Tag: Therapy Room


  • 5 Years Old

  • Down Syndrome, Congenital Heart Defect

Ellie is a sweet and funny five-year-old with an infectious smile. Ellie was born with Down Syndrome and a heart defect. She had her first open heart surgery at four-months-old and due to medical complications, spent almost five months in the hospital. During our time at CHOA Egleston, we stayed in the newly renovated parent sleep wing provided by Sunshine on a Ranney Day. We spent some of Ellie’s sickest nights there. The rooms were charming and cheerful and allowed us to truly rest and be ready to take care of Ellie in the mornings.

By the time she was two-and-a-half years old, Ellie endured five open-heart surgeries. She has a mechanical heart valve which has significantly improved her heart function. As she gets older, she will outgrow her valve and need additional open-heart surgeries. She has spent nearly 250 days in the hospital and is the bravest girl we know.

Ellie attends many therapies to help her achieve independence and gain strength. Even though it often takes her longer to acquire skills others take for granted, she works hard and never gives up. She is learning how to stand and walk and is getting very close to achieving these milestones.

“Even though it often takes her longer to acquire skills others take for granted, she works hard and never gives up.”

Ellie enjoys spending time with her family. She loves listening to music, especially Baby Shark, and gives the tightest, biggest hugs. Ellie’s favorite person in the world is her 8-year-old sister, Evelyn. Evelyn is Ellie’s biggest cheerleader. Evelyn loves to set up learning stations for Ellie, reads books to her, and encourages her to walk. They enjoy having sleepovers and playing together.

We are so excited for Ellie to get a home makeover therapy room! Having access to this
equipment in our home will help Ellie practice and get stronger so that she can become more independent. We believe Ellie has great potential to achieve her dreams and this is just the beginning for her. Thank you, Sunshine on a Ranney Day for making this possible.

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Photography by Marcelino Aguilar Photography


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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 17 Years Old
  • Tranverse Myelitis

This gorgeous young lady with an inspirational smile is Elizabeth. Until the evening of Friday, February 17, 2017, Elizabeth was a healthy, social, active teenager who played Lacrosse. Her world was turned upside down that evening and has not been the same since. Elizabeth noticed a weird feeling and felt pain in her legs. Within a few hours she was paralyzed from the waist down and has not taken a step beyond that moment. Her condition was determined to be Transverse Myelitis, which is a rare neurological disorder. On top of adjusting to being in a wheelchair full time, Elizabeth suffers chronic pain, fatigue and health complications.

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

Although she faces her battles head on, the social impact of this life change has hit her the hardest. She can no longer easily enter the homes of her friends due to lack of wheelchair accessibility. Her only wish is to spend more time with her friends and Sunshine on a Ranney Day is going to grant it! Elizabeth will be getting an accessible bathroom and a “hang out” space in her teen suite so friends can come spend time with her at home. With this new set-up, her service dog Stevie Ray will not be left behind. He is very excited about having his human friends over! We are ecstatic about breaking ground on this unique and sensational project to help Elizabeth adjust to her new lifestyle. Watch out world, she is going to shine brighter than the sun!

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Photography by Nicole Photography


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  • 5 Years Old
  • Modern Day Polio
Sweet Fenton has captured our hearts and will be acquiring a dream-worthy state of the art therapy room from Sunshine on a Ranney Day! Fenton was a perfectly healthy four year old boy until June 22nd last year when he woke up complaining that his neck hurt. He was diagnosed with Acute Flaccid Myelitis (Modern Day Polio). His entire body has become paralyzed; he is on a ventilator and a tracheotomy. This endearing little boy, who is the baby of the family, is fun-loving and laces humor into everything with comments and one-liners. Fenton is very verbal and very inquisitive. He has a big personality; and, has always asserted that he will be nothing less than mighty. He loves life with all of his being and relishes in learning. He is fascinated with different languages and loves learning words in many languages. He follows Atlanta sports teams and keeps up with the players and recruiting for the Atlanta United, Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta Braves. Fenton is currently one of only four cases of Modern Day Polio in Georgia and one of roughly 300 nationwide.

Fenton is currently one of only four cases of Modern Day Polio in Georgia and one of roughly 300 nationwide.

Fenton’s spine was infused with inflammation that quickly destroyed tissue including the nerve conduits leading to his extremities. He is scheduled to receive an innovative new surgical procedure called nerve transfers and is hopeful that the results will be positive; and, he will be able to breathe without a ventilator. Fenton’s daily routine is built upon an intensive therapy schedule. With therapeutic electrical stimulation and consistent movement, children like Fenton show strengthening and meaningful muscle improvements over time. Intensive therapy treatments are important for Fenton to achieve maximum potential. Fenton is a resilient trooper and a complete ray of light. He provides hope in the face of fear and replaces sadness with smiles. Sunshine on a Ranney Day hopes to bring endless smiles to Fenton and his family though this exciting venture! We’d love to see you at the big reveal!
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Photography by Niki Murphy Photography


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  • 7 Years Old

  • Epilepsy, Autism

Meet Matthew! Matthew is a fun-spirited 7-year old who loves watching Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood morning, noon and night! He can sing most of the songs and wants his mom and dad to sing with him. Matthew also loves being outside every opportunity he gets. He is a very sweet and caring young boy who cherishes life. At the age of 1, Matthew was developing on a typical schedule for a boy his age and hitting all of the expected developmental milestones. He was crawling, walking and saying his first words. It was a joy to watch him grow. One day in March of 2013, his parents received a phone call from Matthews daycare, stating that he was having a seizure and they were taking him to the hospital. There, Matthew was diagnosed with an ear infection that caused a febrile seizure. This was just the beginning of months of recurring ear infections and other illnesses that came with several more seizures. After seeing a neurologist, Matthew was diagnosed with a febrile seizure disorder. His parents were advised to put Matthew on anti-seizure medication to control the seizures. This, along with surgery to put tubes in his ears, worked wonders for Matthew. In the spring of 2018, Matthew’s family sought the assistance of a different neurologist and had another EEG that revealed he was experiencing a variety of types of seizures and he was diagnosed with epilepsy. Shortly after going through all of this, his parents started to notice changes in Matthew.

He stopped responding to his name, stopped making eye contact, started flapping his hands, and started babbling rather than using the words he had previously spoken on a regular basis.

He stopped responding to his name, stopped making eye contact, started flapping his hands, and started babbling rather than using the words he had previously spoken on a regular basis. Words like “mama” and “dadda” simply disappeared from his vocabulary. Matthew underwent extensive testing from a psychologist who spend a great deal of time assessing his skills and behaviors. At the conclusion of the assessment, they were told that Matthew had Autism. This diagnosis was unexpected and heartbreaking. After speaking with his pediatrician, they decided that the first step in getting Matthew the help he needed was to get him enrolled into the Babies Can’t Wait early intervention program. He was only in the program for roughly 6 months until he turned 3. He then continued services with the county public school system along with private speech, occupational and physical therapy. Now, after four years of weekly private speech, occupational, physical and ABA therapy Matthew is demonstrating significant gains. Matthew’s communication has increased tremendously. The ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) therapy helps teach him self-help skills, such as potty training and play skills. Matthew is starting to play more with friends, make eye contact and is talking more. Every single day is a new day and every milestone is big. The small victories add together to make big changes leading to a bright future for Matthew. Sunshine on a Ranney Day is excited to be planning a brilliant dream therapy room to help Matthew enjoy a place where he continue to thrive while in the comfort of his own home! Please join us in making this project come to fruition!

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Photography by Studio79


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Bennett & Lacey

  • 18 and 6 Years Old

  • Joubert’s Syndrome

Bennett and Lacey were born into a world of beeping monitors, probes, tubes, lots of hands – checking vitals, performing tests, surgeries and therapists skillfully manipulating their movements in hopes of training their bodies to follow suit. Bennett was born on January 27, 2000 after a relatively uneventful pregnancy. His parents, Hillary & Jeff, were extremely excited to welcome their first child into the world. However, almost immediately they knew something wasn’t “right”. Bennett’s movements were sluggish. He didn’t cry nor open his eyes; and, had significant issues breathing and keeping his oxygen intake at an acceptable level. After three weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit, a geneticist finally shared the diagnosis – a very rare genetic disorder called Joubert Syndrome. Bennett’s parents were told their new baby was, at that time, one of about 200 people in the world with this diagnosis. Joubert Syndrome is a neurogenetic disorder characterized by low muscle tone, impaired coordination, developmental disability, abnormal breathing pattern, abnormal eye movements, and a distinctive brain malformation. Jeff & Hillary were told that Bennett would most likely not survive infancy and that any future pregnancies had a 1 in 4 chance of the child also being born with Joubert Syndrome. Armed with this devastating news, Hillary & Jeff took their baby boy home; determined to give him the best possible chance to prove the doctors wrong. The first few months of Bennett’s life were literally focused on keeping him alive. His parents would take turns at night, one sleeping and the other staying up making sure that Bennett was breathing.

Joubert Syndrome is a neurogenetic disorder characterized by low muscle tone, impaired coordination, developmental disability, abnormal breathing pattern, abnormal eye movements, and a distinctive brain malformation.

As time passed, Bennett did grow stronger, both physically and mentally despite daily challenges and numerous surgeries and set- backs. His incredible personality began to develop as well. From early on he was loving, caring, happy and brightened whatever room he was in. Lacey was born on January 18, 2013, almost thirteen years after Bennett. Fortunately, her stay in the NICU was only a week. Lacey, also diagnosed with Joubert Syndrome, has faced many of the same struggles as Bennett including a fragile infancy full of sleepless nights; but, generally her health has been better than his was to this point. She still has similar physical challenges – requiring assistance with daily activities including walking. Unlike Bennett, she is non-verbal, causing deep frustration for her. Bennett is now 19, a rising Senior at Roswell High School. He loves to be the life of the party! Bennett is extremely active in North Fulton Young Life, sings the National Anthem at Special Olympics annually, loves music and is working towards becoming a playwright. Lacey is 6 years old and a rising First Grader at Mimosa Elementary. She is creative with an innate sense of humor. She has developed a love for entertainment, has watched “The Greatest Showman” so many times that practically the entire family knows all the lines. She gets around her iPad like a pro, making her own movies, playing music and even FaceTiming friends (without her parents’ knowledge!) Lacey especially loves dance. It’s a part of her. She is a student at Atlanta Dance Central and excels in their adaptive dance program. Sunshine on a Ranney Day is excited to build an In-Home Therapy Room for Bennett & Lacey! On average, this family attends 7 therapy sessions and 2 doctors’ appointments each week. Our hope is that through access to a therapy room in their home, Bennett and Lacey will continue to grow stronger and accomplish more each day!
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Photography by Nicole Photography


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  • 6 Years Old

  • Heart Defect

Our next recipient of a dream therapy room makeover is sweet Jonah. This blonde haired, blue eyed surfer boy is a six-year-old who is full of life and an absolute joy to be around. He loves watching the Braves play, dancing to songs at Vacation Bible School and reading books. He can often be found playing hide and go seek, making crafts or being silly with his sister. Jonah’s life started differently than expected. After birth, he was found to have a cleft palate. The pediatrician also referred him to cardiology as he thought he heard an inconsequential heart murmur. Following the cardiology examination, Jonah was hospitalized immediately and they gave his parents life changing news. They told them that Jonah had a series of four major heart defects and they couldn’t believe that he was alive. Jonah was hospitalized for twenty-eight days. They were able to monitor him and discovered that he had Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome (HRHS), pulmonary stenosis, subaortic stenosis, bicuspid aortic valve and an atrioventricular septal defect. After closing his Patent Ductus Arteriosus, they then put in a g-tube and closed two hernias. His significant medical procedures did not stop there. Months after these surgeries, he endured the Glenn bidirectional surgery. Jonah was also in and out of the hospital several times due to colds and viruses. He had his cleft palate repaired when he was approximately a year and a half old.

Jonah was hospitalized for twenty-eight days. They were able to monitor him and discovered that he had Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome (HRHS), pulmonary stenosis, subaortic stenosis, bicuspid aortic valve and an atrioventricular septal defect.

He had kidney surgery at two and a half years old. In June of 2017, Jonah had his third stage heart surgery called the Fontan. Jonah will more than likely undergo another heart intervention in the future. Jonah had his tonsils and adenoids removed in June 2018 and will undergo another palate surgery in August 2018 to correct velopharyngeal incompetence. He is ready to take on all of these procedures with the spirit of a true warrior. Currently, Jonah is considered nonverbal, but is gaining momentum daily in speech. Jonah has a device to communicate, however most often he chooses to use words and sign language to make his needs known. Jonah loves going to school, doing hippotherapy at McKenna Farms, visiting the library and hanging out at Barnes & Nobles. He is a bright child that is willing to help with any chore whether it is yardwork, laundry or unloading the dishwasher washer. Jonah has been a fighter from day one. When doctors tell us that Jonah will not be able to do something, he defies the odds and proves them wrong. They told us that Jonah wouldn’t crawl or walk, but he did! He was tube-fed for years, but after participating in an intensive therapeutic feeding program at Marcus Feeding Clinic, he can now eat any food he wants and drink from cups. Jonah proves that where there is a will, there is a way! He is full of heart and vigor. Despite the challenges he has faced, Jonah’s radiant smile and infectious laughter have both remained constant. Sunshine on a Ranney Day wants to see more of his brilliant smiles and that’s why we can’t wait to finish his dream therapy room makeover! We’d love to have you join us at the unveiling of his newly redesigned therapy room!
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Photography by Nicole Photography


Photography by Pear Tree Photography
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