Yousef is a bright, energetic six-year-old boy who came into our care in 2020 through a referral to our Health Homes Services. The family had just relocated to New York from Ohio and needed assistance in connecting to services that would support Yousef’s growth and well-being. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was especially difficult to identify proper resources for his complex needs.
Yousef loves to swim and go to the park like other kids his age, but he is different from many of his peers. Yousef was diagnosed with a tumor at just four years old, which required brain surgery and chemotherapy the following year. He experienced complications from this treatment, including hearing loss. This, combined with limited verbal skills, means he must rely primarily on a communication device. Yousef also has developmental delays, including a diagnosis of autism, and is challenged by mobility issues, relying on specialized braces and a stroller to experience the world.
Traveling to and from essential doctors' appointments was extremely challenging for the family. Getting in and out of the car could often take upwards of an hour due to Yousef’s physical and verbal limitations, and many times these frustrations led to anxiety-induced tantrums.
But miracles do happen! The team at Abbott House discovered a specialized car seat made specifically for older children that could bring relief to the family. The only problem? It cost several thousands of dollars, and the family could not afford to purchase it. They were disappointed, as it seemed to be yet another obstacle, but you gave them hope.
Our development team began sharing Yousef’s story on social media, and as a result, we received an outpouring of community support. In just 24 hours, you helped us raise enough funds to purchase the car seat and meet this unique need. The family was overcome with gratitude.
Your gift is making a difference. Yousef has been learning to get in and out of the car seat all by himself, becoming calmer, and gaining more independence. His parents are excited about being able to do more activities as a family, such as sitting down to have dinner or going to the park - things we often take for granted.
All this is because of the interventional, therapeutic care at Abbott House...and the gift of a special car seat made possible by your generosity. To Yousef's family, this is a miracle. This is the story of one family, but there are countless others relying on us for support.
Last year alone, our dedicated team of case planners, social workers, childcare workers, direct support staff, volunteers, and other essential workers provided crisis intervention and support services to more than 4,500 individuals. But there is more work to be done, and we simply cannot do it without you.
During this season of miracles, help make a miracle for someone in care at Abbott House. I promise you this will be the best gift you give this holiday season.