Our Miracle Daughter and Our Journey with CMV
Our daughter, Indya, was born in 1988. Except for the cold I had towards the end of my first trimester, my pregnancy was normal, and we had no reason for concern beyond the typical worries of first-time parents.
Later that day, the labor and delivery nurse came into my room and said she thought there might be something wrong with our baby girl. I immediately panicked and called our pediatrician who came by to check our baby girl. After his examination, he told me there was absolutely nothing wrong with our daughter. Although I was not aware of it at that time, Indya actually had the typical rash-like signs of CMV and apparently, our pediatrician was also unaware of these signs.
Indya was a happy baby and we did not suspect that anything was wrong until she was about six months old when she was having difficulty sitting. Again, I was told not to worry and that perhaps she was just a little later along in development than most children. When our daughter continued to lag in her development, however, we went to the neurologist and she was diagnosed with minor cerebral palsy on her left side. He also suggested we do bloodwork and when our daughter was about nine months old, it was the first time we had heard about CMV. I was devastated, and I blamed myself for contracting the virus while pregnant.
The neurologist told us not to read up on CMV because it would be devastating, and instead suggested that I get her into every kind of therapy. That is when our journey to succeed
We started on two decades of therapy and homework to make sure our daughter had the best chance she could to develop and thrive. We built a ramp and put toys at the bottom to encourage her to move and learn to crawl; soon she was wriggling her way down that ramp to get to her toys, and then started to crawl. She went to OT, PT, speech therapy, horseback riding. Anything we could find to help her develop, we did it. Indya progressed slowly but she sat, she crawled, she walked, and then she ran. More importantly, she speaks. Not perfectly, but she is understood. With the help of a wonderful teacher in elementary school, she even learned to write her name and basic words. She has an incredible memory and sense of direction as well.
I will never forget when she had her first brain MRI and when Dr. Page Pennell, esteemed neurologist and epileptologist, reviewed her results and told us “Indya is a miracle”.
Indya has accomplished things no one thought she would ever be able to do. Today at age 30, she leads a happy and active life, and her pure joy and love of life, family, and friends is an amazing gift and inspiration to all.
Start early, never give up hope, never settle -- our princess continues to grow everyday and so can your prince or princess.
- Shared by her mother, Michelle
Note: Michelle also serves on the board of directors of a non-profit organization, Great Prospects Inc
. They service developmentally delayed adults 18-35 in a therapeutic day program, as well as a summer program for 16-21-year old’s, and conduct monthly socials, parent support meetings, and training seminars.