United Cerebral Palsy of Mobile is happy to present the #UCPSpotlight Series. Each month we will be featuring clients, staff, board members, volunteers and programs! There are no shortage of incredible stories from our organization and we are proud to share some of them with you.
Introducing Nate Staton, a former client of UCP’s Early Intervention (EI) program. Nate was diagnosed with spastic diplegic Cerebral Palsy after his first birthday. When Nate’s mother Elizabeth was pregnant with Nate she was in a car accident. After being trapped in the car for 45 minutes and taken to the hospital, it was discovered she had a complete placental abruption. Elizabeth says, “Nate was born in the emergency room at Sacred Heart as soon as they saw what happened on the sonogram. He had a grade 2 brain bleed and 102 day NICU stay before he came home to us.” He left the hospital diagnosed with a chronic lung disease as well as a feeding tube.
Nate and his family learned of UCP through our Early Intervention program. After working with the EI program for 3 years, Nate hit milestone after milestone progressing through the program. “We weaned him from his G-Tube, that was the biggest accomplishment,” Elizabeth says of Nate’s achievements while in the EI program, “Eating by mouth, however, transformed his life. It allowed him to really excel toward all his other physical and occupational therapy goals.”
While Elizabeth says it was very difficult in the beginning, the EI staff was able to help guide them through the process. When discussing the experience that comes to mind when she thinks about their time with UCP she says, “Sitting on the floor with each therapist and talking and planning how to get through the first few years. It was nice to have someone to talk to that had been around other children and families with special needs.”
Nate’s parents, Elizabeth and Lance, have done everything they could to make Nate’s future as bright as possible. “Our hope is to put the work in early for the best lifelong outcomes for Nate. Our biggest trial definitely became our purpose.” Elizabeth says Nate is stubborn and that is an important factor in him taking on the challenges he’s faced. “I know his drive and ability to dig his heels in will be what carries him to infinity and beyond.” Nate has now not only graduated from his G-Tube, but has even beaten his chronic lung disease, “He also has triumphed through his lung disease and can hold his breath longer than most adults!” Elizabeth knows her son has an impact on everyone he meets, “We know Nate will change the world. He already has. He inspires every person he meets.”
Thank you, Elizabeth and Lance, for opening up to us about your family’s story! Please look forward to more features like this each month. If you or a family member would like to share your experience with our organization, please contact us at 251-479-4900.