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Adjusting the Sails

Mar 4, 2024

"I still remember exactly what he said, he was eating lunch; his quarter pounder with cheese and fries, and he pulled up the scan on the viewfinder and said, 'See this big black hole? This is what's left of Mandy's brain"

Carrie and her then husband, Mark, had a healthy pregnancy and were prepared to bring their new baby home. After a stressful delivery, and overhearing a doctor refer to their new baby as one of the "bad babies" to be delivered that day, Carrie and Mark confusedly took Mandy home with little to no explanation and with no futher reason to be concerned about Mandy's health or development. 

Doctors talked about Mandy with Carrie in some of the most incompassionate ways when Carrie began to notice differences in Many's development, and it wasn't until Mandy was 18 months old that any health care professional finally sat her down to tell her that 1. nothing she did caused Mandy's condition and 2. there was hope for them to all live happy lives. 

Carrie's experiences with medical professionals, in advocating for her daughter, and in finding the services Mandy would need, Carrie was led to a new career and a new life as Mandy's mom. By sharing Mandy's legacy, medical students learn empathy and compassion from the best possible source: a parent. 


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Sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Office of Maternal, Child, and Family Health/Children with Special Health Care Needs Program and the West Virginia Family 2 Family Health Information Center and Produced by the West Virginia University Center for Excellence in Disabilities.