PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Emerson Grant whizzing all over the lobby at Shriners Hospitals for Children, as his face fills with excitement and joy, represents hope for many faced with a similar circumstance.
“It’s been absolutely unbelievable,” his father Lee Grant said. “It really is like a light switch has been switched on with Emerson.”
Emerson’s parents brought him to Shriners out of desperation.
Back in London, a cyst on Emerson’s spine caused a series of debilitating problems.
“We came to shriners for lots of reasons but the main reason is for hope,” his mother Anna-Marina Dearsley said.
Part of Emerson’s rehabilitation is in TheraStride, which is specialized equipment that allows patients to be upright walking with support, a technology that’s not available in the United Kingdom.
“The facilities are quite limited and the equipment that they use is very limited,” Emerson’s mother explained.
Once the family learned about all the innovations in Philadelphia, Shriners agreed to treat Emerson for free.
“Our main focus is getting him up and walking and taking steps,” Dr. Bethany Lipa said.
She also said Emerson is getting a variety of physical therapy not available to him in the United Kingdom.
“So this is the first opportunity he’s had to do upright mobility and body support training,” Dr. Lipa explained. “And so the goal of that is to facilitate walking by putting the lower extremities to a pattern and hope to reignite that nervous system.”
“He’s just his cheeky self again–it’s just amazing,” Emerson’s mother exclaimed.
Feeling right at home with a lollipop during therapy, after three weeks at Shriners, Emerson and his parents are ready to head home, full of appreciation.
“We feel that we’ve really been embraced by the people of Philadelphia, which is just been wonderful.”