Faith Plays Big Role with Mom
Every now and then, a person featured here attributes faith as pivotal in their being able to cope with disability-one in themselves or family members. Sue Ihejirika of North Minneapolis, Minnesota, is one such example.
In a telephone interview, Ihejirika said, "(Our son) Spencer was born a typical kid, without any health problems, until he was about five. We had gone on a trip to Wisconsin and on the way back he began having a fever and sleeping for long periods of time."
That same month, in August 2004, on a train ride to Chicago, Spencer began vomiting and experienced at least two grand mal seizures. The hospital couldn't pinpoint a cause. Spencer wasn't talking, couldn't go to the bathroom alone, and was, Ihejirika said, "cognitively vacant." He started having even more seizures and fits of high fever. Then an MRI showed brain damage.
She said, "We think he was bit by a tick or mosquito carrying some type of disease. There really has never been a diagnoses for what happened except for brain damage. Doctors think an infection in his brain caused it."
After being homeschooled two years, Spencer recovered enough to return to public school and lead a relatively normal life given his cognitive limitations until last year at age 15. That's when he began experiencing severe symptoms all over again.
Ihejirika said, "He started showing more signs again of anxiety and fear, and he had a psychotic episode. The medication he was taking was hard on him. He went back to not being able to go to the bathroom alone and I had to help him with everything. For a while, he couldn't read books on his own or focus on anything."
He has improved since then, but still needs much more time than the average teenager to process information. He often needs instructions repeated, and his school modifies his school work to fit his current abilities. At school, Spencer plays football, and the coach loves his positive attitude.
Spencer's difficulties have been tough on his father, who was born and raised in Africa, where children with disabilities often are treated as outcasts.
Said Ihejirika, "I just have to trust God knows what He is doing with Spencer. I just need to trust. Spencer reads his Bible every morning and is always asking about heaven. He is on a totally different wavelength than any other 16-year-old."
Sponsored by Blue Valley Sod.
Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.
Daniel J. Vance may be reached at www.danieljvance.com
Pet Care | Real Estate | Restaurants | Tech | View All | * Add/Upgrade Business
Placer County News HeadlinesRoseville Flash Crime Report (5.3.16)Roseville, CA- Flash crime report digest summary update for Roseville, CA on May 2, 2016.
Chrysler 200: Improved and solid midsize sedanRoseville, CA- Looking to make a move upward and become more of a challenger to its competitors, the folks at Chrysler completely redesigned the Chrysler 200
Roseville Gas Prices Up and DownRoseville, CA- Gas prices in Roseville and the region have trended upward this past week. However, at some of low price leaders in Roseville
Creating More Inclusive Zoos and MuseumsNot long last week after featuring a 35-year-old man named "Tony" (a pseudonym), who became legally blind at birth due to retinopathy of prematurity (ROP),
Marijuana Cultivation Discussion at Roseville City Council MeetingRoseville, CA- At the May 4th Roseville City Council Meeting, representatives from Placer County will provide an opportunity for the public to provide input on Placer County's current efforts
BIG Day of Giving is TodayRoseville, CA- BIG Day of Giving has begun. All day today, from midnight to midnight, you can visit www.bigdayofgiving.org
Placer Land Trust Acquires 40 Acres along North Fork of American RiverPlacer Land Trust is very pleased to announce that in early April it acquired 40 acres of gorgeous land along the North Fork American River at the bottom of the Green Valley Trail.
$20 Pet Adoptions at Placer County's Auburn ShelterFacing a spring surplus of rescue pets - and in celebration of National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day April 30 - Placer County's Auburn animal services center will lower adoption fees
Roseville Man Arrested for Child Molestation in Bay AreaJames McNealy Carroll, a 64 year-old Roseville resident has been arrested for six counts of child molestation.
Vacancies: Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Advisory BoardThe Placer County Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Advisory Board is in need of additional community members to fill vacant seats.
Distance Language Intervention and Disabilities CommunicationSean Sawicki, who has fragile X syndrome, can be hard to understand and doesn't always have the attention span to carry on a sustained conversation
Sutter Buttes Bike Poker Run & Wine Tasting May 14thSutter, CA - Visit Yuba-Sutter will host the annual Sutter Buttes Bike Poker Run and Wine Tasting event on May 14, 2016.
NEWS: In Case You Missed It