MILLEDGEVILLE — Living with spastic cerebral palsy, being bilaterally blind, having severe brain damage and a movement disorder is incredibly challenging for anyone, but 2-year-old Brody Jackson continues to fight for his life, all the while with a positive spirit and an immense smile.
“He’s the most happiest child. Whenever I walk Brody into a room, people just fall in love with him and his smile, which radiates everything,” said Leigh Jackson, Brody’s mother. “Whenever Brody is out in public, it makes people grateful for what they have and their health. I know Brody is making an impact in a lot of children’s and adult’s lives.”
The Jackson family adopted Brody and his sister Hope at birth. Brody was born 31 weeks premature and weighing right at 3 pounds. Soon after birth, Brody suffered respiratory distress; he fought for more than a month in the NICU. He stayed on a ventilator and PICC Line until he gained weight before he was diagnosed with PVL, a form of white-matter brain injury. Right after his second birthday in May, Brody was also diagnosed with dystonia, a movement disorder that causes muscles to contract and spasm involuntarily. He continues to do hippotherapy every week at Brave Meadows Therapeutic Riding Center in Gray.
“He is a severe special needs child, but he does have a future. Brody can just about do anything as long as he puts his mind to it; he’s going to get there. The doctors think he’s come a long way and his future looks promising,” Leigh said. “His condition is life-threatening, but his future does look promising, so we’re trying to stay as positive as we can.”
Brody visits his physical therapist and doctors in Atlanta and Macon a couple times per week. In December, doctors at Emory Hospital suggested that Brody needed to undergo brain surgery. During Wednesday’s visit to Emory, doctors said he will also need a second round of Botox injected into his legs to help loosen up his muscle tone, a surgery Brody will have in March.