Meet Wilson! Wilson came in to this world full of surprises and hasn’t stopped. The surprises now are just much more fun. After an uncomplicated pregnancy, Wilson decided at 36 weeks he could not wait to meet us, so he made his entrance November of 2011. I, being a neonatal intensive care nurse, knew the moment his eyes met mine that he had a little something extra. Due to his small size, not keeping his temperature up, and not eating very well up he ended up in the NICU for 14 very long days. During that time Wilson was diagnosed with Down syndrome and a complete AV canal heart defect. We were shocked, overwhelmed, scared, sad, but our hearts could have burst with the love we had for this little guy.
When Wilson was born we lived outside of Memphis. He immediately started physical therapy at about 6 weeks old. Not that babies even do much besides eat and sleep at that age, but I was already determined that I would do everything in my power for Wilson to thrive. At a little less than 3 months old Wilson had his open heart surgery. That was by far the hardest day of our lives and God truly gave us the strength to get through the surgery and a few complications afterwards. Wilson recovered amazingly and now only follows up with a cardiologist every year. Praise the Lord!
As time went on Wilson thrived with in home therapy and we began to realize just how smart this little guy was. The resources where we lived were very scarce and we had to do something different because he would soon need more. I had made a dear friend in Jackson since Wilson’s birth whose son happened to also have Down syndrome and attended the Little Lighthouse. She raved about the wonderful things they were doing for her son and convinced me to put Wilson on the waiting list. So in mid 2013 Wilson was placed on the waiting list. We prepared for a 1-2 year wait. My husband and I knew by then we would have time to weigh our options and determine what would be best for Wilson. In February 2014, surprise, Wilson had a place at the Little Lighthouse. I immediately knew our decision and we were here within the month!
I could go on and on about how amazing Wilson has done at the Little Lighthouse. When we started Wilson was not walking, only saying “bye’ and truly had a fear of other children. How things have changed! Wilson is walking all over the place, can feed himself with a spoon, is talking all day long, and if he’s not talking he has his sign language to help communicate. He is thrilled every morning when I tell him we are going to school to see Mrs. Brittany, Mrs. Allie, and his friends in the Yellow class. Wilson loves music and has some stellar dance moves. His favorite time of the day by far is circle time where he knows the signs to all the songs. And if you every have the opportunity to see Wilson do the blessing before meals at school, you will never forget it. The students that attend the Little Lighthouse are truly blessed by this Christian, fund raiser based, tuition free, one of a kind school.
We feel so blessed that God gave us this little boy who lights up a room with his smile. The Little Lighthouse gives us the tools, love, and support we need for Wilson to have the happiest life possible, and as parents of any children their happiness is most important!