Junior Buthelezi is our Sunshine Superstar of the week. His is a tale of triumph over great odds – and we are so proud of him!
Junior Buthelezi is 6 years old and has severe Cerebral Palsy. When he first came to the Sunshine Eldorado Park Early Intervention Centre in 2015, he was unable to coordinate his limbs, struggled to swallow food, and was drooling. His head was also extremely floppy, making it difficult for him to move. It was heartbreaking to see such a tiny body wracked with so many difficulties.
Cerebral Palsy is a disorder that affects body movement and posture and is one of the most common causes of lasting disability in children. The uncontrollable reflex movements and muscle tightness are associated with brain injury or problems that occur during pregnancy, birth, or the first 2 to 3 years of life. Seizures and vision and hearing problems can also occur. New symptoms may appear, or symptoms may change or get worse as the child gets older. Causes include:
- Premature birth
- Insufficient blood, oxygen, or nutrients before or during birth
- Serious head injury
- A serious infection, such as meningitis
- Genetic conditions that affect brain development
In Junior’s case, we are delighted to report that with the steadfast commitment and encouragement of his carers, he has undergone a wonderful transformation. He has become very active and using bunny hops to get around, enthusiastically fetches his toys from the lower shelves. While he is still on soft foods, his swallowing is easier, he is drooling less, and is even attempting to chew.
Junior is now able to hold his head up for longer periods and can finger feed himself. Perhaps the chips he loves so much have something to do with it! This little boy’s remarkable progress fills our hearts with delight. We look forward to more milestones for Junior – milestones that will allow him to fully enjoy the joys of childhood.
Our incredible staff and children continue to inspire us. We welcome your calls and queries – let us help your child become a Sunshine Superstar.