6 year old Kai was in a tragic car accident about 1 mile of arriving school the early morning of April 13th 2015.
Her Mom was screaming to get her child from the back seat of the crumpled car to the 1st responders.
As her classmates & teachers at school were beginning their morning reciting the Pledge Of Allegiance, Kai was being Air Lifted to CMC Levine's Childrens Hospital Pediatric Intensive Care Unit fighting for her life.
Suffering a broken neck C1,2,3 & C5. Damage to her Spinal Cord & Brain injury. Kai had bleeding on her Brain, Collapsed Lung, Broken Leg, Seat Belt laerations and brusing.
A Shunt was surgically implanted to drain & relieve pressure on her brain. A Tracheostomy was performed. Kai was hooked up to a Life Support Ventelator and So many machines. That morning before the accident she was a healthy little girl and with a blink of an eye, was very sick in Critical Condition.
Her Mom was treated for a Concussion and broken ankle.
Kai had major surgery fusing C1 – C5 to stabilize her broken neck. Her torn Spine was another huge concern. Her survival was very unsure.
We were told the Prognosis for this type of injury was that Kai most likely would not move from the neck down, talk or swallow, be on a Ventilator to assist her breathing, a Feeding Tube Implanted in her stomach with assisted 24/7 care. Paralized for the rest of her Life.
Kai was kept heavily sedated as she endured CT Scans, MRI's and So Many other tests and procedures known to man.
As the weeks past by several types of doctors and nurses would try and gently ask Kai questions that she would answer by blinking her eyes to yes and no questions. At times she would just raise her eye brows ever so slightly to yes.
Tears would drop from her eyes from time to time as she lay there with no other movement. She had her full mental comprehention but was at the mercy of God and everyone around her.
There were so many prayers for Kai and over whelming support emotionally and spiritually from her paster, family, friends, neighbors, community, school principal and teachers. Kai's school teacher & her assistant came very often to read to her and comfort her. They brought so many cards and pictures from her classmates often to show they all cared so much.
As days turned into weeks, months, Kai slowly started moving her arms and learning to hold objects a different way but with her own hands. Her fingers and fine motor skills are not the same.
Kai was released from the hospital in late July, 2015 with around the clock in home nursing care. The 24 hour nursing care stopped late September when her Trache was taken out at her Pulomoligist appointment, which normally most patients must be hospitalized. This was a true miracle.
Kai was hospitalized from spring and half the summer and now it is nearly the beginning of winter. She was home schooled for a few weeks and then approved for half days at her public school. She attends about 3 hours per day and is doing well academically. The only difference is that she is in a wheel chair with limited mobility. She has a bus that picks her up with a lift since she is in a Power Wheel Chair that has been fitted for her injury full time.
Kai's Power Wheel Chair is her only way of getting around. She also has a nurse that attends school and rides the bus since Kai must have assistance for her phyical needs.
Kai is paralyzed from the upper chest down. She can not stand up nor walk. Her mother dresses her, takes care of all her hygiene needs on a daily basis. At night Mom must reposition her in bed every 3 hours since Kai does not have a pressure relief bed to prevent pressure sores. During the day Kai has pressure relief built into her customized wheel chair. She must be picked up to be transferred to other places like sofa, bed, beanbag chair and floor mat.
Kai does attend Physical and Occupational Therapy 4 days per week learning techniques to deal with her new way of life in hopes of becoming independent, but has a long way to go.
Kai's Mom has always worked hard as a single parent supporting Kai on her own, with no additional help since Kai was a baby. She cares for her 24/7 now and can not go back to work as of yet.
Kai's only transportation is through the State of which is for school, doctor appointments and approved therapy.
It would be awesome if Kai had a vehicle with a lift, but it takes money they do not have. Kai would love to go places but is home bound at age 6.
Kai never complains, she has been amazing through it all. She has her full mental comprehension. She is able to feed herself and eats well when the doctors months ago said she needed a feeding tube implanted. She has limited ability to hold objects but is determined and we are thankful this was not taken away.
There is is no cure, as of yet for Spinal Cord Injury and Paralysis. We do pray Kai will walk again but also acknowledge she is so blessed and brings joy to many hearts.
All funds will go toward the purchase of a Power Wheel Chair assessable vehicle with a lift and expenses Medicaid and Social Security benifits will not cover. The benifits help but are simply not enough to live off so additional support has come from family.
This help will create independence and quality of life, by going to extra therapeutic activities, church, and many other places in turn becoming more socially active.
Continued Prayer is much needed, donations small or large will help Kai prevail through her very long journey of healing as time goes on.
Thank you for reading Kai's life changing story and sharing as God continues to Heal, Srengthen and Comfort her.
She gets around in her Power Wheel Chair & blessed with full mental comprehension.
Kai is in school this year 2016/2017 full time & still has a nurse that goes to school everyday to assist her in many ways, such as personal hygiene, turning pages to books in class, handing her pencils, markers, crayons, cutting, gluing etc. (anything that requires fine motor skills since most fingers do not work like they used to, before the car crash). Kai will use both hands to hold a pencil when she carefully writes down spelling words & she writes very neatly. If coloring she does stay in the lines as she hold crayons, markers & paint brushes the same way.
She is still eating & drinking good which we are so happy about since the doctors were insisting to implant the Feeding Tube back in July 2015 upon her release from the children's hospital. Her Mom Shelby knew she would eat and went to bat for her child Kai and continues to take good care of her little girl now age 7.
Kai is still attending physical therapy 4 days per week after school...(now that's a busy schedule to benifit Kai as she is learning many different things such as "transferring" herself from her wheel chair to bed. The goal is to create independence and to remain healthy through exercise as time goes on. This is a huge process that takes time...and will most likely continue through out her life.
Times are still tough financially and will continue to be. Social Security Disability pays approximately $720.00 per month. Insurance pays for a certain amount of nursing care of which is essential to assist Kai. Her Mom Shelby started classes at our community college working toward a nursing degree. Her Mom is also working at a grocery store as much as possible. (The nursing care will not pay for 3d shift, only 1st & 2nd). Between Moms job, college classes, taking Kai to school each day & to physical therapy continues to be very tough but neither Kai or Mom gives up!
The apartment rent is approximately $700.00 per month
$420.00 very basic bills per month
$125.00 approx for extra medicines & hygiene products not covered by insurance.
The 18 yr. old van with wheel chair lift that was given to them is a blessing, of which they are truly great full for, but there are repairs, monthly insurance & gasoline.
I am proud of the fact as Kai's Grandmother & Shelby's Mom that they are and have been living on their own like they always have been.
I realize life is a struggle for many and they are not the only ones.
I wish I had the means to help them out with the financial burden and know it can be tough!
We are truly greatful for all the prayers & continued prayers for Kai & Mom❤️
It has never been easy for me to ask for help especially, financial nor has Shelby, Kai's Mom.
I am asking if you are able, to please donate toward "Helping Kai", your donations will go directly to them as they have a very long road ahead.
There is still no cure to Spinal Cord Injury & Paralysis, and we pray a cure is found one day soon.
Thank you to all of you that continue to follow Kai's story and all of your prayers.
Kai must have 24/7 care of which her Mother takes care of her physical needs. She must be catheterized every 4-6 hrs. On a strict bowel program, picked up and transferred to a bath chair, hygiene needs, wheel chair, sofa, bed. Meals are made for her. Kai cannot dress herself, not independent like before the car crash.
Mom has not been able to return to work as of yet and has always been independent taking care of Kai. Any Donation Large or Small Will Help With The Financial Burden They Are Facing As Time Goes On.
KAI HAS A LONG WAY TO GO…
Kai has Physical and Occupational Therapy each week day, at times can become grueling for Kai but she keeps strong & willing to do what it takes at 7 YEARS OLD. She is a Fighter!
Pediatric Physical Therapy:
To assist Kai in reaching maximum potential to function independently, promote overall health and wellness, and promote active participation in home, school, and community environments.
• Promotes independence
• Increases participation
• Facilitates motor development and function
• Improves strength and endurance
• Enhances learning opportunities
Will help Kai gain independence and promote participation in her daily life activities.
What are Kai's occupations?
• School activities: handwriting, drawing, cutting, attention to task, etc.
• Self-care: dressing, eating and personal hygiene
The goal for Kai is to enhance her performance in her daily life skills and activities through the development of:
• Cognitive skills
• Social skills
• Gross and fine motor skills
Benefits of Occupational Pediatric Therapy is designed to help improve, restore and rehabilitate movement in addition to adding to the quality of life.
Thank you to all who continue to care.
Kai Gonzalez. We thank you everyone for your continued Love & Support for Kai ❤️ This is a Blessing...
It has been 1 yr. now & Kai still has a very Long Road ahead. Her mom is her full time care giver to assist Kai with her daily & nightly needs. Kai continues to go to Ocupational & Physical Therapy during the week to help her with the paralysis from the spinal cord & brain injury from last April. Kai never complains and works hard at becoming stronger and learning techniques for her daily life. Her Mom has not been able to go back to work because Kai must have 24/7 care as Kai is not independent and will continue to work diligently to get there one day at a time. Blessings to all.
My brother and I have a scooter lift that can be attached to the back of a car, truck or Van that we would loan to Kia until they are able to find a wheel chair accessible van. Just contact me on my fb page. Tim. We have loaned if before and we want to continue to just loan it to people who need it. Tim.
THIS PRECIOUS LITTLE, TENDER, TOUGH NIECE OF MINE IS THE GREATEST LITTLE CHAMP I KNOW, MAY BE LITTLE BUT MY DOCTOR TOLD ME! PREEMIES OR SMALL LITTLE GIRLS ARE THE TOUGHEST YOU'LL EVER COME ACROSS MAY BE SMALL BUT DON'T LET SIZE FULL YOU ! SHE'S GOT A HUGE FIGHT IN HER, SHE WILL BEAT THE ODDS I'VE SEEN GREAT IMPROVEMENTS OF HER,, SHE WORKS SO HARD EACH AND EVERY DAY,, PUTS ALL HER STRENGTH AND DETERMINATION INTO HER RECOVERY AND WIN! ALL HER CHALLENGES AHEAD I PRAY DAILY FOR HER OBSTACLES,,,, AND THE ---WE AS FAMILY ! WE ALL HAVE PAIN !!!! YET WITH PAIN COMES GAIN !!!!! SURVIVORS FOR LIFE SHELBY, WITH ALL OUR HEARTS
I pray that you and your daughter gets what you guys need. Pray to God and she lives to be a confident young little girl.LOVE YOU and KAI.
Enjoyed meeting you a month or so ago at Harris Teeter. Do call me when you're able. Elsie