NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — It was a holiday surprise and a gift that will last well beyond Christmas. An 11-year-old boy with cerebral palsy has a new way to get around thanks to his teacher in the Methacton School District.
CBS3 spoke exclusively with PJ and his family about what this gift means to them.
It’s not easy going through life with cerebral palsy. And PJ Wedderburn-Bell’s fight is his family’s fight, too.
“He goes to therapy, to doctors appointments. My wish was to get a stroller. I asked the insurance and they refused to give me one,” PJ’s grandmother, Jean Gooden, said.
The 11-year-old was born premature at 24 weeks old. Sadly, his twin sister did not survive. PJ made it but he can’t walk.
When PJ’s special education teacher Stacy McGowan found out the family was in need of a new wheelchair, she stepped in to help.
McGowan contacted the nonprofit Changing Hands in Harrisburg and state Rep. Matt Bradford’s office was able to deliver the wheelchair to Skyview Upper Elementary School in Norristown on Wednesday.
“When I found out I was so happy, surprised,” Gooden said.
Gooden wasn’t the only one excited. So was PJ’s 12-year-old sister, Paradise.
“He’s just like my life. I don’t want anything to happen to him. He means every single piece of my heart to me because he’s very special inside,” Paradise said.
Paradise helps her grandmother take care of PJ.
“When we’re going to cars I carry him on my back and it’s not really anything to me, but it started happening when my grandma and aunt couldn’t carry him anymore,” she said.
That new wheelchair was an early Christmas gift the family had been praying for. And one thing is for certain, there’s no shortage of love.