All Art and Amy Cartwright ever wanted was to have a big family. In fact, shortly after they got married they bought a mini van and planned to fill it as soon as possible. Art and Amy had some heart ache early on as they lost a few pregnancies, but through faith and prayers their resolve to have a large family only grew stronger. And so they did; 4 kids in 5 years!
But Art and Amy knew there was one more. When Amy miscarried at 5 months, she prayed to God to let Him know she would do everything she could to be the best mom and make the best home possible for one more child. And so she did; little Henry was born.
Henry was born with the rare condition Arthogriposis; where his joints and muscles were deformed. After a tracheotomy, a gastrostomy tube, and a long hospital stay - Henry finally came home the night before Thanksgiving at 5 months old. The Cartwright family was determined to love and care for and help Henry grow! And so he did; that was 5 years ago.
Since then, Henry has had multiple surgeries and seen hundreds of doctors and therapists. He's had his jaw, hips, femurs and other bones surgically broken in hopes to help him breath and move better. Henry is quick at rolling his body on the floor to get where he wants to go. He loves preschool where he plays with other kids and is learning to read.
Recently Henry qualified to receive a power wheel chair. His new wheels can move Henry around quickly and easily with the gentle pressure of his hand. The seat can extend upwards so he can reach the sink to wash his hands or eat at the table with his family. Henry loves to take it outside to walk the dog or chase his siblings! Needless to say, Henry is quickly gaining self-confidence with his newfound independence.
The Cartwright's have done everything they can to help Henry in the best possible way; including moving to a one-level house where Henry can get around more easily and driving several times a year to Philadelphia where Henry's doctors are. Doctor visits, travel expenses, moving houses - things quickly add up. And even though Art works hard to provide for this awesome family, they have met a big obstacle in helping Henry to move forward in a big way. Because Henry's new wheel chair is so heavy, it can't be picked up and put into the trunk of their current van. Henry currently travels with a smaller and light weight chair, but his own arms and hands don't function in a way that he can use the chair without help. They need a wheelchair accessible vehicle so Henry can take his new chair to school, church, or wherever the family may be going. A new vehicle is expensive, but the wheelchair accessibility for a family of seven, makes it moreso.
We are hoping to raise enough funds to help the Cartwrights purchase a mini van with wheelchair accessibility. There really is no other option for this sweet family! They say it takes a village to raise a child, and no where is that more true than here. We hope that you might be able to help a little bit to make Henry and the Cartwright's life a little brighter.
Thanks a million!!!
- Tara Arnold
- Marilyn Watson
- James Mathatas
Organizer and beneficiary
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