My name is Sofia and I would like to tell you how Moody Clinic helped our family.
Bringing a child into this world was my husband and I's biggest dream and when we found out I was pregnant, our dream had come true.
We thought nothing could go wrong.
When we learned of Sofia Maria's diagnosis we felt the world coming down on us. The pain in our hearts was so deep that it became hard to breathe, a pain that feels like it will never leave and a darkness that feels all encompassing.
Finding a place like Moody Clinic gave us that breath back, made our pain more bearable and it gave us the light we thought we had lost forever.
Our beautiful Sofia Maria was born at 34 weeks and spent a week at the NICU. When we were discharged from the hospital we thought the worst was over. However, through a routine checkup, the doctor told us that our daughter had pressure in her head and they believed it was due to internal bleeding.
As we drove to Driscoll Hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas our hearts were shattered at the possibility of losing her. It was there that Sofia Maria had been diagnosed with hydrocephalus which meant she had fluid between her skull and brain. The doctors suggested we begin physical therapy to build up her strength.
At five months old, Sofia Maria started receiving physical and occupational therapy at Moody Clinic. From the moment we arrived at their facility, the staff made us feel like family. Her therapists are exceptional and that is not a big enough word to describe them.
At eleven months old, Sofia Maria was still not eating solid foods. We then began feeding therapy to help her eat age appropriate foods. While we were getting used to therapy life, we started noticing bruising on her body.
We took her back to the doctor’s office and after some inconclusive tests, her pediatrician referred us to a Hematology and Cancer clinic.
Scared is an understatement.
After endless blood work, tears, discomfort, and fear: cancer was off the table.
The feeling of relief came but left almost instantly when the doctors suggested Sofia Maria get genetic testing.
When genetic testing was completed, we had to wait … and for one month we waited in fear.
The results came back with a diagnosis that no parent wants to hear.
Our little girl had been diagnosed with Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (VEDS), a connective tissue disorder that puts individuals at daily risk of their internal organs and arteries spontaneously rupturing.
There is no cure and there is nothing we can do.
I thought: ‘how will we recover from this? How do I keep living life smiling? How do I give my daughter the happiest life possible while I don’t even know what being happy means?’
At Moody Clinic, the staff helped me get all that back by not only giving my daughter the best therapy there is but by giving her love, making her feel invincible and special.
When Executive Director Jessica Cuevas learned of Sofia Maria’s diagnosis, she immediately set up a meeting to make a health plan. Jessica wanted to ensure her staff was informed and ready to take care of our girl in case of any emergency. She gave our family comfort and made us feel safe.
The therapy at Moody Clinic feels hopeful. The therapists believe that your child will achieve their goals and that every single day there is something to celebrate, no matter how small of a milestone that is.
Halloween 2021 will forever be in my heart. Whenever a holiday comes around, the staff finds a way to make it feel special for patients.
On this particular day, I felt like I was at my lowest.
I dressed my baby in a Dalmatian costume and we headed to therapy. When she arrived to Moody Clinic, the staff had each patient’s session set up so that kids could go trick or treating inside the clinic. Sofia Maria was so excited and happy picking up sweet treats.
When I got back to the car, I cried happy tears because Moody Clinic had given me a great day with my daughter.
Being a parent of a child with a life threating condition, or any condition in general is hard, but having Moody Clinic on our side has made the burden easier to carry.
Moody Clinic is our safe place. I don’t know what we would have done without their incredible support. My family will forever be thankful.
Today, I ask you that you please consider donating to the Moody Clinic.
Your financial gift can help children achieve what others see as impossible and can help parents like myself find the light at the end of the tunnel.
--Sofia De La Garza