Mickey’s Irish Pub Hosts Thanksgiving Day Benefit for Zach Hayden

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Mickey’s Irish Pub will host a Thanksgiving buffet today, Thanksgiving day, for 3 year-old Zach Hayden who has a neuro degenerative disorder. The benefit is free and open to the public. Donations will be accepted to help the Hayden family with medical costs.

Credit Jody Gifford

On Thanksgiving day, families gather around the dinner table and give thanks for one another, friends, happiness and good health.

For Samantha Hayden, this year good health will be something she can only wish for for her 3 year-old son.

Hayden’s son Zach has apraxia of speech, a motor speech disorder that prevents a child from physically being able to form words. Zach was diagnosed with apraxia a little over one year ago.

“I think I was kind of in denial,” said Samantha of Zach’s diagnosis. “I kept expecting that one day, he would just start talking and that didn’t happen.”

Today, despite his silence, Zach is a sweet, rambunctious, playful toddler. He communicates using an iPad with buttons that tell his family and caregivers what he wants. Sadly, Zach’s diagnosis comes with a catch. The apraxia is symptomatic of a neuro degenerative disorder that will eventually rob him of more than just his speech. His nervous system will eventually shut down taking away his ability to walk, run, play and even smile.

“The loss of speech is just the onset of this disease,” said Samantha. “He will lose his ability to walk forcing him into a wheelchair. He may not be able to feed himself which will mean more equipment to do all that for him.”

Samantha and her family found help in an unexpected place. Samantha, a waitress at Mickey’s Irish Pub in Waukee, was approached by her employers, Andy and Amy Walsh, about the restaurant hosting a benefit in Zach’s honor.

“They’re like a second family,” she said. “Even before all of this, they’ve always been so good to me. You couldn’t ask for anything better.”

Mickey’s Irish Pub will host a Thanksgiving day buffet today from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. There is no cost to the public but donations are being accepted for the Hayden family for the medical costs they have incurred and will incur during the course of Zach’s life.

“Amy and Andy are great but never in a million years could I have imagined them doing this to help Zachary,” Samantha said. “There are not enough words in the world for me to thank them.”

Source: Jody Gifford, waukee.patch.com

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