Ferol was born via an emergency C-section. At the time, Ferol’s father didn’t know if his wife or their baby was going to live. 

Ferol had a duplication on her thirteenth chromosome. The doctors called it Partial Trisomy 13. Very few people had it, and the doctors said that their baby girl probably wouldn’t live more than a year.

After 3 months of being home, Ferol began having seizures, and at times, she would have more than 20 seizures in an hour. After seeing a neurologist and receiving medication, she was able to use her brain to do what it should be doing: learning! She was much more alert and happier. She got up to 12 lbs. and had more of an appetite. She was starting to grow, and her mom’s heart started to ease.

“Thank goodness I was able to stay home with my children,” her mom says, “God gave me strength to get through the long days and sleepless nights. Kegan (Ferol’s brother) was my shining light. He was such a happy, good boy, and that helped to keep my spirits up.”

Ferol’s first birthday in October was a huge celebration. So many people came to the party which was held at the neighborhood park. It was a gorgeous day and there was so much love for this little girl named Ferol.

Artwork by Liv Peterson

The next year was better. She started to do things that were encouraging. She began to crawl, stand, sign, and play. She was engaging with people, laughing, and acting like a “normal” baby, perhaps just a little delayed.

Ferol walked unassisted from her mom to the couch at age 2. After that she never stopped. At age 3-4 she started special education preschool. It was like she blossomed into this little person with a funny personality.

Ferol was born into a family of 10 loving and caring aunts and uncles. Her aunt Laurie had been a special ed teacher for 25 years. Since Ferol is the center of the family, her older brother’s life was often put on the back burner, but he never complained. He brought care and laughter to situations that were not always fun. 

Ferol did really well in school and was learning a lot. She loved to be on the computer and spell words, as well as print them and cut them out. When she spelled vacuum one day, her mom thought, how cool is that? 

Then Ferol started music therapy, and met Ms. Yue Wu, the therapist, for the first time. Her mom watched how Wu was able to bring things out of Ferol that nobody had been able to before. She was patient, kind and so much fun. Ferol’s mom loved how she brought the beautiful music of her culture to us. Her family knew Wu was special and would make a difference in Ferol’s life. 

Ferol just turned 25 years old. What a miracle she is! Life is a journey of good and bad times, highs and lows. We must embrace it all. Without the lows, we never appreciate the highs. Without the dark, we never appreciate the light. Love has a ripple effect that goes on and on.