Natalie S.

Condition: Spina Bifida; Hydrocephalus
City, State: Ashland, OR
Club: Helman Elementary School Sparrow Club Service Hours: 380
Date Adopted: 10/24/2017

Natalie's Story:

Natalie is a bright young fifth-grader who attends Helman Elementary School. Along with her peers, Natalie is driven, very social, and has dreams to one day become a doctor.

However, Natalie does face some added levels of challenge in her life. When she was still developing in the womb it was discovered that Natalie would be born with part of her vertebrae exposed, a condition called spina bifida.

This sweet girl was born on January 7, 2007. After she was born it was also discovered that she suffered with hydrocephalus, a condition in which there is an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within the brain. This typically causes increased pressure inside the skull and a rapid increase in head size.

The day after she was born, Natalie was taken into surgery to address her exposed vertebrae. During that surgery, doctors were able to close the defect and prevent infection or further damage of that area.

The following day, doctors administered a separate surgery to address the hydrocephalus. During the operation, a ventriculoperitoneal shunt was placed inside the head. This type of surgery allows doctors to insert a drainage tube into the brain. The tube is used to move extra fluid in the brain to the abdomen where it can be absorbed. The entire tube lies within the body, and is not visible.

Each separate medical challenge is capable of creating many other medical set-backs. This happens to be the case for Natalie.

Each day, Natalie chooses to mentally and emotionally overcome the obstacles of partial paralysis, chiari II malformation, scoliosis, and damage to her left optic nerve.

Natalie has spent many months at a time receiving treatment or undergoing various surgeries. Even with so many challenges at such an innocent age, this lovely young lady remains determined and radiant. She is eager to live life to the fullest and fills her medically-free days with being with family, making good grades, playing the violin, and giving as much beauty back to this life as she can.

Natalie will be adopted as a sparrow to Helman Elementary School. Students at Helman will work hard to raise money for Natalie through sponsored community service and fundraising projects.


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