Dana came to Amana as a newborn baby, tiny and helpless. She was born with spinal muscular atrophy – a genetic disease that affects muscle development. She was so small, with muscles so weak, that she couldn’t even hold her head up. She couldn’t breathe on her own, so she had to be attached to a ventilator. She couldn’t swallow either – she was fed through a tube in her nose.
Children with SMA often don’t live very long. In the past, Dana might not have made it to her second birthday. But the doctors, nurses and therapists at Amana are some of the best in the world, and Dana was fiercely determined to get better.
Amana specialists designed an intensive therapy program for her. She had one-to-one nursing around the clock, and all the love and attention she could handle. Paediatric consultants visited every day.
Under Amana’s care, Dana began to thrive. She quickly became stronger. Before long she could breathe on her own, and the ventilator was gone. Soon she could sit, crawl and eat by herself. She celebrated her first birthday at Amana, surrounded by caregivers and her family. Her mother held her for the very first time.
As she gained strength and independence, Amana nurses and therapists made sure to keep her busy. They took her on walks around the hospital, where she made new friends daily. They took her to gardens, parks and shopping malls. She played with other children in Amana’s sensory room, surrounded by coloured lights, sensory lamps, projectors and music. Her family visited regularly.