Cerebral Palsy Success Story: Diego 3/25/2015
Diagnosis: Cerebral Palsy
Prognosis: Very Poor
A Hero’s Welcome
Just a few months after finding out she was pregnant, Diego’s mother was told that the baby had a genetic abnormality. Soon after delivery, it was found that the baby had a mitral valve prolapse. As a result of the prolapse, the baby would often lose consciousness. Little Diego spent the first month of his life in the hospital.
As a baby, Diego startled and stiffened easily. He had difficulty sleeping and would wake up constantly during the night. He was hypertonic and had no mobility at all. Doctors told parents that Diego was microcephalic and had “atrophy of the brain”. Parents were told that due to his genetic problems he would have severe motor and mental retardation. His future was bleak.
The first months of Diego’s life were very difficult
Mother then took the “What To Do About Your Brain-Injured Child” Course. At the time, Diego’s father was in the military preparing to be deployed to Afghanistan. Soon after this tour of duty ended, parents took Diego to The Institutes in Philadelphia for his first evaluation.
The staff found that Diego had a severe midbrain injury. They designed a program to improve Diego’s mobility, his overall health, and his intellectual growth. At the end of the week, mother and Diego went back home, and father was deployed for another 6-month tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Diego at this point was still immobile
Mother and Diego continued to work very hard at home. When his tour of duty ended, father returned from Afghanistan. Little did he know, there was a wonderful surprise waiting for him. Diego had learned to crawl and to creep, but would he ever walk?Mother went home to fight her own war. She was determined to get her son moving. When he began the program, Diego was unable to move, make any sounds or say words, and he could not grab objects. She worked up gradually to a full program and Diego crawled for the first time in his life.
After 6 months apart, Father returned home to see his little boy who had been paralyzed when he left. How was he doing? Father knew his progress had been great, but did he was not prepared for the sight of his little boy walking to greet him at the airport. What a wonderful moment when two heroes returning from battle walked towards each other to embrace.
Since then, Diego has made wonderful progress in all areas. Now he is beginning to run, he is speaking in single words in Italian and English, he is able to pick up objects with both hands, and he is reading.
Congratulations to one tough little boy – and to mother and father who never gave up.
Diego walking towards his dad