Lars, 20 months

Lars, toddler with hydrocephalusThis is Lars Jase Olivieri. He is 20 months and has hydrocephalus.

Lars was born prematurely at 27 weeks gestation, weighing only 1lb 9oz. He had a Grade IV intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) while in utero. We needed an emergency c-section, because both of our lives were at risk.

Lars was born without a pulse and had to be resuscitated. He had a stroke right after birth, which caused him to have hemiplegia, which is paralysis of one side of the body. His right arm and leg tend to be a little week. In addition, Lars had a perforation on his intestines, he had heart issues, and a lot of other illnesses. His chances to survive were very very low, but I wasn’t ready to give up on him.

Preemie with hydrocephalusAfter five days in one of the hospitals, the doctors finally decided to transfer him to the Children’s Hospital where he could get the care that he needed to fight for his life. Lars spent 114 days in the NICU and went through 6 surgeries while there. A month after leaving the NICU, Lars had his first shunt revision. After three months, he had the second. After 3 months, his third, a day after his First birthday. A total of 5 brain surgeries in his first year of life.

Since then, he is doing really well. Lars can hold his head up, sit unassisted, and say a few words. He is the light of my life. I am so happy that I didn’t gave up on him when I was told to. Being a single mom and the only parent of a special needs child is not easy, but I learned to manage…and I wouldn’t change it for the WORLD.

Thank you.
Larissa, mom



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