Casa Angelica: Arlene's legacy by Rena Arrigoni

Casa Angelica: Arlene's legacy by Rena Arrigoni

By Rena Arrigoni

The pediatric expert proven their worst fears: the Arrigonis child daughter Arlene had suffered irreversible eye, liver, and mind harm because of an undiagnosed delivery disorder. while Rena and Al Arrigoni left the doctor's workplace that April morning in 1957, they knew for the 1st time why Arlene had had to be hospitalized such a lot of occasions in the course of her first six months. yet what they can basically start to comprehend was once how they have been going to take care of her. Arlene's physicians anticipated she might continue to exist simply 8 years; she lived to be twenty-two. This ebook is the tale of parenting a baby with disabilities. For 11 years the Arrigonis raised Arlene at domestic, seeing her via numerous scientific emergencies and coming to understand her tenacious will to dwell. In 1967, following six years of making plans with neighborhood leaders, innumerable volunteers, and the Canossian Daughters of Charity, the Arrigonis created Casa Angelica, New Mexico's first privately operated domestic for kids with critical disabilities. Its courses aid little ones achieve their maximum point of independence and self-reliance, and Casa Angelica built nationally famous academic projects that spread out faculties to youngsters lengthy stereotyped as unteachable.

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Sample text

Not will die, but should die. It wasn't a prognosis. It wasn't a diagnosis. It was a sentence. A death sentence. This man had played judge and jury. " This time, as I bundled the pink blanket around Arlene, my hands shook and trembled with anger and outrage. I said nothing, as before, and together with eighteen-month-old Regina, we quickly headed out the office door and into the car. Once again, safely within the confines Page 7 of my car, I began to cry. I maneuvered the car out of the parking lot and headed home.

We brought her home to our new house, in what was then considered Albuquerque's far Northeast Heights, at 1328 Lafayette NE. Our first home was a modest three-bedroom flat-roofed house. Al and Roland and Roland's university pals helped with the moving the day I delivered Regina. And as he had four years before, Roland greeted us at the door as we carried in our new arrival. During the first year, I found myself thrilled with the new role of motherhooda real mother this time, not someone caught playing a role between mother and big sister.

Always I was straining to hear Arlene's movements. God forbid that I should be asleep and Arlene would stop breathing. At four I fed Arlene Page 17 again, then afterward I rushed to fix dinner for Al, Regina, and me. So it went until Arlene's feeding at eight in the evening and then another feeding at midnightthen it would start all over again at four the next morning. Although this routine became my way of life for years, my body never physically adapted to the schedule. I was in a permanent state of mental and physical exhaustion.

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