Only three years old, Gabby has been through a lot, yet nothing seems to slow her down.
Gabby was born premature and spent three months in the neonatal intensive care unit. As an infant, Gabby underwent three heart surgeries, one of which led to complications requiring her foot to be partially amputated.
“We made it work,” said mom, Sara. But Gabby’s parents knew they would need special support.
Gabby started physical therapy with the United Way-funded Birth-to-Three program at Curative Care Network at five months old. Her physical therapist helped Gabby adjust to tummy time and worked to strengthen her muscles so she could sit up and crawl.
“Before they’re old enough for school, the way kids learn best is by doing and exploring,” said Jim McLaughlin, United Way’s education portfolio manager. “With Curative’s help, Gabby is learning how to do just that, so that when she finally starts school, she’ll be able to get around just like her classmates to play and learn.”
Of children who participated in United Way-funded support for children and families programs, 90% showed signs of improvement in motor skills.
One year after starting therapy with Curative Care Network, Gabby started to pull herself up on furniture, supported her weight on both legs, and began talking.
Even after having a full foot amputation, Gabby's progress barely skipped a beat. Less than eight weeks after surgery, Gabby began walking independently with the use of a prosthesis.
“She’s amazing,” says Sara. “She’s a miracle in every sense of the word.”