“You are stronger than you realize. You are more capable than you can imagine.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf
The words “strong” and “capable” perfectly describe two year-old, Luke, who has spent much of his first years of life in the hospital. Luke is medically fragile, and requires medical support and equipment for his daily functions.
Luke first came to Innovative Services NW’s Early Intervention program to receive Physical Therapy and Special Instruction, when he was 11 months old. During the first few months, Luke learned how to put weight through his arms during tummy time, roll to his sides, and sit with support. By the time he turned one, he was able to sit briefly without support.
Luke has had numerous procedures and medical providers guiding his care, so when tummy time was irritating his g-tube, his nursing, family and therapy team jumped into action! They created a belly vest to protect his tube, so he was able to have the opportunity to develop strength, coordination, and visual-vestibular skills while learning how to army crawl and eventually creep on his hands and knees. With a team effort, Luke was able to master both army crawling, creeping, and even creeping up and down stairs.
Just a few months before his second birthday, Luke underwent open heart surgery, after which his cognition, social-emotional, communication, and motor skills blossomed! By the time he turned two, Luke was able to walk independently and was able to communicate with his caregivers and family by pointing and signing words.
Luke’s family and caregiving team have been working with him to strengthen his aerobic capacity so he can be weaned off of his ventilator. He is now participating the majority of the day off the ventilator and able to participate in play with his siblings pushing his wagon in the grass, playing in the dirt by the creek with his nurse, and kicking and throwing balls!