Tag Archives: Toni Baker

A tribute to tenacity

Little Toni Spence My earliest memory of my little sister is the time my father snuck me to her hospital crib. Mom was very sick, she almost died giving birth to Toni, and Toni was born disabled. Dad spent a lot of time in the hospital worrying that he might lose his wife and child. So, one day, he took me to the hospital to see my little sister.

I wasn’t allowed inside the ward, so Dad took me to the window outside so I could look in. He lifted me up (I was only 4 years old) and I looked in. I remember she had a full head of dark hair and that she seemed to be so long from head to toe.

Once Toni and Mom pulled through, they came home and not long after we moved back to the U.S. (We were living in Nairobi, Kenya, because my father was teaching at Kenyatta College.)

The next few years were spent going back and forth to Shriner’s Hospital in San Francisco, where doctors poked and prodded, as well as operated on, my little sister. She experienced a lot of physical pain in the first five years of her life.

But she also had me. (more…)

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