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Violet's Client Story

Violet Graney Client Story 2016

Easter Seals RI
Early Intervention Client Story

Violet Graney

“It started as a completely normal pregnancy,” says Dan. “This was our third child. We had been through this before.”

A few days before her due date, Angela noticed the baby wasn’t moving as much compared to previous days. Not sure of the circumstances, they called the doctor and explained their concerns. He directed them to come to the office, and what they thought would be a 20 minute appointment, turned into a six day hospital stay.

The doctors couldn’t get the baby to move, and an ultrasound showed a mass on the baby’s arm. Not knowing what it was or the size of it, the doctors suggested Angela have an emergency C-section.

On May 25, 2014, baby girl Graney was born. She had a football-sized mass on her left arm that ruptured in utero. She was bleeding to death as she was being born, and needed four full body blood transfusions in her first 24-hours of life.

“From the first night our baby was born, we were told she probably wasn’t going to survive,” says Dan. “Each time Angela and I would visit her, the nurses would ask us what we named her. We quickly realized it was because they didn’t want her to die without a name.”

Baby girl Graney was given the beautiful name Violet! She not only survived that first night, but continued defying the odds and survived each night after that!

Violet had damage to her kidneys, intestines, liver, bowels, potential brain damage, and the mass on her arm was still a mystery. It wasn’t until a few days later, that the doctors realized it was a very rare form of cancer that happens to one in a million live births called infantile fibrosarcoma. Even though it was cancer, it was a kind that responds well to chemotherapy and treatment.

“We had a plan moving forward, if we could get her to that point,” says Dan.

At three-weeks-old, Violet moved to another hospital where she started chemotherapy. Violet went through six rounds of chemo to try to shrink the tumor before it could be removed surgically. Doctors were able to remove it, but it caused significant damage to her arm. Following surgery, Violet had to go through two additional rounds of chemo.

In her first 226 days of life, Violent lived in the hospital and endured eight rounds of chemo and three surgeries.

Violet received physical (PT) and occupational (OT) therapy at the hospital. Upon leaving, the Graneys knew she would need to continue those therapies at home. The hospital assisted the family in selecting Early Intervention services, and ultimately they chose Easter Seals.

“It was a great decision,” says Angela. “Easter Seals was very accommodating, especially because we had to push our start date a few times due to Violet’s surgeries.”

At nine-months-old, Violet started receiving PT and OT through Easter Seals. For the first six months, therapists visited twice a week to help build and strengthen muscles in her arms. Due to her successes, Violet transitioned to only needing services once every other week. She quickly learned to crawl, and eventually began to walk. At this time, she was discharged from PT, but continued receiving OT to enhance her fine motor skills, especially with her left hand, until she was two-years-old.

“Easter Seals gave Violet all of the therapy she needed,” says Angela. “And, as I like to say…they gave me all of the therapy I needed too! I was unsure of what I was going to do with a child who sometimes moved her arm funny, or didn’t do what we expected her to do.”

Today, Violet is a very active two-year-old, and is doing everything a two-year-old should be doing. Additionally, she receives speech therapy twice a month.

“Easter Seals, without a doubt, helped Violet,” says Angela.

“They helped her develop the tools that she needed to succeed and reach the goals we set for her. But more than that, Easter Seals helped us as a family. Our therapists would include our older children when they were home. They would teach them how to help Violet. Her successes were our successes, her hurdles were our hurdles, and we got through it together!”

Click here for more information about Early Intervention services.

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