St. Louis Children’s Hospital

Jack's Story

Now 10 years old, Jack loves video games, swimming, sports and superheroes. He’s outgoing, loves to laugh and is known for setting a good example for his peers. More importantly, Jack is a hard worker, which helps him tremendously in his daily life as he navigates therapy to support the effects of a stroke when he was 22 months.

Jack was born healthy, but in December 2014, his parents realized something wasn’t right. One evening he was playing on the floor of their South Carolina home when he suddenly could no longer support himself and couldn’t communicate. As a nurse, his mom also noticed a facial droop and immediately called 911. The initial CT scan didn’t catch anything and he started to regain the use of the left side of his body. However, the MRI the local hospital conducted revealed exactly what his parents feared — Jack had indeed suffered a stroke.   

Initially, everyone thought he’d make a full recovery, but it became apparent that would not be the case. The location in the brain where the stroke occurred left Jack with a lot of weakness on the left side of his body and he would need several types of therapies as part of his recovery.

Jack’s family moved to St. Louis the following June — just six months after his stroke — and immediately continued his care at St. Louis Children’s. Twice a week Jack participated in occupational and physical therapy sessions. His therapists worked with his family to develop a plan they can follow at home in between sessions. To date, Jack has completed more than 1,600 hours of therapy. During the summer he participates in longer, more intensive therapy sessions alongside kids his age, which allows him time to be with peers his age and makes therapy more fun.

For the past five years Jack has participated in Tri My Best, the adaptive triathlon hosted by St. Louis Children’s and Washington University. The yearly event is designed for children with motor disabilities, and athletes train throughout the year to complete versions of the swim, bike and run tailored to each participant’s mobility level. Jack has also attended Camp Independence, which also allows him the opportunity to experience sports in a whole new way.

Jack will continue his therapy every other week with the hope that he will soon be able to reduce the number of sessions because of the hard work he continues to put into his recovery every day.    

How CMN Funds Help Jack and Kids Like Him:

St. Louis Children’s Camp Independence was developed specifically for children with cerebral palsy and other movement disorders. Focusing on adaptive sports, this day camp provides confidence in their athletic abilities and has a lasting impact on the children who attend. Thanks to funds from CMN, Camp Independence and other specialty camps show Jack and his peers what they are truly capable of achieving.