I am extremely happy to introduce a very special guy to you. I have known him for the past 19 years, ever since I was introduced to the wonderful Ogden family. He was only 7 years old at the time I met him, and I instantly loved him. He has a heart as big as the Grand Canyon, a smile that lights up the room, and knows more sports statistics than anyone I have ever met.
Let me introduce you to my sweet nephew, Nate Davis.
I Can Do Hard Things- Nate Davis
Isn't he so handsome? I have loved having Nate in my life and I know that everyone who knows him feels the same way. He is a sweetheart and definitely one of the best basketball players I know.
Nate was born 5 1/2 weeks early and weighed 4 lbs. 7 oz. Fortunately he did not have to spend extra time in the hospital, but unfortunately for him, he was forced to wear Cabbage Patch Doll clothes. :)
Everything looked good until Nate's 4 month old checkup when the doctor discovered that his head was not growing as it should. After a CT scan and MRI, Nate was diagnosed with a right hemiparesis. According to Google, a right hemiparesis means this...
"Hemiparesis is unilateral paresis, that is, weakness of the entire left or right side of the body (hemi- means "half"). Hemiplegia is, in its most severe form, complete paralysis of half of the body."
In layman's terms, the left side of Nate's brain did not form correctly. Because the left side of his brain does not work correctly, this has presented a lot of problems for Nate in his 26 years of life on this earth. His left eye vision is impaired and the hearing in his left ear is as well. The right side of his body does not function properly so the left side of his body has to compensate for that. Also, because of the loss of function in the left side of his brain, his reading ability and speech are also affected.
None of this has stopped Nate from doing exactly what he has wanted to do in his life. I have never seen someone so determined. One of the things I love about Nate is that he keeps trying until he can do something. I mentioned that he is a great basketball player. His mom, Julie, tells me that he spent hours shooting hoops in their driveway and all of that practice time shows. He has won many medals in the Special Olympics and I know that he will continue to play basketball as long as he is breathing. He loves it.
Julie shared a story with me about when Nate was 7 years old. They had recently moved into their home and the kids were outside playing. Natalie (Nate's older sister) came running in the house and said, "Mom! Come watch Nate!" Julie ran outside where low and behold, Nate was riding a bike. Natalie and her friends had worked with him and taught him how to ride a bike. Julie could not believe it.
Nate has had Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy since his diagnosis and when he was four years old he started having seizures at night. Fortunately after years of tests, medication, and trying different natural remedies, they have been able to keep his seizures under control. Julie says that one of the hardest parts in helping Nate grow and develop has been the fact that he stays in each developmental stage probably three times as long as a "normal" child. His reasoning skills have been slow to develop which has made parenting him a challenge at times.
And while we are talking about people doing hard things, I cannot close this post without giving a shout out to Nate's mom, Julie. She has endured many hard times in trying to help Nate through his developmental challenges. She is grateful for all of the help that she has received from family members, especially her parents. She also received a lot of strength from priesthood blessings and time spent in prayer. One of the things that helped her the most was when Nate received his patriarchal blessing. In that blessing, Nate was told that he is here to gain a body and to help others draw closer to Christ. What an incredible mission this young man has in this life. He is a very special child of God.
We love Nate and are so grateful to have him in our family. He makes me smile all the time and I love his sweet and gentle spirit. Thank you, Nate, for being such an awesome example of someone that can do super hard things!
Check out this video that some of Nate's friends put together...
I am loving my second chance at life.
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Copyright Desirae Ogden, www.desiraeogden.com, 2015.
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