Join us in a day of giving on Tuesday, May 7th by participating in the #OneDay Critical Needs Alert, where your gift will be matched.

Visit www.pittsburghgives.org/childrenshomepgh on May 7th and choose The Children’s Home to help kids like Jayden…

Jayden

“Jayden was an unexpected blessing that came into our lives in the summer of 2009. I was taken by surprise since I was not aware that I was becoming a grandmother to this amazing child who also came into his mother’s life at the young age of 17.  Not only was she not prepared to be a mother but much less take care of a child with disabilities.

From the beginning we were given a grim diagnosis of his condition, I remember it like it was yesterday. Brittany had her first ultrasound and while other parents were rejoicing at the news of becoming parents, I was sobbing in the hospital bathroom upon learning that Jayden was going to be born with a brain anomaly called bilateral Schizencephally. This was really hard to accept since no one in our family had a history of birth defects and according to the Medical staff this was a rare condition. Imagine we had better odds hitting the lotto than inheriting this disease!

I walked around in a fog and was afraid of my inadequacy as a mother in knowing how to support my daughter and to care for a child with exceptionalities. How were we going to be able to pay for his medical care? How were we able to go to work? How was this going to affect his young mother’s life? These were many of the questions that plagued my mind.

Thankfully, upon discharge from Magee’s Women’s Hospital, we were sent to The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh & Lemieux Family Center to begin to care for this precious child. His attending Neurologist presented us with a hopeless picture of a future with Jayden. Prior to his birth they told us that he would be completely blind, deformed and not have much of a quality of life and could possibly die shortly after birth! But boy, did he show us all what a resilient little boy he was! Not only did he begin to thrive, but he was also this beautiful child that had a way of stealing everyone’s heart and demanding love and attention.

The first couple of months were difficult; I tried to spend as much time as I could with him, often leaving him so that I could go to work for the day. His mom and I took shifts caring for him, everyday thinking it could possibly be the last day with him. However, God had a different plan and it was here at The Children’s Home that my daughter and I learned to care, understand and accept a life with a child with disabilities. Two months after being in Hospice care, we got the good news that Jayden could come home once again reigniting my doubts as to my ability to adequately care for him. This began the rush to get the things needed for a baby to call our house a home.

We were also excited to learn that he had been accepted to the childcare portion of The Children’s Home and it is here where we found a much needed source of support at Child’s Way®. Finally, a place where Jayden could be cared for with competent staff and nurses who had experience caring for children with various medical needs and disabilities! A place where he could get therapy and support connecting us to agencies in the community that would help support his medical needs and development.

I am grateful to say that this place has been a beacon of light and hope in our lives. I have grown to cherish and appreciate the work of the staff and nurses who are always hopeful, helpful and have helped to shape the life of this amazing child who in his short life has overcome so many obstacles.

Jayden is now eight years old, he goes to school, knows everyone at Child’s Way by name and has developed meaningful relationships with the staff and his peers. He can be seen maneuvering his power chair up and down the halls while he talks and visits everyone that matters him.

His mother and I have become more confident in caring for him. I no longer fear leaving him with the assurance that he is in a place where is well cared for and cherished.

I continue to grow in my role of caretaker and advocate to ensure that this amazing child continues to thrive and live a life full of happiness and positive experiences.”

-Flo