Elias Cloer at birth.jpgElias Cloer now.jpg

Birth                                                                          Look at him now!

Elias was born at 27 weeks weighing 1 pound, 15 ounces. As a very premature baby, Elias is at high risk for one or more medical complications. After 72 days at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Baby Elias came home, three months behind in development.

The hospital referred the family to Easter Seals North Georgia’s Babies Can’t Wait program. Elias immediately began physical therapy once a week for an hour. At three months old, he was the developmental age of a newborn. He couldn’t lift his head. Another complication was that while Elias was in the NICU he also suffered acid reflux, which required him to be placed on his side. This caused torticollis – a twist in his neck that prevented him from turning his neck easily.

Elias’s physical therapist, Jagruti, first worked with him to loosen his neck. From there, she worked on helping him grasp objects. “From day one Elias was not able to hold on to a rattle or grasp his toys. In a three week period, he was able to do that. It was a huge, huge difference,” said his mom, Natasha.

At 7 months old, Elias rolled over. Remembering this huge milestone still brings tears to his mom’s eyes. “He was so stiff I was worried it would never happen. And when it did, I got it on video and sent it to Jagruti. She was so excited,” said Natasha.

Having made such great strides, 14-month-old Elias’s therapies have moved from once a week to once every other week. That doesn’t mean, though, that therapy isn’t an everyday occurrence. “I try to implement something we’ve learned [from Jagruti] into play time,” said Natasha.

Elias is still working toward some very big milestones. They are working to stand independently and getting him ready to walk. Although the family takes it just one day at a time, they are very excited to see Elias’s progress toward walking. The early intervention therapies from ESNG’s Babies Can’t Wait program are helping Elias and his family overcome obstacles and look to the future with hope.

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