Aydin was born premature six weeks early as a result of a placenta eruption. Prior to birth, doctors determined that Aydin had a clubfoot and would need surgery once he was born to help straighten it. While the surgery went well, his parents noticed over time that he was delayed in meeting developmental milestones.
“He wasn’t able to lift his head and would just face-plant during tummy time unless we held him up,” said his mom, Michelle. “We went to see specialists who did an MRI and found a lump of fat that had formed at the end of his spine. They said he needed to have surgery to remove it.”
While Aydin’s family knew this was not great news they had hope for a successful surgery. “He made it through surgery and it went really well,” said Michelle. “Then we were told he would never walk. We weren’t expecting that.”
Aydin was diagnosed with spina bifida, something Michelle found out later is detectable during pregnancy. “For some reason none of the doctors saw it,” said Michelle.
Aydin now goes to Yale for physical and occupational therapy. “The OT and PT at Yale are the ones that suggested a wheelchair for Aydin,” said Michelle. “At first we were really hesitant because we wanted him to walk as much as he could. Eventually we agreed and when he sat in his new chair for the first time he took off. He loved it.”
His “racecar,” as Aydin calls his wheelchair, allows him to do the things he loves – such as basketball, dance and sing. “He is a ball of energy,” said Michelle. “He is a fish and loves to swim and recently started playing wheelchair basketball with The Ryan Marin Foundation. He is in first grade and loves to make the rounds in the morning and talk to everyone. He is the mayor of the school.”
Aydin can now keep up with the other kids at schools and participate in the things he loves thanks to his wheelchair. “I was selfishly worried what people would think of him in his chair,” said Michelle. “But this equipment allows him to be who he wants to be.”
Aydin’s ATP, Toby, “is amazing and so friendly and helpful,” said Michelle. “He measured Aydin for his chair and showed him all of the color options.” His new wheelchair helps Aydin feel included and we are so grateful for that.