We believe that Tessa thrived because we were blessed with mobility assistance. There were key products that our family utilized throughout Tessa's life here that, we believe, increased her quality of life and made her existence more prosperous and enjoyable.
The God we serve is a good good Father, and we believe, that His will for Tessa to have access to Quality of Life is the same will for all children with special needs.
Tessa's Triumph is a fund set up in Tessa's honor (read her story) to provide financial assistance to families that host angels like Tessa. The fund is for families that would like to purchase mobility equipment to enhance quality of life of the child with special needs (see our favorite mobility products below).
Enable a child today. Donate in Tessa's Honor!
Favorite Mobility Products
Our family was somewhat determined to show Tessa how we lived life, despite her inability to walk, crawl or talk. So we adapted with products that are available without a doctor's prescription. We knew Tessa needed to be a part of every aspect of our family's life experience. We got creative with oxygen tanks, planned our outings according to her needs, and got busy on the trail and in living life.
These products are in no way an exhaustive list of everything out there. These are merely the products that enabled our daughter to celebrate life with us on earth. We hope that Tessa's Story encourages you to be active with your child no matter the circumstance; to encourage freedom as a parent to bring your child the best quality of life. And if these items seem too far away because of finances and other hardships, perhaps we can help you with Tessa's Triumph Mobility Fund!
Firefly Friends have been making big news around the special needs community with the Upsee; brightening the days of many children who are unable to walk at their own leisure! This amazing harness allows kiddos to feel independence with walking. So many YouTube videos bring me to tears just witnessing the joy it brings to these kiddos! Tessa was blessed with this gift that gave her so much perspective from a standing position. Her life was never the same after the Upsee was introduced!
Another favorite product from Firefly Friends is the GoTo Seat. This seat can buckle into grocery carts, high chairs at restaurants, and regular chairs at home. It even comes with a base so kiddos can play on the floor with siblings! As a mom, this product lived in my car because I used it every time I went grocery shopping. The seat would get strapped into the car and the oxygen and feed machine would go in the cart with the groceries. This product gave us great flexibility to include Tessa in even the most mundane chores of mommy-hood.
As mommas of newborns, I think we all look for great ways to just love on our babies. Kangaroo Kare helps our babies grow the best and in many cases, I held Tessa close all the time so she could hear my heartbeat and catch the rhythm of my breathing. So often I wondered if that was what kept her here so long. This baby carrier really supported Tessa at all times even if we were tethered to the oxygen hose. Our arms can get weary at times, but this product is there to enable you to give your arms a rest and still love on your sweet child.
Similar to a Johnny Jumper or door exerciser, this one is for kiddos that don't have the best ability to hold their head up or need some extra support. We created a frame for ours so that Tessa could play and exercise her legs where ever we were. A great product for added independence!
Kelty Child Carrier
The Kelty Transit was an exceptional way for me to transport Tessa once she gained enough stability to hold her head up on her own. Our family loves to partake in outdoor adventures and events and this product not only housed Tessa safely (with a safety harness and sun shield) but also held her oxygen tank and Joey feed pump! This was the best of many worlds as we marched around the mountains on snowshoe and in boots.
Swimways Spring Float
Tessa loved to swim! In some ways, I think it was because she could be weightless and also that she could have the sense of independence. Even though she was tethered by her oxygen, we were able to set a small oxygen tank on the float with her. The nice thing about this float as well, is that it had head support to keep her upright. In order to meet swimming pool safety standards, we took some foam noodles and placed them inside the outer and inner ring, to remove the hazard puncture of air-inflated devices. This item worked well for Tessa and is sure to give your little one the feeling of independence as well!
This was something I wish we would have had when Tessa was first born. Thule makes an infant sling that inserts which would have been perfect for outings at a very early age. We love this product because of its versatility and support for her torso. Tessa was comfortable in this no matter the use; strolling, as a bike trailer, a jogger or cross country skiing. It encloses to keep your child warm and it even has a large, durable carrier in the back where we put Tessa's oxygen tanks. It is also available as a double, to house 2 kiddos. We loved it and know that it improved Tessa's quality of life as she participated in so many activities!
Even though Tessa never owned the Kidwalk, she had the greatest smile and felt immense joy when she tried it out at Shriners Hospital in Salt Lake City only 6 months before she passed. I will never forget the smiles and laughs she had in the 30 minutes she was exposed to it, so I had to include it on this list of Tessa's favorites. I believe she is dancing with her angels and in no need of a gait trainer in Heaven, but I do know that she would have thrived with this product had she been given a greater opportunity. The Kidwalk may be your opportunity to give your child the legs they need to thrive and enhance quality of life!