Photo-1-530Mary Elizabeth’s Progress

Mary Elizabeth, or ME, is a beautiful 3 1/2 year old little girl who lives in Louisiana with her family – Mom, Dad, big brother and Levi (the naughtiest yellow dog ever).  ME loves to swing, watch the Wonderpets, listen to music and hang out with her brother.  She is a sweet, sassy, and vibrant baby girl with a contagious smile.

Mary Elizabeth was diagnosed at 12 weeks old with cerebral palsy as a result of a severe brain injury she suffered while in utero.  Her brain injury affects all four limbs, causing her to have high tone (spasticity) in her extremities and low tone in her trunk.  She also has cortical vision impairment and a seizure disorder.  But Mary Elizabeth and her family refuse to let that injury stop her from living a full and happy life.

Mary Elizabeth works extremely hard each week in Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy and Hippotherapy.   ME also gets  2+ hours a day of MNRI Therapy at home (by her Mom or a family member).   She has made lots of progress since her diagnosis, including learning to eat and safely swallow baby food; better head control; significant improvements in her vision; and reduced spasticity in her arms and legs.

Last year, Mary Elizabeth started a therapy called Musgatova NeuroSensorimotor Reflex Integration (MNRI).  Since beginning MNRI, Mary Elizabeth has made huge gains in awareness of her surroundings, self control, eating, swallowing, better vocalizations, posture, and overall trunk control.

Juphoto 3st this past weekend Mary Elizabeth sat up BY HERSELF for over 5 minutes!!!  Sitting up independently has been a goal for Mary Elizabeth that she has been right on the edge of obtaining.  She has recently gained more strength in her arms while on her tummy, and she is also very close to “army crawling”.

You can follow Mary Elizabeth’s progress and see her hard work each day on her blog: www.teammaryelizabeth.wordpress.com or on her Facebook page – Team Mary Elizabeth.  photo 4

Mary Elizabeth needs a push to reach these goals.  She is registered for an 8 day MNRI Family Conference where she will receive 6 hours a day of therapy.   Mary Elizabeth’s family has always tried to give her all the tools she needs to progress and be the best ME she can be.  They have cut back and saved, dug into savings, and stretched and stretched.   Many of Mary Elizabeth’s therapies (including MNRI) are not covered by insurance, and her family has paid out of pocket for these therapies and other medical supplies/equipment for the past 3 years.  They need your help now.

It takes a village to raise a child, and Mary Elizabeth is certainly no exception.    Her family desperately wants to continue sending Mary Elizabeth to these Family Conferences, where she gets excellent treatment from the top MNRI professionals in the world.  The gains Mary Elizabeth achieves with these intensive therapy sessions are not attainable at home, even with the unending amount of work Mary Elizabeth and her family put in.

The progress Mary Elizabeth is  making today will affect her future.  Her family believes Mary Elizabeth can gain  independence in the future by making strides forward today.

Please help Mary Elizabeth’s family send her to a Family Conference in January.

Gains since starting MNRI:

photo 2– Mary Elizabeth started eating!!

– Learning to swallow water without aspirating

– Improved tone throughout her body

– Maintaining a strong, healthy body with no physical deformities or contractures in her feet, ankles, wrists and a straight spine

– No major surgeries to fix hip subluxation or shallow-formed hip sockets (most kids with Mary Elizabeth’s severe spasticity would have required a surgery by now)

– Improved vision and interaction with her environment and the people that surround her

– Increased vocalizations (more sounds and tones, using her voice to get attention and make someone smile or laugh)

– Decreased Moro response (startles)…she used to startle all the time for incorrect reasons, and now her startle has decreased exponentially and is much more appropriate

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