Rosa Lopez-Mejia

 
Rosa was born in Scranton, PA on May 29, 2001.  She was born prematurely at 26 weeks, weighing 738 grams, and measuring 32.5 centimeters.  After her birth, Rosa was placed in intensive care for almost 3 months, in the same hospital. On August 13, 2001 she was discharged from the hospital and she was taken home for the first time. Although it was an immense joy to have her with us, harsh days came for her and for us.  She would constantly get sick with aspiration pneumonia. She would cry so much that at 8 months old she was hospitalized.  On that day, she was diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease, asthma, chronic constipation, and trouble with her eyesight.  After this, the neurologist ordered an MRI test.  When the neurologist obtained the results, he diagnosed Rosa with cerebral palsy, mentally disabled, and developmental delays.  Later she was discharged and received Early Intervention Services. Rosa’s gastroesophageal reflux disease was getting worse and she vomited a lot because her stomach could no longer contain her food.  In 2003 the pediatrician referred her to a Gastroenterology Surgeon and he repaired Rosa’s intestines and also placed a gastronomy tube, which we use to feed her.  In 2004 we moved Franklin NY, where we currently reside.  In 2005, Rosa started school at Springbrook, where she receives all her therapies and enjoys her teachers and classmates.  In that year, she was declared legally blind by the Commission of the Blind of New York State.  It all appeared to be going well and thanks to her therapies we were seeing favorable results, so much so that Rosa was able to sit up on her bed all by herself on many occasions.  This gave us so much happiness and joy.  It also gave us hope in her progress.  Sadly, on January 29, 2010 she suffered a seizure that lasted 35-40 minutes and was hospitalized in Oneonta, but due to her grave state she was transferred to Albany, where she stayed for a week.  At that time she was diagnosed with a seizure disorder.  Due to this, all the progress that she had made was lost and in the summer of 2010 we began to notice that Rosa was leaning to one side. We notified her pediatrician and he evaluated Rosa. He discovered that she had lost all the strength in her back.  In December of the same year we noticed that her back was starting to curve, so we took Rosa to her Orthopedist and when he saw her he ordered x-rays.  When he received the results, he diagnosed her with Scoliosis.  Due to rapid progression of the Scoliosis in the summer of 2012 we had to take Rosa to New York City for an evaluation with the surgeon.  After the evaluation, the surgeon suggested spinal fusion surgery to stop the progression of the Scoliosis.  On December 18, the surgery took place in New York City.  The surgery lasted 9 hours and during Rosa’s recovery she had complications with pneumonia, which made her stay 3 additional weeks in the hospital.  After she was discharged and returned home, her recovery continued for 3 months.  After her recovery, Rosa returned to school.  She can’t walk, talk, or eat without her feeding tube and her only means of communication is through vocalizations. She has been diagnosed with the following conditions: asthma, reflux disease, vision impairment, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, Scoliosis, and she uses diapers.  She depends on us and requires attention 24/7. 

Currently Rosa is 15 years old and weighs 104 pounds.  She’s a happy girl and has her two siblings, Diego who is 5 years of age and Katie who is 3 years of age. They both play with her, kiss her, and love her a lot.  They call her baby because they know that Rosa is our baby.  Even though Rosa’s life hasn’t been easy and the trajectory to be traveled is unknown, we know that she’ll be a great warrior because she knows that mom and dad will be taking care of her and protecting her with a lot of love, because she is and always will be our baby and the angel of the family.