Getting back into the swing of things
June 23, 2018
While the journey Berryman and her family has gone through has been a rough one, it hasn’t gone in vain.
Berryman has shared her story, and feels she has made an impact and awareness of prematurity in Newark, which didn’t exist before. She started a group called the ‘Preemie Moms Club,’ where she’d go to hospitals and give support meetings.
“My focus was to give the moms in the hospital the kind of support I wish I had,” Berryman said.
She has taught others about the topic of prematurity, but also taught herself some things.
Having a premature son has taught her values that parents of full term babies could never appreciate.
“We react to milestones the way everyone should react to milestones. With Jharid we really don’t know what he is or isn’t going to do, so when he masters something it’s like he discovered plutonium or something it’s like ‘omg he did it!’” Berryman said. “Its 50 times better than regular parents because they take a lot of things for granted. They expect for their child to do it so when they first start walking it’s exciting, but they expected them to do it.”
Jharid is about to turn six years old, and while he hasn’t talked or walked yet, he has made other big accomplishments. He can now hold his head up, sit up on his own, and feed himself.
In the midst of being disabled, Jharid is a happy and healthy boy. He hasn’t had many hospital visits since he’s been out. He loves basketball, and loves to watch sports. Even though he can’t talk yet, he communicates in his own way and makes sure to let Berryman know what he does and doesn’t like. He eats well, and has a good appetite.
“He’s pretty strong for a kid with cerebral palsy,” she said.
Things are finally getting back on track for Berryman and her family. Berryman and her fiancé are beginning to start planning their wedding again. Their plans were interrupted once Jharid was born, as their focus shifted to him, emotionally and financially. They have also gotten back in touch as a couple. Berryman has gone back to work, after she took a year off to take care of Jharid. Jharid is also in a good place. He goes to a school for extremely disabled children, where he has therapy sessions five times a week.
Kandi is extremely proud of her sister Kaleena, and admires how she has taken all of the bad things that happened to her, and turned it into something good.
“She’s always been a great advocate and to see her transfer that advocacy spirit to her own life was and is powerful. She took her struggle and rose to the occasion and helped other women and families rise as well,” Kandi said.