The Children's Institute Blog

Overcoming Challenges: Eddie's Story

Posted: Nov 29, 2019 by The Children's Institute

Eddie smiling
Eddie was born on June 6, 2012, weighing just 4 lbs. 6 oz. After a normal, full term pregnancy, nobody expected him to be that small. Eddie spent his first 12 days in the hospital having test after test. He spent the next five years enduring numerous doctor's appointments, long hospital stays, and endless therapy sessions.

Today, at age seven, Eddie is 100% tube fed with an extreme oral aversion. He is non-verbal and does not communicate, with a severe intellectual disability. He can walk using a walker, but is very unstable, needing guidance as he moves.

While Eddie does not have a specific diagnosis, he shows signs of cerebral palsy. He was also diagnosed in March of 2017 with epilepsy and his care team is working hard to keep his seizures under control. 

However, despite his challenges, Eddie is a happy, playful little boy.

His mom, Leigh, credits the team at The Children's Institute of Pittsburgh for Eddie's progress. "Everyone was influential in helping Eddie get stronger so that growing up would be easier for him," says Leigh.

Eddie smiling as he stands in his walkerEddie's physical and occupational therapists taught him skills that enable him to do simple, everyday tasks that most people take for granted, such as turning on a light switch.

They also taught Leigh how to support Eddie's growth and development. Through great communication and always ensuring Eddie had access to the equipment he needed, Leigh is grateful for the guidance she received. 

Eddie's smile and squeals give her and the rest of his family the energy to care for and love him with all of their hearts.  

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