Connor Nary was born on November 15, 2012. His mom (Katie) and dad (Mike) were so excited to welcome their first son into the world after a normal pregnancy. Following an hour and a half of pushing, instead of delivering a healthy newborn, baby boy Nary was born limp, gray, and not crying. A code pink (pediatric emergency) was called, and our delivery room turned into chaos of many medical personnel storming in and out. He was emergently intubated and transferred to the NICU due to concerns of aspirating meconium. Mike accompanied the bassinet and medical staff to the NICU, and instead of returning to the room with our son, a neonatologist presented grim diagnoses of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, posturing, and seizures, which ultimately led to a transfer to main campus to be placed on a cooling blanket with his dad never leaving his side. By the time mom was discharged and reunited together, the baby she had carried for 9 months was full of tubes, braces, IVs, oxygen, and EEG lines. Each hour was filled with uncertainties if he would survive those first couple of days. Instead of us introducing our son to close family and friends following birth, we were introduced to neurologists, neonatologists, epileptologists, nurses, lactation consultants, speech pathologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and social workers. We had wanted to wait on naming our boy until we could hold him in our arms and following one full week of only being able to hold his tiny hands, sing quietly to him in the corner of the NICU, and pray/plead with God to let our son live, Connor Richardson Nary was not only named, but became a true miracle here on earth. Connor was discharged from the NICU on 12/12/12 at 12:12pm, after overcoming MANY odds and obstacles from what is now defined as a medical malpractice/delivery complication.
Despite Connor’s medical records looking dreadful on paper (MRIs, ultrasound, CTs of the brain revealing severe encephalopathy resulting in global developmental delays and poor prognoses, and gaining the diagnosis of cerebral palsy at approximately one year of age), he is the most determined and joyful boy who shows endless resiliency. Connor’s smile is infectious that people (both known and unknown) gravitate towards. Countless hours have been spent in speech therapy, occupational therapy, aquatic therapy, and physical therapy, in which he is now able to verbalize a handful of words and/or phrases, starting to utilize an augmentative and alternative communication device to convey higher-level information, self feed, write his name, and mobilize with a walker for shorter distances. He has been nicknamed “the mayor” at both school and within our housing development due to his constant interactions to people by offering a hug, handshake, smile, or wave. Basketball (both playing or watching) is Connor’s favorite activity, closely followed by adapted skiing, therapeutic horseback riding, adapted football, and Challenger baseball. Special needs sports camp at church and STAR Camp are three weeks that fill Connor’s summer with dancing, swimming, laughing, growing, and friendships (both new and old). One of Connor’s most recent joys has been watching his brother perform on the stage (musical) and on the lacrosse field; he truly is Andrew’s biggest fan. “Walk On Team Connor” has participated in numerous local races to raise money for organizations that directly impact kids/families dealing with an array of disabilities; Connor thoroughly enjoys the views (and directing his mom) while being pushed in the Wike (special needs bike trailer/jogging stroller) during these races. “It’s not a disability, it’s a different ABILITY,” is the motto of Team Connor, with Connor blazing the trail of not letting his limitations define his adventurous life.