Our Hero Imanie


It’s been quite a year for mom Stephanie and 1-year-old Imanie. According to mom, Imanie is her “crazy baby.” Stephanie never knows what to expect next, but it is a wonderful, joyous journey together.

Stephanie learned about Imanie’s diagnosis with Down Syndrome while pregnant. Of course, Stephanie wasn’t sure what to expect or how to manage. But looking back, she feels God gave her a special gift knowing she has the love and strength to care for a child with special needs.

Imanie truly is a miraculous child. Labor came so fast that Stephanie gave birth before the doctor and nurses were in the room Imanie was tiny, weighing less than five pounds. 

The hospital team knew she would need support, so they sent Stephanie directly to CDTC for Early Steps and Primary Care.

Dr. Helena Gaviria was still new to CDTC when Stephanie and Imanie arrived for their first appointment. For Stephanie, it was fate. She met a pediatrician she could connect with and trust.

“Stephanie makes her daughter a priority,” shares Dr. Gaviria. “She never complains. She even cares enough to ask how I am and how my family is during their visits.”

Stephanie is grateful that Dr. Gaviria introduced her during that first visit to Alison, her Care Coordinator from the ECHO program. She knows that she could have easily been overwhelmed by all of Imanie’s appointments and needs, especially as a single mom of two. But, she doesn’t worry with Alison and the entire CDTC Care Team on her side. They are always available and always listen to her needs and questions.

Doctors knew when Imanie was born that her heart would need repair. They were waiting for Imanie to get stronger and bigger before surgery, which finally happened a few months ago. 

Surgery during COVID was scary for Stephanie. Even more so when Imanie was on breathing tubes and her chest was open for two days. But, Imanie came through like the miracle baby she is. She healed quickly and without complaint. 

Today, Imanie is very energetic. Working with the therapists from the Early Steps Program, Imanie is holding her own bottle and eating on her own. She even just started scooting, the first steps to crawling!

Stephanie whole-heartedly recommends CDTC to other moms she meets who are struggling to care for a special needs child. They are always commenting that Stephanie is so put together and makes things look easy. Stephanie’s secret – CDTC.

Nominated by Dr. Helena Gaviria
Pediatrician, Primary Care Center

Sponsored By

Nelson Mullins

About our Hero of the Month

Each month, CDTC staff nominate one of our children as our  Hero of the Month. These special boys and girls are heroes in our eyes. They show strength, perseverance, determination and a positive outlook while facing great challenges.

Their stories are powerful and heartwarming and reflect the impact CDTC and you, our community, has on their daily lives.

A trip to our Clinic is more than just a doctor’s visit to a child with special healthcare needs.

But, insurance doesn’t cover everything. That’s why your gift is so important.