Central Texas girl returns home in style after 35-day hospital stay
A young girl with special needs who experienced serious medical complications that landed her in McLane Children’s Hospital in Temple for 35 days headed home with a big smile and buckled into a comfortable ride as she took her first spin in a minivan with which friends surprised her parents during her hospital stay.
Addie Wolfe, 5, who was born with significant chromosomal abnormalities and sacrococcygeal teratoma, an unusual tumor situated at the base of the tailbone.
The girl is non-verbal, blind and deaf and has epilepsy and lower muscle tone and respiratory issues that require her to use a tracheal tube and ventilator.
Traveling with a ventilator and oxygen tank made for a tight squeeze in the one small car her family shared.
But that all changed when Addie’s parents, Stephanie and Mathew, were surprised more than a week ago by members of their First Baptist Woodway Sunday school class with a minivan they’ve dreamed of owning since Addie was born.
Stephanie, Mathew and their son Lawson were all along for the ride when Addie packed up to go home.
Stephanie recorded the moment to share with friends and family.
“That’s right. We busted Addie out and we’re going home and she loves her van!” Stephanie said while shooting video of the two rear-facing car seats in the backseat.
“Her face was lit up. Her eyes were wide open. It was full of shock and so cute,” Stephanie said.
“Praise God. Thank you guys so much for your sweet messages and gifts and prayers. It’s meant so much to us. I can’t wait for her to get home.”
Meg Watwood was part of the small group that gathered the money to purchase the 2008 Honda Odyssey.
“We’ve known the Wolfes have been needing a van for a long time. We gathered money for them a few weeks ago but then someone in class came up with the idea of putting money together for a vehicle,” Watwood said.
Stephanie said the first drive together as a family was smooth and comfortable, something they haven’t had since Addie was born.
“It was so nice,” she said.
“There was so much room for everything and we had room for her medical stroller and all of her equipment including her ventilator and oxygen tank and both the kids’ car seats and all the things we accumulated in the hospital.”
Stephanie said Addy had a great first night at home and there’s one thing that hasn’t changed from the moment she took a ride in the family’s new wheels.
“She had a wonderful night and she has not stopped smiling,” Stephanie said.
“She was smiling in her bed, smiling when she got home. She’s been very, very happy.”