Success Stories

Five Years Later

My name is Keith and my daughter Bailey is a student at North Hills Services.

5 1/2 years ago, my wife Audrey, our then 11 year old son Jacob and I were all surprised to find out we were going to be having a new baby girl. Bailey was born with a severe heart defect and had emergent surgery at three days old at Arkansas Children's Hospital to amend the defect. While the surgery to repair her heart was a tremendous success, her vocal chords were left temporarily paralyzed as a result of being stretched aside during her surgery to clear a pathway for the surgeon to access the defect in her heart.

Our vocal chords not only give us a voice, they also open and close to aid our swallowing and to insure that food and liquids track properly and we do not axphyxiate them into our lungs. Bailey also had reflux and doctors were worried she would indeed asphyxiate. It was recommended that an additional surgery be performed to insert a feeding tube directly into her stomach to avoid this. We were taught how to feed Bailey via a pump through the port in her stomach and finally left the hospital and took her home with hopes that she would soon be able to eat normally.

It was soon determined that Bailey's vocal chords had healed and we could try to start small feedings orally. Unfortunately, she had forgotten how to eat! We knew we had to find an organization or facility and daycare with knowledgeable staff that could help Bailey and help us get her on track while allowing us to continue back to work. Someone from the hospital recommended North Hills Services to us. At the age of nine months, Bailey was accepted as a student.

As parents, we were naturally worried about leaving our "special needs" baby girl with strangers for 8 to 10 hours a day, but within the first week, we realized that Bailey had not only been accepted as a student, but was already fully accepted and treated like family at North Hills! We knew that this place and these caring people were truly a God-send for us and for Bailey.

Now five years later, Bailey is in her last few months at North Hills Services and will be starting kindergarten this fall. She has been the recipient of intense and caring physical, speech and occupational therapies while attending North Hills and her progress physically, mentally and socially has been astounding. Bailey has made tremendous strides and we feel like she is going to be prepared to step into public school this fall without missing a beat!

While we are so happy Bailey is able to move forward, it is a little bittersweet knowing we will be saying goodbye to all the wonderful people at North Hills Services who have had such an impact on Bailey's life. She knows everyone on staff by name and loves each of them dearly. She calls all of the other children attending North Hills "My kids"! Audrey and I also love the staff and can never thank them enough for loving our daughter and helping her in so many ways. God bless all of you and Thank You...Thank You...Thank You!!!!


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