Maria was born with congential obstructive hydrocephalus due to stenosis of the Aqueduct of Sylvius. She had a ventriculoperitoneal shunt placed before she was one day old. She suffers from vision problems (cortical vision impairment, optic nerve hypertrophy, severe myopia, astigmastim), hearing problems (auditory processing disorder), motor difficulties (cerebral palsy) including a poor swallow reflex, and global developmental delays.
She was born 4 1/2 weeks premature to place the shunt, was on an apnea monitor for her first few months and an NG tube until her first birthday. She wears ankle-foot orthotics at night and all her liquids are thickened with SimplyThick to honey consistency.
Around her 3rd birthday she started getting tonic seizures (symptomatic epilepsy), anywhere from a dozen to a hundred a day. She is currently taking Depakene and Trileptal and the seizures have dwindled to almost nothing.
Despite her multiple disablities she is very healthy. None of her issues are getting worse and her vision and hearing are improving steadily.
She is also the sweetest, most affectionate child you could hope for, a blessing on her family.
She is taken care of by an army of caregivers including her parents Cathy and Manolis, her Uncle Andy, her nanny Sue, and lots of therapists and doctors.