When Kerisha went into labour with her daughter Sloane at just 26 weeks, she was terrified.
Sloane’s umbilical cord was wrapped around her breached legs, and both their lives were at stake. For Kerisha, it was hectic and traumatic, but there was no time. Sloane needed to come out right away. Within minutes of arriving at McMaster Children’s Hospital, Kerisha had an emergency C-section.
When every second counted and Kerisha didn’t know if her precious baby would survive, the McMaster Children’s Hospital team saved Sloane’s life.
Just 1.5 lbs at birth, Sloane was also born with extensive orthopedic issues affecting her legs.
“Her feet were up in her face,” says Kerisha, remembering meeting Sloane for the first time in the NICU the day after she was born. “She opened her eyes, grabbed my finger and held it so tight and from there, I was just like, I'm going to do whatever I can to help her.”
And from that moment, Kerisha did just that. So too did the team at McMaster Children’s Hospital.
For the first year and half of her life, Sloane’s legs were in splints and casts to help straighten them. Extensive physiotherapy and occupational therapy at Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre, the child rehabilitation hospital that is part of Hamilton Health Sciences offering outpatient services, were the next big steps in helping the tiny, but resolute Sloane get where she wanted to go.
“She’s very strong and determined,” says Kerisha. “She’s never taken no for an answer and I think that’s helped her get as far as she has.”
Now five years old and in senior kindergarten, Sloane has made incredible progress. Despite being warned that she might never walk, she is now walking on her own and with the support of a walker. Every day she continues to make great strides.
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