AT HER Manhattan pre-school, Sarah Jane Donohue is nicknamed “The Diva” – a child with a gorgeous grin, wavy brown hair, and the ability to communicate without words.
She almost didn’t make it this far.
Yesterday, her family gathered at the table to give their thanks for Sarah Jane. She doesn’t even know it, but this little girl has devoted her life to making sure no little girl suffers as she has.
At 5 days old, Sarah was shaken so ferociously by a twisted baby nurse, doctors said it was as if she were struck by the force of a severe car crash. The nurse, Noella Allick, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2006.
Sarah is now 3, and growing like a sunflower. But she is unable to walk on her own. She can’t speak. She eats mostly puréed foods so she will not choke. At an age when most little girls are chattering, running, playing, Sarah can only laugh with authority. Or cry.
Still, progress has been steady. And her dad will not give up.
With a zeal that could only be born of a father’s love, Patrick Donohue, a political consultant, is trying something that, astonishingly, has never been done before.
He has opened up Sarah’s medical records and posted videos of her physical therapy on the Internet, in the hope that shared information equals power. He wants someone, somewhere to help his child. He wants Sarah Jane to help others.