Andy’s mother was 27 weeks pregnant when she began leaking amniotic fluid and was
hospitalized with preterm Premature Rupture of the Membranes in her 29th week. Andy was born 2 ½ weeks later and was immediately whisked away to the NICU after delivery.
He was on antibiotics and oxygen and received surfactant for his lungs to help his breathing.
Over the next month, he was treated for anemia of prematurity, and the week before
discharge, his final brain ultrasound showed two Grade One brain bleeds, one in each
hemisphere. He was discharged after 43 days in the NICU.
His mom noticed he wasn’t hitting his adjusted milestones: He couldn’t roll, lift his head for more than a few seconds, or raise his arms. At his six-month appointment, he was referred to Early Intervention and physical therapy. He crawled at fifteen months, stood at 17 months, and walked at 18 months - his first steps were on Mother's Day. He started using SMO orthotic braces at 21 months, but around this time he got sick with a virus and lost all of his words. He started occupational, speech, and developmental therapy and at 2.5 years old was officially diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. He was also diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Level 3 ADHD, the most severe form. He has difficulty communicating and is considered non-verbal though he has a handful of words, practices sign language, and uses an AAC device to help communicate. Andy attends all-day kindergarten in a class for children with autism and sensory