Parent Caregiver Hero Award: A Loving and Dedicated Mother, Stephanie Stanley

Chad Birt

Written by Chad Birt on Fri Feb 16 2024.

Parent Caregiver Hero Award: A Loving and Dedicated Mother, Stephanie Stanley

Caregiver: Stephanie Stanley

She’s caring for: Her son, Peyton

Winner of: The Parent Caregiver Hero Award

Caring For a Child with Multiple Diagnoses

Stephanie provides round-the-clock care for her 9-year-old son Peyton. 

Peyton was born with jaundice and began having seizures at about two months old. Doctors originally told Stephanie and her husband there was nothing to worry about; Peyton’s MRIs looked perfect. But after seeing another neurologist, the family learned that Peyton was having infantile spasms, a catastrophic form of childhood epilepsy that causes irreversible damage to the developing brain. 

In addition to epilepsy, Peyton has a brain malformation called polymicrogyria, caused by a stroke in utero. He also suffers from cerebral palsy, chronic lung disease, and hydrocephalus. 

Making Sacrifices in Support of the Family

Stephanie’s husband worked a swing-shift the first few years of Peyton’s life, so he could attend hospital stays and appointments. This arrangement worked for a while, but eventually management gave an ultimatum ––– keep the job or focus on family. For Stephanie and her husband, the decision was a no-brainer and they started their own detailing company.

“[My husband] works extremely hard so that I can stay home and take care of Peyton,” Stephanie says. “It’s been very stressful, especially this year with business being very slow. We’ve had to cut out a lot of things. We try to take Peyton out and let him experience the world of course, but financially it’s been very, extremely, extremely hard.” 

Hope In the Midst of Hard Work

Stephanie says being a full-time caregiver is incredibly challenging, but also rewarding. “[My husband and I] feel so blessed,” she says. “This life is definitely not for the faint of heart, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. [Peyton] is our light in the darkness. We love this little boy more than anything.”

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Chad Birt
Chad Birt

Chad Birt is a freelance medical writer who resides in Astoria, Oregon. When he isn't behind a keyboard, you can find him hiking, camping, or birdwatching with his wife Ella and their two dogs, Diane and Thoreau.