NORTH BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Vignesh Stradley has been through a lot more than the average ten-year-old.
Born in India, he was adopted by his parents, Alicia and Mark. They wanted to give him a chance at a better life, here in Buffalo. “We knew he was deaf and more than likely contracted Meningitis in India and it took away a very significant part of his hearing,” said Mark Stradley.
He was born with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. “It’s the build-up of fluid in the brain cavity that creates pressure, so you need something to drain that extra fluid that won’t absorb itself,” said Stradley.
Vignesh came to his new family with a shunt and cochlear implant. They learned sign language and worked to find a place that would cater to his specific needs. “We started doing our homework as parents. What kind of specialists will we need.. etc.. and we found all of them at Oshei Children’s Hospital,” said Stradley.
Five surgeries later, including removing and replacing his cochlear implant, Vignesh is now doing great. “He’s just a happy kid and I feel that happiness is just spread to everyone around him,” said Stradley.
“It just means everything. Our work is inspired by kids like him and it makes our work we do each day even more meaningful,” said Andrew Bennet, Vice president, Children’s Hospital of Buffalo Foundation.
Thanks to the care he received, Vingnesh now spends his time enjoying his family and rooting on his Buffalo Bills. His favorite player is Josh Allen.
“There’s always hope at the end, just have a positive outlook to get you through,” said Stradley.
Gabrielle Mediak is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.