Infant beats the odds with rare birth defect

17-month-old battles spina bifida


Spina Bifida is a rare birth defect that causes an infant's spinal cord to fail to develop properly.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, 7 out of every 10,000 people are born with the defect.

Nicole Butler met up with 17-month-old KJ Mitchell, whose parents say has beaten the odds.

When you first meet KJ Mitchell, you'd never know he was different from any other 1-year-old, but these casts are a sign of what he has overcome.

"He has been through so much," Carolyn Latimore, KJ's grandmother says.

KJ was diagnosed with Spina Bifida while he was still in the womb, and his mother says doctors were concerned.

"You need to go ahead and see what you are going to do. You going to abort him?" his mother, Tammy Mitchell, says.

Going through with the pregnancy, Mitchell says right from birth, KJ had to face hardships.

Weighing only four pounds, he was rushed straight to surgery to remove a large lump of spinal fluid on his back.

"I was very scared because I didn't know what the outcome was going to be. Right here, and that's where they had corrected when they done correct his spine. By the grace of God, we made it," Mitchell says.

After surgery, doctors told his family that KJ's life may never be normal.

"Well, they said he wasn't going to move nothing, but see God changed that. They thought he couldn't move his legs, but he does," Latimore says.

Proving the doctors wrong, within months he was sitting up straight and crawling around.

But recently, KJ has been getting around in a way his family never thought possible, teaching himself how to use a wheelchair.

"But after they put him in there, he was going all over the room they were like, 'WHOA!'" Mitchell says.

Mitchell takes her son to therapy once a week, but she says his "never give up" attitude keeps her strong.

"I be thinking they are going to come and tell me something, but he be looking in my face and he be like, 'Mom, don't worry, I'm going to be alright.' That's how he be looking at me," Mitchell says.

She says KJ's progress shows her that there is nothing that can stop him.

Mitchell says her son has blown past what the doctors have expected and is now working on walking.

She hopes KJ can inspire others who are going through the same thing to never give up and to keep fighting.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment