She worked with special needs kids all the time, but there was something about Irby that captured her heart, and she adopted him into her family when he was just 16 months old.
“He was precious!” she remembers. “We fell in love with him at first sight.”
But Irby was a very sick baby who required a high level of care – he was born with Christianson syndrome, which causes intellectual delays, microcephaly, seizures, ataxia, and absent speech. Doctors didn’t expect him to live past four years old, but he turned 18 this year and is doing remarkably well all things considered.
Even though Patsy was experienced with medically-fragile kids, she admits caring for Irby has been a challenge. He doesn’t have control of several basic bodily functions, lacks traditional communication skills, and because he falls on the autism spectrum, he’s easily agitated and his behavior can be aggressive.
Still, Patsy says, Irby is a very friendly, loving young man who loves being outside and trying new foods. She desperately wants to minimize his frustrations and make his days as happy and easy as possible. Transporting him in his wheelchair makes getting out in the world much easier, but their current vehicle isn’t wheelchair-accessible. She reached out to Chive Charities for help adding a wheelchair ramp to their van, and we were thrilled to lend a hand. Thanks to our generous monthly donors, we provided a $13,000 grant towards a rear entry ramp modification for their Honda Odyssey. Patsy said she’s already looking forward to Irby’s next outing.
Making the world 10% happier for families in need is what Chive Charities is all about, and there are so many more to help. Be part of the next life-changing grant by becoming a monthly donor RIGHT HERE.