By: Emily Mauer
Two years ago I met a beautiful mom, and a sweet extra special treasure named Aly who was in a wheelchair at a garage sale fundraiser for an upcoming adoption. I met four of Aly’s siblings and I learned that this family was adopting from Bulgaria. My family had recently adopted and I wanted to support other adoptive families! I made a donation and went on my way and hoped that all worked out for this family’s adoption.
Fast forward to just two weeks ago and a request came in through our website at AID.org and as I began to read the request, I had an inkling that this might be from the woman I had previously met at the garage sale! Her request seemed simple, a bed that was safe for her daughter Aly, who has suffered with Infantile Spasms. Aly was born happy and healthy but at the age of 2 months began having seizures that seemed impossible to control. After months in the hospital and countless medications her seizures were managed, but the toll on her brain and body was significant. Aly is now a beautiful 8-year-old girl, with curly brown hair, fair skin, and the best happy clap! Aly is completely dependent on her mom and dad, and wonderful doting siblings to take care of her every need. She spends much of her day in a wheel chair where she can be safely secured, and she was spending some time in her bed, but it was becoming more and more dangerous for her by the day. Aly can roll and wiggle quite a bit making staying put in her bed very challenging. Even when Aly has hospital stays, it is a juggling act to keep her arms and legs inside the hospital beds that have traditional openings…not to mention hard bars that cause lots of bruising for Aly.
Her mom, Shannon simply wanted a safe place for her daughter to sleep, and have another place in her home where she could be secure, comfortable and not risk injuring herself. Someone is with her all hours of the day & night. There is a wonderful bed called the Sleep Safe Bed that provides padded enclosures all the way around the head, foot and sides of the bed. The bed is also fully electric like a hospital bed and can be raised to chest height for changing etc. The only problem is the price tag and it is not covered by insurance. I even consulted a retired insurance case worker to see if there were any loopholes in this secure policy. There weren’t. After the phone interview with Shannon, I knew that Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities Foundation or AID.org had to help somehow–but there wasn’t an easy answer. Additionally, Shannon’s husband is serving our country overseas–so she is currently a single mom to 6 children! Because Shannon and her husband have hearts the size of Texas, they are expanding their family again this coming year by adopting two children from China. Shannon is in “nesting mode” as she called it and needed to make sure that all of her kiddos were taken care of before they brought home two more of their children. If you are having a hard time keeping track, that means there will be a total of 8 children in this family very soon. Thankfully her husband will be home in time to help with the new additions.
Desperate times call for desperate prayers. I uttered a quick prayer and asked God to provide me with a Sleep Safe Bed that would be adequate for Aly and affordable for the Foundation. With very little faith I opened up my search engine and typed in Sleep Safe Bed. Wouldn’t you know that a Sleep Safe Bed was the first item that popped up? I immediately called the seller who said the bed was in great condition and still available. AID.org was able to quickly purchase the bed and deliver it to Shannon and Aly within 5 days of her initial request. Not only that, I had the pleasure of meeting their daughter that they adopted from Bulgaria! Our team was thrilled to be a part of giving this sweet girl and her family.
Aly now has a wonderful place where she can sleep safe and sound thanks to the efforts of AID.org Foundation.