Little Victories With Each Milestone
Easter Seals RI Early Intervention Clients
Take one look at Jack Cronin and your heart instantly melts at the sight of his rosy red cheeks and bubbly personality!
Jack was born on July 1, 2013, in what started out as a routine delivery. However, upon entering the world, doctors realized one very important fact: Jack was struggling to breath.
Doctors rushed him to a specialized hospital in RI, where they were able to get him breathing again with assistance. Jack was evaluated and diagnosed with Transposition of Greater Vessels.
"His father Todd and I were in a state of shock," said his Mom Erin. "There was never a sign of complication throughout my pregnancy, so it surprised us when he was born with congenital heart failure, a cleft lip, and without the lower half of his left arm."
Four-day-old Jack underwent open heart surgery in Boston to fix the arteries on his heart that were transposed.
"He was such a little trooper," said Erin. "Our doctors reassured us that the surgery and technology in Boston had a high success rate, but it is hard to see your baby go through something so traumatic—open heart surgery and breathing tubes."
Three days after surgery Jack was breathing on his own which was a great relief to his parents. "You don't realize it, but every milestone is a big deal," said Erin.
Two weeks later the family returned home. They were a little nervous about the great unknown—will he have other heart related issues, will he stop breathing, what challenges he will face in the future, is he going to sit up or crawl—but they knew whatever came their way, they would make it through as a family.
After being home for a month, Jack's pediatrician referred him to Easter Seals RI for Early Intervention services.
"We didn't know a lot about the services offered, but Physical Therapist Carol Cagle came to our house, assessed Jack and recommended physical therapy," said Erin.
For the past seven months, Jack has received physical therapy twice a month for his arm and to increase the muscle tone in his legs which was weakened by the surgery. Carol has worked with him to lie on his tummy—which was a difficult task for a newborn that had recently had open heart surgery—and to adjust to his left arm.
Carol, Erin and Todd work together to set goals for Jack, and so far he has exceeded all of them. Since starting therapy, Jack can prop himself up on his arms, roll over, lie on his stomach and control his head and neck.
"We just keep setting new goals," said Erin. "Our next goal for Jack is to be able to sit on his own and then to start crawling!"
The Cronin’s knew all along they had an amazing little boy. They never knew how amazing these little victories would feel until they witnessed Jack accomplish something new.
Jack recently had a second surgery to repair his cleft lip, and today he is a high-spirited eight-month-old who loves to jump and bounce with big sister Hayley!
"Doctors do not always have the answers you are looking for, but Easter Seals and Carol have provided my family with insight, positivity, and assurance that everything will be OK," said Erin. "And, that Jack will be able to do anything he wants to do!"
For more information about Early Intervention services please click here.