BALLSTON SPA, New York (WABC) -- A nurse in Albany adopted a boy with special needs after spending years caring for him.
Kelli Dabek had been Jashia's nurse practically since he was born prematurely at 23 weeks.
He spent four years in a rehab home after his mother unexpectedly passed away and went into the foster care system.
Two years ago, Dabek became certified for emergency foster care so she and her family could take care of 9-year-old Jashia.
"We knew what we had to do. My whole family. We knew that's what we wanted to do," she said.
Now, you can often find Jashia putting on his helmet and taking off on his bike in his Ballston Spa neighborhood.
He suffers from chronic respiratory failure, epilepsy, asthma, developmental issues and had to have a tracheotomy to help him breathe, speak, and swallow.
"So he goes to a neurologist. He goes to a GI doctor. He goes to an endocrinologist because he was also diagnosed with failure to thrive," Dabek said.
Her two college-age daughters chip in to help out with his care, whenever possible. One is even certified as an aide to help with his needs.
They all say their family would be incomplete without Jashia.
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Nurse adopts special needs boy after helping to care for him for years