He was born prematurely at just 25 weeks, weighing 1 lb 15 oz at birth. During his 5-month stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Duke experienced a severe brain bleed and underwent several operations to treat a variety of complications. When Duke’s mother, Brea, brought him home for the first time, she felt isolated and was terrified about the future. Duke’s life was so delicate, and Brea was focused on his survival. Shortly after being released from the hospital, his doctors referred him to HopeSparks for Early Intervention services. Duke was just 6 months old.
Brea wasn’t sure what to expect from Early Intervention, but it was an immediate relief for her to have services provided in her home, limiting Duke’s exposure to germs. Supported by Speech Language Pathologist, Sonya, and Physical Therapist, Sharon, Brea was able to focus on building Duke’s skills in his natural environment. “Sonya and Sharon came into our home and worked around our real life, even working my other two kids into Duke’s therapy. HopeSparks literally gave us hope when we were so lost. We weren’t prepared for any of this, we didn’t know what would lie ahead.”
With therapy and support from HopeSparks, Duke is now a thriving, healthy 3-year-old who loves to run around and play with his big brothers, tell stories, and use his imagination. When Duke was born, his family was concerned that he may never walk or talk, or even be able to feed himself. They have found that their focus has shifted from fear about the future to the joy of making memories together as a family. “He had a really rough start and we didn’t know what to expect or what life would look like for him, but he was so resilient. He is our little superhero. I’m so thankful to HopeSparks because I don’t know where we’d be without you.”
You can make a difference in the lives of others like Duke and his family. Consider making a gift to HopeSparks today.