Eleven Going On Thirty: Big Sister Riley


Riley is Caroline’s big sister. I wanted to profile everyone in the family, so I asked Tony to tell me a little about this picture. From Tony:

Well, the day we took this picture Riley was asking a lot of questions about Caroline’s care. I told her it’s complicated, but one day she and Jay would have to take over when I become too old. She insisted she knew how to do Caroline’s treatments. I told her to show me and she did just that.

She has watched me many times over the years working with Caroline and even tried most of the equipment on herself, so she could see what it feels like. This peice of equipment is called the cofflator. We use it to get Caroline to clear her lungs, so she won’t aspirate. The machine forces air into her lungs and then quickly pulls it back out, which causes her to cough. It’s not very comfortable but very much needed. Some days she coughs so hard it fills the mask with flem—a very gross sight to see. Other days she just grins and bears it. On this day, Riley got into position and began the treatment, telling me she had watched me and knew how to do it. I watched her closely and she did a great job . She knew to give 5 sets of 5, and she counted on each puff. 

What a truely heartwarming day!

Caroline is very blessed to have a sister like Riley, who is  is 11 years old going on 30. Just look at this picture: you can tell she isn t posing for a shot here. She wants to do a good job so she can prove she will be fine someday taking care of her little sister. Riley often hops in bed with Caroline and hugs her and reads her a story. She asks questions and is always ready to help out when needed.

About Tim Elhajj

Tim is probably walking his dog.
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4 Responses to Eleven Going On Thirty: Big Sister Riley

  1. Kelly Butler says:

    What an amazing big sister! She is such a special gal! I wish all of our Rett Angels were lucky enough to be blessed like this!
    Such a sweet pic!

  2. Jenny Murphy-Shifflet says:

    Rett siblings are the best. And yes they do have to grow up way too fast!

    • Tony Elhajj says:

      And to think, Riley told me “why did you use that picture dad? My hair is a mess” It makes you sit back and think.. doesn’t it!

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