Look What We Can Do
Brittany Adkins, M.S.ED., CAGS
I work as a school psychologist and over the years I have seen children and families consistently rise above limits set by the disabilities they face. Sometimes, when things become overwhelming, you see people find resilience and strength that you never thought possible.
In January 2016, friends of ours received news about their two-year-old son, Nolan, that would change life as they knew it forever. Over the course of an hour, they saw their active son become paralyzed from the neck down due to a very rare neuro-immune disorder called Acute Idiopathic Transverse Myelitis. The next few months were full of uncertainty and introduced them to tons of new vocabulary—inpatient rehabilitation, locomotor training, plasmapheresis treatments, etc. As time went on, they tried to find a new “normal” in the midst of chaos. While the physical challenges Nolan faced were obvious, the emotional challenges involved in helping Nolan to understand his diagnosis were even more difficult.
I initially set out to write Nolan a story that would emphasize all of the things that he could continue to enjoy despite his diagnosis. As the project evolved, Nolan’s parents explained that resources for young children in his situation are limited. We decided to move forward with the publication process to spread awareness about Transverse Myelitis and to raise funds for pediatric spinal cord injury.
Nolan and his family certainly continue to have challenges and tough days, but they wake up every day fighting for optimism, choosing joy, and working to give him as much independence as possible. Nolan’s continued recovery can be followed at https://www.facebook.com/getwellnolan/.
Nolan and his loving family served as my inspiration for a tale that I hope will inspire others. I am very excited to announce that our book is now available on Amazon and through Barnes & Noble. “Look What We Can Do!” is a light-hearted tale of Nolan, a little boy, and Teddy, his best friend, as they cruise around on Nolan’s new power wheelchair. These two adventurers find joy and humor in the world around them, despite the new obstacles they face.