Isaiah's 100-watt smile melts a lot of hearts and his sweet demeanor earns him a lot of hugs. Nowadays, Isaiah comes to Heartspring Pediatric Services four days a week for multiple therapies, and the road to accessing those services has been nothing short of an emotional roller coaster.
“Prior to Heartspring, we had no idea what Isaiah’s future may hold,” Isaiah’s mom, Melissa, said. “Honestly, we had little hope.”
Isaiah was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder at an early age. The diagnosis triggered additional diagnoses of autism, infantile scoliosis and a Chiari malformation. Infantile scoliosis is a curved spine, diagnosed between birth and three years of age, while a Chiari malformation (CM) is a structural defect in the cerebellum—the part of the brain that controls balance.
At only one year old, Isaiah had to endure brain surgery, and has not been able to develop speech or meet any typical milestones in growth or development.
The family came to Heartspring after hearing about the organization online and through word-of-mouth.
“Heartspring has a great reputation of helping kids with all types of special needs and providing financial help to the families that absolutely could not receive services otherwise,” Melissa said.
This year, Isaiah is serving as one of PedalFest 2014’s spokeschildren. PedalFest is a one-day bike ride in Wichita that raises money for the Pediatric Services Financial Assistance Fund. The money raised through the event will directly help local children and families access invaluable therapies they could not otherwise afford—allowing those children the opportunities to reach their highest potential.
Isaiah, like many children who come to Heartspring, has had tremendous success through the consistency, determination and care from his family and therapists. Isaiah has continually met impressive milestones. He is working on greeting others, making eye contact, and is even learning how to communicate with an assistive communication device.
“The staff has been a huge factor in Isaiah’s success,” Melissa said. “They know his strengths and weaknesses. The positive reinforcement, along with continual repetition of goals, has helped him know what he needs to do to succeed in all environments. Everyone is so caring and connected to him. It feels more like a second family to him—and us!”
His success is a testament to his family’s dedication to finding the appropriate services for him.
“The best advice is so cliché, but so true. You are your child’s best advocate and you will find help if you continue to do everything you can to access it. It isn’t always easy, but it will always be worth it,” said Melissa.
Isaiah’s future looks bright with his family’s renewed sense of hope.
“Thanks to Heartspring, we are beginning to piece together plans for his future,” Melissa said.