Libby

I hugged Libby tight and sent her on her way to her first day of kindergarten with butterflies in my stomach. This was very different than our other daughters’ first day at school. It was a big day for our little girl, and our hearts were filled with hope that she would fit in despite her disabilities.

Five years earlier, when our baby girl number four was born, we enthusiastically assumed that we had it all figured out. With so much experience, we naively believed life would go on just as predicted. We named our new princess Libby, and were looking forward to enjoying our beautiful family and applauding all the usual milestones as she grew up.

Our reality was quickly shaken.

We first noticed that something was unusual when Libby was just a few days old. She was sleeping too much, not feeding well, and was listless in our arms. We sought some professional advice and tried all our past strategies, but soon realized that something was indeed amiss. 

Libby was three months old when we learned she has a rare genetic disorder that causes low muscle tone, coordination problems, difficulty swallowing, and delayed speech development. She also developed impaired vision in her right eye due to a lack of tears. The staggering news was hard to absorb.

We called a close friend in the medical field, who told us if we can get the proper therapy for Libby, it would make a big difference for Libby’s future. The MAB-Mackay definitely made this difference.

This special centre quickly became a place of hope, encouragement, and most important, of progress for Libby and our family.  With utmost patience and expertise, her therapists worked tirelessly to help her achieve – bit by bit, step by step – all the little things that we do in life and take for granted. 

What I find most amazing about the MAB-Mackay is that everyone works together as a team for Libby. For example, when one therapist was working with Libby on skills such as eye tracking, chewing food, grasping objects, or taking steps – other team members were involved, too. This makes me feel confident that no detail is ever missed, and Libby is truly getting the best care possible.

As her mother, it means so much to see Libby integrated in school with the other little girls, and all that this means for her future.

One of our biggest concerns was Libby’s schooling. It was important for us that she attend the private community school with her older sisters. But with all of Libby’s challenges, this wasn’t a simple feat. We worried about her ability to keep up with other children academically, if she’d be able to participate in gym class, how feeding would go at lunch time, and if she’d make friends.

Our team at the MAB-Mackay was dedicated to make this transition happen smoothly. Her years
of therapy were leading up to this big day. They also visited the school to ensure that her classroom was adjusted to her many needs, and worked with the school staff on strategies to best accommodate Libby. 

As her mother, it means so much to see Libby integrated in school with the other little girls, and all that this means for her future.

Libby is 10 years old now, in grade three, and thriving beyond expectations. It’s been a long road, and the MAB-Mackay has been by our side all the way. I’m proud of Libby’s progress in so many areas, including speech production, the coordination required to get dressed on her own, and write with a pencil or type on the iPad.

The MAB-Mackay is still very much part of our lives. Currently, they’re helping her learn to ride a bike so she can be with her sisters and friends. They’re also introducing bed positioning so she can have a better night’s sleep and improve the angle of her spine. We know that Libby’s journey is far from over, and their ongoing presence is deeply reassuring to us.

With our heartfelt thanks for always being there for Libby and our family! 

– Esther, proud mom of Libby

7010 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest
Montréal, QC
H4B 1R3, Canada