Patricia, like any toddler, is anxious to explore and learn what the world around her is like.
Last year she was photographed as a part of our 2011 spina bifida awareness campaign and she surely didn’t let her mobility challenges keep her from moving around with the other kids.
Last year she rolled around with the other kids in a dynamic stander at just 18 months old. It’s quite impressive to see how young children affected by spina bifida can still learn ways to be just as mobile as other children. She surely hasn’t allowed spina bifida to prevent her from getting around as much as other toddlers, she just has learned to do so a little differently.
When her parents, Randi & Jeff Dowhy, first learned she’d be born with spina bifida they were heartbroken and uncertain if they’d be able to care for a child with special needs. Randi reflects, “then we saw her face on a 3-D image at the doctor’s office. It was that moment that I knew that I could not imagine a day that that face would not bring joy to everyone she encountered, and I knew we were the right people to be her parents.” They now feel Patricia has helped make them stronger parents and realize her abilities will surpass any disability she has. Patricia’s family believes that they would never be given anything more than they could handle. They’ve come to realize that with or without a disability a child is a lot of work.
Due to her spina bifida Patricia does have a shunt and she also has mobility delays that may mean walking may not happen for a while longer. Currently Patricia is going through therapy with the hopes to walk someday. Her mother tells us she spends several hours up in her new braces every day and after a hard day of therapy she begs for more time up on her feet. Patricia is a beautiful, special and happy little girl. She’s polite and loving and has the best laugh. Patricia currently goes to a Prescribed pediatric extended care daycare program and goes through PT, OT and speech therapy several times a week. Though she may have a little more support and medical care than the average child, her family is overjoyed with the love she brings to their family. One things for sure, spina bifida isn’t going to stop this amazing little girl from doing amazing things.
SBACFL thanks Patricia’s family for allowing us to share her story. Her determination at such a young age is sure to inspire other families facing similar challenges. We love you baby girl…thanks for keeping us smiling!