Devon has the ability to light up an entire room with her bright smile and radiates happiness when she interacts with people. Throughout her life, Devon has continuously conquered challenges and is certainly not the person that doctors expected years ago. When she was two years old, Devon was in a drowning accident. She lost all signs of life for 47 minutes; however, as her mother Linda says, “she was sent back to earth.” Devon survived the accident but was hospitalized for three months with a primary diagnosis of profound brain injury due to oxygen deprivation.
Doctors and nurses at the hospital told Linda, and her husband Gary, that they would not be able to bring Devon home. They believed that her level of disability was too high and it would be a strain on the family. “I knew in my heart we could take care of our daughter, even if no one else thought we could,” Linda said. The closest long-term care locations were hours away from home, and in Linda and Gary’s eyes, not a realistic option for their toddler. “Everyone told me that bringing Devon home would ruin my marriage and the life of my then four-year-old son, Gary Jr.” Linda said. “Well, it’s almost 30 years later and God has proved them wrong. We’ll celebrate 35 years of marriage next month and our son is happily married with a daughter of his own.”
These days Linda has Devon’s care down to a science, but it wasn’t always an easy journey. Since the accident, Devon has been in a wheelchair, takes daily medications keep her seizures under control and uses a gastrostomy tube (G-tube), to eat. Her only voluntary movement is her ability to smile.
Linda credits her family’s continued strength, especially through difficult times, to their faith. Saturdays are special days for Linda and Devon, they usually spend the day doing manicures, getting haircuts and watching some of Devon’s favorite television shows. “Devon is a joy,” Linda said, “we love our special girl time.”
During the week, Devon is a participant of ServiceSource’s LTCIS program in Chantilly, Virginia. Within the program, Devon receives the intensive care she needs including re-positioning at least 3-times a day by our extensive personal care team. At the program, Devon enjoys both dance and music therapy in addition to listening other participants and staff read her stories. She also enjoys the sensory room at the Chantilly program location.
“I’m convinced that ServiceSource does a great job. You can tell the staff truly cares for Devon and, as a mother, that is reassuring,” Linda says.
For more information on our LTCIS program, visit our Programs and Services page.
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