“I no longer wish to be ‘normal’ because I would never have this amazing testimony of perseverance and success.”
- Autumn Ford
As Autumn Ford will tell you “most of my early life was spent inside hospital walls” - and certainly not by choice! It strikes as particularly ironic that she wants to go to school to pursue a career that will send her right back inside those walls. We’ll get to her future plans momentarily. Autumn’s diagnosis of CDH was made a few days after coming home from the hospital and her parents realizing she was struggling to eat and breathe. An emergency repair surgery followed, as well as oxygen support and years of intensive treatment for oral aversions.
Autumn’s physical battles were both obvious and more numerous than any young girl should have to shoulder, but she also fought an abundance of emotional battles too - these were often the most difficult to process. Throughout her young years at school, she required an aide (see: Grandma) to ensure she received adequate nutrition and assistance with her feeding tube. In addition to her aide, Autumn also had to watch from the sidelines as her friends and classmates were able to participate in sports and activities, while also fielding questions about her weight and why she was so much smaller than everyone else - some even going as far as to ask “why she starved herself”. While it was often disheartening to not feel “normal” amongst her peers, she never lost sight of who she was and her faith always served as her life compass. Ultimately a new school was just the ticket that Autumn needed and once she got there, she hit the ground running and has never looked back!
Now to those future plans…Autumn will attend Grand Canyon University in the Fall to pursue her degree in pediatric nursing! Her heart and calling is to families going through what she did, she wants to be a light for those often wondering in the dark. To let them know there is hope, to sympathize, to empathize, and to inspire. We are so proud of Autumn’s fight, compassion, and who she is; she is that positive breath of fresh air amongst a community that needs hope and perseverance like hers!
All the best Autumn and we can’t wait for you to get back in those hospital walls, this time on your own terms!