All newborns should have a family to love, nurture and care for them through sickness and health, all hours of the day and night. It took four years for Rameisha to find hers.
Five-year-old Rameisha (children's names in this story have been changed for their protection) was placed on a ventilator after birth due to paralysis and cerebral palsy. She spent the first six months of life in the hospital. When it was time to go home, her parents decided they couldn't care for her — despite their love and prayers.
More than 150,000 children are born each year with severe birth defects, according to the March of Dimes. When the needs of medically fragile infants overwhelm their families, most remain hospitalized or are placed in long-term care institutions.
Rameisha went to Ken-Crest, an ELCA affiliated organization in Philadelphia — the only home-based foster care for technology-dependent infants and toddlers in the United States. The primary goal was to find her a family.
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