Cerebral Palsy: A Toddlers ruthless journey
Cerebral (of the brain) Palsy (lack of muscle control) or “CP” is considered a neurological disorder that effects hundreds of thousands of children and adults around the country. The disorder often occurs during birth commonly due to complications or medical negligence during the birth. Often though, symptoms due not appear immediately after the birth but can begin a couple years into the child’s life. Leaving families confused and ill prepared for the journey ahead.
The symptoms become much clearer when the child is first learning how to perform physical tasks such as walking, sitting upright, speaking, or even eating. CP directly effects a child’s cognitive and verbal communication skills by impeding control of their muscles functions such as balance, tone, reflex, coordination and movement. Depending on the severity level of CP, there can be other serious symptoms such as seizure or mental retardation. Typically, serious forms of the disorder are spotted during or shortly after pregnancy but milder forms can appear during parental supervision.
Parents should keep an eye out for these symptoms:
- Muscle spasms or clonus
- Spastic and mixed movements
- Toe walking
- In or out toeing
Hope isn’t lost though. There are success stories where physical therapy and other practices can be used to provide a normal, almost indistinguishable quality of life compared to a person that hasn’t suffered from CP.
Take Pierre’s story as an example. Born in 1994, Pierre started his life with a fight. During birth, the mothers umbilical cord was found wrapped around his neck. After almost being delivered by caesarean, the effects of the birth trauma were unclear until a few hours later when Pierre had his first seizure with noticeable symptoms of muscle contraction. After countless test, it was found that he had developed a blood clot in the cerebral cortex (part of the brain that controls sensory, motor functions, and association areas.) during birth. Physicians told Pierre’s family that he would be both permanently physically and mentally impaired.
They didn’t take this lightly and immediately started to join support groups, study the disorder and drive support from their family and community. Through diligent research, his family found a class in Philadelphia that taught at-home physical therapy. After the week-long seminar, they returned home and began treatment using therapeutic practices such as placing Pierre on his tummy and oxygen enrichment treatments. Persistence was the motto this family followed and continued these practices for years, giving him the ability to walk, then run, and potentially play sports while performing very well in academic settings. That being said, CP and other forms of birth trauma are not a death sentence, in fact, people that suffer from these disorders go on to live meaningful lives.
Support groups are often recommended when coping with a child suffering from a disability or neurological disorder. Roughly 8,000 families a year give birth to children that have some sort of birth trauma leaving their child impaired. These families come together, draw strength from one another and understand the obstacles that come with raising their newly diagnosed child. Which is helpful at times when a mother and father feel that they have nowhere else to turn.
There’s never a reason to give up hope, and the Louisville birth injury attorneys at Hendy Johnson Vaughn Emery know this better than anyone. We’ve fought for decades to ensure benefits for our client’s children who have suffered Cerebral Palsy and other types of birth trauma. If you’re feeling lost, confused or are just looking for advice, please don’t hesitate to call us at 859-578-4444 or contact us online.