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Angels In Our Midst

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Angels In Our Midst (Coco's Angels)

Updated: Tuesday, March 19 2013, 11:01 AM CDT
This is the story of a young girl's indominable spirit, the tireless compassion of a team of educators, a company's generosity and faith.

It is the story of Coco's angels and how they gave her a voice.

13-year-old Coco Atwood was born with hypotonic cerebral palsy. She can not talk.

This is equipment made by Dynavox Technologies that Coco uses in school. She selects pictures and types words and the box gives her a voice. But, when Coco went home, she was back in a speechless world.

Priscilla Atwood, Coco's Mom; If she wanted to go to the store and ask for something, nobody could understand her.

Pam Levan, Occupational Therapist; We really wanted her to have something at home. Like, if an emergency happened, she could call or she could talk to somebody on the phone.

Today, Coco's therapy team and her classmates are celebrating her independence. It's taken three long years to get here.

This little box costs about eight thousand dollars. The family's limited insurance wouldn't pay, the school district couldn't pay for it, and fund raisers would take too long. Still, something about Coco wouldn't let this team of therapists give up.

Pam; "She would, so many times when kids can't communicate, they get frustrated and they get angry and they act out. And, Coco, she would try to tell you something and she would sue everything she had and if she couldn't get it across to you, she wouldn't get mad. She would kind of think about it and then come back and try again."

Coco's entire therapy team tried again and again to find a way to get her a personal box. Occupational Therapist Pam Levan even gathered friends and called on divine intervention.

Pam, "We sat in Starbucks on 9 Mile Road and we prayed. You know, God please help us find an answer to this. And the very next week, I went down to Orlando."

The special education team attended the assistive technology industries conference. Dynavox Technologies was also there. This year, ironically, they decided to do something different.

Pam; "Instead of throwing a party, decided to donate devices for people who needed them. Everybody that I could find, I would ask them, If you're not going to use your sheet, can I use it and put Coco's name on it."

Coco's team campaigned relentlessly on her behalf.

Pam; "Two weeks later we got the call that Coco won the device."

Dynavox; "I love mother, sister."

Words to melt a mother's heart. Through endless obstacles and over seemingly insurmountable odds, when everyone else said, "no", the prayers of Coco's angels were heard and ...

Mom; "God said, 'Yes.'"

And Coco says,"Thank you."Angels In Our Midst (Coco's Angels)


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Washington Times