At Amana we’re a lot of things. A sanctuary. A community. A family. We care for each other. We look out for each other. But not everyone stays forever. Some are with us just for a while, spreading joy and color before moving on to the next chapter of life.
Dana was one of those people.
Dana came to Amana as a newborn baby, tiny and helpless. She was born with spinal muscular atrophy – a genetic disease that affects muscle development. She was so small, with muscles so weak, that she couldn’t even hold her head up. She couldn’t breathe on her own, so she had to be attached to a ventilator. She couldn’t swallow either – she was fed through a tube in her nose.
Children with SMA often don’t live very long. In the past, Dana might not have made it to her second birthday. But the doctors, nurses and therapists at Amana are some of the best in the world, and Dana was fiercely determined to get better.
Amana specialists designed an intensive therapy program for her. She had one-to-one nursing around the clock, and all the love and attention she could handle. Paediatric consultants visited every day.
Under Amana’s care, Dana began to thrive. She quickly became stronger. Before long she could breathe on her own, and the ventilator was gone. Soon she could sit, crawl and eat by herself. She celebrated her first birthday at Amana, surrounded by caregivers and her family. Her mother held her for the very first time.
As she gained strength and independence, Amana nurses and therapists made sure to keep her busy. They took her on walks around the hospital, where she made new friends daily. They took her to gardens, parks and shopping malls. She played with other children in Amana’s sensory room, surrounded by coloured lights, sensory lamps, projectors and music. Her family visited regularly.
After nine months with Amana, Dana was well enough to go home and live with her parents and big sister – ready to start the next chapter of her story, spreading colour and joy like always. Now she gets ongoing care from our home healthcare team, so she’s still very much a part of Amana – and of the hearts and memories of all of us who held her, cared for her, and were touched by her courage and resolve.
In our world people come and go – and that’s a good thing. We want our patients to get better and go home, to be with friends and family, and to be happy and free, like Dana. Thanks to Amana, she’ll see her second birthday – and many more – as her journey continues. We know she won’t remember how her life began here, one day at a time, as part of our family.
But we’ll never forget.