Jackson Gray

Oliefoundation-jayden

Jackson Thomas Gray was born at 28 weeks gestation, weighing 1210grams.

After a three month stay in three different neonatal intensive care units across Melbourne, our resilient little fighter Jackson came home without the need for oxygen or a feeding tube.

As a result of his prematurity, Jackson has Cerebral Palsy, which affects his lower limbs, speech and overall mobility. Currently Jackson is still non verbal, in nappies and unable to dress himself or eat full meals independently.

To avoid extensive waiting periods, Jackson’s parents, Leah and Adam, paid privately for an MRI to acquire a diagnosis and in turn, to commence appropriate therapies and to identify further proactive strategies to support and enhance their son’s development.

Government financial assistance for children with special needs is capped at $12,000. This is for all services, equipment and treatment from the date of diagnosis to a child’s 7th birthday. In Jackson’s case, this amount was exhausted well before his 4th birthday.

From the age of 18 months, Jackson’s intervention of therapies extend across Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and socialization sessions. This is coupled with regular visits to the Royal Children’s Hospital for quarterly Botox injections to his lower limbs and additional injections into nerves under general anaesthetic to support and enhance his mobility. Regular X-rays, orthopaedic reviews and plaster castings for new leg braces are also on Jackson’s repertoire of interventions.

Walking Aids, a customized bike, toilet platform and communication aids are just a few items of equipment that has been purchased over the last few years to maximize Jackson’s development and as he grows, all these items are in turn superseded and in need of replacement.

Jackson has weekly private swimming lessons to improve his posture and strength to his muscles. He has also commenced a new therapy program call Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) that has been tailored to his specific needs to build and encourage expressive and receptive communication along with life and play skills to assist in Jackson reaching the goal of running into mainstream school as an independent and communicative little Preppie!!