Jonah! You Make Us Better People!





Jonah!

Jonah is a Jacob's Fund kid. Like our Jacob, Jonah was born with multiple heart defects, including hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). We are thrilled with his progress, following each step of his journey. Jonah is a special boy with an amazing family - sister Lily, dad Linn, and mom, Amy, who helps other families find the support they need for their special needs children. 40,000 children are born with congenital heart defects each year. Our hearts are with them, not only during February - Heart Month - but every day of the year.


Hippotherapy, one of Jonah's favorite activities



Jonah and Miles

Did you know that February is #AmericanHeartMonth? In honor of that, we are spotlighting Jonah!
His mom Amy explains, “Jonah is 9 years old and is one of the happiest children you will ever meet! He loves learning and embraces every moment. He was born with Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome (and several other heart defects), a cleft palate, kidney problems and several other challenges.



Chocolate, icing, and decorations - now that's the way to do therapy!

He has come to McKenna Farms for therapy since February 2014. When he first attended McKenna, he couldn’t walk unsupported, could not talk and doctors had even told us that he more than likely would never do either. The progress he has made is phenomenal. His favorite things to do while in therapy are hippotherapy, playing games and riding his bike. He’s even starting as a therapeutic rider this month! He absolutely loves his team. They are part of our family. Chelsea, his OT, has helped Jonah in so many ways. His self-confidence and fine motor skills have grown exponentially. She brought our therapy dog Miles into his life, and we are forever grateful. Katie, his SLP, has helped Jonah immensely. She has worked intensely with him for years and has given our “nonverbal” child the gift of a voice. Her ability to work collaboratively with his craniofacial team at CHOA is commendable. Chandler, his PT, helped assist Jonah in gaining his confidence with bike riding. She also always embraced his current loves, including obstacle courses, martial arts and yoga. I am forever grateful for everyone who has impacted our family.”

When you have to go to the hospital, Miles makes things better.

OT Chelsea Colangelo says, “To know Jonah is to love him. He is resilient and brave! I have been blessed with being Jonah's occupational therapist for almost three years now and it amazes me how many areas he has shown growth in. He is so much fun to treat and is always eager to learn. He is full of curiosity and wonder - constantly asking questions and wanting to find out more about everything around him. In occupational therapy, Jonah has been working on growing his independence in daily life activities with a focus on his fine motor coordination, strengthening, and the manual dexterity of his hands! A big focus in our sessions has been shoe tying, which he is SO close to being fully independent with! Jonah also participates in hippotherapy where we have focused on his coordination and balance - he is extremely motivated by being on the horse and is becoming a strong rider!”

 

Virtual speech therapy? Jonah is on it!


Sharing fries

Chandler, his PT, says, “I can’t say enough about this kid. He is such a hard worker and an absolute joy to be around. Jonah has such an infectious personality and lights up any room he walks into. He makes me not only want to be a better therapist but a better person as well. It’s been an absolute pleasure being able to work with Jonah and watch his confidence grow each day!”



A ride around the farm

His SLP Katie says, “It is never a cloudy day when Jonah is around! His contagious laugh and loving spirit make our therapy sessions a highlight of my week. I've had the pleasure of working with Jonah for 4 years now and am so proud of his accomplishments in and outside of the therapy room. He has shown flexibility and determination while transitioning to mostly virtual speech therapy. Beyond our activities to improve his speech intelligibility, Jonah and I have built a friendship and love our weekly catch-up on life talks. Not only do I feel lucky to work with Jonah, but also to be welcomed into his family which includes all his 2-4 legged members. Jonah makes each of our sessions so much fun!”

When your therapy place is a farmhouse it's easy to relax.

Keep up the great work, Jonah! We are so proud of all that you have accomplished, and we love having your whole family be part of the McKenna Farms family.



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