Max's Story » 2016-Nov-02

Being a first time parent is an overwhelming thought. You are excited and frightened at the same time of the responsibility that is ahead of you. You are sure you have done everything right and then unexpectedly something goes horribly wrong. Just a few days before Max was born we had a normal ultrasound and the next thing we were suddenly in the hospital. Max arrived by an emergency c-section due to a serious complication of pregnancy which greatly affected him. 

Max was in NICU for two weeks. It was determined that Max had a stroke due to the complication.

This resulted in hearing loss and vision problems along with hemiplegia (a condition that affects one side of the body). As a result, Max has a great deal of difficulty using one side of his body.

We were referred to George Jeffrey Children's Centre when Max was an infant. We were feeling overwhelmed at what was ahead of us. What a blessing it has been for not only Max, but for us as parents, to have been introduced to the Centre. Max has spent a great deal of time in therapy; everything from physio to speech over the course of many years. The support and guidance the Centre has provided for the last 17 years has been tremendous. From watching him weight-bear and take his first few steps down the halls of the Centre, to now where he can't move fast enough to get to the pool, when the opportunity arises, is wonderful.

The first time we walked into the Centre we were apprehensive and unsure.  It has now become a familiar and friendly place.  It's not just about the hard work, it's about the fun too. From sliding and Christmas parades in the winter, to soapbox races, kayaking and salmon fishing in the summer, the Centre has offered Max many opportunities. We want to say a special thank you for helping Max get fitted for the bike that he loves through the Centre's bike clinic.

Max loves attending the PALS (Peer Adolescent Leadership Skills) group to see his peers and continues to swim on a regular basis at the Centre. However we are facing another chapter as Max grows older. We will always see the Centre as another home and remain indebted. We are grateful for the Centre and really don't know where we would be without its guidance

As Max is edging closer to becoming an adult, the transitions remain difficult, but the Centre continues to offer our family direction. The relationships we have built over the many years are amazing; not just with the therapists and staff but also the families we have come to know through the Centre. We don't feel alone.                                                     Submitted by Max's mom, Pia



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