Changing A Young Girls’ Life One Step at a Time

Meet Ellie and her family. Ellie experienced a traumatic birth injury that deprived her of oxygen for a concerning amount of time. She was transferred immediately to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) where she was diagnosed with a brain injury and other medical conditions. Ellie spent 59 days hospitalized and was discharged with feeding difficulties and a severe mouth aversion.

Ellie, now two-years-old, has made significant progress. She lives with her family and receives full-time care from her mother, who left her full-time job to become a full-time caregiver. Ellie requires occupational therapy and speech therapy. Therapy tools are slowly introduced to help her strengthen her suspected weakened mouth muscle and reduce her dependency on her G-tube. Although her aversion has drastically improved, Ellie is still intimidated by some tools used by her therapists. She continues to have a long road ahead of her, however with therapeutic interventions she continues to improve.

Despite all the excellent care and resources available to Ellie and her family through our HCBA program, there are many essentials recommended by her therapists that are not covered by insurance. In an effort to fill in some of the gaps, Partners used our Special Needs Fund to purchase mouth and tongue tools to aid with Ellie’s oral development and a Montessori toy for toddler sensory development.

Ellie’s family extends their thanks for the opportunity to meet Ellie’s primary needs, especially from home, given the COVID-19 pandemic. They report that having the ability to continue to improve Ellie’s aversion and mouth muscle exercises with the therapy tools and fun straws has been beyond helpful. Ellie’s mother writes, “Thank you for allowing my sweet girl to continue to try and reach her full potential.”