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."
LittleGiantFudge.com and Palmer Bus Service make this column possible.
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 (11.25.15)Roseville, CA- Crime flash report for Roseville, November 25, 2015.
Water Savings Fall Short AgainRoseville, CA. - Customers in San Juan Water District's retail service area reduced their October water use by 26 percent, which is 10 percent less
Chapa-De Indian Health Website for PatientsAUBURN, CA - Chapa-De Indian Health is proud to announce the launch of its newly updated website will also allow patients to learn about the comprehensive healthcare services
Blindness EtiquetteRoseville, CA - If you are meeting a person who is blind or visually impaired for the first time, do you offer your hand for him to shake?
Toyota RAV4 remains reliable compact SUVRoseville, CA- There is obviously a lot to like regarding the RAV4, starting with a sticker price that ranges from $23,680 to $29,850.
Roseville, Rocklin May Get Jobs Boost from Sunset Area PlanRoseville, CA - Currently known as the Sunset Industrial area west of Highway 65 and surrounded by the cities of Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln.
Loretta Claiborne: RevisitedRoseville, CA - Last week, I began telling you about Loretta Claiborne, an African American who was born poor, partially blind, and with an intellectual disability.
Placer County Water Agency Adopts 2016 BudgetAUBURN, Calif. - At its November 19 meeting, the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors adopted the Agency's 2016 budget
Rocklin Crime Report Update: DUI Arrests JumpRocklin, CA - Rocklin police weekly crime report digest update summary for the period of November 9- 15, 2015.
Roseville and Rocklin Among Beneficiaries of Clean Energy ProjectsRoseville, CA - The Placer County Board of Supervisors received a program update on mPOWER which has funded more than $35 million in clean energy projects
Cali Bowl in Roseville November 27-29Roseville, CA- The 8th Annual California Bowl comes to Roseville on Nov. 27-29 at the Woodcreek High School football stadium
Roseville to Hold Green Gardening at Home SeriesRoseville, CA - Starting this January, the Roseville Utility Exploration Center, 1501 Pleasant Grove Blvd. at Mahany Park
NEWS: In Case You Missed It