By The Drozdyks
Jason, and his twin sister Jessica were born 16 weeks premature on June 5, 2004, to a sweet, but troubled 19 year old, crack abusing, bi-polar, schizophrenic in the Pinellas County jail. By June 6, Christina (the mother), was back in her cell, and the twins –barely two pounds -combined- were at All Children’s Hospital.
No Limits For Jason
Christina’s Aunt Jeanette called her best friend Kim Drozdyk, and together they made the trek to St. Petersburg to see the babies. (A trip Kim would make every day for the next three months. A trip made with a heavy heart having lost her baby boy Steven there a few years earlier, and her baby girl Rachel a year before that). The twins were lying in separate cribs under heat lamps, stuck with tubes. These babies have no one here, and they’re fighting for their lives, she recalls thinking. Kim took photos to Christina in jail, and after grappling with the dismal fact that the State would be taking custody of the twins, and would probably split them before putting them in Foster care, she consulted the family (husband, John, and children, Richard, Amanda, and Johnny), and began calling adoption companies.
Of the two, Jason was more robust and healthy looking (his pre-maturity temporarily disguising the CP problems yet undetected), and although he had the additional burden of recovering from laser re-attachment surgery to both of his retinas, Jason was able to go home to Palm Harbor, after two months. Jessica followed four weeks later, her feeding tube still attached. We knew that the babies born so premature were likely to have health problems. From the start, they had dozens of doctors and therapists, also there were no guarantees that Jason’s sight would be restored. (The eye surgeons were confident of the surgery’s success, but also admitted that he –in fact- could not see. His first noted sight came in February 2005). Then about 2 years ago, I noticed an unfamiliar word in Jason’s medical records and Googled it. The search eventually led to an explanation of why Jason’s fists clenched so hard they turned purple, why his legs and arms always felt so stiff, why his eyes did not follow the mobile over his changing table. (Even though it was now clear that he could see). It turns out that both children have Cerebral Palsy. Jessica’s CP is fairly mild, it mainly affects her balance and gait, but at 3 ½, she bops around in tights and ponytails, while Jason can barely hold his head up. Early in 2006 Jason began Hyperbaric Oxygen treatments, but HBOT is not covered by insurance, and at $250 a visit, times 40 visits (recommended), it was very cost prohibitive. However, the results were almost immediately noticeable, so John sold his prized Harley and they continued.
By refinancing the house, our family was able to purchase a used Hyperbaric Chamber on E-Bay. After months of sometimes two a day sessions, Jason’s therapists all agree that he is making progress. (as are a friend’s two babies, also with CP, who use the chamber on a semi-regular basis). Jason’s progress convinced the family that the twins would flourish at “Ability Camp”, a five week program in Canada that combines HBOT and very aggressive “Conductive Therapy”. By maxing out some credit cards, and accepting the generosity of many friends, neighbors, and kind hearted strangers, Jason and Jessica attended “Ability Camp” in January 2007, and while Jessica’s gains were very subtle, Jason’s gains were substantial. Jason can now eat semi-solid food off a spoon, he can roll from side to side, he can get himself into a crawling position, and best of all, because he can now hold his head up for extended periods, Jason is actually aware of his surroundings. Jason is in the beginnings of realizing his potential, he is a bright, funny, adorable little boy with a strong will, a fighters spirit, and a real chance for a normal (if difficult) life. Lambert’s Pediactric Clinic is our next goal for Jason. We maxed out another credit card for the deposit (why do they keep sending us those things?), and he’s going this December. Thank you for taking the time to read Jason’s story, and thank for your consideration.. “http://www.justforjason.com”