A few years ago, there were only a few medical treatments that were made available for children who are afflicted by cerebral palsy. Now, through the advancement of medical technologies, children with CP can now resume their normal lives as there are more medical treatments available to reduce the symptoms of CP, as well as rid it completely.
An Inspirational Story For Children & Parents
After I read an article about a young man diagnosed with CP who went on to become an accomplished athlete, I have begun to accept and consider the major improvements on the medical aspect, particularly on the treatment of cerebral palsy.
Most of us upon hearing the word “jogging” – and the intent of doing it – makes one dread as it is a rather tiring task. However, for a certain teenager diagnosed with spastic cerebral palsy, jogging for a few miles is but only a warm up! This is the story of Matthew Taylor, who was recently featured in an article entitled, “Teen who was told he would never walk again has successfully ran a half-marathon”.
At the young age of six months, Matthew was diagnosed with CP, known as spastic cerebral palsy that severely limits the use of his arms and legs. Faced with this diagnosis, the doctors were highly doubtful that Matthew will be able to walk properly again using his legs, even when assisted by crutches or a walker.
Defying The Odds
However, even if the doctors told him about this grim diagnosis, Matthew never gave up. Instead, he did what most people wouldn’t do – prove them wrong. At 21 months, after undergoing strict physical therapy sessions, Matthew was able to take his first steps. What’s surprising about this is that he did not use any assistive devices.
Though it would be nice and rewarding for Matthew to be able to resume normal development after finishing his physical therapy sessions, it wouldn’t turn out that way as his cerebral palsy developed as well and continued to persist. Also, him being able to resume physical development was only through the help of physical therapy sessions, as well as numerous botox injections in order to reduce the damage in his legs.
As a saying once told, “nothing worth accomplishing is ever easy”.
Grit & Skilled Medical Care
Upon reaching puberty and adolescence, Matthew experienced growth spurts, which made injections and therapy sessions lose their effectiveness as his muscles and bones start to develop, albeit poorly. This made it harder for him to walk normally.
To be able to overcome Matthew’s new challenges, he must undergo a series of surgeries in which doctors will attempt to reposition Matthew’s femur, lengthen his hamstrings, and implant a pump which will release muscle relaxants like Baclofen.
Matthew, with the help of these surgeries, continued to better himself.
With the help of these new treatments, the spastic conditions were regulated and Matthew was able to control and resume some of the many activities that most teenagers of his age neglected – taking part on cross-country races and marathons. After years and years of fighting his disease, Matthew became part of his school’s cross country team – a huge feat for someone inflicted with cerebral palsy.
Still striving to better himself through his “never give up” mentality, and with the help of his doctors, Matthew plans to improve himself by participating on events such as 15k races or even half-marathons.
Matthew’s situation is a testament to how far medical advances have come. His story does not only come up as inspirational, but also hopeful, as people like Matthew can become normal with the help of medicines, as well as sheer determination and continuous support from his families and friends.
Jonathan Rosenfeld is a medical malpractice attorney in Chicago who handles birth injury lawsuits.