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Jehiel's Story

“Giving birth and not bringing your child home is the hardest thing,” Mareya said about her son Jehiel. He was born with delays, particularly his inability to drink. For the first 25 days of his life, Jehiel stayed in the NICU connected to a feeding tube, and even after that first month, he went home with tubes, IVs and a heart monitor.


Mareya recalls the beginning of his life as his hardest times. Slowly though, Jehiel grew healthier. The help of many therapies, from feeding to physical, greatly improved his progress. The heart monitor and feeding tubes came off. 


Amidst the pandemic and ongoing caution with his health, Mareya was nervous to let others care for him. However, she knew he couldn’t progress his best while alone at home with her, so she began the search for the perfect classroom.


Coincidentally, Jehiel’s physical therapist is Amanda on the ECC TIP Team. She told Mareya about the center, and Mareya appreciated many things about ECC. Most importantly, the smaller ratios allow teachers to pay closer attention to Jehiel’s development and day-to-day safety.


Since then, Jehiel and his family have celebrated many milestones. With continued PT, his legs grow stronger every day, and Mareya hopes he’ll start walking soon. His socialization has also improved greatly; he snuggles up to strangers now, rather than crying. With ECC’s care, Mareya has also been able to go back to work after staying home with him for a year and a half.


“He’s accomplishing a lot. I’m very thankful to Elaine Clark for giving me this amazing chance, and the scholarship, for him to be able to go to school.”

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