Aaron didn’t have an easy start. He was born with multiple disabilities including cerebral palsy and health conditions requiring medical equipment, technology, and supplies. He got his nutrition through a gastrostomy tube, had a tracheostomy and often required the use of a ventilator. He was placed directly from the hospital in a facility for medically fragile children when he was only a few weeks old. His mother tried to take him home several times, but was overwhelmed by his needs and her lack of support. She couldn’t manage alone and took him back to a facility. Her life was unstable and she moved frequently. Aaron’s life was unstable too as he was moved from one facility to another. By the time he was 11-years-old, he had lived in three facilities.
EveryChild reached out to Aaron’s mother to encourage her to explore the possibility of Aaron living with a Support Family. EveryChild staff knew Barbara—a pediatric nurse who lived close to Aaron’s mother who might be a perfect match. Barbara had previously worked in a nursing facility caring for children. She had come to believe children were happier and healthier living in families, and decided to open her home to children who would otherwise grow up in nursing facilities.
EveryChild arranged for Aaron’s mother to meet Barbara. Barbara offered her home and her heart to Aaron. After 11 years in facilities, Aaron moved to Barbara’s and became part of her family. Barbara described how living with Aaron fulfilled her life as much as she fulfilled his.
“He just fits in like he has always been here. I couldn’t be happier if I tried.”