In May we celebrate Mother’s day and this month we were able to sit down with Leena and learn more about her family, what is it like to be a mom of a child with a medical vulnerability, and their time at the Center.
Leena, Megin, and Ethan are a family of three who have lived in Grand Rapids since 2016, with Ethan being born in 2019. Leena and Megin were originally from India and spent some time in Oregon before moving to Grand Rapids. Ethan was a happy and healthy baby when he was born, hitting all of his milestones and eager to be independent before 9 months.
“He could stand up and walk a little at 5 months and was on track with his developmental milestones before 9 months. He was so strong and smart.”
At 10 months, Ethan was admitted to the hospital and an infection in his heart was found. He was immediately sent to surgery. After several surgeries and an extensive hospital stay, Ethan ended up with a mechanical valve and their family was able to go home. Before being discharged, Leena and Megin were told about CHC and all the great things offered it offered for families like theirs.
Ethans diagnosis came at the peak of COVID and it took her and Megin over a year to comfortably take Ethan anywhere. Her perspective on the world changed greatly in less than a few months and now she has to be cautious for the safety of her child.
“As a family we are very happy and for the most part have a good life, but we have worries and fears everyday about taking Ethan places, we do not ever want Ethan to suffer again.”
Leena focuses now on getting Ethan back on track with his developmental milestones and the Center has helped her through that. Ethan is a part of our Little Tots University preschool program and he and Leena are constantly incorporating the fun and safe things he has learned here at home.
When Ethans family came to the Center, Leena was amazed with everything we have to offer and wished she would have brought Ethan sooner. Ethan is now able to interact and play with other kids, he is relearning his independence and is allowed to enjoy being a kid. In addition to Ethan receiving support, Leena has found a sense of community with other moms here at the Center.
“This place has really helped me because I have met moms who understand me and I do not feel alone. I feel heard and accepted as well as made some friends. I am happy to be around people who get me and our situation.”