A Comprehensive Cerebral Palsy Resource

Do You Believe in Magic?

Story written by: carol

Do you believe in magic? Jacob Wright sure does!

Jacob is a five years old, and he fights a daily battle with cerebral palsy. His twin brother Jordan, on the other hand, does not have cerebral palsy; for years, this meant the two boys were unable to run around and play together the way brothers (let alone twin brothers!) are supposed to be able to do, but now that the magic is being put back into Jacob’s legs, he is finally finding himself in a position to play with his brother, run around with his brother, and enjoy life with his brother – exactly the way their mother has dreamed of things being!

The story of Jacob and Jordan started when they were born prematurely, at only 28 weeks, back in December of 2008. Between the two of them, they weighed less than six pounds, and they had to spend two months in the hospital before they were able to go home. During parts of those two months, their mother Lucy was unsure if they would make it. But both boys pulled through – miraculously – and were finally able to head home, happy and seemingly healthy.

Things were fine for a while, but Lucy soon began to notice that Jacob was trailing behind Jordan in several important areas of physical development – missing the benchmarks that Jordan was hitting. She took Jacob to see the doctor, and the diagnosis was passed down: Jacob had cerebral palsy, and may never be able to lead anything resembling a “normal” life.

For weeks, Lucy was in denial. She looked back at baby pictures and realized the signs had been there all along; Jacob’s muscles always appeared tight, his hands were always clenched, as if into fists. But at the time, she had never noticed these things, and even now that she was looking at these pictures with a full understanding of what they meant, she had a hard time believing that any of this was true.

Soon, Jordan was walking, running, playing on his own…and Jacob was doing none of these things. Cognitively, he was fine; his mind was developing just as fully and sharply as his twin brother’s, but his physical limitations were creating a chasm between his life and his brother’s life, and Lucy did not know if they would ever be able to build a bridge to connect one side of the chasm to the other.

Then, Lucy heard of Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy surgery.

As has been well documented on this site, there have been a lot of ups and downs in the UK regarding the availability of money through the NHS for Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy surgery, and so, Lucy and her husband decided to raise the money for the surgery themselves – nearly $100,000, required for the surgery and the following physiotherapy.

It was not easy, of course – and no one said it would be. But they raised the money, and they were able to fly overseas to St. Louis to have the procedure performed. In explaining to Jacob exactly what would happen and helping to ease his tension and concerns, Lucy told him the doctors were going to put the magic back into his legs. And that was exactly what they did.

Now? If you are looking for Jacob, you can find him outside. With his brother. Running around and playing.

Do you believe in magic? Jacob sure does!