Easter Seals West Kentucky
Walking into the Lily Pad at Easter Seals West Kentucky, you may hear a sweet laugh coming from the Toddler Room. This particular laugh is infectious, heart-warming and welcoming. This laugh belongs to 3 year-old, Harrison Thweatt. Ms. Jocelyn, a RN in the Lily Pad who works with Harrison daily, describes Harrison as an amazing child with an animated personality. "Harrison is such a funny kid, and his laugh is contagious. It's so adorable when he dramatically slaps his knee or covers his mouth while laughing. He is precious!"
Unless you are part of Harrison's daily life, you would never know that he lives with a very rare, incurable genetic disorder. Prader-Willi syndrome is a genetic disorder usually caused by deletion of a part of chromosome 15. The genetic disorder can cause a multitude of issues, including obesity, behavioral problems and intellectual disabilities. Hormonal symptoms of Prader-Willi syndrome include a feeling of constant hunger leading to obesity. There is no cure for Prader-Willi but many patients, like Harrison, will benefit from a supervised diet.
Harrison and his family rely on the Lily Pad at Easter Seals West Kentucky to help ease his daily struggles. Harrison receives speech therapy and physical therapy during the day at Easter Seals West Kentucky. Due to low muscle tone caused be PW syndrome, Harrison also has scoliosis. The physical therapy sessions he receives help to develop muscle tone and strength. When Harrison began his journey at the Lily Pad over a year ago, he could not stand or walk without assistance. Because of his physical therapy sessions, Harrison can now stand and walk on his own. He has developed verbal skills from speech therapy he receives at Easter Seals.
Throughout the day, Harrison receives tube feeds administered by the nursing staff in the Lily Pad. This gives Harrison the nutrients his body needs and helps to monitor his calorie intake. His weekly medical assessments track Harrison's needs and the therapy he receives track developmental milestones.
The Lily Pad at Easter Seals West Kentucky is a Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care Program. It is the only program of this kind in western Kentucky and provides medical, child development and preschool services for children with complex medical diagnosis. These children are now able to learn and play with their peers, while receiving the specialized medical care they require. Parents of these children are able to return to work or school, with the comfort that their child is being cared for by registered nurses, certified nurse aids and certified teachers, in a social and educational environment.
Through your contributions to the Lions Club/WPSD Local 6 Telethon of Stars, the Lily Pad continues to grow. Through your generosity, Harrison and his friends enrolled in the Lily Pad at Easter Seals West Kentucky will continue to receive the services needed to learn, play and grow, thus ensuring their successes in life!
When entering the adult services center at Easter Seals West Kentucky, chances are you will be greeted by Stewart Owsley. Stewart is always ready to meet new people with a hearty handshake and warm greeting. Born with a mild intellectual disability and cerebral palsy, he doesn't let life slow him down.
Stewart has been attending the Adult Day Training program at Easter Seals West Kentucky for over 20 years. He is always ready to participate in the activities and trips the program offers. Stewart also volunteers his time in the community with his peers at ESWKY. The Adult Day Training program offers instruction on daily living skills, along with community inclusion and allow Stewart opportunities to utilize these skills while participating in community events.
Stewart's love for music is unbounded and he shares his talents with his friends in the program and in the community. Stewart loves to sing karaoke and participates in the ESWKY talent show every year. Stewart is also a member of the Easter Seals Choir and has performed on the Telethon of Stars for the past several years. He sang the Lord's Prayer for the opening prayer of the 56th Annual Telethon of Stars. Stewart was honored by Kentucky State Senate for his performance of the National Anthem at a rally for individuals with disabilities in Frankfort in 2016.
Stewart stays pretty busy at home, where he enjoys farm activities with his father. He is a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church and participates in the church choir. Stewart is also active in the Special Olympics and participates in the Big Brown Truck Pull.
Community inclusion, maximizing independence and promoting equality...these are the goals that are encouraged in the Adult Day Training program at Easter Seals West Kentucky. With the help of the generous donors through the Lions Club/WPSD Local 6 Telethon of stars, Stewart and those enrolled in the Adult Day Training at Easter Seals West Kentucky will continue to receive the services not only enhance their lives, but promote personal development!