“I was told Joey may never walk or talk, it’s very easy to give up hope but having the support of White Lodge always kept me feeling positive.
Now everyday is the best day and Joey leads the most amazing life. All thanks to White Lodge”
This is Joeys story, told by his mum Stacie.
Joey is the youngest of my four siblings and was born healthy. Being a mum of four. I noticed around 13 months that Joey had no intention of walking whatsoever, and although he did pull himself up to stand, he never put his feet flat on the floor and always looked very unstable.
After many GP visits back and forth we were offered a referral to Orthopaedics where Joey had a full assessment with X rays, however I was told the results were normal and there was nothing to worry about. Months passed and Joey had made no progress, and I still had concerns so I contacted White Lodge and explained our story and asked if someone could help us.
Joey received an MRI scan on his brain and on 14th January 2016 when Joey was two years old I finally received the most devastating news that Joey had suffered a bleed on his brain during the 3rd trimester of my pregnancy and the abnormalities on his brain were clear, he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy (spasic diplegia), a permanent disability that effects his muscle tone in both legs and his trunk and makes it extremely difficult for him to walk.
Needless to say I was absolutely heartbroken and it felt like my world had crashed around me. I was told my precious baby boy may never walk or talk and if he did to what degree was unknown. I hit rock bottom, but White Lodge stepped up to support us and our journey began.
Joey attended White Lodge Nursery and started therapy input which included 1-1 physiotherapy, horse riding therapy, hydrotherapy and gym therapy. The team also set Joey up with specialist equipment including a trike.
White Lodges therapists worked so hard with him, it was very effective as Joey just thought he was playing. The progress he made was completely overwhelming. To Joey and I they weren’t just therapists they became friends, they were always reassuring and remained optimistic.
Being a special needs mum is tremendously challenging, not just physically but emotionally too, and sometimes it’s very easy to give up hope but having the support of White Lodge kept me going and feeling hopeful. I always left our therapy sessions with a positive vibe.
“All the White lodge staff were amazing with Joey. They showed patience and compassion through fun. Joey was welcomed as soon as he walked through the door and heard his name from all angles, which was so heart-warming. He spent lots of time circling the corridors on equipment and stopped at office doors to say hello. White Lodge really is a place that can make dreams come true”
Joey got stronger and became even more confident with his walking and he also started talking like the other children. White Lodge had literally helped Joey find his feet and voice, he went from strength to strength and totally exceeded our expectations and the doctors. He is such a determined little boy despite his everyday challenges.
Today Joey is six and attends mainstream school (with EHCP and full 1:1 support) with his brothers and sister. He has a specialist trike which he can now ride alongside his siblings which he loves. Life has taught me what’s important and what really isn't. Joey has taught me so much. Both Joey and I were bought to tears when the time came to leave our White Lodge family. We now attend on a private basis for Joey to continue therapy and they still are and always will be a huge part of our lives.