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Tag: Accessible Bathroom

Brylee

  • 9 Years Old

  • Nemaline Rod Myopathy

Brylee was born with a rare disease, Nemaline Rod Myopathy.  She spent time in the NICU at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.  Brylee had a tracheotomy procedure in order to keep her alive.  It was also explained to Brylee’s family that kids with severe Nemaline, like Brylee, typically live 18 months and can only use their eyelids since the disease affects the muscles.  Brylee has defied the odds, she can move her arms with help, kick her legs, and talks nonstop.

“Brylee loves animals and wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up.”

Brylee is now 10 years old and has had multiple surgeries and visits to the hospital. Brylee is a fighter!  Brylee can drive her wheelchair around the house.  She loves playing with her cousins and friends along with trips to the playground.  Brylee loves animals and wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up.  Brylee and her family are so excited about her accessible bathroom!

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Photography by Kristi Weaver Photography

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Braxton

  • 12 Years Old

  • Spina Bifida Lipomyelomeningocele

Braxton is 13 years old and the oldest of 3, he’s a big brother to Wyatt and Landry.  On most days, you can find him playing basketball in the driveway, gaming on the Xbox, or begging his mom to take him to the Lego store.  Braxton was born with Spina Bifida/Lipomyelomeningocele and has endured over 14 surgeries to date at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.  Braxton attends Veritas Classical Schools which is a home school hybrid.  This allows Braxton’s schedule to be more flexible when medical appointments, therapies, and surgeries arise.  Although ambulatory, Braxton’s mobility has lessened over the years and he’s relying more on his wheelchair and other assistive devices to accomplish daily activities. 

“He is very creative and has an 8-foot table housing a giant city that he has designed and continuously recreates all himself.”

Braxton sometimes struggles physically since he is unable to run and walk like most kids his age but that has not slowed him down!  Braxton is the athlete of his family, playing both wheelchair basketball and competing in adaptive track and field for BlazeSports.  He would actually like to participate in ALL adaptive sports, but he would need his own chauffer.  On the basketball court, #5 plays with his whole heart and fierce determination!  Braxton recently made the Prep All-Tournament Team at the NWBA Nationals in 2022.  He hopes to play wheelchair basketball at the collegiate level as well as dreams to make Team USA one day.   On the track, he is a lover of field events and broke the national record for shotput in 2019.  Braxton is also an avid member of Scouts in Troop 1459 and is on track to earn his Eagle Scout Ranking in the future. He recently went on a 4-day adventure to Cumberland Island where he was able to hike over 20 miles with his troop in his Grit Freedom Chair.   Braxton is also a LEGO MANIAC and has thousands and thousands in his room!  He is very creative and has an 8-foot table housing a giant city that he has designed and continuously recreates all himself. He is an amazing artist as well and loves to veg out and play video games with his brother and friends. Braxton is active in his church youth group at North Point Community Church and is surrounded by amazing leaders and friends.  

Braxton’s family calls him Braxton the Brave as he inspires his family everyday through the path that God has laid out before him.  Braxton and his family are so excited about his bedroom and bathroom accessible makeover.  Gaining that extra independence will be a game changer as well as make each day brighter!

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Photography by Niki Murphy Photography

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Joseph

  • 5 Years Old

  • Spina Bifida Myelomeningocele

Joseph has always been a little Superman. Even after receiving the prenatal diagnosis of spina bifida, we couldn’t have been prepared for the challenges we were about to face. Joseph was born prematurely with a large, open hole in his spine and bravely began his life with 77 days in the NICU. He underwent ten surgeries, countless medical scans and tests, revolving doctor appointments, and multiple hospital stays, which are the routine for so many special needs children. This can be scary for a young child, but Joseph is brave beyond his years.  

Like many children with spina bifida, Joseph developed hydrocephalus, a condition that allows fluid to accumulate in the brain. This can cause brain damage from the buildup of pressure. Joseph had a shunt surgically placed in his skull as a newborn to protect his brain. The tiny tubing and valve keep the fluid that cushions the brain freely flowing. Despite the effects of hydrocephalus and an underdeveloped cerebellum, Joseph grew into a smart, funny little five-year-old boy.

For the first year and a half of his life, Joseph required 24-hour oxygen and a feeding tube for all his nutrition. By 18 months, he received his first tiny wheelchair as he is paralyzed from the waist down. He was non-verbal and used a voice-producing device until the was three and half years old. Then one day he recited the entire alphabet and hasn’t stopped talking since! Today, he only requires supplemental oxygen at night and eats by mouth on his own. He loves showing off his wheelchair “tricks,” meeting new people and learning their names. Although he has some developmental delays you will notice when you meet him, what outshines those is how earnestly he wants to be your friend. He has a strong memory for stories and loves to repeat (and repeat!)  the adventures of historical heroes he has learned about.  

“He loves showing off his wheelchair “tricks,” meeting new people, and learning their names.”

Joseph’s determination through each health challenge is growing into a resolution to be independent. His family and amazing team of therapists is doing everything they can to help him accomplish this. Unfortunately, even something as simple as a narrow doorway can thwart his efforts. That obstacle, along with a flight of stairs, means he must be carried to his bedroom. And this is just the beginning of how Joseph becomes like an infant all over again. He must be lifted to a changing station for diaper changes and all his grooming and bathing needs are fulfilled by mom and dad in a bathroom designed for those who can walk independently. 

Generous friends of the Smith family sent Joseph’s story to Sunshine on a Ranney Day and soon Joseph will have the independence and dignity he desires. The makeover of a downstairs bedroom and the transformation of a bathroom that is not accessible will provide him with the physical means to begin an independence that will stay with him his entire life. We are incredibly excited and grateful to everyone involved with this phenomenal gift.  

Just like Superman, underneath his sweet smile and friendly conversation, Joseph has strength and bravery that has kept this little guy soaring through everything life presents. Thank you to Sunshine on a Ranney Day for breaking down walls to help Joseph not just roll, but fly!

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Photography by Vicki Alsup Photography

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Brianna

  •  18 Years Old

  • Cerebral Palsy, Brain Damage, Epilepsy

Brianna “Breezy” was born on June 4, 2004.  During birth, Breezy experienced complications causing brain damage and she received a later diagnosis of cerebral palsy and epilepsy.  Breezy continues to defy odds, the doctors did not expect Breezy to live to see her first Christmas and now she is 17 years old!  Breezy has a love for music and being outdoors. She comes from a musically talented family and attends a church that has many different types of instruments.  Breezy enjoys attention and interaction with people from reading a book to simply holding hands. 

“Breezy lights up a room with her beautiful blue eyes and contagious smile.”

Breezy is nonverbal and wheelchair dependent.  Breezy has faced so many challenges throughout her 17 years of life and proves what love, prayer, and faith can do.  Breezy lights up a room with her beautiful blue eyes and contagious smile.  She continues to amaze and capture the hearts of her family, friends, church family, and community.  

Breezy is fully dependent on her family to take care of her everyday needs and an accessible bathroom and bedroom renovation will make life easier for the whole family.

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Photography by Niki Murphy Photography

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Kaitlyn

  •  12 Years Old

  • Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy

Kaitlyn is a happy and fun-loving 10-year-old girl.  She, unfortunately, lost oxygen during her birth process and experienced seizures shortly after birth.  She had a 16 day NICU stay after birth and experiences many health and gross and fine motor challenges due to her brain injury.  She was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at just 8 months old and has been in weekly speech, physical and occupational therapy since just 6 months old.  She also participates in ABA therapy and intensive robotic therapy.   She is unable to use her physical voice but uses a communication device to communicate.  Kaitlyn uses a power wheelchair in the school and community settings and can walk with the support of a gait trainer in her home. 

“Kaitlyn works so hard to overcome her challenges and puts forth so much effort each and every day”

Despite this multitude of challenges, Kaitlyn lives a happy and fulfilling life.  She loves doing yoga, playing Mario Kart with an adaptive controller, and baking with her family.  She runs races with her Dad in an adaptive jogging stroller and has already completed 2 half marathons.  She loves our family beach trips to Hilton Head Island and she even does yoga on the beach!  What fun!  She is active in her church and participates in church worship and dances up a storm each week.  Kaitlyn works so hard to overcome her challenges and puts forth so much effort each and every day.  

We’re so excited for Kaitlyn to have an accessible space to give her independence and a calm place to relax after those sometimes really tough and overstimulating and overtiring days.  She is already starting to ask about makeup and becoming more interested in fashion so it will be so neat to have a space where she can learn to become more independent as she heads into her teen years soon. 

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Photography by Pear Tree Photography

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Ethan

  • 17 Years Old

  • Mecp2 Duplication Syndrome

Ethan spent the first seven years of his life without an official diagnosis other than a general diagnosis of mentally disabled.  That changed when Ethan was seven and experienced a seizure where he ultimately ended up at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA).  Fortunately for Ethan, the neurologist at CHOA specialized in what would eventually become Ethan’s diagnosis, Mecp2 Duplication Syndrome or M2DS.  M2DS is a rare genetic condition causing many issues such as severe intellectual disabilities, impaired motor function, spasticity, speech, gastrointestinal, and respiratory issues.

Ethan is able to enjoy life in general, he is still mobile and eats soft foods by mouth.  He has had setbacks over the years but he continuously proves how strong he is time and time again.  Ethan’s mobility has declined over the past few years due to severe seizures.  Ethan’s Sunshine makeover includes a wheelchair-accessible bathroom and wheelchair ramp going into his house to make daily life a little easier for everyone.

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Photography by Marcelino Aguilar Photography

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Anthony Jr. & Lyric

  • 14 & 6 Years Old

  • Quad Cerebal Palsy, Epilepsy, Autism

Anthony Jr. was born on December 15, 2005. He has cerebral palsy and epilepsy caused by brain-damaged experienced during a complicated and difficult birth.  Anthony is non-verbal and wheelchair-dependent.  He is a vibrant child and loves his family.  Anthony enjoys music which is no surprise since he comes from a musical family.  

Despite all of Anthony Jr.’s challenges he can communicate and enjoys a good laugh.  He shows a love for life and what it means to fully live in the moment.  Anthony Jr.’s love for life also keeps his entire family going. 

Lyric, younger brother to Anthony Jr., was born on December 11, 2015. Lyric was diagnosed with autism in 2017.  He is an extremely intelligent little boy and continues to amaze everyone with what he knows.  He enjoys music just like his older brother, Anthony Jr.  Lyric also enjoys being outdoors and interacting with people.  

Lyric faces challenges every day and he works really hard to do his best. He is always the energy in the room that encourages others to be ok in moments of darkness. He is such a loving little boy just like Anthony Jr.  Lyric tries his hardest to help his big brother.  He watches others take care of Anthony Jr. and attempts to mimic their actions. 

Lyric is truly what helps Anthony Jr. continue to smile! Lyric and Anthony Jr. represent brotherly love like no others!

“He is always the energy in the room that encourages others to be ok in moments of darkness.”

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Photography by Vicki Alsup Photography

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Cyrus

  • 15 Years Old

  • Autism

Cyrus was born 15 weeks early and weighed 1 pound 10 ounces.  He spent his first year at Scottish Rite in the NICU with respiratory and gastrointestinal issues, retinopathy of prematurity, and a number of other complications and surgeries.  For the first eight months of Cyrus’ life, he was classified as failure to thrive but Cyrus had other plans.  When Cyrus was released from the hospital he came home with a trach and was on a ventilator 24/7, feeding tube, and diagnosed with cerebral palsy and severe developmental delay.

Cyrus has grown and thrived throughout his almost 7 years of life.  Cyrus is considered medically fragile, legally blind, and continues to battle retinopathy of prematurity.  He can walk independently using adaptive equipment.  He has completed kindergarten and works so hard undergoing multiple therapies; physical, occupational, vision, and speech. 

Cyrus does not place limitations on himself.  Cyrus was not supposed to live but he continues to defy expectations.  Cyrus is non-verbal but that does not stop him from expressing himself.  He is active and strong and is an expert countertop and furniture climber. 

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Photography by Pear Tree Photography

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Kennedy

  • 11 Years Old

  • Cerebal Palsy

Kennedy was born 7 weeks early and diagnosed at 1 with Cerebral Palsy. Kennedy is by far one of the happiest girls you will ever meet, especially considering the challenges that she faces; she has a smile that could light up the darkest of days.  She is remarkably determined and a very intelligent young lady, who happens to be “trapped” inside an uncooperative body.

Kennedy has had multiple surgeries to help with her physical issues in order to make her more comfortable. She has had eye surgery and an extra lung removed when she was a few months old. Her last surgeries were double hip surgery to restructure the hip joints that were in danger of falling out and not being able to be corrected. She was a trooper through this surgery! She then had all the hardware removed last year and has since made a full recovery with her hips.

Regardless of what she encounters, she always has a smile on her face.

She now is able to tolerate more weight and less painful movements where those are concerned. Kennedy scored above average on her school testing and will be going to middle school next year. There are many things that you and I take for granted that she is not able to do for herself…feed herself, use the restroom herself, or wash herself. These are just a few of the basic care needs that require assistance. 

She could let things like this get her down but she doesn’t. She is an amazing young lady! She wants to be an interior designer when she grows up. She loves watching HGTV, and Love IT or List IT is her favorite with Hometown being a close second. She has even come up with using her initials as the name of her business “KJH Interior Designs”.

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Photography by Vicki Alsup Photography

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Alex

  • 17 Years Old

  • Dystonic & Spastic Cerebral Palsy

If you watch a teen boy check himself out in the mirror before he heads out for the day, you may see him inspect carefully, fix details and then give a little nod to himself for a job well done. Alexander is no different. As a 16-year-old boy, he wants more than anything to take good care of himself. Like most teens, he loves music, dancing, and watching movies with his family. Alex lives with dystonic and spastic cerebral palsy. He uses a wheelchair to mobilize himself and a walker for exercise. Alex has intellectual and developmental disabilities, placing his cognitive and emotional maturity around age 10-12.

“An accessible bathroom will alleviate the fear of injury and help the family achieve their goal of facilitating as much independence as possible.”

Alex has grown into his adult body and his emerging maturity has him striving for independence when it comes to bathroom use and personal hygiene. Not only is Alex’s bathroom not conducive to his caring for himself; but, it also is not at all accessible for caregivers to assist. The toilet grab bar is jerry-rigged between the toilet and tub and often comes loose, posing one of many safety issues in his bathroom. A small wall sink was put in to allow the wheelchair to fit, but when Alex leans on it to reach for faucets, it is a great concern that it will pull off the wall.

Alex does not consider personal hygiene a chore; he is eager to take care of himself and takes great pride in his appearance and independence. An accessible bathroom will alleviate the fear of injury and help the family achieve their goal of facilitating as much independence as possible. Everyone looks forward to when Alex can look in his own mirror and give a little nod of self-approval for a job well done.

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