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Bloody Tears (2002)

Kellisa finally went a year without a brain surgery. However, her seizures took a turn for the worse. Kellisa spent five days in the hospital paralyzed after one seizure. The neurologist had no choice but to max out Kellisa’s medications to get the seizures under control. She continued to have seizures, just less frequent and severe with paralysis usually lasting less than an hour.

Kellisa’s eyes were crossed. With everything else, we never really worried about her eyes until her ophthalmologist told us that Kellisa needed eye muscle surgery or she would go blind.  Even with the surgery, we were warned that she could still go blind. We had no choice, we sent our little girl off for another surgery. After the surgery, we were able to see Kellisa in the recovery area. She was so little sleeping in a full size bed. We sat there anxiously waiting for her to wake up and she didn't even cry as she came around. However, she did have a few tears of blood rolling down her face that we weren't prepared to witness. 

We had walked around our neighborhood with Kellisa strapped to our stomachs many times and even took her on a couple trails in her first few years, but she had outgrown her baby carrier when we visited Van Zant trails just outside Jacksonville, FL three days after her 3rd birthday. I pushed Kellisa on a trail for the first time. Her narrow hard wheels made pushing her in the sand and over pine tree roots nearly impossible, but this was the start to a lifelong passion (obsession?).

Kellisa graduating from
the Lighthouse Learning
Center (May 2002)
Kellisa went to the Lighthouse Learning Center in Orange Park for 9 months to work on therapy and her noise sensory issues. Kellisa got over some major hurdles, especially with noise while attending multiple weekly sessions at the Lighthouse Learning Center.

Kellisa was able to start school in the Exceptional Student Education program at three-years-old. We sent our little girl off into the world alone fully dependent on others. She loved school and made many new friends. I was beyond proud. 

Seeing Kellisa at school made me realize for the first time that Kellisa was disabled. Most of her classmates looked disabled and yet, I didn’t see Kellisa that way. She was just Kellisa, not a disabled kid. We tried to treat her the same as if she was healthy, but seeing her surrounded by her peers was eye opening. For the first time, we got a glimpse of how the world sees Kellisa.

Sadly, four of Kellisa’s friends from her elementary school days will never celebrate their 18th birthdays. 

Top Left- 1st day of school   Top Right- Ribbon from school
Bottom Left- December hike in the Okefenokee Swamp   Bottom Right- Christmas in Germantown Hills, IL

84 Cents (2000 & 2001)

Mom and The Wiggles Save Kellisa (Spring 2003)

Back to Kellisa's Path Blog

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