Ellie & Beckham’s Story

“She’s a walking miracle. She’s defied all the odds,” said ChildServe Nurse Practitioner Hannah Slaughter.
Born at 25 weeks and 1.10 lbs, Ellie is the definition of a fighter. When Ellie was born, she developed a brain bleed, had surgery to correct the blood flow to her lungs at 17 days old and spent 96 days in the NICU.
One month after she got home from the NICU, Ellie and her family came to ChildServe’s Developmental Clinic. At the time, she was four months old but her development was closer to that of a 22-day-old.
“The Developmental Clinic empowers families by providing them with information on how to help their child progress developmentally,” said ChildServe Physical Therapist Amie Shires.
“Sometimes babies that have a rougher start need a little extra support,” said Hannah. “Our team provides interactive, hands-on education to help parents feel more confident.”
With the education provided by ChildServe experts, Ellie’s parents were able to best support her growth, even at home.

“When you are a new parent, you don’t know what you don’t know,” said Damian, Ellie’s dad. “ChildServe puts your mind at ease. Coming here and having experts who know what to prepare for was really helpful.”

“Being active in the sessions and learning what the therapists were doing allowed us to then do it at home,” said Janice, Ellie’s mom. “We were able to learn how to do specific skills with Ellie, like how to help her roll and walk.”

After two and a half years, Ellie graduated from ChildServe’s Developmental Clinic. She is happy, healthy and preparing for preschool. Ellie enjoys talking about shapes and singing to “Baby Shark”.

“Ellie amazed us all. She grew like a weed and met her milestones,” said Hannah. “Now, I have the pleasure of helping her younger brother Beckham. He too was born early and will need extra support to grow and develop.”

Beckham was born at 29 weeks, weighing 2.8 lbs and spent 55 days in the NICU.

“Now with Beckham, we know what to expect and how to prepare,” said Damian. “That wealth of knowledge has by far made the most impact on us.”

Beckham is well on his way to reaching his developmental goals and will soon be caught up to his big sister.

“As parents in the NICU, it seems horrible in the moment but you have to realize there is a team of experts that are there to help you,” said Damian. “ChildServe gave us hope. Parents have to know that there is hope at the end of the tunnel.”

To learn more about ChildServe‘s Developmental Clinic, click here!


ChildServe improves the health and well-being of nearly 5,800 children each year through specialized clinical, home, and community-based programs and services. We serve children with developmental delays, disabilities, injuries, and other special healthcare needs.

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