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 Fuel Duel Keeps Prices in CheckRoseville, CA- Although gas prices in Roseville may inched up slightly this past week, the ongoing duel between Costco and Sam's Club continues to benefit their members.
New FEMA Flood Maps: Roseville, Rocklin Meetings SetSome Placer residents can look forward to lower flood insurance premiums now that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has issued new draft flood maps for the region
$2 Million Grant for Sierra College Pilot ProgramRocklin, CA -- Sierra College has received a two-year, $2 million state grant to expand its highly successful partnership among regional high schools, community colleges
Buick Cascada: Stylish and Fun-loving ConvertibleRoseville, CA- The 2016 Buick Cascada is a stylish, compact soft-top convertible that has many strong qualities.
Memorial Day: A Time to ReflectMemorial Day is time to take a moment to reflect on the purpose of this holiday-to pay tribute to those who have served us in the military-especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
South Yuba River State Park: Summer CooldownSouth Yuba River State Park provides a scenic adventure and summer escape with pricing that's hard to beat.
Estate Planning Workshop in Granite Bay June 2Roseville, CA- Come out for an informative seminar with Bill Walker to learn how about smart estate planning on Thursday, June 2, 2016.
Roseville Ride: Miner's Ravine Trail Roseville, CA- A great place to go solo or bring the family, Miner's Ravine Trail offers a great escape for those looking to get away without the hassle or cost of a more time consuming adventure.
3 Arrested in West Roseville Vehicle TheftsRoseville, CA- Kevin Patrick McFarland, Maksim Mishchenko, and Stanislav M. Taran, were arrested on suspicion of stealing from numerous vehicles in Roseville.
Annual Marysville Stampede Memorial Day WeekendMarysville, CA- An annual celebration of California Western and rodeo heritage, in the heart of California's cowboy country, the 83rd Annual Marysville Stampede
Downtown Woodland: Unexpected TreasureWoodland, CA- On a recent Sunday afternoon, I grabbed my wife and headed off on a rather short drive to Woodland to catch an afternoon show at the Blue Note Brewing Company.
Roseville Flash Crime Report (5.23.16)Roseville police crime report digest update for May 23, 2016.
NEWS: In Case You Missed It