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Ella's Journey from a Three-Pound Preemie to a Happy Three -Year-Old

Birth to Three, Easter Seals, Early Intervention,

We all have moments, when life throws us curveballs and the obstacles in our way never seem to end. Be inspired by a little girl named Ella who has faced numerous health obstacles in the past three years, but has  those and other hurdles to successfully develop into a happy typical little girl.

During an ultrasound in her mom, Melissa’s, third trimester, doctors discovered that her unborn baby girl had a bowel obstruction. Trying all they could to extend delivery to full term, Ella was still born prematurely at 29 weeks on January 11, 2008, weighing only 3lbs, 5 oz and 15” long. 

Ella at one month old.  She is so small that her father's wedding ring fits as a braceletBorn at 29 weeks, Ella weighed 3 pounds. Her father’s wedding ring fit like a bracelet on her delicate wrist.


Melissa remembers those early days and the immediate referral from doctors to our Easter Seals Birth to Three Early intervention therapies.   “There was someone in my house every day, from medical professionals, from Children's Hospital, helping me with her medical needs or Easter Seals therapists working with Ella to strengthen her gross and fine motor skills to help her achieve typical development milestones.”

Ella was initially delayed with some typical development milestones such as holding up her head, rolling, sitting, crawling and walking. Through the efforts of her family, a great team of professionals and a strong little spirit, holding up her head, rolling over, sitting, crawling and walking soon  became realities for this special little girl.

At two years old, Ella began attending our Early Childhood classes to help her delayed speech development, and difficulties she experienced associated with eating, due to g-tube feeding.  She also needed assistance with socialization skills to help reduce her anxiety around new people.

In the first year, of being part of our Birth to Three classroom,  Ella quickly  got over much of her anxiety and developed friendships with her classmates 

Speech therapy was also so successful that she is not only a typical chatty preschooler, but her speech development is actually advanced for her age.


Ella just graduated from our Birth to Three program this past Monday as she celebrated her thrid brithday. Her journey from a three- pound preemie to a happy three -year-old has been amazing. The successful results in speech, socialization, gross and fine motor skills due to her early therapies are obvious to all who know her. Due to progress with feeding related therapy, this year may also bring a big medical milestone for Ella, with the removal of her g-tube.“She is where she is today because of all the early help she received at Easter Seals,” says Melissa.

Her progress will also help her in her next big role. Melissa is expecting again and Ella is very excited about being a big sister!

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