by Jennifer Ffrench-Parker
Special to the NNPA from the Crossroads News
One day he came into the kitchen and told her, “‘Mommy, I need to go to the doctor.’”
After the stroke in May, Jeremiah was in a medically induced coma in the intensive care unit for nine days. On May 24, he was transferred to Scottish Rite Critical Intake Rehabilitation in a wheelchair, unable to sit up without help and support.
“He couldn’t talk, he wore Pampers and Pull-Ups again,” she said. “He couldn’t use the right side of his body at all, but most of all his beautiful smile was lost.”
But four days later, Jeremiah spoke his first word again.
He hasn’t looked back.
Heather Markley, his physical therapist, said Jeremiah worked hard on his recovery every day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“He had a great attitude,” she said. “He just did such an amazing job.”
Before long, Jeremiah was inspiring and encouraging other children going through therapy. When he began running again, she said he called himself “Jaguar Jeremiah.”
“He gave nicknames to all the other children,” Markley said. “Everybody had a better time when he was around.”
Because of his fighting spirit and his remarkable recovery, when the call came to nominate a patient to be the first child to ride the Macy’s Pink Pig train on Oct. 30 at Lenox Square, Markley said he was the first kid that popped into her head.
“When he came here, he couldn’t walk or do much,” she said. “When he left, he was running and jumping. For such a young kid, he was really motivated.”
His mother called Jeremiah’s doctors and rehabilitation team “amazing people.”
“I am most thankful that God allowed us to be at that hospital when Jeremiah had that stroke,” she said. “Had we been on vacation, the outcome would have been very different.”
Truesdale says her son is speaking, dressing himself and running again because he is a fighter and because of all the prayers that went up for him.
“He likes to see the amazement on people’s face when he accomplishes something,” she said.
On Nov. 28, when her family gathers at her mother’s home for a Thanksgiving dinner, Truesdale said they will be thankful for a lot more than the fried turkey, corn bread dressing, sweet potato souffle, lima beans, and black-eyed peas.
Jeremiah’s recovery will be at the top of their list of things to be thankful for.
She says that he still sleeps in his hand brace and he is still taking outpatient therapy once a week, but his outlook is good.
“People think we are crazy when we say this, but it’s true!” she said. “Our faith is in God to bring Jeremiah through it all.”