The parents of an inspirational youngster with cerebral palsy are giving him the chance to defy the odds.
Ehsan Smith Perinchief, aged 23 months, has spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy, a condition that limits movements of his arms and legs. Alyssa Smith, Ehsan’s mother, said that, with the aid of doctors and therapists, her son has already shown that he can move his limbs if given the help he needs.
Ms Smith said: “He truly is the loveliest little boy there is. His laugh and love of life and exploring new things is inspiring. If nothing else, Ehsan has taught us no matter what, just keep smiling.
“The only thing that will stop Ehsan’s progress is access to the appropriate equipment.”
Ehsan has been able to use some equipment from the Department of Health, but Ms Smith and Arrim Perinchief, his father, have launched a campaign to buy his own equipment.
They will host a fun day next month to help raise more than $13,000 to buy items including a standing frame, gait trainer or walker with accessories, bath seat, postural seating, leg braces, compression clothing and adaptive stroller.
Ms Smith said: “With his diagnosis, most cases those people do not walk.
“They aren’t normally verbal, but with him we have noticed he shows initiative that he wants to walk. So we were lent a walker from Hope Academy last month and with that he walks.”
Ehsan weighed 3lb 15oz at birth despite being born after a full-term pregnancy.
Tests revealed he was suffering from intrauterine growth restriction and hypothyroidism. This year the family learnt he had spastic CP.
He has already made eight trips to Boston for treatment.
Ms Smith said: “At first you have to accept what it is and then once you get past that, you make it your mission to get him as normal as possible and try everything.
“It’s definitely been a learning experience because, prior to him, I have never really had any exposure to anyone with any sort of physical disability.”
She added Ehsan is a happy baby who loves it when she sings and dance with him.
Ms Smith said: “We have a really good therapy team so they help us in more ways than I think they realise. They are instrumental in his journey and getting him where he is now.”
She said he started speech therapy in January and added: “He fully understands, he just can’t respond.
“He can identify parts of the face if we ask him to. He likes to give high fives.”
Mr Perinchief said: “It’s hard because he can’t communicate with us as we are able to communicate with him, but he finds ways to let us know what he likes.”
Ms Smith said diagnosis of her son’s illness has also opened her eyes to the lack of adequate facilities for the disabled in Bermuda.
She said: “There are not a lot of wheelchair accessible places in Bermuda. There is not a lot of places that are inclusive. For a lot of people, like myself, it didn’t matter until it affected me and I think that’s with a lot of people.”
• The fun day will take place on July 13 at the Warwick Workmen’s Club and will include bouncy castles, sponsored by Kamazing Rentals and Extreme Sports, all day for $10. For more information about the fun day, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or click on the PDF under “Related Media”