Living with cerebral palsy presents many challenges for children and parents alike, but we’ve stumbled upon one heartwarming tale that’s bound to bring a smile to everyone around. According to a recent article from Yahoo! Lifestyle, New York-based mom, Andrea Mackey, took her son Jeffrey for a summer outing, but what happened next definitely made her head turn.
When Jeffrey faced a difficult situation with his cerebral palsy, his two friends came to his side to offer support. While heading to the water slide, Jeffrey struggled to keep his balance while walking. His friends noticed that Jeffrey had fallen behind them, and quickly rushed to help him. Jeffrey’s mother, Andrea Mackey, captured a video of the interaction and posted it on Twitter. Since the video was published on August 1, the post has gone viral, amassing over five hundred thousand likes in a matter of days.
For other five-year-olds, seeing another child having difficulty walking might be fodder for bullying, but not Jeffrey’s pals. Instead, his two friends decided to assist him, with one on each side of his body, helping him balance. With smiles on their faces, the children continued to enjoy the water park.
One of the obstacles Jeffrey faces with cerebral palsy is that his muscles get tight making it hard for him to walk. Today at the water park he was having a hard time walking but, his friends pushed him to keep going and never left him behind💛 pic.twitter.com/o5tx94ifTE— mikaila ryan (@Mikaila_ryan) August 2, 2019
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define cerebral palsy as, "A group of disorders that affect a person's ability to move and maintain balance and posture. CP is the most common motor disability in childhood." For Jeffrey Mackey, his experience with cerebral palsy has caused partial paralysis on the right side of his body.
During the day at the water park, many children enjoyed repeatedly going down the pool slide. However, Jeffrey faced an obstacle of his own from his cerebral palsy. When his body became colder than usual, the muscles in his body began to tighten up, thereby resulting in Jeffrey having difficulties with walking or simple movement patterns. At the water park, Jeffrey's friends and soccer teammates, Kane Raymond and Raya Joyce, decided to step in to help their friend.
“As a mom, it was heartwarming. It reassured me that he will always have people to look out for him,” Jeffrey’s mother, Andrea said. “Even if I’m not there, there will be someone as young as five to look out for him. It put my heart at ease.” In a world filled with instances of bullying, it’s refreshing to hear a new perspective of children helping those around them, and working towards making the world a better place.