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Meet Starlee

Darling Starlee struggled mightily to survive after a rough and traumatic birth. She quickly dropped to just over 5 pounds by the time she went home from the hospital and fell below 5 pounds at two weeks. She was just failing to thrive and the doctors and specialists were stumped. High-calorie formula and other treatments weren’t helping, and her family and doctors were getting more and more frantic and concerned.

Finally, at the suggestion of her grandmother, Starlee was diagnosed with extreme anemia. Through blood transfusions and hospital stays, Starlee’s anemia was better, but mysteriously, she had what the doctors were calling failure to thrive. Further extensive health tests didn’t provide any answers.

At 6-months-old, Starlee’s doctor referred her to Kids Who Count. Their testing showed her development to be only that of a 2-week-old baby. She couldn’t even raise her head. So, Mary and Annette, her Kids Who Count specialists started home visits with Starlee.

“They always brought her fun, educational toys to play with and we could see improvement,” Her mother, Julie, said. “It didn’t all happen at once, but she was starting to be more interactive. Kids Who Count showed us what to do to help make her stronger.”

Starlee finally caught up to where she should be just after her first birthday.

Starlee finally caught up to where she should be just after her first birthday.

“We really feel like this program supported us as parents and showed us how to help Starlee.” Julie said. “They were always so accommodating and kind. Starlee is a miracle and an angel in our lives and those around her!”

Even her doctor calls her a miracle. He couldn’t believe she caught up. And, although she still has to work extra hard in Kindergarten, Starlee is definitely thriving.

“We feel so lucky to have had so many wonderful people to help her in her journey to get where she is now.” Julie said. “She is a shining star just like her name says. Thank you Kids Who Count for making a difference in our beautiful daughters’ life.”

Holly BushnellMeet Starlee