Today, April 8, 2020, is Everett’s first birthday. “He is our Miracle Baby,” said Chelsee, Everett’s Mom. “My water broke at 19 weeks. The chance of that happening is 1/1000. Most women miscarry after that (3 out of 4) within one week. Everett was the 1 out of 4 to make it.”
“I was admitted to the hospital at 25 weeks until he was supposed to come (34 weeks) but I went into labor at 27 weeks and the doctors couldn’t stop it,” said Chelsee. “Everett was immediately placed on a ventilator and we weren’t able to even hold him for the first 20 days. We were in the NICU 76 days before being able to come home.”
While Everett was in the NICU, Everett’s doctors recommended Rainbows to his family. Everett is hypertonic, meaning he has increased muscle tone and tension. When he came home, he couldn’t lift his arms over his head all the way without resisting. He couldn’t stretch his arms across his body or bring his toes to his hands. “He can do ALL of that now,” said Chelsee.
Everett now receives physical therapy. “Pam Chiles is our primary Physical Therapist,” said Chelsee. “She has been a TRUE BLESSING for our family. Pam is so dedicated and passionate about what she does and the kiddos she takes care of. She pushes Everett to work on those motor skills and honestly he wouldn’t be where he is now if it wasn’t for her.”
“We still aren’t sure what Everett’s needs or diagnosis, if any, will be,” said Chelsee. “Pam is very humble in her work, if she doesn’t know an answer, you bet she will find it and bring the person who does. We have met with an Occupational Therapist, a Speech Pathologist, even the visually impaired teacher, and a couple of different Physical Therapists to test for Cerebral Palsy.”
Everett is still hypertonic, but has greatly improved with therapy. He is delayed in gross and fine motor skills, but is now sitting with minimal assistance and reaching for toys on his back and tummy. He can stand holding on to something with minimal assistance.
“Everett is always just the happiest baby, and we have seen great improvement of his movement and flexibility from the day we came home from the NICU to where we are today,” said Ryan, Everett’s Dad. “It has allowed me to do ‘Dad things’ with Everett such as roughhouse and rolling around on the floor together. We are hopeful that he will be able to participate in sports and other activities when he is older.”
“I cannot say enough about how much this has positively changed our lives,” said Chelsee. “I know this is extreme but I think Everett will have so many more ‘normalcies’ in his life because of Rainbows’ impact. We have found so many things that would have been missed if we weren’t watching and being on top of his development.”
“Everett’s parents understand the coaching model of service delivery,” said Pam. “They are so good at coming up with their own strategies to help Everett develop. They combine our suggestions with their own ideas to help Everett in all areas of development. Everett is a happy, smiley boy. He has a lot of potential and fantastic parents who will help him achieve his best outcomes.”
“We are so lucky to have a program like this in place,” said Chelsee. “Being a new mom is hard enough, but when you have other issues on top of that, you can drown pretty quickly. As soon as Everett gets a little bit bigger we are planning on joining swimming and eventually joining Rainbows’ childcare. Rainbows has given Everett a chance for a better life, and has made me a better mommy.”