Though Milo is quite a bit smaller in age and stature than most mayors, his personality is just as big. According to his physical therapist, Brittany Wynn, “He is so social and enjoys greeting and smiling at everyone. People will often stop in their tracks to speak to him,” which has gained him the reputation as the mayor of CHoR.
Seeing Milo’s smile, you wouldn’t guess he had such a rough start to life. Now 2 years old, Milo suffered hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy – a brain injury caused by lack of oxygen to the brain – at birth. He was in the NICU at another local hospital for six weeks, where he started physical, occupational and speech therapy and had surgery to insert his g-tube – a device that gives direct access to the stomach for nutrition and hydration.
A team to care for Milo
After discharge from the hospital, Megan and Steve Enders were ready to settle in at home and begin day-to-day life with their new baby. That routine included visits to our feeding clinic because Milo was eating solely through his g-tube, as well as regular appointments with specialists in early intervention, neurology, pediatric surgery and gastroenterology in the community. Milo continued to be assessed as he grew.
At about 10 months old, Milo was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Following this diagnosis, the frequency and intensity of his therapies increased. He switched from early intervention services to physical, occupational and speech therapy at our Brook Road location. Happy with the feeding program and therapy services, Milo’s parents made the decision to transfer all of his specialty medical care to CHoR as well. He has routine visits with Dr. Amy Harper in neurology, Nancy Thompson in surgery and our nutrition team. He’s seen Dr. Kelley Dodson for ear, nose and throat care too.
Hard work, great fun
Milo spends his days having quality time with Dad, playing, exploring town, going to therapy and practicing his therapy skills. When Mom gets home from work in the evening, they play, read, snuggle, make each other laugh and give lots of kisses. He’s also a big fan of going to the pool, Daniel Tiger, his two kitties at home and people-watching. In fact, he’s often more interested in people than toys!
Among his favorite people are the friends (therapists) he gets to visit four days a week. They work on fine and gross motor as well as communication skills.
“When I started working with Milo about a year ago, he didn’t use his hands to play with toys and he could not sit up by himself. He was also sensitive to different types of stimuli on his hands and body, and he was fearful of swings and other types of sensory equipment,” says Megan Stratton, his occupational therapist. “He’s now exploring textures, sitting up, rolling, pushing up on his hands while on his tummy, and starting to take steps in a gait trainer!”
He’s also been working on his oral feeding and has taken a liking to butterscotch lollipops.
Lighting up the room
Milo’s parents and therapists describe him as happy, curious and social. His smile lights up a room and, even on the rare occasion he’s upset, he has the most adorable pout. He’s learning to communicate more and more, saying “mama,” “dada,” “more” and “all done.” He’s recently perfected “hi” and likes to say it to anyone and everyone!
“Milo is the strongest and most resilient boy we know. We hope he always maintains his sense of joy and optimism, and that he continues to be surrounded by people who love and support him as he grows,” say Steve and Megan. “His primary NICU nurse would always say she knew he was going to do big things in life. We're pretty sure she's right.”
Milo is no stranger to working hard and making friends – all signs point to his re-election as mayor of CHoR.