Jackson is 16 years old and is the second oldest of four children. He lives with his mum, dad, siblings and two best friends; Chester his Labrador and Odeon the family’s German Shepherd.
According to mum, Maree, “life was good until Jackson showed no signs of weight bearing and could only sit. They always say that a mum knows best and I had this gut feeling that something was not quite right even though our doctor said his motor skills were just delayed.”
As time went by, and with no signs of improvement, the medical tests began. In February 2002, the Ingall family were given the life changing news that Jackson has a genetic disease called spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) type 2. SMA is a childhood form of motor neurone disease. The family were told that Jackson would never walk, will endure respiratory complications and muscle wastage throughout his life and that there was no known cure.
Maree says, “Jackson has never let SMA stand in the way of living the best life he can and we never wanted him to feel any different to other children growing up. Where there is a will, there is a way and Jackson has proved this to everyone who knows him. He attended childcare and main stream Primary School, has travelled overseas, plays wheelchair sports and has the ability to embrace life with passion and enthusiasm.”
There have been many admissions to hospital including one stay of 8 weeks in ICU as a result of complications from spinal surgery to correct the severe scoliosis he suffers. Maree says, “Jackson is writing medical history as he has been knocking on heaven’s door many times but continues to bounce back.”
Today Jackson attends a school that can take care of his medical and academic needs. Unfortunately as Jackson has grown, his scoliosis has worsened. Brainwave helped Jackson by funding modifications to his wheelchair that provide him with a specially designed backrest moulded to fit his spine. According to Maree, “without this help Jackson would be bed-ridden and his quality of life would have suffered enormously.”
Maree says, “there are no words that can describe how grateful we are to Brainwave, who have come to the rescue of our family and others like us. Things like modifications, are a huge expense and now with the new back on Jackson’s wheelchair, he continues to live life to the full. Thank you to Brainwave and the generous people that support it.”