Troy Sandella was born April 5, 2000. Weighing in at 1lb 6oz, he was born prematurely at 23 weeks.
It was do or die with Troy right from the get go. On his first day the doctor walked in, looked at his parents, John and Jeanne, and told them flat out there was nothing more they could physically do, that it’s now up to him, and the chances aren’t good.
Troy stood up and refused to quit.
So small that his daddy’s wedding ring could loosely fit all the way up his arm, Troy faced a double hernia in his first week along with a ruptured bowel, forcing immediate surgery, and still, he got up and chose to fight.
At 3 years old, Troy went into see a pediatrician for a routine check up. When the doctor entered the room she looked at his papers, looked up at him and immediately began crying. As it turned out, the doctor was on rotation at the hospital when Troy was born. She remembered him the moment she saw him and couldn’t believe her eyes. She didn’t expect him to survive.
When Troy got older he was diagnosed with Functional Delay. It’s not what any parent wants to hear, but according to doctors, his social abilities have kept him from being diagnosed as Mentally Retarded.
For anyone who has been in a room with Troy, it’s obvious his personality is as bright as the day is light. I’ve known Troy now for 10 years. I can’t tell you how many times the kid has drove me crazy, but I can tell you it’s no where near how many times he has made me feel loved.
His parents have done an amazing job at raising him. They’ve celebrated his strengths and have worked diligently on his weaknesses. When faced with being placed in a contained classroom, they immediately fought the school system to prevent them from making that decision. It was a hard battle but they prevailed and Troy’s opportunity to socialize in a normal society was able to continue.
Just this week, Troy came face to face with another battle. A battle that many kids all over the world are facing every day. A battle that has unfortunately claimed the lives of too many. While getting off the bus Troy was attacked by two bullies. They pushed him to the ground and proceeded to kick him. Their kicks were hard and they were to the groin. When this undeserved beating was finally over, he came home to his family. He began to tell his parents what happened. They were older boys, and he didn’t even know who they were. He didn’t understand why.
This morning while talking to his dad about the situation, I asked him how Troy responded to the beating. He said he came home, told his family what happened and said,
“Daddy, I kept getting up just like Captain America”