It is amazing how your vision for the future can change in an instant. That’s what happened when my triplets were born early at just 25 weeks, weighing just a few pounds each.
I was devastated when, shortly after the girls were born, Corinne passed away from a rare heart defect, and Addison and Jocelyn both suffered brain bleeds. Words can’t express the pain and fear I felt. As I grieved the loss of Corinne, I was also told that if Jocelyn and Addison survived, the bleeding would cause cerebral palsy, a life-long disability caused by brain damage near the time of birth.
Thankfully, Addison and Jocelyn did not meet the same fate as my little Corinne. However, I couldn’t help but think about how living with cerebral palsy would impact their lives. Would they be able to walk, run, jump and play? Would I ever hear them say, “I love you, mommy?”
When Addison and Jocelyn were discharged from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, I was referred to UCP of Orange County (UCP-OC) where they began programs like physical and occupational therapy, which they still receive today.
Now at four years old, I can’t get them to sit still or stay quiet for long, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. UCP-OC helped my girls improve their mobility and find their voices, allowing me to hear them say “I love you mommy” after all. I am forever grateful to UCP-OC and the amazing team who has become like family. They have truly changed our lives.
Story told by Darcie Stress, mother of Addison and Jocelyn.
For more information on UCP-OC, please visit www.ucpoc.org
Life without limits for children with disabilities