Girl, Age: 6
Country Code: Africa-1
Region: Africa
Primary Diagnosis: Hydrocephalus
Hydrocephalus, Epilepsy, Blind, Amputated Right Wrist
Listed: Jul 2020
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Vivian is a gorgeous, joyful girl. Though she had a difficult start in life, she is an absolute fighter and has already come so far! She appears to have had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) at birth which has led to her disability. She also has cerebral palsy that affects all 4 limbs and uses a wheelchair. In her physical therapy she is working to keep her range of motion and improve her head control. Vivian appears to have both hearing and vision loss, although she responds to light and dark, and loves it when you open the curtains and turn on the lights to greet her in the morning. Her right hand was amputated as a baby, but she makes great use of her left hand, and enjoys holding hands/fingers and grabbing her favorite blanket and toys. Vivian is fed by a G-tube, but also enjoys occasional oral feeding for a tasty smoothie (not too cold please!) or a hot chocolate treat. Although she takes daily medicines to manage her epilepsy, Vivian is generally a very stable little girl and her epilepsy is well controlled.

As a result of her vision impairment and TBI, Vivian sleeps more than might be expected for a girl her age. For instance, after enjoying her breakfast Vivian often falls asleep until around lunch time when she wakes up for food and is then ready to enjoy an afternoon of activities (snuggles and playtime!) before falling asleep just after dinner with a bedtime story/cuddle. Once she gets to know her caregivers, Vivian learns the feeling of her favorite people (she identifies them by the feel of their bracelet, hair, or other identifying features) and responds happily when she knows they are with her!

Although Vivian is non-verbal she does express herself by facial expressions and vocalizing in response to what is going on or to get your attention. For instance, she loves being bounced around and will respond with her mouth wide open and a joyful noise. Once you get to know Vivian you will be better at recognizing how she communicates. She might let out a little noise, give you a sassy side eye, or open her mouth wide to let you know exactly how she feels. In the mornings she is normally very excited to see her people, and gives a big smile and an open mouth when you wake her up! Caregivers use objects of reference to let Vivian know what’s going to happen next, but our prayer for Vivian is that she and her caregivers will be able to find a comprehensive communication system that enables her to express her thoughts and opinions with the world.

Vivian has a gentle and lovely personality which you will quickly come to cherish. Some of the things that make her the happiest are picnics outside under the trees, walks, bubble baths, and snuggles on the couch. She is most at peace when she is close to the people she loves. With the right care and support, Vivian is capable of making beautiful progress in life. She is a treasure to have around and would absolutely love to join a forever family!