Once a week we have had the pleasure of welcoming Hannah, and her two year old daughter, Eva to The Champion Centre. After a rough start to life, Eva is making leaps and bounds in her development thanks to a great partnership between her whānau and our therapists.
Only minutes after Eva was born, doctors started to notice something wasn’t quite right. Eva was unable to swallow. Two hours later Eva was diagnosed with Oesophageal Atresia, indicating that her oesophagus was not connecting to her stomach, and she required surgery the next day.
Immediately after her operation, Eve started to recover well, but soon began having seizures. After further investigations, including an MRI, doctors confirmed Eva had experienced a stroke and she was referred to The Champion Centre.
It was a very difficult time for Hannah who was receiving a range of new and different diagnoses for Eva, including Hypotonia (low body tone), complications from her feeding tube, developmental delay, Torticollis (twisted or tilted neck) and unresponsiveness to sound. It seemed like the hospital were continually coming to her with more potential issues, but with no solid solutions or positives for her to hold on to.
Hannah recalls dreading her first visit to The Champion Centre. She had a growing concern about Eva being treated like a number and she did not want to come to another ‘facility’ to learn of more things Eva might struggle with or not be able to do.
Thankfully, this would not be the case. Eva began her journey at The Champion Centre with “plenty of physiotherapy” from Deborah. Hannah was glad to learn that rather than the hospital’s focus on “what’s wrong”, Deborah and the Champion Centre team encouraged her to instead focus on all the things Eva was doing really well. With more visits to the Centre and further support, Hannah started to see very clearly all the improvements Eva was making and took time to “celebrate the good things” she had learnt with the help of early intervention.
With The Champion Centre’s holistic approach, Hannah was able to shift some of her anxiety about Eva’s future. She was now able to see just how many positive milestones she was reaching quickly, and that most of her additional needs were resolving with specialised help.
Hannah had heard of The Champion Centre through a family friend before attending, but she wasn’t aware of the variety of programmes we offer to help with children’s development. She speaks highly of the Champion Centre and sees a bright future for Eva. She says, “we are so grateful to have The Champion Centre” and “I wouldn’t be where I am now without The Champion Centre”. If Hannah has any questions or concerns about Eva’s development, big or small, she doesn’t hesitate to bring them to the team and get the answers she needs.
Hannah and our therapists now agree that Eva’s development is right on track, so much so that Eva will be transitioning to our monitoring programme which requires less frequent visits to the Centre. Eva has now exceeded everyone’s expectations and Hannah is grateful to have The Champion Centre supporting her the whole way.
Thank you Hannah for sharing your journey with us ❤
The Champion Centre is administered by the Christchurch Early Intervention Trust, and is registered with the Charities Commission (CC22708). Gifts of over $5 are eligible for tax rebates.
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