Auriana, or Auri, as she is affectionately called, was born with Down syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes lifelong developmental delays and poor muscle tone. As a result of that condition, Auri suffers from atrioventricular canal defect, a combination of several abnormalities in the heart. This defect occurs when there’s a hole between the chambers of the heart and problems with the valves that regulate blood flow. It allows extra blood to circulate to the lungs causing the heart to overwork and enlarge. If left untreated, it can cause heart failure.
Auri suffered through her first open heart surgery when she was only 4 ½ months old. That first procedure attempted to close the hole in her heart, but as she grew, her heart continued to have issues. She has had two more open heart surgeries to address them. Auri still has the heart condition which requires medication, but her heart is stable, for now.
In addition to dealing with frequent trips to the cardiologist, Auri has developmental delays and communication difficulties. To help Auri improve her communication and entertain herself during her many doctors’ visits, Kids Wish Network granted her wish for an iPad with the help of our Guardian Angel donors and Auri’s wish sponsors, Cellairis and Two Little Hands Productions/Signing Time.
When Auri’s wish box arrived, she was overjoyed and started playing with her iPad immediately. She spent hours playing games and improving her communication with her educational software. Auri loves her iPad and uses it every day for everything from school, to watching videos in the car and at doctor’s appointments, and playing games. Part of her gift was the entire season of Signing Time, and she now signs really well. Since receiving her iPad, Auri has reached a huge milestone; she started talking. She began by using spontaneous speech along with signing, but now she is able to get her point across by using words most of the time. She still doesn’t quite have complete sentences, but it’s coming along.
“It is a great feeling to have your child, who you were told may never have meaningful speech, be able to TELL you what she wants! The iPad greatly improved Auri’s life and opened up so many doors for her in terms of learning and having fun,” said Auri’s mom.