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Helen

  • 14 Years Old

  • Infantile-Onset Pompe Disease

The name Helen means Shining Light, and that she is. With her fair skin and sweet grin, the room lights up when Helen enters in her wheelchair. Helen has Infantile-onset Pompe disease, which caused the development of cardiomyopathy, progressive muscle weakness, neuromuscular scoliosis, and impairment of respiratory function. She is dependant on others for all aspects of care as she is unable to ambulate and currently maintains very limited upper motor strength to operate her power wheelchair. She receives all of her nutrition and hydration via a GJ-tube.

Helen has Infantile-onset Pompe disease, which caused the development of cardiomyopathy, progressive muscle weakness, neuromuscular scoliosis, and impairment of respiratory function.

With the high level of care required by Helen, her family faces many obstacles in their home. Due to her Pompe disease, she has severe osteoporosis and has suffered fractures from minimal force. One of Helen’s more recent fractures occurred when a caregiver transferred her in her inaccessible home.

Day-to-day life is complicated. On top of it all, as a 14-year-old girl, Helen is too big to be safely bathed. A bedroom and bathroom from Sunshine on a Ranney Day would bring Helen’s family safety and peace of mind and possibly create a little more time for Helen to get out and shine.

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Photography by Maddy Em Photography

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Carson

  • 9 Years Old

  • Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder

As a fan of SpongeBob, sea creatures, aquatic life, Shark Week, and his multiple pets, Carson is like most nine-year-old boys. His favorite things to do are swinging, jumping, and climbing. Carson also likes small places, like a tent or under the bed, to hide if he’s having a bad day. Like all mothers and as a single mother of two, Carson’s mother is concerned with balancing activity and safety.  Having been diagnosed with sensory processing disorder, SPD at age three, and recently diagnosed with Autism, Carson is a sensory seeker who likes to move all of the time. He has received occupational therapy for SPD and worked on fine motor skills. They also worked with the vestibular system for some motor functions of the head and posture, and the proprioceptive senses to help combine sensory information from the inner ear to receptors in the muscles and the joint-supporting ligaments for stance.

Having been diagnosed with sensory processing disorder, SPD at age three, and recently diagnosed with Autism, Carson is a sensory seeker who likes to move all of the time.

As Carson gets older, it will be even more important to have a safe space of his own, including appropriate sensory stimulation.  A custom sensory room from Sunshine on a Ranney Day will give Carson what he needs to be and grow happier and healthier. Together with his family, he will better enjoy their three cats, bearded dragon, and beta fish and will have spent some energy so he can sit down and watch Shark Week like other kids his age.

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Photography by Pear Tree Photography

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Callie

  • 15 Years Old

  • Angelman Syndrome, Burn Victim

This jubilant teenager, Callie, smiles despite her pain and laughs through her tremendous triumphs. The journey through childhood has been a challenge that she has never stopped braving. Callie was diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome as a toddler and suffers significant developmental delays. At the age of twelve, she suffered a tragic accident during her evening bath at home. She was rushed by ambulance to the hospital where she spent six months with severe second and third degree burns covering more than 60% of her body. To complicate matters further, during the first 24 hours in the ICU, doctors discovered a previously unknown blood clot in her right leg which had become aggravated during treatment and her leg had to be amputated above the knee. Callie endured over 21 surgeries with extensive skin grafts for her burns and suffered cardiac arrest due to trauma and complications.

Her only wish is to spend more time with her friends and Sunshine on a Ranney Day is going to grant it!

Callie, who is still in the hospital recovering, is fully dependent on her family and caregiver to meet all of her needs including transferring, showering, hygiene and bathing. She receives intensive physical, occupational and speech therapies and participates in the county’s exceptional education program via the hospital/homebound services division. The acquisition of each skill has been a true feat for Callie. Through tough determination and the support of her therapists and family, she continues to overcome obstacles and celebrate milestones. A room and bathroom that is adapted to meet Callie’s unique needs has become even more essential since her accident and subsequent surgeries. Sunshine on a Ranney Day is excited to have the opportunity to provide Callie and her family with extensive renovations to her home that will make her days a whole lot easier. Plans are in the works for an enlarged bathroom with a walk-in shower, Hoyer Lift to assist with transfers and a designer bedroom with a sensory station and storage for her medical supplies. We can wait to see her enjoy her new platform swing with radiant smiles and echoing laughter!

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Photography by Angie Browning Photography

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Amir

  • 5 Years Old

  • Ohtahara Syndrome (Epilepsy)

Five-year-old Amir recently smiled a huge grin to his dad – something so many parents take for granted, but dad noted as a triumph.

Five-year-old Amir is the joy of his parents’ lives, and like other parents, their goal is to make sure he feels safe and loved. Loved he is. Safe, he is not always. At just two years old and after numerous tests, Amir was diagnosed with Ohtahara Syndrome, a rare type of epilepsy characterized by hard to control seizures and developmental delays.

He is non-verbal, non-mobile has respiratory problems, and vision limitations, and still requires the same care as any five-year-old.

He is non-verbal, non-mobile has respiratory problems, and vision limitations, and still requires the same care as any five-year-old. For most kids, bath time is bonding time and a relaxing way to end the day, but for Amir’s parents, it has become treacherous. It takes both parents to maneuver him safely from his chair to the tub, and bathroom use requires the removal of his permanent tracheostomy as well. Despite his limitations, Amir is able to attend school and uses switch devices to communicate. Due to his wheelchair and numerous medical devices, his current room and bathroom make day-to-day care a considerable struggle.

A safe bathroom and a bedroom designed with Amir’s sensory requirements may be just the thing needed for him to end each day with a big smile.

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Photography by Sweet Life Photography by Kim

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Samantha

  • 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!

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Photography by Niki Murphy Photography

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Nygil

  • 17 Years Old
  • Cerebral Palsy

When you meet Nygil, you will believe in miracles! This 17 year old with amazing fashion sense and remarkable resilience is going to get a dream makeover where Sunshine on a Ranney Day will expand his bedroom and bathroom to become wheelchair accessible and give him room for hope. Nygil is a devout sports fan and loves the Atlanta Falcons!

Nygil’s birth was truly miraculous. In the womb, Nygil was a triplet. At nineteen weeks gestation, his mother suffered a significant hemorrhage which lead to the loss of his two siblings. Nygil was an unwavering warrior and survived this trauma and was able to remain in the womb until he was delivered at 25 weeks gestation. He weighed only one pound, twelve ounces and doctors told his parents that he would not survive through the night. The family poured lots of love into treasuring him and holding him tight as they were instructed to say their final goodbyes. Nygil had no intention of going anywhere and his determination was a true blessing. He battled the odds in the NICU for four months before he was able to go home. This bundle of strength was sent home with an oxygen tank and monitors to ensure his heart kept beating and he kept breathing. He was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, lung disease, hydrocephalus, epilepsy, quadriplegia, strabismus, asthma and retina detachment. The doctors told his parents that they should give him lots of love and not expect much. Those harsh words cut deep with pain and astonishment. They showered him with undying love and watched him flourish despite what the doctors predicted. Nygil continues to prove that his will to live and shine his light on this world is far stronger than the challenges of any disability. He is developmentally delayed, has endured three shunt revisions, had recurrent pneumonia and been resuscitated. Through it all, he continues to fight like a triumphant warrior. Every single day is a victory.

He weighed only one pound, twelve ounces and doctors told his parents that he would not survive through the night.

Although his parents were told he wouldn’t survive through the night, Nygil has lived seventeen joyous years and is nearing adulthood. As he grows, so does his need for in home care and independence. Granting Nygil a bedroom and bathroom makeover will allow him to maneuver throughout his room in his wheelchair and walker efficiently, leading to greater independence and an opportunity to continue to thrive at home.
We are overjoyed to be able to provide this makeover for Nygil. His new room is sure to be as fashionable as he is and will incorporate all the things that he loves. We hope to see him beaming with joy as we spread a little sunshine his way. Please join us at the big reveal!

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Photography by Niki Murphy Photography

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Priscilla

  • 4 Years Old

  • Traumatic Brain Injury

This precious little peach is Priscilla. We are thrilled to announce that Sunshine on a Ranney Day is going to give her a dream room makeover as bright and beautiful as she is!

Priscilla may be little, but she has big plans with a bright future ahead of her. She has an extensive medical history which includes traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, hearing loss, congenital hydrocephalus and cortical visual impairment. She is non-ambulatory, nonverbal and is fed through a g-tube. She is currently receiving occupational, physical and speech-language therapies, is learning sign language and has begun to crawl. She loves to explore her environment with her hands and learns about objects through stereognosis, which is the ability to perceive and recognize objects in the absence of visual and auditory information by using tactile information to provide cues from the texture, size, spatial properties and temperature of it. Through the process of stereognosis, she manipulates and mouths toys to learn all about them and receive sensory input that helps her grow.

Her only wish is to spend more time with her friends and Sunshine on a Ranney Day is going to grant it!

Priscilla lives with her foster family, where she is deeply loved and flourishing. The home is not equipped to meet her needs as she develops and requires extensive care. Sunshine on A Ranney Day is designing a specialized therapeutic bedroom equipped with a calming sensory swing, soft therapeutic toys, contrasting bold colors and a variety of specifically designed lights which is intended to stimulate her senses and improve learning through her environment. We will also provide her with a fully accessible bathroom and a handicap ramp that will make transportation with a wheelchair easier.
This room tailored specifically for Priscilla and is constructed with learning and achieving developmental milestones in mind. It will be an oasis fit for a princess, where she can feel safe, loved and thrive. We hope to bring Priscilla a whole lot of sunshine and smiles that will brighten her days and help her unlock her ultimate potential.
Please join us as we present the completed design!

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Photography by Niki Murphy Photography

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Shane

  • 8 Years Old

  • Cerebral Palsy

There is an adage about music being a universal language: “With music, you can communicate across boundaries in ways that you can’t with ordinary languages.” Shane, at eight years old, is non-verbal with numerous disabilities, but it is very evident that he hears or feels the music. Weighing 1pound,13 ounces at his very premature birth, Shane had bleeding on the brain, requiring a permanent shunt that has since been replaced twice. He does not sit or stand without support, with a Cerebal Palsy diagnosis, and is very developmentally delayed. Shane also lives with Visual Impairment-Optic Nerve Atrophy and Generalized Hypotonia, commonly recognized as decreased muscle tone.

The financial burden of Shane’s care has kept the family from being able to add an accessible bathroom, so they must lift Shane and carry him to the tub.

Shane’s parents were able to move their family, which also includes his little sister, to a ranch style home to better accommodate his wheelchair. Home is a bustling place where Shane’s sister is a very active child. She is quite protective of Shane, and dad likes to say she talks enough for the two of them. The family also includes Shane’s grandparents, who immigrated from India to help with his care. The financial burden of Shane’s care has kept the family from being able to add an accessible bathroom, so they must lift Shane’s 60 pounds (and growing) frame and carry him from outside the bathroom to the tub. Giving a bath has become an overwhelming physical and emotional task after days filled with physical therapy, occupational therapy, feeding therapy, vision, aquatic, and speech therapy.

Shane may not be able to carry on an interactive conversation but imagine a less stressful end to a busy day; a safe bath and then his enjoying some music with his family in the safe harbor of a colorful and accommodating bedroom.

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Photography by Sweet Life Photography by Kim

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Alejandro

  • 15 Years Old

  • Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Most soccer moms agree that driving teenage boys home from practice and games can make for a pungent experience and that a shower is first on the agenda at home. If only it were that easy for Alejandro, who plays for the Atlanta Sting power soccer team. Having been diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy when he was six years old, he has been able to overcome many challenges. Alejandro has participated in numerous sports, including soccer, basketball, baseball, swimming, and even competed in a special needs triathlon. Unfortunately, whereas most boys go home and jump in the shower after sporting events, Alejandro’s bathroom is not adapted; his wheelchair doesn’t fit. Transferring from the chair to the shower and back is difficult, frightening, and risky as his bones are brittle. Recently a fracture in his legs caused a fat embolism that led to respiratory failure and resulted in a one week stay in the intensive care unit. This experience has caused Alejandro to fear the transfer and exemplifies the need for an accessible bathroom.

Having been diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy when he was six years old, he has been able to overcome many challenges.

There is no more deserving teen than Alejandro. He approaches all challenges with great effort and courage. Alejandro has been very cooperative with all of his treatments since day one as well as participating in various research and clinical trials to help the scientific community find treatments and better care for boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. At home, Alejandro likes to play video games with his brother and friends and loves movie nights with his family. Like most teens, he enjoys relaxing in his room, listening to music. He plans on going to college and getting a degree in Endangered Species Biology.

A “Dream Bedroom” and an accessible bathroom will provide Alejandro with the independence teens crave and keep him motivated as he works toward his dream of becoming a scientist.

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Photography by Sweet Life Photography by Kim

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Arion

  • 11 Years Old

  • Cerebral Palsy, Visually Impaired

Like most pre-teens, 11-year old Arion seems to grow like a weed despite his many disabilities. As he has grown, it has become more difficult for his parents and caregivers to move him and care for his needs. There is a step up from the entry door of his home, making it difficult for wheelchair entry, and his bathroom is not accessible.
Arion was only 1.6 pounds when he was born prematurely. In addition to living with Cerebral Palsy, he has ROP, Retinopathy of prematurity, causing visual impairment. Another complication of his premature birth is Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC), a disease that affects the intestine of premature infants, sometimes called Short Bowel Syndrome.

In addition to living with Cerebral Palsy, he has ROP, Retinopathy of prematurity, causing visual impairment.

Like many families with pre-teens, Arion’s family is always “running around,” but instead of sports and scouts, his days include frequent visits to a GI Doctor, a lung doctor, a psychiatrist, an eye doctor, speech therapy, OT, PT, and Hippo Therapy. He also goes to school four days a week and receives some homebound services. When returning home, from a busy day, they are challenged with safely getting Arion up the step and into their home. Things are complicated, even further, when it is time to transfer Arion to a bath. The chair doesn’t fit through the bathroom door. Arion has grown to a size that makes transferring to their small tub dangerous for both him and his mom.

Arion loves music, and when someone sings to him, as well as cars and toys that make noise and music. A modified entry and an accessible bathroom will make for a safer home. It will reduce the risk of injury and eliminate physical stress on his parents and caregivers. With a better quality of life for the whole family there will be more time to sing and enjoy music with Arion.

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Photography by Nicole Photography

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