Elijah’s Story

I was less than 24 hours old when my stroke happened. Upon my entry into the world, everything appeared normal to my doctors. Suddenly, I stopped breathing and began having seizures. My doctors were confused, began running tests, and finally concluded that I had suffered a massive stroke due to a blood clot that traveled to my brain. I spent 2 weeks in the NICU before being released to my parents.

My infancy was a struggle. I had to learn how to take a bottle because my facial muscles were very weak. I struggled to sit up, crawl, talk, and walk. My muscles on my entire right side were weak and very tight. I began physical, occupational, and speech therapy at less than 6 months old to help develop new pathways in my brain, so that I would be able to one day use my right side.

Before my first birthday, I was equipped with braces for my leg, arm, and hand. Going to multiple therapies a week, falling behind my peers physically and emotionally, and trying to just be a normal kid was very hard for me to handle. Financially, it was very difficult for my parents to keep up with. As the years have gone on, new technologies have been developed to help kids like me. However, insurance has not kept up and that has made it almost impossible for me to obtain the equipment that would greatly improve my life.

Thanks to One Stroke Forward, I now have the Bioness L300 device. This device has allowed me to get rid of the painful AFO that I’ve worn for my entire life. Now, I have the opportunity to build the muscles in my leg that have atrophied over the years. I am able to participate in physical education classes at school, play outside with my friends without tripping and falling, and feel confident about my body. I am forever thankful for this organization and their willingness to help me in my journey.

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