Celebrating Ava: a mom’s letter of gratitude

Today, Ava is a happy girl who has shown an incredible ability to learn

Ava and her twin sister Elizabeth were born at 27 weeks 6 days gestation weighing 1295 grams and 1230 grams respectively. Both suffered brain damage and their prognosis was extremely poor. Sadly, Elizabeth lost her battle 35 days after her birth. Ava’s quality of life initially seemed bleak, but from the beginning there seemed to be something in her that said fighter. She always had her eyes open and made eye contact with us. She was alert and engaged and we decided that we would let Ava take the lead as we embarked on the journey of her life. 

Ava was diagnosed with Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy a few months past her first birthday. She had no trunk control and was unable to sit up on her own or eat properly, and had to be fed through a tube for the first 4 years of her life.

Today, she is a happy girl who has shown an incredible ability to learn. She attends the Mackay Centre School and is learning to drive her very own motorized wheelchair. She talks and counts and sings and loves to play with her friends and watch Netflix and You Tube videos. Her current obsession is Mario Bros. 

Ava spent the first 3 months of her life at The Montreal Children's hospital and the professionals we encountered there are a huge reason for her success. They care about the families and the nurses in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) are angels on earth. While Ava's future is always uncertain I know that the many doctors and nurses that were a part of her beginnings played a big part in giving her a chance at a happy life.