When Claire was born she failed every hearing test at the hospital. As we were checking out to take her home we were handed a disability application because of her failed hearing test. In that moment we decided to fight for Claire. In the months following her arrival we began going to doctors visits and specialists while they did multiple test on her. The copays and doctors bills started piling up pretty quickly. Claire cried 6-8 hours a day and we couldn’t seem to get any answers. She started missing milestones around the 6-9 month mark and that’s when we decided to put tubes in her ears to drain the fluid she has had in her ears since birth.
After her surgery she was like a new kid. She stopped crying as much and we started to see more of her personality come to life. She passed her first and only hearing test to date in May 2018, right before she turned one. After that victory we thought we were in the clear but her therapist noticed that something was still going on. As a recommendation from her therapist we got her vision checked and found out that she was legally blind without glasses. Her vision was a +8. The news was heart breaking but also encouraging because we were finding answers. While her vision has been a huge part of her success we still do not have all of the answers.
Right now Claire is still struggling with speech, walking, balance, hearing, vestibular issues, swallowing thin liquids, depth perception, core strength and safety awareness. Claire works on 5 therapy’s a week: speech therapy, feeding therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy and Hippotherapy. We also started working with genetic doctors that are trying to help us put all of the pieces of the puzzle together along with testing for genetic abnormalities. As great as these things are they are also very expensive.
I must admit that it is hard for us to ask for help. We are the kind of people that just keep our heads down and work hard, never expecting other people to solve our problems but recently our perspectives changed. On top of Brent’s full time job and a part time job and Kristina being a full time mom, we needed another source of income to help us pay off medical debt so we started painting mailboxes. The word spread and we soon had over 50 customers in 2 weeks! People wanted to help and were not only paying us for our work but they were paying a lot more because they were touched by our story and wanted to help out. We also had people contact us saying that they didn’t want their mailbox painted at all they just wanted to donate towards our cause! Thats when we had a change of heart.
We are hoping to pay off $40,000 of medical debt and to have the funds to pay for upcoming medical test and procedures. We are so grateful for your support and donations as we help find answers for Claire.
The Gaines Family
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