Uriyah was born three-and-a-half years ago and brought with him all the fear and uncertainty that any newborn holds for a couple of young first-time parents.
Bringing a baby into the world is scary for any young couple, but little Uriyah delivered extra cause for concern for his folks.
His mother, Felicia Raven, explains: “My son was born premature at 30 weeks and diagnosed with hydrocephalus at birth, then diagnosed with cerebral palsy at one year old.”
“We were young, my husband and I at the time, and it was scary. Even our parents hadn’t heard of hydrocephalus and didn’t know anything about cerebral palsy.
“The first year was really stressful. He spent three months in the NICU and then it was doctor’s appointment after doctor’s appointment and trying to figure out what we had to do to help him.”
“We had a hard time finding good therapies and good therapists and good products. We didn’t really know anything about what to do and nobody seemed willing to help us.”
When Felicia finally managed to get home therapy, it was only twice a month and it wasn’t enough. They had to fight hard to get equipment for Uriyah and struggled to find adequate information.
As time went on, the family learned to cope. Felicia joined lots of Facebook groups and found help and support in the people she met online. But there were still more opportunities they wanted to give Uriyah.
“We were still very limited. He couldn’t even go on the grass at the park or go on the playground in the park unless he crawled on everything. But about three months ago we got the Upsee and I think it has been amazing!”
“We can do so many things than he can’t do in his walker because its wheels would get stuck in dirt and things like that. We went fishing the other day in the Upsee, we’ve been on hikes, we’ve done all sorts of things. He’s closer to his peers now, closer to their level, literally and in terms of opportunities too.”
Uriyah is even finding new ways to play with his little sister, Autumn, and all of their cousins.
“She actually encourages him to do more things, because she’s trying to stand and stuff too. So the Upsee helps with that because she can see him when he’s at eye-level. They like to play ball back and forth together. He kicks it, she more or less chases it.”
There won’t be any shortage of people to play games with Uriyah in his Upsee, as well as his parents and little sister there’s a huge extended family all waiting to play.
“We took it on a trip to Oregon for a family reunion and went hiking and fishing and things like that. I think there were 120 of us there, and they all thought it was so cool and they all wanted to try walking with him. Even his grandparents walked with him and they loved it.”
That’s probably the best example of family participation we’ve ever heard. We hope you all enjoy using the Upsee with Uriyah for a long time.
If your child has a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy what level of the GMFCS are they?