Madelyn’s nominator writes “Madelyn is a precious 4 year old little girl with a heartbreaking, but beautiful story. When she was only 3 months old, Madelyn endured trauma at the hands of someone who was supposed to take care of her. She was shaken violently, resulting in brain damage, visual loss, cerebral palsy, and a host of other associated medical concerns. She spent a month in a coma as an infant to control her seizures. Madelyn currently functions at around a 5-6 month old level with continued therapy and intervention services. I am one of her therapists and have been with her since she returned home and was stable enough to begin therapy after her event. I remember those days when the light from her eyes was gone and our biggest accomplishment was a flicker of attention to a light, or an indication that her movement was purposeful. I remember the tears and the excitement when she was able to learn how to smile again, and then the joy she created when her laugh was able to take form and show us all that Madelyn was going to accomplish big things despite her abuse. Madelyn is the most beautiful little girl with giant, bright blue eyes and THE BEST HAIR. Her mother has been such a trooper through dealing with her own heartbreak navigating the world as a suddenly single mom to both older sister Anniston and a child with significant disabilities. She has found strength and hope, and even found love again with her new, wonderful husband Jonathon and his daughter. She manages Madelyn’s care and the older girls’ crazy schedules, while not only promoting awareness for Shaken Baby Syndrome, but also a champion for children in her work position with DFCS as well. While her sister is a sports girl through and through, Madelyn definitely fills the role of girly princess. You would love to have her as a part of your memorial princess sessions, and I can’t think of a little princess who deserves to be pampered more! You can find more info on Madelyn on her fb page: Madelyn’s Miracles.“
I knew this session would break my heart before I even got there, but honestly what I didn’t expect is the amount of character Madelyn has. I knew that she would be non-mobile and nonverbal, but I really didn’t expect to see a smile that day at all. She sure surprised me with herself! So first things first, she rolled up in the best pair of long purple knee-high socks that you’ve ever seen! Then, she had these giant pigtails on the sides of her head. And by giant, I mean that she has the thickest fluffiest hair I have ever seen! Then she opened her eyes and looked at me. She has the most piercing bright blue eyes I have seen in a good long time. You can tell the second she looks at you that she’s in there. She’s not a doll, she’s not a giant baby, it’s just that her body and brain were hurt and she’s working on adapting to that. She reminds me a lot of another memorial princess, Lexi.
We began the session by sitting her up on a bench corner so that we could get some assisted seated pictures before she got too tired. But, she had other ideas and totally hated that! LOLOL. She began crying, and let me tell you how I felt like I had kicked some puppies because her little cry is about the most pitiful thing ever. Her mom tried to calm her down but was having no luck until she asked “Do you want to lay down and play?” WELL, that was it, Madelin immediately stopped crying and gave us a tiny smile. She knew what she wanted! I loved meeting Madelyn, and I can’t wait to see what huge recoveries she makes as she gets older!