For many, having their own child is a dream come true. Being able to see someone born in one’s own flesh and bones elicits an inexplicable and overall wonderful feeling. It changes, moves and inspires a person to be better. It gives a sense of responsibility that no other circumstance can impose.
Patrick Donohue had his life-changing moment when her daughter Sarah Jane came into the world on June 5, 2005. But after five days, he noticed that Sarah Jane was notably lethargic so he brought her back to the pediatrician for a checkup. After weeks of diagnostic workups, it was discovered that 60 percent of Sarah Jane’s rear cortex of the brain was lost due to the alleged violent shaking of a nurse.
“I’ll never forget, the first day we took her back to the hospital and they were trying to stick an IV in her,” recalled Donohue. “Tears were rolling down her face. Her mouth was wide open but because of the brain injury she couldn’t cry. From that moment on I knew I needed to be the voice of Sarah Jane.”
Since then, the political consultant led a life of advocacy for kids with brain injures. He established the International Academy of Hope in 2013. It is the only school in New York City that caters to kids with brain disorders. With 50 staff personnel catering to 24 students, the tuition fee is quite high at approximately $135,000. Although it is expensive, the New York City Department of Education reimburses the fees to parents who charge and prove that no public school can provide the appropriate education to their child’s individualized needs.
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