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 HeadlinesReal Estate Watch: Home Seller's Market Roseville, CA - Realtor, Julie Jalone of MagnumOne Realty in Roseville, is asking why more homeowners are not taking advantage the current seller's market being caused by high buyer demand and low inventory of home for sale.
Donut Dash returns to William Land Park UC Davis Children's Hospital patients and their families will be racing around the pediatrics unit, with a brief stop for doughnut holes, in celebration of Donut Dash
Top 5 Healthy Heart Habits : A Dose of Vitamin Ray with Dr. RayDid you know, heart disease is still the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States? In fact, per The American Heart Association
Autism Studies: Placenta Provides Time Capsule(Sacramento, Calif) - In two recent studies, researchers at UC Davis have shown that placental tissue can provide critical information about the epigenetic
Winners of American History Essay Contest honored in RosevilleRoseville, CA - Congratulations to winners of the American History Essay contest sponsored by Roseville's Gold Trail Chapter
Placer SPCA Announces 2017 Board of DirectorsRoseville, CA - The Placer SPCA has announced the election of its 2017 Officers for the Board of Directors.
Hyundai Veloster: Unconventional compact hatchbackRoseville, CA- The first thing one notices about the Hyundai Veloster is the odd door arrangement. It's an ingenious idea, putting two doors on the passenger side of this compact hatchback
Tickets Now Available for Flavor! Napa ValleyNapa, CA - Individual tickets for Flavor! Napa Valley, March 22 - 26, 2017, which supports programs and scholarships at The Culinary Institute of America's (CIA) Greystone Campus
New California Laws 2017 (Part 19)Roseville, CA - 100 New California laws for 2017. Part 19 includes public records, civil actions, auctions, child abuse, education finance, employees time off, recycling, medical marijuana and more
Wild Bill's 16th Annual Tattoo-a-thon Benefit in RosevilleWild Bill's 16th annual Tattoo-a-thon will take place on Saturday, Feb. 25, from 8 a.m. to midnight. Thirty tattoo artists have volunteered to work 16 hours
Roseville to host Battle of the Roses Roseville, CA - The Battle of the Roses comes to the Placer County Fairgrounds on Saturday, Feb. 25
10 Cheapest Gas Stations in RosevilleRoseville, CA- Going Up. That sentiment appears to be more of what Roseville residents can expect as gas prices are projected to push higher heading into the spring season
NEWS: In Case You Missed It