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Fiona's Client Story


Fiona Doyle

An Unstoppable Force

Easter Seals RI Early Intervention Client
Fiona Doyle


The second you meet 14 month-old Fiona Doyle, you will certainly fall in love. This charming little girl has a contagious smile and bubbly personality and, it won’t take you long to realize, she has an unstoppable drive that will leave you inspired.

Fiona was welcomed into the amazingly loving and supportive Doyle family in 2009, her parents, Anne Marie and Paul and big brother Roan couldn’t wait to bring her home and introduce her to an excited extended family. The Doyles knew, even before birth, that Fiona had some small challenges ahead, but with the love and strength from her family, there was nothing this little girl couldn’t accomplish.

At 18 weeks, Anne Marie had an ultrasound where a hand anomaly was detected; Fiona was missing the fingers on her right hand, but her thumb was intact. Doctors believe Fiona’s fingers did not develop because of a vascular insufficiency during Anne Marie’s pregnancy. “We never thought ‘why us?’” Anne Marie explains of hearing the news, “It was always, ‘why not us?’ We love Fiona for who she is and we know this will never hold her back.”

Shortly after Fiona was born, the Doyles began a regime of physical and developmental therapy from Easter Seals RI, which they credit for Fiona’s impressive progress.

Initially, her family and therapists were concerned Fiona would neglect her right side, but Fiona, displaying an incredible perseverance in such a tiny little girl, defied the odds. Anne Marie smiles, “You can’t miss what you’ve never had.”

Carol Cagle, the Doyle’s Easter Seals RI Developmental Therapist explains, “We all have the same goal, which is to make Fiona succeed in everything she desires to do.” Carol continues, “We are working with Fiona to overcome any obstacles, teaching her to hold things and compensate for the anomaly. On occasion, she will use her right had as a dominant, which is something we didn’t think would ever happen.”

The family and therapist work together to assist Fiona in developing to her full potential. Carol shares ideas and tips on making Fiona’s hand more functional. “We love Carol,” Anne Marie exclaims. “Having her work with our family has been an incredible experience.”

“It hit me one day,” explained Fiona’s dad, Paul, “I saw Fiona trying to hold her bottle and she couldn’t; it was that moment that I realized I would do anything to make sure she could do anything she put her mind to and, with Carol’s help, we are right on track, hitting milestones and watching her thrive just as we knew she could.”

For more information about Early Intervention services please click here.

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