Why Peyton's Purpose?
My name is Kristi Carter... I am a single mom of 2 beautiful teenage children – Peyton and Ellie. We live in Newport Beach and I grew up and work in Costa Mesa, lived in Tustin for 15 years while married and starting our family- so I am a locally bred momma. My kids attended private Christian school kindergarten thru 8th grade, they have attended and loved church youth group, we are close to family and have many friends from different seasons of life. Our family was pretty typical- school, friends, sports, church, family, and a lot of time at the beach. Not perfect but nothing to complain about.
In fall 2010, Peyton was a 14 year old freshman at Newport Harbor High School, he aspired to be on the surf and volleyball team. He spoke of being a youth pastor and/or owning a surf/skate store and dabbled with the idea of being a fire fighter.
On the evening of November 5, 2010 our lives changed forever.
Peyton was a passenger in a horrific car accident that resulted in a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and diffused annoxal injury (DAI). Our story from that day forward is eerily similar to so many others. Coma for 2 weeks, emergency surgeries, doctors stating he may not live or if he does, it doesn't look good. Six weeks in 3 hospitals, then he moved home with us, attended 5 months of outpatient rehab, testing at neuro psychologist, neuro ophthmologist, school pychologist. Swim lessons to get back to surfing, cognitive rehab, vision therapy, behavior specialists, etc... It takes a village and I am so happy to be part of a prayerful, loving and encouraging one.
Life as we knew it was gone, but family, friends, church and our faith remained and grew. We are on a never ending journey of prayer, doctors and therapists, special education, personal caregivers, hope and research for what resources were available for Peyton. He is our miracle and nothing was going to get in the way of the best quality of life he can live. I have fought, negotiated, begged and applied for everything. It has been a bitter sweet journey, with tender moments and milestones and overwhelming and chaotic seasons.
Yes, my son can now walk, talk, eat, attend school, work part time, and even surf and snowboard when supervised, (and yes I am forever grateful for all these blessings), BUT he does not have friends in his age group, he is developmentally disabled, he is not at grade or age level, he needs to be supervised for safety and health.
His frontal lobe damage is severe and INVISIBLE and that is a huge obstacle when you live in this world. He is extremely impulsive, has very low initiation and motivation, has poor memory and processing skills, poor vision (unable to drive), young social skills and judgement and has very low insight of his deficits. He thinks and wants to be “typical”, he hears us tell him why he needs supervision but does not accept that or want that (like most people when restricted).
In January 2014, God put on my heart the vision and ministry of starting a home to
for Peyton that suited all of my wants and needs. This came from prayers over the past few years, as Peyton was getting older, his desire is to move out, live on his own, go to college, work, be in a relationship and move past his TBI diagnosis-to live independently. He was never the guy that was going to live at home comfortably into adulthood- he is a strong willed, independence-seeking young man. Unfortunately he is not able to to all of those things unattended YET. I have visited many longterm living options in Orange County, the state of CA, and across the country either online or in person.
What I have discovered is that there are many facilities that cover a wide spectrum of disablities and developmental delays. There are very few that are specific to TBI and Peytons level of functioning. Some are designed for more independence with little supervision and many are more focused for those functioning at lower levels and need skilled nursing. There is not much out there. The ones that I love are priced astronomically, and many others, I do not feel meet the high quality of standards that these survivors deserve. My heart grew to fill a need for this underserved population of people.
These young adults do not just need a bed to sleep in, they (along with their loved ones) need and desire a place to call home and build independence.
My heart's desire is to provide a longterm-living home that offers a safe and nurturing environment supervised by caregivers trained to teach daily living skills for all facets of life. All of my staff will understand TBI, be knowledgeable of resources and will work daily on life skills that emcompass- work/volunteer, church, social skills, leisure activities, money management, etc- to build towards as independent as each individual is capable of.
We will be a launching pad to prayerfully providing hope and purpose to productive and purposeful lives.
This is my ministry.
This is Peyton's Purpose!