Zachery was born with the diagnosis of Myelomeningocele (Spina Bifida). This is a birth defect in which the backbone and spinal canal do not close before birth. In Zachery’s case, it caused partial paralysis and a lack of sensation in his legs as well as a build-up of fluid inside the skull (hydrocephalus). At two months of age, Zachery started physical therapy at home.
“I don’t feel that Zach would have reached his current status without the early intervention services he received,” says his mom, Korie. “While his therapists focused on Zach, it was a family experience through and through. Having a child with special needs is a very emotional experience, a roller coaster ride. His therapists provided us with tools to assist our child in our own home. They taught us how to work with him on stretching and strengthening exercises, and other activities that fit into our daily routines.They included Zach’s big sister, Zoey, by having her show Zach what they wanted him to do. It made her feel so much a part of the care team for our son.”
By the age of three, Zachery was walking independently with his walker, talking up a storm, and bragging about the fish he caught with his grandfather. Not only was he achieving milestones that were uncertain two years earlier, his family had grown in confidence as his greatest believer and advocate.
Today, “Zachery continues to be one of the hardest working kids I know!” says his therapist. “He has focused on using his crutches for walking and now almost exclusively uses them at home, school, and in the community. He participates in adaptive baseball, basketball, and track and field, and loves camping and fishing. Zach and his family are a fabulous example of how CTC celebrates what is and commits to what can be!”
“Our therapists helped keep us grounded when we were feeling down,” Korie says. “Most importantly, they celebrated the highs that a parent with a typically-developing child might just not understand. I knew we were part of a team working towards the goals that we were setting and keeping us all on the same page. It also kept us as parents from limiting the goals we set for our son or setting unrealistic goals and having our hopes crushed. This is a very caring group of people who have touched our lives in a way that cannot be described in words.”