Tag: 2020

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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Caitlin

  • 10 Years Old

  • Mitochondrial Disease, Epilepsy

Light shows can be quite mesmerizing, and at the end of the day, ten-year-old Caitlin loves to go to her room where various lights provide her own nightly “light show.” Caitlin is severely developmentally delayed, non-verbal, unable to walk, requires around the clock care, and is at risk due to her yet to be determined mitochondrial disease/disorder. From her first seizure at four months old to now, Caitlin’s ten short years have been a whirlwind of medical procedures and surgeries. As Caitlin grows older, the impact of her conditions will cause further delays and her system will begin to deteriorate.

Although she is non-verbal, Caitlin has no trouble letting people know how she feels or what she wants by giving a cute, little yell! She loves to be on the move, both in her wheelchair and the car. Caitlin’s family feels fortunate to have been able to move into a one-story home where everything is on one level, and she is blessed with wonderful grandparents, friends, and neighbors who love and adore her.

Although she is non-verbal, Caitlin has no trouble letting people know how she feels or what she wants by giving a cute, little yell!

Caitlin stays home with her mother and participates in the hospital homebound school program as well as therapy programs. Caitlin requires round the clock care. As she continues to defy the odds, her growing size has made bathing difficult for her parents, and an accessible bathroom will make bath time safer and even fun. An adapted bathroom and “Dream Bedroom” will help Caitlin end her day with her mesmerizing light show and she will continue to shine as the light of her parents’ lives.

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Photography by Nicole Photography

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Stetson

  • 6 Years Old

  • Angelman Syndrome

It is ironic that “happy” is a symptom of Angelman Syndrome, a rare neurogenetic disorder that causes global developmental delays, lack of speech, and seizures. Stetson, age six, was extremely happy and a “good” baby. Born at 8lbs. 6 oz. and acting so full of life, it was surprising at ten months to notice developmental delays. At 12 months, Stetson began PT and OT once a week at home. Stetson was so social, engaging, and happy, and his parents were told he would probably ‘catch up’ quickly. At 16 months, Stetson had his first of many seizures and was given a seizure disorder diagnosis. Over the next six weeks, Stetson had multiple seizures, as the family awaited genetic testing, which confirmed his Angelman Syndrome diagnosis.

It is ironic that “happy” is a symptom of Angelman Syndrome, a rare neurogenetic disorder that causes global developmental delays, lack of speech, and seizures.

Stetson’s mom stopped working outside the home to care for him. They have spent the last four years traveling to specialists all over the east coast and even participating in brain studies to help learn more about this rare disease. Stetson participates in speech therapy twice a week, hippo-therapy, and swim lessons as well as going to kindergarten, where he also receives additional PT, OT, and speech therapy.
Children with AS tend to be very sensory seeking and have an oral fixation, but overall, they are happy kids. Stetson loves to wander, climb, and play with whatever he can get his hands on. He can be very impulsive and is not always safe while exploring. He has to be watched non-stop, even in his own home, to make sure he is safe. With the increasing demands of a new baby brother, a sensory/therapy room will allow Stetson to explore and play safely while attention is shared between two children. It will also provide him with the opportunity to improve his motor skills at home while playing and offer some of the independence six-year-old boys crave, things that are important for his development. Stetson’s parents will have peace of mind knowing he is both safe and getting the proper stimulation.
The past five years have been replete with travel, testing, and treatment. With an in-home sensory/therapy room, Stetson’s whole family will benefit from more routine day-to-day life at home.

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Photography by Pear Tree Photography

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Samuel

  • 9 Years Old

  • Cerebral Palsy

This adorable eight year-old boy is going to be getting an incredible dream makeover! His name is Samuel. He is an inspiration to many and transforms the hearts of all who encounter him. He has an amazing way with people and every time they see his bright smile and bold determination, they forget about their own worlds of troubles and challenges and are instantly illuminated with delight.

Samuel and his twin brother Wesley were both born prematurely at 25 weeks on January 25, 2011. Both boys weighed just over one pound. The fact that they both survived is a miracle. They stayed in the Kennestone Hospital NICU for three months. Though very sick, Wesley made it through the ordeal with no lasting physical challenges. Samuel, however, suffered from a Grade IV intraventricular hemorrhage at five days old. This led quickly to hydrocephalus, the placement of a shunt, and the diagnosis of cerebral palsy. Right before his 4th birthday, Samuel aspirated on some food during his first seizure. He was life-flighted to Scottish Rite (CHOA) Hospital. He recovered, but after several more seizures immediately following this episode, epilepsy was added to his list of diagnoses. In August 2016, Samuel underwent his first shunt revision and in April 2017, he suffered from a subdural hematoma, which led to an additional surgery and a shunt placed in the left side of his head to drain the excess fluid.

Due to his challenges with cerebral palsy and balance deficits, Samuel is unable walk independently. He uses a Kaye Reverse walker, a gait belt, or a Lofstrand crutch for mobility.

Due to his challenges with cerebral palsy and balance deficits, Samuel is unable walk independently. He uses a Kaye Reverse walker, a gait belt, or a Lofstrand crutch for mobility. He also wears AFO’s on both feet and has significant weakness in his right hand. Samuel has put in hundreds of hours working through physical therapy, occupational therapy, therapeutic horseback riding, and a one-on-one gymnastics class for conditioning and strengthening. Every little success is a milestone for him and he has made huge stride over the past several years. After enormous amounts of hard work and dedication, Samuel can stand for minutes at a time, walk across the therapy gym without falling and catch a volleyball. These feats drive him to work harder and keep sight of his goals and dreams.

In spite of his physical challenges, Samuel is like any other 8 year-old boy with a hearty sense of humor, zest for mischief, a wealth of good jokes, an obsession with motorcycles and a never-ending supply of giggles when his dog bathes his ears with kisses. His ultimate goal is to ride a motorcycle one day and he is surely going to accomplish that goal.

The relationship between Samuel and his brother Wesley is a beautiful and unique one. Wesley lovingly stands by him in every endeavor and cheers him on. Samuel yearns to be as independent as his brother and therefore eagerly works toward mastering new skills. They celebrate every victory together and no triumph is small.

Sunshine on a Ranney Day will be celebrating all of Samuel’s conquests through the provision of a stunning new therapy room! We look forward to watching him light up the room as his radiant smiles and contagious giggles fill the renovated space! We hope that you will join us at the big reveal!

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Photography by Niki Murphy Photography

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Pablo

  • 13 Years Old

  • Cerebral Palsy

This handsome fella with dazzling eyes and an incredibly bright smile is Pablo. He is the lucky recipient of the next dream make over from Sunshine on a Ranney Day!

Twelve years ago, the family was excited to welcome Pablo into the world after a joyous pregnancy. When he finally arrived, he endured a traumatic birth with his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. During this time, adequate oxygen was not being delivered to his brain and tremendously affected his ability to thrive. At birth, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, diplegia, spasticity and asthma. Although devastated by this trauma, his family was determined to ensure that he had a brilliant future in which he’d achieve all of his goals. That is exactly what he is doing.

At birth, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, diplegia, spasticity and asthma. Although devastated by this trauma, his family was determined to ensure that he had a brilliant future in which he’d achieve all of his goals.

This self-determined preteen is diligently working toward great achievements and does so with a happy spirit. He enjoys hippotherapy at MacKenna Farms where he has grown to love riding horses. He wears AFOs on his legs to help with tone and gait, as well as uses a wheelchair to get around on his own. He requires assistance with his activities of daily living including toileting and taking a shower. His home currently only has one bathroom and it is not wheelchair accessible. This makes his daily routine challenging and has become a barrier to developing further independence. Sunshine On A Ranney Day will be remodeling his bathroom to be fully accessible and will provide him an unforgettable designer bedroom. We can’t wait to see him beaming with glee when he sees it!

Pablo is fond of many things including dogs, classic cars, the color blue and Bruno Mars. Like most teens, he loves to chat about the things he loves most and those who know him best say he is quite the chatterbox. Despite the obstacles he faces, he continues to reach for the stars.

We hope that his newly decorated room inspires him to soar even further. We’d love to have your support in completing this project and hope that you will join us for the big reveal.

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Photography by Marcelino Aquilar Photography

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