For nine long and exhausting months, my husband Carl and I anxiously awaited the birth of our second son, Nicholas Anthony. Our two-year old son, Kyle, was as anxious as we were. He was going to be the best big brother ever. Kyle loved to lay his head on my belly and talk to his brother. All of us were so excited and could not wait for our new baby. We never thought in a million years that when the day came, it would change our lives forever. And at times during his early life, it was hard to believe that Nicholas would ever be the happy third grader that he is today.
When Nicholas was born, he was a healthy 8 lbs, 13 ounces; however, due to complications surrounding his birth, Nick had a traumatic start to his life. At birth his head was swollen with fluids, and the size of a youth-sized basketball. His breathing was irregular and he was fighting an infection. Then the seizures began. I later found out that Nick had a stroke, which caused brain damage. During his first year, his pediatrician diagnosed Nicholas with Cerebral Palsy and Global Developmental Delay. The doctor referred us to Meeting Street Early Intervention.
From the beginning, I knew that Meeting Street was the perfect place for Nick and for our family. Early Intervention provided Nicholas everything he needed including medical equipment and therapies. They took the time to provide emotional support to everyone in our family. While in Early Intervention, Nick had speech, occupational and physical therapy every week and Meeting Street always coordinated it around our family’s schedule.
When Nicholas turned three, he started school at Meeting Street and he is now in The Grace School inclusive third grade class. At 10-years-old, he is thriving. He is walking with the assistance of a walker, speaks sign language fluently, is always smiling and participates in all class activities. The teachers and therapists at Meeting Street have changed his life. They focus on what Nicholas can do and celebrate his successes every day. Nicholas Anthony is the happiest, most motivated, and most loving child I have ever seen. He has become this child because he has a brother, parents, and professionals at Meeting Street who truly believe in him.