|Connor Scott Millard helped teach all those around him that he was a special child, not just a child with special needs. Connor’s strong desire to live a normal life and experience the world around him helped all those involved in his care push the envelope of current treatment paradigms and resources to allow him to live at home as much as possible. In his final days he made it clear that he wanted to be back at “Connor’s house”, and because of his strength, his parents and doctors were able to allow him to be at home when he passed on to heaven. This is his story. Dr. Arun Chopra, Connor’s doctor, friend and co-founder of Connor’s House
Connor Scott Millard came into the world with a tenacity that blew away all the dire predictions for his future. He dealt with significant and severe medical, developmental and emotional challenges, yet he faced these with a courage and spirit that lit up the world.Connor’s determination combined with our goal to give our son as typical a life as possible, caused us not fear questioning the status quo. We learned that it was worth the struggles and failures with the “system” to give our son a better, happier life. Despite his many medical issues and a multitude of medical accessories Connor did many things other kids his age did. He went to gymnastics, played at the playground with his friends, and attended preschool.
Due to his many issues, Connor had to spend quite a bit of time at doctor’s offices, having outpatient procedures and enduring long stays in the hospital. This was very difficult for him and he absolutely loved coming back home to his favorite place. When Connor would finally get in the car to come home, no matter how sick he was, he would clap and cheer and literally bounce up and down with excitement.
When we would get close to home he would be so super excited that honestly the car itself would be vibrating with his joy. Each time the car came around that bend in the road close to home he’d cry out with glee, “Connor’s House!” Connor loved lying on “his spot” on the couch with his service dog Casey. The two would cuddle together and enjoy being the best of friends. He couldn’t wait to be able to help Mama bake cookie, or work with Papa to create things in the workshop.
The anticipation of going home to Connor’s house was one of the things that made hospital stays bearable for Connor.
As Connor’s condition worsened and we knew we didn’t have much more time with him, he told us it was time to go back to Connor’s House. Thankfully both we and his doctors understood what he was telling us and we worked very hard with his medical team to take him back to “Connor’s House” one last time. He was so very happy to go home, where he felt safe and secure. Those last days with him were both heart-wrenching and incredibly precious.
Connor’s incredible determination and desire to live his life to its fullest outside of the hospital, despite enormous challenges, is the driving force behind Connor’s House. We know that many families aren’t as lucky as we were to have both the resources and the support from family, friends and physicians to allow them to provide fully for their children at home. We know from first-hand experience how emotionally draining and how difficult it can be to coordinate all the complicated care. Because of this experience and everything that Connor has taught us our goal is to provide other children with complex health care needs and their families the support services and opportunities they need to live life to its fullest!
Scott & Deb