Julian Meza was born on March 17, 2017, St. Patrick’s baby and let me tell you he is my lucky baby boy! My pregnancy with him was very smooth and easy up until 26 weeks’ gestation. I had to be on bed rest at the hospital up until 31 weeks, that he wanted to come, and he came! He was a 3lb 6oz. small baby. He stayed in the NICU for 4 weeks and was then released when he was able to drink from bottle and gained some weight. For the next 5 months everything was “normal”. He was eating great, gaining weight, baby talking and everything. But around 6 months I started noticing he was not quite putting the effort into wanting to sit down and he always had his hands in a fist. I voiced my concerns to the pediatrician, and he would say, “Oh it’s because he is heavier than an average 6-month-old we will take a look at him in his next checkup.” His 8-month check came around still no interest in wanting to sit up nor crawl, and again pediatrician would blame his weight, and I would tell him I don’t think so, my daughter was a lot heavier than he is.
Well finally at his 1-year checkup he finally gave in and referred us out to a physical therapist and our physical therapist referred us out to get an MRI and, in the MRI, it came back abnormal. In the MRI it showed where his brain had bleed and he was then diagnosed with Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy. I remember vividly the day our neurologist said, “this will be a problem for the rest of his life, he will probably never talk, never walk, be 100% dependent on you!” I left that office with my heart shattered into a million pieces and just crying my eyes out! My husband and I were clueless as to what was going to happen.
We had zero knowledge and we’re definitely scared and had a roller coaster of emotions going on. Shortly after we began Physical, Occupational, and Hippotherapy he began to gain some upper core strength. Finally, he would sit down somewhat independently. He would then army crawl and rollover and the first time he rolled over it was such a huge accomplishment because then he could somewhat get around on the floor by pairing it with the army crawling. When he was about 2 years old, he got his gait trainer which we were so happy about because he was finally going to be able to get up and walk around and get his movement in and at first, he was not a happy camper but grew to love it!
We were doing great in it and then COVID hit! I was beyond scared to take him out anywhere because he suffered RAD (Reactive Airway Disease) which is similar to asthma. With the reactions COVID had we were terrified, so there was definitely some regression in his physical activity. At around 2 and half years old he got his wheelchair which helped him get around places as well it took him a minute to get the hang of it, but he finally did. His walking has not gotten there yet but my husband and I are very hopeful that one day Julian will be able to walk even if it means with some type of support.
Even though he does not walk my little man will always have such a positive attitude and a great big smile. He is the happiest kid i have ever met and always looks at things on the bright side. Julian has been through a lot; he gets Botox injections every 4-6 months to help relieve the tension he has in his legs. He has had hip surgery to make sure his hips are guided into his hip socket. He has had eye surgery because of his brain not really cooperating with his eye movement and the list goes on. Even though he has gone and continues to go through so much he has really shown me that he is so brave, braver than me that’s for sure! I always ask God to give me the strength to be the best that I can for my children, and he has never failed to be there with us and guide my husband and I as his parents.
Julian has a sister whose name is Ximena (Jimena), and she is 7. Ximena is the best big sister to Julian. She loves and protects Julian so much! Ximena will always talk about her little brother to her friends, and I tell her, “Baby you are literally like Julian’s advocate “! It makes me happy to know that she supports her brother in every way that she can. I know God has put Julian in our lives for a reason and he is truly our angel from above and we love and adore more than anything because the smile he puts on his face every single day no matter the circumstances just make us appreciate every single little detail of life way more! We are hoping to get his adaptive bicycle that way he can get more exercise and movement in his legs in hopes to getting his legs stronger and stronger each and every day! Plus, out of all the equipment this is the one that he endlessly will keep asking of when he is going to get it because he cannot wait to go bike riding with his sister!
Gift: Adaptive tricycle by Freedom Concepts
Location: Whitfield County
Given: November 2022
Julian and his family were chosen as SGF’s Giving Tuesday 2022 family. Within two weeks of releasing our campaign and during pre-launch, forty-two individuals generously donated early and helped us reach our goal of $2,150! Because of these kind donors, we were able to make Julian’s dreams come true much sooner than expected! Watch the video below to experience just how special this gifting was!