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Jonathan Anderson: Smiling and moving forward

Jonathan Anderson
"Jonathan is an awesome kid who just makes everybody smile. He loves everybody," say his parents, Dave and Jane Anderson. When he was just two months old, Jonathan went into cardiac arrest at home due to swallowing and breathing issues. After his mother, Jane, performed CPR, and after being without a pulse for literally over 40 minutes, Jonathan was rushed to the hospital where he was ventilated for 17 days. "It was hard. We had just adopted Jonathan from Colorado, and now we didn't know what was in store for his future and that of our family," reflects Dave.

Jonathan was delayed in meeting his developmental milestones. "When he was only a few months old, the neurologist told us that Jonathan might never walk or talk." Jonathan immediately began receiving physical and speech therapy at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, adding occupational therapy soon afterwards. It was challenging because Jonathan couldn't communicate. "We could not understand Jonathan very well except through sign language until he was about five years old," explains Dave. Dave credits Vicki, Jonathan's speech therapist, for his many communication achievements.

Dave and Jane continue to work tirelessly to improve Jonathan's quality of life and functional abilities, and he now does many things other kids do including being "naughty" on occasion. Despite his cerebral palsy, he eats well, walks and uses most stairs without assistance, writes his name, and carries on conversations. He enjoys swimming lessons and playing baseball. "Jonathan loves his friends and loves going to school," says dad. "He's a very hard-working kid. He's had to be to make it this far."

Jonathan still comes to Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute for therapy once a week, and his infectious laugh and shy smile make working with him fun and his therapists look forward to his appointments. Dave says, "Our number one goal for him is to be happy. He's a hard working kid, and we want him to learn and make progress - to keep moving forward - and he's really doing pretty well."