Originally published by Anchor News on December 16, 2015
EASTON, Mass. — When life handed Paula Kavolius lemons, she not only made lemonade, she planted an entire grove of lemon trees for everyone to enjoy.
Growing up in Westwood, Kavolius graduated from Boston College, met her husband shortly thereafter, and settled down to have three children in four years. It wasn’t until a year after her youngest, Timothy, was born that she began to sense that he was different. It was a challenging and a slow process because it took his first year of life for her to realize that something was wrong, as Timothy wasn’t hitting his milestones.
“He was my third one and I was quite busy,” recalled Kavolius, “but I think I was in denial that anything was wrong with him. At first he was a very quiet baby, barely cried at all, but when he turned one, he started screaming. He had such a neurological impairment, he would scream eight hours a day for years. He was so impaired, he just couldn’t communicate in any way.”
As Timothy’s condition became more clear, Kavolius said she felt like Michaela Odone, the mother featured in the movie “Lorenzo’s Oil,” where she felt that if she found the right treatment for Timothy, she would cure him; “I was a stubborn, Irish girl who could fix anything if I worked hard enough. I took him to every major hospital in Boston, every major specialist you could imagine; I did afterschool, during the week services from cross-crawl therapy to craniosacral therapy — I’m going to look like a nut, but that’s what I did — speech and OT, and behavioral techniques. You name it, I did it.”
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