Twelve year-old Ethan’s smile is captivating, and his love for fire trucks is contagious. He knows details about ladder trucks, engines, and other fire apparatus that rival the pros. This is in stark contrast to Ethan’s start. Born prematurely at 26 weeks, he was abandoned at birth and placed in a Chinese orphanage. His care consisted of diaper changes and bottles, and he suffered from severe failure to thrive.
His adoptive parents had been told that he had clubfoot, but upon arriving in China, they realized Ethan faced more extreme challenges. Once his adoption was complete, he was seen by many St. Luke’s Children’s specialists, and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Later, it was also determined that he had PDD-NOS, an autism spectrum disorder. His parents were told he would likely never walk or talk.
“Ethan received very little nurturing his first two years of life, and we knew what he needed most was to be loved,” says his mom. “The St. Luke’s physicians and therapy team who have cared for Ethan have been instrumental in his development and progress.”
Now walking and talking, Ethan loves to visit his friends at the Nampa Fire Department. He quizzes them about emergency calls and fire equipment, and loves to go for rides in the fire truck. Ethan’s inquisitive nature and attention to detail will help him follow his dream of becoming a firefighter one day.