8-year-old rides over obstacles of cerebral palsy - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

8-year-old rides over obstacles of cerebral palsy

William and Cannon at the St. Jude 5K (Source: Family) William and Cannon at the St. Jude 5K (Source: Family)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

Eight-year-old William Stearns has overcome every obstacle in his life.

When Carol Stearns was in the early stages of her pregnancy with William, he suffered a stroke in the womb. This caused him to be born with cerebral palsy.

It wasn’t until William was four months old that his family learned what had happened. Doctors said when he was born, the odds of a child suffering a stroke before being born was one in 3,000 (the odds have since raised). Doctors told William’s family that he would never be able to move his left hand.

Of course, eight-year-old William has proved them wrong.

William and his mother Carol go through Will’s stretches every day—he needs them to be able to move the left side of his body. The muscles on William’s left side are weak, but by stretching and keeping Will active, he is able to use the left side of his body.

Just take it from William’s physical therapist.

William has needed physical therapy ever since his diagnosis at four months old.

“He blew my professional expectations and experience OUT OF THE WATER!!!” Morgan Bryant said in a Facebook message to WMC Action News 5.

Morgan, Carol, and William set a goal for William to learn how to ride a bike. A skill that takes typical children to learn in five weeks was accomplished by William in just four.

Unlike many others suffering from cerebral palsy, William can get by with limited speech therapy. In fact, he is able to handle himself so well, his mother said most people they meet do not even know he has cerebral palsy.

Now William, who his mother lovingly nicknames the “Ball of Fire,” is able to even take off on a bicycle by himself.

William even plays tennis with one of his friends, a young boy named Cannon who has limited use of his right side. William and Cannon even ran the St. Jude 5K together.

There are still challenges the family goes through, like monitoring his blood for clots, but as Carol described it, William gets better every day with help from his “thinking outside the box” physical therapy and relentless motivation.

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