Hi! I'm Andrew Harmon! I'm almost 17, and am a big hunk of boy. I have an amazing family and love them very much-- two older brothers, my mom and my dad. My family is very important to me because they do everything for me. I can't walk and I can't talk, but I try to let them know how much I love them by smiling and singing to them in my own way.
Because I require total care, I take a lot of work. So Mom stays home to work with me while Dad goes to his full-time job working outside the home.
My family found out I had a heart defect before I was born. I was born 4 weeks early and did well until I got respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) pneumonia when I was 7 weeks old. I was lucky to survive the illness. When I was able to come home I did so with oxygen needs. I then had open-heart surgery when I was 4 months old. While recovering from the surgery, I had a stroke that the medical team was able to revive me from, thankfully.
Over the following years, I was in and out of the hospital for many surgeries and illnesses. I've seen almost every department at Children's Hospital in Oakland, California. There have been many times that the doctors didn't think I would survive, but I am a fighter! And I am still needed here in this life with my family.
I have many medical issues and have lots of medical equipment in my room. Still, I really need some additional things that my family isn't able to afford without others' help.
I really need some things to help with my communication and learning at school and home. I have been able to use a great iPad app at school and I could really use an iPad of my own to use at school and home. The one at school is shared between all of the kids and only used occationally with me at school.
My grandparents got a nice wheelchair van for me (loading and unloading me from the regular car was breaking my mom's back), and my parents would like to pay my grandparents back for their generous help. I need new tie-downs for the wheelchair so I'm safer in the van.
Along with the TV, music is one of my main forms of entertainment, but my stereo system in my room isn't working very well anymore.
It would be nice to have new hardwood floors so my wheelchair wouldn't make wrinkles in the carpet that is wearing out thanks to me.
There are other items that would help, but I will leave it here for now.
Even though I have had to spend lots of time in the hospital, I am a very happy boy. I want all my days to be happy and joyful for my family and me. Thank you so much for any help you can give to make this possible!
Hugs and love from Andrew
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