By Daniel J. Vance MS, LPCC
It hasn't been easy. Yet the Murphys persevere and, better yet, have grown as people through their experience of having a son with severe disabilities. Kelly Murphy reads this column in the Georgetown (Oh.) News Democrat.
In a telephone interview, 43-year-old Murphy said, “I carried Peyton full-term a week past my due date and went in for a regular ultrasound. They said the baby had no heartbeat and we had an emergency c-section. Peyton was born with a 'zero' Apgar score and was revived after three minutes. He had substantial brain damage because loss of oxygen had already been happening.”
Peyton early on had heart problems, seizures, and a feeding tube. Physicians advised the Murphys to permanently give Peyton up to a children's facility that could handle his projected medical and physical needs.
But they chose to raise Peyton at home. He's now 17.
The Murphys over the years have paid for Peyton's medical care using private insurance. Kelly and husband Nathan both work full-time and Peyton doesn't receive care outside school. The Murphys go everywhere with him, and have never been out to dinner by themselves without him since his birth. Peyton has seizures, and has never walked, talked or sat without assistance. He eats pureed food with help. Peyton is legally blind, too. He has full-time nursing care at his public school. To communicate, Peyton uses his head to operate a “switch” directly connected to a laptop computer.
She said, “We have had every therapy for him, including physical, occupational, speech, and vision.”
Kelly herself has had many health issues, including some related to Peyton's care. She said, “I have degenerative disc disease and had stomach hernia surgery from lifting him. In 2013, I had a brain aneurism. Most recently, I was diagnosed with (other issues) and have surgery scheduled for September.”
Kelly advised new mothers of a child with severe disabilities: “The joy he will bring will far outweigh the hardship. Peyton ministers to people daily and has changed so many lives. People watch us with him and the care we provide is heartfelt. People see how much happiness being out and about brings him. And he brings a lot of joy to a lot of people.”
Right now, the Murphys are trying to raise money for a handicapped accessible van for Peyton and his siblings. Please visit GoFundMe.com at “Wheelchair Van for Peyton.”
Facebook: Disabilities by Daniel J. Vance. [Sponsored by Blue Valley Sod and Palmer Bus Service.]