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  • 21 Years Old

  • Cerebral Palsy

Sunshine on a Ranney Day is at it again and we are excited to break ground on a new project for Samantha. This spirited young woman with the beautiful ear-to-ear smile is Samantha Danielle Caldwell. She entered this world by her sister’s side on October 14, 1998, weighing in at 2lbs, 1oz and was12inches long. She and her twin sister, Nicole, arrived at 24 weeks gestation. Samantha was born first and is older by two minutes!

Samantha was tiny; but, holding her own until she had a grade IV hemorrhage at only three days old. Tragically, this lead to a snowball of illnesses in the NICU. Samantha remained in the hospital for four months before finally being able to go home with her family. She fought diligently, battling many health conditions including apnea and bradycardia bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), a detached retina in her right eye, an open patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) requiring surgery to close, seizure disorder, and an intraventricular hemorrhage resulting in hydrocephalus. She required surgery for shunt placement, respirators and multiple blood transfusions all before she could go home. Since then, Samantha has continued to endure twenty five surgeries and numerous complications. She is diagnosed with cerebral palsy (CP) and is spastic diplegic. This means the CP affects both lower limbs, hips, and pelvis more than the upper body. Samantha’s muscles are very tight in both legs and her left arm. She continues to overcome daily challenges that come with this diagnosis, as well as many life-threatening complications requiring surgery, hospitalizations and painful medical procedures. Despite all that, she prevails with bold smiles and a will to succeed.

She is diagnosed with cerebral palsy (CP) and is spastic diplegic. This means the CP affects both lower limbs, hips, and pelvis more than the upper body.

Samantha is a happy, beautiful, smart, and independent young lady. She inspires everyone she encounters and is a social butterfly! She attends school at The Joseph Sam’s School for special needs children and is excelling. She has a passion for learning and loves being around her teachers and friends. At home, she lives with her mom, her twin sister and her dog, Bear. Samantha loves music and reading books. She is very adventurous and enjoys riding her bike, bowling, swimming, shopping, going to movies and going out to eat, pizza mostly.

Samantha is nonverbal, communicating through a few spoken words, gestures and the use of an alterative communication device. Samantha uses a wheelchair for most of her mobility. She has a manual one-arm drive wheelchair she can handle independently for short distances (I assist in longer distances). She loves to go to the dollar store, the grocery store and Target and independently maneuver the isles. She also moves independently at school from the classroom to the elevators, different classes, and the lunchroom. She is in the process of obtaining an electric wheelchair that will better suit her long-term needs of transferring, weight distribution and pressure relief.

The renovations that Sunshine on a Ranney Day will provide include a fully accessible bathroom and bedroom which will make it easier to care for her as she grows and desires more independence. Her new room will be a safe haven where she can relax and enjoy her surroundings. We would love to have your support in bringing this project to fruition and cannot wait to see how beautiful it turns out! We hope that you join us as we reveal her new room!

Photography by Niki Murphy Photography