Annika has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), which is a genetic condition where neurons are not repaired by the body, stop communicating with the muscles and results in the death of neurons. In Type 1 SMA this causes extreme muscle weakness, an inability to crawl, walk, sit up, eat, and most importantly even to breathe. Life expectancy with SMA Type 1 has been 2-4 years but this is changing due to better respiratory treatments.
Annika requires a large amount of care involving many machines such as a feeding pump, cough assist, suctioning device, oxygen tanks, BiPAP, pulse oximeter and more. When we travel for doctor's appointments, which are frequent, all this equipment needs to be transported along with her medical stroller which is large since she must be lying down in order to breathe. For these reasons, we are outgrowing our current vehicle and need a medical van.
Annika is 18 months old right now and doing very well considering her medical condition. But she is growing and really does not fit well in our present vehicle.