Images captured by Muse Childhood Photography
Meet Dawson. He is almost 12 years old and loves hockey (the Toronto Maple Leafs in particular)! He also loves watching golf, bowling and his family. Dawson loves music. He loves it when people sing to him. He especially loves it when his Dad sings to him.
As a baby Dawson was diagnosed with Lissencephaly, a rare disease also known as ‘smooth brain’. This means that Dawson’s brain doesn’t have ridges on it like the average brain and it has a lot of fluid on it. He also had Cerebral Palsy, which means he is in a wheel chair. Dawson has Scoliosis quite badly, and it cannot be fixed because of the severity of the curve. Developmentally, Dawson is like a six month old.
Dawson has had countless medical issues. Two years ago he began to seizure. Medication has stopped this. Dawson was born healthy and ‘normal’. It wasn’t until he was six months old that things began to change. A great deal of his infancy was spent in hospital. Still, Dawson was and is an absolute joy to his family. They would do anything for Dawson. They were told that he wouldn’t live past four years old. Yet here he is, about to celebrate birthday number twelve! Several cases of pneumonia have almost taken Dawson’s life. So his family willing packed up and moved from Ontario to Alberta to avoid this. And it’s worked!
Life isn’t easy for a family with a disabled child. Dawson’s family doesn’t always get to do everything they’d like because of his doctor’s appointment and condition. He is getting heavier and getting harder to lift. Still, they love doing things as a family and do their best to give Dawson the life experiences that he deserves. No one knows why Dawson has so far surpassed his life expectancy, but it is something they chose to not think about. “We just enjoy all the moments we can.”
Story by Angela Stephen-Dewhurst