Philip Rouse L, age 15

Photograph by Kristina Copeland (2023)
Philip is a carefree, determined, and genuine kid who always has a smile on his face. His friends would describe him as a comedian, even though he is not trying to be. He loves spending time with his Granny, along with playing baseball, traveling, and learning about military history. He is an active member of Boy Scouts of America. Philip approaches participating in events with determination to complete the task.
Born at just 3.5 pounds, Phil came out of the womb a fighter. He survived open heart surgery at two months old, with five additional surgeries to follow. Damage to his vagus nerve during surgery caused him to have difficulty eating and drinking. Already experiencing heart and GI concerns, severe food allergies caused malnourishment and failure to thrive. His health became critical, and he was placed on total parenteral nutrition feeding which was delivered through a broviac line in his neck. His primary source of nutrition for over five years included this and other types of supplements. Over the years, Philip’s journey has taken him through experiences that many adults could have never imagined.

Philip’s mom says he is a survivor. His life teaches others that they can thrive even when faced with obstacles. This past year Philip was placed on dual enrollment college level classes and participated in several sports. His mom says, “Philip has strengthened us, motivated us and brought joy and purpose to our lives.”

Family Connection of South Carolina provides services and resources to families who have a child with a disability or specialized healthcare need. Since 1990 we have served more than 100,000 families and today our services are needed more than ever. We focus on parent-to-parent support, guidance with navigating the complex healthcare system, and assistance with school meetings and special education plans.