Little Lad With Debilitating Condition Shocks Doctors By Walking On His Own
Before the birth of their little boy, Abdul, Sammy Shamaissem and the mother of his child, Shahinda, were given some advice.
At 18 weeks, Sammy was told he would be having a boy. However, with the good news came the bad - the baby had spina bifida, a debilitating condition where the spine fails to develop properly, leaving sufferers with weakness or total paralysis of the legs, bowel incontinence and the loss of sensation in the skin.
Doctors advised them to terminate the pregnancy.
"We were very distressed, especially when we were told the baby may never walk, may never develop properly and advised to take the option of termination," Sammy told us.
Naturally, that was extremely difficult to comprehend but Sammy, 31, and the mother decided to have their child, regardless of potential disability.
"Abortion was out of the question. We were put in touch with the spina bifida department at the children's hospital but hearing about it is totally different to seeing it."
On July 12th, 2013, Abdul was born via c-section.
"He was born via c-section because of the sack on his back which had his nerves in. I fell in love but what I saw also broke my heart. The sack on his back and his feet twisted all the way up to his shins."
Abdul was taken to the emergency ward straight away and his mother Shahinda didn't see him until later that evening.
Over the next 48 hours, Abdul would undergo two major operations, one on his back and one on his head to put in a shunt - an implant attempting to prevent hydrocephalus, the accumulation of fluid in the head.
"Although we found it hard at times, anyone who ever laid eyes on him could see he had a big heart and was a little fighter. The grip on his hand and the kick in his legs. It meant the world to us but it still didn't mean he was going to be able to walk."
After a few weeks in hospital, Sammy and Shahinda were able to take Abdul back to their home in Sydney, Australia. Despite receiving loads of help in those first few weeks, the parents were now on their own.
One day, Shahinda noticed Abdul's head had grown too much. They took him for a check-up and doctors noticed the tube in his shunt was in a knot and that they'd have to take him to surgery to revise the shunt.
"The kid was copping a beating from such a young age but he kept on pushing. As he grew, we realised this boy was more special than we thought."
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Within the space of three months, Abdul had gone through more than most people do in a lifetime. But he continued fighting until one day, a miracle happened.
A year into his life, Sammy was in the living room when he witnessed Abdul pull up and support himself on a side table, before taking his very first steps.
"I was blown away with what he had done. The hospital later gave him a walker and after five minutes of showing him how to use it, he was a pro. It's his favourite thing in the world. He will drop whatever he is doing, including the iPad, to go for a walk.
"I saw him lift his walker and take two steps. I lost my mind. I was so happy. He got happy at how happy I was."
Just a few weeks ago, Abdul started walking on his own. Watch this video to see the little lad go...
"He is heading in the right direction. He is my little Superman. Defying all the odds. I wouldn't change my son for the world. He amazes me more and more every day."
Abdul is now two and a half years old and, despite his condition, living a happier life than could ever have been imagined when he was born. He really is a little Superman.
What an inspiration.
Words by George Pavlou
Images all supplied by Sammy Shemaissan
Topics: Little Lad