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Caregiver Contest Finalist Ann: Never Give Up Hope

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
09/21/18  12:26 PM PST
Never Give Up Hope

Ann I. is from California, and was one of forty finalists chosen out of the over 1,000 entries to our “What Advice Would You Give to a Fellow Caregiver?” Contest. You can find our grand prize and runner up winners here.

What advice would you give a fellow caregiver?

In caring for a loved one, the best advice I can offer is the advice someone else gave me: NEVER GIVE UP HOPE.

Within days of the birth of our daughter, a neurologist informed my husband and I that our daughter would never be able to hold her head up, recognize us, sit, crawl, stand, walk or talk. As you can imagine, the neurologist’s advice was devastating and heartbreaking, leaving us with essentially no hope. Several weeks later, in order for our daughter to be released from the NICU and to allow her to come home, she was placed on hospice. Months later and before her first birthday, our daughter “graduated” from hospice. It was only then that my husband and I decided to actively seek medical treatment for her host of congenital abnormalities. After about a year and a half and nine surgeries later, her otolaryngologist asked why we delayed seeking medical intervention. We then relayed the advice the neurologist gave us at our daughter’s birth. The otolaryngologist shook his head and said he never knew we were delivered such terrible news, and then proceeded to tell us that children in his care surprise him every day, and to never give up hope. Today, with our hope and love, our daughter is a thriving 5-year-old transitional kindergartener who, despite her numerous special needs, happily plays with other children, has emerging speaking skills, and recognizes my husband and I as her parents. She is our miracle child.

Click here to head to the contest home page and read more advice.


Finalists were selected by the Marketing Team at Shield HealthCare. Those finalists were submitted to a panel of independent judges who picked three grand prize winners and five runners up. The judges included: Sandra Mitchell, Award-winning KCAL 9 news anchor and breast cancer survivor, and the Landers family: actor and comedian David Landers (“Laverne & Shirley”) who is living with MS, his wife Kathy and his daughter Natalie (“The Middle”). Click here to learn more.