Sometimes life’s events play out in unexpected ways. On July 4, 2012, Camrin was born prematurely at 28 weeks, weighing less than two pounds. He was in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Dell Children’s Hospital for two months before going home. His mother, Natalie, knew there would be challenges in her tiny boy’s life. While at the NICU, Camrin’s doctors referred Natalie to Any Baby Can’s Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) program.
Camrin’s first year of life was rough.
He was delayed in lifting his head, rolling over and sitting. He had a host of feeding issues, including terrible reflux. He worked with Any Baby Can to receive physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and developmental and nutrition services.
Even as he turned one, he was throwing up six times in one hour. He still only weighed 13 pounds and was deemed “failure to thrive,” a condition where the brain and body is not growing as it should. During that time, our team of therapists did in-home visits on a weekly basis, allowing for regular weight checks and growth charting without leaving their home.
Camrin’s therapist, Lauretta Jackson, says of the situation:
“We had a great collaborative effort between mom, Any Baby Can and medical professionals. Even when we didn’t have all of the answers, we knew where to reach out in the community.“
Natalie took Camrin to many appointments with neurologists, medical providers, developmental pediatricians, doctors and therapists. Throughout it all, Natalie struggled to work full time and had a hard time keeping jobs that allowed her to be flexible and available to a child with special needs.
When Camrin was 4 years old, his brother Zeno was born. A preemie at 33 weeks, Zeno was also referred to ECI services with Any Baby Can to address developmental delays and feeding issues. When Zeno was born, Natalie decided she needed to change her life in order to take better care of her kids.
She was inspired by her experience with a premature infant and seeing her own son flourish with the hard work of Any Baby Can. She took her experiences and her entrepreneurial mindset and started her own business. Natalie converted part of her house into an at-home daycare.
In the summer of 2018, Natalie leased a physical space for her daycare: Momma Carolyn’s Creative Learning Center.
“I was a mother who couldn’t keep a job because of my son’s special needs, appointments, behavioral issues and illnesses. With the support I received from Any Baby Can, I was able to get my son the help he needed, and fulfill my own professional dreams.”
Camrin, now 6 years old, stayed with ECI for three full years. Despite special behavioral and learning issues, he’s now at school and succeeding in the classroom. Zeno is still with our program, growing and learning every day.
Natalie is now a part of the solution, helping children and families thrive. She is educating herself and her staff on childhood development, and referring kids to Any Baby Can.
From a preemie mom and an Any Baby Can client, to a care provider and referrer of services, Natalie’s story shows us just how life changing it can be when you have access to the right resources and you are dedicated to improvement.
“Any Baby Can has been my support system, my go-to people. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to our family.”