Benjamin was born in a small town of North Dakota on May 12, 2016, he was a premature child born 36 weeks. Everything looked normal, we stayed in the hospital just one more night because he had jaundice. The first two weeks everything went well until his visit with the pediatrician, she measured his head and realized that he had not grown, so Benjamin received a referral for an MRI. I must mention that during pregnancy there were never complications, I had 3 ultrasounds and nothing abnormal appeared.
When they gave us the results of the MRI it was really shocking for us, they spoke to us of terms that we had never heard before. Benjamin had Schizencephaly and they needed to do tests to know why this had occurred. When they finally knew what it was, they told us that during pregnancy I caught a virus called Cytomegalovirus (CMV), a very common virus in all people; However, if you contract it during pregnancy, you can pass it to the fetus and cause different deformations or alterations in the baby. That was the first diagnosis they gave us of Benjamin, but without knowing that it was only the beginning of many diagnoses to come.
Both my husband and I considered that living so far away from specialists, therapists and family was not going to work; it was when we made the decision two months after Benjamin was born that we needed to change our residence, so we came to Phoenix. Two days after arriving in the city, we immediately contacted AZEIP along with other specialists and different resources. It was hard and painful but we did not have time to stop and think about what we felt, just that we wanted to help our son in any way.
When we began to see specialists, we were given broader diagnosis, to start we went to the Optometrist and confirmed he has visual impairment which causes Benjamin to only see light and certain figures. Specialists also confirmed he has a slight hearing loss and needs hearing aids to help him hear clearly.
Finally and what no specialist had told us is that Benjamin has Cerebral Palsy; I must confess it was not, and it has not been easy to hear. Going to doctor visits means uncontrollable nerves and a lump in the throat.
Today I can say I feel calm because we have a great team of therapists who have come to change our lives. Diana (occupational therapist) and Brittany (physical therapist), part of the UCP Early Intervention team and now part of our family, come every week to provide therapy to Benjamin. The results that we have seen in Benjamin day after day have been of great help for his development. The love and care we get from these two ladies is more than just a service, it’s an act of love, and I can never thank them enough.
My son is a fighter and has come to bless our lives. He is a very happy child and he surprises us every day.I have faith that my son will grow up and live a happy and comfortable life thanks to the services of UCP.
Maricarmen, Benjamin’s Mom