(NBC) – A freak accident is leading one Texas family to unexpected blessings.
At 9 months old, little Cameron Stewart suffered a traumatic brain injury when a deer mount fell off the wall and the antler impaled her skull. She needed emergency brain surgery and months of therapy. But doctors say her recovery has been nothing short of a miracle, and it’s helping other children in the process.
It’s hard to believe that fewer than 18 months ago Cameron Stewart was fighting for her life.
“I didn’t know if Cameron was going to make it through the surgery, but if she does I will do everything I can and we will make it work,” Cameron’s mom Audrey said.
But it meant mom Audrey was responsible for hours of physical, speech and occupational therapy at home.
“That can become really hard for mom and for a toddler,” Audrey said. “To sit down and work on these three different therapies for hours a day. It’s just unrealistic.”
So when doctors told her about sensory play, Audrey says she dove right in.
Sensory play is playtime with items that stimulate the senses, which enhances cognitive development.
“For me it was very easy to find items for 5 and up,” Audrey said. “But it was 5 and under that was really hard. And I had a 10 month old that I was trying to create sensory for.”
That’s when Audrey started building her own sensory boxes for Cameron.
Colored rice that encourage creative thinking, play dough scented with essential oils, and age appropriate toys for hearing and other senses.
“I kept buying things but I would have to buy 10 of them or 20 of them,” Audrey said. “A five pound bag of rice and I always had extra so that’s where I started making extra boxes.”
Doctors don’t know if Cameron will make a full recovery. But Audrey says every day, there are signs progress.
And now even more unexpected blessings
“This is a pretty cool part of her story, and I can’t wait for her be able to tell her story as well,” Audrey said.
Stewart’s business is called ‘Let Them be Little Boxes’. You can find more information at www.letthembelittle.com