Prior to Isabella’s ABI, she was so creative. Isabella was forever making something including costumes and fairy wings out of paper. She loved to color, draw and had started writing her name. When Isabella got sick with encephalitis, her creativity was lost. I remember the first time a hospital volunteer had given her paper and crayons. I watched Isabella struggle as she tried to hold the crayon. Isabella became so frustrated because she knew that drawing and coloring were things she was great at yet she couldn’t even hold the crayon.
As Isabella progressed in recovery, she had started to learn how to color, draw and write again. Yet that creative passion she had was gone. About 1.5 years post ABI Isabella started to receive infusions for an immune deficiency. During one infusion, a child life specialist came in to do an art project with her. This visit forever changed our lives.
Over the last three years this particular child life specialist came to do art projects with Isabella. What started out as a fun way to pass the time soon became so much more. With each visit, Isabella’s creativity started to grow. That piece of Isabella that was lost to her ABI was slowly starting to emerge again. Sadly this child life specialist left his position. While he is no longer there, the time together allowed Isabella find that piece of her that was missing, her creativity.
As I made dinner the other night, I watched Isabella at the table make a costume for her stuffed animal. She had taken some leftover fabric, scissors and a marker. Isabella figured out what she wanted to do and she was successful. That was the first time Isabella had attempted to make a costume since her ABI.
When you are a parent to a child with a brain injury you meet a lot of people. Whether they be doctors, nurses, therapists, strangers, teachers, receptionists etc. Some will help you move forward, others show you what not to do, everyone has a purpose. Every once in a while one of those people changes your life in a way that you never expected.
“We don’t meet people by accident. They are meant to cross our path for a reason.” unknown
Guest Blogger, Kristin Olliney-Apruzzese, is the mother of 8-year-old Isabella, who suffered sudden acute encephalitis when she was just 4. Kristin’s bi-monthly blog, Mommy of a Miracle, talks about the trials and joys of raising a brain injury survivor.
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