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Sherry Perry

Georgetown, DE

Entry Photo for Sherry Perry - Georgetown, DE

Jarod was a planned, very much wanted baby. I was over the moon when he was born happy and healthy in 2001.

I went back to work when Jarod was 6 weeks old. At 10 weeks, I received a phone call that changed our lives. Jarod had gone into respiratory arrest at daycare and the ambulance was taking him to our local hospital. I managed to get there and ride with him in the ambulance. I wasn’t told much.

Lots of test, no information, and an airlift to Children’s National in Washington, DC later, and we were told that Jarod had Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS). He had multiple rib fractures, bleeding in both retinas, and severe brain trauma. He was on a ventilator to breathe and in a medically induced coma. I was told that he would most likely die.

Jarod spent 3 months in the hospital because of his initial injuries. He has had many hospitalizations since. He is severely disabled. Non ambulatory. Non verbal. Seizures. Legally blind. Quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy. He relies on others for every single detail of his daily care.

But he is here. He survived. He fights every day. He has been through more in 13 years than most people endure in a lifetime. And he has opened my eyes to a whole new world without ever speaking one word.

Jarod is 13 now. His last surgery was this past January. His back was fully rodded (shoulders to pelvis) because of the curvature from 13 years of immobility.

We’ve never had a wheelchair van. His is stepdad and I work full time (his natural father is deceased), but with the household and medical expenses (including adding on a downstairs bedroom for Jarod), we both drive older (but paid for) vehicles. We rely on putting Jarod into a carseat and loading his wheelchair into the back of our SUV for trips with the family or the 1 1/2 hour commute each way to visit his specialists at the children’s hospital where he’s been seen for 13 years.

Having a wheelchair van, now that Jarod is taller and heavier, would be an unbelievable relief on all of us. We try very hard to include Jarod in all family activities. That has been harder in the past few years, due to his growth and the sheer work involved in getting him in and out of the truck.