelvic, glaucoma, seizures from the brain injuries, a stroke, congestive heart failure, and several bruises. He was perfectly fine on his 2 week check up. So, somebody beat him to near death from 2 weeks old to 32 days old. I was a foster parent and received the call to take his sister, who was 20 months old at the time. They informed me that she had a baby brother that was not expected to survive. Two weeks later, I received the phone call asking if I would take him. I was shocked, he was not suspected to live. I paused for a brief moment and agreed to take him in. I could not give up on him. God kept him alive for a reason. I had to go to Ann Arbor and be trained on his feeding tube because he was not eating by mouth. Then, one week later I brought him home from the hospital. He was a strong willed little boy to survive all of that trauma. He has made significant progress. I can’t count how many surgeries he has had but off the top of my head I would have to say 30 easily. He suffers now from gastrointestinal issues, his stomach and esophagus had to be permanently disconnected because he could not keep anything down (due to the brain injuries). He has cerebral palsy, seizure disorder, brain damage, physical disabilities. He does not walk, he butt scoots. He is making significant progress daily. He is more cognitive aware than physically, His left side is the side that is affected by the cerebral palsy. The specialists cannot believe the progress that he has made. They have not ever seen this kind of progress with the brain injuries that he sustained. I adopted Riley and his two siblings. He is now weighing 69 lbs and thankfully continuing to grow. This had made it very hard for transporting him. I am unemployed. He is such an inspiration and melts the hearts of all.